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October 17, 2014

Reminder: DesignPhiladelphia Wraps Its 10th Anniversary Festival Today With A Closing Celebration At Crane Arts And More, Friday, October 17


DesignPhiladelphia is an important festival for the city, showcasing the key role design has played in the history of the region, and returned this October to celebrate its 10th anniversary year. Don’t miss the final day! (Photo courtesy DesignPhiladelphia)

Few events celebrate this city’s creative culture like the annual DesignPhiladelphia festival, which celebrated its 10th anniversary year this month.

Today, Friday, October 17, marks the final day of the events, but it’s not too late to get in on the celebration of our city’s creative culture.

There are still more than 20 exhibitions and events on tap that anyone can take advantage of today. Some events are geared specifically for those in the design industry, but the vast majority of events are both broadly appealing and open to the public.

Of particular note tonight, a closing celebration takes over the Ice Box space at Crane Arts in Kensington to debut the immersive installation Lairs of Self in Everyday Life.

A team of more than 20 designers, animators, video mappers, programmers, fabricators and performing artists collaborated to produce this multidisciplinary exhibit, and interactive kiosks allow visitors to actually become part of the installation, too.

Lead designers Sean Martorana and Dejha Ti are responsible for the vision, which combines digital elements with performance art and a massive one ton sculpture made of Dupont Corian — you know, the material normally used for countertops.

For more on Lairs of Self in Everyday Life, check here.

Tickets to tonight’s party are available at the door at Crane Arts, and are $10 for students (ID required) and $25 for general admission.

Remember, there are additional DesignPhiladelphia events today, too, so check here for a complete schedule.

Don’t miss the final party of the 10th year of the oldest and largest design event of its kind in the country.

Lairs of Self in Everyday Life
When: Friday, October 17, 6-10 p.m.
Where: Crane Arts Ice Box, 1400 N. American Street
Cost: $10-$25
More info:

DesignPhiladelphia Festival 2014
When: October 9-17
Where: Locations throughout the city
Cost: Varies
More info:

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October 16, 2014

Now Open: Brigantessa, The New Tavern And Pizzeria From The Team Behind Le Virtù Debuts On East Passyunk Avenue

The team behind East Passyunk neighborhood darling Le Virtù has now opened Neapolitan pizzeria Brigantessa, adding to the already awesome local pizza scene.

Neapolitan pizza is more than a hobby in Italy — it’s the law.

Now, with this week’s opening of Brigantessa, Chef-Owner Joe Cicala of Le Virtù brings true, certified Neapolitan pies to Philadelphia.

The chef trekked all the way to Italy to earn his Pizzaiolo Verace certification. Plus, the restaurant’s wood-burning oven was handmade in Naples and traveled for a month by boat to the United States.

As of its opening on Tuesday, the Brigantessa team has stoked the fire in that oven and is now dishing up its wood-fired pizzas, as well as a complete menu of oven-fired dishes, house-cured meats, seasonal antipasti and more eats that express the cuisine of southern Italy.

The spot’s easygoing atmosphere, too, aims to embrace a Southern Italian vibe with simple decor, a welcoming bilevel layout and a distinct focus on what’s coming out of the kitchen and from the bar.

A crowd-pleasing yet curated menu lists small plates like oil-poached swordfish and smoked duck rillet, antipasti, salumi and a few larger plates like a whole roasted dorade.

To drink, a deep list of around 40 Italian wines, craft and Italian beers and Italian-inspired cocktails pairs with the casual tavern fare.

But it’s the pizza that’s really starring on the menu, with eight pies on offer that strictly adhere to the standards of that Pizzaiolo Verace certification, including a classic Margherita, a Vongole veraci topped with oven-roasted clams, extra-virgin olive oil and parsley, and a Pizza cannolo with smoked mozzarella, pork sausage and porcini.

Yes, this place is serious about pizza.

