Sorry, Jazz Is Not Dead

ticket-jazz-fest-2014-jauhien-sasnou

Trombonist Ernest Stuart, founder of the Center City Jazz Festival. Photography by Jauhien Sasnou

It wasn’t so long ago that this very magazine asked whether jazz was on life support in Philadelphia. But several key players have injected much-needed energy into the mix, among them trombonist Ernest Stuart, who launches his third Center City Jazz Festival this month on April 19th.

Read more »

City Council Has an Ethics Committee! (But It Never, Ever Meets)

city-council

Philadelphia is one of the most corrupt major cities this side of Lagos. From the ABSCAM convictions in 1981 to Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown’s 2013 admission that she broke campaign finance law, we’ve had nine lawbreakers on City Council over a 32-year period. If you’re not particularly good at math, know that this averages out to more than one lawbreaker for every four-year Council term. Read more »

Where We’re Eating: Vietnam

barbecue-vietnam-940

On a recent visit to one of the many hole-in-the-wall pho joints on Washington Avenue, I saw a table of large white construction workers slurping up noodles. And while there might not be anything strange about that today, things weren’t always that way. Twenty-five years ago, when Benny Lai took over Vietnam on 11th Street from his family, no one in this town who didn’t grow up on home-cooked Asian food knew a pho from a bun. Lai opened the door, making the food more accessible while getting lots of us drunk on Flaming Volcanos and other tiki concoctions. These days, there are plenty of Vietnamese restaurants in town. But Lai’s Vietnam (and the mirror-image Vietnam Cafe in West Philadelphia) remains the place for Vietnamese dinner with out-of-towners, the in-laws, etc. Order the barbecue platter (Lai’s version of the pu pu platter), salt-and-pepper fried shrimp and some of those flaming drinks, and you’re good to go. 

Vietnam [Official]

First appeared in the April, 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

« Older Posts