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Saturday: A Free ‘Baby Goods eXchange’ in South Philly

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Photo: Kris Eden

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.



12 Unique Local Valentine’s Day Events

badcupidI’ve been getting a steady stream of emails since the beginning of January about all the different Valentine’s-related happenings going on around town. And while I ignored most, I did hold on to the ones that sounded particularly interesting, quirky or just flat out eccentric.

Here’s the 12 events I was left with…

Bad Cupid: An Anti-Valentine’s Cabaret: For everyone who can’t get down a greeting card isle this time of the year without wanting to puke, Diversion Productions is bringing back their raunchy 2011 hit show with new songs and characters to shit all over the same lame holiday. Rich Lee reprises his role of the jaded, chain-smoking, binge-drinking and porn-loving cherub of love. Wed/13, 8pm. $15. L2, 2201 South St.

Robot-Human Theater: That’s right, this innovative performance by internationally acclaimed playwright and director Oriza Hirata features acting robots. And given that the production’s two-night run is so close to V-Day, the folks behind Live Arts/Fringe festival are offering a special “CupidBot” package, which includes not only two tickets, but gourmet chocolates, a rose and two glasses of champagne. Fri/15, 8pm. $75. Christ Church, 20 N. American St.

Valentine Craft Sunday: If you’re attached, give your Valentine a handmade shout out, on T Mom’s “Wall of Sweethearts.” If you’re single and bitter, partake in a little revenge crafting and showcase your evil ex on their “Wall of Broken Hearts.” Either way, you’ll enjoy half priced drafts from 5-7 p.m and 10-11 p.m. Sun/10, 12pm-2am. Free. Tattooed Mom, 530 South St.

Phreak N Queer Valentine Karaoke Fundrasier: Whether it’s a solo or duet, host Sara Sherr of Sing Your Life Karaoke just wants you to come out and sing and help her raise some cash for the Phreak N Queer Art and Music Festival going down in August. Admission includes a free drink and the following night, Tabu will also be hosting a “Love Hangover” dance party. Thurs/14, 8-10pm. $5. Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar, 200 S. 12th St.

Blow Me A Kiss!: Sure to leave lovers feeling a little raunchy, Philly’s premiere neo-burlesque troupe, Peek-A-Boo Revue twirls their tassels with some of their tried and true crowd pleasers as well as a few brand new treats. Fri/8, 8pm. $20. The Troc, 1003 Arch St.

cupid_undie_runCupid’s Undie Run 2013: A bunch of people strip down to their skivvies and take roughly a mile-long jog around the Art Museum for a good cause: The Children’s Tumor Foundation. Afterwards, everyone puts their clothes back on and seeks shelter inside one of the many fine watering-holes along Fairmount Avenue. Sat/9, 2pm. $30. Urban Saloon, 2120 Fairmount Ave.

Til Death Do Us Part: The Love Stories of Laurel Hill: During this hour-long walking tour, you’ll hear tales of undying romances as well as sorted stories of betrayal. When all is said and done, you and your mate can cozy up fireside and enjoy wine, hot chocolate and d’oeuvres. Sat/9, 1pm. $18-$20. Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Ave.

A Valentine’s Day MixMassacre: Perfect for punk-rocking pairs of all ages, this deafening music showcase has five underground bands on the bill including, Man World Order, The Final Statement, Of Dukes & Capulets, Here & Gone and Seany Hags & Spark Up Music. Thurs/14, 7pm. $8-$10. The Troc, 1003 Arch St.

Second Stories Presents: Love is a Battlefield: Really, you can’t ask for a more romantic setting than the intimate, smoky second floor bar at The Dive. And just incase the various doodles of male and female genitalia covering the walls don’t get ya in the mood, several funny locals are going to tell you true stories of great romantic victory and defeat. Tues/12, 7pm. Free. The Dive, 947 E. Passyunk Ave.

wagner1pOrnithnology: The Birds and the Bees and the Bees: Have you ever wondered what bird foreplay is like? Well, George Armistead from the American Birding Association is going to tell you. In fact, you’ll learn all sorts of interesting things about the unusual mating rituals of various bird species. Should you and your own mate be looking to spice things in the bedroom, perhaps you’ll learn a few new tricks. Wed/13, 5:30-7pm. Free. The Wagner Free Institute of Science, 1700 W. Montgomery Ave.

Valen-Zine Reading: Should you be seeking a more creative V-Day outing, four talented local zinesters will be discussing the things, people and places that they love the most. The featured zines include “Tazewell’s Favorite Eccentric” by Sarah Rose and “Beer Jawn” by Bibliophile which traces his experience learning about different beers as an atypical Philly beer drinker. Thurs/14, 6pm. Free. Wooden Shoe Books, 624 South St.

