May 22, 2013
Philadelphia’s skateboarding culture has deep roots — Love Park has long been a mecca for amateur and pro skaters, to great debate — and Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund has an ambitious mission to capture the passion of the city’s skateboarding community and open not only Paine’s Park, but also an extensive series of skateparks throughout the Greater Philadelphia area.
That mission takes a giant leap forward today, as Paine’s Park stakepark opens to the public with a ribbon-cutting bash from 4 to 6 p.m.
Located on the Schuylkill River Banks, Paine’s Park is set to officially open for community use with a festive skater-filled affair including food trucks by Rita’s, Guapos Tacos and La Colombe, as well as skater demos featuring pros Chris Cole, Kerry Getz and Tom Asta.
Plus, Philadelphia Flyers songstress Lauren Hart is slated to to sing the National Anthem and DJ Gregg Nyce will spin tunes.
With support from the Knights Arts Challenge Philadelphia, the Tony Hawk Foundation and nearly 20 additional partners, including Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department and the City of Philadelphia, Paine’s Park has the backing of both the skater community and the city at large.
Designed by Anthony Bracali of Friday Architects/Planners and Brian Nugent of SkateNerd, the park is a mixed-use public space, with skateboarding as the central feature, but also including elements to appeal to the general public like granite and steel benches and sweet views of the Schuylkill River and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Take the opportunity to check out this brand-new public space, and maybe break out that ollie you’ve been working on.
Paine’s Park Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
When: Wednesday, May 22, 4-6 p.m.
Where: Paine’s Park, Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Benjamin Franklin Parkway
More info: www.franklinspaine.com
May 21, 2013
This summer, get ready to travel back in time just by visiting the National Constitution Center.
The 1968 Exhibit opens June 14, walking visitors through one of America’s most colorful, chaotic and culture-shifting years.
The 5,000-square-foot exhibition features more than 100 artifacts displayed through 12 galleries corresponding to the months of the year. Explore such moments in time as the height of the Vietnam War, the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, feminist demonstrations at the Miss America pageant and much more.
Beyond significant politic events, the exhibit also presents iconic pop culture phenomenons like the release of the Beatles’ The White Album, Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey and the debut of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
Interactive elements in three immersive “lounges” are set to bring experiences from the past straight into the present. Settle in to bean-bag chairs to watch classic TV clips from shows like Laugh-In and Gunsmoke or design an album cover and test knowledge on the music of 1968.
Plus, those who lived through 1968 are invited to share their stories and memories in the Community Lounge. And if you were born in 1968, just present a state-issued ID for free admission to The 1968 Exhibit.
For a sneak peek, join in the groovy good times at Retro-Rama, a kick-off party scheduled for Thursday, June 13, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Break out the bell-bottom jeans and fringed vests, sip Victory Brewing Company’s Summer Love ale, hear live music from the Strictly ‘60s cover band and hang out amid vintage furniture provided by Calderwood Gallery and hip décor by Campbell Studios.
Tickets to the opening party run $35 for members and $40 for non-members (ages 21+), include admission to The 1968 Exhibit and are available online.
General admission to the exhibition begins June 14, but tickets are already available online.
Don’t miss this blast from the past while it visits the National Constitution Center through September.
The 1968 Exhibit at the National Constitution Center
When: June 14-September 2
Where: 525 Arch Street
Cost: $14.50 for adults; $13 for seniors (age 65+) and students with ID; $8 for children (ages 4-12); free for active military
More info: www.constitutioncenter.org
May 21, 2013
Few spectacles sum up summertime more than huge fireworks displays, and the folks at Longwoods Gardens oblige the season and illuminate the skies all summer long.
Fireworks and Fountains, Longwood Gardens’ annual fireworks celebration, returns for summer in a few short days.
From Memorial Day Weekend to mid-September, six firework displays will light up the Kennett Square sky while Longwood Gardens’ fountains showcase a colorful display. All of the action is set to an exciting musical score.
The first Fireworks and Fountains event is on Saturday, May 25 at 9:15 p.m., and features the music of Elton John. His music can be heard at future dates throughout the summer, too. Russian composer, Dmitri Shostakovich’s powerful classical music serves as the accompaniment for two Fireworks and Fountains events as the summer continues, and a patriotic show is slated for July 3.
