If you read PW’s art column this week and thought, ‘Wow, this show sounds really cool,’ then you might be interested to know that Permanent Wave Philly will actually be hosting a slew of cool events in conjunction with Create Chaos! at Eris Temple Arts in West Philly (602 S. 52nd St.) through the end of March.
Unfortunately, that paragraph got cut from the article, so allow me to address a few of those now.
The most imaginative event the local feminist art/activist network has in store will actually be going down tomorrow night from 6-8pm, titled “Cocktails, Schmocktails: A Feminist Re-Appropriation of the Bar Menu.” After taking a deeper look at the various sexist norms of our bar culture, guests will flip those norms the finger, mixing up their own drinks with a feminist twist.
If you’re busy tomorrow, I’d highly recommend checking out the show on March 2 at 7 p.m. when Permanent Wave will also be hosting a screening of “Wonder Women!: The Untold Story of American Superheroines.” The documentary examines the fascinating legacy of Wonder Woman as an ever-evolving symbol of society’s anxieties about women’s lib. I had a chance to see this during the Philly Comic Con and I give it two thumbs up.
Seemingly just as fascinating is the film they’ll be screening next Saturday (Feb. 2, 7pm), “The Purity Myth: The Virginity Movement’s War,” an adaptation of feminist blogger, Jessica Valenti’s book which offers a timely critique of America’s obsession with virginity and how it affects women’s rights.
Also scheduled are two open mics/jam sessions (Feb. 23 & March 23, 7pm), a skill share and craft session (March 24, 2pm) and a feminist photo shoot/live sketch (March 9, 12pm/5pm). Last but not least, for the closing reception of Create Chaos!, Permanent Wave Philly will be throwing a two-day festival from March 30-31, featuring a slew of performances from indie local musicians as well as the show’s featured artists. Hopefully that includes heavenly singer-songwriter, Liz Ciavolino, who freakin’ rocked the harp at the opening reception.
Though all of these events are free and open to anyone with an open mind, be sure to bring some cash for their donations jar so that this awesome community of talented females can continue spreading their messages of equality and empowerment.
If you’re interested in getting involved with Permanent Wave Philly or would like to stay abreast (get it?) of their upcoming events, shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and request to be added to their listserv. Even easier, go ahead and “Like” them on Facebook.
If you notice an usual amount of congestion this afternoon in Midtown Village it’s because all of the lovely neighborhood’s even lovelier boutiques and shops are rolling their merch out onto the sidewalk for this annual outdoor shopping block party. At Duross & Langel, customers will receive up to 50 percent off all soaps while both Open House and Verde will be taking up to 50 percent off summer items. Also, be sure to stop by Scarlet Fiorella where local jewelry designer Sultana Maria will be selling her cool, one-of-a-kind statement pieces. Shoppers are encouraged to BYOB (as in, bring-your-own-bag—not booze) and to hit up the shops early—thus ensuring more awesome items to choose from. Friday 11am-7pm. Free. @ Various Locations along 13th St. (between Sansom & Chestnut Sts.)
Sure, the First Friday festivities along Frankford Avenue are pretty great, but East Passyunk Avenue is offering locals a whole lot more than the usual free wine and cool art this Saturday. Hit up Ms. Goody Cupcake (1838 EPA) early and get yourself six cupcakes for just $10 before heading to The Bottle Shop (1837 EPA) for a free Widmer’s Beer Sampling from 6-8 p.m. Should you get any frosting or beer on your outfit, head over to Nicole Rae Styer Boutique (1822 EPA) where all summer items, including dresses, tanks and shorts will be 50 percent off between 5-9 p.m. Customers will also receive a free one-of-a-kind hair accessory with any purchase of $100 or more. As for the art openings, South Philly Comics (1840 EPA) will host a show by JoeHero with snacks and drinks from 5-10 p.m. while Nice Things Handmade (1731 EPA) will be showcasing limited edition hand drafted originals by local artist, Sara Selepouchin, creator of Girls Can Tell from 6-10 p.m. If you’ve never seen her line of super-cute diagram adorned housewares, be sure to check out her new South Philly boutique (1725 S. 12th St.). Saturday, 6-10pm. Free. @ Various locations along East Passyunk Ave.
