in Travel

48 Hours in…Philly

I spent the weekend visiting my cousin in Philadelphia, cooing at kittens in storefronts, drinking copious amounts of coffee in adorable coffee shops, dancing my ass off to the Top 40 radio hits of Nicki Minaj and Pitbull, walking in the wrong direction for 10 blocks in search of a bar I spent less than five minutes in and so much more.Check out my stitched-together guide to doing Philly in 48 hours.

Saturday Morning:

Arrive in Philly (on the Megabus, in my case) and drop your bags. (No crash pad? Be a high roller and try the Le Meridian or Four Seasons, both around Logan Square, Love Park and the dark Rodin Museum.)

Noon – 2p.m.

Head over to Kildare’s Irish Pub on Manayunk’s Main Street for an authentic brunch from the Emerald Isle, complete with bangers, rashers, mash and eggs, served in the skillet on top of a helping of pepper-sauteed home fries.  Top it off with a spicy Bloody Mary.

2p.m. – 5p.m.

Take an eight-mile drive south on the Schuylkill Expressway to LOVE Park and snap an obligatory photo with the artsy structure. Stroll down the tree-lined South 16th Street, turning on Walnut Street for a taste of Philadelphia’s wealthiest address, Rittenhouse Square, sporting ornamental ironworks, ancient Greek statues, art galleries, boutiques and parkland.

6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Bus it over on the 21 or drive the three miles to University City’s Distrito Restaurant, a modern interpretation of Mexico City, where spicy salsa, fresh ceviche, medium-rare carne asada strip steak and tequila tickle your taste buds – courtesy of owner and Iron Chef winner, Jose Garces. The vibrant food matches the polychromatic décor, complete with pod-shaped booths, a lucha libre mask wall and a porch swing.


Stick with Distrito, which transforms into a hopping party destination with lively Latin rhythms and a spectrum of blue agave harvest varieties from the Cabo Wabo to the Patron. Or, jump in the car and head to Manayunk’s Sapphire Lounge, where the, somewhat young, crowd gets down to the hottest radio hits on the neon dance floor … if you’re into that sort of thing.


Let’s face it – after a night like that, you’re going to need your beauty sleep.

Noon – 2p.m.

Regardless of where you bed down for the night, every visitor should check out the quaint Crossroads Coffee shop in Manayunk, where locals set up shop with laptops and sip hit-the-spot chocolate Frappucinos. Meanwhile, the hippy wait staff takes their time preparing house-made breakfast sausages on toasted oversize whole grain bread slices and your choice of melty cheese (American, swiss, provolone, feta, goat, cooper, cheddar), plus an egg. Did somebody say hangover cure?

2p.m. – 5p.m.

Walk off the food coma on Philly’s eclectic South Street (a good 10-mile drive from Crossroads), which runs perpendicular to the Penn’s Landing pier, a small, but popular waterfont. South Street boasts over 300 shops, bars and restaurants, not to mention the most colorful collection of graffiti-style awnings in the city. Knick-knacks, head shops and specialty clothing stores abound.

5p.m. – 6:30p.m.

Say your farewells at John’s Bar & Grille on South Street – a family-owned bilevel indoor/outdoor affair. Its claim to fame is being the original home of Larry Fine, one of the Three Stooges, and its consistent draw remains the ultra-friendly service and 20-plus beer-lover’s draft varieties, along with countless bottled chart-toppers like Chimay (blue), Unibroue ephemere apple and Stone Brewing’s Arrogant Bastard.


in Home & Lifestyle, Travel

Belgium In Upstate New York

Located 4 hours North West of New York City, Cooperstown may be famous for it’s baseball heritage, but there’s a lot more to get excited about in this bucolic farm town. Thanks to their very own Belgian-Style Brewery, Cooperstown has got a lot more European!

Breaking ground in 1997, Ommegang Brewery has garnered a strong following and the respect of its international competitors. Now owned by Belgian monolith Duvel brewery, Ommegang’s Cooperstown’s headquarters is expanding and busier than ever.  While you can still enjoy the best FREE brewery tour in the North East, including free samples of each of their six ales and their beer infused snacks, they now have a gastropub and Visitor Center with all their wares for sale.

While the tour showcases their style of brewing and celebrates their expansion, the beer tasting at the end is what makes the trip so special. You’ll learn the brewing style and flavor profile of your favorite Ommegang Brews (Abbey Style Ale, Three Philosophers, Hennepin, Witte, Rare Vos and the newly added to their roster, BPA: Belgian Pale Ale), sample cheese and mustards made from their signature ales and sit down and relax on their pristine country estate—What could be better? Afterwards, a trip to the gift shop will be a must so you can buy the beers and the snacks they’ve inspired.

Not gotten your fill of the heavenly nectar? Ommegang’s gastropub will cook you up Belgian specialties that will make you think you’ve landed right in the motherland itself! Belgian frites with cumin ketchup, charcuterie plates with local cheeses and meats, mussels and waffles are all on the menu giving you an authentic experience.

Where? Brewery Ommegang, 656 County Highway 33, Cooperstown, NY 13326

What? Try the Belgian frites with their cumin ketchup—they go great with a draught Rare Vos!

When? Tours and tastings available daily
11 A.M. – 6 P.M.
Memorial Day to Labor Day
12 P.M. – 5 P.M. Winter Hours

Why? Learn about a particular style of brewing and get to taste the end results!


in Home & Lifestyle, Travel

Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All at Terminal 5

 Odd Future fans trying to get backstage

Wolf Gang, Golf Wang

Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All—aka OFWGKTA, aka Odd Future—put on one of the craziest shows I’ve ever seen. On October 19th, 2011 at Terminal 5, while the wind and rain raged outside, OFWGKTA and a mob of fans raged within.

Tyler, the Creator and Hodgy Beats kicked off the show by rapping from the second floor VIP area, then stage diving into the crowd below. As the show continued, people moshed and crowd surfed, though the moshing took down a few would-be surfers. One crowd surfer fell into a mosh pit and I was sure he’d gotten trampled to death. If you’re worried, he’s probably okay, I didn’t see any dead bodies from the 2nd floor as I was waiting for the coat check to clear out after the show.

The mosh pit basically consisted of the entire first floor. Even if you weren’t moshing, you had to kick some ass and stomp on some toes if you wanted to stay towards the front. By the way, if you’re reading this, sorry to the person I accidentally elbowed in the head. That was my bad. Also to the guys smoking a joint behind me, thanks for the contact high and thanks for not accidentally burning me.

I have to say, the show was intense, but I’ve seen worse shit happen at a No Doubt concert. I heard more talk about getting into a fight than I saw actual fighting. For the most part, OFWGKTA fans are crazy, but in a fun way, not to the point of serious violence. Just like the music, it’s loud and offensive, but it’s all in good fun.

If you want to get a feel for what the show was like, check out this video of that epic stage diving: