Pokémon GO? More like Pokémon STOP. Philly Free Streets 2017

(Oh, hey there. You might be wondering “Why hasn’t Jordan written anything since August?” Feel free to scroll down to the end of this post for the answer to that.)

But maybe you’re just here because you wanna know about Philly Free Streets this year. In that case, read on.

I was pumped for this year’s event. I even wrote a feature about this year’s Philly Free Streets over on Fitt Philly. I’d checked my bike tires, woke up early (well, for a Saturday), suited up, and rode over with my pal Sammy. We were hype to take a power walk with Mayor Jim Kenney before riding our bikes along the 3.5 mile route.

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The kickoff schedule

Best laid plans, amirite?

The hour of 9 came and went, and then so did 9:30. We actually stuck it out until 9:40 before deciding it was time to get busy living, but this was an inauspicious start…

Let’s break it down a little bit:

THE GOOD

Free Streets – not much can be bad about that, right? The weather was crisp and wonderful, there were different city groups and services out doing demos, offering goodies, and beautifying spaces.

I really loved the Pedestrian Plaza by the Al Aqsa Islamic Society, Parks & Rec, and Mural Arts Philadelphia – adirondack chairs, chalk, lots of conversations and connections.

People brought their A-game for riding (loved this skeleton from the Kidical Mass ride, and penny-farthing in blue – snaps to this guy for balance!)

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There was an area at the end of the route, El Centro de Oro in the Fairhill neighborhood that I can almost guarantee I never would’ve explored otherwise. I jumped into a Zumba dance class with strangers. I helped paint a mural. It was wonderful.

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Shoutout to Mural Arts!

 

THE BAD

Two words:

Pokémon

GO.

This app was released in summer 2016. I vaguely remember some friends and peers getting obsessed, and then losing steam & interest, and then never discussing it again. Flash in the pan, right?

Wrong.

Pokémon GO’s creators, Niantic, Inc., partnered with Philly Free Streets for an epic Pokémon GO integration along the route. And, up until about two weeks before the event, this was the ONLY information available on the PFS “Program Details” Page. Neverthless, I was shocked at the sheer volume of Pokémon GO players, teams, swag, etc that clogged the event. People were walking around armed with maps, portable chargers, wearing Pokémon swag, and meeting up with their “teammates” from around the country. The event was listed on the Niantic, Inc. website, and considering the game still has about 65 million active monthly users, that brought folks from far and wide.

Being on a bike during the 3 hours that I was out at the event was incredibly challenging, as clusters of players would stop in the middle of the streets, intently staring at their phones, enjoying this augmented reality. They wouldn’t look up, they rarely reacted to calls of “on your left” and it felt dangerous.

 

 

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Thanks to @joey4017 for this shot of folks glued to their phones, catching them all.

I don’t know if there was some sort of benefit the city got from this Pokémon partnership, but as someone trying to enjoy the event without the app, it was painful. I almost think I would’ve been supportive of cutting my “free streets” time down by an hour and giving these Poké-people an hour all to themselves, if it meant they weren’t clustering in the streets for the other 4 hours.

THE UGLY

Trash trucks – not vehicles that I spend much time around on a regular basis, but I respect the hell out of them. They keep our streets cleaner than several other cities I have visited.

Unfortunately, they served as the barrier between the (mostly) free streets. The new route was not TRULY a car-free 3.5 miles, as the north-south path crossed several major intersections that were not shut down. Good for traffic, but also challenging as a rider, a walker, and for anyone with strollers. The space they left on the road was about 2 people wide on either side, so there was a lot of stop and go along the way.

They were smelly, which I guess is the nature of trash cans, but it’s worth noting the aroma of garbage is what my mind recalls when thinking of sensory experiences at Free Streets.

Final thoughts

Did I have fun? Sure.

Could it be improved? Well, what event couldn’t.

Full disclosure: I am on the planning team for Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia and we spend at least a month following each event reviewing what went wrong, right, and what we could do better, and several months leading up to the next one reviewing those same issues.

But this Pokémon thing REALLY tainted the vibe of Philly Free Streets to me. I thought this year was supposed to be all about connecting neighborhoods (last year’s was mostly along South Street, connecting pretty much the same folks that go to all the summer festivals already). And, to an extent, I felt some of that. But mostly I felt like I was imposing on a Pokémon GO convention with the occasional table for IndeGo or the Philly Water Department.

