Better Than Best: People & Places

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 3 | Posted Oct. 19, 2011

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Best Bookstore

Of the few remaining bookstores in Philly, Penn Book Center has the game on lockdown. Their new book selection is the best in town, and it’s independent, so you’re not shoving money into the pockets of megastore stooges. If you dig philosophy, poetry and all sorts of strange postmodern humanities texts about how Dr. Seuss is best theorized through the lens of anal sex, prepare to have your cherry sexed. Shout out to Jeanette Winterson.

Penn Book Center, 130 S. 34th St. 215.222.7600.


Best Music Producer

Here’s a tip for Philly bands: If you wanna blow up, make a record with Jeff Zeigler. As the founder of Uniform Recordings, he’s produced albums by many local artists who’ve earned national acclaim: Kurt Vile, The War on Drugs, Pattern Is Movement, and Clockcleaner, to name a few. As everyone will tell you, with Zeigler working the knobs, the sky’s the limit. He knows all the right moves, helping bands realize the previously impossible. He’s recently worked with Purling Hiss, Violens and Oh! Pears, and has upcoming projects with Chris Forsyth, Royal Shoals and Blood Feathers. Get in line.


Best-Kept Musical Secret

Northern Liberties local Thom McCarthy, 24, has a voice that just makes you think of buttah. Buttah all in yo’ ears, butta’ melting down your eardrums, smooth and slippery as he belts the kind of lyrics that are cute without being corny, witty but not pretentious. Plus his guitar chops are somewhere between Lonnie Johnson and Charley Patton (like a young, jazzy Eric Clapton). And barely anyone knows about him—for now. You can listen to his single “Cheesesteaks Live Forever” at, but this cat should be caught live.


Best Scumbag

Things were going pretty OK for the Philadelphia Housing Authority. It was Aug. 13, and the city’s biggest landlord was going green in the form of some public housing units at 72nd Street and Paschall Avenue. But then something strange happened. It was reported that Executive Director Carl Greene’s house had been foreclosed upon. Four days later, Greene’s friends and colleagues didn’t know where he was. Then he was accused of “predatory sexual misconduct” by a colleague. Then it turned out the PHA had spent some of its funds on laser tags and strippers. Before long, a series of women were accusing Greene of sexual harassment; he was let loose by the city; the PHA Board—which includes former Mayor John Street—threw him under the bus; and Greene found himself at a mental hospital in Maryland, perhaps getting Clockwork Orange ’d. It was a long way down for the PHA head, who’d been making more than $300,000 per year on the books. Nevertheless, he’s gone. And he’s trying to sue the city for two years’ pay, since they, uh, tarnished his name.


Best Political Flip-Flopper

Karen Brown has spent nearly 30 years in Philly as a Democrat, doing Democrat shit, working for Bob Brady and heading a civic association. But then a guy named John Featherman decided he’d run for Philly mayor as a Republican. The official GOP in the city didn’t like that, or him, so they began begging literally everyone to run. Brett Mandel was asked. As was Malcolm Lazin. And Rick Hellberg. And Gene Cohen. They all declined. Featherman was set to go unopposed, but then, less than a week before signatures were due, Brown decided to run for mayor as a Republican (she had previously been running for the 1st District and At-Large City Council) and was endorsed by the RCC. Then she beat Featherman. Now, she’s a Republican with opposing points of view. For instance, she says she’s a Republican, but supports the city’s unions. She supports unions, but told the Metro she’d eliminate the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. She’s got the RCC’s endorsement, but now they don’t really want her.


Best Community News Blog

Seen those signs around West Philly for “Know Your Local?” That’s the handiwork of husband and wife duo Mike Lyons and Julija Kulneva, who’ve been putting out West Philly-focused news like it’s their job (even though they both also work full-time). The brain child of a former Associated Press journalist (Mike) and a technology guru (Julija), this little blog delivers what’s happening in the neighborhood before anyone else, with rogue journalistic flair and a strong point of view. You might see them heading over to the police station for comment or taking to the streets in search of a story, but they also never forget to post about the simple things that make West Philadelphia feel like home.


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Comments 1 - 3 of 3
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1. Patricia T said... on Oct 21, 2011 at 02:17PM

“I would like to comment on the article about "Latest Homegrown Talent to Escape Philly - Mike Taylor". 1st it's always great to see that he has been mentioned in Philadelphia Weekly, but the title is definitely not correct. He didn't "escape Philly", he is just expanding his wings. Philly will always be 1st in his heart & he will be back. Whether it's Philly or L.A., let's continue to support him.”

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2. Anonymous said... on Oct 26, 2011 at 08:48PM

“What is the Rathaus!”

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3. Anonymous said... on Oct 27, 2011 at 08:14AM



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