103 Things We Love About Philly
The list you're about to read ranks the top 103 things in Philadelphia, from the bottom to the top, and it's absolutely definitive.
In other words, if you don't like it--I mean even if you love reading this list but disagree with part of it, a word of it, even--you can pack your bags and go to hell. I'm serious. Hurry along now, and don't forget ice. Not that we care.
You know, our usual policy is to beg you for letters. We have a neat little button on our website that enables you to email us about any of our stories with a quick click. Our phone number is easily found. We're here to serve--yadda, yadda, yadda. But not this time. With our definitive list of the top 103 things in Philadelphia, we urge you to keep your comments to yourselves. With regard to you, there's one thing that's important to us, and one thing only: Is your piehole airtight?
What that means is, should you choose to use your own faulty noggin' to decipher the accuracy of this here definitive list; should you wonder if maybe this whole introduction is supposed to be funny and maybe you should comment on this or that; should you choose to think anything at all--don't.
There is no need to wonder, peoples.
Did I mention this is the definitive list?
You wouldn't believe who helped put this together. Dozens of consultants. Movers and moneymakers. Guys with three and four postgrad degrees. Christina Aguilera was sounded out. We talked to Bubba. We made contact with Allah.
Okay, so maybe we didn't do any of that. Maybe instead we talked to everybody we knew. Okay, everybody we knew and liked. Any idea what kind of effort it takes to get a whole editorial staff and dozens of freelancers to spread their arms wide enough to encompass this whole sweet bad-ass town?
Took some effort, but in the end we made serious Barry White-flavored love to this city--in the very list you're now holding in your hands.
So watch you don't catch something. Not that we'd care.
Who are you, anyway? Some hopped-up piece of bad jabroni? Some kind of list lover or something?
Well then, fine. Read this list if you must. But tell your story walkin', 'cause we really don't care what you think. This is our list. And we love every word of it just the way it is.
-- Steve Volk
103. D'Angelo Bros.
Are the boars' heads, furs and desiccated bones that adorn the walls of this Italian Market butcher shop a health hazard in any way? Does anyone care? No, because this is the best butcher shop, like, ever. In addition to fabulous cuts of slimy, vegetarian-repelling varieties of succulent and fresh meat, you can also buy animal hides. Hides! Even if you're a grass-eater, stop in and get your dog one of D'Angelo Bros.' scraps.
>> 909 S. Ninth St. 215.923.5637
102. Our leaders are morons
Hello, City Council!
101. No one shops at the new Benetton on Walnut Street
The recent addition of the United Colors of Benetton to Walnut Street seems ill-conceived. Stoic, headless mannequins stand stiff in the plate-glass storefront, amid racks of pressed shirts and slacks. Signs advertising up to 70 percent off everything in the store are snubbed by Walnut Street shoppers, and the shop's white interior remains pristine. Benetton's style, once the height of mid-'90s globally conscious fashion, seems to fall flat in 2003. Opened within a few blocks of Banana Republic and J. Crew (and yet another Benetton in Liberty Place), and but a few feet from the super Gap, its niche already seems saturated. Besides, Philadelphians have a certain attitude--a "Phillyness," if you will--and the new Benetton store just doesn't fit it. Still, with 5,000 stores worldwide, they may not really need our business anyway.
>> United Colors of Benetton, 1520 Walnut St. 215.546.9830. www.benetton.com
100. WDAS 105.3
Despite its big, bad monopoly-style owners, 'DAS still sounds more homegrown and old-school Philly than any station in town. The people who work there respect the station's storied legacy. The on-air personalities--Butterball, Patty Jackson, Gary Shepherd, Tony Brown, Jerry Wells, Doug Henderson, Tamlin Henry, E. Steven Collins--are household names with deep roots in the community. We know them, they know us. Every new car sold in the city should come with the last button on the radio permanently set to 105.3.
99. TLA Video
Rumor has it that the Video Library in West Mount Airy has an even more comprehensive collection than TLA, but those of us who live in Center City are happy to rely on this Philadelphia-based chain store. TLA's obsessive back catalog of good old mainstream picks, along with artier fare, would make the manliest cinephile weep. (There's everything from Vin Diesel to Val Lewton, from Robert Redford to Rene Clair.) The five-day rentals are a plus, as are the deals: three picks for the price of two every day; get two for one on Wednesdays. If that weren't enough, they're more than happy to have out-of-stock titles shipped from their other locations, including a store in Manhattan. Not to single out any one location (they're all amazing), but the branch at 1520 Locust St. is perhaps the strongest, if only because it has just about every existing DVD available for rental.
>> $3.75 per rental. Various locations and phone numbers. www.tlavideo.com