Exciting things are happening in this weird little pocket of Northern Liberties that, three years ago, I would have never imagined possible. At 529 W Girard Avenue, David Gavigan’s opening up a really cool new business called Everybody Hits – a humble batting cages enterprise for folks to go get some softball and baseball in their lives, all year round. We’re not breaking any stories here; Gavigan’s gotten love from Naked Philly, Hidden City and Philebrity, getting our mouths watering for the grand opening. And he’s so so close to opening up his doors for the greater good of Philadelphia. He’s just waiting on the city. It make take a few more minutes.
There’s nothing quite like getting in that batter’s box, making contact and sending that fat golf ball flying. Yeah, there’s everything from slow pitch softball to 75 mph baseball. And even if you don’t play on a slow pitch softball team, you might want to start here and get some good contact goin’. Even when it’s meatballed to you, it takes a few pitches to get your eyes and your arms talkin’. If you’ve been waiting for this convenience to come closer to Philly, and plenty are waiting impatient because the closest cages to Center City are a solid 15-minute DRIVE, get pumped. Forget tryin’ to public transit it out there. Now loads of Philadelphians can walk, bus, and bike to some indoor athletic leisure times.
Alright, some nitty gritty: food and drink, hours, prices and rates. Food’s going to be on the minimum but he’s got a handful of picnic tables and the concession’ll keep it to dry goods and soft drinks; pretzels, gum, popcorny stuff and non-alcoholic beverages. Of course, if and when you rent out the place, you can do whatever you want as long as you act like an adult human being. One round of 16 pitches is $2.25; 5 rounds is $10; a 30-minute rental in one cage is $35 and an hour’s $60; an hour of all three cages, and essentially the whole place, is $125. On weekdays, he’ll open doors from 3p-8p with longer hours on the weekend, opening at noon with lights out at 8p. However, being on a team himself, Gavigan’s looking forward to working with teams all over the area, extending hours for facility rentouts earlier and later than hours – get a team together and you can rent any weekday from 9a-noon and on the weekends from 8-10p. Schedule four hours and you get an hour for free.
But you know what? The sky’s the limit with this space. Wanna throw a big ole’ baseball party? Rent it out, get a keg, order a dozen pizza pies, screen some Phillies and don’t get hit by a pitching machine (helmets required for everything faster than slow pitch softball hitting). I’d go to that party. Think about all the cute dates you can go on here, or birthday parties you can have for your kid. The space is all ages, so during business hours, if the space isn’t rented, you can expect family friendliness all the way. Can’t wait to start crushing balls here all summer and hitting up the area attractions that aren’t far, either: Borderline Records, the impending Third Ward, shoot, maybe we’ll work up a sweat and go for a swim at the pool on 321 Fairmount and get a beer at North Third. Gavigan’s single-handedly making Summer 2013 a little more awesome.
For the past two nights, we’ve indulged in the grand re-opening of a South Philly institution, The Dolphin, at Broad and Tasker. You know, the formerly-divey bar with the big sign out front that had notoriously atypical strippers and billiards. Well, it’s hip again thanks to those Four Corners management dudes responsible for Union Transfer and Morgan’s Pier. And that’s right, we went opening night and the following night. Just makin’ sure that whiskey’s still good – quality control.
1. Let’s start from the very beginning. We’re not mad at the bike parking situation – there are lots of signs and bike racks to lock up to. And one sweet young lady actually saw me walking my bike on the sidewalk as she came crossed Tasker and said ‘You look like you need a place to lock up.’ No cover, which is tight, and that door dude is legit; long gray hair, leather, cap of manliness and that slightly grizzled look that, say, that English mirage that Wayne has in Wayne’s World 2. We will not be fucking with him. Ever.
2. There are a couple city bartenders from places we’ve known and loved who’ve made the jump, and that’s part of the reason why we went. Let’s call her Murph, who’s been slinging drinks at Woody’s and Voyeur (and the Institute) for what feels like forever got pinballed around that narrow oval of a bar on Wednesday night. No time for chit chat, which we usually enjoy; she had people waving money at her for hours straight. Matt’s a beloved face at Kraftwork and the P.O.P.E. and he closed down the eastern half of the bar last night with a smile and a shine in his eyes. Good people.