Here’s hoping that some good times this year turn into better ones next year.

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****UPDATE: I have actually been writing more than ever. Someone just decided that I could make a part-time gig out of it…. I’ve been channeling many of my words and social time to Fitt Philadelphia, so if you’re ever wondering what fitness events you should do each month, or when the new megaformer studio is opening, or where to find the most innovative workout spots in the city, I’d recommend hopping over there. ****

GIVEAWAY! Spring Has Sprung: Run (& EAT!) with Blossom – WINNERS!

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UPDATE: CONGRATULATIONS to Meghan and Bridget! The random number generator chose YOU!

The salmon-colored shorts are out in full force. The parks are full of picnics. The Rosé is flowing like water, and the sweetgreen Spring Caesar made it’s way to the app.

Yup, spring has sprung in Philadelphia.

If you’re anything like me, some of the best parts of the city thawing is the ability to both eat and exercise outdoors. Long time readers know of my obsession with springtime food festivals, and lately I’ve even been voluntarily running outside. Must be the fresh air…

Lucky for all of us, there’s a way to celebrate both of these in one perfect night!

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The Blossom Philadelphia 5k Night Race is the only weeknight race grandfathered in by the City of Philadelphia. The course meets at the Art Museum takes place on West River Drive on Thursday May 25, 2017 at 7pm. Immediately following the race is an epic After Party featuring some of my FAVORITE food trucks! Baby Blues BBQ, Sweet Box Cupcakes, Taco Mondo, The Cow and The Curd, The Tot Cart and Undrgrnd Donuts will be bringing the heat (and, in some cases, the meat. Or the sweet.)

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The Tot Cart with some extra melty goodness….

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THE COW AND THE CURD slinging those sweet cheese curds!

You can register for the 5k (comes with a t-shirt), the after-party (comes with four tickets, valid for a drink, appetizer, a main course, AND a dessert!), OR get the best of both worlds with a 5k + After Party COMBO (Yup, that’s all of the above)

Oh yes, that drink I mentioned: Victory Brewing is going to be hosting a beer garden all night long! (Don’t worry, there will be heaps of root beer for the kids, this is an incredibly family-friendly event!)

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All this can be yours for the early bird price (before April 13th, 11:59 p.m.)!

Register HERE

All proceeds from the race help Blossom achieve their mission: to change the lives of children and adults with disabilities (cerebral palsy, autism, down syndrome, head trauma, and any condition that limits a person’s ability to function independently) in the Philadelphia area.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

But, hey, if you’re feeling lucky, you could enter to win one of TWO free registrations for the Race + After Party Combo (Up to a $60 value!)

That means, you could be joining me May 25th in running + eating our way right into Memorial Day weekend!!

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Feel free to lay right next to me in blissful post-run food coma!

All you need to do to enter to win is check out the Blossom Philadelphia site and tell me one cool / fun / interesting fact you learned in the comments!

You have until Friday, April 28th at noon to enter!

GOOD LUCK and I’ll see you at the Art Museum!

Philly’s Own Women’s Summer Camp!

I remember it like it was yesterday…

Imagine one week to focus on yourself. A better body, confidence, lessons learned, fabulous food and fitness, inches and pounds lost (without going hungry), and unparalleled results.

The first time I ever seriously considered a “Wellness Retreat” was through the former Golden Child of the Philadelphia fitness scene, Lithe Method, their “lithe escape“. It sounded great… until I saw the price point.

 

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Not including the flight there, the time taken off work for a week vacation, etc….

 

Having only recently finished grad school, my bank account (and accrued vacation time) could NOT handle that.

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Luckily, the gang from Rise Gatherings knows that, though luxurious, these week-long tropical yoga- or fitness-retreats are NOT for everyone. And they managed to bring the best parts about a retreat (i.e. gorgeous natural scenery,  healthy foods, opportunities for fitness, workshops focused on body and mind) and pack it into 42 hours just down the road from Philadelphia (well, about 120 miles down the road, but no flights required!)

Rise Gathering is a summer-camp-for-women experience “designed to promote personal growth, enhance overall well-being, inspire collective connection and share some serious fun.”

Sounds good, right? Well, there’s more.

What’s got me excited about Rise Gatherings?