Tickets are $38 for nonmembers over of 16, $31 for members over 16, $22 for nonmembers 15 and under and $18 for members who are 15 and under.
Tickets to Fireworks and Fountains are available online, and include access to the sprawling gardens.
Fireworks and Fountains at Longwood Gardens
When: May 25, July 3 and July 20 at 9:15 p.m.; August 17 and August 31 at 8:15 p.m.
Where: Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square
Cost: $38 ages 16 & over, $31 Members ages 16 & over, $22 ages 15 & under, $18 Members ages 15 & under
More info: www.longwoodgardens.org
May 21, 2013
Anyone who has slipped on a pair of famed shoe designer Stuart Weitzman’s heels knows that the man must have conceptualized his footwear in a dream.
It’s appropriate, then, that Weitzman will help to launch Dreamers and Doers, the National Museum of American Jewish History’s new speaker series on Wednesday, June 12.
Intending to relay the stories of individuals who embody the spirit of dreaming and doing, the new annual series will also tell the stories of those inspired by the achievements of immigrants who came to America in search of opportunity and a better life.
Stuart Weitzman’s career and story are quintessential examples of an entrepreneurial, philanthropic and uniquely American spirit. A native of Long Island, NY, Weitzman spent his childhood apprenticing at his father’s shoe factory, where he learned and perfected every detail on how to craft a beautifully-designed shoe.
Weitzman and his brother took over the family business in 1965. Because of the valuable teachings in patternmaking, production and distribution learned from his father, Weitzman started successfully producing the beloved footwear that women have now admired for decades.
Aside from his shoemaking, Weitzman is also passionate about a health issue that unfortunately affects many of his clientele: ovarian cancer. From 2001 to 2006, his company held an annual “Bid for a Cure” auction, wherein celebrities artfully decorated shoes to be auctioned off to benefit cancer research.
In 2011, Weitzman created the “Young Hollywood Cares” collection, a design collaboration with young celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Hough, Chloë Grace Moretz and Olivia Palermo. This alliance supports the pioneering ovarian cancer research of Dr. Marsha A. Moses, Director of the Folkman Institute and a professor at Harvard Medical School.
Weitzman will speak firsthand at NMAJH about the Stuart Weitzman brand in a live interview with WHYY reporter Zack Seward.
In addition to the lecture, replicas of some of Weitzman’s most famous designs, including the glass slippers used in Cinderella on Broadway, will be on display.
Tickets are available online, and advance registration strongly encouraged.
Dreamers and Doers: Stuart Weitzman
When: Wednesday, June 12, 7 p.m.
Where: National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 S. Independence Mall East
Cost: $25 for non-members; $18 for members
More info: www.nmajh.org
May 21, 2013
Dining on chilled seafood and sipping cool cocktails is an exceedingly appealing notion as summer weather slips in to Philadelphia.
And now that we’ve seen the new food menu at AKA Rittenhouse Square’s soon-to-open a.bar, we know just where those fruits of the sea will be savored.
The curated selection of snacks, raw shellfish and oysters, small plates and some charcuterie focuses heavily on seafood, with the raw bar section as the obvious cornerstone.
From a read of the menu, a few of the dishes we can’t wait to try are Caputo Brothers burrata with trout caviar and black mint, razor clam ceviche with pink peppercorns and mussels escabeche in a sherry vinegar sauce. The oyster lineup appeals, too, with a lovely list of mostly East Coast varieties.
The sophisticated-yet-straightforward fare of a.kitchen seems to extend to a.bar’s menu, too. Naturally, since the two spots will share a kitchen team and staff under AKA’s food and beverage director, David Fields.
As far as decor, look for a.bar to have a similar aesthetic as a.kitchen (the two were both designed by architect Edward Asfour of New York’s Asfour Guzy), with natural finishes, coffered ceilings and a 17-seat pewtered bronze bar.
Stay tuned for more as a.bar receives its final touches and opens this summer.
