Hello from Collingswood, NJ. I’m over here in South Jersey for January’s end, eating at Nunzio’s and the Kitchen Consigliere, so to avoid the cheese of Restaurant Week in Philly, which now seems to go on forever and forever.
If I can’t get a whole portion of something, I just can’t be in the same city. I’ll duck back into town for Fergus Carey’s opening of The GOAT and The Fairview (more on those later), but, beyond that, I’m off the grid and over the bridge.
By the way, I feel as if I must ask a question here: is Philadelphia, as a restaurant destination city renowned the world over, not ready to be over a discount week that cheapens its fare, wrecks a great percentage of its chefs and servers (ask your wait person how much they like Restaurant Week) and the city’s overall appearance? It’s not the ‘90s. I’m pretty sure that people know that Philly has restaurants. Just saying.
Whack’s big move
Two years after her critically lauded first studio album of avant-garde rap epics in immature, “Whack World,” North Philly’s Tierra Helena Whack is quietly gearing up for major moves and a big 2020. Along with signing a publishing deal with Philly expatriate Jody Gerson’s Universal and readying her sophomore record release, Whack (who made a splash on the Grammy red carpet) is calling on fans to create new on-stage outfits for her upcoming tour.
Adobe and Whack launched “What Whack Wears” before the weekend, inviting fans to “create and share an original pattern or design using any Adobe Creative Cloud app, like Photoshop, Fresco or Illustrator.” From there, Whack and her stylist Shirley Kurata will transform selected creations into “one-of-a-kind outfits – and Tierra will wear a winning design on stage, each night of her 2020 tour.” Make it wild, kids. If you hit up WhackXAdobe.com there’s information and a video where Tierra talks about the Adobe collaboration.
“Next time you watch Netflix, Hulu, Peacock, Apple or Amazon, blame yourself for closing the cherished Ritz at the Bourse cinema complex in Old City.”
Next time you watch Netflix, Hulu, Peacock, Apple or Amazon, blame yourself for closing the cherished Ritz at the Bourse cinema complex in Old City. Its last screenings are Jan. 26, and the property shutters Jan. 31. Apparently, the rise in streaming killed the film theater. Plus, it could have used some sprucing up (same with Ritz Five).
But still. No more “Midnight Madness” series screening cult classics. Damn.
Funny thing is, word had it that when the theaters were originally for sale by Mark Cuban’s Landmark Company at the end of 2018, both Amazon and Netflix were rumored to be interested in the buy (Cohen Media made that purchase, as well as the decision to close the Bourse’s Ritz). Ritz Five – who’s to say what could happen? Could Amazon and Netflix be lured into buying the Ritz Bourse? Wait and see.
If you know anything about Philadelphia boxing, or boxers, you know the name “Raging Babe,” and its boss lady, boxing promoter, marketer and all-around fights brander, Michelle Rosado. And if you know anything about the ambitious Rosado beyond her relationship with Philly fights major domo, Russell Peltz, working with Top Rank Boxing to promote ESPN cards, and promoting her own shows, you’ve gathered she’s all about the next step: multi-mediation.
After taking a stab at Mixcloud morning radio with “The Morning Punch-In,” Rosado is moving into reality television, via YouTube and IGTV, with her show “Boxing Moms.” Debuting at January’s end, the program about the tribulations that matriarchs go through to watch their children get into the ring just finalized its first episode’s last bits of filming – a family’s journey from Allentown to Atlantic City, dealing with everything from training, “cutting weight, dealing with media obligations, and the boxing moms having to keep everything together while maintaining their sanity,” wrote Rosado. Check ragingbabe.com/boxingmoms for a preview.
New place to eat
Christina Martinez isn’t just my neighbor at South Philly Barbacoa. She’s my James Beard nominated, immigration rights activist, expert butchering neighbor who, just happens to be prepping a new space right next door to the SPB with Dionicio Jimenez, a local, loved Mexican chef. The new space, Casa Mexico, at 1134 S.9th, will have guisados (stews) for breakfast, grilled tacos for dinner, and will allow BYOB.
While the plan is to have Casa Mexico ready for February, Martinez’s husband, SPB partner and instrumentalist Benjamin Miller, will tackle his Taste & Sound dinner and performance residency at the Barbacoa, Jan. 28-30, with Philly percussionist Shakoor Hakeem and cornetist Graham Haynes. Miller writes that the “musical performance incorporates all elements of a meal being prepared.”
Pour out a 40 for Jimmy Heath. The legendary Philly born and raised tenor saxophonist who all but carried bebop on his back passed away on Sunday. Along with playing leader to one of this city’s most auspicious large scale jazz bands in the late 40s with John Coltrane, Benny Golson, and Cal Massey, he was a Heath Brother, through and through, playing with bassist Percy and drummer Tootie.
While no formal tribute is planned as of press time, I expect the Ars Nova Workshop’s closing reception for jazz photographing local Ryan Collerd’s exhibition of silvery live photos of Tootie, Sun Ra and more, Jan. 23 at Space & Co (2200 Walnut Street) to be as much of a celebration of Collerd as it is of the legacy of Jimmy Heath, along with the passing of another local lion, Philly music store legend Benny Cintiolli, whose death several weeks ago leaves a sizeable hole in many a musicians’ heart.