So You’re Moving to Philadelphia…

So, it’s official, Philly. I’ve been a resident for the past 13 months. That means a sweltering summer, a freezing fall, an unbearably cold (relative to Carolina) winter. Whole athletic seasons (which I’ve paid little to no attention to) have come and gone. I’ve seen the Mummers (and danced with a few), eaten dollar dogs, brunched at Honey’s, and spent many an afternoon in the sunshine at Rittenhouse Square. I feel confident that I could find something fun to do basically any hour of any day, and whether it’s a festival, a pop-up restaurant collaboration, a beer pairing, or a performance, I’ve enjoyed a TON of what Philly has to offer. Don’t worry, I’m still hungry for more.

That being said, one question that many of my buddies who’ve been living here for years on years have asked me is “How do you find all these cool things to do?” Well, it’s time to reveal my secret:

I outsource it.

That’s right, I just let OTHER PEOPLE find the fun for me, and follow their leads. But, I guess, since we’re all sharing today, I can let you know who those people are and take some of the credit for their legwork. So, if you’re moving to Philly and trying to figure out how to have some fun, eat some good foods, experience some incredible things, and feel generally “in the know” about Philly happenings, read on:

First up, Foobooz.

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An easy way to remember this site is it’s Food and Booze News in Philly. It tends to be my go-to for most of the events I’ve enjoyed the most, but that’s because eating and drinking is my favorite way to spend my “fun money”. New restaurant openings, food truck festivals, drink recommendations, and free stuff. That’s right, FREE STUFF Y’ALL! Keep that college student mentality going for LIFE!

Be Well Philly for when you’ve stuffed yourself with all that food and booze..

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Because we can’t just eat and drink ourselves into a stupor all day, every day. Right?

Right.

Outdoor yoga festivals, deals on spin class, master group fitness classes, the best places to get gluten-free desserts (luckily, I don’t need or want that. but someone might.), interesting running events throughout the city, and new gyms that are opening in your neighborhood!

Yelp Philly. Duh.

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If you’re a fan of crowd-sourcing judgment on all of the places to eat, drink, and be merry (as well as who gives the best haircuts, who is the most responsive property management group, and where to find late night groceries), Yelp is the obvious answer for any and all cities. But I’ll go ahead and say that Philly not only has an incredibly active Yelp community (check out the “talk” for laughs and insight alike), but our Community Manager, Michelle, is the queen of Philly Phun. Follow her on Twitter for all things Philadelphia. You won’t regret it.

Uwishunu (but don’t you?)

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Philly from the inside out? I can get behind that. They sometimes organize posts by neighborhood, which is always appreciated as someone who’s very loyal to a few particular locales (especially those reachable by the MFL).  Upcoming events for young and old, this is a super family-friendly site with something for everyone. Their weekend lineups are probably the most comprehensive ones I’ve found, and a great way to find something to do every single day of your respite from work.

Thrillist Philly: Much less family-friendly.

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Because sometimes, you don’t wanna know where to bring your nephew for an Easter Egg hunt. You wanna know where to find burlesque and bourbon, tequila and tacos, naked bike rides and the best water slides.

Thrillist is basically a grownup playground in a website.

Finally: Drink Philly (that’s an order)

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Food is fun, festivals too. But sometimes, you just wanna drink.  Luckily, there’s a site for that. Drink Philly has pulled together all the city’s best happy hours and drink specials in a matrix that is both searchable and filter-able. Search by neighborhood, time of day, type of special, whatever. Get the best deals on your booze all day long!! And they also regularly post about Brew and Chews, beer fests, First Friday specials, and other interesting alcohol-related tidbits.

I guess this one also isn’t very good for kids.

ANYWAY, feel free to check out my Twitter List if you’d like to follow each and every one of these folks on twitter.  This has proved the fastest, easiest way to stay abreast of Philly Fun, at least for this chick.

AND, if you have any suggestions, lemme know! I’m always down to check out a new blog/site to stay in the loop.

 

Live Tweeting: 30 Day Shred – Level 1

Oh my goodness.

I’m 80% sure I’m about to die.