Now Open: Brigantessa
When: Monday-Thursday, 5 p.m.-midnight; Friday, 5 p.m.-12:30 a.m.; Saturday, noon-12:30 a.m.; Sunday, noon-midnight
Where: 1520 East Passyunk Avenue
Cost: Pay as you go
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October 16, 2014

Tonight Picks: The Philadelphia Film Festival Kicks Off, Terror Behind The Walls, Last Call For The PHS Pop-Up Garden, DesignPhiladelphia, Third Thursdee At Pizza Brain And More

Terror Behind the Walls

Halloween season is in full swing, head out for scares at places like Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary.
(Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia)

We’re just a little more than a week away from Halloween, but there’s already plenty of fun brewing in Philadelphia.

Tonight, the Philadelphia Film Festival starts its 10-day run of bringing the best in new cinema to Philadelphia theaters. The festival starts with an opening-night screening of Birdman, an already-lauded film starring a cast of Hollywood notables that has made its way around the film festival circuit to great applause.

For those looking for a spot to drink and dine alfresco, hit up the PHS Pop-Up Garden which closes for the season on Sunday, October 19. Enjoy autumnal sips (pumpkin beer and spiked cider!) and eats from the Whirly Pig food truck.

Pizza Brain and Little Baby’s Ice Cream team up with Yards Brewing Company tonight for the monthly Third Thursdee event, which promises inventive pizza, ice cream and free beer. Deal!

Plus, Terror Behind the Walls continues at Eastern State Penitentiary, and it’s a frightfully good time.

Our top picks for tonight, below.

Philadelphia Film Festival Opening Night

The Philadelphia Film Festival kicks off tonight with an opening night screening of Birdman, a film about a washed-up actor and his journey to regain recognition. The film stars Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton and Emma Stone. Tickets for Birdman are sold out, but a select number of rush tickets will be available at the door 30-minutes before the show. Show up early!

When: Thursday, October 16, 8:30 p.m.
Where: Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center, 300 S Broad Street
Cost: $10 for Philadelphia Film Society Members, $12 for non-members

Third Thursdee At Pizza Brain

The third Thursday of the month means a team-up between Pizza Brain, Little Baby’s Ice Cream and one lucky small business for inventive pizza, ice cream and free beer. Tonight, the duo pairs with Yards Brewing Company for free beer samples, two Yards-inspired ice cream flavors and a pizza featuring meat from local hop-fed bison. The event goes from 6 to 8 p.m. and is pay as you go.

When: Thursday, October 16, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Little Baby’s Ice Cream and Pizza Brain, 2311-13 Frankford Avenue
Cost: Pay as you go

Last Call For the PHS Pop-Up Garden

The PHS Pop-Up Garden closes for the season this Sunday, October 19. Grab your friends and head out for an alfresco beer at one of this past summer’s best-attended beer gardens. Tonight, enjoy eats from Whirly Pig food truck.

When: Thursday, October 16
Where: PHS Pop-Up Garden, 1438 South Street
Cost: Pay as you go

’Staches & Spirits at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Join the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to celebrate these iconic looks during its first-ever ’Staches and Spirits party, a night that celebrates hair — and facial hair — styles of the past. Attendees are encouraged to come coiffed with their best ’dos and ’staches for a chance to win one of two $100 vouchers from Southwest Airlines. Enjoy whiskey, beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres, too. Tickets are $25 and are available online.

When: Thursday, October 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1300 Locust Street
Cost: $25

Terror Behind The Walls

Gear up for Halloween a few weeks early at Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary. The once-abandoned penitentiary is now home to one of the nation’s most frightful haunted house events. Tickets are $19 tonight and the haunted house runs from 7 to 11 p.m. Plus, you can save $3 when you purchase tickets to Terror Behind the Walls online using discount code VISITPHILLY31.

When: Thursday, October 16, 7-11 p.m.
Where: Eastern State Penitentiary, 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue
Cost: $19

Pizza Brain

Tonight, Pizza Bain, Little Baby’s, and Yards team up for the monthly Third Thursdee event at Pizza Brain. (Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

More, below. (more…)

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October 16, 2014

New Craft Brewery And Restaurant 2nd Story Brewing Co. Opens Its Doors In Old City This Tuesday, October 21

 2nd Story Brewing Co.

