Thursday, October 20, 2011

Finding Flea Markets: BREAKING NEWS ALERT

Finding flea markets will be so much easier this winter. When all of the other outdoor events are preparing to pack it in for the nastiest of months, the flea market circuit here in Philly is instead proudly announcing its new winter home.

Every Saturday from November 5 - April 28, 8am - 4pm, rotating vendors will be within the comforts of the walls, selling their antiques, collectables, wares and flat out junk, at the Spring Garden Indoor Antiques & Vintage Market, at 9th & Spring Garden.

This Saturday, October 22, from 9am - 5pm, the flea market will be setting up on Pine, from 9th - 12th Sts.

Beer and Doughnuts at Devils Den (Benefits PAWS!)

Ever since its opening, Federal Donuts, the new chicken and donuts spot in Pennsport has been overrun by diners who have successfully cleared out of its stocks every day so far. Now, Grub Street is reporting the Federal Donuts web site has crashed due to a volume overage.

The reality is, getting to try pretty much anything from Federal's new spot is definitely out of the question. At least for now. The rest of us, who weren't in line opening morning will have to wait for a hail storm to sneak in for a dozen.

But until then, there's at least one other upcoming doughnut-centric happening in the city, that could help to quench your hunger...and thirst.

This coming Tuesday, October 25, South Philadelphia's Devil's Den has teamed up with Krispy Kreme for a beer and donut pairing to benefit PAWS. Pairings are $10 each, $4 of which will go to charity. The pairing menu will be available all day, from 11am - 2am, but reservations are being recommended...just in case. You wouldn't them to run out of donuts, now would you??

On the beer and brews menu:

Original Glazed Doughnut & PBC's Joe Porter
Cinnamon Bun Doughnut & Yard's Thomas Jefferson Ale
Pumpkin Spice Cake Doughnut & Weyerbacher's Verboten

Devil's Den 1148 S. 11th Street, Philadelphia, 19147 215.339.0855 

Please note, the donut / doughnut spelling discrepancy...Federal Donuts / Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Finding Flea Markets: Headhouse Square

Start this Saturday off with a little rummaging. It’s good for the soul, like chicken soup. This week’s Antique & Vintage Flea Market will be set up along Headhouse Square from 9am – 5pm, Saturday, October 15. As usual, early birds are welcome.

Vendors from all over the area will be set up selling antiques, collectables, vintage furniture, jewelry, glassware, pottery and more.

It’ll be a day of wandering South Street. Start at the Headhouse Flea Market and end at Blocktoberfest.  

Blocktoberfest: Saturday on South Street

While thousands will be in Philadelphia for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, there’s more than one event in the city this weekend. On the West Side of South Street, that’s South Street between Broad and 17th streets, this Saturday, October 14, Blocktoberfest kicks off at 12noon.

The outdoor, all day event is free to attend. Food at Bloktoberfest is pay-as-you-go, and drinks are available via drink tickets and passes, which can be purchased for a discounted rate, online, ahead of time, or in cash, at the event.

Check out all the event details and ticket links below.

Restaurants all along the festival’s three blocks will be selling their delicacies curbside, from venerable South Street institutions like Jamaican Jerk Hut to relatively new additions like Indian Restaurant, Sweet Freedom Bakery, and Quick Fixx. Food trucks will include The Dapper Dog and Nomad Pizza
Food at Bloktoberfest is pay-as-you-go.

Beer will be available at several different locations, provided by Bella Vista Beer Distributors. Beer passes are required. Passes are cheaper, if purchased in advance hereAdditional tickets are $5 each and Cash ONLY. Beer pours will be 12 oz, so not tiny tastes here.

Basic Beer Pass is $15 online/$20 day of, and comes with 3 drink tickets.
Bonus Beer Pass is $25 online/$30 day of, and comes with 5 drink tickets.
1 drink ticket = 1 beer of any kind on tap at Bloktoberfest.
There will be two stages set up within the event, One at Jamacain Jerk Hut, and One at Tritone. Music runs from noon – 10pm. The lineup can be found here. 

