Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Philadelphia-born and -breed singer Jill Scott is the September covergirl for Essence magazine. Jill talks about her new album, The Real Thing, her divorce, her new role in the upcoming Tyler Perry movie and weight in an industry that worships the "skinny girls".
Jill, who still resides in the Philly area, said that "I didn’t allow myself to know whatever misgivings or sadness or separation there was between my husband and me. I just wanted to stay positive. I learned a lot, and some of that I’ve tried to convey in this project."

She recently shot the video for her singles "Hate On Me" and continues with several film and music projects in the works.


The Family Diamond by Edward Schwarzschild is about something all of us are familiar with, though no one wants to cop to: family dysfunction. With a collection of stories all set in Philly, Schwarzchild depicts the world of a Jewish Philadelphian family and their rollercoaster of father/son relationships, pregnancy, divorce and love.
The Family Diamond available at Borders 1 S. Broad St. and

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

HUMP DAY: Recharging your batteries

We don't about you, but Aroundphilly gets pretty tired right around the middle of the week. We know the week is half over and the weekend is right over the horizon, but two more work days give us a headache. We're in need of some serious refueling to blast out the last days and make it to the end of the month. But what, you might ask, is there to do on Hump Day?


What: The Walnut Room

Where: 1709 Walnut St.

When: Each and every Wednesday, 'till 2am

Why: Because shaking your money maker will keep you dancing the rest of the week through


What: Karoke Night Wednesdays

Where: Coffee Connection, 6441 Frankford Ave. (Just above Levick St.)

Why: It's karoke for pete's sake! Who doesn't love karoke?!


What's the perfect gift for a dad, a fashion-forward chica and a S & M lover? Give up?

The quirky ties at Prep & Pauper, a Philadelphia-based tie company, is ushering in a new take on the old suit and...well you know the rest. The half-sheared-sheep-covered design will help any executive hottie stand out from the cubicle crowd. And the skull and bones design is enough to give your tight-wad boss a heartache. And best of all, they're homegrown.

Prep & Pauper, 1147 N. Fourth St., 646.705.3050,


Dear U.O.,

You have always been the go-to shopping destination to get a look that's part vintage, part indie, part crafty. With skinny jeans, an array of rock band tees and enough knit caps and scarves to get any girl through winter, you seem to have a handle on what the hipsters want. Where you loose us is with the prices (and we're not the only ones thinking this). Street-smart and unique Urban has reached new highs in overpriced-dom. ($58 for a pair of jeans turned into a tote bag? C'mon!)

While we love the whole made-to-look-vintage appeal, we prefer our vintage authentic and on the cheap. We don't mind the high-end designer stuff you carry, but the in-house lines have got to come down, Urban, if we must continue loving you.

Our Summer Soundtrack

Tired of hearing the same eight songs playing every time you get into your car? ("Ella, ella. . .") We thought so. Thankfully, we're sharing our summer playlist that's sure to be music to your ears. Listen to the songs individually as you lay on the beach to mellow out and relive the lazy days of summer or collectively to make the perfect cocktail party soundtrack.

1.) Aqua De Beber - Montefiori Cocktail
2.) Is You Is (Rae & Christian remix) - Dinah Washington
3.) Breathless - Corinne Bailey Rae
4.) Let It Ride (Jimpster Remix) - Lisa Shaw
5.) Is This Love - Groove Da Praia
6.) Mas Que Nada - Sergio Mendes

7.) One, Two, Three, Four - Feist
8.) Tell Me - Wax Poetic featuring Norah Jones

No Bones About It...Philly's Going to the Dogs

Dogs have long been man's best friend"and Philly understands that better than anywhere else. Many hotels in the area are accomodating guests (and their furry friends) by offering walking paths, loaner collars and accessories, pet walking and pet sitting services and even posh rooms with TV and DVD players for Fifi's viewing pleasure (the latter courtesy of Mazzu's Canine and Feline Hotel).