Taking over the former Triumph Brewery Space in Old City, 2nd Story Brewing Company makes its debut on Tuesday, October 21. (Image courtesy 2nd Story Brewing Co.)

Philadelphia’s craft beer scene just keeps on rising.

This Tuesday, October 21, 2nd Story Brewing Co. opens in Old City, bringing a fresh batch of hand-crafted brews to Philly.

The name of Old City’s newest brewpub, 2nd Story, refers to its employees’ personal passions and the location of the brewing tanks on the second floor of the Chestnut Street building. Moreover, the name is also fitting in that this new brewery represents a second life for the former Triumph Brewing Company space.

It’s the bilevel restaurant and bar, though, that most visitors will want the full story on.

A rustic casual farm-to-table restaurant pairs with the brewery, and both go far beyond paying lip service to regional and seasonal ingredients from area farms — it’s part of the restaurant’s DNA.

Owner Debbie Grady actually also owns Tilted Barn Farm in Pottstown, Pa., and the farm connection will be highly evident on menus — even the hops for head brewer John Wible’s classic and contemporary creations will be sourced from Tilted Barn.

The opening menu focuses on farm-fresh food, like American favorites such as chili, fig and bleu cheese salad and steak.

As for the drafts, the opening list includes four house ales and lagers and five rotating taps with one cask engine. Seasonal selections might include Great Harvest Pumpkin Ale, Tilted Barn Saison and Colonial Porter, and there will also be a bottle list of craft domestics and ciders as well as house cocktails.

The two-floor dining space seats 200, and a beer garden gives patrons even more room to stretch out.

We expect many a great story to develop within these walls.

2nd Story Brewing Co. Opens
When: Opens Tuesday, October 21
Where: 117 Chestnut Street
Cost: Pay as you go
More info:

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October 16, 2014

The Tyler Arboretum Pumpkin Days Celebration Returns With Fall-Centric Fun In Delaware County This Weekend, October 18-19

Tyler Arborertum

Pumpkins for days! Get yours at Tyler Arboretum Pumpkin Days fall festival this weekend. (Photo courtesy Tyler Arboretum)

Fall is in full swing, folks.

Get in the spirit with family-friendly autumnal happenings at Tyler Arboretum’s Pumpkin Days celebration this weekend, October 18 and 19.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days, enjoy all that fall has to offer and more at the expansive 650-acre arboretum.

Fall foliage is a specialty at Tyler, which features 20 miles of carefully constructed and nicely maintained trails.

This weekend, traditional fall festival activities abound, too — pumpkin picking, scarecrow making, hayrides, pumpkin painting, crafts and pumpkin carving demonstrations.

Beyond the traditional festivities, enjoy a moon bounce, inflatable obstacle course, haunted tree house and much, much more.

Also over the weekend, guests are invited to move to the sounds of live performers, check out demonstrations from balloon artists, magicians and even explore a helicopter.

Make your way to the Penn State Brandywine campus for free parking and a free shuttle to and from the festival. Handicapped parking will be available at the arboretum.

The annual Pumpkin Days celebration raises funds for the programs and upkeep of Tyler Arboretum. Entry fees are $11 for non-member adults, $7 for non-member children, $4 for member adults, $2 for member children and all children under three years old are free. Some activities require tickets.

Entry fees vary, but all support the good nature-driven cause.

Pumpkin Days at Tyler Arboretum
When: October 18-19, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Tyler Arboretum, 515 Painter Road, Media
Cost: Members, $4 for adults, $2 for kids ages 3-15; Non-members, $11 for adults, $7 for kids ages 3 to 15; kids under 3 are free
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October 16, 2014

Dilworth Park To Host Three Days Of Oktoberfest Celebrations With Live Music, Food, Crafts And A Beer Garden, October 18, 23 And 25

Dilworth Park

For three days this month, the open spaces of Dilworth Park will fill with OctoberFest celebrations, October 18, 23 and 25. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

The fall tradition of celebrating the harvest season with beer, music and dancing — Oktoberfests, of course! — continues in full effect throughout the city.

