Whether you have a child, you’re expecting one, or you know someone who is, this is one event you’re going to want on your radar because times is tough—and kids are expensive.
This Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m, Baby Goods (& kids) eXchange (BGX) will be bringing its massive stockpile of gently used children’s clothes and gear to the Circle Thrift at the corner of Broad and Washington (1125 S. Broad St.) for a free swap open to all parents and caregivers.
Besides clothing for tots of all sizes, some of the many items up for grabs include baby carriers, tubs, strollers, high chairs, books, toys and perhaps best of all, maternity apparel. Snacks and bags will also be provided.
Although you don’t have to drop off any children’s stuff in order to come and pick up some new ones, if you do happen to have some stashed away, you should definitely consider donating it. Circle of Hope accepts donations every day during normal business hours at both its South Philly and Kensington (2233 Frankford Ave.) thrift store locations.
And if you can’t make it out this Saturday, be sure to follow BGX on Facebook, as they host monthly exchanges at various spots around the Philly area and in South Jersey.
For anyone attending Art Star’s tenth annual craft extravaganza this weekend, it’s a good idea to have some sort of plan of attack mapped out before entering the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. With 100+ vendors competing for your time and attention, knowing which ones you definitely want to target might make the afternoon a little less overwhelming. So here’s five to consider adding to your must-see list.
Note: I’ve purposely chosen to exclude the local artisans who I’ve now written about numerous times on this here blog. For instance, Joey Five Cents, Penelope Rakov, exit343 designs, Yardsale Press, Phea Jean, BirdQueen Designs, Concrete Polish Jewels, Made with Awesome, Jay McCarroll, etc.
USB Typewriter (#51)
OK, so this is one of the most awesome inventions I’ve seen in a long time. Rather than simply collecting dust as useless piece of décor, now you can finally transform a broken, vintage typewriter into a functional keyboard for your Mac or PC using their easy conversion kit (which only cost about $79!). The USB Typewriter also makes for a perfect keyboard dock for your iPad or tablet.
Whether it’s an accent table, cabinet or candleholder, any one of this Kensington-based company’s handmade rustic, modern furnishings would make for a beautiful addition to your home. They are also all made using reclaimed wood and metals.
Meera Lee Patel (#65)
One of only a few newcomers chosen to take part in this year’s bazaar, the New Jersey artist will be showcasing and selling a wide array of items, from original paintings and illustrated paper goods to hand-sewn tea towels and pillows.
Overall Baby (#37)
What could be more adorable than infants and toddlers in overalls? Infants and toddlers in custom-made overalls with fun textiles and prints. The picture pretty much speaks for itself.
Comfort is paramount when it comes to this New York-based designer’s eccentric line of hand-sewn apparel and accessories. Hopefully, she’ll be bringing along a few of her super cute winter accessories, despite them now being out of season.
Eiffel Tower Tea Set, $50 / Omoi Zakka Shop (1608 Pine St.)
Rebecca Minkoff ‘Craig’ Camera Bag, $195 / South Moon Under (1731 Chestnut St.)
Hidden Secrets Book Box, $24 / Ten Thousand Villages (1122 Walnut St.)
Kembrel Jewelry, Allie Necklace (Pink/White), $24 / Kembrel (1822 Chestnut St.)
Farmhaus “Firewood” Candle Holder, $32 / Art Star (623 N. Second St.)
Floral Blazer by Rehab, $68 / Aoki Boutique (115 S. 22nd St.)
Imported Italian and Scottish Soaps, $12-$24 / Stadler-Kahn (1724 Sansom St.)
Trois Petits Lockets, $89.95 / Scarlett Alley (241 Race St.)
Hand Embroidered ‘Relax’ Pillow, $90 / Mushmina (1540 South St.)
Large Gift Set, $65 / Duross & Langel (117 S. 13th St.)
At roughly the same time this week’s installment of Forking Stupid hit newsstands, it was announced that this fall, The Farm and Fisherman’s Chef Joshua Lawler will be bringing his farm-to-table cuisine and hospitality to the good people of New Jersey, opening a second and much larger restaurant, The Farm and Fisherman Tavern & Market, in Cherry Hill (1442 East Route 70).
The Market will feature the freshest seasonal and local products, ranging from sustainably, humanely raised meats and fish, butchered by hand, to fair trade coffees, craft beers, bountiful produce and painstakingly aged cheeses. Meanwhile, the Tavern will serve similarly honest and artfully prepared small plates, snacks, entrees and family-style meals in a casual, 100-seat dining room.