As the saying goes, one man’s trash could very well be your treasure. So if you find yourself in West Philly on Saturday, you should definitely consider checking out The International Action Center’s massive annual garage sale. The plethora of awesome, gently used shit up for grabs includes clothing, jewelry, accessories, small furniture and home appliances, books, records, plants and toys. Proceeds from the event will help cover expenses for the IAC Solidarity Center office. Saturday, 10am-4pm. Free. @ Calvary Church (48th & Baltimore)
I know that everyone admires the style of glamorous old ladies, but let us not forget those elders in our communities that walk around in such items as a thrifted, possibly DIY altered denim skirt, wearing gold hoops, and rocking a bald hairstyle, like in today’s Street Snaps.
“My name is Beatrice. I’m seventy-three. From West Philadelphia.”
Is there anything you have to say about the way people in Philadelphia dress? Or a certain style that you think is around?
“I think it [depends] on what section you go into, you know. You can be on Walnut street, Chestnut street, Market street — you really can see the difference in how people dress, you know? And I like everything that’s in style.”
Do you tend to dress if you’re going to a specific area of the city, or do you do what you like to do?
“I do what I like to do. And usually — I do houses — so usually I have my jeans on and I’m really funky during the day. But today I didn’t work so I said, lemme put a skirt on.”
Is there anything that inspires the way you dress?
“No, I don’t think so. I just like to keep with the styles, and I don’t want to dress old-fashioned. Because I get on the bus sometimes, and I have my pass — you know the yellow pass? [for seniors] — and I see people get on the bus and they’ve got the pass on their necks? I say oh no, no, that’s for old people. Uh-uh.”
Is there anything you have to say about having very short or shaved hair?
“I love it. When I first started wearing it like eight years ago people would say, are you sick? I’d say no, I just like it. I let it grow last winter about that long [pinches fingers]. I couldn’t stand it. So I had to take it — I said I’ll let it grow until the summertime, but no, I said oh no, I’ve got to go back bald.”
Do you have any tips to anyone that’s maybe wanting to have a cut like yours?
“Well now you notice a lot of blacks with their hair cut short now. Like five years ago you didn’t see all this.”
Do you have a current obsession?
“No, no. I do enjoy doing houses. And I enjoy coming to thrift shops. And I tell people it’s just like being a crackhead. (laughs) It is. And I love it. So that’s really all I do. I don’t go out that much. I don’t travel that much. And it keeps me busy with doing these houses and things.”
Do you buy new clothes a lot?
“No, no, no. No. I thrift everything. Because what happened — I used to have a thrift shop myself. And then I gave it up because my daughter, she wouldn’t come half of the time. And I couldn’t pay the rent there and try to sell the stuff too, so I wound up taking like four car-loads of stuff to a church. And they just gave it away. So now I have a whole bag of shoes to give this Thursday. Cause you know what happens is, really we have too much. We have too much. So I’m glad to see you in here. I love it. Cause you never know what you’re gonna find. You can find designer stuff. You can even find crystal in here. I was in here last week and found some Waterford crystal, one of the best crystal you can buy — it was two candlestick holders, and it was two dollars and fifty-two cents a piece. [...] Cause they don’t know what they have in here.”
Hah! That is the beauty of the thrift store. Any last words?
“No, I’m just glad I ran into you!”
If you’re looking for more Philly street style, visit Broad&Market, or check out the Street Snaps archive by clicking on the “street snaps” tag just below.
Not all people know what “steeze” is, so let me lay it on ya.
straight up easy flow and mad unique style. confidence and skill expressed via actions and phrases that knock peole back in awe an amazement. you either got it or you dont.
