So, this doesn't happen often, but I'm having a little show at a friend's gallery [Gravy] up in Fishtown [2212 Sepviva]. I'd love it if you came out to see an in-progress long term project about the region's food system from the farms to our tables. This show was a bit last minute so please forgive the late notice, but if you're in town for 4th of July weekend, kick it off in Fishtown!
The gallery is called Gravy and it's in an awesome warehouse which is a vintage motorcycle shop [video of the space: youtu.be/VdNEJAFfFLA]. The Berks train stop is a few blocks away. The show runs all month, but the party will run from 6.30p – 10p.
We'll have local brews, a cheese plate from Fair Food, goodies from Flying Monkey Patisserie and vino! There will hopefully be a few farmers on hand, including my cover model Landon who is one half of Root Mass Farm based out of Oley Valley, PA.
I'm thinking of getting drinks over at Memphis Taproom afterward? It's about a 7 minute walk from the gallery and I've wanted to go there for a long time now.
Third outing was to a mechanical bull riding night at Percy St BBQ. And who was called up to the bull not 10 minutes after I arrived there? Bill Covaleski, the head honcho at Victory Brewing whom I had met at the end of the Four Seasons Beer Garden event the night before. He was knocked off the bull in just a few seconds, just like everyone else. Messy & Picky: The Bull Strikes Back.
Magical Day 5 where I sampled the famed Dogfish Head Bitches Brew on tap at Kite & Key. It was so hot outside that after biking there from the Italian Market area, I nearly gulped it down. So tasty. Who says you can't drink a Russian Imperial Stout when it's 90° out? There were a dozen Dogfish Head brews on tap. I could've stayed there forever, but I had to go. Messy & Picky: Bitches Brew.
I spent a good hunk of Day 6 at DiBruno Bros 9th St. When they grill out, you better get your ass over there. It's like a normal grill-out chill-out, but everything's kicked up to 11, DiBruno Style. That's my man Ian Peacock holding a mammoth double decker burger he made for me. And inside? More Dogfish Head. Yes, I'm a Dogfish Head whore. They make the best stuff on earth, eat it Snapple. Messy & Picky: Grilling DiBruno Style.
Finished off the week at our favorite restaurant in town, Southwark, where, you guessed it, Dogfish Head was holding court. We went there in hopes of more Bitches Brew on tap [yes!] and ended up staying for a full three courses and several rounds of drinks. I think it was the first [and likely only] time I've been to Southwark and not ordered up a cocktail. Only because this rarer than rare beer was on tap. Every single order of 2-6 beers placed at the bar had at least one glass of Bitches Brew going out. Messy & Picky: Southwark+Dogfish Head.
I took a trip over to the newly constructed Race St Pier under the Ben Franklin Bridge after the Kinetic Sculpture Derby. Oh man is it gorgeous. It's worth the trek up from the Old City area. Here's my postcard shot of a couple with their bikes on the pier.
Below is a set [will be growing set as I return] of 1200px wide shots of the pier
The annual Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby is a sight to behold each and every year. I've been to a few of them and am amazed each year in how inventive people are with their constructions. This year, the Trenton Ave Arts Festival grew so large that the Derby was moved all the way to the end by Norris St. Above is a lovely muddy finish line / mud pit. It was muddier than last year's pit. I got a primo spot right at the end of the fence blocking off the mud pit area. I crouched down and had my D700+MB-D10 and 80-200mm f/2.8D at the ready. I just about filled up a 8GB card. I realized that I need some higher capacity, higher write speed cards in my bag.
It's a slightly dangerous affair for all involved. The participants can be thrown off their steeds, people can be hit by coming apart at the seams bikes, Derby assistants can be run over (almost in the photo above) at any moment.
Above is the first casualty of the day. The girl's bike went to one side, she went to the other. She decided to take an extra victory dive into the mud and the giant "OMG GMO" punk rock palindrome chicken almost ran her over.
Here's the double decker murder-suicide bike. I liked this one a lot because the couple looks like my friend and his wifey who live down in Austin.
Here's pretty in pink. She had a matching pink bird on the back of her bike. She bailed in the mud put, but only muddied up her mid-calf white boots. She stayed unscathed elsewhere.
This guy's bike broke down at some point and he just carried it to the finish line. He proceeded to just faceplant into the mud. Here he raises his muddied front wheel to the cheers of the crowd.
I don't care when the solstice is, Memorial Day Weekend is my official start of summer. ESPECIALLY when the weather is like it is today. I start off every summer rocking out to DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince's Summertime. Always.
Posted by Albert on May 30th, 2011 @ 2:02 pm
On primary election day Philly had a chance to bring into the fold a person who cares deeply about improving the city he's adopted as his own. Philly had a chance to bring into the fold a person who would dive headfirst into the issues that are actively holding this city back from being a great city. Philly had a chance to bring fresh blood, without decades old ties to the old guard, into the fold. When the people of Philadelphia decided to be lazy and basically vote the At-Large incumbents back into their cushy seats in City Hall, they voted to hold the city back. I didn't put in the time that I did the last time around. I took a different route and offered up my photographic services for the campaign. If you got a mailer from the Toy campaign (and also Stephanie Singer's campaign), you probably saw one of my photos at some point. Well, all efforts came up short. Above is a shot of Andy early on in the night before the votes started to come in.
It was a fun night filled with Taiko drummers, food and beers. A room filled with the people who made up the guts of the campaign whether it was shoes hitting the pavement or pens to the checkbook. There was a great positive energy in there. But as the returns came in, the mood softened.
Here's Andy as he was delivering his speech with his campaign chair Numa St. Louis. He fought off tears as he thanked the people in the room and then he couldn't fight anymore and shed a few. I'm sure he was frustrated after all the work he did 4 years ago and for the past several months on the ground in Philly all over again.
