15 December 2011

Monthly Top Five - December


Hey, remember the What's Weekly Top 5 feature? So do we. The only problem is that it rarely came on a weekly basis, so we're switching gears. In  High Fidelity, the characters compare their top fives in a variety of categories. Being big fans of both the film and novel, we here at the What bring you our Weekly Monthly Top Five, a feature focused on five fantastic things that you should become familiar with.


Reasons to Visit Philadelphia in 2012

The City of Brotherly Love is a fantastic destination for arts and culture. With a great selection of museums, galleries, and theaters, there is no shortage of fantastic cultural institutions to choose from. While many flock to New York for theater or Washington for museums, Philadelphia has the best of both worlds. In 2012, several exciting events and exhibits are scheduled to be the highlight of Philly's cultural calendar.


5. Philly (Insert Fun Thing Here) Week - Chances are that no matter where your interests lie, Philly has a week for that. During Restaurant Week one can sample a variety of delicacies from the city's stellar selection of top-notch dining establishments. Fashion Week comes twice a year and boasts the best of Philly fashion. After taking a sabbatical in 2011, we can only hope it returns in 2012! If not, one can always find comfort in Beer Week. Beer Week is likely my favorite of all the weeks, as it is the perfect way for Philly's excellent roster of brewers to show their stuff.


4. The Festival Circuit - Philadelphia has become a hotbed for a variety of festivals over the years. With fests celebrating Film, Craft Beer, and all things folksy leading the helm, there are two somewhat newer festivals that lead the pack. In only its second year, the Philadelphia Science Festival looks to be at the top of many to-do lists after a strong debut in 2011 (as discussed by the What here). Perhaps the most anticipated of the many festivals offered in Philadelphia, is the Live Arts & Fringe fest. With a brand new headquarters and an ever-growing roster of participants, the Fringe is always a fantastic fest.

11 December 2011

Song of the Day - 11.Dec.11

Stealing Christmas, a part of this complete breakfast.
As an adult, one often discovers interesting factoids about the programming they grew up on as children. For example, Laurence Fishburne hung out at Peewee's Playhouse, Miss Piggy and Bert have more in common than you think, and Dr. Seuss is more political than you ever realized. With it being the holiday season, another discovery along these lines was made, at least in the What's inner circle, pertaining to Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas. We are, of course, referring to the cartoon version, not the live-action Jim Carrey film. Perhaps the most recognizable part of that cartoon is the song describing some of the titular character's less-than-perfect traits. Did you know that distinctive crooner Thurl Ravenscroft (super badass name), the man behind this Christmas classic, is also responsible for voicing Tony the Tiger? You learn something new every day.




07 December 2011

Mixtape Madness #10: A Very Merry Mixtape Madness

According to the novel High Fidelity the making of a good mix tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. Furthermore, a good mix is never finished. You never know when you will come across a song that changes the dynamic of the mix you just completed. There is a litany of intricacies to crafting the ideal mix no matter what the mix’s intended purpose should be. This feature is merely a guide on the cosmic highway of mix making, and while experienced, the writer does not claim to be an expert.
A Very Merry Mixtape Madness
All around the country, local soft rock and easy listening radio stations have switched their format to 24/7 Christmas music. Unfortunately, these playlists that pass for radio stations these days play a steady stream of Christmas crap, and there is no good reason for it. There is a ton of great Christmas tunes out there. My iTunes library alone contains seven hours of holiday cheer. While I'm not ready to present all seven glorious hours, I will give you a small sample of the type of yuletide tunes the What rocks out to. 

06 December 2011

The What's Last-Minute Gift Guide

The What is dedicated to providing recent college grads with colorful ideas for everyday life. We understand that life gets a little hectic in those first few post-collegiate years and you may forget things, such as Christmas. No fear, we are here to give you a handy guide to suggest a few last-minute gifts for those special people in your life (i.e. the ones who will probably be buying you something).

READS
Who isn't a fan of quirky little books? Quick, entertaining little reads like Grandma's Dead ($9.99 on Amazon) are everywhere. Urban Outfitters usually has a decent selection, or if you're shopping at the couch mall, try Amazon.

PRIMER - Gifts for Guys

Click on the image above to see Patrick's latest contribution to Primer Magazine, and stay tuned here for the What's Last Minute Gift Guide.

25 November 2011

Song of the Day - 25.Nov.11

Much like yesterday, there is really only one song that can be today's Song of the Day, though this one is pretty much good for the whole weekend. Hooray for leftovers!

24 November 2011

19 November 2011

Monthly Top Five - November


Hey, remember the What's Weekly Top 5 feature? So do we. The only problem is that it rarely came on a weekly basis, so we're switching gears. In  High Fidelity, the characters compare their top fives in a variety of categories. Being big fans of both the film and novel, we here at the What bring you our Weekly Monthly Top Five, a feature focused on five fantastic things that you should become familiar with.


Fall Beer

Though we are less than a week away from the biggest holiday shopping day of the year, it is still fall, and there is still plenty of time to enjoy some fall beer. Seasonal beers are always interesting, but there is something special about the fall varieties that stand out. Last year's Fall Beer Tasting was a blast, and while 2011 boasts no official tasting, we here at the What have still done our civic duty by going out and enjoying beer.

5. Saint Benjamin Evening Wheat Dunkelweiss - So maybe a dunkelweiss is not technically a Fall beer, but this brew's overwhelming popularity at the Elfreth's Alley Museum's Brew Fest was undeniable. This up and coming Philadelphia brewery has been making a name for itself by providing exceptional, full-flavored beers like this one at a number of events around the City of Brotherly Love. Saint Benjamin will return to Elfreth's Alley for Deck the Alley with a colonial-style porter, so be sure to check them out!

4. Flying Dog Dogtoberfest Märzen - Sometimes it is easy to get confused by brewery names that are similar like Flying Dog, Flying Fish, and Dogfish Head. Luckily, all three are known for their quality brews. Dogtoberfest is no exception. Nor is Flying Fish's Oktoberfish, for that matter. Admittedly, as you will see after the jump, I was focused on pumpkin beers this year and did not devote enough time to Oktoberfests, but you can rarely go wrong with Flying Dog.