Thanks, Urban Dictonary. Simpler definitions merely offer “style and ease.” If you’re having trouble calling up a good example to mind, behold:
This is Mukethe, AKA Max. I’ve had her on Broad&Market not one, but two times now. She’s the market manager at the Saturday farmer’s market at 43rd and Baltimore, which I shop just about every week. I usually spare my audience not to take her picture every week but holy hell is it hard! Steeze is right! And Mukethe is outside in this winter weather for like six hours a day or more, hawking produce and handling business. I thought it might be worthwhile to ask her about her tips for looking good in the winter weather.
So Mukethe, let’s talk about winter steeze.
“Ok, let’s talk about winter steeze.”
Every week that I come to the farmer’s market, you consistently look good. Why don’t I see other people around the city like that?
Then again, this is a biased question cause I don’t see the same people around every week. Buuut… I certainly don’t see people wearing layers of vests. Anyway, anything you’ve learned since last time that you wanna share with everybody?
“I’ve learned lots since last winter, if we’re talking about winter steeze. Last winter I didn’t make it past about twenty or thirty minutes at the farmer’s market without having to run into the coffee shop and hide for a half an hour. So, I do have real boots this year, courtesy of I. Goldberg. I think they’re cute. They make me feel a little masculine. I like to wear them and sit with my legs open — I think that’s appropriate.”
Yeah, I like to walk with my legs a little open — not strutting — it’s something else.
“A little bit of a cowboy walk, little bit of a cowboy strut. Real boots are definitely key. And then I sort of rely on the farmers to provide me with extra layers [motions to gloves] that I find the need to put on over the course of the market. Exactly! That’s right. Lap of luxury. It also helps that the city doesn’t shovel…So we have to do it ourselves. It keeps the blood flowing.”
What is up with that? Is it like, your responsibility as the market?
“Mayor Nutter does not care about farmers yo.” [laughing]
Are there any things you’ve seen lately that have been driving you nuts? Like uh, Mukethe’s Observations? Or how bout Mukethe’s Do Nots?
Do not come to me with that… half-way on mismatched gloves look… cause it is so two-thousand and —
“I’ll tell you one thing that’s been bothering me, one of my Do Nots: Fake bow ties are a do not.”
Fake bow ties?? But I —
“Do NOT! You have to man up.”
I would if I could find any for less than twenty dollars!
“I know, that’s the thing, they’re kind of expensive!”
Yeah, like I borrowed one from my house mate for a party and was like oooh this is takin a while! And then when I finally got it I was like phew! But after I decided I was just gonna mess with the fake ones.
“But you felt like an adult afterward!”
“My name is Ni’Cole. I’m from Philadelphia and I’m thirty years old.”
What’s your favorite thing on today?
“My purple eyeshadow. Does it have to be clothing?”
Could you describe what influences your style?
“The influence is mood. Whatever I feel, yeah. It’s a cross between rock and class, and corporate [laughs], to keep it professional.”
Cool. So you’re on your way to work?
“I am. So I’m calm right now.”
Oh, and usually I ask if the way you travel affects the way you dress.
“Sometimes. If I have the appropriate gear.”
Is there anything about Philadelphians that you’re sick of seeing?
“The tights. I’m sick of the tights. Sorry.”
Put some pants on?
“Put some pants on. Put some tights that you can’t see through on. And the pants sagging. I’m sick of that. Butt cracks are not sexy.”
Hah! And then lastly, do you have any shout-outs to anybody, or anything you wanna say to Philadelphia?Either style-wise or in general.
“Style-wise, stop being trend followers. Be individualists.”
I caught Ni’Cole waiting for the trolley in the morning — what a vision of cool confidence! I love her hairstyle and the sleek way she wears it for work. Now, it’s not a Philly winter if there aren’t a few weeks of cold, wet slush on the ground, and usually people dress in clothing they don’t mind getting filthy with the salty slush water they must wade through while on their daily errands. Ni’Cole mentioned that she had to dress for a corporate environment. In the bleak light of the winter morning, holding that clear umbrella, she reminded me of some calm Blade Runner character, preparing to trudge through the hyper-city with a sleek belted coat and boots. I mean, the future is now, after all!