Philadelphia Fish & Co. as well as the Continental are many Old City establishments with pet-friendly environments. In University City the appropriately named White Dog Cafe, encourages diners to eat al fresco with their canine companions. In Manayunk, Le Bus and Derek's also provide complimentary water bowls while dining outside.

If grooming and pampering is what you're looking for, stop at Bonejour in Old City, which features canine couture as well as beds, leashes etc. Chic Petique , located just off of South Street, is fully stocked with the everday items as well as treats shaped like human food and objects. For a place to play, try The Center City Dog Park so your mutt can mix and mingle with the rest of the canine population.

Mix It Up

You love everyone else's iPod playlist, but reserve disgusted ruefulness for your own. We know you're just lazy to look for new music that's not on the Top 20. We've got your solution: Mixmaster. This site is designed specifically for creating playlists with music too cool for you to find on your own. All you have to do is go to the site and instantly choose from a variety of genres, add to an existing playlist or create your own.With more than 30,000 singles on the site, there really is something for everyone and obtaining the songs is simple. All you have to do is click on the provided link to either iTunes or Amazon.

This site is perfect if you're stuck in a rut and ready to expand your musical tastes or if you're simply looking for a good playlist with the fuss of sorting through your collection.

Try it!

Amy Winehouse Tour --- NO, NO, NO

British singer Amy Winehouse, who was set to kick off her first US tour (September 13 at the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, Pa.) has cancelled her U.S. shows due to medical reasons. Reps for Winehouse are saying that "due to the rigors of touring she has been advised to postpone her upcoming September U.S. and Candanian tour dates."

Anyone who knows music has heard about the debauchery and antics of British singer Amy Winehouse. And if you really know music you've listened to her album Back to Black and vibed to her 60s soul sound and oft-crash but telling lyrics. "They tried to make me go to rehab, I said no, no, no..." The singer has recieved critical acclaim and a loyal fan base for her candor about her past (and maybe present) with drugs, alcohol and relationships.

We're pretty bummed as we were looking forward to putting all the headline grabbing news with an actual live in person picture. Would she drink on stage, yell profanities and wow us with her brand of 60s blues? And the question everyone wants to know... how high is the beehive?


Philly is comprised of one-too-many lounges trying to appeal to the too-cool masses with a club-like atmosphere. The Rittenhouse gem, Monkey Bar, is not one of them.
Hidden among the antique shops and boutiques on Walnut, Monkey Bar is the place you imagine having salacious drinks with a beautiful stranger while the haze of dance music plays in the background. (The perfect hideaway for the Jezebel in you.) With a extremely suggestive atmosphere: dim lights, red glow and cushioned lounge seats in their Red Room, the Monkey Bar is the perfect post-dinner stop with an unpretentious attitude.

Don't worry about who's who or if your Diesel's are this season; just enjoy the company of the friendly bartenders, your requested impromptu drink and coquettish glances.

The Monkey Bar, 2029 Walnut St.,

Monday, August 27, 2007


James Brown said it best, “Get up offa' that thing and dance 'till you feel better.” And if you don’t listen to the Godfather than you’re better off in the house watching reruns of the Real World than out on a Friday night in the city. Normally deemed date night, Friday night has become a staple of up-all-night (well -till 2am at least) dance-a-thons and Red Bull-fueled crazes for my best friend and I. Always on the prowl for stronger drinks and louder music, this weekend was no exception to the rule.

Our party train parked at an advertised The Hills VIP Grand Opening party at Sole Food restaurant at the Loews Hotel. My best friend, who we shall call Zee--a beautiful and stylish model always up on the party scene and who’s who in the city--told me excitedly that we were going and that I’d better plan a divine outfit. Enough said. I was decked out in a vintage 80s dress and 40s pinup shoes and Zee in a black ruched skirt and tube top. Unfortunately, we hit a dead end. The line was at standstill around the block with no signs of moving.

