Was Urban Outfitters-Vetri Deal in Part About Loneliness?

Urban Vetri

There was a lot of head-scratching this week when Urban Outfitters, struggling in sales, purchased the Vetri Family restaurant group. I understand the concern over a beloved local figure and craftsman “selling out” to a corporation famous for flannel and failed attempts at irony. But Urban and the Vetri people have worked together for years, and two big Philly power players are a match made in business heaven. (For those still bummed: The crown jewel Vetri-name restaurant wasn’t sold. Marc Vetri and co. also pledge to oversee all their Philly restaurants as usual — we’ll certainly notice if they don’t.)

The most interesting thing about this deal isn’t the people involved. It’s one of the reasons Urban’s chief development officer, Dave Ziel, gave for the purchase: filling a social void. As Ziel told Philly.com, “We think retailing needs to become more experiential … I think there’s a craving for real socializing beyond social media.” Read more »

How Penn Just Ushered In the Apocalypse

We saw the writing (ha!) on the wall back in May, when Penn announced it would no longer be considering applicants’ scores on the essay portion of the SAT while pondering whom to admit to its hallowed halls. We winced a bit when we saw that the comments beneath a recent Daily Princetonian article on a student’s attempted suicide had devolved into a flame-throwing, name-calling brawl over whether “the person allegedly hanged themselves” was grammatically proper or not. We fell into a fever when we watched a privileged young Yalie scream at a professor to “SHUT UP!,” then fainted dead away when we read another Yale student’s defense of said screaming in the student newspaper, which featured the immortal line, “I don’t want to debate. I want to talk about my pain.” Really, we’d like to see that tattooed on every incoming Ivy League frosh.

Read more »

Philly’s 5 Creepiest Mascots


We did it, guys. We resurrected Gus.

According to the Pennsylvania Lottery, it was popular demand that brought the state’s “second most famous groundhog” back just in time for the holidays.

“Gus went into semi-retirement in early 2012 after a nearly eight-year run as our instant game ad mascot,” said Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko of the beloved critter in the only press release worth reading. “In the years since, we have continued to hear from players who told us how much they missed Gus and wanted him to return. Simply stated, Gus is a Pennsylvania Lottery institution.”

Damn straight he is, Drew. Damn straight.

Granted, not everyone is happy to see Gus return, which is understandable. (Wrong and heartless and unfeeling, but understandable.) Read more »

Dear Philadelphia: Where Are My Freaking Pumpkins!?

I’m only going to ask this once: Where are my pumpkins, Philadelphia?

I know where they used to be. At one point, they were lined up neatly on my steps, smallest to plumpest, as if ready to march off to their first day of pumpkin school. Others were nestled safe and sound in my window box, which as of October became a shrine to Decorative Gourd Season.

When the first one went missing, I brushed it off. It’s my first fall in South Philly proper — where the Halloween decorations went up in September and the Christmas lights are already twinkling — and I admittedly went a little overboard while trying to fit in with my neighbors. I could have easily miscounted my many pumpkins.

When the second one disappeared, I stayed positive. Maybe someone walking by recognized my pumpkin’s potential and brought it home to help it live out its wildest pumpkin dreams. Perhaps my pumpkin was in a better place, living a life I couldn’t provide. If he was transformed into an award-winning pie or a first-prize jack-o’-lantern, I could have moved on in the name of “If you love something, let it go.”

But when I woke up one morning to a mere three surviving pumpkins, rage set in.

Maybe I’ll ask again: Where in unholy hell are my pumpkins, Philadelphia? Read more »

Daylight Saving Time Is Stupid and Expensive and Dangerous


In addition to everything else you’ve got to remember for Halloween this year, remember to turn your clocks back an hour — all your clocks — because goddamned Daylight Saving Time will be messing up your life again. True, you’ll gain an hour of sleep. But that hour will be more than devoured by the time you expend adjusting every clock in your house, the clocks in your cars, the clock on the wall of your office, and, of course, the clocks at your mom’s house, because changing the clocks these days has gotten really hard.

You know what? That’s a lie, that part about gaining an hour of sleep. You’re not going to gain anything. The sun isn’t going to stay up any longer because of DST. All you’re doing is shifting an hour of darkness at the start of the day to the end of the day. And you only get to do that because last spring, you had your circadian rhythms thrown into chaos when the clocks sprang forward — a dumb expression albeit one beloved by news commentators, because clocks don’t just spring forward on their own. They have to be pushed or prodded or spun or clicked forward — by you. Read more »

Are We Witnessing the Death of Trick-or-Treating?

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer. Photos | Shutterstock.com

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer. Photos | Shutterstock.com

Halloween is Saturday night, which means my inbox is chock-full of holiday-related emails. There’s the one from U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, who apparently loves him some caps lock; his press release leads off with the following bit of autumn cheer in 24-point type:


Whew! I mean, God forbid that on one day out of the year, Jayden and Mason and Veronica rub a bit of rouge on their chubby little cheeks; as Schumer says (in lower-case, at least), according to the CDC, “no safe blood lead level in children has been identified.” My baby’s going to die from unregulated Chinese face paint! Hey, Chuck? Don’t you have anything better to do than scare kids and their parents about — oh, wait, I get it. Excellent troll! Best Halloween prank ever! Read more »

We Have a Halloween Pet Costume Problem

Right on cue, I woke up yesterday wondering if I might have a problem. Yes, the signs have been there day in and day out, week after week, month to month. But every year, it’s Halloween that really makes me look around my living room — at the cardboard and spray paint and hot glue guns and industrial-size tub of glitter — and think, “Hm.”

I devoted Sunday to drawing up plans for Murphy’s Halloween costume, and I’ll spend every night this week putting the finishing touches on his top-secret get-up. I’ve set aside one evening for tailoring, one for mobility troubleshooting, and another for rebuilding the portions that Murphy will inevitably maul during his many fit sessions.

Murphy, you see, is a dog. Murphy, unlike myself, has very little interest in what he’s being for Halloween this year or who wins the office costume contest. Read more »

There’s Actually a DeLorean for Sale in Glenside

DeLorean for Sale - Glenside

A DeLorean for sale in the Philadelphia suburbs. (Photo via Hemmings)

As you may know, today is Back to the Future day! October 21, 2015, is the date Marty McFly traveled to in Back to the Future II. Yeah, you’ve probably heard this.

Many local businesses and area restaurants are celebrating with special events or deals, and we here at Philadelphia magazine have even highlighted a few futuristic concepts coming to the city.

But back up for a second. There two most important things from the Back to the Future series are the self-lacing Nike Air MAGs and the DeLorean time machine. The former may soon come to fruition: Nike is thought to be auctioning off pairs of the self-lacing sneakers soon.

And, well, there isn’t a DeLorean time machine. But there are DeLoreans for sale, and one is for sale in Glenside! For only $39,900 (or your best offer) you can own a black-and-gold DeLorean DMC-12. Read more »

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