After 10 days of the 30 Day Shred – Level 1, I was feeling pretty badass.  Then…. Level 2. I’m floored with the difference between the two.  As I mentioned, I’m shredding for the wedding (of my cousin)  so it’s a pretty big deal.

Deep breaths. (click for source)

I’ve been waiting to write this post since Day 1, Level 1.  Every day that I meet with my girls, Jillian, Anita, and Natalie, I have a little conversation. Sure, it’s mostly one sided. But I wanted to share it with you all. Since the fun times at the Healthy Living Summit, when I realized the joy of live tweeting from a conference, I’ve thought about how I could share that fun with each person that reads my blog.  Here’s my chance.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present:

Live Tweeting: 30 Day Shred – Level 1

The cast?

Jillian: Mistress of Shedding

Twitter Handle: Jshred

“Take It Easy” Anita

Twitter handle: EasyA

“Billy Badass” Natalie

Twitter handle: NatDawg

Jordan “Can these be my handweights?” Price

Twitter handle: foodsweatnbeers

Let us begin:

foodsweatnbeers: oh, neat, ok, we’re just strolling in here, all relaxed. This shouldn’t be too bad.

foodsweatnbeers: Hey Jillian, thanks for introducing yourself….

foodsweatnbeers: I hate that she calls these women “my two best girls.” I’m already sick of her voice.

Jshred: Well, they are my best girls.  AREN’T YOU, LADIES?

Natdawg: Yeah, J. We’re your best girls.

EasyA: #terrrified

foodsweatnbeers: I’m probably tough enough to follow @Natdawg. I got this. Warmup time!

Jshred: Big Movement. Don’t be static.

EasyA: I’d like to take this time to let everyone know that I will spend the next 20 mins flexing my abs.

Flexing is FUN! (click for source)

foodsweatnbeers: Great. Thanks, Anita.

EasyA: I’ll also be more flexible than you, Jillian, and Natalie. K?

foodsweatnbeers: w/e. I’m trying to windmill over here.

Jshred: I just don’t want anyone to get injured. That’s why we’ll be doing infinite jumping jacks.

foodsweatnbeers: sure. that makes sense. you’re approximately a doctor.  Hip circles always remind me of spongebob.

Bring it arounnnnnd town. (click for source)

Jshred: SHUT UP AND JUMP JACKS WITH ME!

foodsweatnbeers: oh no. Pushups. Just try to do at least 8 with Natalie.

EasyA: What’s that supposed to mean?

NatDawg: Get on my level.

foodsweatnbeers: I’m pretty sure I could squat forever. Those pushups were tough but I think I feel good about this.

NatDawg: Well, if you’re so tough: Get. On. My. Level. Literally.

foodsweatnbeers: Can’t squat that low. Bad knees. #sorryimnotsorry

Jshred: pushup time, b*tches.

foodsweatnbeers: (after 2 toe pushups) I HAVE NO ARMS! THEY’RE FALLING OFF RIGHT NOW!

JShred: Just don’t phone this in, Jordan.

foodsweatnbeers: Wait. Was that an option? Is there a number I can call?

EasyA: Squats are fun when you don’t do them!

foodsweatnbeers: 2 minutes of cardio? I do BodyAttack on the regular. What is this, a joke?

(after 30 more jumping jacks and half a minute of jump rope)

foodsweatnbeers: What was I thinking?! I HAVE NO FITNESS! Hey, @NatDawg, have you ever really jumproped in your life?

NatDawg: Nope. I just assume that it requires you to swing your arms around uncontrollably, right?

Is this jumproping?

foodsweatnbeers: #panting

Jshred: (Some sort of inspiration BS. At this point, I’ve stopped listening.)

foodsweatnbeers: Ab time. Basic crunches. Woo!

EasyA: HEY! Everyone! Come see how good I look!! Do you like my ribs?

foodsweatnbeers: (under my breath) Definitely not.

NatDawg: Some of us are focusing on exercise, not belly baring shirts, Anita.

EasyA: Wait. So you don’t like my ribs?