  • 305 Fitness – This insane NYC-based dance fitness class is 90% cardio, 10% toning and stretching, and looks 100% badass. Like Zumba turned up to 11. I’M IN! (especially since the class hasn’t yet made it’s way to Philly)
  • Kayaking and Waterfall Hike – Since Rise takes place at Camp Canadensis, we’re actually going to be able to do things as if we were at summer camp. HECK YES.
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  • Bonfire – The night you arrive is kicked off with a bonfire celebration to welcome everyone. I only pray they have enough s’mores for the rest of the women….
  • Options – I like yoga, but I’m not obsessed with it. I could use some more mindfulness in my life, but I don’t want to spend the whole weekend focusing on it. Plant-based cooking is a part of my life, but not a HUGE one. Rise Gatherings is offering you the chance to make this weekend exactly what you want. By bringing in a number of women all focused on different practices and specialties, it’s like a “Choose-your-own-adventure” book.
  • Connections.

According to one of the producers:

Rise Gatherings is much more than a one time event.  We are launching a community of empowered women of all ages who want to raise their voices, spirits and hands.

There are few things more inspiring than a community of empowered women of all ages. This is why I’ve already convinced my mom and sister to join me May 12-14 (That’s right, it’s Mother’s Day! Bring your mom!)

AND because I’m slightly obsessed with the concept and wanted to share it with everyone, I reached out to Rise Gatherings and got a special code in case you’d like to come along.

Use code: food_sweat_beer at Checkout for a $50 discount off your ticket OR a double ticket for you and a friend/mother/sister/soul-sister.

I can’t guarantee there will be enough s’mores to go around after I get a crack at ’em, but I can pretty much guarantee it’s going to be an amazing weekend!

The Top 5 Things You May Have Missed at the 2017 Philadelphia Flower Show

The Philadelphia Flower Show is a tradition like no other. Every year, right at the tail end of a dreary winter, the Philadelphia Convention Center transforms into a taste of spring with millions of blossoms (okay, I don’t know if it’s actually millions, but the entrance bridge had over 30,000 so I’m ballparking).

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Bulbs and Bulbs – GET IT?!

This year’s theme was “Holland: Flowering the World” and, no surprise, the show had Philadelphians and out-of-towners alike tip-toeing through the tulips for nine straight days. And though a “snowstorm” did make for a bit of a hiccup on day 4, the Philly Flower Show went on without a hitch.

I’ve been to the PHS Flower Show before. once during grad school and once on a pretty ridiculous date sponsored by Yards Brewery (long story, but click away if you’re curious.) But every year I go, I find something new to love. This year was no different. So yes: there was the epic flower bridge at the entrance… but some of the bits and pieces that were my favorite, a lot of my friends missed. SO here you have it:

The Top 5 Things You Might Have Missed at the 2017 Philadelphia Flower Show

  1. PEDALS: The White Bike Plan
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    While you may not have MISSED this exhibit, it is possible you didn’t realize exactly why there was a huge exhibit all about white bicycles in the middle of the show. Turns out, it was an ode to Witte Fietsenplan (translation: The White Bicycle Plan). This was actually part of a Dutch counter-culture movement from the 1960s called Provo, and  one of the very first bike-sharing plans in the world! We’re all newly spoiled with Philly’s Indego, turns out Amsterdam had the idea over 50 years ago!

  2. Open Bar
     

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    Let the St. Germain flow!

    Truth be told, I learned this little gem from a fellow student during my income-light grad school years. Never underestimate the ability of a grad student to find free (or deeply discounted) drinks. If you’re looking to channel your inner bee and go through the Flower Show with a buzz, the folks at Fine Wine and Spirits are ready to pour you an endless array of samples from 2pm-7pm.

    Seriously. It’s the ultimate pregame.

  3. The Philly Belle

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    Well, if you missed this flower, you missed something pretty special. This gorgeous, unique tulip is named the Philly Belle, and is a one-of-a-kind tulip bred specifically by Remarkable Tulips for the show. I recognize that geeking out over a flower is not something I’d normally do, but this vibrant, fringed tulip was like nothing I’d ever seen.

  4. The Design Gallery
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    Yup, that is a flower.

    I really don’t know much about gardening. I have kept an air plant alive since I moved to Philly nearly 5 years ago, and that is what I consider my greatest green-thumb feat to-date. That said, the Design Gallery is probably the most impressive portion of the Flower Show to me. The things people are able to make with plants, seeds, flowers… from jewelry to sculptures to miniature scenes, it’s insane.

