Regular Dad was kind of like Don Draper (minus the three-martini lunches and workday naps). He was a hardworking, good-looking, big-city, big-job media guy, with monogrammed cuffs on custom dress shirts. He lunched at the Rainbow Room. His job was high-stress, and we didn’t see a lot of him: He left our bucolic New Jersey home each morning before the sun had fully cracked the horizon and came home late each evening — all to beat the rush-hour traffic. His long commute, which was filled with off-ramps and toll roads, bridges and tunnels, was something he did every day for nearly 30 years without complaint. Regular Dad was pretty great as far as I was concerned: Decades later, I still remember jumping off the couch each night when I saw the headlights of his car pan across our family-room window as he turned into the driveway. I would race the dog to see who could get to the garage door first.
You brace yourself for a phone call; you don’t brace yourself for an email. But one day last year, this message from my father, with no subject line, was waiting in my inbox: “I got an e-mail last night informing me that Paul Burnley had died,” it began. “No details about when or how.” An email about an email about the death of my grandfather: Abstract and abrupt, it might as well have been a telegraph, all 135 words of it. I’d gone through the deaths of all my other grandparents, each one marked by a memory of my dad gently unspooling the facts, either in front of me or over the phone. His crackly voice on the other end of the line, trying to comfort me with a She died peacefully to soften the blow. But now, after the death of his father, he seemed unreachable.
One summer night a long time ago, when I was 11, my father drove me down into Philly to see a baseball game. Dad had zero interest in baseball. I loved it. So it was up to me, riding shotgun down Roosevelt Boulevard from Morrisville, to conjure: the grass more perfect than any grass anywhere. The Reds! Skinny Frank Robinson, part of the first wave of great black players allowed into the majors, who stood almost on top of home plate, as if daring the pitcher to hit him.
A memory: my junior year at Penn. I go home for Christmas. I bring the first story I wrote for the professor who, upon reading it, told me I would and should be a writer. (We can curse her later.) My mother is in the kitchen. My dad is in his favorite spot, The Recliner. Oh, this was such a nifty recliner! They got it at the fanciest furniture store in Scranton. It was from The Recliner that my dad did his favorite things: watch Johnny Carson; hold forth with all the relatives, friends, and friends of his kids who always seemed to be in the house; and fall asleep, snoring loudly, even if (especially if) the house was full of company. But on this night, it’s just the three of us. I hand a copy of my first “story” to each parent. My mother, Josephine, is mortified, horrified. I have made fun of our parish priest. She expresses her displeasure without uttering a word, by banging pots and pans. I look at my father, in The Recliner. He’s flipping through the pages and laughing. As robustly as he can without Josie hearing him. Then he looks at me. And grins. And puts a finger to his mouth, as if to say, “This is between us.” Then he utters the words that every daughter needs to hear from her father: “This is great.”
Sure, you’re probably prepared to indulge in the dinner of your dad’s choice this Sunday night, but for those of you who want to get the celebrations started a little earlier, why not begin the day with one of these five father-focused fitness events (try saying that five times fast)? From a 5K to a free boot camp with post-workout booze, there’s bound to be something you can rope your pops into. Read more »
Father’s Day: another holiday, another excuse to go shopping — and we aren’t even mad about it, because this city has the best shopping to make your Father’s Day run a quick one. Outfit dad with the latest in snazzy barware, or send him some upgraded camping gear that you know he’d never treat himself to. No matter his personality, you’ll find exactly what you need at one of these five great Philly shops for guys’ gifts. Read more »
Get a box of tissues ready: There’s a touching new video that features fathers talking to their children about when they came out of the closet, and it is a very moving tribute to all those great dads out there on Father’s Day.
The film is an Upworthy exclusive, and it really is gorgeous. With so many horrible stories about LGBTQ youth homelessness and families who evict their children after they come out, it is refreshing to hear these reaffirming dads talk candidly with their kids. Make sure you send your own dad some love this Sunday, perhaps by sharing this video with him. There’s also an entire series of GIFs from the film that you can find here.
When you were a kid Father’s Day just meant another family night out you didn’t have to pay for or organize. Now that you’re grown the rolls are reversed. Give the old man’s wallet a break by treating him to something on our list of local adventures that’ll have you and him feeling like the old team again.