3. Yes, there are dancers. But whereas we’ve heard in the past that Dolphin girls have worn just an X of electrical tape to cover nips, the ladies on opening night wore slightly bizarro opaque sparkly unitards. Like gymnasts on acid with The Fifth Element-like Mila Jovovich wigs. There are simple, cleared card tables on each end of the vaguely figure eight-shaped bar that ladies dance artistically, a little oddly and seductively. But it’s not slutty or even all that graphically sexy. On Thursday night they wore unicorn head masks with more traditionally-revealing and naughty-girdled night nurse whites. More of the latter, please.
4. There isn’t a ton that appears drastically different in terms of the physical space. As a patron who never stepped into the original gangster space, hearsay reports that they took down cobwebby chandeliers and removed an old-school floor-lit dancefloor (think Saturday Night Fever) and put that weird LED-ness up on the walls. Some cool metal lattice-work separates the front bar from the dance floor which was extended to usurp the pool table space. Wood paneling still lines the walls with big, bulbous rainbow brite string lights running along the ‘architectural detail’ of a weird shelf-like box that burps out of the wall eight feet from the floor. However, perhaps most importantly, it looks like the bathrooms have gotten a necessary facelift – clean, fresh new tiling, functioning urinals and a stall door that locks.
5. The music is one of the main attractions. It’s a DJ-heavy affair with Dave P and Sean Agnew plugging in talent on the decks. The music’s that ideal kind of electronic dance and house music that’s highly listenable at 1am when you’re seven servings deep. It’s reminiscent, naturally, of parties like Snacks and Making Time but without the indoor cigarette smoking. Philadelphians looking to get their ecstasy-fueled rave on have found a new goldmine. The surprisingly large dancefloor must accommodate at least 150-200 party boys and girls.
6. The argument has to be made: This is a well-calculated and strategic cash grab at the hordes of hipsters living in a ten-block radius of this new giant in night life. And you know what? Can you actually hate? This place is like a bigger and better Barbary smack dab in the heart of South Philly’s tattooed, smoking, leather-wearing masses. There’s nothing quite like it even remotely close. This summer those bartenders and this company are, in all likelihood, going to be hoovering hipster dollars into their pockets and bank accounts.
7. Not gonna lie to you, Wednesday was super-packed and a bit patience-testing to get a drink. And that’s fine! But folks came OUT for the opening night and that can only be a good sign. We’d like to assume that the rest of the Dolphin’s SoPhil residency won’t be so bombarded by sheer numbers. Thursday’s crowd was already thinner. And less bro-y; yeah, there were moments of the opening night that felt a little Old City-like.
8. We even got to chat with Sean Agnew, who shared the vision of the place – a chill beer and cocktail lounge until 10pm, when it turns into a great and lively dance destination with DJs lined up six nights a week. Doesn’t seem like there’s any food, just liquids, and a pretty simple program of cans, drafts, shots, and cocktails.
9. The crowd hanging around outside the entrance inhabits a large swath of Broad Street sidewalk. Smokers and drunks are going to be an endless source of entertainment to longtime residents and South Philadelphia generationals. It’s hard not to deny that they look like a bunch of hipsters – or just young people trying to look hip. These are not derogatory observations. It’ just clear that the Dolphin’s going to color the neighborhood in new ways, for better or worse.
10. This shit is exciting.
For what was, on paper, one of the most exciting Academy Awards in many years, I really wasn’t expecting such a lackluster red carpet. Apparently, Hollywood’s leading ladies collectively decided to rock simple, neutral colored gowns this year… Snoozeville!
I only have two picks for best dressed and a whole lotta worsts. So let’s start with them.
There’s no way she thought this looked classy.
She may just be one of the most beautiful women on the planet. Any designer would give their left arm to design a dress for her. AND SHE WORE THIS??? Besides the fact that it ages about 30 years, it’s not fitted properly around her waist and bust. Oh, and whoever told her it was a good idea to wear a necklace with a high neckline SHOULD BE SHOT.
I know Jen has never been one to make any bold statements on the red carpet, but this is just sooo fucking boring. This boredom got me thinking, “Why the hell was Jennifer Aniston invited to the Oscars?
Come on, Giuliana. As a member of the Fashion Police and all, you usually bring you’re A-Game. Would it have killed you to add a necklace or earrings?
