Best Place To Lose All Your Quarters
Can a joint that just opened already be the best at something? We checked the rulebook and it said: “Yes, but if and only if another, almost identical place exists to which it can be reasonably compared.” We’re talking about Barcade, the bar/arcade mutant that just opened in Fishtown. There’s also one in Brooklyn, and the fucker devours quarters. Ever drink La Fin Du Monde and play Contra? Ever chug an Old Rasputin and play Gauntlet? You will soon, and you’ll love it. Say goodbye to clean clothes, because you’re gonna drop all your Washington coins on Tetris.
Barcade, 1114 Frankford Ave. 215.634.4400. barcadephiladelphia.com
Best Coffeeshop to Find Your Next Collective Housemate
West Philly is the home of queers and collective houses. Nowhere is this ethos more evident than Satellite Coffee Shop, a vegan-friendly joint in the old firehouse building at the corner of 50th and Baltimore. The crowd skews young, creative and a little bit punk, which is exactly the type of person you’d expect to live in collective housing. These same people who post openings on the bulletin board at Satellite are the ones who are chowing down on the much-loved Bike Shop Special while swirling the soy milk in their handmade coffee mugs.
Satellite Coffee, 701 S. 50th St. 215.729.1211
Best Light of the Tombs
On a nice day when it seems like everybody in the city is planted in Rittenhouse Square and Love Park, Washington Square in Society Hill remains shockingly empty and peaceful. Not only are there plenty of benches and grass to go around but at night the park is lit up by the ever-burning flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. Perfect for a quiet night of reading. It’s so quiet you can actually hear the fountain in the center. Though somewhat inconveniently located on Walnut Street between Sixth and Seventh, it’s definitely worth walking a few extra blocks.
Latest Homegrown Talent to Escape Philly
Philly lost yet another promising artist to a bright-lights city. Rapper Mike Taylor (formerly known as tU pHAce) is moving to Los Angeles after scoring a record deal with Sony/Epic. A few weeks ago, the 27-year-old bid adieu to a packed crowd at “Mo Money No Problems,” the Thursday night dance party the West Philly native’s been hosting for the last few years at Silk City. If by chance you’ve never heard of Taylor—who’s performed his unique blend of indie rock, electro, hip-hop and soul at events across the city, including MTVu’s Campus Philly festival, the Roots Picnic, Philly Fashion Week and last year’s Vans Warped Tour—head to his YouTube page and check out the videos for “Otis Pt. 2” and “Perfect.”
Best Party Pooper
For most of his career, Philly talker Michael Smerconish has been a living, breathing right-wing talking point. During George Bush’s early years, Smerconish couldn’t find a piece of American-on-Muslim violence he didn’t wet himself to. And every couple months, he’d dedicate his performances to re-fighting the Mumia Abu-Jamal fight. There was no political correctness, according to Smerconish, that wasn’t proof of America’s “sissification.” He even released an entire book about it called “Muzzled.” But then a funny thing happened. Out of nowhere, he announced during the 2008 campaign that John McCain hadn’t yet earned his vote. Then he endorsed Obama. He grew a beard. His radio show went national under the guise of being neither left nor right. And in 2010, he told Huffington Post readers he was done with the GOP, for good: “The national GOP is a party of exclusion and litmus tests, dominated on social issues by the religious right...” He’s now hosted the president for six interviews and regularly defends the Obama Administration and especially the wing-nut backlash to his being.
Best Talker From Both Sides of His Mouth
Ever think to yourself: Hey, I wonder where I can have a threesome and then promptly forget about it? Well, one of our writers thinks he's found that place. Want Mexican food that doesn't burn on the way out? Of course you do. More of these questions and answers have found their way into this year's Better Than Best issue. And what's better than best, you ask? We have no idea. We just knew we couldn't use Best Of, because another publication in this town has it on lockdown. But that doesn't mean we didn't put an enormous amount of effort into bringing you the most random hidden gems Philly has to offer. Because we did. And we think we've got a pretty good list going on here.
PW's Summer Guide 2015