Father’s Day is coming up quick, friends. If you’re like me and always forget to buy gifts until the last minute (and sometimes after the fact — sorry dad!), never fear: We’ve compiled this list of 10 great gifts to help any health-savvy dad stay fit — several with Father’s Day discounts to boot! Read more »
University City District and VIX Emporium are hosting more than 35 local vendors at the annual 30th Street Craft Market this Friday. The alfresco community space, The Porch at 30th Street Station, will feature tons of artists and crafters - selling a variety of goods from jewelry to ceramics - for shoppers to check out. If all of the afternoon retail therapy revs up your appetite, food trucks Mama's Balls, Say Cheese, Reuben on Rye, and Sweet Box Cupcakes will be on site. Shoppers can jam to some live tunes from Neon & Shy while perusing the wares and enjoying mini golf, the Philadelphia Photo Arts Photo Booth, and performances from the Give & Take Jugglers. A full list of vendors can be found here. Friday, June 13th, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., The Porch at 30th Street Station, 2955 Market Street.
This one's for you, literary geeks. The Rosenblach of the Free Library of Philadelphia will bring fans of James Joyce and his ingenious work Ulysses together with its Bloomsday Festival. Beginning on Friday, six days of Joyce-related fun - including pub quiz, author readings, exhibits, and a benefit gala - will take place throughout the city. Fans of the prolific writer and his work will not want to miss out. A full list of happenings can be found here. June 13th-18th, various locations.
This weekend, Inliquid Art and Design is giving wannabe art collectors (or those who already call some pieces their own!) an opportunity to jumpstart their collection. Art for the Cash Poor 15, a block-party style art show and sale, will feature over 100 artists with original works for sale - all priced under $199, with most pieces under $100. All sorts of handcrafted goods will be up for grabs, and everything from paintings and photography to fashion and jewelry will be on display. The weekend-long event will begin with a preview party on Friday evening, offering the chance to view and purchase work from a selection of the artists without the heavier crowds, along with the added bonus of an open bar, delicious snacks, and live music. Guests can sip Tito's Handmade Vodka drinks, El Dorado Rum, or Philadelphia Brewing Company Beer, and enjoy food from Birchtree Catering and Sweet Box. Proceeds from the preview party will benefit both the AIDS Fund and Inliquid. The event will continue on Saturday and Sunday, when everyone is invited out to shop the affordable art without the price of admission, though a small donation of $3 is highly suggested. Check out our roundup of 9 artists to watch out for at this year's event. Tickets for the preview party and more information about the event can be found here.June 13th, Preview Party: 5:30-9 p.m., June 14th-15th, Sale: 12-6 p.m., $30 for Preview tickets, $3 for sale donation, Crane Arts Building, 1400 N. American Street.
The sketch comedy project, Blogologues, is back for its second weekend in Philadelphia, with their most recent show: Blogologues: Dat A.S.S. (Annual Sex Show!). This Friday or Saturday night, watch the actors literally perform the internet, covering topics that probably shouldn't be discussed in public venues, like those embarrassing texts from last night and awkward Tinder hookups. Get your LOL on before they leave the city. Tickets are available here. Friday and Saturday, June 13th and 14th, 8 p.m., Studio X of Theatre Exile, 1340 S. 13th Street.
Venture back into radio's golden era at Figment Theater this weekend. The Bright N' Bold Beauty Box Old Time Radio Hour transports audiences back to the 1930s and the days of classic radio variety shows through musical and comedy acts, noir and soap serials, adventure stories, and more. It's a show-within-a-show, satirizing the entertainment industry with glimpses of both on and off-air moments of radio magic. The cast is made up of 17 hilarious improvisers, so the show is fueled largely by audience suggestions. It's BYO, so bring your favorite libation and enjoy the antics of the fictitious Philadelphia sound stage. June 12-15 & 19-22 at 8:30 p.m., June 15 & 22 at 3:30 p.m., $10, Figment Theater, 1219 Vine Street, Studio C.
From Foobooz: This Saturday and Sunday, June 14th and 15th, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern State Penitentiary is hosting Prison Food Weekend. And on the menu this year is the controversial Nutraloaf, an item that is served as a punishment for many American prisoners today. More here.
Philly is hosting its first Stars and Stripes Festival, a series of events to celebrate the birthdays of the American flag and the US Army. The events and presentations, which include a parade, parachuters, drill teams, an exhibition on the history of the flag, flag raising ceremonies, and more, are both indoor and outdoor, held at several venues throughout the historic district. The festival will begin at 9 a.m., with a flag raising ceremony at the Besty Ross House, and continue until 7 p.m., with a variety of patriotic festivities to take part in. If you're interested in getting in on the celebration, a full list of the happenings and their locations can be found here. Saturday, June 14th, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., Independence National Historical Park & surrounding areas.
Attention music lovers and thrifters alike: Liberty Lands Park will host a flea market and free concert this Saturday. The day will begin at 9 a.m., with a chance to peruse a variety of trinkets at the community flea market. From 4-10 p.m., six local bands will take the stage for an evening full of tunes. Oh, and $20 will get you a bottomless beer cup, so you may as well make yourself cozy for the duration of the night. A full lineup of the bands is available here.Saturday, June 14th, Flea Market: 9 a.m., Music : 4-10 p.m., Liberty Lands Park, 926 N. American Street.