Moonshine & Valentine’s: Recreating the sultry vibe of a 1920s speakeasy, the center will be serving up whisky cocktails, beer and a decant dinner menu followed by equally decadent desserts like red velvet cupcakes and chocolate-covered strawberries. As for the evening’s entertainment, besides gaining access to the center’s current Prohibition exhibit, guests will be treated to live jazz music and special cabaret performances featuring hits from Broadway’s Chicago. Come dressed for the occasion as you and your mate will also have a chance to strike a pose in front of a 20s-era backdrop. Thurs/14, 5:30-8:30pm. $30-$35. Constitution Center, 525 Arch St.



What To Do This Weekend

Two places to consider hitting up tonight for Old City’s First Friday celebration…

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Art in the Age: Haven’t made it out to the Constitution Center’s American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition exhibition? Well, this is the next best thing. As the Center’s exclusive partner, Art in the Age will be hosting a special exhibit of its own which features illustrations of the people, places, and processes that played a key role in forming Philly’s unique Prohibition experience. Even better: you’ll get to sample their bangin’ line of craft spirits. 5-9pm. Free. 116 N. Third St.

Three Sirens Boutique: In addition to their usual FF spirits and sales, this month, Three Sirens will be treating shoppers to some live music—the keen folk-rock melodies of local singer-songwriter, Dani Mari from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Whether before or after her performance, be sure to peruse the boutique’s selection of Valentines-appropriate dresses and accessories. If you’re staying home on Feb. 14, consider picking up a chocolate scented candle by Claudia & Ran to set the mood. 5-9pm. Free. 134 N. Third St.

Two unique local comedy shows going down on Saturday…

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GET REAL 2: The Evolution of Comedy: Seeking both to amuse and enlighten, Ian Harris and Jason Resler, “America’s top rationalist comics,” are once again bringing their Evolution of Comedy Tour here to Philly, tackling all those taboo subjects that comedians aren’t suppose to tackle. This year, they’ll be joined on stage by an even bigger line-up of local talent including, the queens of Philly sketch comedy, ManiPedi, stand-ups Doogie Horner and Steve Gerben and Philly Sketchfest/Philly Comedy Month co-founder, Dave Terruso who will serve as the evening’s host. Meanwhile, providing some inspired instrumental live jams is Philly’s one and only “surf-punk, horror sci-fi” group, Mercury Radio Theater. Be sure to stick around after the show for a late night music/video/dance party led by DJ Dave Mass & Friends. 9pm-2am. $15-$20. Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St.

1st Annual Veggie Wing Bowl Comedy Spectacular: You know what 94WIP’s beloved annual Wing Bowl doesn’t have? Live comedy! While four awesome local stand-up comics—T.J Hurley, John Nunn, Carolyn Busa, Jim Ginty—dish out killer jokes, several gluttonous characters will be housing several dishes of Seitan buffalo wings during four rounds of competitive eating.  Keeping the performers, eaters and hecklers in check are hosts, Hillary Rea and Larry “Thunderfoot” Napolitano. Last but not least, a crew of “Wing Bearers” will be competing for the coveted title of Mr. Wing Man 2013. Oh, and expect a few surprise guests to pop up throughout the night. 7:30pm. Free. Adobe Café, 1919 E. Passyunk Ave.

Two South Philly watering-holes to catch the Super Bowl at on Sunday…

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South Philly Bar & Grill: This year, SPBG is teaming up with Female Football Frenzy (aka. F3), an annual campaign bringing men and women together for the purpose of football and philanthropy, to celebrate the big game for a good cause: The American Heart Association (AHA). In addition to their usual selection of brews and grub, to really stress the importance of maintaining a health heart, the restaurant will be serving Super Bowl-themed and AHA-approved dishes such as a “Red Zone” Roasted Vegetable Wrap, “Extra Point” Pasta Primavera and a “Fourth Down” Fruit and Yogurt Parfait.  For every heart-healthy food option and Skinny Girl cocktails, $2 will be donated to AHA. Those generous enough to make a $25 dollar donation will receive a pin, t-shirt and a bunch of raffle tickets. 6pm. $10-$25. 1235 E. Passyunk Ave.

Noir’s South Philly Super Bowl Tailgate: If you have money riding on the game, it’s probably a good idea to make sure you still have cash in your pocket when it’s all said and done. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you can’t stuff your face in the meantime. From the pre-game festivities till the rising of the Vince Lombardy Trophy, Passyunk Avenue’s newish Montreal influenced Italian joint will be serving up 25-cent wings in two uniquely delicious varieties: either covered in a sweet and spicy chili glaze or deep fried and adorned “wit” caramelized onions.  To wash down all that chicken goodness, Chef Marco DeCotiis will also be offering $1 dollar Yuengling pints and his $5 dollar “O’Canada” special, which includes a 12 ounce Molson and a shot of Canadian Club. 3pm. 1909 Passyunk Ave.