Overall, I’m not sure this look is all that Oscars-appropriate. And that cockatoo hair really bothers the living hell out of me. Still, I’m totally in love with this Versace dress. And let’s face, few could pull it off quite like Halle.
This gunmetal Armani Privé gown was the first one of the night that actually made me say “Wow.” It was both stunning and interesting, a combo I can’t I saw much of last night.
Damn, was this hard. With Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj inexplicably absent from the Grammy festivities last night, we didn’t get the same sorta drama on the red carpet. For the most part, everyone looked sane, yet stylish. So stylish, in fact, that I couldn’t even rank my best dressed.
Matador-chic? Is that a thing? Guess it is now. And I like it!
Apparently she and Beyonce switched roles for a night. And with this daring Georges Chakra Couture number—accessorized with her chiseled arms—Kelly made Beyonce look like a chump.
I’m probably alone in my adoration for this dress, but how do you fight something so Pretty Pretty Princess meets the Ice Capades? You don’t, that’s how.
It’s not black! Hooray!!
Even though she’d look a lot better with her hair up and boobs in, I’m obsessed with this sea-foam green Gucci gown. And the slightly tacky embellishments make it very Grammy appropriate.
Wasn’t sure how she was going to top the incredibly sexy and simple goddess gown that she wore to the MTV Video Music Awards, but I definitely didn’t expect she’d do it with an equally sexy and simple dress.
The Grammy’s were almost as boring as this outfit.
Uhhhh…ummm…like, the fuck is this?
Given the array of show-stopping looks showcased on the red carpet at last year’s Golden Globes, I really can’t believe just how lackluster, unoriginal and all-around blah the fashions were last night. Thank God there were at least a few diamonds in the rough…
3rd Place: Jennifer Lopez
Only J-Lo. Had anyone else attempted to pull this dress off, they probably would have failed miserably.
2nd Place: Taylor Swift
From the dramatic eye and unique side-swept up-do to the stunning amethyst dangling earrings, this is really just head-to-toe perfection.
1st Place: Kate Hudson
This embroidered, keyhole Alexander McQueen dress was hands down the most “wow” dress of the evening. It’s also the perfect combo of simple and dramatic.
Even if this dress actually fit her correctly and didn’t have so much fabric just inexplicably sagging around her breasts, the slick-back would have ruined it. It’s a shame because this baby blue color looks so beautiful on her.
Does she think she’s at a party in Miami circa 1998?
All it would have taken is a pair of emerald statement earrings and an emerald cocktail ring and she would have been on my best dressed list.
Heidi Klum/Katherine McPhee/Lea Michele/Eva Longoria
Seriously, if I saw one more starlet’s leg hanging out of her dress from a crotch-high slit, I was going to scream.
Did you guys watch this monstrosity last night? It’s basically a shameless CBS program at this point with insane cross-promotional opportunites abounding. And also, the nominations and the winners were absolutely mind-blowing. I’d like to break down some of the musical moments of last night without sounding like an indie dork, but, really, anyone who even knows who Passion Pit is might look at the nominees and winners and ask “Who the hell is voting? And can tweens vote more than once?”
For starters, this chick named Kaley Cuoco hosted the whole affair. She’s on The Big Bang Theory (How, on God’s green earth, is this show so damn successful?) and a look at her IMDB filmography is kind of fun: she’s been in tons of TV shows, but movies? The Penthouse (2010), Hop (2011), Cougar Club (2007) and Killer Movie (2008) lead her big screen credits. Nevertheless, she was pretty charming, funny and rather unobnoxious. Tough act to pull off for a bogus award show. As it turns out, the People’s Choice Awards has been happening since 1975 and, in one eerie early moment, Cuoco cited the sheer number of votes tallied as (can’t find it anywhere on the internet) something like two to three times as many votes were cast for our soon-to-be-sworn-in-for-his-second-term-President Barack Obama. Twisted, y’all.
Anyway, let’s get to the really mind-numbing categories that left me making bewildered faces all night. The night started out with that damn Taylor Swift winning Favorite Country Artist (beating Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood). SHE’S BARELY A COUNTRY ARTIST ANYMORE! Is the dumbing down of music making teenagers who are obssessed with T Swift fucking everything up, or is that just me? Let’s just chalk this one up to the power of teens having the internet.
