“You want Philly now, early June, when it’s warm enough to tackle one of the world’s largest urban park systems, but cool enough to throw back a few Belgian quads at the city’s wild ten-day craft beer festival.”
“Why to Go to Philly Now: Your Perfect Weekend”
Photo by the Barnes Foundation
“…locals like the critic for the Philadelphia City Paper (me) know the treasures tucked in our Penn-laid grid keep pace with the country’s best, a credit to affordable rents, lush farmland less than an hour away, savvy and demanding diners, and a tight-knit chef community that nurtures young talent…”
“Where to Eat in Philadelphia Now” f/Vernick, Fork, Will, Lucky Old Souls Burger Truck, South Philadelphia Tap Room, the Industry
Photo by Jason Varney
Awesome over ice cream or pound cake.
“Working the Room”
Review of Fitler Dining Room
Philadelphia City Paper
Photo by Neal Santos
When Luke woke up, his head throbbed. It felt like the entire Philadelphia Water Department was jackhammering at the crown of his skull, or the time Kelly had winged a half-empty bottle of her parents’ wine at his face. Which time? he wondered, groggy. There had been more than one.
Fortunately, Kelly had the aim of an amputee golfer and connected maybe once for every six attempts. More often than not, the bottle of Savage Estates Indigo Peacock Pinot Noir or Chocolate Albatross Merlot went skittering across the hardwood floor like a rolling pin, Barbara and Bob Savage’s portrait on the label spinning in a blur of healthy Napa tans, lush white locks and conspicuous checkered handkerchiefs knotted at the neck. Wine would be everywhere, but Luke never minded. It was shitty ass wine.
Kelly, with her Berkeley masters by 23 and a boutique environmental law practice by 27, had never been thrilled about being engaged to a writer, even one who wrote about the land she claimed to love and the people that produced food from it. She never said that in front of people, though. At dinner parties at their Oakland apartment or holidays with Bob and Barbara in St. Helena, Kelly would brag about his Beard Award—forget that it was from 2008, for a story he wrote on a Hmong goat farmer in the projects of Detroit, and that he hadn’t been nominated since—and have the 2009 issue of Best Food Writing casually out on the coffee table, with a bookmark at page 72, a story he wrote for the Journal on a puritanical clan of born-again seed-savers.
But when everyone left and the show was over, it was the same fight, about money, about the wedding, about a career with a real future. Her firm needed someone to write briefs, she’d say for the hundredth time, the way you might offer a homeless man $20 a week to cut your lawn. Newspapers were dying, didn’t he know?
He knew. Better than Kelly. But right now, Luke felt like he was the one dying. He touched the back of his head. His fingers came away stained the burgundy-black color of Slumbering Cougar Cabernet. The blood was not fresh. He’d seen enough of that as a crime reporter in Philly before moving to the West Coast. This blood was a few hours old. How it got there, he couldn’t remember.