Icepack | March 4-11

Restaurant math: 6 people per table outside doesn’t equal 100 percent capacity inside

restaurant
Image: Randy Fath

Sure, I’m pleased as lame, non-denominational holiday punch that the City of Philly’s next property reassessment is delayed until next year due to the long pandemic…

…(any concerns of being “taxed out” must fall behind more rampant, activated worries such as what held up Didi Gregorius from arriving at the Phillies camp on time – who has visa delays?). Yet, I’m still bugged-as-fuck. 

Maybe I’m still cranky because last weekend’s “snow moon” still has me sleeping less (it’s an equatorial thing, you wouldn’t understand). Or maybe I’m still really annoyed that Mayor Kenney still won’t explain why he won’t relent and open Lincoln Financial Field to COVID vaccinations like other major cities’ football stadiums have (c’mon, you crank, just admit you’re pissed at South Philly after having lost their support after Fumo dissed you, and you didn’t stand up for the Columbus statue). 

I’ve definitely had enough of adult Philadelphians telling me, “Well, if stadiums and outdoor places might…might…open up by summer, certainly indoor restaurant dining and indoor concerts will be back to 100 percent.” (Do these lost souls live, collectively, in an outhouse? Do they not comprehend the primary difference between outside and inside? And please don’t be lulled into some sort of weird culinary security just because, as of Monday, Philly restaurants are allowed to seat parties of up to six guests on covered and heated patios and al fresco sidewalk areas. Not inside. Get it. Not. In. Side.) 

Maybe, I’m just bluer than blue and sadder than sad that the classic WDAS sound and vibe is being eroded by last week’s passing of not one, but two of its legends: Mr. Tony Brown and Mr. Cody Anderson. All I know is some cheering up is in order. And some real sleep. This friggin snow moon is killing me.

Talking pizza on Zoom

Here’s one thing that has me smiling already: After their Philabundance benefit, last week, where $5,449 was raised for needed meal service in the community, N. Lee Street’s Pizzeria Beddia is calling in its fun favor chits, and will hook up with their old friend, Philly raised/Temple University student Eric Wareheim. Wareheim, of course, has gone onto fame as one-half of the avant-garde Adult Swim-based comedy duo Tim & Eric, since leaving Philly, as well as having a fruitful directing and solo acting career (e.g. Aziz Ansari’s co-star in Netflix’s “Master of None”). On March 14, and in connection with the Los Angeles Times’ new Dinner Series, Chef-owner Joe Beddia, Wareheim, fellow chefs Thomas McNaughton (San Fran’s Flour and Water) and Daniele Uditi (LA’s Pizzana, LA), and LA Times Senior Food Writer Jenn Harris join together over Zoom at 8pm for a humorous virtual conversation (or a virtually humorous, depends how it goes, right?) about a take out/pick up special pizza and bottle of Las Jaras “Glou Glou” meal deal. Reserve here at resy.com.

Poke Burri in town

If pizza news isn’t enough – and if so, what’s your problem, bub – there’s the headline that the Atlanta-based Poke Burri concept of sushi donuts and sashimi burritos just hit the Philly area. 255 S. 10th Street is the new home to the small Southern-built franchise (only four from Jacksonville to Houston) of Poke Burri and its soulful sister ramen house, Lifting Noodles, and its cool menu of kale noodles. Yikes.

Waiting for Van Gogh 

While you have your wallets out, and need some secret location in Philadelphia (to be announced, ugh) to hang at while COVID-19 is still in gear, prepare for Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, whose tickets go on sale March 4 at 10am. Yes, it promises a starry starry night like you have witnessed never before with Vince. (“Dr. Who” fans will recall that the series’ “Vincent and The Doctor” is among the best ever television episodes to behold.) There’s also a waiting list, long before the Philly tickets have dropped. C’mon, man. I hate lines. Check feverup.com for details.

PTWC goes virtual

This year’s Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference, a premier health and cultural event always held at the Philadelphia Convention Center and always about union and communion, is just now announcing that it will go virtual for 2021 with a July 22 to July 24 schedule. More PTWC news as this unfolds.

Toasted Walnut closes

Another sad story to strike the LGBTQ community is the fact that 13th & Walnut’s legendary lesbian bar, yes, the bar and its inhabitants are legends, deal with it, The Toasted Walnut, has closed its doors due to the financial ravages of the pandemic – this after 2020’s Lesbian Bar project raised $100,000-plus to aid the quickly dwindling amount of lesbian bars in the U.S. Though you can’t go to The Toasted Walnut any longer, you can still help owner Denise Cohen with her long-term medical bills at her GoFundMe page. Give quickly and wisely.

Image | Courtesy Peter Slavin

Masked Philly: Peter Slavin

In Icepack’s continuing saga of asking mask-donning local celebrities what they’ve been up to beyond the pale during COVID-19’s pandemic, I reached out this week to Peter Slavin, the Ice Man, the artist and entertainer behind the Ice Sculpture Philly brand. You’ve seen his work. He’s built looming Eiffel Towers, long ass luges and LOVE sculptures as big as the one nearest City Hall.

People may be distanced, socially, but they’re still getting married, having children, or holding events, which means someone’s going to need something giant made of ice during the pandemic. (Check out his array of work at his Insta @iceicephilly and icesculpturephilly.com.)

Still, Slavin has had time to himself during COVID-19. Therefore: “For myself and for the community, I have been planting mystery ice sculptures around Philly for people to discover on their walk, run and drive,” says Slavin of his guerilla art maneuvers. 

”I also just finished a complete bathroom redo in my house, which was fun except for the toilet. Ugh, dirty! But, it’s been a great feeling to get caught up on the ‘Honey To Do’ list.”

The mask? He’s no fan. 

“They are annoying and they fog up my glasses,” he said, frankly. Even more frank, “I can smell my breath in the morning, so I’ve been using a lot of mouthwash. But it’s a way of life right now, and we have to protect ourselves and each other.”

Beyond maintaining fresh breath, one thing he is anxious to do freely when the masks can come down is “enjoy a great glass of Malbec red wine – a really good one – yummy, with no mask, and give my friends a really big hug. Collectively.”

Along with Ice Sculpture Philly’s public private work, Slavin is working on calendar bookings for small, socially distanced, outside events, as well as fashioning his newest mega-project, “a 1954 Chevy Truck made out of ice.” He’s going to need that drink when he’s done.

@ADAMOROSI 

  • A.D. Amarosi's Headshot

    A.D. Amorosi is a Philadelphia-based journalist who, along with Philadelphia Weekly, writes for numerous local, national and international publications including Variety and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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