Maggie Eighteen from Broad&Market here, as usual on Thursdays. I envy anyone that lives in one of those super warm, heat included, 80 degree apartment buildings, cause all of my Victorian house-living friends and myself are cold. Like energy-sucking cold, marathoning Battlestar Galactica on Netflix and not going out cold, wearing all kinds of raunchy layers and still shivering cold. So what’s been getting me out of the house lately are jaunts to the local coffee shop. And thank goodness my neighborhood shop has some interesting people to talk to! Shall we?
You don’t have to disclose that information if you don’t want.
“It’s okay. I don’t mind. I’m just happy that I’m still alive.” [laughs] “Well, I grew up in Philadelphia at the academy with my mom. And then we moved to Harrisburg, like outside of Harrisburg. There’s like nobody out there. Clark’s Valley, Pennsylvania.”
Shout-outs to Clark’s Valley. So how long have you been back in Philly?
“Well I tour a lot so then, back and forth for the past three years. We got back from our last tour right before Christmas. I moved to Philly when I was seventeen.”
Well I was gonna ask how has your style been influenced now versus when you first moved here?
“Now it’s just what’s clean, and what’s close by before I’ve had my coffee, and how I feel. And like, this morning — well I make a lot of costumes and stuff just cause I’m on stage and I love making sparkly shit — so today I felt really crummy. And I woke up and I was crying cause I had PMS. I was like, well I’m gonna be sparkly on the outside or whatever, so I’m gonna wear this skirt over this skirt, over this skirt…over… so. I was feelin it. I was just feeling like wearing a lot of skirts.”
I like it.
“I like it too. It makes me feel like spinning or something. It’s nice.”
When you walk every step is special?
“Yeah, exactly, cause you get the updraft and you’re like woo!” [laughs] “And I wore the belt cause it like, pulls it all in, so then I look kinda like, even more girly — I’m celebrating my goddamn girlyness today.”
Nice. Are there any ways that people in Philadelphia dress that you find specific to the city? Or perhaps boggles your mind or…?
“Boggles my mind… Hm.” [Friend, Vitamin D, mentions that probably the way they dress boggles Betty's mind] “No this is usually what I wear, like sweats and yoga stuff in the morning. It’s funny that I ran into you today, but the ocelot — fake ocelot — jacket is awesome. But I wear that all the time. Um! The Philly thing, okay… No, it just seems like people are experimental and there’s a lot more vintage and antique mixed with like, kind of like a grittiness. Kind of like a vintage punk thing.
You’re not the first person who’s said that!
“It’s a really beautiful mixture of delicate textures and delicate, or like precious things that are dilapidated slightly, and then stitched onto other things. And it’s almost like people prefer to wear things that have experienced somebody else wearing them, and then they found them. And it makes them precious. And it makes no sense, really, together. Which is why it makes sense, and I really love it. Yeah. I really do like seeing people in Philadelphia. But that’s just the people that I see, you know? There are other people, but the people I usually see are the same group of people when I’m around.”
“I don’t know what they’re selling at … I don’t even remember what normal stores are anymore.”
Well there’s like H&M down on Walnut…
“H&M! I’m not gonna knock it. Some people love it. There’s stuff there.”
Mixin it with old and new. Is there anything that’s your favorite thing on?
“Yeah, I’m wearing… well okay, this is a difficult one — I’m wearing these pannies that are from this place called Voodoo Donuts in Portland, Oregon. Well it’s special because it was a gift. I was in the hospital and I couldn’t go on this tour, so my friends bought me — I really wanted manties, you know, like those boy shorts. But there’s no hole for your [suggestive face] cause you don’t have it, but anyway, they were out of those and I was really disappointed. But I got these regular panty things instead. In the front, it’s got this guy with this magic top hat on, and he’s going like this [ta-da! pose], and it says ‘Voodoo Donuts: The magic’s in the box‘ or something? I don’t even remember what it says, just something really clever. I haven’t had my coffee. I know it’s clever and it’s right on my crotch, so…”
Excellent. So on that note, do you have a current obsession? With anything at all.
“Obsession. Ohhh… I’m really into learning new knots. I have a couple books of knots and a couple different kinds of ropes. And I’m trying to memorize the names of the knots and make the knots, and it’s very difficult cause I don’t think enough.”
