Monday, August 27, 2012

The Johnson Victrola Museum or The Only Thing Open in Dover, Delaware on a Saturday

So, I realize that I've been extremely lax in writing my blog and it's all your fault. But enough of blaming you, I've moved on.

We listened to a record on this.
  • The Johnson Victrola Museum is not that easy to find.
  • It is manned by volunteers - some who are very informative, some not so much.
  • E.R Johnson grew up in Dover, DE and founded the Victor Talking Machine Company.
  • The grammy is in the shape of a Victrola.
  • E.R Johnson's Posthumous Grammy. Notice that it's in the shape of a Victrola. Coincidence? No.
  • The phrase "Put a sock in it" and "Put a lid on it" are based on controlling the volume of the Victrola.

  • Wednesday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m
  • Free! Wheeeeeeeee! But you should donate something, you cheap bastards.

A recording horn. I still don't really get how it worked but somehow it recorded sound onto a record.
  • Make sure to listen to the difference between an electric recording and an acoustic recording.
  • You know the RCA logo? HMV? JVC? They all show Nipper. Also? HMV stands for His Master's Voice. (Nipper looks like he's listening. Get it?)

Nipper was the artist's dog. He was known to nip at people's heels.

  • Know what a Victrola is? A Victrola played records. If you don't know what a record is - well - then - I give up.
  • Stare at the man giving the upstairs tour with a piece of black tape on his glasses. He's seeing double. Or he is a pirate! Arrrrr!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Philly Summers: Or sunblock and sewers

The sweltering heat, the sour smells, the fashionably challenged, the cranky citizens, the extremely annoying tourists.

  • Philadelphia in the summer does not always smell that great: wafts of sewers, eau de body odor, rotting garbage.
  • Women tend to dress like trannie hookers
  • Trannie hookers tend to dress like trannie hookers
  • Men dress in appalling shorts, baggy shirts and flip flops. I prefer the trannie hookers.

  • Wear shirts that cover your midriff. If your stomach is flat enough to show, chances are you're too young to be showing it, Lolita.
  • Go to John's Water Ice on 7th and Christian - it's a great summer treat and you won't have to deal with the tourists lining the block for Rita's.
  • Sit outside and enjoy the sun:
    • More Than Just Ice Cream @ 11th and Locust
    • Kanella @ 10th and Spruce
    • Beau Monde (even though I've had such crappy service there) @6th and Bainbridge
    • Parc (even though many of the clientele are douchebags) @ 18th and Rittenhouse
  • Wear flipflops! Dear lord, we are in a CITY! Flipflops are for shower stalls, the beach and hotel carpets!
  • Wear cut-off jean shorts in public, you're no Daisy Duke. In fact, Daisy Duke is no Daisy Duke.
    She still looks great. My only point is that unless you are 17 and living in the country, don't wear these shorts.
  • Forget your deodorant. Yes, I know, you're all natural. You think your sweat doesn't smell. You. Are. WRONG.  

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fort Delaware: Or a kind of lame fort that you have to take a ferry to

  • My boyfriend (hi boo!) lives in Delaware and this fort is not really all that easy to get to via public transportation from Philadelphia but if you have a car it could be a fun trip. Maybe.
  • Fort Delaware is on Pea Patch Island (one mile east of Delaware City) and in 1951 was made one of Delaware's first state parks.

  • You have to take a ferry to get to the island and it's not that cheap but it is the best part of the trip.
  • Construction on the fort began in 1819, then was destroyed by fire in 1832. The present fort was built in 1859. It closed in 1944.  
  • 2,700 confederate soldiers died while prisoners at the fort.

  • $11 for adults
  • $6 for children

  • Try going a little later in the season. They have more activities.
  • Go the third weekend in August for Garrison Weekend if you're into seeing reenactors doing infantry formations and artillery drills. And come on, who isn't? (Me. )
  • Look for herons - they nest on the island.