Waste perfectly good ensembles? Don't think so. Stand in line all night? Yeah right. Not get inside to see what's happening? Not an option. So what do two fun-loving gals do when the odds look as grim as this? You look for an opportunity. One generous couple came out, with wristbands and handed them to a group of girls in front of us, so they could go inside. Zee and I looked at each other, concocting a plan. We would pounce on
the next set of people leaving, take their bands and waltz past security into the digs. Except, Zee and I are chickens. We're scaredy cat girls who sweat at the idea of getting a penny extra in change. With our tattered wristbands we shuttered at the idea of a bouncer stopping us and yelling in our faces, "You girls weren't in there, your bands are fake!" And us running away forever, never to show our faces again! (A bit dramatic.)
But where there's a will, there's a way and we had to dance, if only for the memory of James Brown. Zee pulled me to the side and told me to quietly walk down the street. As conspicuous as I could be, "Where are we going? The line is that way." She hushed me and told me to follow her. Lo and behold, an open side entrance. It was as if the party gods were giving us a free pass. We threw each other a "whew, that was lucky" glance and proceeded to dance, eat delicious popcorn shrimp and mingle all in the name of a good time. I think the Godfather of Soul would be proud.

This week's lesson: Always check side doors for and back entries when working with recycled passes.

Stayed tuned for more from the Accidential Socialite.

Sole Food Restaurant, 12th and Market Streets,


You know summer is quickly ending when Broad Street is lined with cars from students moving into Temple's dorms, Walmart is advertising its back-to-school specials and the last Center City Sips is this Wed., August 29.

A fun lovin' summer pasttime, Center City Sips Happy Hours helped us beat the work day blues and explore some of the city's hidden but well-stocked bars. Take one last peek at a place you've never been or a local joint that serves the best martinis in town. And enjoy your final $4 cocktail, $3 wine, $2 beers and $1 appetizer at participating bars and restaurants. We'll miss you Center City Sips. See you next summer...

(But we are looking forward to Restaurant Week.)


How many times have you watched E! News and cringed at the downward spiral of the celebs and socialites? It's a train wreck we can't turn our eyes away from. On one hand we love the crazy antics the Lindsays and Paris' bring us, but on the other we want a real socialite that has amazing stories to tell us about living it up in Philly, but not from behind a jail cell or rehab door.

Hence, the ACCIDENTIAL SOCIALITE was born, added as a feature to our amazing new blog. She's not a "certified" socialite (she has a day job) but she does go out an awful lot. She's known to dance on stripper poles in Strip Aerobics class and shopping is her substance of choice. She's the girl dancing wildly in the corner, whom you're wishing would have a seat, but she's having too much fun. And she's here to tell you about her exploits, rendevous and amazing places to go if you want a piece of the action.

Follow her and her gang of anti-It girls as they paint Philly red and risk public intoxication or at the least have an amazing time.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


We've been asking this question for years. Maybe Simon Cowell knows the answer, because he's decided to bring the American Idol contestant machine to the Philly for its 2008 season. Philly is known for many innovations in the musical department, and maybe just maybe the next American Idol can be from our city. Or at least the next William Hung. Whatever brings us some publicity.

If you think you've got the pipes or are horrible enough to get a rise out of Simon, auditions are Monday, August 27 at the Wachovia Spectrum. Auditions are open to men and women ages 16-28 and eligible to work in the United States.

For more information go to Good luck, God speed and wear comfortable shoes . . . we hear the wait is treacherous.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Philadelphia is a phenomenal city (and no we're not just saying that cause this is our blog and we can). Unlike our friend to the north, N.Y., it's not sprawling and unlike our friends to the south, we're not lacking on big-city appeal.

Whatever it is, it's home to us here at Around Philly. It's where we rest, eat, shop and do Yeager bombs! And that's why we decided to take you another step deeper into what makes Philly tick, by starting this fresh, new BLOG. Join us as we bring you the best that Philly has to offer, from an our twisted inside perspective as we go to the shows, dance on the table tops, spend frivously and have an all-around good time.

Because that's what truly makes Philly great... all the stories you'll have to tell.