JShred: Circuit 2! Grab those weights!

foodsweatnbeers: Oooh neat, a row. so glad this isn’t a pushup.

JShred: What I really like is that no one is phoning this in.

foodsweatnbeers: You’re saying it again. #nonsensicalphrases

Jshred: I’d like everyone to look at how tough Natalie is. She goes deep and lunges hard. AIM TO BE @NATDAWG!

foodsweatnbeers: Hey! @NatDawg! I SAW THAT!! BUSTED!

****REAL TALK: Everyone, in circuit two, after Jillian just spends a minute bragging about her prodigy, Natalie, they pan over to Anita. Natalie takes this time to NOT LUNGE! When I saw this, I had a rage blackout. 

I WILL SWORD YOU RIGHT IN THE BODY!

NatDawg, you’re just as weak as the rest of us.****

foodsweatnbeers: @EasyA, are you flexing right now?

EasyA: (through gritted teeth) No….. er… my abs always look like this.

foodsweatnbeers: oh. Must be nice.

NatDawg: When I grin like this, do I look like a possessed lunatic?

Demon or workout inspiration? Now you don’t have to choose.

All: No… definitely not. It’s…. cute. #sarcasm

foodsweatnbeers: (mentally) I wonder what kinds of faces Jillian makes when she’s having sex. If they’re anything like this…. #poorsexpartners

You like that? (click for source)

Jshred: Are you thinking and not doing butt kicks?!

foodsweatnbeers: No, ma’am. (Kicks butt, NatDawg style). Oooh, punching! This is kind of like BodyCombat!

JShred: No, no, this is a completely original exercise I made up.

EasyA: Hey! All! It’s Ab-time! Check out these ribs!!

NatDawg: I’m so glad I wore a shirt.

EasyA: I accidentally forgot mine.

foodsweatnbeers: Yeah, right. #accidentally?

JShred: Circuit 3 time! FOCUS!

foodsweatnbeers: I love Chest Flies so much.

JShred: Little do you know what I’ve got in store for you.

foodsweatnbeers: OH MY GOD! Anterior raises will be the end of me…. Tell my mother I love her, I’m pretty sure I’m dying.

It’s been real, Mom.

NatDawg: Sometimes, when I’m taking a nap, I wake up and I’m sleep-side lunging with anterior raises.

foodsweatnbeers: Ok, Natalie, we get it. You’re in shape.

NatDawg: What? Oh, sorry, I was looking at my delts in the mirror.

Yeah.

foodsweatnbeers: NM.

JShred: You guys like jumping jacks, right?

foodsweatnbeers: Oooh! yeah! My calves are craving some further abuse!

EasyA: When I get in a fight, I’ll know how to punch from this video!

NatDawg: If that poor girl ever got in a fight, she’d snap like a twig.

EasyA: Jump ropes are fun!

foodsweatnbeers: #eyeroll

JShred: Bicycle crunches are named that by their inventor, William James Bicycle Esq.

foodsweatnbeers: Do you have a citation for that fact?

JShred: er…. quick! Look at @EasyA’s ribs!

Looking good, Anita! (click for source)

foodsweatnbeers: Ugh, whatever.

At this point, I normally push through those damn bicycle crunches, stretch on my own, and curse Anita for being a silly looking ninny.

Hope you enjoyed joining me for a quality workout.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an exorcism to attend.

I will eat your heart.

foodsweatnbeers:

Airports: The Great Equalizers

Good morning friends, blends, and strangers who love/hate flying.

I was so excited that so many of you enjoyed my recap of the Healthy Living Summit Cocktail Party.  Big shout out to Katy Widrick for the twitter love, spreading my words far and wide to her many followers and fans.

Even though the cocktail party was a blast, I’ll admit, there was one aspect of the trip to Philly (or rather, from) that cast a hideous pallor over my memories.

Not unlike the beautiful skin tone of Lord Voldy. (Click image for source)

That thing was so awful that it even warranted an angry tweet from yours truly.

You should never tweet angry. But sometimes, I do.