  • Tease the guy in historical garb about his ability to play a sand bag tossing game as it may turn out that he is slightly handicapped.
  • Expect a colonial Williamsburg type of experience.  Though it does make me think of this...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Cooking Class at the Walnut Hill Restaurant School: Or how I nearly burned the place down

Over a year ago when I was starting to have fewer hours and the end was approaching at my last job - I decided I would become a renaissance woman. Not by being rubenesque (though I totally got fat) but by picking up the skill set I would need to live off the land or on a non-existent paycheck. These skills included sewing, knitting, gardening, and cooking. Which served the dual purpose of also being ready for a zombie apocalypse.

From AMC's Walking Dead which I've never seen, but yeah, I get it, it's awesome. I'll watch it. Really.
So I sewed up some dish towels and an apron and started my first community education cooking class at the  Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College.

  • Located at: 4207 Walnut Street • Philadelphia
  • The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College offers majors in Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts, Restaurant Management and Hotel Management
  • People like me (who aren't professional chefs but like to eat) can take courses through their community offerings
  • You can also eat at their restaurants which are run and staffed by the students of the college  
  • Bring your own: Knives, Spoons, Measuring Cups, Spatula and Tongs to class
  • Check to make sure that the pot that is on the burner is filled with broth and not cooling oil from the previous class

Taken from Real Simple which in turn grabbed it from Getty Images
  • Spend a lot on your tools unless you're actually going to use them again (ahem)
  • Think it's going to be like Top Chef, or that you'll be like Top Chef because it's kind of not like that
  • Make the mistake of using the pot filled with oil (not broth) in your rissotto because you will then set your rissotto on fire and have everyone freak out

Monday, February 27, 2012

A.Kitchen: Or I really seem to write about food A.Lot

It's been a while since I last wrote.  Mostly because I am really really lazy. And I have a life, unlike you guys.

So my latest foray into Philadelphia was at A.Kitchen. Where there is a kitchen, and some tables, and lots and lots of waitstaff. (side note: there was this blond kid who looked exactly like the bad guy from the Karate Kid (original) and I wanted so badly to say, "Sweep the leg, Johnny!" but I was pretty sure that he would think I was crazy so I refrained)
Photo from their website
  • A.Kitchen is part of AKA Rittenhouse where many celebs stay.
  • I saw Gerard Butler hanging outside AKA Rittenhouse a couple years ago. He looked like a scruffy dude - even though I was expecting King Leonidas.
  • The food was really really good.
  • Make a reservation as it is quite small.
  • Have dessert - really totally awesome. Best poundcake I've ever had. No, really. I'm serious.

  • Wear black, as the cloth napkin left white lint.
  • Be freaked out about the portion size - it's actually filling and you won't feel sick afterwards.
Not Gerard Butler

35 South 18th Street Philadelphia, PA 19103
Just north of Walnut Street at AKA Rittenhouse Square

Can be a bit spendy for the non-Rittenhouse folks but well worth it. Check out their menu for more info. (What? You wanted me to provide you with that too? Don't be so lazy. Look at their website!)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Barcade: Or I guess I didn't play enough video games as a kid

  • Barcade opened in the past year in Fishtown (yeah, I know, Fishtown)
  • Beer on tap rotates daily
  • Each arcade game is 25 cents
  • I suck at arcade games
  • Keep an eye peeled for the building - it's not as obvious as you'd think
  • Go to their happy hour starting at 4pm - 7pm for $1 off drinks Monday - Friday (it's pretty empty on a Monday so you'll also be able to play a lot of video games)
  • Try their Sriracha Deviled Eggs

  • Be fooled - beer nuts are just peanuts (I thought maybe they'd be coated in beer or something exotic)
  • Worry if you run out of quarters - they have a change machine
  • Play Dig Dug - it's a totally stupid boring game and yes, I am also terrible at it too
  • Come in if you're under 21

  • 1114 Frankford Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between Girard Avenue and the Delaware Expressway
  • Also locations in Williamsburg and Jersey City (which really it's a toss up of three locations I'd least like to visit)