Well there’s so many of them!
“I have a hard time. My memory is, like, going. I have a bunch of ropes and I know a bunch, but it’s difficult to remember the names of them. It’s tricky. And I’m also a sword swallower and I eat fire and do trapeze… and what else?” [D reminds them of some close record] “Oh yeah, I had it. The record for the longest sword swallowed by a woman.”
[Here we had a brief sword swallowing discussion concerning just being beaten by the current record holder & Ripley's Believe It Or Not]
“Her [the current record holder] husband just died. That’s so terrible. Her’s was like, 29″. Mine was 28″” [D gets surprised: "What?? I thought it was 21"! How did it get to 28"? That's the length of her torso! That's insane!"]
Whoa. So there’s that.
“Yeah. I travel with different groups as Betty Bloomerz. Usually I’m with the Squidling Brothers. Like Ringling, but Squid-ling… But I’m not a boy. I’m the brother with the cunt. That’s what I say. Or I used to say. Like [awkward laugh], get it??”
That’s so good. Do you have any shout-outs to anyone?
“Shout-outs to Vitamin D, the one that gave me the ride over. Yeah, I definitely want to give a shout-out to Valerie Rushmere and Studio 1831.”
Who would’ve guessed, right?! Watch the video I linked to of her swallowing that sword. It’s nuts! But let’s not make that the focus of this week’s Street Snaps. Let’s think about all her layered dresses, handmade belt, adorned heels, and fake ocelot coat with the sweet buttons! Oh, and the sparkles. Forgive my poor job, but she had sparkly eyeshadow on top of her sequined hat, and all of that vision struck me as a real good thing to see in the morning hours. I like people who really dress by their mood. I know a lot of us might have dress codes we have to follow, but if you can swing it, you should do it!
So this week’s Street Snaps is coming a little late in the day. My first equipment malfunction finally happened, and I lost an interview tape for someone I had photographed earlier in the week. Just goes to show that you should transcribe your tapes as soon as possible, M I RITE??!
Anyway, this week is dedicated to all the tough-looking guys in our fair city, whose outward appearances betray their actual personality. With that in mind, I present to you the following leather-jacket-wearing heart-of-gold darling:
How long have you been in Philadelphia for?
Is there anything about the way people dress in Philadelphia that you think is really different from where you came from?
“Whoa… Man, I haven’t thought about that. Yeah. A bunch of things, but I don’t pay attention that much. I guess I would say, like, at least with the people I hang out with they have a better fashion sense for themselves, with what they choose to wear. Like things that make them look good and feel good. At least in West Philly. I don’t see a bunch of brand names. I see a bunch of really awesome, put-together hand-me-down and thrift store stuff. Lots of vests.” [laughs]
So when you got to Philly did the way you dress change at all, with the type of clothes you wore and the way you wanted to present yourself?
“Yes. I stopped — well, it was less of Philly’s influence on me and more educating myself about certain things. Like I stopped buying a lot of clothes and just started basically buying things that weren’t supporting things that I didn’t like.”
Where do you get most of your clothes from then?
“Friends or thrift stores, or like, bands that come through that I enjoy, to like, support them.”
Word. Is there anything you have on right now that is your absolute favorite?
“My hot dog hat.”
Tell me about your hot dog hat.
“Uhh, it’s a hat that just says ‘hot dogs’ with a big rainbow on it, that my friend Kim Mitchell gave to me that came from a friend, Posadas, and I decided I needed a new hat. And I decided I wanted to color it. So I did.”
So you made the ‘hot dogs’ part.
How do other people feel about it? *
“People either love it or hate it. It’s how people recognize me, I think.”
So it’s just like, yo I like hot dogs?
“It’s just two words that I put there. But I do like hot dogs — veggie dogs. But it was either — I don’t remember what the other words I was gonna put on there, but I settled on hot dogs. Like hot dogs! Hot dogs. You can say it any way and it always sounds pretty good.”
Are there any things in your life that influence the way you dress? Like we kind of mentioned bands and hand-me-down stuff, but are there any specific things or people or media that influence the way you dress or the way you wanna look to the outside world?