Let’s be real, the most amusing category of the night? Favorite Band: not only did Maroon 5 (well, Adam Levine won, right?) win, but they/he beat out stellar, solid bands like No Doubt, Green Day, Linkin Park, and… TRAIN! How do these nominees get decided!?
How about Favorite Album and Favorite Song. This should be good, right? Despite the brutal competition in the Album category from Carrie Underwood’s Blown Away, Bieber’s Believe, fun.’s Some Nights, and Adam Levine’s… er Maroon 5’s Overexposed, the award went to One Direction’s Up All Night. Yup, pretty much par. In light of this tidbit, as far as song goes, you won’t be surprised by this winner – it was One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful.” Stiff competish, be damned: Carly Rae’s “Call Me Maybe,” “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” the fun. and Janelle Monae jawn, “We Are Young,” and the Maroon 5 schlock, “One More Night.”
Katy Perry cleaned house – she won for Favorite Music Video, Favorite Female Artist, Favorite Pop Artist, AND Favorite Music Fan Following (more on this in a moment). Zero point zero of the videos competing are surprising or smart (it’s a small wonder that friggen’ “Gagnam Style” didn’t win). We’re just proud of P!nk for getting nominated in the Female and Pop Artist categories. Other Pop Artist nominees were Adele, Demi Lovato (she is the. worst.), and Biebs. One last note on this category. You’ve heard of Biebs fans being called Beliebers (also nominated in said music fan category), and maybe even One Direction fans being called Directioners. But did you know that there are Demi Lovato fans who call themselves Lovatics and Selena Gomez fans who call themselves Selenators? Turns out Katy’s fanbase call themselves KatyCats. TRUTH.
Always hilarious is to see who gets noms in the Favorite Hip Hop Artist and Favorite R&B Artist. Who are these basic white teens going to choose in a category they know so very, very little about? Nicki Minaj, obviously, and Rihanna, respectively. Nicki beat out, get this, Drake, Flo Rida, Pitbull and Jay-Z. I’d argue that Flo Rida and Pitbull ARE NOT RAPPERS OR HIP-HOP ARTISTS, AT ALL. R&B? Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Bruno Mars and Usher. Those aren’t so ridiculous, we guess.
Speaking of Alicia Keys, she turned in a mediocre, lukewarm performance of a blend of the intro to “Girl on Fire” into “New Day.” Christina Aguilera gave an even more horrific over-performed vocal performance of a song that I was shouting over “JUST STOP!” She gave a rambling and way-too-long acceptance speech for the award for the people’s choice of Favorite Voice. What is this world coming to?
I was totally blown away by the fashion that came down the red carpet last night at the 2012 Primetime Emmy’s Awards. Color! Prints! Sequins! There was barely a plain black dress in sight.
Honestly, I don’t think choosing the best-dressed starlets has ever been this hard. But after a lot of time and consideration, I was eventually able to narrow down my favorite gowns.
There appears to be some sorta unspoken rule about wearing a printed dress to an award show so I was really happy to see a few actresses rocking florals this year. This one was by far the best (looks almost like a mosaic). I don’t even know who Ariel Winter is, but props to her for taking a risk opting for a unique dress by lesser known designer (Katharine Kidd from L.A). I would have gone with a slightly fancier, not so matchy-matchy shoe, but this girl is only 14-years-old so I’ll cut her some slack.
Who knew blue would be so popular this year? This aqua, sequin-covered Georges Hobeika gown is so damn pretty that I’m willing to overlook her inappropriately dramatic makeup and hair (seriously, why would you do a smoky eye with this dress?). I also feel like the shape isn’t the most flattering on her body since it only makes her breasts look smaller and her hips look wider. Nevertheless, Julianne looks like a beautiful couture mermaid. She also gets additional points for being the only actress to wear a sweetheart neckline last night that her boobs didn’t spill out of.
Holy cannoli. As stunning as I thought this sari-inspired Marchsa gown looked in photos, when Hayden came out to present an award, it literally made me gasp. I proceeded to leer at the dress with my mouth open every second she remained on camera. I didn’t even notice the gold leaf detailing until seeing it up close. It may be one of my favorite red-carpet dresses of all time. And while Hayden has a tendency to go overboard with the self-tanner, I feel like she’s perfectly golden this time around. The simple tight bun was also a great choice. Doing anything that detracts from this gown would be an absolute crime.