In addition to the beer, food and music, Blocktoberfest will also be hosting a pop-up art gallery open from noon – 8pm offering selected works of art and festival souvenirs. Paradigm Gallery & Studio, will be hosting a children’s arts and crafts area, as well as artists including The Studio’s Sean Montorana who will be onsite with original watercolor and ink paintings, STUDiO necklaces and a few hand-painted/hand-dyed tote bags for sale, as well as some give-aways like stickers and flyers.

There will also be a Family friendly zone with face painters, balloon artists, and other all-ages entertainment planned throughout the afternoon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

De-escalation: Non-Violence in the Face of Opposition

Here in Philadelphia, the police and the occupiers at City Hall have had an uneventful relationship so far. At shift change yesterday, I witnessed the captain on duty introduce the night shift captain to one of the organizers. But all is not so tranquil in all of the cities being occupied.

In Boston and Seattle, police have set in motion plans for clearing parks, said an article in the New York Times.

Those actions resulted in over 100 arrests today in Boston. The protestors had crossed two lines, said an article on First, by threatening to tie up traffic and, second, by expanding their campground to a newly renovated area that the city had asked them to stay off.

A statement from Occupy Boston claims that the Boston PD “brutally attacked” the protestors, said the article.

Violence has yet to affect the Occupy Philly movement, and if Jeanne Schmolze has anything to do with it, protestors will know how to handle themselves, non-violently, in the face of opposition.
Schmolze is a 66-year-old Philadelphia resident and Katrina survivor. She moved to New Orleans in 2003 and came back to Philadelphia after the storm in 2005, when she lost her home. She is currently retired, unable to survive on social security, and will be reentering the workforce. Until then, she’s decided to be of service however she can and is planning for a de-escalation seminar this week, in order to better educate those participating in the movement.

“I’ve found that a group of people can turn into a mob very quickly,” she said in a phone interview this afternoon.

In order to manage a situation and try and retain some level of respect on all sides, there are certain tactics that demonstrators can use to protect themselves, while still occupying in solidarity. Most revolve around body language, group dynamics and communication.

Schmolze has had years of experience with conflict during her many years dealing with volatile populations of severely mentally ill and drug-addicted people as a social worker and union negotiator in Philadelphia, she said.

“I’ve taken a lot of training to know when something’s turning aggressive how to nip it in the bud,” she continued.

It’s these skills that have helped her to learn how much space you need, when to touch someone, when not to, how to react to different looks and how to deescalate an impulsive situation.

An aggressive action against officers could result in an aggressive response. But calling an officer by their name, could help to defuse a situation, before it gets out of control.

Coordinated, passive, civil disobedience in the face of police implements like nets is also a way to diffuse a situation, she said. “Five rows of people should sit down; three rows, the police can stomp right over you, but 5 rows…it shows that we will not be moved. We’re sitting. The aggression will come from the other side. ”

If a situation gets out of control, safety should always come first, she said, and an exit route should be communicated to the group. But “if people start bolting and running, it sets it off. If you’re walking away, there’s an assumption that you didn’t do anything. If you start running as a pack, [police] will intervene there.

“By taking two or three breaths, when you’re afraid or in a panic, you’re able to make a better decision as to what’s best for you and the group,” she said.

Cheesesteak Challenge at the Hotel Palomar

Back for its second year, the High Steaks Cheesesteak Challenge will be going down, this Sunday, October 16, from 3pm – 5pm. Hosting the event again will be Square 1682 in the Hotel Palomar and its resident Chef, Guillermo Tallez.

Last year’s outdoor-event was a complete success, and this year’s block party is sure to be just as tasty. Ten of the city’s most popular chefs will compete with their own rendition of a Philly Cheesesteak.
Participating chefs include Chef Guillermo Tellez of Square 1682, Chef Peter Woolsey of BistroLa Minette, Chef Mike Stollenwerk of Fish, Chef Daniel Stern of R2L, Chef Marcie Turney of Barbuzzo, Chef Townsend Wentz of McCrossen’s Tavern, Chef Nick Farina of Verdad Restaurant & Tequila Bar, Chef David Boyle of Davio’s, Brian Turowski, Jackson 20 (Alexandria Va.) and Lynn Rinaldi from Paradiso.

Tickets to the event are $20 per person, and proceeds will go to benefit The Philadelphia Academies, a charity providing career-focused programming to Philadelphia’s public school students.