Love Them Or Hate Them: The Mummers Roll Tomorrow

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AP Photo c/o Matt Rourke.

Sure, you can go ahead and get crazy at the club tonight. Lord knows there are plenty of open bars that will facilitate questionable choices. But there IS something exciting about a new year, a fresh start, a (false, right?) feeling that spring is coming; which means new life and new possibilities. Personally, I’m staying away from anything vaguely resembling a club tonight. You’ve seen this fake flyer, right?

But tomorrow, for the first time in my four years in Philadelphia, I may just get to get down with the Mummers. With a service job, it just hasn’t been possible yet. And love them or hate them, they’re an institution in this city. An institution that dates back to the late 19th Century. For real.

There’s plenty of (bad) footage from 2011’s festivities and a handful of homemade photo montages set to funky music but it’s still challenging to sit through a five-minute Windows slideshow of a stranger’s mediocre photos. But there’s something magical about weirdo South Philly males, which is a culture in it of itself, dressed up in makeup, weird costumes and often horribly-but-done-nonetheless drag. THIS is how Philadelphia celebrates a new year. Don’t fight it. It’s just one of those undeniable truths about this city.

Check out when they got the national NBC treatment and were on Amerca’s Got Talent: South Philly Vikings reppin’ Philly hard.

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Moon & Arrow Is Back!

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When local jewelry designer and vintage connoisseur, Chelsea Pearce first opened her awesome Fabric Row boutique, Moon & Arrow last fall, I immediately went to check it out. I then documented my glowing first impressions on this here blog. Back then, I had no idea that the store was only a pop-up so by the time I went to retrieve the umbrella I left there, the place was empty and Bus Stop Boutique was moving in.

I’ve spent the past year wondering whatever happened to Chelsea and morning the loss of yet another great local indie boutique. Or at least that was until about three weeks ago when I happened to spot an even bigger storefront at 4th & Fitzwater Sts. being renovated with the Moon & Arrow sign the window.

Tomorrow will officially marks the boutique’s resurrection and to celebrate, all are welcome to stop by and enjoy drinks, food and tunes from 6-10 p.m. Guests who make a purchase during the bash will receive a free custom-made screen-printed tote bag and while I’ve yet to see the new digs myself, I assure you it won’t be hard to find something you like.

Creating a unique shopping atmosphere with all sorts of eclectic pieces of décor—from terrariums housed in recycled fish tanks to hanging air plant sculptures stuffed with turkey feathers and horsehair—the new location boasts an even larger stock of vintage housewares as well as men’s and women’s clothing and accessories, all curated by Pearce herself. Meanwhile, Moon & Arrow’s Bohemian-chic jewelry can be found draped from antique mirrors or meticulously arranged on shelves alongside chucks of quartz.

Perhaps a pretty good indication that boutique is here to stay, Moon & Arrow has recently partnered with the local founders of Territory Hard Goods, offering retail presence to their supply of “rediscovered” vintage furnishings and home accents. Having found success on Etsy as well as through sales on sites like Fab.com and HauteLook.com, THG will now run their upholstering studio, workshop and office in the same space.

If you’re not familiar with Moon & Arrow, check out their Facebook page and Etsy store then become reacquainted tomorrow night.

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More Halloween Happenings

DevilsCrawl400Thanks to Hurricane Sandy’s swift shift, Halloween in Philadelphia will go on as planned. If you haven’t already nailed down your own plans just yet, here’s a few events to consider:

Halloween Smackdown 2012: Whether you want to come dressed scary or slutty, costumes are mandatory at this divey dance party. As an incentive, the best-dressed folks in attendance will receive prizes and possibly a $20 credit to your bar tab. This is all in addition to free candy, Halloween-themed cocktails and tunes from DJ Phunkenstein aka. “The Monster of Ceremonies.” 8pm. Free. The Dive, 947 E. Passyunk Ave.

The Devil’s Crawl: Don’t want to commit to just one bar all night? Well then how about hitting five of NoLibs’ finest watering holes—Gunner’s Run, El Camino Real, King’s Oak, Boardwalk Bar and PYT—all while simultaneously helping a good cause? Here’s how it works: first, visit Gunner’s Run or Boardwalk Bar, pay $10 and donate either a food item or new/lightly used jacket to Feel The Warmth. In exchange, you’ll receive a pair of devil horns, which will allow you take advantage of drink specials at each participating bar. 5pm-12am. $10. Various locations around The Piazza, 1001 N. Third St.

