Every Tuesday, we are featuring a recently wed Philadelphia-area LGBT couple. Today: Melissa Cooper and Lauren Schmucker, who took over The Franklin Institute for their special day.
Lauren and Melissa dancing under a statue of Benjamin Franklin. | Photo from Facebook
Names: Melissa Cooper and Lauren Schmucker
How long have you been together as a couple before you got married?: Our wedding took place on our ninth anniversary.
When did you get married?: October 4, 2014
Describe the experience of your wedding. Where did you get married? Who was there? What was the most memorable part?: Our wedding was a dream come true. We were married at The Franklin Institute, which perfectly reflected our individual interests in science and architecture. Our family and friends were there with us to celebrate our day. There were many memorable moments, from our ceremony under the stars in Fels Planetarium, to the cocktail hour in the new Brain Exhibit, followed by dinner and dancing in front of Ben Franklin himself. Our bridal party ended the night with a rousing rendition of “Don’t Stop Believin”” which we will never forget.
Were there any local businesses that were helpful when you prepared your wedding?:
Want to be featured in a future Tie-the-Knot Tuesday? If you’re a gay or lesbian couple married in Pennsylvania, we want to hear from you. Take our brief survey!
Found Footage Festival
The Found Footage Festival (FFF), currently in its 10th year, is coming to Johnny Brenda’s Thursday, October 2nd for two showings at 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. This special event is a guided tour through wacky and weird found VHS footage, hosted by curators Joe Picket and Nick Prueher, who provide commentary and “where are they now” stories from the videos’ stars. FFF has been featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and NPR.
Highlights from this year’s show include footage of the strangest home-shopping hosts you’ll ever meet: John & Johnny. As part of the festival’s 10-year anniversary celebration, Pickett & Prueher did some investigating into this crowd-pleaser from years past. Not only did they dig into old footage to find some never-before-seen John & Johnny clips, but they hired a detective to reunite the two hosts: “They’re living on opposite sides of the country, but we reunited them for the first time in 26 years,” says Prueher. “We videotaped it, so we’re showing not only the long-lost John & Johnny footage, but we’re showing the reunion.”
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On Monday, the Arts & Business Council of Philadelphia hosted Zero to One with Peter Thiel at the Franklin Institute. Thiel is best known as the co-founder of PayPal and the first outside investor in Facebook. During the breakfast discussion, he chatted about why startups must pioneer unknown territories and throw away the notion of competing with anyone else but themselves. First Zack Seward, editor-in-chief at Technical.ly, moderated a local panel of experts on startups and their place in Philadelphia, before doing a Q&A with Thiel. After the public session there was a private VIP meet-and-greet, where guests got their books signed and, if they were lucky, used their 30-second elevator pitch to grab the billionaire investor’s attention.
I snapped some photos of the event, which you can find below:
The sold-out crowd of 400 business leaders, entrepreneurs and students.
Peter Thiel and Zack Seward, editor-in-chief at Technical.ly. Words of wisdom from Thiel: You should never compete with anyone but yourself. If you look at your competition, then your field of growth gets smaller, and you get off task.
After the session, in Franklin Hall, guests were able to meet with Thiel and get their copy of his new book, Zero to One, signed.
Guest at reception. Theil is a little disillusioned about progress. In his book he shares that, “In the last 40 years in the technology world we’ve had enormous progress in the world of bits, but not as much in the world of atoms.” The notion is encapsulated in the tagline of Thiel’s venture capital firm, Founders Fund: “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.”
Some guests took the opportunity to perfect their 30-second elevator pitch with Thiel.
Ok, so it’s not often that we’d bother talking to you about an event being thrown by MillerCoors (the people who brought the world Mickey’s Ice and Miller Chill), but we’re making an exception for this one.
Brewers Unleashed is a thing that the company has been doing in Chicago for the last three years–a thing which essentially started as a company party but then blossomed into a full-scale public showcase of weird, one-off beers being brewed by small-time craft brewers within the MillerCoors family. Apparently, it’s a very popular event. Apparently, it sells out all the time.
And now, for one night only, it’s coming to Philly, as part of the Franklin Institute’s “Science After Hours” program. Which, you know, just kinda makes it even cooler.
