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.

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- "CanciĆ³n 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.