Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bloody Mary Tour: Fairmount Pt. I

     SO, here we go. Starting with three major Fairmount Ave. spots, our bloody mary tour is off to a great start. These drinks weigh heavily on stomach and head if crafted poorly, however you have to take the good with the bad. Fairmount is the first stop and each bar brought its own flavor. I can tell this tour will be a good one.

Jack's Firehouse: 

Now this place was hard to give an F to. Really, it was. I work here and I LOVE the staff... but really, the Bloody Mary they have here is TERRIBLE. After hearing that the Mary mix was made fresh & in-house every day, I was really excited.  But, unfortunately, this mix is made with NO love whatsoever. None. A little passion could go a long way.  Even though the ingredients are all present and accounted for this drink was was WAY too spicy (and I love heat), beyond that the final product was clumpy as shit. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about Extra-Pulp-Country-Stand-Whiny-Kids-Hate-It orange juice, but this "drink" was straight beef stew. I am cringing thinking back on this glass of tomato crap I was served. So, just like I chewed on their Mary, they can chew on my F. 

Final Grade: F

Price: $6

Bottom Line: FAIL.

London Grill:

This one knocked it clean out of the park. From your first sip, you know that there is something VERY special and unique about this drink. BACON INFUSED VODKA!!! Yessir. These crazy geniuses just found a way to combine my two favorite goto hangover cures into one, beautiful masterpiece.  The bacon vodka provides a wonderful smokey taste that perfectly compliments the heat tabasco and horseradish so dutifully employ. Adding to this drink's appeal is the secrecy behind its ingredients.  Aside from the bacon-infused vodka, the other primary taste factor is a mysterious mix of spices who's identities are kept under lock and key. Combining familiar tastes with mysterious modifiers made the London Grill's Bloody Mary my favorite of the batch.  Maybe it has something to do with being so close to the Eastern State Penitentiary, plenty of homegrown blood to go around.

Since this place won, I'm going to give you all some x-tra DEETS on this wonderful establishment. Very very well put together, cosmetically friendly, and the service is wonderful. The bartender (Kate) was super friendly and was knowledgeable to the point that  I legitimately learned something from her, go in yourself and ask why there are 'ladies entrances' at the bars around the neighborhood. It's actually a lot nastier than you think.

Sat-Sun 11-2:30 They do a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar, and this IS as good as it sounds. Expect to spend between 5-9 bucks on a drink or entree. 5-15 bones total for a simple brunch. Also expect to have a great time.

Final Grade: A

Price: $9

Bottom Line: Hide your kids, hide your wife, hide your pigs... Bacon infused vodka will blow your little rowhome down.

Bishops Collar:

Bishops won Donnie's vote as best in show.  And when we went back to take some photos I almost agreed with him, but eff that.... this is America. The drink itself is very easy to drink... spice kept to a minimum and the tomato factor was great. It was tomat-tastic (*facepalm*). Really filling and beyond tasty, I was shocked to see they were using bottom shelf vodka it was so good. Now this joint would tell me nothing, the mix is legit made by the owner/GM before any of the employees even get there. So the bartenders come in and gracing the fridge is a barrel o' mary, waiting for them. Mix = SECRET, however my taste buds told me a FEW things. Mainly that the horseradish is piled high in this mix, and it is done wonderfully... not overwhelming but balanced well to bring out the heart of the drink. I found this secret demeanor strangely attractive and if their mix was a lady I would probably hit on it. Garnished with a slice of lemon and a slice of lime, this drink was just super.

Final Grade: B+

Price: $6

Bottom Line: Delivering HARD, this is the classic Bloody Mary.

But fuck it, I drink vodka out of plastic handles.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Bloody Mary Tour : Philadelphia

I'll always remember my first bloody mary. Little baby glass, filled with ice and just enough room for a clumpy knot of horseradish and tabasco in the bottom. A truly revolting experience, and a testimony to the hell that is a cheap BM.

Apparently these things have origins in Paris, and were brought to the US by their inventor (Fernad Periot)... right to the St. Regis Hotel in New York. Here he spiced it up and wallawalla bing bang we got the drink we see in bars and brunch spots across the world today. But thats a bunch of boring crap, so lets get drinking them.

Ned's Nephew Presents: The Bloody Mary Tour of Philadelphia.

In order to pull this off correctly I decided to break philly into several main neighborhoods and on a tour night cover a whole little section... and then feed the DETAILS to the interwebs in chunks, cut up for you like mother used to.

First three targets (hood's yo) Fairmount, South Street, Olde City.

I mean, I COULD just sit here and rant on about each spot, but lets make it a bit more digestable. For example, 9 resturants/bars were reviewed for Fairmount, so we'll break it down to three posts, three posts that will drop as we go back and re-review, aka, drink them all again *chest bump*... then each update will be highlighting and talking about the chosen joints.

Now, lets get hammered.

~ Mike

Making Good

Sedso Design is a design firm in Philadelphia... they hosted an event called "Place Your Art Here" where art submissions were made by Philly artists using a set of rules dictated by Sedso.

'Stencil' was one rendition of aforementioned event. Stencils must be incorporated... a particular size board must be the canvas. There must be multiples. There were a few more small rules, but they left it up to the artist for the most part.

Ned's Nephew captured the creation of my submission, called "Good"... This is a time lapse on the roof of a south philly row home...right on broad. Entire day, 7 layer stencil. Sunburn and a early wakeup time. The day was ridiculous and the product is hard earned, enjoy it as much as we did making it.

Ned's Nephew presents "Making Good"

~ Mike

Making Good from Ned's Nephew on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

When you're livin in a psychic city...

This is a time-lapse I took in my apartment on the first Friday of February.  The original plan was to have several cameras setup and shooting the whole night but in the end, I only ended up getting to use one (mine).  All of the shots were taken between 12:30am - 6:30am (so I guess that's technically Saturday) at 2 shots per minute.  I edited all of the shots together and added the track Psychic City by Yacht (seemed fitting) in Final Cut Pro.

That night we ended up getting 28 inches of snow!  After the party, several of the kids ended up spending the next two nights at my place, sheltered from the snow and comforted by Planet Earth in glorious Blu-Ray HD.

Truly a great weekend.  Looking forward to more experimentation with time-lapse...

{ technical difficulties, video coming soon }

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Came close to getting mugged (thank god my shoes have lightning bolt emblems on their sides).  Here are two pics I took this time 2 years ago in PDX,  One from my balcony, and the other of the local flora.  Going to sleep now.  Hash+planet earth=happy place.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Beginnings

First attempt at keeping an up-to-date photoblog: FAIL. Here comes round 2... Let's see if we can keep it going this time around.

I'm going to start by posting a few more favorites from my vacation to North Carolina. I finally got around to editing the rest of the set today, so in a way, these are actually my latest work. Spending all day looking at and editing these photos makes me long for summer. Only a few more months...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Wrestler

The credits to The Wrestler are just wrapping up as I begin to write this. Wow, what a sad fucking movie. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed watching it immensely and will no doubt give it a second viewing in the very near future, but I just can't shake this empty feeling I got from watching it. When Mickey Rourke tells Marisa Tomei at the end of the movie, "Out there is the only place I can get hurt" ( in reference to the real world vs. being on stage and wrestling), I just felt my heart slowly sink.

That, combined with the weather this morning, an unpleasant week of work (halfway over), and the burdens of house hunting have left me in an odd and dark mood. Maybe I should just take a nap...

Here are some old photos I tooled around on while I was watching The Wrestler.