Icepack | Nov. 26-Dec. 3

giving thanks
Thanks | Image: Simon Maage

By A.D. Amorosi

What is the Icepack version of A.D. Amorosi grateful for this pandemic Thanksgiving holiday?

I’m pretty happy that eastern wild turkeys – the wild sort most prevalent in Pennsylvania, along with other game birds – don’t get COVID. I’m grateful that I stocked up on just as much Art in the Age Sweet Potato Vodka as I did their hand sanitizer. (Oh wait. Does my martini taste a tad antiseptic? Who cares?) 

I’m grateful that most of the protesters must have found an aunt in Jersey, or a grandfather out of state, or a cousin they haven’t spoken to in forever as there’s an eerie calm across Broad Street this week, one only broken by Two Streeters who forgot that the 6abc/Dunkin’ Thanksgiving Day Parade was canceled. (Now where do Rick Williams, Cecily Tynan, Adam Joseph and Karen Rogers go?) 

I’m grateful to see that the Police Advisory Commission, Philly’s civilian oversight board, is getting on the back of the Use of Force Review Board to get to meeting on a regular schedule as it hasn’t – met, like at all – in just over a year. Plus, the PAC is pushing for the UFRB to investigate any shootings of dogs in its officer-involved database. Do that. 

I’m grateful that Joan Shepp just started carrying BALENCIAGA at her shop. (OK, I let something personal slip in, damn it). I’m grateful that one of America’s best live bands, Philly’s The War on Drugs, just released a live album, released it on guitarist Adam Granduciel’s own Super High Quality Recordings label, and had the balls to name it LIVE DRUGS in all caps. 

I’m grateful that the still-freshly opened dough salon, Vinny Gallagher and Davide Lubrano’s Pizzata Pizzeria in the old Gusto space on 22nd Street in Fitler Square, is light, airy, risen like five times over, innovative and tasty as all-get-out. (I’m just pissed that PP’s not Italian Market-close). 

I’m grateful that the only consistently winning (not just game victories, but personalities: PLEASE?! I’M GETTING SO TIRED OF SEEING DOUG PEDERSON’S HANG DOG EXPRESSION) Philly team, the Union, won a Major League Soccer Coach of the Year (Jim Curtin), a MLS Goalie of the Year award (Andre Blake), will head into the 2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs as top seed the day after I write this. I’m grateful Meek Mill hasn’t forgotten about rap, what with all those social justice initiatives that busy him as of late, and that he had time to drop the “Quarantine Pack” EP. 

I’m grateful that a slew of bars along Frankford Avenue won’t make its crews, cooks, customers or bartenders wear masks, NOT because I’m looking to eschew C-19 safety protocols – hell, I wear a mask in the shower; then again, I always did – but rather, it’s FRANKFORD AVE., maaaaaaan. That’s outlaw, baby. I should add here that, though I’m unhappy with Mayor Kenney not giving Philly restaurateurs their desired “seat at the table,” as stated by the Save Philly Restaurants Coalition and its organizer, Nicole Marquis, I’m not for the nameless-then-blameless Philadelphia Restaurant Owners Against Lockdown, LLC, which claims to represent a certain group of dining space owners in the city. I don’t trust anyone hiding their face – pandemic masks aside. So I’m grateful. Good. Happy Thanksgiving.

New movie 

While we wait for Philly film news of a more secular nature –  LeBron James and Adam Sandler’s “Hustle” for Netflix – to drop more lens time in town, there is something sacred and cinematic coming out of Philly. U of P grad Jonathan Sanger, a producer on the film version of Mel Brooks’ “The Producer” and Philly-based philanthropist J. Eustace Wolfington are the big bucks behind “Cabrini,” an independent film about Francesca Cabrini, the Italian nun who aided her fellow immigrants in achieving health care and legal representation and became America’s first Saint for her good deeds. “Cabrini” is set to be shot in New York, starting mid-2021 and will be directed by Alejandro Monteverde, People’s Choice Awardee at the Toronto International Film Festival with his first feature film, Bella.

Laura Lizcano
Laura Lizcano | Image: Courtesy Laura Lizcano

Masked Philly: Laura Lizcano

In Icepack’s continuing saga of asking mask-donning local celebrities what they’ve been up to, beyond the pale, during C-19’s pandemic, I reached out, this week, to Philly-based Colombian singer-songwriter Laura Lizcano.

Philadelphia Weekly readers may know the sweet-and-sour, jazzy singer and songwriter for her recently released, first full LP, “Heart.” But, A.D. has been on her somnolent, folky tone since her 2018 live EP, “Chance on Me,” and forever found the Lizcano sound graceful, haunting and endearing. As “Heart” was recorded in pre-pandemic settings, what Lizcano has been doing since C-19’s shutdown is taking on art forms beyond music.

“I’ve been making collages and writing mesostic poems,” she said, presenting one of her favorite poems written during quarantine: 

tRansformation is part 

of the Human condition 

we Often resist change 

but our Power lies in our 

ability to Adapt


the apOcalypse forced us 

to build a coCoon and 

wE cannot yet 

undeRstand what we will 

become in the After  

When it comes to the mask, Lizcano finds wearing them absolutely necessary. 

“I have actually embraced it as a fashion item, and often color-coordinate my masks with my outfits. Wearing masks properly is a sign that you care for your community. I’m really disheartened to see all of this fussing over masks. That is so selfish. Wear the mask because you don’t want to bring the virus home to the people you care about.” 

Along with being an avid hand-washer, the singer knows her mask is solid, as her mom bought it for Lizcano. 

“She’s a microbiologist, and has been busy doing COVID-19 testing.”

While she cannot wait to be able to hug all her friends, she said: “Go to Tattooed Mom and have a citywide,” and embrace the live music community with new songs, from “Heart” and beyond.

“Released during pandemic times, under some really strange circumstances, ‘Heart’ has brought joy to a lot of people”, Lizcano said. 

She has been working as a teaching artist for the Philadelphia Lullaby Project and for a new project called Mighty Songs. 

“Through both of these initiatives, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with children and families and share the joy of songwriting with them. Even though it’s all through Zoom, I’m very grateful to still have a creative link to the Philly community. It’s truly such a joy to be able to create new songs with total strangers.”


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