At the end of the night when almost everyone had left, he turned to the band that was hired for the night and asked "You want to jam for a bit?" Andy brought his guitar and his amp to the party. He didn't allow himself to wallow. He jammed and the people who stayed behind got a real treat. I sat down next to his son and daughter, Owen and Zoe, as they listened to their dad jam. I asked Owen if he had a chance to play during the campaign and he said that if Andy ever had 4 minutes to spare between events, calls and meetings, he was strumming. Everyone needs their escape and music is Andy's.
My anger has subsided a bit now a week and a half later. I don't get as animated as I used to about politics. It's not worth the aggravation to me. My views don't fit into either of the parties that control things in this country with it's broken two-party system, broken checks and balances, broken educational system. But my friend Andy is far from broken and beaten. He's still optimistic. I don't know how he does it. He said the fight isn't over and I know he means it. I think he still has the fire to run for office again. Which seat in which part of the country's legislative system I have no idea. But he's not going to stop. And as long as he's going, I'm going to throw my support his way one way or another.
I saw Mucca Pazza perform in Philly 2 years ago in the tiny, cramped Johnny Brenda's. This time, they had some more room to pounce around inside the Kimmel Center's Commonwealth Plaza stage. Here's the band coming out of the backstage area. They're streaming out around the stage toward the Eiffel Tower replica.
Here's the band coming back from underneath the Tower. People seemed to be taken by surprise as the band took over the space. Just prior to their arrival was the nightly light show.
The band took places all around the space at the start. They ran up the stairs and rocked out. The sound was amazing with notes echoing off of every crevice inside the Kimmel.
They eventually settled on the stage. In the distance, you can see the giant Tower replica which was about 3 stories tall.
The three cheerleaders do more than one might expect to make the show awesome. They don't play any instruments at any point of the set. They run around, they kick, they scream, they pom-pom in your face. They don't stop moving until there's a solo to be had by one of the band.
At the heart of the band is the sousaphone. It is huge.
I was kneeling right by the horns for most of the set and thankfully caught this awesome scream.
Trombones to the front!
The changing lights behind the bar just happened to be blue as the blue-topped trombonists were up front.
I love this frame of primary color around the band.
Toward the end of the set, the horns took to the steps and the balconies. The trombones were right behind me.
The West Philadelphia Orchestra came on next and they were great. Prior to this, I had never seen them perform. I've heard that they were a great band, but it just never happened. Following the madness that is Mucca Pazza is an impossible task. You can't top that. You just can't. But WPO brought their Balkan flavor to the table and everyone started to dance whereas everyone was too busy watching Mucca Pazza do their thing. I saw numerous members of Mucca Pazza out on the dancefloor rocking out to the WPO tunes for well over an hour. I have no idea how they did it. Checking out their site, I see that WPO has a monthly set at Tritone Bar (2nd Thursdays) for a Balkan Dance Party. Three sets starting at 10p, $5 cover. I'm gonna be there soon.
My set of shots from the PIFA street fair in 1200px
My introduction to Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings was the famously lo-fi 100 Days, 100 Nights video [embedded at bottom of post]. I was hooked. I've wanted to see her live for some time now as I've read how awesome a show she puts on and I finally got a chance to see her at the PIFA streetfest. Here, she's walking onstage after a hearty welcome by Star, one of the Dapettes.
I was standing to the left of the stage with my 80-200mm lens on and I think she focused on me whenever she sang to that part of the audience. I have a bunch of shots with her looking right down the barrel of my lens.
Here's one lucky guy, Josh, who was called to the stage to groove with Sharon.
She was so incredibly energetic throughout her 90 minute set, but she did slow it down just a bit so The Dap Kings and the crowd could catch their breath. I think she could've gone on for hours without a problem.
She has this awesomely serious face she puts on when she's really in the zone dancing. Her tassely dress was swaying back and forth all afternoon.
And as you can imagine, she's in great shape with all that dancing. Check out her back muscles as she stomps across the stage during her 'evolution of dance' sequence.
And this is my favorite shot of her from the set. Arm swinging back expressively, her body beginning to arch back deep into a note, leg up in the air about to get moving some more.
My set of shots from the PIFA street fair in 1200px
The PIFAstreetfair was one of the most fun events I've been to all year. A full day of an awesome performance packed streetfest on Broad St on a gorgeous spring day. I saw 4 performances by 4 groups, one of which I saw twice. Here's Part 1 of the shows. I saw Nicole Atkins back in 2008 at WXPN and I was super happy to learn she was one of the performers at the streetfair. Above is my favorite shot of her from the set. She's rocking out with the force of her shaking rocking her hair up.
She played a mix of old stuff that I knew and new stuff which was a nice change of pace from the stuff that I'm used to hearing on my computer.
A couple of girls were right up front rocking out like there was no tomorrow. Nicole called out to them and had one of the girl's dad lift them over the barrier to have their own private dance party up front. I snapped this shot of them and gave each of them a mini print from my PoGo Polaroid which just kept their excitement going. They ran off to say hi to Nicole as she was greeting fans next to the stage.
Thank you Nicole for another awesome show in Philly. She's blowing up big time now and I'm happy to see it happen.
My set of shots from the PIFA street fair in 1200px
So I was out for a walk down Passyunk Ave with the Lady and when we got down to the intersection at 10th/Passyunk/Reed, we crossed over to 10th St where I saw this masterpiece. That's about the only word I can use to describe it. It's just awesome. I hope it stays up there for awhile and nobody peels it off or tags over it. It's now my WUXGA desktop.
Head to the wiki page for a primer on the artist Banksy.