“Uhh, I just wanna look good to, like, myself and feel comfortable. I guess I’ll see somebody on the street and think, that looks good, I wonder if it’ll look good on me. It’s usually whatever I feel at the time, if that makes sense. Anything all tattered and torn is good. I like things that show wear, because there’s something behind it more than just what you see. It tells a lot more of where it came from than just a label or a picture or whatever else. Like that thing’s been through a lot, or that thing’s been around, or what’s that hole from. Or that stain from.”
I’m intrigued by the whole ‘I don’t wanna buy new clothes anymore,’ like I was talking to another person before about buying new clothes, like they just aren’t as good. They feel weird.
“Yeah, it’s like anything that you buy, you have to break it in. Even shoes, like my favorite pair of shoes this whole summer was a pair I found in a free box. And they were already broke in. They fit me perfectly, and I wore them until this winter. And I’ll start wearing them this spring!”
Do you have a current obsession?
“My rat, Panda Bear. He’s amazing and I really love the positive attention and new friends that he brings me. Cause people will be like, oh who’s that with the rat? And I’ll be like, my name’s Greg Dean. And if you like rats I might like you.”
So you bring him with you outside? Do people ever get freaked out by it?
“Yeah. Yes. People have refused to help me in like a store. Cause they’re afraid he’ll leap off my shoulder with his crazy vampire rat fangs and turn them into a slithery-tailed, I dunno, something gross. Oh, and I’m obsessing over FUN-A-DAY.”
“FUN-A-DAY is an art project for anyone to do, where you do something every day for January, and then everybody shows what they did in this big collective art installation at Studio 34. You can go to artclash.com and read all about it. So my FUN-A-DAYs are recording a song a day and wearing make-up every day.”
Do you usually wear make-up?
“Um, only to go out. Not on a day-to-day basis. But that’s why I wanted to do it! So I could be more comfortable with going out every day with make-up.”
Nice. And I don’t have a segue way for this, but does the way you get around the city affect the way you dress?
“Yes. I ride my bike every day and if I didn’t I probably wouldn’t wear, you know, like as many clothes, or gloves or long-johns or stuff like that. I would probably wear my leather jacket still cause I like how it looks on me.”
Do you have any shout-outs?
“Oh man. I looove animals a million, and if you want me to take care of them, you should go to Puppy Uprising.com.
Is there anything about the way people in Philadelphia dress that you cannot stand, or that you love, or that you wish people did more of? Don’t be shy now.
“God. I dunno. I hate passing judgement, but I really fuckin hate that bigass nasty Ugg boots shit. I don’t think anybody has ever worn those well [looks around cautiously], like ever.”
Why do you hate them? I feel like most people say that and then don’t really say why.
“I just think they’re ugly. That’s pretty much it. That and when they get that floppy bullshit at the bottom where it bows out and looks like you’re walking on your ankles? It just looks bad. So yeah. I think jeggings are ugly. But! But they’re making them start to look more like jeans. I dunno. I’m just being a hater.”
Well, Uggs is a recurring trend, so you’re up there with many others.
“I heard they’re really warm and that’s cool. And normally I’m not fashion over function — or whatever — but those shit’s are gross.”
Check out the pizza lapel pin! I love the combination of that with a rattail and pink lips. Too often we write people off by the way they look (I know I do!), ignoring the small details they take pains to display, which say more about their personalities than people usually assume or expect. A lot of people might be thrown off by Greg Dean’s hot dogs hat or his decision to wear make-up every day, but we’ve really got to ask ourselves why? Why is an tight-black pants-wearing bike punk in a leather jacket not allowed to wear a rainbow hat and peachy lips? Man, I’m really close to ranting on stereotypes, so I’ll stop here. But just think about those things! You can wear whatever the hell you like, just like this cutie!
* There’s been several times when I was with Greg Dean and he got some seriously dirty and threatening looks from people. Is a rainbow with the word ‘hot dogs’ on it really that offensive? Let’s get more empathetic, y’all!