Wild Wednesday Halloween Costume Party: Rather than getting stuck at some shitty frat house, Temple students of legal drinking age can party it up at The Horse where, like every Wednesday they will have super cheap booze including, $1 Bud Light cans, $4 well drinks and $3 surprise Halloween shots. Depending how clever your costume is, you may also be able to score yourself a prize. 9pm. Free. The Draught Horse, 1431 Cecil B. Moore Ave. devilsden1

McCrossen’s Halloween Party: Basically this bash has everything you need for a good time tonight: beer, festive cocktails, a dance floor and free admission. The winner of their costume contest will go home with a $50 gift certificate and a bottle of wine from sommelier Lauren Harris. 9pm. Free. McCrossen’s Tavern, 529 N. 20th St.

Tap our Pumpkin!: While other local establishments may have one or two seasonal brewskies on tap, tonight, Devil’s Den will be serving up an impressive array of special aged pumpkin beers from their cellar in addition to their usual selection 200+ beers. This includes 2011 Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin, 2011 Bruery Autumn Maple and a firkin of Southern Tier Pumking on the hand pump. Costumes are encouraged. 7-11pm. Free. Devils Den, 11th & Ellsworth Sts.



4 DIY Philly-Centric Halloween Costumes

With all the different Halloween parties coming up this weekend (including those listed in PW’s Halloween Guide this week), now would be a good time to really start thinking about your costume if you haven’t already, especially if you don’t plan on going out and buying one. Obviously, some of you may be more ambitious than others when it comes to your Halloween get-up, but here’s four Philly-inspired costume ideas that are cheap and relatively easy to put together last minute.

A Philly Fan (Any Team)

philly_sports_fansThis is so simple and yet so brilliant. And given the track records of our professional sports teams, this is one costume you’ll be able to wear year, after year, after year.

Step 1: Deck yourself out in any and all local sports apparel you have whether it be the Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, Sixers or a combination of all four. Don’t forget silly accessories like a foam finger or football hat.

Step 2: Using red body paint, make it look like you just slit your wrists. Depending how realistic you want it to look, you can follow tutorials like this one or this one.

Step 3: Make your hair look messy like you’ve been ripping it out.

Step 4: If you’re a lady, paint running mascara down your face (by smudging eyeliner and/or black eye shadow down your eyes and cheeks). You may want to use some extra eyeliner and a little bit of red lip liner around your eyes to really give the effect that you’ve been crying. This tutorial may help (fast-forward to 6:30).

Step 5: Throughout the evening, periodically shout out—to no one in particular—such Philly fan catchphrases as “Fire Andy!” and “WHHYYY??”

Glenn “Hurricane” Scwhartz (In A Hurricane)

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Basically just recreate this “Caught In The Rain” costume with your own umbrella, business casual outfit, a pair of cheap reading glasses, a lot of hairspray and gel and of course, a bow tie. You could also rock a poncho, as long as the bow tie sticks out. Or you could skip the accessories and go out as regular Glenn, but that’s not nearly as interesting.

A PPA Officer

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Everyone will get this immediately. Switch up the wardrobe and this could also work for just about any despised local figures—Mayor Nutter, Andy Reid, Michael Vick, etc.

Step 1: Rock navy work pants and a baby blue button up shirt.

Step 2: Make the PPA patch out of paper or cardboard.

Step 3: Buy a pair of devil horns or an entire devil kit (horns, pitchfork and tail). You can find this pretty much anywhere that sells costumes, including Rite Aid.

Step 4: Either make or buy a fake little gold badge.

Step 5: Stash any old parking tickets you might have in your pockets.

Your Neighborhood

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There’s really no limit to what you can do with this. I’m merely offering suggestions. You could also take these suggestions and go out as Philadelphia in general, although this would most certainly require you to get far more elaborate.

Step 1: Using some cardboard, recreate either the expressway ramp sign for your neighborhood, several individual street signs and/or a basic “Welcome To…” sign.

Step 2: Tape said sign(s) to yourself or hang around your neck with string.

Step 3: Dress like stereotypical neighborhood folk. For those living in super gentrified neighborhoods, feel free to mix and match accordingly. If you own a shirt from a neighborhood business, that would work too. You could also just wear all black and create a line of white or yellow dashes down your body like an actual street.

Step 4: Tape various pieces of trash to your clothes that you’d likely see in your respective hood. For instance, if you live in South Philly, perhaps that’s a Geno’s or Pat’s wrapper. If you live in Kensington, maybe that’s a Colt 45 label and fake syringe. I think you get the idea.

Step 5: Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. The more details you incorporate, the better.



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