  5. Butterflies! Loads of ’em

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    This could’ve been you, but you were playing (Image courtesy of PHS Flower Show)

    Did you see the 1,000+ butterflies floating around at the Philly Flower Show? Probably not, unless you strolled out of the main expo hall and over to Butterflies LIVE!. Just imagine… hundreds of butterflies flitting around, landing on you, giving sweet butterfly kisses to your face because they think maybe you’re a flower. It cost $5 and yes, there was a line.  But if you’ve never had a chance to be a butterfly landing pad…. just saying.

What was your favorite part about this year’s show? Did I miss anything spectacular?!

The Seven Things I’ve Done Since July

Oops. I took an unintentional, unplanned blogging hiatus. But I promise, it’s been for good stuff. Like actually writing for another blog or two. And a bunch of other stuff. BUT instead of just laying out for you, I figured I’d go with a little assist from the artist formerly known as adorable, Miss Miley Cyrus. (Aside: I can’t stop writing Yelp reviews to songs. Blame Yelp.)

Is this Miley enough?

Is this Miley enough?

Please, if you’re able, read along to the tune of Miley’s 7 Things I Hate About You. If you’re not, just listen to the linked song about 24 times. And then read…

The Seven Things I’ve Done Since July

Sha, sha, sha

I probably shouldn’t say this
But sometimes life escapes me
And I totally forget about
The blogger I wanna be
Life’s for living, I’m forgiving
Of the fact I haven’t written for a while….
But it’s “fall” now and it’s time to
Nose to grindstone, she’s back at it
In Jordan styleeeeeee

Hold onto your butts. this is gonna get weird.

Hold onto your butts. this is gonna get weird.

The seven things I’ve done since JULY!
The seven things I’ve done since JULY!

The Gang en Blanc

The Gang en Blanc

Oh, my….
Dîner en Blanc, turned twenty eight
Moved apartments, that was great
Took a trip to San Fran, I… chugged four beers while running a MILE.

FAM IN SAN FRAN!

FAM IN SAN FRAN!

Spent weekends at the beach, hit up a Festival called The Peach
I wanna share, everything I doooooo.
And thanks to the blog, y’all know how it’s gonna go.
I’m gonna tell YOU.

I spent most of this August
Prepping for a big night
4,500 people, they were all dressed in white.
Went to San Fran with my whole fam,
Ran a beer mile, forced a big smile, then

Peach Music Festival (or "maybe I'm too old for music festivals?")

Peach Music Festival (or “maybe I’m too old for music festivals?”)

Off to Peach…
Barely made it back…
And then I relaxed at the BEACHHHHH.

Running my first beer mile!

Running my first beer mile!

The seven things I’ve done since JULY!
The seven things I’ve done since JULY!
Oh, my….
Dîner en Blanc, turned twenty eight
Moved apartments, that was great
Took a trip to San Fran, I… chugged four beers while running a MILE.
Spent weekends at the beach, hit up a Festival called The Peach
I wanna share, everything I doooooo.
And thanks to the blog, y’all know how it’s gonna go.
I’m gonna tell YOU.

It’s been a busy summer
And I feel I did it all
Probably shouldn’t mention….
The stuff coming up this Fall…

The seven things I’ll do in the FALL
Some pumpkin beers, raise them up (cheers!)
Halloween: it’s almost here!

Whip out your grease makeup, folks.

Whip out your grease makeup, folks.

New restaurants, there’s lots to eat, Kayla Itsines will get me off my seat
Headed down to Chapel Hill, I’m thrilled, and I’ve gotta book a flight
I’m getting back to writing more again
Guess the seventh thing that I will do in the fall….
I’ll share with you all.

Yup. That was super ridiculous.

Glad to be back.

Philly’s Own Jazz Age on the Delaware

You don’t have to know much about me to know that I love one thing about most others.

That thing?

Dapper Dames

Dapper Dames

THEME PARTIES.

It’s no wonder that events like Dîner en Blanc light a fire inside of me that used to be reserved for college fêtes like “Paranormal Formal” and “Anything But Clothes”. I love watching folks get creative and costumey. It’s no surprise, then, that when I heard that Philly was bringing Jazz Age on the Delaware, a 1920s-era theme party on the River featuring thematically appropriate tunes, bites, and activities…. I leapt at the opportunity to check it out.