See, the beau and I are starting the long distance relationship thing a little early this week, with him leaving for a business trip and me heading back to North Carolina, also for work. He called me early Monday morning when his flight landed to say good morning and inquire about my weekend.  And, as we all saw in yesterday’s post, yes, I may be a bit of a loud character.

If you went from hot tub to snow, you'd be screaming, too!

But when the fellow across from me shushed me, I couldn’t help but (quietly) ask,

“Excuse me?”

“I said ‘Shh’…. I don’t want to hear your conversation.”

……………………………oh.  I’m sorry. I thought this was America.  Not District 12 (Bonus points for Hunger Games reference understanding) where we have to be silent coyotes for the sake of everyone around us and to make sure we don’t offend President Snow (who this guy reminds me of.  Roll with me on the Hunger Games train. And if you’re not, read them now.  You will thank me.)

And yes, maybe I was loud.  I tend to be. But that’s the thing about airports.  EVERYONE is loud.  All around us, there were babies crying, folks trying to get a hold of their rides (“What?! Terminal B?  Did you say BEE or SMEE?! WHERE IS TERMINAL SMEE?!”), tearful phone goodbyes, video game playing, iPod listening.  It’s a loud place.  And I think that sometimes, for infrequent travelers (I am the opposite of this), they forget that, for some of us, the airport is part of our day-to-day lives.

When I looked up in horror at this jerk, all I felt was a totally mind-consuming rage.

Face has been covered because I realized it's not nice to tweet angry.

I think my thought process was something along these lines:

“Who does this ass-hat think he is? Look at him, sitting with that smug su-do-ku playing look on his face [you know the one that all good sudoku-ers get when they su].  I bet he regularly powerwalks past slower walkers in his neighborhood track, and looks back at them, and shakes his head.  Yeah, he’s probably that kind of dude. I wonder if he’s ever purposefully spilled a drink on someone, or elbowed them for getting too close on public transportation. Likely.”

When he got up and left his stuff, I had crazy-person thoughts like “I want to follow him playing sounds of screaming babies on my phone.  is that a ringtone that I have?” I promise I didn’t look (but the thought crossed my mind.)

Airports somehow (and frequently) bring out the worst in some people.  I’ve seen folks have to be split up by TSA agents because they’ve started fights over who was supposed to board first.  This is not a joke.  I’ve watched people butt in front of entire hours worth of security lines, then receive death threats from the folks behind them. The pressure of flights leaving you behind, connecting flights, long lines, and expensive food just seems to put people on edge and make them total grouchballs.  And one grouchball leads to another, and then you have a collective rage blackout and forget how you ended up in a pile of cinnabons and $9 beer puddles with blood on your knuckles.

It.... it all happened so fast.

Luckily, on rare occasions, they can also bring out the best. Because I’ve also watched people share their overpriced Chinese food and laugh like they’ve been BFF when they find out their flight’s delayed due to thunderstorms.  Once, I even saw a Charlotte, NC local offer their guest room for someone whose flight was canceled until the next day.  Having slept over at the Charlotte airport before due to flight cancellations and rescheduling, I remember staying up late, chatting with my fellow airport warriors about past stories and bonding over our mutual tragedy.

The Real Tragedy? This was my bed.

As I fumed with rage blackout potential, I tried to remember those good times.  The laughter, the kindness of the occasional fellow passenger.  Heck, early yesterday morning, my undies fell out of my carry on and a wonderful lady alerted me, in the shadiest manner possible, that I had panties gone rogue.

Who, me?

And so I didn’t do anything rash, like mash a banana into his carry on or report him for sexual harassment and potential dangerous weapon concealment to TSA.  I just decided to walk away.

Whether you’re mean or nice, tall or short, old or young, rich or me poor, you can’t change what happens at the airport. You can’t bypass the security lines, you can’t MAKE the pilot take-off faster, you can’t demand that there be less traffic on the runway.  Airports are the great equalizer.  Maybe that guy chose to respond negatively, and be in a bad mood, but I chose to rise above it (quite literally) in the air, and had a wonderful conversation with my seat-buddy.

I still hope that guy was forced to sit by the toilet and that it smelled.  I hope it smelled REAL bad.