How Did I Go This Long Without UberX in My Life?

uberx-940x540

As is the case with most things that involve my phone, I was late to the UberX game.

It’s not that I didn’t have a use for the popular ride-share service. Since moving to Queen Village, I’ve taken to calling a cab for everything that doesn’t warrant giving up my parking space — which is to say, well, everything. And although I’ve always found Philly’s cab drivers to be somewhere between pleasant-enough and unlikely-to-wear-my-face, I don’t necessarily have an attachment to them, either.

It’s just that when you’re working with a rusty iPhone 4 that has bravely decided to stay by your side, you think twice before downloading new apps. Or running risky updates. Or removing the duct tape.

But last Thursday, Uber was delivering adoptable puppies as a fundraiser for the PSPCA. The time to hesitate was through.  Read more »

Department of Secret Shore Awesomeness: The Brigantine Day Trip

Brigantine Beach | Chris Potako via a Creative Commons license.

Sunset over Brigantine  | Chris Potako via a Creative Commons 2.0 license.

I’ll admit that I never quite saw the allure of the day trip.

For as much as I love the Jersey shore (as in, so, so much) it has rarely been enough to justify driving down for the afternoon. To me, the quickie shore trip has always felt like quickie sex: Perfectly fine until I take a look around and realize there’s no shower, no change of clothes, and all kinds of chafing. Not necessarily bad, but not quite worth the trouble or the messy hair, either.

That is, until I discovered Brigantine. Read more »

How Did Dîner en Blanc Become Philadelphia’s Most Polarizing Event?

It’s not that I hate Diner en Blanc.

It’s more that I really, really hate Diner en Blanc.

That is, if Diner en Blanc actually exists. My working theory is that it doesn’t, that the organizers of Thursday night’s dinner party accessed my subconscious and designed an elaborate hoax based on my wildest nightmares and most visceral fears. Think Freddie Krueger, but with more seersucker and entitlement, less clawed gloves and face melt.

Far-fetched? Perhaps. But the alternative is believing that thousands of my fellow Philadelphians entered a lottery for a chance to buy $39 tickets to a dinner party that doesn’t serve dinner. That they’re seriously going to dress in head-to-toe white and drag their own tables, chairs, dishware and food into Center City during a heat wave. That — per the world’s most eye-stabby slide show — “once all the guests are settled in, [they’ll] spontaneously lift their white linen napkins to indicate the beginning of the dinner.” Read more »

Lorenzo’s: For the Love of Real-Deal Philly Pizza

Real deal Philly pizza. Photo | Lorenzo's Facebook

Real deal Philly pizza. Photo | Lorenzo’s Facebook

Looking back, I was naive to think that I was going to score a Beddia pizza last Saturday.

It was almost 5 by the time I lined up outside, and I had plenty of company. A quick headcount indicated that even if most people resisted ordering a second pie, it was unlikely that I would walk away with one. Beddia only releases 40 pizzas onto the streets of Fishtown on a given night, and since Bon Appetite declared this micro parlour the “best pizza in America,” slices have been hard to come by.

Two quick things: Read more »

You’re Welcome, America: We Killed hitchBOT

HitchBOT via Facebook

hitchBOT via Facebook

Most weekends I don’t leave South Philly, let alone the East Coast. But I spent the past couple days in Los Angeles, and I have to admit that by Saturday evening I started to entertain the idea of extending my stay.

Because really, California doesn’t seem like such a bad deal. It never snows and it barely rains. There’s a beach to the left and mountains to the right. If you forget your laptop in a coffee shop, it will be waiting for you behind the counter with a glowing barista who smells like sunshine and rainbows. What, I wondered, do I have against happiness? Why do I insist, year after year, on proving that I can survive Philadelphia?

And then you beautiful assholes killed hitchBOT. Read more »

Philadelphia, Quit Your Pope Whining Now!

By now, you’ve probably seen the maps.

Depending on which one you look at, it appears that somewhere between a large chunk and an extremely large chunk of Philadelphia will be swallowed up by the so-called “security perimeter” for Pope Francis’ September visit.

Mayor Michael Nutter attempted to smooth things over yesterday, but by then the damage was already done. After weeks of reports that SEPTA service would be suspended, bridges could close and I-95 might even shut down, the city seemed to have had enough — it was time to throw a full-on tantrum and give in to the Pope panic.

Philadelphia, this is a bad look for us. Read more »

How Switching to Two Wheels Helped Me See Philly With New Eyes

Illustration by Tim Parker

Illustration by Tim Parker

Before you get the wrong idea, this is not a love story.

There have been plenty of those penned about the joys and merits of cycling in the city. Especially in this city, where — in case you haven’t noticed — the ever-widening, constantly creeping bike lanes are suddenly packed with everyone from die-hard daily commuters to meandering tourists on rented wheels.

But this, well, this isn’t one of those stories. Read more »

Department of Duh: Of Course Margie Winters Got Fired

Archbishop Charles Chaput, Photo | Jeff Fusco. Waldron Mercy Academy via Google Maps

Archbishop Charles Chaput, Photo | Jeff Fusco. Waldron Mercy Academy via Google Maps

In some ways, I feel for Archbishop Charles J. Chaput.

Yesterday, when he released a statement on the archdiocese’s position on the firing of Margie Winters, I honestly believe he wasn’t prepared for the collective “NOPE!” the Internet sent his way. It lacked a little finesse, sure, but my guess is that he pretty confidently hit “send” on the below: Read more »

The 7 Worst People at the Farmers’ Market

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer   Diet Coke  woman  and produce  images via  Shutterstock.com

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer
Diet Coke , woman and produce images via Shutterstock.com

In theory, the farmers’ market sounds like a lovely place to spend your Sunday morning.

And it should be. It could be. Sometimes it is. It’s a great opportunity to meet the hard-working people who grow your food, and if you have a lot of thoughts about tomatoes, there’s nowhere else you should be. Read more »

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