This was the moment that I CRUSHED the game of croquet

This was the moment that I CRUSHED the game of croquet

This incredible event is going to be hosted on Saturday August 1st from 11am-5pm on the beautiful grounds of the Glen Foerd Mansion, Philadelphia’s last remaining Gilded Age mansion along the Delaware River. And while my amateur photos certainly don’t do it justice, if I captured even a fraction of the elegance and beauty, you’ll see you’re in for a treat. We arrived hungry and ready for a little nosh and libations.

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Toasted almond cake served in a martini glass?  Sure.

Toasted almond cake served in a martini glass? Sure.

The Glen Foerd mansion’s exclusive caterer is Jamie Hollander Catering and Events, and he brought his a-game with desserts, appetizing hors d’oeuvres, and a buncha goodies served in mini martini glasses. All paired well with cocktails full of Art in the Age spirits.

These drinks were the Bee's Knees!

These drinks were the Bee’s Knees!

Put on those dancing shoes and cut a rug!

Put on those dancing shoes and cut a rug!

Getting to Glen Foerd is a quick train or bus ride from Center City, and tickets are $45 for an afternoon of play, picnics, dancing, and delicacies. There’s a pie-baking competition for the bakers of the bunch, and children under 12 are free so you can bring the whole family.

Bonus: this event couldn’t be any more Instagram-able.

IMG_1445I unfortunately won’t be on the East Coast for the big day, but if you’re in need of a few strands of pearls… you know how to get a hold of me.

Tickets here!

Garnet Valley High School: End of an Era

Today’s the day that the last of the five Price children, Kiley​, walks through those hallowed halls of Garnet Valley High School​ as a student.
This geek is off to Wake Forest in the fall!

This geek is off to Wake Forest in the fall!

Along with her and my other siblings, Somers​, Connor​, and Hunter​, we’ve been bastions of the school district since 1998! I can only hope we’ve left a legacy of being top of our respective classes and rockstars on the football fields, ice hockey rinks, volleyball and basketball courts, and halftime shows (HA, Hunter, you nerd).
My brother, Connor, the tallest, and of course arms around his team

My brother, Connor, the tallest, and of course arms around his team

GVHS Volleyball gals go to TEXAS!

GVHS Volleyball gals go to TEXAS!

We were on yearbook committee and student council, Students of the Month; Most School Spirit; Best Sense of Humor.

Hunter, proudly holding up the 2 in a crop top

Hunter, proudly holding up the 2… in a crop top

We went to France and probably terrorized Canada (sorry, Canada).
So Parisian, that Kiley.

So Parisian, that Kiley.

Goodness, Hunter has some great photos of his life.

Goodness, Hunter has some great photos of his life.

We sold overpriced candy to unsuspecting underclassmen and turned mad profit (future finance bro in the making or WHAT?!). We snuck into the teachers lounge and made photocopies of our faces (the original selfie?)
Ghost Girls

Ghost Girls

We snuck ice cream out of other schools’ cafeterias (budding foodie on a budget!). We stole kisses from our peers in dark corners of the school grounds (can’t tell you which of us did that, but I’ll go ahead and let you know it was more than just one). We even dressed up sometimes…
MWA!

MWA!

Look at those studs!

Look at those studs!

We were popular, and not so popular; cool, and not very cool.  But through it all (even if it’s only in my imagination) we crushed our academic, social, and extracurricular careers at GV for the past 16-17 years.
Sunkissed sibs

SunkissedSunburned sibs

And Santa sibs

And Santa sibs

Cheers to Dana​ and Chip “Not on Facebook” Price for the end of fundraisers, Friday nights at another football game, meetings with counselors that didn’t know our gender (“Jordan’s doing so well in all of his classes!”), long talks with administrators about god knows what, working snack bar shifts, traveling to ANOTHER volleyball match/football game/ice hockey arena, and doing it all happily, with smiles on their faces.
That time we barely made the wedding!

That time we barely made the wedding!

It’s been a good run, Garnet Valley. And as much as we’ve joked or complained about it, I couldn’t have asked for a better school for my family to attend.

Congratulations, Kiley (and belated congrats to Hunter, Connor, and Somers!) Whether you’re a Deacon, a Terp, a Lion, a Wildcat or, best of all, a Tar Heel, remember… You were a Jaguar first.