What's hot, not and what you should be doing in Philly this summer.
Right now on PW’s website, the most read story is “Top 50 Bars.” Following it closely is “Top 10 Drug Corners.” Those stories were the covers of our March 5, 2008, and May 2, 2007, issues, respectively. But, yes, they are still among the most read. In fact, both have hovered in the top 10 most read stories on our website since they ran, and both continue to garner comments.
We began to wonder why that is. The obvious answer: People fucking love lists. They’re easy to read. They’re helpful. They are the fun-size candy bar of print. What’s not to love?
Truth is, editorial staffs love lists too, much for the same reasons. Hell, Philadelphia magazine has made lists a part of its permanent business model, putting a new one—Top Docs, Top Vets, Top Places Down Da Shore, Top Neighborhoods—on its cover every month.
So we’re going list crazy, crazy, CRAZY. We’ve got hoards of lists here, spanning various topics of questionable importance and divided into easily digested sections (Food and Drink; People, Places and Things; Politics). You’ll find more lists in our A&C sections as well—the best plays of the summer; the best art; the most anticipated concerts. Enjoy them. We thought long and hard about these lists, which is in no way code for “tossed it to our interns and let them run with it while we drank at Oscar’s next door.” This is the Summer Guide of Lists, people. After it, no publication in Philly will dare attempt to rank anything ever.
Top 3 Bars Not to be White In
1. Here It Is, 15th and Stiles. Periodically, the staff at this quaint establishment have to ask wandering college students to curb their patronage for the simple reason that “You bring dem white girls in here and all the regulars start acc’in crazy.”
2. The Purple Orchid, 61st and Passyunk. This strip club boasts the world’s narrowest aisle between the bar and the wall, making it extra unpleasant for white people attempting to squeeze by disgruntled locals as they are simultaneously harassed by heinously made-up girls who will never look you in the eye unless there’s evidence of at least a couple of dollars on the bar that aren’t being spent on a drink.
3. Shorty’s, 52nd and Woodland.
It’s sad white people don’t get to enjoy one of the most talent-encrusted karaoke nights in the city. The soulful sounds of a live band and the surprising mic skill of the contestants still don’t drown out yells of ‘Yo old head!,’ which remains the only way to get the bartender’s attention and is a phrase impossible for white people to say correctly. Go ahead. Test it out.
Top 3 Bars Not to be Black In
1. Bonk’s Bar, Tioga and Richmond. Bikers are known for many things, two of which are not racial tolerance and being nonwhite. As a result, a place where they gather to blow off steam might well be the most dangerous place for anyone even remotely of color.
2. Triangle Bar, 10th and Reed. It was in this very paper that a 2008 article described how an employee of this Bella Vista bar went on a violent, racist tirade against an interracial couple. Don’t feel comforted that there’s a police station right down the way. They didn’t respond then and they probably won’t now.
3. Raw Dog Saloon, Second and Morris. We’re pretty sure this isn’t the only bar in Philly where a large number of Flyers fans yelled the N-word at the screen every time Montreal Canadiens defender PK Subban came on screen during this year’s playoffs, but we definitely know it’s one of them.
5 Honey’s (800 N. Fourth St.) Dishes That’ll Make You Shit Like They’re Laced with Laxatives.
1. Breakfast Bomb.
2. Jeb’s Open Faced Biscuit Sandwich.
3. Huevos Rancheros.
4. Chicken Fried Steak Platter.
5. Fried Shrimp Po-boy Sandwich.
7 Iced Teas for the Designated Driver in Your Group
1. Moriarty’s, 1116 Walnut St.
2. Bubble Tea, Bubble House, 3404 Sansom St.
3. Fruits of the Forest Tea, Beauty Shop Cafe, 20th and Fitzwater.
4. Thai iced tea, Vientiane Cafe, 4728 Baltimore Ave.
5. Wawa-brand Raspberry Iced Tea, Wawa (various locations).
6. Plate, Suburban Square, Ardmore.
7. Southern-Style Sweet Tea, Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse, 7500 State Rd.
Top 5 Bars with the Best Tasting Citywide Special
1. Bob and Barbara’s, 1509 South St.
2. Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar, 1200 E. Passyunk Ave.
3. Medusa Lounge, 27 S. 21st St.
4. Dirty Frank’s, 347 S. 13th St.
5. Tritone, 1508 South St.
5 Random Quotes from 5 Random Bartenders
1. “Check your expiration date.” Carl, 12 Steps Down.
2. “Pull your pants up.” Shawn, Tattooed Mom’s.
3. “You missed a spot.” Robin, El Bar.
4. “Enjoy your second home.” Noelle, Dahlak.
5. “I’m gonna bank the eight.” Christine, Green Room.
5 Places to Get Blasted Outdoors!
1. Jamaican Jerk Hut, 1436 South St. Huge, semi-enclosed backyard with picnic tables + jerk chicken + freshly made juice mixers for your vodka/tequila/rum = best way ever to spend a Saturday. Or Tuesday?
2. Apothecary, 102 S. 13th St.
If you really, really like mixed drinks. Example: The Booty Collins has nine ingredients. The roofdeck looks out onto 13th Street. Prime people-watching.
3. Raw Sushi and Sake Lounge, 1225 Sansom St. Be outside and inside—at the same time! Private courtyard reminds us of the late and much-loved Washington Square. Fresh and innovative sushi. Hope it’s not coming from the Gulf.