On October 18, 23 and 25, the autumnal suds fest moves to City Hall for the first OctoberFest at Dilworth Park.

The freshly renovated Dilworth Park at City Hall gets into the festival spirit with three days of beer, food, music and more.

At the heart of the event is a beer garden hosted by the on-site Rosa Blanca Cafe. Note that the beer garden is cash only, so be sure to come prepared.

Beyond the brews, look for vendors, DJs, live music and plenty of family-friendly activities.

A brainy team from The Franklin Institute will be on hand with science demonstrations; Zipcar will host a face painting and balloon station; and the creative Mural Arts Program folks will walk guests through pumpkin painting, print-making and more make-and-take crafts.

Each day of the festival brings out different entertainers, too. On Saturday, October 18, hear from Norwegian Arms, Drgn King and Dave Planka of Making Time.

The following Thursday, October 23, DJ Reed Streets hits the turntables, and on Saturday, October 25, DJ Statik and Matthew Law of the Illvibe Collective and Son Little take the stage.

OctoberFest at Dilworth Park, presented by Saul Ewing, runs from noon until 6 p.m. on both October 18 and 25, and from 6 until 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 23.

Admission is free, and all food and drink is available on a pay-as-you-go basis.


OctoberFest at Dilworth Park
When: October 18 and 25, noon-6 p.m.; October 23, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Dilworth Park, Broad and Market streets
Cost: Pay as you go
More info:

Dilworth Park

Head to Dilworth Park, the new park at City Hall, for a multi-day OctoberFest celebration kicking off this Saturday, October 18. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

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October 16, 2014

The Schuylkill River Park Fall Festival Brings A Petting Zoo, Crafts, Music, Games And More To Schuylkill River Park, This Saturday, October 18

Schuylkill River Park Fall Festival

On Saturday, October 18, Schuylkill River Park hosts a fall festival complete with a petting zoo, crafts, music and more. (Photo courtesy Schuylkill River Park)

A fall celebration fills Schuylkill River Park, located at Pine and Taney streets, this Saturday, October 18.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., head out for a fall festival featuring a variety of alfresco fun for children and adults alike.

Enjoy a variety of fall crafts, games, face painting, a raffle, food and drinks, shopping from local vendors, music, performances and more. While there, greet furry friends at a petting zoo.

Also meet members of the Taney Dragons, the first team from Philly to ever play in the Little League World Series, as they mix and mingle with festival-goers.

In the case of rain, the festival will be moved to Sunday, October 19.

While hanging out at Schuylkill Park, make your way to the new Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, an over-the-water extension of the Schuylkill River Trail from the South Street Bridge to Locust Street.

Schuylkill River Park Fall Festival
When: Saturday, October 18, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Schuylkill River Park, Pine and Taney streets
Cost: Pay as you go
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October 16, 2014

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House Celebrates The Return Of Stone Crabs To Its Menu, Friday, October 17

Del Friscos

Yum! Stone crab season returns to Del Frisco’s starting this Friday, October 17. (Photo courtesy Del Frisco’s)

In the age of fleeting seafood supplies, it can be challenging to find a delicious sustainable option in restaurants. Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House on Chestnut Street has it covered with the annual influx of stone crab claws. The Philly outpost of the national chain of meateries will soon launch the official beginning of the season for these coveted crustaceans on Friday, October 17.

Fresh stone crab claws are harvested sustainably from male crabs of a certain size only (and the remainder of the crabs, which are considered inedible due to a tough shell, are returned to the Atlantic Ocean where they regenerate new claws). Once caught, the claws are cooked on the boat, instantly chilled for freshness and flown in from the Florida Keys on a daily basis to Del Frisco’s until the season ends on May 15th. Talk about fresh.