For the complete menu, see below.
a.bar at AKA Rittenhouse
Where: 18th and Walnut streets
More info: www.akitchenphilly.com
May 21, 2013
This Thursday, spend a dreamy evening beyond city limits at Terrain at Styer’s in Glen Mills.
The enchanting nursery and garden shop is part of the Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters group, and is a treasure trove of plants, greenery and home-and-garden items, as well as the site of a charming cafe featuring elegant-yet-simple fare from chef Keith Rudolf.
This week, help the cafe christen its new patio with a Patio Party and Twilight Farmer’s Market. From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., enjoy alfresco shopping, live music, cocktails and farm-fresh hors d’oeuvres.
A number of area farms and vendors will be on hand with locally produced goods.
Look for veal and pork from Birchrun Hills Farm; handmade preserves from Green Aisle Grocery; local wines from Paradocx Winery; artisan breads from Wild Flower Bakery; and heirloom produce from Culton Farms. Plus, shoppers might find Little Baby’s Ice Cream and Thornbury Farm, as the vendors are rumored to be headed to the market, too.
Following the soiree and market, reserve a seat for the five-course tasting dinner from chef Rudolf at 7 p.m.
The chef’s tasting menu starts with an English pea soup, followed by a scallop-stuffed squash blossom, striped bass, duck with ramp puree and a berry clafoutis with basil ice cream.
The dinner runs $60 (plus tax and gratuity per person) and reservations are available with the cafe by calling 610-459-6036.
And though the market and party are free and open to the public, visitors can RSVP here.
Terrain Patio Party and Twilight Farmer’s Market
When: Thursday, May 23, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: Terrain at Styer’s, 914 Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills
Cost: Pay as you go
More info: www.shopterrain.com
May 21, 2013
The Arden Theatre is set to make beautiful music with the tunes of famed composer Stephen Sondheim as his classic show A Little Night Music makes its rounds at the Arden Theatre.
Opening this week, the show is set to run from May 23 to June 30.
Based on the book by Hugh Wheeler, A Little Night Music centers around a far-from-ideal marriage, a trip to the countryside and the happenings that occur on the trip. It tells the tale of romance, infidelity, new love and heartbreak — and has entertained audiences around the world since its original 1973 Broadway debut.
The Philadelphia cast of 15 are all well-versed in all things Sondheim, as many of the actors (and creative team!) have worked on previous Sondheim performances.
See the actors deftly waltz their way around the F. Otto Haas Stage. With a musical score comprised solely of waltz music, it’s a melodic affair.
The show’s run begins on Thursday, May 23, with a preview, and the previews continue until opening night on Wednesday, May 29.
Stop by the Arden Theatre a day before the previews begin on Wednesday, May 22, for a Pay What You Can performance. The performance begins at 8 p.m., and proceeds benefit the Upper Darby Summer Stage.
A Little Night Music at the Arden Theatre
When: May 23-June 30
Where: Arden Theatre, 40 N. 2nd Street
More info: www.ardentheatre.org
May 21, 2013
The Amistad will be docked at the Independence Seaport Museum from Friday, May 24 to Wednesday, May 29, and the museum will remain open until 7 p.m. on Friday, May 24 and Saturday, May 25.
For those in need of a brief history lesson, the Amistad is a historic 19th-century ship that was used to transport captive slaves from Sierra Leone, but became a powerful symbol of abolition thanks to its captives, who took over the ship during its fateful journey and — after being seized by the United States government and undergoing an infamous supreme court trail — were finally granted freedom.
Though its moving story certainly stands on its own, the Amistad may be best known as the subject of the 1997 film by the same name directed by Steven Spielberg.
On the waters just outside the museum, see and tour an exact replica of the Amistad, a 129-foot Baltimore Clipper that works with international agencies and organizations in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Europe and West Africa in recognition and commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade in the former British Empire and the United States.
The arrival of the schooner beautifully complements the Independence Seaport Museum’s current exhibit, Tides of Freedom: African Presence on the Delaware River, an exhibition that explores the notion of freedom and the African experience along the Delaware River.