4. Silk City Diner, 435 Spring Garden St. Around these parts, we call the outdoor patio the Beer Garden. Tecate in a can, anyone? Go for brunch and never look back.
5. Cavanaugh’s River Deck, 417 N. Columbus Blvd. Look, it ain’t Seacrets, but Cav’s is probably the best way to “enjoy” our waterfront. Not that there’s a whole lot of competition in that category to start with. Damn good food and drink specials.
5 Places to Get Legit Philly Soft Pretzels
1. Center City Pretzel Company, 816 Washington Ave.
2. From the pretzel man on the Roosevelt Blvd.
3. From the shopping carts between the Stadiums.
4. Tasty Twisters, 4901 Umbria St.
5. Federal Pretzel Baking Company, 638 Federal St.
Top 4 After-Hours Places to REALLY Blackout
1. RUBA Hall, 414 Green St.
2. Pen & Pencil, 1522 Latimer St.
3. Voyeur, 1221 St. James St.
4. The Republican, 1734 Snyder Ave.
Top 5 Cuisines You Should Add to Your Palate
1. Indian. Because man cannot live by all-you-can-eat buffet alone. Well, he can, but he’ll get fat(ter), and relative newcomers like Bindi (105 S. 13th St.) and Karma (114 Chestnut St.) prove there’s a higher plane we can aspire to.
2. Mexican. In the beginning, there was Taqueria Veracruzana (908 Washington Ave.). And it was good. Then Mexican food took over the whole of the Italian Market, making “Italian Market” the most antiquated misnomer in the city. And it was even better.
3. Cambodian. South Philly’s growing Cambodian population is mostly too fresh off the boat to have opened too many restaurants just yet. But a few places cropping up, like New Phnom Penh (2301 S. Seventh St.) and Kavei (320 W. Oregon Ave.), make us excited for the delicious blend of Thai, French and Vietnamese cuisine to come.
4. Vietnamese. Did we say the Italian Market was all Mexican now? Whoops. While Mexican food has cropped up, roots-style, in small pockets, Vietnamese cuisine has descended on South Philadelphia in the biggest concentration this side of the 38th parallel. And they’re spreading: from West Philly (Vietnam Cafe, 814 S. 47th St.) to the Northeast (Cafe Saigon, 827 Adams Ave., and Pho’75, 823 Adams Ave.) to the old Chinatown standbys.
5. Korean. Philadelphia’s Korean population is finally firmly entrenched enough to enjoy a wide range of spots, from the quick lunch (Giwa, 1608 Sansom St.; Koreana, 3801 Chestnut St.) to the fancy sit-down fusion spots (Sampan, 124 S. 13th St.)
Top 5 Public Places to Ogle People With Their Top Off
1. Schuylkill River Trail.
2. Washington Square.
3. Rittenhouse Square.
3. Liberty Lands.
Top 5 Discount Websites for Philly
Top 5 Rallies
Philadelphia is the home of free speech, and it definitely shows in the number of rallies held here.
1. When Nutter decided to combat the city’s deficit by implementing a soda tax in March, the soda lobby (see: Coca-Cola) staged a boisterous and public-service-like announcement at City Hall. It worked.
2. Ballsy Frank Gilanelli, the small-business owner who escalated an immigration rally in Old City last month, berated supporters of immigration reform, shouting such gems as: “What part of ‘illegal’ do you not understand?”
3. Librarians tired of being singled out grabbed their books—again—along with their balls and protested. Not just outside City Hall, either. Outside Nutter’s office door. Too bad the hizzoner wasn’t in.
4. Temple University Hospital made national headlines when its 5,000 nurses rallied during a month-long strike. Their picketing and protesting eventually gained them the support of Michael Moore, America’s most extreme filmmaker.
5. Fewer than five people rallied outside a Roxborough BP on Monday. The effort was led by a 17-year-old. Who probably still wants a car.
Top 5 Phillie Phanatic Alter-Egos
1. Rocky Balboa (debuted in 1986).
2. Lady Pha Pha (aka Lady Gaga).
3. Batman (to taunt Jack Nicholson, of course).
4. Any outfit used to taunt the other team (Senorita to taunt Mariano Duncan, Cowboy to taunt Diamondbacks, etc.)
5. Luke Skywalker.
Top 10 Places to Take Awesome Pictures of the Philadelphia Skyline
1. Belmont Plateau (off Belmont Mansion Road).
2. The upper levels at the Linc and Citizens Bank Park.
3. Gazebo off Kelly Drive (in Fairmount Park off Lemon Hill Drive).
Roller girls, festivals, block parties, slam-dunk showdowns, skydiving and more.
The new 700-square-foot Art Gallery at City Hall, with its high ceilings, fixed walls and lots of natural light, brings art into the seat of power like never before.
With the ridonculous video to “Acapella,” Kelis has caused a bit of a stir and excitement surrounding her new album, Flesh Tone, out July 6.
The Academy of Music is busy this June with two blockbuster Broadway musicals.
Here, we’ve rounded up the really good, the really bad, the reunions and the rejects for a summer roundup of live concerts. (That's Boyz II Men, above, by the way.)
The 2014 Philadelphia Spring Guide
PW's Winter Coffee Tour