Archive for November, 2006

Storms A Brewin’

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

Cloudy with a mixture of winter precipitation. Morning high of 38F with temps falling to near freezing. Winds N at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precip 80%. About one inch of snow and ice expected.

And the winner is: Pat’s King of Steaks

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

Well, I decided to go with Pat’s King of Steaks. Not only because I know that I love `em but their location was closer to me than Tony Luke’s, which meant I would have more time to relax between the job. So I grabbed a cab from the hotel to the intersections of 9th, Wharton and Passyunk Ave.

It had rained earlier in the day (and would get substantially worse as night fell) so most of the front tables were soaked and were not in use. But as you can see from the photo below, the damp weather didn’t keep a good crowd huddling towards the back of the establishment.

Of course, I couldn’t resist letting the ritual of eating two cheesesteaks in a row go to waste, so I decided I would use the opportunity to try out the pizza steak along with my “regular” order. So into the line one goes.

My order: One steak wit (meaning I want onions) and provolone and one steak wit and pizza.

I thought a cheesesteak with pizza sauce would be only pizza sause but I immediately got questioned, “What cheese?” I start to panic, what cheese goes with a pizza sauce covered steak fest of a sandwich? I don’t know. But I better say something or I’m going back to the end of the line to practice my order. So I uttered:

“Cheez Whiz!” (which is really the authentic choice for a Philly cheesesteak)

Before finding a place to chow down your steaks, you have to pay visit to the pepper bin that dominates the condiment table. Now, you are ready to find a nice, dry spot.

So, here is what my order looked like. My favorite has still got to be the classic steak wit onions and provolone. Though, the pizza steak wasn’t too bad either. It taste like rotel dip on a Philly cheese, which is nice but nothing I want (or need) to consume on a daily (or yearly) basis. As with many food cultural phenomenon, the dish always seems to be tastier from where it originated. Sure, the Philly cheesesteak is copied the world over, but I swear you won’t find any better than those from the City of Brothery Love.

So, I leave Pat’s King of Steaks for another year and decide that the best thing for me to do is to resist flaggind down a cab and walk the two miles back to the hotel.

Philly Bound

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

It’s about that time of year where I travel to Philadelphia to film cheerleaders who perform in the Boscov’s Thanksgiving Parade, which is the oldest parade celebrating the turkey holiday in the United States. Of course, one of the best parts of the trip is indulging in a yearly ritual, devouring a Philly cheesesteak from Pat’s and Geno’s (Pat’s is still my favorite!). Though, this year I was wondering if perhaps I should try somewhere different this time. I’ve heard good things about Tony Luke’s. Well, the hotel I’ll be staying in has Wi-Fi so I should be able to update those whose lives are depending on my decision.

Tiger Ball Starts Tonight!

Thursday, November 16th, 2006
The University of Memphis Men’s Basketball’s season starts tonight! This will be the first time I’ve ever had to root for the home team from afar. And since Yahoo Sports Radio doesn’t work on a Mac, I am forced to keep up with the action through ESPN’s GameCast, which is about as exciting as watching golf on television. Now, there is a U of M Alumni group up here that get together to watch nationally broadcasted games, but the first one isn’t until December 6th when the Tigers take on the Tennessee Vols. Well, it looks like we’ve got a great team this year. I can hardly wait for the Big Dance!

Christmas Time Is Upon Us

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

Supportin’ the Locals

Monday, November 13th, 2006

Last night, some old friends rolled through town on tour with their bands Arma Secreta and The Coach and Four. The guys played at Fireside Bowl, which had an odd rule of no bowling while the band was performing. It only seemed like that would have been the attraction. Oh well, we didn’t get to bowl but it was nice getting to hang out with some hometown folks.

Arma Secreta

The Coach and Four

Good Job!

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

Congratulations to WEVL 89.9FM for reaching their Fall Pledge Drive goal (and then some)!

Avreeyal Ra/Thurston Moore/Jim Baker at The Hideout

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

Photos from Music for Tomorrow’s World: A Dedication to Sun Ra

Getcha Some Culture

Friday, November 10th, 2006

Every Thursday, The Art Institute of Chicago offers free admission from 5-8pm. I have been meaning to check out the world reknown museum ever since we moved to the city. But it was always one of those things you put off. Well, yesterday was such a beautiful day that I decided today was the day. So I boarded the Blue Line and made my way downtown.

The Institute certainly lives up to it’s reputation for being one of the best art museums in the World. Since I was by myself (Apryl was at school), I moved around from gallery to gallery at my own pace. Of course, I had to take advantage of being able to see some of the greatest masterpieces of all time.

How crazy is the photo above? Amazing, that one can view a classic like Grant Wood’s American Gothic this up close and personal.

A large Roy Lichtenstein piece welcomes you into the entry way for the Contemporary Art gallery.

Above, a couple take in Georges-Pierre Seurat’s classic example of pointillism, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Again, you are able to get so extremely close to these works. Imagine the tip of your nose a mere inches from the canvas. Heck, you could accidentally sneeze all over the piece. Actually, on some of these priceless works, there is a very thin plastic sheet in the frame protecting the art. And seeing smudge marks on the plastic shows you that some just can’t reisist the temptation to get even closer.

One of my favorite galleries was the Minature Rooms exhibit. It was all a bit like very detailed dollhouses that showcased various quarters from different moments in history as well as varied cultures. The photo above is from a century’s old kitchen. What I loved about this exhibit is how they illustrate the effect sunlight would have luminating the rooms.

The only dissapointment was that part of the Modern Art exhibit was closed due to consturction which I’m pretty sure held a Warhol. And I was looking forward to seeing Edward Hoppers’ Nighthawks in person, but it was on vacation at the Whitney.

Still, it was a great time spent downtown, and I look forward to future visits.

That night, I attended my first jazz show. I’ve really only started getting into the musical form, so I’m sure no expert. But I do know that whenever you get the opportunity to see a true innovator of any form of music, you should take it. And that evening, Peter Brötzmann was making an apperance at Elastic Arts, a non-profit organization which holds its location above a Chinese restaurant in Logan Square. Brötzmann is a “free jazz” legend whose 1968 album Machine Gun is a classic in the genre. His intense style of playing has been an influence not only to the jazz world but also to folks like Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth.

Brötzmann started everything off with a thirty minute solo set. I was about twenty feet away from Brötzmann which was quite an extreme experience because you can hear every breath, every puff, every piff.

Next up, Chicago’s own Ken Vandermark with Ingebrigt Haker Flaten and Raymond Strid performed a few compositions. One of the main reasons I wanted to attend last night was to see this local legend Vandermark whose various works under his own name and the Vandermark 5 were the start of my appreciation of the jazz genre. Needless to say, he put on a highly energized set.

The evening set ended with a quartet of all four gentlemen. Getting to see a live jazz performance (especially in such proximity to the musicians) is far more awarding than sitting at home listening to a mp3 on iTunes. After visiting the Art Institute earlier in the evening, the night’s performance had me thinking: You know, watching jazz musicians perform live is like watching a painter in fast motion.

– Tonight, I am catching a Sun Ra Tribute at The Hideout with the Avreeayl Ra Quartet and Thurston Moore.

Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3 – Live at the Metro

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

(Highlights: “Queen of Eyes,” “I Wanna Destroy You,” a cover of “Eight Miles High,” and Robyn’s rambling 5 minute synopsis of the film Magnum Force)