Now that I’ve filled you in on this exciting piece of breaking news, check out the elaborate spring salad Josh and I crafted as well as the unmentioned masterpiece I used my fingers to create with the salad’s remnants…
That’s right, next month, Philly’s go-to indie eco-fashion and lifestyle boutique will be closing the doors of their Rittenhouse location (265 S. 20th St.) forever.
But before you go sheading a tear, there is some good news. Actually, there’s several pieces of good news.
With only a short amount of time to unload their selection of sustainable clothing, denim, shoes, jewelry, home accents and gifts, starting this Friday, Arcadia Rittenhouse will be having a HUGE clearance sale that’ll continue through mid-May. Even better, with one less business now to worry about, Arcadia owner, Ali McCloud is focusing all of her attention on her NoLibs location (819 N. Second St.) and more specifically, expanding its collection of vintage apparel, accessories and casual men’s clothing.
Also, starting this summer, the socially-conscious contemporary interior design firm, Design6 will be setting up a small studio space inside the boutique, offering everything from wallpaper, fabrics and furniture samples for inspiration to full-scale interior design services. In other words, you’ll be able to spruce up your wardrobe and your apartment all at the same time. It just so happens that DESIGN 6 is the creative team responsible for Arcadia’s chic décor and digs.
Mind if I overshare for a moment?
My adoration for John Medeski and his group, Medeski, Martin & Wood (MMW), goes way back to the summer between my graduation from high school and my first year of college. I graduated from Red Hook Central High School in Red Hook, NY, two hours north of New York City, in the summer of 2001. Our environs were idyllic; nestled in the Hudson River Valley and surrounded by the forests of the Catskills, we experienced four distinct seasons and had middle-sized town conveniences a drive away. We had a mall, theaters, hikes nearby and lush yards behind friends’ houses. About a mile from my house was a place called Grieg Farm, a pick-your-own farm where you drive in, get a basket or bushel, and it gets weighed and you pay on your way out. They had a handful of fields and a couple cute little shops on the swath of a half-dozen acres. And the summer I graduated from high school, Grieg Farm allowed something called Gathering of the Vibes to take place on their grounds. It was to be a camping-style multi-day music festival, one that would emulate/inspire Bonnaroo, much larger in its scope and ambition. The Gathering still happens, in a seemingly endless run of annual gatherings, but a little further up north near Albany.
In those few days, I smoked a lot of weed. I was 18, and the world was in front of me as a recent high school graduate and impending college-matriculating, doe-eyed teenager. I hadn’t heard of MMW until I walked right up to the lip of the stage (it had been raining, it was muddy, and lots of folks retreated to their tents or to their nearby homes) and watched, enraptured, as these three dudes stunned me with grooves, improvisation, tempo changes, virtuoso control of their instruments, and all the while, they didn’t use vocals or lyrics. They did all of their mesmerizing with a keyboard, a standup bass or electric bass and a drum kit. I bought Shack-Man, their 1996 release with classics like “Bubblehouse” and “Night Marchers,” as soon as their set was over. I’d brought a boombox to the campgrounds for the weekend, along with eight fat D batteries, and I popped it in as soon as I got back to my tent. I was floored. It was one of the most genuine experiences of getting wowed by a band, live, that you’d never heard before, then immediately wanting to listen to everything they’d ever recorded. I listened, stoned, in my tent as the rain came down, with the volume low, and vowed to adore this band for as long as I could.
Then, in college, I was randomly assigned into a room of four freshmen, along with three of the biggest stoners I’d ever met in my life. I went to a lovely, cushy liberal arts college, not really knowing how the super-upper class lived and how prep school kids had been experimenting with way harder drugs than shit weed and Coors Light for years before they enrolled at a residential college. The Hun School grad, we’ll call him Bob, was the ringleader. His obsession with Marley and reggae like Steel Pulse and Peter Tosh extended to his insatiable thirst for being stoned. He came home one day with a six-foot acrylic bong. We listened to MMW’s Combustication (1998) on repeat. It’s a really trippy experimental jazz record that deftly employs some quirky samples, and it gets downright weird. It is IDEAL stoner music. In the way that Shack-Man had so much funk and bounce, and could potentially win arguments as a straight-up party LP (encompassing all drug abuse, but focusing primarily on alcohol), Combustication was a weed record, and then in 2000, they put out an acid record. The Dropper (subtle, right?) was insane. This was their acid jazz record, and it was even more perplexingly hypnotic than Combustication. We didn’t do acid to the tone of The Dropper, but the endless weed Bob bought from the sales of his Adderall prescription did not get smoked without a soundtrack.