Square 1682 121 South 17th Street Philadelphia, PA 19103

Monday, October 10, 2011

Occupy Philly: Stone Soup, Protest Style

The main ingredient in protesting is the protestor. Next in the recipe is the message. Occupy Philly has many protestors bringing with them many messages, each with a level of validity all its own.

Some may not agree with every perspective, but all who occupy Philadelphia’s City Hall agree, that something needs to be done, about the status quo. Each message brings a little more spice to the mix, a little more flavor to the pot and a little more diversity to the cause. A cause, in itself, filled with diversity.

Occupy has nearly two dozen different grievances against the status quo and as the days go by, the “unofficial officials” are learning the ropes and possibly, the recipe for success.

Each day, Occupy Philly holds two sessions of its General Assembly: day and evening. And during each of those meetings, those who have joined the movement, on a full-time, part-time or just passing through with a cause basis, meet to discuss and decide upon the process of how decisions for the group will be made and the stances that will be taken. With each meeting, those who partake help to form the depth and breadth of the Occupy Movement’s voice.

Many working with Occupy Philly are holding classes to educate about the cause, the cure and the process of how to make this movement a positive and peaceful force. This information is available at the "Training Space" located at Dilworth Plaza.

Calendars of main events are also being posted on the Occupy Phillyweb page, and social media sites by the Tech Team. General assembly meetings are held twice a day, at noon, and again around 7-8pm.

The more ingredients, the more plentiful the pot and the stronger the flavor becomes. Those looking to add to the stew should head to one of the meetings and decide for themselves if this is a cause that they can believe in.  

Occupy Philly, My First Look

In Philadelphia, the sounds of honking car horns are usually accompanied by a four letter words and obscene gestures. But on this particular day, while standing outside of City Hall, the usual sounds of Philly commuters had a different tone.

Angry drivers weren’t blaring horns to yell at cabbies or out-of-towners who have trouble passing busses. There were no middle fingers raised in anger(at least not while I was watching).

Instead drivers passed by City Hall beeping, and smiling; their fists were raised in a gesture of solidarity.

It was chilling to witness. 

Very few things can bring Philadelphians together: the mummers parade or a winning sports team, but that’s about it. Until this past week when Philadelphia residents joined in a growing movement of occupation, 118 across the country, at last count, I was told by one of the movement’s “unofficial, officials.”

Occupy Philly has taken hold and for those camped out in City Hall, this movement is as real as it gets. The occupiers really are living in tents, they really are getting donations, and they really have some valid arguments.

Official statements released by the members of New York City’s Occupy movement state clearly, the views and stances taken by the group. The most predominant of which is that “corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments.”

The Occupy movement also takes issue with the illegal foreclosure process, taxpayer bailouts, inequality and discrimination, the torture of animals, and the poisoning and monopolization of our food supply, the list goes on and on, naming nearly two dozen grievances in all.

Occupy Philly has allowed free speech, in a peaceful setting for residents to voice all kinds of grievances and beliefs. Its given a platform for people to speak on any subject, including the popular 99% stance, to the adoption of Marxism, to the career of Andy Reid, and his future here in Philadelphia.

While the possibility for the spirit of the movement to be muddled and lost amongst the rabble is a possibility, “unofficial, officials” have stated how they haven’t come up against any issues as of yet.

The movement is still in its earliest stages and with a successful weekend under its belt, Occupy Philly organizers plan to stay put as long as it takes. Donations have been coming in, and those who are occupying don’t seem to be going anywhere too soon, but a rainy Wednesday in this week’s forecast will gauge the short-term dedication of the movement’s participants.

While the feelings of dedication and good will permeate the growing, tented community, general organization is still in its infancy. On the other hand, the views expressed by the people occupying Dilworth Plaza are ripe for the picking.

As I continue to cover the events here in Philadelphia, and post my first piece on Occupy Philly, one question stands out in my mind:

Will the Occupy movement come out of its infant stages with the solidarity and organization that could attract the kind of attention that it needs, from lawyers, legislators, and unions, to be a real force in changing the status quo

View the slideshow for a look at the movement and messages from #OccupyPhilly