12 November 2011

Song of the Day - 12.Nov.11

Normally, the song of the day is posted without any rhyme or reason, it's just whatever song pops into my head at the moment. Today, however, there is a very good reason these two songs popped into my head. Today, my cousin Jeff is marrying his lovely fiancee Amanda, and today's Song of the Day is dedicated to them! First, the obvious one:
And now, the one that was actually stuck in my head:


11 November 2011

Mixtape Madness #9: 33 Songs for 11.11.11

According to the novel High Fidelity the making of a good mix tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. Furthermore, a good mix is never finished. You never know when you will come across a song that changes the dynamic of the mix you just completed. There is a litany of intricacies to crafting the ideal mix no matter what the mix’s intended purpose should be. This feature is merely a guide on the cosmic highway of mix making, and while experienced, the writer does not claim to be an expert.
 
33 Songs for 11.11.11
People seem to making a big deal over today's date. 11.11.11. Quite frankly, I'm not impressed. Call me on February 22, 2222 and then I'll be impressed. Mainly because that would only be possible if I was still alive and kicking just27 days short of my 238th birthday. But that is beside the point. The point is, I will now share with you 33 songs that I have been enjoying recently.
1- "My Body" by Young the Giant: I was lucky enough to catch these guys in concert toward the end of summer, and this is one of several catchy tunes they have.
 
2- "Faster" by Matt Nathanson: Matt debuted this song last October at a concert in Aston, PA that I was at. While I liked that raw, unfinished version better, this radio cut is pretty cool (and reminiscent of George Michael's "Faith")
 
3- " I Wanna Be The One" by fun.: After being told how great fun was all summer, I finally started listening to them about a week ago. I wish I started earlier.
 
4- "She's Got You" by Cosmo Jarvis: Ever since I got a ukulele, I've noticed how many great uke songs are out there, and this is one of them.
 
5- "Hold Me Up" by Live: This was the perfect song for the sex scene in Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which is probably the only place you would have heard it.
 
6- "When I'm Small" by Phantogram: The summer of 2011 was a great one for discovering new music like this super cool track.
 
7- "Ruby Blue" by Roison Murphy: I had this song in constant rotation a couple of years ago and it is starting to make a comeback.

09 November 2011

The Checklist - November 2011

The internet is full of magical, mystical things. So much, in fact, that it is sometimes hard to sift through all of the crap to get some decent information. In the interest of providing you with colorful ideas for everyday life, we here at the What present the Checklist so that you may find some helpful information from other sites.

Sex Position of the Month
Women's Health Magazine
Ah, where would we be without a magazine telling us how to have sex? Nevertheless, sex is important for a healthy life and a healthy relationship, so why not spice it up a bit with the Ballet Dancer? After a glance at the illustration, another appropriate name for this one may be the tripod. No matter what they call it, Women's Health chooses a different position each month, so check it out!

Seasonal Styles
Primer Magazine
Every so often, Primer Magazine publishes a feature called the Get Up. Usually focused on a season or a situation, this is the perfect guide for guys who are trying to dress a bit better. I mentioned how I changed my style at the outset of 2011, and articles like the Get Up were a handy way of doing so. The most recent post highlights what to wear on an early winter Wednesday. 

07 November 2011

Song of the Day - 7.Nov.11

I have been a big fan of this song for awhile now, but only this summer discovered this version. It's basically Yeasayer and a few friends hanging out, playing music. There are two people on the piano, and the rest chime in with singing backup and drumming out a rhythm on chairs, the ceiling, and the floor. It works.

31 October 2011

Pickelodeon - Pennypack Wheat Beer

Welcome to Pickelodeon, a little feature where we review all that is reviewable in the world. Pickelodeon is your one stop shop for the inside scoop on the best restaurants, bars, movies, music, events, and anything else you want to hear someone else's opinion on before you try it. Drop us a line in the comment box for any suggestions on what we should review next!

Pennypack Wheat Beer


On October 15, 2011, the Elfreth's Alley Museum played host to Brew Fest. This new annual October event was highlighted by a local home brewer competition. This year's competition was a low-key, anything-goes battle of the home brewers. Four different brewers submitted four very different beers. Ed Coffey, in keeping with the autumn-themed event, submitted a delicious Pumpkin Ale. Bill Shouldis submitted his German-style Roggenbier as a nod to Oktoberfest traditions. Keith Gormley's cleverly-named Magnum PIPA was also submitted along with the eventual winner, Candy Graham's Pennypack Wheat Beer.

All four beers that were a part of this inaugural competition were very popular amongst the judges. Both Tim Patton, owner and founder of Saint Benjamin's Brewery, and John Boswell, owner and founder of the Port Richmond Pour House, agreed that they would gladly pay to drink any of the brews submitted. The judges of the competition liked the spice of the Pumpkin Ale, the full-flavored Roggenbier, and even the non-IPA fans in the group enjoyed the Magnum PIPA. All four beers were so popular at the tasting that the Elfreth's Alley Museum is looking forward to bringing all four brewers back for future First Friday events.

Song of the Day - Halloween

For some people, Halloween is putting on a costume and asking for candy. For others, it's turning off all of the lights and pretending you aren't home (jerks). Then for some, Halloween means letting loose, going to the theater and throwing toast at the screen. Happy Halloween!

30 October 2011

Monthly Top 5 - October

Hey, remember the What's Weekly Top 5 feature? So do we. The only problem is that it rarely came on a weekly basis, so we're switching gears. In  High Fidelity, the characters compare their top fives in a variety of categories. Being big fans of both the film and novel, we here at the What bring you our Weekly Monthly Top Five, a feature focused on five fantastic things that you should become familiar with.

Documentaries to Check Out

As a somewhat newcomer to Netflix, I am still enamored by the streaming video available on my television, despite the company's many recent missteps. Recently, I have found myself forgoing movies and shows in favor of documentaries. From early American serial killers to aging pro wrestlers to a variety of studies on sex, I have seen docs on a litany of topics. Below are the five I have enjoyed most over the past couple of months.

5- Nightmares in Red, White, and Blue: Everyone loves a good horror flick, and if they don't, they should. This doc takes a broad look at the genre from the silent, Nosferatu era to the torture porn of the Hostel and Saw franchises. Nightmares gives interesting insight not only into your favorite scary movies, but sheds light on what makes these films so popular. Any horror fan owes it to themselves to check this one out.

4- American Grindhouse: I am a sucker for B-movies. The sex, violence, and overall depravity displayed in these flicks is just flat-out fun. Much like the previous documentary, this one takes the viewer into the creation of the many grindhouse goodies and midnight movies that have populated sticky, rundown movie houses around the country. For people like me, who have only recently stumbled into this debauchery, this doc gives great insight into a genre of films too often overlooked.

14 October 2011

Song of the Day - 14.Oct.11

This tune came up on my Pink Floyd station on Pandora today, and I never tire of listening to it. So enjoy the song, and enjoy spending the rest of the day referring to yourself alternately as Maurice and the Gangster of Love.

13 October 2011

Elfreth's Alley Museum Brew Fest 2011

 Originally posted on the Elfreth's Alley Museum Blog

The mercury has lowered and the leaves are changing, it's October and that means that something wicked this way comes. And by wicked, I mean wicked awesome. In less than a week, the Elfreth's Alley Museum will present Brew Fest 2011, a celebration of our city's sudsy past, present, and future.

During a tour of the museum at Elfreth's Alley, many are surprised to learn that beer was the beverage of choice for Philadelphians of all ages back in colonial times. This little tidbit is much less shocking than the reasons why! Philadelphia has always been a beer haven, from it's first European settlers in caves along the Delaware River right through Prohibition and into the modern trends of micro-brewing and home-brewing.

CHATS
Attendees of Brew Fest will get all the juicy details regarding Philadelphia's rise to prominence in the brewing world. America's best tour guide and noted historian Edward Mauger will discuss Philly's role as the beer capital of the colonies. Also on hand for a chat will be Mixed Pickles director/president of the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides, Bob Skiba, discussing the Prohibition Era of bathtub booze and speakeasies. With all of that history, we will also get into current events with a talk on pairing beer with delicious food from the experts at Triumph Brewing Company as well as a quick lesson on how to start home brewing from Saint Benjamin's Brewery.

BREWS
Once your thirst for knowledge is quenched, it will be time for the beer. Leading the charge of participating breweries is our proud sponsor Triumph Brewing Company. With several locations throughout the Delaware Valley, including right around the corner on the 100 block of Chestnut Street, Triumph is a great spot to try some of America's freshest micro-brews while enjoying some particularly delicious eats. Neighborhood restaurant Race Street Cafe will also kindly be donating a couple of kegs to our cause. Joining Triumph and Race Street will be the pirate-friendly brewers of Heavy Seas out of Baltimore and up-and-coming local favorite Saint Benjamin's Brewery. With such a wide selection of beer, you are sure to be satisfied!


GRUB
With the Autumnal Equinox behind us, it would be remiss not to pay homage to the great German tradition of Oktoberfest, albeit a few weeks late. Therefore, to accompany the stellar brews being served there will plenty of snacks to please your palate. Chef Walter Staib of City Tavern and A Taste of History fame is generously donating his delicious German sausages to be grilled on site. If tubular meets are not your thing, feel free to chow down on some soft pretzels, a Philly tradition brought over by early German settlers.

TUNES
Beer, food, and a little bit of learning would be enough for most people, but the Elfreth's Alley Museum wants to give you more. So in addition to all of the above, troubadour Joe Becton will be on hand to entertain you with tavern tunes both past and present as a group of Philadelphians compete to determine who has the best home brew. The winner will be determined by a panel of judges including Elfreth's Alley Association board member Danniel Gaidula, GEDO Project co-founder Adam Piazza, Elfreth's Alley Museum docent Karisa Blake, Saint Benjamin's Brewery founder Timothy Patton, Port Richmond Pour House owner John Boswell, former bartender/current teacher Alyssa McIntyre, and Brian Krisch, who has worked at too many Philadelphia cultural institutions to name.

SWAG
Finally, we have one more thing for you to look forward to for this year's Brew Fest. Each person who purchases a ticket to the event will automatically be given a raffle ticket. Prizes to be raffled off include cases of beer, books autographed by the authors, souvenirs from the Museum Shop at Elfreth's Alley, gift cards to local businesses, tickets to events, and more. There is also the soon-to-be-legendary Swag Wagon. The Swag Wagon is a wagon chock full of all of the aforementioned prizes. One lucky winner will walk home with that wagon. To increase your chances of winning, you can purchase more raffle tickets throughout the evening!

We here at the Elfreth's Alley Museum are eagerly anticipating this huge event and hope to see you there. We also encourage you to visit the links in this article as we would not be able to host this event without the help of all of these wonderful organizations.

SCHEDULE:
6:00 - Doors open
6:15 - Welcome/Food Pairings
6:45 - Home Brew How To
7:15 - Philadelphia: The Colonial Beer Capital
7:45 - Prohibition Preview/2012 Plans
8:00 - Raffle Prizes and Home Brew Competition Winner




10 October 2011

Song of the Day - 10.Oct.11

I really can not get enough of this song. I have enjoyed listening to the Black Keys ever since Black Snake Moan, but this is by far my favorite tune of theirs.


05 October 2011

Song of the Day - 5.Oct.11

Today's song selection is "When I'm Small" by Phantogram, an ideal tune to rock out to while strolling through your city on a cool autumn day.


21 September 2011

PRIMER - Gentleman's Goal #2

Click on the image above to read Patrick's latest article with Primer Magazine, a new Gentleman's Goal!

14 September 2011

Pickelodeon: Tie Snug

Welcome to Pickelodeon, a little feature where we review all that is reviewable in the world. Pickelodeon is your one stop shop for the inside scoop on the best restaurants, bars, movies, music, events, and anything else you want to hear someone else's opinion on before you try it. Drop us a line in the comment box for any suggestions on what we should review next!

Tie Snug


You're out on the town, looking snazzy, and having a good time. Inevitably, during said good time, the tie that is really making your get up work has slid out of place and it's looking a little sloppy. Or maybe you are working a long day, and the boss wants you in a 4PM meeting. You forget to tighten your tie and suddenly you are looking a few steps shy of the professional appearance you were sporting that morning. There is always the option of tightening your tie several times throughout the day, constantly checking the mirror to see how it looks, and devoting way too much time to your neckwear in general. Or you could just skip all of that and get yourself a Tie Snug.

Monthly Top Five - September 2011

Hey, remember the What's Weekly Top 5 feature? So do we. The only problem is that it rarely came on a weekly basis, so we're switching gears. In  High Fidelity, the characters compare their top fives in a variety of categories. Being big fans of both the film and novel, we here at the What bring you our Weekly Monthly Top Five, a feature focused on five fantastic things that you should become familiar with.

Reasons to be Excited for The Muppets

I am a Muppet fanatic. This is no big secret. In fact, it will be very hard for me to narrow down this list to just five things, or to not just write "It's the Muppets!" five times. I have been excited about this movie since it was rumored several years ago. In fact, I have pretty much been constantly excited for new Muppet material for as long as I can remember. Nevertheless, I realize that there are people out there who are not quite as excited as I am, so for them I present this list of why they should be excited. Super pumped, even.

My feet need these.
5- Shopper's Delight: A significant amount of the hype surrounding this movie has been various companies releasing snazzy new Muppet swag. Threadless and WeLoveFine both started Muppet tee shirt design contests. Adidas is releasing what is probably the coolest shoe I have ever seen. There is even an album featuring artists like Weezer, OKGo, Matt Nathanson, and many more covering some classic Muppet tunes from The Muppet Show and various Muppet movies of yore. You can go into almost any store and find a Muppet tee shirt these days. It is basically the second coming for Muppet fans.

4- Cameos: Back in the days of films like The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Muppet Movie, and The Great Muppet Caper, the Muppets were joined by some serious A-list talent. The Muppets promises to be no different. Dave Grohl sits in at the drum set with Dr. Teeth and Electric Mayhem, Mila Kunis and Rashida Jones are super foxy, Danny Trejo claims to be a Muppet to try and get out of jail, and I can not wait to see what Neil Patrick Harris, Wanda Sykes, and Ed Helms bring to the film. Swing by Wikipedia for a list of stars who make appearances in this film and have fun wondering what they possibly could be doing.

08 September 2011

2011 Philadelphia Eagles Season Preview


Welcome to another *Dun Dun Dun Dun* Football Season. After months of hurt feelings, the lockout finally ended and there was a flurry of activity: Free Agency, training camp, pointless televised pre-season games, and hype. Lots of hype. I can’t remember an off-season where there was this much hype around the Philadelphia Eagles since that guy who ended up setting the record for the most ‘Televised Narcissistic Sit-ups In One’s Own Driveway’ came to the team. This season has whole new reasons for wanting to get your popcorn ready.

Disclaimer: I am not going to debate “off the field” Michael Vick this season. I have no comment on his 6yr-$100M contract extension, or anything else. I will be sticking to “on the field” Michael Vick.
The abbreviated activity of the offseason for the Philadelphia Eagles can be summed up pretty simply by returning DE Jason Babin.

He later clarified that statement by saying “Except we win the final game…” This brings up a big question: is a Super Bowl Victory going to be the only way to declare this as a successful season? For the Miami Heat, it was very clear, Championship or failed season. Is that the same bar set for these Philadelphia Eagles?

14 August 2011

Simple & Delicious: Arroz con Pollo

As always, the What is dedicated to presenting you with colorful ideas for everyday life. Many of our ideas are food-related, because we love food. Learning how to cook for yourself now that you no longer have your mom or your meal plan to provide your meals can seem like a daunting task. We at the What are here to show you that cooking can be fun, easy, and rewarding by offering up recipes like this from our personal cookbooks. As is the case with most of our recipe-based ideas, this one is simple and delicious, just like us.

Arroz con Pollo

Arroz con pollo (rice with chicken) is one of my favorite dishes. Growing up with Puerto Rican neighbors, block parties would often have this delicious staple. Over the years I have had many, many variations of this Latin American meal and this particular style is one of my favorites. As is the case with many meals I prepare, this is the result of a little bit of research and a lot of experimentation in the kitchen.

09 August 2011

Weekly Top Five - 9.Aug.11

In  High Fidelity, the characters compare their top fives in a variety of categories. Being big fans of both the film and novel, we here at the What bring you our Weekly Top Five, a feature focused on five fantastic things that you should become familiar with.


Summer Beers
Beer is a wonderful beverage to enjoy any time of the year. Yet I find that each year the two seasons I enjoy a cold one the most are in summer and autumn. The seasonal varieties offered by breweries worldwide between May and November are some of the best beers available. After highlighting some of the best Fall Beers last year, this year I'd like to take a look at a few summer offerings. For more information on each selection, click the link to see their pages on Beer Advocate.

5- River Horse Summer Blonde
This New Jersey beer is light, tasty, and refreshing, just as an ideal summer brew should be. While many places did not give it very high ratings, I enjoyed it several times this summer, meriting its inclusion here.

4- Brooklyn Summer Ale
I can not think of a beer from the Brooklyn brewery that I have not enjoyed. This seasonal is consistent with their regular offerings in its taste. For me, this beer replaced last year's favorite: Blue Moon Honey Moon.

3- Troegs Sunshine Pils
While Victory makes my favorite Pils, theirs is year-round and their attempt at a summer ale was lackluster. Troegs, out of Harrisburg, puts out this German-style Pilsener each summer and it was definitely a hit for me this year.

06 August 2011

Grillmaster 101: Cooking With Meat

Summer is slowly coming to an end, but there is still a good two to three months of grilling left, depending on where you live. Over the past few months, the guys and gals at Primer Magazine have given you tips on grill safety, side dishes, summer drinks, and a lot more to keep you going through the heat. Now that we have every other part of the meal covered, it is time to get down to the main course. With apologizes to our vegetarian friends, today’s lesson in Grillmaster 101 is Cooking with Meat.

01 August 2011

Mixtape Madness #8: Official Soundtrack of Summer 2011

According to the novel High Fidelity the making of a good mix tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. Furthermore, a good mix is never finished. You never know when you will come across a song that changes the dynamic of the mix you just completed. There is a litany of intricacies to crafting the ideal mix no matter what the mix’s intended purpose should be. This feature is merely a guide on the cosmic highway of mix making, and while experienced, the writer does not claim to be an expert.


Soundtrack of Summer 2011

Each year I put together a soundtrack to accompany the madness that summer brings. Typically I start with one mix, but by summer's end, I move onto a new one. Last year, I put together the 2010 mix in June. This year, I've waited until August. This enables me to include songs that either became popular over the summer or songs that resonate with a particular event. 


1- "Heatwave" by Chiddy Bang
I first heard this song in April and knew instantly it would get steady rotation throughout the summer. Philly group Chiddy Bang take a classic summer song here and make it their own. 


2- "Feel Me Flow" by Naughty By Nature
I really can not think of a song that makes me think of hanging out at a summer block party more than this one. Hearing this song calls to mind riding my bike around as a kid why the adults were chilling on the patio. It's not summer without this jam.


3- "Everlasting Light" by the Black Keys
I was a fan of the Black Keys around the time that Black Snake Moan came out, but somehow missed out on their latest album. For that reason, I didn't hear this song until a ride home after a long night of partying in June. Since that night, it has been on every mix I've made.


4- "Love Is Strange" by Mickey & Sylvia
The first real party of the summer came in the form of a 1960's beach rock dance party. After that fantastic evening and a viewing of Dirty Dancing, I've been rocking a lot of music from that era, including this little gem.


5- "Dance Yrself Clean" by LCD Soundsystem
I am admittedly late to the game on a lot of awesome things. Case in point: I just started watching Arrested Development this week. Unfortunately, LCD Soundsystem is one of those things I was too late for. I first heard this song after a friend showed me the video here. I loved the video (check it out on the right), and loved the song. It has since had a couple of good summer memories attached to it, hence its inclusion here. 

Gentleman's Goal: Accomplished

In May I wrote an article for Primer Magazine issuing a goal for gentlemen worldwide: take a woman on a picnic within the next two weeks. Several readers responded positively to this idea, and I thought it wise to take my own advice and go on a picnic. I have recently garnered a reputation for coming up with creative dates, and the picnic goal fits perfectly in that niche.

Click the image to see the original article for Primer Magazine
In the Primer article, I gave gents two weeks to accomplish this goal. Week one was set aside for planning and preparation, week two is when the picnic was to occur. I broke the preparation into three parts: setting, tools of the trade, and menu. Unfortunately for me, I did not have a setting, the tools of the trade, or, for that matter, a woman. Luckily, these missing pieces all came together quite nicely. Shortly after the article came out, I started dating a lovely lady and told her about going to the Mann Music Center in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park to watch orchestral performances. As it turned out, the very next day she was able to score tickets to one such performance for free. The cool thing about orchestral performances is that the Mann Center allows you to bring coolers, food, chairs, alcoholic beverages, and more. Just like that, the missing pieces fell into place.

14 June 2011

Weekly Top Five - 14.Jun.11

In  High Fidelity, the characters compare their top fives in a variety of categories. Being big fans of both the film and novel, we here at the What bring you our Weekly Top Five, a feature focused on five fantastic things that you should become familiar with.

Films Coming Out in the Second Half of 2011
In January I wrote about the top five movies to see in the first half of 2011. Oddly enough, I barely followed my own advice, seeing only The Green Hornet and Scream 4. I still am holding on to the hope that I will catch Water For Elephants and the latest Pirates flick before they leave theaters. I will have to get on that soon, because it is now time to look to the second half of 2011 and it's cinematic offerings.

5. Captain America (22.Jul.11) - There is no denying that Spider-Man and Batman Begins forever altered the level of awesomeness expected in the superhero movie genre. This telling of Marvel's favorite son looks to continue in the line of those great films (and the many that followed). Marvel is building a tremendous foundation for an Avengers movie down the road, and things seem to be going well thus far. Speaking of which, don't forget to check out X-Men: First Class, which also will be a part of the new Marvel franchise.

4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (15.Jul.11) - Despite my distaste for David Yates' time at the helm of the Potter franchise, this is a must-see film. J.K. Rowling's magnificent story will crescendo toward it's end with the epic Battle of Hogwarts. Whether or not you have enjoyed the film versions of these incredible tales, you will no doubt be lining up to watch it all unfold on screen this July. 

13 June 2011

Sexual Yoda: Happy Medium You Will Find

Greetings Whatlings and welcome to the What's official column offering advice on all things love, sex, dating, and more! I, the Sexual Yoda, will use my years of knowledge, experience, and expertise to guide you through the galaxy of love, getting you out of that Solo rut and Skywalking your way toward Lando-ing a decent Leia or C-ing all the 3PO you can handle. Send your questions to sexualyoda@gmail.com and with a little help from I, your favorite mystic muppet, get some you will.

Greetings Whatlings! I, Sexual Yoda, have had a busy month since last we corresponded. Fear not, for I still am full of wisdom to share with you. After dusting off my trusty lightsaber and taking it out for a little fun, my mystical muppet mind is ready to drop some knowledge. A visit to Fraggle Rock (great group of guys and gals) for a short vacation has also done wonders for me. As some bonus advice for you, dear Whatlings, I highly encourage both of these activities for clearing the mind. Now onto our letter:

25 May 2011

Pickelodeon: 25 Burgers

Welcome to Pickelodeon, a little feature where we review all that is reviewable in the world. Pickelodeon is your one stop shop for the inside scoop on the best restaurants, bars, movies, music, events, and anything else you want to hear someone else's opinion on before you try it. Drop us a line in the comment box for any suggestions on what we should review next!

25 Burgers


Way back in April of 2010, the first article written exclusively for the What was about where to find the best burger in Philly. While we did discus some pretty tasty burgers in that piece, it was not until Tuesday, May 24, 2011 that I had the best burger ever. I believe that when you venture to the place in which I experienced burger nirvana that you too will remember the day well. In fact, you may be moved to say something along these lines:
“Just a Burger? Just a burger. Robin, it’s so much more than “just a burger”. I mean…that first bite—oh what heaven that first bite is! The bun like a sesame freckled breast of an angel resting gently on the ketchup and mustard below—flavors mingling in a seductive pas-de-deux And then…a pickle…the most playful little pickle! Then a slice of tomato, a leaf of lettuce and a…a patty of ground beef so exquisite; swirling in your mouth breaking apart and combining again in a fugue of sweets and savor so delightful. This is no mere sandwich of grilled meat and toasted bread, Robin: this is God…speaking to us in food.”  -Marshall on How I Met Your Mother


22 May 2011

Summer in the City: Philadelphia

If you are within visiting distance of the City of Brotherly Love, you need to set aside some space on your summer calendar for a visit or two. Each year Philadelphians are keen to top the stellar summer from the year before by packing the calendar full of awesome events. From the best Independence Day celebration in the nation to a superb selection of concerts, Philadelphia is the place to be in summer. Below, check out our picks for each month.

JUNE
Kicking off the summer season is the Elfreth's Alley 76th annual Fete Day Celebration. This traditional event, dating back to the 1930's, is one of the two times each year that the residents of our nation's oldest street kindly open their homes to the public. The main event of this two-day summer spectacular occurs on Saturday, June 4th, between the hours of noon and 5PM. During this time around a dozen of these historic houses will be open for the public to tour. In addition to this decades-old tradition, the Museum of Elfreth's Alley will debut an exciting new event known as the Famous Philadelphian First Friday Auction. Celebrities with ties to Philadelphia have donated original artwork or signed memorabilia to be auctioned off, benefiting the struggling museum's education and preservation efforts. Tickets for this event cover both days of fun and excitement, and are 20% cheaper when purchased online prior to the event.

17 May 2011

Mixtape Madness #7: John Paul George Ringo Mix

According to the novel High Fidelity the making of a good mix tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. Furthermore, a good mix is never finished. You never know when you will come across a song that changes the dynamic of the mix you just completed. There is a litany of intricacies to crafting the ideal mix no matter what the mix’s intended purpose should be. This feature is merely a guide on the cosmic highway of mix making, and while experienced, the writer does not claim to be an expert.

John Paul George Ringo Mix
EDITOR'S NOTE: The write up below is taken from a gift for a twelve-year-old who was just discovering the Beatles. It was intended to expand their knowledge of the band, their music, and guide them to other classic bands. It is for that reason that the voice presented in this article differs from the norm here at the What.

This is a mix of songs by the Beatles, both as a band and as solo artists after the band broke up in 1970. You’ll notice that musicians like Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, and others performed a lot with the Bealtes after they broke up. What a lot of people don’t know is that many of those musicians played with the Beatles before they broke up too. This list will have plenty more fun facts like that to accompany the great music that the Beatles made. Enjoy!

1. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite – The Beatles (Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band)
         John Lennon wrote this song mostly on his own, although he did find a little help from his friend Paul. The song is based on an antique poster advertising a circus that Lennon bought while filming a promotional video for “Strawberry Fields Forever.” Eddie Izzard performed a funny version of the song for the movie Across the Universe.
2. My Sweet Lord – George Harrison (All Things Must Pass)
            George Harrison performed this song for his first solo album, which came out right as the Beatles were breaking up. Harrison wrote the song for Billy Preston (a keyboardist who played with the Beatles at their last concert) to use. Harrison was sued over this song because it sounded too similar to a song by the Chiffons called “He’s So Fine.”
3. It Don’t Come Easy – Ringo Starr (Single)
            This song was Ringo’s first single after the break up of the Beatles, and it was actually written about the break up. George Harrison co-wrote the song with Starr and played guitar on the track. Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills, and Nash also played guitar for this recording.

4. Band on the Run – Paul McCartney & Wings (Band on the Run)
            Paul McCartney wrote this song with his wife, Linda. It’s about a band being imprisoned and then escaping. A really cool cover version of this song was done by the Foo Fighters in 2007.

15 May 2011

Guide to Dating: The Trait List

As a late 20 something man or woman you can easily become overwhelmed in the dating scene. Not only do you have to go on those dreaded blind dates (which are probably set up by a friend of a friend or your mother). Now with E Harmony and those tempting, but scary, online dating services, what is a single person to do?

My mother has told me time and time again about the dangers of dating online and the internet becomes a scary but also very tempting place. I will admit that I was tempted in checking out one of these online dating services. I mean you can check out people's histories, pictures, hobbies and values without actually ever meeting them. It saves you a lot of time and possibly saves you from those horrible dates where you know nothing is going to happen with the person. Then, you have to think of some excuse why you need to leave early and, for someone like myself who can not lie to save her life, that excuse is really hard to come up with.

Finally, I just gave up on looking for that "right" person and started asking myself some serious questions about what I would like from a significant other. I find that it is easy to become blinded by finding that new person and you sometimes make excuses or ignore traits because you don't want to be alone. But what is so wrong about being alone? I loved living in my apartment by myself (a Jack Russel named Ziggy being my only room mate), and having that alone time to figure out what I really wanted. Yeah sure it was scary for the first month, but after you get over that hump it's wonderful to be completely independent.

09 May 2011

Veggie Stir Fry




As always, the What is dedicated to presenting you with colorful ideas for everyday life. Many of our ideas are food-related, because we love food. Learning how to cook for yourself now that you no longer have your mom or your meal plan to provide your meals can seem like a daunting task. We at the What are here to show you that cooking can be fun, easy, and rewarding by offering up recipes like this from our personal cookbooks. As is the case with most of our recipe-based ideas, this one is simple and delicious, just like us.

Veggie Stir Fry



In keeping with most meals I prepare; this is quick, easy, and involves a lot of veggie chopping. Health-wise, it's wonderful, until you add the stir-fry sauce and the ridiculous amount of sodium that goes with it. But hey, who cares? It's delicious and you'll be more than happy to eat your vegetables!

06 May 2011

Mixtape Madness #6: May Fiesta Mix

According to the novel High Fidelity the making of a good mix tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. Furthermore, a good mix is never finished. You never know when you will come across a song that changes the dynamic of the mix you just completed. There is a litany of intricacies to crafting the ideal mix no matter what the mix’s intended purpose should be. This feature is merely a guide on the cosmic highway of mix making, and while experienced, the writer does not claim to be an expert.


May Fiesta Mix


From time to time I tend to enjoy listening to music in other languages. While I have a fair amount of French, German, and Portuguese music, Spanish takes the cake. With tunes from all over the world, this mix is ideal for a late-spring fiesta. I also enjoy giving it a spin when preparing a Mexican meal. 


1- "Canción del Mariachi " by Bandidos de Amor
I first heard this song in the intro of the Robert Rodriguez movie Desperado. Of course, it's Antonio Banderas singing that version of the song. Either way works, and any song that mentions tequila is alright in my book. Or magazine.

2- "I've Got No Strings" by the Gipsy Kings
Yes, this is the song from Pinocchio. This is a track off of the wonderful Simply Mad About the Mouse album (well worth buying). The spin that the Kings put on it is way beyond cool and takes an old Disney classic and morphs it into something wonderful.

3- "Guajira Guantanamera" by Celia Cruz
A number of artists have recorded versions of this song over the years, but to me, nobody does it like Celia Cruz. Oddly enough, this song reminds me of working at Disney World more than the previous one, as we used to sing it while closing down for the night.

4- "Armada Latina" by Cypress Hill, Pitbull, Marc Anthony, and Stephen Stills
This song is fun. There's really no other way to say it. Sampling the fourth section of Crosby, Stills, and Nash's "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" was a stroke of genius. Combine that with smooth verses from Cypress Hill and Pitbull and Anthony's vocals, which are always better in Spanish, and you have a winner.

04 May 2011

Scaling Down #2 - How I Fell Off the Wagon

Each year hordes of people make a New Year's resolution to lose weight. In January, gyms are overcrowded with well-meaning people on treadmills desperate to lose a few pounds. By February, most have given up. In 2010, I was able to lose 45 pounds without the help of a trainer, special program, crazy diet, or supplements. This year I intend to continue that weight loss trend while documenting my efforts with a new Scaling Down feature every two months in hopes that my methods may work for you as well.


How I Fell Off the Wagon
Well, shit. That is essentially the exact thought that ran through my head as I stepped on the scale on the morning of May 1st. The digital demon told me I was 206.2 pounds with a 24.7% body fat. Gross. In two months, I gained back nearly all the weight I had lost between January and March. There are many contributing factors.

02 May 2011

Sexual Yoda: Get Some You Will

Greetings Whatlings and welcome to the What's official column offering advice on all things love, sex, dating, and more! I, the Sexual Yoda, will use my years of knowledge, experience, and expertise to guide you through the galaxy of love, getting you out of that Solo rut and Skywalking your way toward Lando-ing a decent Leia or C-ing all the 3PO you can handle. Send your questions to sexualyoda@gmail.com and with a little help from I, your favorite mystic muppet, get some you will.

Allow me to begin my first column by explaining a little more in detail of what can be expected. In keeping with the What's mission of providing "colorful ideas for everyday life" for the 24-35 demographic, I will offer my sage wisdom pertaining to the often tumultuous world of post-collegiate dating. At times I will generously give unsolicited advice that well help you, my dear Whatlings, give that much-needed jump start to your sexual spark plugs, the extra little kick to your A-game, the cherry to top your romantic desserts. I will also take questions sent to me at sexualyoda@gmail.com and provide answers here on the What. Please do your best to come up with a creative name/handle for yourself when signing your question (i.e. Lovelorn in LA, Salivating for Salami, Desperate in DC, Fuck-hungry in Philly, etc.). Also be sure to use spell-check as your letter will be posted in my column and I will ridicule your bad grammar. To begin, allow me to post a sample email based on a conversation I had at the local watering hole.

24 April 2011

Mixtape Madness #5: April Showers

According to the novel High Fidelity the making of a good mix tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. Furthermore, a good mix is never finished. You never know when you will come across a song that changes the dynamic of the mix you just completed. There is a litany of intricacies to crafting the ideal mix no matter what the mix’s intended purpose should be. This feature is merely a guide on the cosmic highway of mix making, and while experienced, the writer does not claim to be an expert.


April Showers Mix
 
As the old saying goes, "April showers bring May flowers." All talk about pilgrims aside, that saying certainly has described this past month. April has saturated us with a number of rain storms, including the thunderstorm that is making me second-guess sitting at a computer right now. But I could not let a little bit of rain get in the way of providing you with the April Showers, the ideal mix for a rainy day.


1- "The Rain" (Supa Dupa Fly) by Missy Elliot
Well, this is the obvious choice to begin with, is it not? This super slick track is a rainy day standard, and my choice to lead the charge on this rainy day. However, if the rain is not your thing...


2- "No Rain" by Blind Melon
Again, a pretty obvious inclusion to the April Showers mix. This song evokes images of a sunny day, helping you picture the exact opposite weather to what is actually happening outside of your window.  


3- "Feeling Good" by Muse
This cover is one of my favorites to rock on a rainy day. Something about the distortion used on the synths and guitars just seems to compliment the drops pelting my window.


4- "Is Anybody Home? (LIVE)" by Our Lady Peace
I have always enjoyed this song, but this particular version from a Y100 Sonic Sessions CD really stands out. The vocalist of this and the previous song sound just similar enough to let these tracks flow together.

Pickelodeon: The Philadelphia Science Festival

Welcome to Pickelodeon, a little feature where we review all that is reviewable in the world. Pickelodeon is your one stop shop for the inside scoop on the best restaurants, bars, movies, music, events, and anything else you want to hear someone else's opinion on before you try it. Drop us a line in the comment box for any suggestions on what we should review next!

The Philadelphia Science Festival


Science is everywhere! Or so says the slogan for the Franklin Institute's Discovery Camp. Over the past week, the Philadelphia Science Festival has shown the City of Brotherly Love that science truly is everywhere, from the beer they drink to the glass from which they drink. This two-week extravaganza has featured events that made astronomy astronomical, ecology economical, and physics physically impossible to ignore. Cheesy plays on words aside, the festival has inspired an interest in science and technology learning city-wide, and there is still a week to go.

19 April 2011

Weekly Top Five - 19.Apr.11

In  High Fidelity, the characters compare their top fives in a variety of categories. Being big fans of both the film and novel, we here at the What bring you our Weekly Top Five, a feature focused on five fantastic things that you should become familiar with.

Job Hunting Tips
Let me begin for apologizing for the lapse in articles here. Part of the reason for that has a lot to do with this article. I have recently reached the end of a two year-long job search, which can be quite time consuming. Now, as an administrator in charge of, among other things, hiring, I thought it would be helpful to share some tips on how to secure employment.

5. Know Your Goal - It may seem unnecessary to list this, but knowing your goal and focusing in on that goal is vital to finding the right job. For example, I graduated from college with a media arts degree. After working on a television show and doing a lot of event videography, I realized that the media industry can provide many jobs but not as many careers. So I re-focused my efforts on starting a career in the museum industry, in which I have nearly 10 years of experience. With this focus I was able to narrow down my search into a very specific area that paid off in the end.

4. Sell Yourself - Applying for an open position turns into a sales job in itself. Your cover letter, resume, and interview are all selling points and opportunities to highlight the traits that make you the best possible candidate for the job. The tricky thing here is that different people look for different things in resumes. I happen to find value in reading cover letters, while many will skim or skip over them. I know other hiring managers who have specific pet peeves. For example, a friend of mine discards an entire application of it is addressed "Dear Sir," as she is not a sir. Another is turned off by people who mention they are proficient in Microsoft Office and/or the internet, as everyone applying for that job should be. So go over your resume, trim the fat, and only highlight your most important and impressive traits.

18 April 2011

How to Not Be a Jerk: On the Highway

Writing an article on how to not be a jerk on a Snow Day was therapeutic. I finally got to say everything I have wanted to shout at people for several winters. Since then, the snow has (finally) gone away and life went back to normal. Normal enough that it brought into focus the other aspects of life in which one must contend with the jerkiness of others. Jerks are everywhere, but rarely do you find a place that has as many jerks as the highway does.

#1- Entering the Highway
THE JERK WAY: Jerks are mind-boggling in this situation. They have just finished speeding at 60 in a 45 en route to the entrance ramp of the highway. Upon entering the ramp, they seem to forget where the gas pedal is/how it works and coast slowly to the end of the ACCELERATION LANE, at which point they stop.
THE RIGHT WAY: It's called an ACCELERATION LANE for a reason, dimwits! The acceleration lane is a handy little invention that allows drivers entering the highway to bring their vehicle up to the speed of the other drivers already on the highway. The worst possible thing you could do in an acceleration is stop. Furthermore, you do not need to wait until the lane disappears to merge. If there is an opening for you to merge, take it! Don't be scared, it'll all be okay in the end.

08 April 2011

April is for Science

In just one week the City of Philadelphia will be immersed in Science discussion, ideas, shows, and activities. From the universities and community centers to pubs and your street corner, Science will be everywhere, and you're invited!

This is the first annual Philadelphia Science Festival.


The festival will run from April 15 - 28 and kicks off with The Big Jump, at 11:00am on April 15. All around the city, Phiadelphians will be jumping to kick off the festival and may trigger a seismic event! Later that evening, at Kite and Key, will be the unveiling of the yet to be named festival beer brewed by Yards Brewing Company. To cast your vote for the name of the beer go to - PSF Name That Science Festival Beer. You have until Monday to cast your vote.

24 March 2011

Weekly Top Five - 24.Mar.11

In  High Fidelity, the characters compare their top fives in a variety of categories. Being big fans of both the film and novel, we here at the What bring you our Weekly Top Five, a feature focused on five fantastic things that you should become familiar with.

Where To Be This Month
April is a big month for the What, as we prepare to celebrate our first full year of bringing you colorful ideas for everyday life. As a part of that celebration, we want you to come and celebrate with us. During April, our awesome staff of writers will be out and about in Philadelphia at the following events, and we hope that you come join in the fun!

5. Glass Blowing - The majority of this list is populated with events connected to the Philadelphia Science Festival. The Science of Glass Blowing, a joint effort between Hudson Beach Glass and Philadelphia University, will be a live demonstration explaining the process of glass blowing. With mouth-blown glass being a great way to class up your apartment, the What will be in attendance to see how it's done. The event falls on April 16th, and begins at 6:30PM at Hudson Beach Glass in Old City.

4. Bingo at PYT - To longtime readers of the What, this is nothing new. We have been singing the praises of PYT and its weekly Bingo night for most of the last year. Held every Wednesday night from 8-10PM, buy in is free and prizes include beer, burgers, fries, shots, and swag. With themed nights, there is something for everyone at bingo. This coming Wednesday, fans of the epic It's Always Sunny episode featuring the dance-off can try their hand at Dance Your Ass Off Bingo. If you're looking for a trip down memory lane, there's A Night to Remember Bingo, which will feature a screening of Titanic. Finally, come celebrate the What's first birthday with Easter Bingo, complete with an Easter Egg Hunt.