Head to Fleisher Art Memorial this Saturday to enjoy a full day of art-centric fun at the 8th annual ARTspiration Festival. Children and adults can participate in a variety of art-making activities, hosted by local artists, community members, and Fleisher staff. If creating the art isn't your forte, there will also be a number of dance and musical performances throughout the day, a raffle, and a selection of local vendors selling their wares. When you get hungry, food from favorite local eateries Little Baby's Ice Cream, Poi Dog Snack Shop, and Taco Mondo will be available. Saturday, June 14th, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catharine Street.
Looking for a new furry friend? Vinyl Revival will be hosting an adoption event this Saturday, along with a special in-store sale and puppy-mill-awareness movie screening. Finding Shelter, a no-kill animal rescue, will have adoptable dogs on site starting at 1 p.m., with volunteers to offer information about each of the pups, the adoption process, and which breeds would be just right for you. Vinyl Revival - which offers unique music, movies, and accessories for you and your home - will donate 20 percent of all sales to Finding Shelter. Come if you want to give a lovable pup a forever home, or at least snag some new records. June Saturday, 14th, 1 p.m., Vinyl Revival, 35-37 N. Lansdowne Avenue.
From Foobooz: This Saturday, June 14th, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. the top vendors in Philadelphia will meet at Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown for you to get a taste of some of their best recipes. But the hard part comes after the eating when you vote for People’s Choice, Rookie of the Year and Best Dessert. The finalists include The Cow and The Curdcompeting for the Vendy Cup, Heart Food Truck competing for Rookie of the Year and Milk + Sugar competing for Best Dessert. Tickets are $55 for adults and and $30 for kids (ages 8-12). More here.
Contemporary art enthusiasts take note: Woodmere Art Museum will host author Nathaniel Popkin this Saturday for a chance to reflect on Philadelphia's art scene, past and present. Popkin will use Woodmere's collection, the art featured in the Woodmere Annual Exhibition (which opens that day), and the artists featured in his recent historical novel Lion and Leopard to discuss the ways contemporary Philadelphia artists reflect the city's artistic history. Popkin, also the author of Song of the City and The Possible City, has been nominated for the Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award. A reception and book signing will follow his lecture. Saturday, June 14th, 3 p.m., $15 or $10 for members, Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Avenue.
From Be Well Philly: This Saturday, Hotbox Yoga in Manayunk is hosting a power Vinyasa workshop to a super-upbeat reggae playlist. And let me tell you, I am psyched. Because reggae and yoga might just be the coolest combination since peanut butter and Sriracha. The class is from 5 to 6:10 p.m. this Saturday, June 14th. More here.
From Foobooz: Brittingham’s is hosting a Father’s Day Food Truck Block Party on Sunday, June 15th. The featured trucks will be Poi Dog, which serves up a variety of Hawaiian Tacos, Spot, known for its handcrafted burgers,The Whirly Pig, you can get a basket of bacon… need I say more? And finally, for dessert,Sweet Box Cupcakes, where you’ll have to choose between flavors like Dulce de Leche, Chocolate Ganache and Lime Coconut. More here.
The National Museum of American Jewish History is celebrating its newest exhibition, "Chasing Dreams: Baseball & Becoming American," this Sunday. In honor of the exhibition, the museum will be offering free admission, an alfresco movie screening, and an outdoor block party, all for the Chasing Dreams Mall Extravaganza. The museum will open its doors, sans admission cost, at 10 a.m., with the outdoor festivities kicking off at 2 p.m. Baseball fans can look forward to meet and greets with former Phillie's players, live music from various musical acts, snacks from local favorite food trucks, face painting, a photo booth, crafts, and much more. At 9 p.m., guests can relax and enjoy a free outdoor screening of Field of Dreams. If your pops is a baseball guy, your Father's Day plans are covered. Sunday, June 15th, 10 a.m., National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 S. Independence Mall E.
If you want to celebrate Portuguese culture - or just love chourico sausages - head to Penn's Landing on Sunday for Philadelphia's 21st annual Portuguese Heritage Festival. The full day of festivities will include Revolutionary art, folklore dancing, live music from various bands, the blessing of the fleet aboard the Tall Ship Gazela, and more. There will also be a spread of traditional Portuguese cuisine - from linguica to grilled sardines - with a selection of wine and beer to accompany all the delicious eats. Best of all, the music and activities are free of charge. A full list of other fun and family friendly multicultural events, all happening at Penn's Landing, can be found here.Sunday, June 15th, 1-7 p.m., Penn's Landing, 101 S. Columbus Blvd.