One of the only area restaurants to offer stone crabs, Del Frisco’s serves the claws cracked to order with Dijon sauce, as either an appetizer, entrée or accompaniment to steak.

With a 1 for best option rating from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, this is truly a guilt-free treat. Let the cracking commence.

Stone Crabs at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House
When: Friday, October 17-May 15
Where: Del Frisco’s, 1426 Chestnut Street
Cost: Pay as you go
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October 16, 2014

Fill Up On Home Brewed Beer, Ribs And Mac And Cheese At The Made On American Street Block Party, This Sunday, October 19

Made on American Street

Fill up on homebrewed beer, ribs and mac and cheese at the Made on American Street block party and competition, October 19. (Image courtesy Made on American Street)

Beer, ribs and mac and cheese, three glorious things, come together for the Made on American Street block party, which is set to fill the street in front of the Philly Homebrew Outlet in Northern Liberties.

This Sunday, October 19, celebrate the city’s homebrewers at an afternoon festival and rib competition.

Sip all of the autumnal brews you can stomach — made by the talented members of the Philadelphia Homebrew Club — while enjoying music, games and a bouncy castle for pint-sized guests.

Fill up on ribs and mac and cheese created by members of the Philadelphia Homebrew Club and members of the public, too. Chefs will be cooking fare in hopes of taking home one of the awards for the best food at the fest.

For those interested in participating in whipping up some ribs and/or mac and cheese for the competition, click here.

Admission is $35 in advance and $40 at the door for a souvenir Philadelphia Homebrew Club glass, all-you-can-drink brews and all-you-can-eat fare, $25 in advance and $30 at the door for all-you-can-drink brews and all-you-can-eat fare, but no commemorative glass.

Tickets are required and are available online or at the door.

Come hungry, this is bound to be a tasty occasion.

Made On American Street
When: Sunday, October 19, 1-5 p.m.
Where: Philly Homebrew Outlet, 1447 N. American Street
Cost: $25-$40
More info:

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October 15, 2014

Coming Attraction: A Brand New Ice Skating Rink To Debut At Dilworth Park At City Hall On Friday, November 14

Dilworth Park

Dilworth Park winterizes its fountain by transforming the space into a public ice rink for the season. (Image courtesy Center City District / KieranTimberlake / OLIN)

Last month, brand-new public space Dilworth Park transformed the west side of City Hall into a multi-use public plaza.

Almost immediately, the 120,557-square-foot outdoor space became a bustling hub for commuters and visitors thanks to its pedestrian-friendly amenities, a Jose Garces-operated cafe, a computer-programmable fountain, a full slate of entertaining programming and active rail headhouses, which connect the surface streets with new entrances to the transit stations below.

Now, with winter approaching, development is underway to make the expansive plaza an appealing urban destination all year round.

At the end of this month, on October 28, the central fountain will turn off to make way for a brand new ice rink.

The new Rothman Institute Ice Rink will officially open on Friday November 14, and remain open through February 22, 2015.

Operated by professional management group Rink Management Services Corporation — an experienced team that manages 33 ice rinks in 17 states and Washington, D.C. — and sponsored by a team including PNC, Center City District and Visit Philadelphia, the rink will be up-and-running before Thanksgiving and will remain open for skating daily throughout the season.

Once open, the Rothman Institute Ice Rink will operate seven days a week (including holidays!) Monday through Thursday, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Complementing the permanent amenities at the park, the skating rink will come with its own warming tent, as well as a whole host to to-be-announced seasonal programming and holiday happenings.

Admission will be $3 for children ages 10 and under and $4 for adults. For those who don’t own their own skates, rental will be $8.

So make plans to hit the ice in the heart of Philadelphia.

Rothman Institute Ice Rink at Dilworth Park
When: Friday, November 14-February 22, 2015; Monday-Thursday, 3-9 p.m.; Friday, 3-11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Where: Dilworth Park, Broad and Market streets
Cost: $4, adults; $3, children 10 and under; $8, skate rental
More info:

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