Then I took my brother and his best friend to see MMW open for String Cheese Incident at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s field house. And it sucked. Not for MMW’s set, but for SCI’s—and I was hurt. Why would MMW identify with, play and open for such a mediocre band? After The Dropper, they stopped putting out truly inspired albums, even though 2002’s Uninvisible wasn’t a throwaway; it just seemed like the trio of Shack-Man, Combustication and The Dropper were the most stunning trio of experimental jazz records I could possibly dream up. They’ve put out some collections and live and acoustic-type compilations since, but MMW aren’t coming to Philadelphia next week. John Medeski is. And he’s bringing only a piano.
On Wednesday, May 1st, Medeski will dazzle the downstairs room at World Cafe Live, and it won’t be much like a MMW show at all. This is an opportunity for Medeski to simply play with his skill set. He’s well-steeped in jazz, pop, funk and classically-trained; there’s so many directions in which he’ll let himself go. It seems like it’s a piano-oriented show, and that might mean no moogs, synths or Wurlitzers. It’d be cool if they were there, too, but this set, especially for jazz heads, should be a memorable one.
I hope you were already planning to go shopping this weekend. If you weren’t, you may want to reconsider your plans.
By now most of us have heard about the Reading Viaduct Project, which seeks to build a neighborhood park along the long forgotten elevated Viaduct in the Callowhill/Chinatown North section of the city. It would be nice if something finally happened, right? To support the project, the urban revitalization group, SURFACE, will be hosting a bash showcasing the fashions of local eco-friendly designers, Melissa D’Agostino and Bela Shehu of NINOBRAND along with the photographs of Julia Blaukopf. Though there will be a fancy schmancy exclusive fashion show at 5 p.m., it’ll be immediately followed by a public reception during which guests will enjoy wine and have an opportunity to chat with artists. On Saturday and Sunday, CITYSPACE will also opening its doors to the public, creating an intimate retail setting where you can meet the designers and shop their goods from 12-5 p.m. Fri/5, 7-9pm. $25-$35. CITYSPACE, 2200 Walnut St.
That’s right, one of Philly’s most beloved boutiques has managed weather the economic storm for eight whole years. And you bet your ass owners Abby and Katie are going to celebrate. Besides offering store-wide discounts on select items all weekend long, the ladies are going to give away free b-day gifts to the first 50 customers and raffle off eight $10 gift certificates throughout the night. Oh, and this wouldn’t be Smak Parlour we’re talking about here if there weren’t pink cupcakes. Fri/5, 5-8pm. Free. Smak Parlour, 219 Market St.
Curated specially by Three Sirens Boutique, the women’s accessories brand Cayetano Legacy Collection will be bringing some of their most popular spring pieces as well as a selection of only-available-here-samples. The collection is marked by colorful statement pieces, most featuring genuine, natural stones like the cuff bracelet and hand embroidered bib style necklace you see above. If you can’t make it out tonight, no worries—the trunk show will be going on through May 11. Fri/5, 5-9pm. Free. Three Sirens Boutique, 134 N. Third St.
Arcadia Boutique is ringing in spring in style by inviting two talented local designers to showcase and sell their wares at their NoLibs shop for First Friday. Nana Pat Project will be bringing their selection of vintage and handmade fashions for the spring (I’m loving their spring scarves made from vintage 80s textiles) while newbie jewelry designer, Tessa Kennedy of New Histories will be bringing along pieces from her collection of elaborate rings, all inspired by the jewelry of yesteryear. Enjoy snacks and spring cocktails while you shop and definitely check out Arcadia’s new spring arrivals while you at it since it’ll all be 15 percent off. Fri/5, 5-9pm. Free. Arcadia Boutique, 819 N. Second St.
Helping to raise money for Career Wardrobe, a local non-profit empowering women in transition with free professional clothing and educational seminars, professional stylists, Jessie Holeva and Tia Gibson are not only going to show you some of the biggest spring trends, but they’re going to offer you tips on how to pull off yourself. Guests will also enjoy light refreshments and receive 25 percent off all new inventory, free gifts and a chance to win a free Wardrobe Boutique shopping spree. Though the $20 dollar ticket is a pretty small charitable donation, right now, PW Style readers can score themselves a ticket for half off by entering the checkout code “FRIEND.” Sun/7, 11am-2pm. $20-$30. The Wardrobe Boutique, 1822 Spring Garden St.