Deck tours will be offered every day that the Amistad is docked on the Delaware River. Access to the museum and the deck tours is $15 for adults, $12 for children ages 3 through 12 and free for children under two.
For the more adventurous of guests, sail tours will be available on certain days throughout the Amistad’s Philadelphia visit. Sail tour tickets and times are available here.
Memorial Day weekend also brings the start of the museum’s extended summer hours, with the doors remaining open until 7 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Labor Day weekend.
Amistad at the Independence Seaport Museum
When: May 24-29
Where: Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Boulevard
Cost: Deck tours $15 for adults, $12 for children 3-12, free for children under two; Sail tours $65 for adults, $35 for children
More info: www.phillyseaport.org
May 20, 2013
Now in its third year, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Pop Up Garden initiative transforms pockets of urban blight into beautiful landscaped community spaces.
Opening today, the third PHS Pop Up Garden blooms on South Broad Street just across from the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of the University of the Arts at the University’s Dorrance Hamilton Hall on 320 S. Broad Street, as well as a UArts-owned lot across the street at 313 S. Broad Street.
The same lot that housed flying-trapeze artists during the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts will be home to a verdant landscaped garden and pop-up beer garden and restaurant for the next five months.
At the garden’s entrance, visitors are welcomed with lush landscaping including shade trees, a lawn and plenty of flowers, as well as a smokehouse structure that was on exhibit during the 2013 Flower Show.
Wander down the garden path to the rear of lot, and find a mobile beer garden and restaurant, set to open May 29.
Chef George Sabatino, who fixes up the fare at Morgan’s Pier, too, crafted a menu of savory sandwiches like slow-roasted pork belly with mustard slaw, brisket with horseradish aioli and vegan-chorizo sloppy joes. In addition to the hot sammies, locally sourced grab-and-go options will range from fresh fruit and salads to veggies with hummus.
Alongside the picnic-appropriate menu, garden goers can also order from a menu of root beer, sangria and local craft beer from Philly favorites Victory Brewing Company, Yards Brewing Company and Philadelphia Brewing Company.
After May 29, food and beverages will be sold from retrofitted shipping containers Monday through Thursday, 5-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 1-11 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-10 p.m.
With the garden’s proximity to the University of the Arts, expect impromptu performances and exhibitions of music, dance, theater, sculpture, photography and other visual arts by both undergrad and graduate students.
The pop-up garden opens today, but return on Wednesday, May 29 at 11:30 a.m. for a celebration to mark the grand opening of both the green garden and the beer garden.
The garden will be dismantled in mid-October, but will return next summer in a new location.
PHS Pop Up Garden
When: PHS hours, Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Beer Garden, Monday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 1-11 p.m.; Sunday, noon-10 p.m.
Where: 313 S. Broad Street
More info: www.phsonline.org
May 20, 2013
We can’t think of a better way to get a summer weekend started than with a solid backyard barbecue, and The Trestle Inn obviously agrees.
Starting this Friday, May 24, and continuing every Friday through June 28, the Callowhill-neighborhood lounge takes its whiskey-fueled good times outside and throws a block party on Callowhill Street.
The Friday Nite Backyard BBQ series gets underway at 5 p.m., and those who come down between 5 and 7 p.m. are rewarded with not only an alfresco party, but also a free happy hour whiskey sour (one per person).
After the whiskey sour, go for Old Forester pitchers and craft can specials, jam to surf music (think Beach Boys and Jan & Dean), and enjoy sidewalk go-go dancing by The Trestle Specials and fine fare from some of Philly’s top food trucks.
This Friday, look for always-satisfying eats from the Yumtown truck. On May 31, the Good Phellas food truck will be on hand and on June 7, Little Baby’s Ice Cream will dish its goods.
Check out the full lineup of food trucks and go-go dancers here.
The barbecue block party continues outdoors until 9 p.m., giving folks an hour’s rest before the classic funk, soul and R&B begins for the Souled Out dance party indoors at 10 p.m.
The Trestle Inn’s Friday Nite Backyard BBQ
When: Fridays, May 24-June 28, 5-9 p.m.
Where: 339 N. 11th Street
Cost: Pay as you go
More info: www.trestleinn.com