Tap list and event details, right this way
Remember Body Worlds, the creepy but cool and utterly fascinating exhibit of “plastinated” human bodies and organs that packed the Franklin Institute from October 2005 to April 2006? Well, Body Worlds developer and plastination inventor Gunther von Hagens is coming back, this time with animals. Read more »
This Saturday, The Franklin Institute will host the grand opening of its newest wing, the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion, and debut the much-anticipated “Your Brain” exhibit, and we’ve got two pairs of tickets to get you in for the special occasion.
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The newest addition to the Franklin Institute aims to challenge and explain the way we experience the world around us. Set to open in June, the 53,000-square-foot “Your Brain” exhibit is slated to be the largest of its kind in the country dedicated to our noggin. Complete with an 18-foot climbable wall of neural webbing, the exhibit aims to turn the complexities of the brain and nervous system into a fun and educational experience for visitors young and old.
More on the
We recommend doing each and every one of these things this week:
From Foobooz: Sip N Glo is celebrating its first birthday by giving away 12 ounce juices today. ... Sip N Glo’s giveaway goes to 4 p.m., which is convenient because that’s when Häagen-Dazs’ free cone day kicks off. So it would be possible to pardon the pun, double-dip on free stuff on South Street today. Get to Sip N Glo at 932 South Street and then stroll down to Häagen-Dazs at 242 South Street before 8 p.m. for your free ice cream.
Get ready to figure out whodunit in a murder mystery at the Franklin Institute. Complete with staff members dressed as characters from the classic board game Clue, visitors will have to use their wits to quickly cross off weapons and rooms from their sheets to find the killer. Along the way participants will learn how real detectives use footprints, fingerprints, and analyze blood splatter to solve crimes. Tuesday, May 13th, 6:30 p.m., The Franklin Institute, 222 North 20th Street.
From Foobooz: This Wednesday, May 14th, La Calaca Feliz in Fairmount will be hosting its next whole animal barbecue. It will be a whole lamb being cooked in the back courtyard in La Calaca’ Caja China. The barbecue is $29 per person and includes Lima beans, esquites (Mexican street corn) salsa verde and corn tortillas. See the menu here.
From Be Well Philly: City Sports Philly is teaming up with Flywheel Wednesday night for a free indoor cycling class at the Center City studio. The 60-minute class is at 7:45 p.m. and space is limited, because there are a limited number of bikes (duh). Cycling shoes and water are provided, and City Sports will be handing out discount coupons for swag at its store, too. Sign up is happening over at Eventbrite. Have at it.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art may be trying to bring back an old-timey tradition with its’ free snuff box designing day. Inspired by artifacts in the Museum, these boxes were originally used as ornate containers for tobacco. Free with regular admission, you and your family can create your own tobacco transporters. Wednesday, May 14th, 5:50 p.m., Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Historic Philadelphia (HP) is hosting its sixth annual day of fundraising in Franklin Square this Thursday. All donations will be going to HP’s efforts to promote Franklin Square as a “welcoming green space” in the heart of Philly. At $200 a ticket, donors will be treated to cocktails, auctions, a dinner and dancing in a festival-like atmosphere. Thursday, May 15th, 5:30 p.m., Franklin Square, 200 North 6th Street.
Bring your appetite this Thursday for a street food festival of epic proportions. Over 85 local food trucks and vendors will make this the biggest Night Market yet, along with ticket raffles and a photo booth put on by the Arden Theater Company. Johnny Showcase and the Lefty Lucy Cabaret will perform all night as you discover new and exciting foodsAmerica’s most historic square mile has to offer. Thursday, May 15th, 6 p.m., 3rd and Arch streets.
The Barefoot Artist is a locally produced documentary concerning Chinese-born Philadelphia-raised artist Lily Yeh. The film will focus on Yeh’s passionate work with poverty stricken and at-risk communities across the globe, and how she blurs the line between social work and art. Both Lily and the Philadelphia-born directors will be in the audience for a Q&A session after the show. Thursday, May 15th, 7:30 p.m., Pereleman Theater, 300 South Broad Street.
What’s better than late 1980s/early 1990s action-adventure TV show MacGyver? What? Stargate SG-1? Hardly. And in a world where you can go to, say, Mad Men quizzo, it’s good to see that a show with equally ridiculous plots can get some love of its own: The Franklin Institute has announced MacGyver Night at the Museum!
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