OPINION: Pa. Democrats, Quit Blaming Stop-and-Go Stores and Fault Yourselves

Image: Google Maps.

Welcome to Prohibition Philadelphia, 2017: the town where Democrats apparently still believe — almost 90 years after American gangster and black-market-liquor entrepreneur Al Capone did a stint at Eastern State — that booze and speakeasies are to blame for our city’s ills.

Last week, Councilwoman Cindy Bass, along with a cadre of roughly 30 community members armed with folding chairs, decided to take a “stand” against stop-and-go stores — mini-convenience stores, delis, and gas stations that also sell alcohol — in a campaign she’s calling “Fit 30.” Read more »

10 Awesome Bar Accessories You Need to Pimp Out Your Bar Cart

bar accessories main

Okay, so you’ve already done the hard work of assembling an impressively well-stocked bar to wow your houseguests. Good: Step 1 of True Adulthood, complete. Now it’s on to Step 2: curating a collection of bar accessories that are just as jaw-droppingly impressive.

Not sure where to begin? We found 10 awesome bar accessories to get you started — from surprising IKEA finds (at a steal!) to statement pieces worth the splurge.

Say it with us: no more plastic solo cups.  Read more »

My Last Call for Drinking in Philly

Illustration by Tim Parker.

Illustration by Tim Parker.

I tend to begin a lot of stories with, “I was listening to a radio program, and … ”

Ideally, you assume this anonymous program is Fresh Air or This American Life. Perhaps a great new podcast you’ve never heard of. I’d settle for Radio Lab or All Things Considered.

We’re about to get pretty personal here, however, so I’ll come clean with you up front: I was listening to Preston & Steve. It’s pretty much always Preston & Steve. I’m 31 years old, and I think fart sound effects are funnier than ever. There you have it. Read more »

What 5 Philly Healthy-Eating Pros Eat Before a Night of Drinking

Going out for one too many drinks might be fun in the moment, but the hangover the next day is never a good time. The next morning can make you feel like your body and last night’s choices are in a Drake- versus Meek Mill-level feud.

One helpful tip to spend more time enjoying your day and less time hiding from life under the covers? Prevention. One way to do that? Eat a healthy, nutrient-packed meal before going out. So, what counts? Well, we went to the healthy-eating experts to find out. We asked five local healthy-eating pros what they eat before going out on nights when they know they’re going to down a few drinks. Spoiler alert: Pizza bagels didn’t make the list — which may explain why I was so well-aquainted with the bathroom floor during my freshman year of college. Read more »

Local Colleges Still Losing War Against Student Drinking

Pity the poor American institution of higher learning. Student drinking on campuses leads to property damage, arrests, injuries and deaths, hazings, and a tsunami of reports of student sexual assaults. (Research shows that 89 percent of those assaults involve drinking.) A recent study declared Pennsylvania colleges sixth in the nation in alcohol arrests of students, led by Shippensburg, East Stroudsburg, Lehigh, Penn Tech, Penn State and Kutztown — not the sort of high ranking universities crave. So naturally, administrators are doing their damnedest to clamp down on alcohol. At Swarthmore College, for example, new rules — no more hard liquor at school-sponsored parties, no more drinking games like beer pong, no more punch or party bowls — went into effect on campus in the fall of 2014. Students, predictably, were not enthused. “Seriously — can the admin with a straight face — indeed genuinely — defend these rules?” one incredulous undergrad demanded in the student newspaper, the Daily Gazette.

A year and a half later, a new report from Swarthmore’s department of public safety shows that while alcohol incidents at the campus’s three major social events dipped slightly in the first year of the more stringent prohibitions, they’ve since soared to new heights. (Nifty chart here.) Read more »

Hangovers Cause $82 Billion Headache For Workplaces

Maksym Poriechkin/Shutterstock

Maksym Poriechkin/Shutterstock

The costs of a night of drinking are as timeless as alcohol itself. For many, a headache and some dehydration are standard expectations after a night out on the town. However, a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that heavy drinking has much more literal costs, and not just to your wallet or liver.

The report studied drinking in 2010, finding that excessive alcohol use cost the U.S. economy $249 billion over the course of the year — with $82 billion coming from lost or decreased workplace productivity.

Here’s how the rest of the economic costs break down: Read more »

I’m Pre-Gaming My 40th High School Reunion


I spent some of this weekend trying to book a table for nine for lunch next Saturday, which turned out to be a lot more complicated than I thought. It seems a lot of places in my old hometown are only open for dinner on Saturdays. And that was a problem because my best high-school friends and I want to pre-game our high school reunion.

Well, not pre-game in the current college-student sense, as in “Get stumble-drunk before we even get to the party.” We’re not the drinkers we used to be, frankly. (And a couple of us never were drinkers at all.) But we want a chance to be able to talk and catch up without unfamiliar faces coming up to us in the dark and offering us hugs. (Note to reunion planners: You can’t read name tags in the dark.) It’s not like I never see my old high-school friends. A group of five of us have been getting together just about every year, sometimes with spouses, sometimes with moms, sometimes with kids, sometimes just by ourselves. We still get along, still make each other laugh and cry, just like we did when we were wearing hockey kilts, or “white shirts, dark skirts” for choir and band. Read more »

PHOTOS: Penn Students Fight for Their Right to Party at Free Fling Protest

Students gathered today on Penn’s College Green to protest the university’s increasingly stringent security measures. The demonstration coincides with this weekend’s “Spring Fling,” a traditional party weekend at Penn where students de-stress to the tune of on-campus concerts and parties.

Since last year, the Penn Department of Public Safety (DPS) has partnered with the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (BLCE) to police underage drinking during on-campus parties. Tactics include undercover patrolling, where BLCE officers are given student IDs to infiltrate student spaces in order to monitor underage drinking. DPS and BLCE have announced that any student hosting parties where alcohol is served to minors “will be taken in handcuffs.”

Penn Students Fight for Their Right to Party »

Penn Invites Undercover Cops to Campus to Bust Students

Let’s say you’re a freshman Penn student. You worked hard in high school to get into an Ivy League school, or maybe your parents donated money for a building or whatever. Either way, you feel you’ve earned it. You and/or your parents are paying $58,812 for tuition, room and board your first year. And you’re struggling under your first-year course load and you don’t know how to handle being away from home for the first time. Maybe you don’t like your roommate.

But, ahh! The end of the school year is quickly approaching, and you finally feel like you have a handle on everything. And this weekend is Spring Fling! The annual party weekend is usually a three-day bender for most Penn kids, with a concert. This year it’s headlined by David Guetta. (My freshman year, the concert was Ben Harper — with, hilariously in retrospect, a pre-Fergie Black Eyed Peas opening.) You’re excited to blow off some steam — and get plastered in what is essentially an event sanctioned by the University — before making one final push to the end of your first year. You’re almost there!

And now Penn — the school you’re paying 60 grand to — is inviting the cops to bust parties at Spring Fling. Not cool, man. Not cool.

Read more »

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