April 11, 2014
ANYONE well-versed in contemporary commerce will tell you that while credit is convenient, cash is king. Unless you're in South Philadelphia, where an ancient form of currency holds even loftier influence, and goes great with a little cheese. The painstaking art of hand-making soppressata - the heavily spiced, cured pork salami closely associated with southern Italy - is not lost, but it's not exactly easy to find. That's why anyone armed with a bucket of the stuff - "super-sod" past Snyder Avenue, "soupie" in coal-mining country, a thousand colloquial variations everywhere else - might as well be strutting down the street with a wallet fatter than a hog set to slaughter.
April 7, 2014 |
A 77-year-old man is recovering after a "gruesome, violent assault" that left him in critical condition early yesterday, police said. The man who allegedly assaulted him was being sought by police last night. About 12:30 a.m., police found the victim inside an apartment on Butler Street near 7th in Hunting Park, Chief Inspector Scott Small said. He had severe injuries to his head and face, including deep cuts around his mouth and eyes. Emergency-medical personnel took him to Temple University Hospital, where he remained last night in critical but stable condition.
March 28, 2014
B UZZ: Hey Marnie, keeping busy? Marnie: I sure am, Buzz. We happen to be in the middle of the first-ever Philly Wine Week, so I've had events every night. Wine seminars, book signings, you name it. Buzz: I went to a wine tasting once, but never again. Marnie: You didn't like the wines? Buzz: The wine was good, but the vibe wasn't - too snooty for me. My friend and I didn't know much about the wines and got the hairy eyeball a couple of times.
March 28, 2014
TURNABOUT is fair play, but in the case of Philly Wine Week it's also long overdue. The inaugural grape-juice jag, which continues through Sunday, was modeled on the city's original bacchanal, Philly Beer Week. Never mind that the winos have stamina for only 8 days of festivities while the suds set goes 10 - that's close enough. After all, beer has been plagiarizing wine for years. The Everyman's drink, aiming to claw its way to the rarefied height of the vine, has adopted wine's expensive corked bottles, its aged and blended casks, its boorish Robert Parker ratings and lavish "pairing dinners.
March 16, 2014 |
Polyhyphenate Tyler Perry is so impossibly prolific that sometimes you suspect he has a magical word processor that allows him to just type in a premise and print up a perfectly formatted screenplay. Then it's find a cast and roll cameras. There's certainly something machine-tooled to his latest melodrama, The Single Moms Club . The category is five stressed-out women of disparate circumstances who get thrown together because of their unruly adolescent kids. The spectrum of Single Moms runs from haughty, half-racist snob (Wendi McLendon-Covey of The Goldbergs )
March 7, 2014 |
"I can teach all of freshman chemistry in 45 minutes without leaving anything out - it's one of my great achievements," says Clark Smith. Anyone who knows Smith knows he isn't bragging - not exactly. A noted winemaker, scientist, inventor, consultant, college professor, and author of the recent book Postmodern Winemaking (University of California Press), Smith, 62, is one of the most dynamic, erudite, and outspoken people I've ever met in the wine industry, not to mention a know-it-all.
February 14, 2014
BUZZ: Hey, Marnie, my mother came over this weekend and brought a bottle of "chocolate wine. " That sounded weird enough, but then she poured a glass and it looked like Yoo-hoo. Yuck! Who thinks up this stuff? Marnie: That was probably ChocoVine, Buzz. It's made with red wine, chocolate and cream, and tastes like a lighter, less boozy spin on Bailey's Irish Cream. I find it hard to discern the taste of red wine, personally, but there's no question that that stuff is hyper-popular these days.
January 30, 2014 |
JOSEPH "Uncle Joe" Ligambi threw on a woolen trench coat and left the U.S. Marshals office about 11:15 a.m. yesterday. No handcuffs. The 74-year-old reputed mob boss headed down the escalator, out of the federal courthouse and into the black Cadillac on Market Street that would whisk him away to South Philly. He sat shotgun, a big smile on his face. You'd think Ligambi's experience with the federal government had consisted of, say, waiting in line at the DMV for a couple of hours - not sitting in prison for 32 months.
January 24, 2014
WHETHER it's craft-brewery cans or longnecks of Yuengling, beer has long dominated the barroom conversation in Philadelphia, leading to one of the most sophisticated draft-tower environments in the country. Cocktails, too, have found a permanent foothold in the sipping landscape, with a small but smart roster of savvy drink-crafters earning attention for their efforts. So, where does that leave wine? Unfairly relegated to the bottom of the list, at least in terms of how often the topic leaps off the nuanced tongues of local drinkers.
January 24, 2014 |
CLOVERDALE, Calif. - Sitting down to 78 glasses of chardonnay before lunch is one of those "be careful what you wish for" moments. If you're thirsty, this isn't what you think. Given the circumstances - the opening round of my fourth year as a judge at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the world's biggest for American wine - no one here was about to dive in and get loopy. This is a sip-and-spit derby, with anonymous flights of 10 numbered glasses coming at my panel of four lab-coated cohorts in lightning rounds every 15 to 20 minutes.