Archive for the ‘Eating/Drinking’ Category

The New York Times Sunday Magazine had an interesting article about a privy excavation in the author’s back garden in Greenwich Village.  Greenwich Village is not unlike our own Queen Village — colonial neighborhoods of brick row houses, New Netherland to our New Sweden.  Both neighborhoods hold the subterranean remnants of generations of new Americans.  Privies are well known as repositories of historic rubbish (aka artifacts) and can reveal a good deal about our citizen ancestors.

Phound in Philly: bottle, marble, redware, blue & white ceramics, and oyster shells

Phound in Philly: bottle, marble, redware, blue & white ceramics, and oyster shells

There is one “artifact” that is ubiquitous in Queen Village — oyster shells.   They were a very popular street food back in the day, and any modern-day Philly gardener can confirm that.  They were sold as street food in Colonial times — sort of proto food trucks.


African Americans were often street vendors in Philly. This wheelbarrow full of oysters was one of the first food “trucks.” (I guess the shells were proto litter…)



Are we supposed to believe the city just now found Yuengling’s bill in a pile on somebody’s desk?  The timing of this is curious, nobody downtown is saying much, and trying to determine what’s really going on is complicated…

Local 830 of the Teamsters Union was the bargaining unit at the brewery, but they were decertified back in 2006.  (It should be noted that this is the same Philly-based union that fiercely opposed Mayor Nutter’s “destructive” soda tax back in 2011.) There are claims that Dick Yuengling threatened to shut down the Pottsville  plant and ship the jobs elsewhere if the workforce didn’t dump the union.  However, there are some who think this is simply not true.  But just last fall there were reports that Dick was in fact considering a move.  Plenty of PA folks don’t want to lose this iconic brand so cutting the owner a business break might be something state legislators would do.  Is Yuengling strong-arming the state for some public money?

Meanwhile, the Teamsters are not happy with Yuengling. The local’s PAC has supported Larry Farnese, Patrick Murphy and Mike O’Brien, so they probably have broad political support in this union town.  Has pressure been exerted on city hall to support the Teamsters?  Is it possible Yuengling really is fleeing the state, so we’re gonna give them a kick in the ass before they go? Is this Philly’s way of saying f**k you, we don’t need your crappy beer (and with Yards, Dock Street, and Flying Fish we’re probably right)?

This being Philly and union business, I suspect there’s more to come and it ain’t gonna be pretty…

Hey, Dick.  What's worse than finding A horse's head in your bed...?

Hey, Dick. What’s worse than finding A horse’s head in your bed…?

It’s curious that this news coincides with the Constitution Center’s  exhibit on Prohibition

Our cosmopolitan governor is once again trying to sell off the state’s liquor stores (maybe after he went to France he adopted a more laissez faire attitude toward demon rum).  This attempt at privatization has been unsuccessfully proposed many times…

Our laws were crafted back in Prohibition days so it’s way past time to modernize them.  Why has it taken so long?  Well, for starters there are going to be plenty of well-connected losers if the old system is dismantled:  beer distributors, some douchebags on the PLCB, and possibly the store owners just over the borders of Delaware and NJ.  But us consumers might just be a little better off in local stores where the employees know SOMETHING about the products they sell.



When I first moved to Philly and went out for a beer with friends, someone suggested I order a “ying ling.”  I thought it was a Chinese beer.  Ironic, because Yuengling is actually the largest brewery in the US that is NOT foreign owned.   (We say US, because there was another foreign assault on their historic [North] American claim some years ago. )   So it’s hard to understand why this iconic American brew would be the object of a boycott by Union labor

So a good Teamster won’t be buying American when he’s ordering a cold one.  He’ll be buying Belgian, cause that Bud’s for U (U meaning Union made).

Hmmm…buying a traditionally American beer from a foreign-owned, unionized company and boycotting the American-owned company?  Seems like even getting a simple buzz involves some cognitive dissonance in these globalized times.

That decertification at the brewery must have left the Teamsters feeling pretty deflated…

Chris Christie does not seem to have very good vacation karma.  Last year when he was staying at the state-owned, governor’s summer house on Long Beach Island, there was an inconvenient earthquake.  This year his boardwalk stroll and ice cream cone buying was interrupted by some mouthy constituent who criticized Christie’s education policy.

Fortunately, he’s not yet Vice President, and there was no Secret Service detail to manhandle the free speech-abusing offender.  But, really, Chris doesn’t need any back-up when it comes to intimidation. He doesn’t hesitate to call you stupid or an idiot or publicly insult you all of his own volition.

Wouldn’t he be a welcome addition on the world stage as Vice President?  How better to burnish America’s sterling image than to have, for our second in command, a morbidly obese man prone to temper tantrums?  Just imagine what confidence that would instill…

Well, he did FREAK out on the boardwalk…

Those Occupy hooligans are back in town.  They consider themselves part of the 99%.  And they have crazy ideas — like everyone should be equal in the eyes of the law NO MATTER HOW LITTLE MONEY THEY HAVE!  Crazy!  They also seem to think they can just gather together and PROTEST government policies.  This is especially troublesome on the 4th of July when we are trying to lure thousands of tourists to Philly to spend money.  Nobody wants to come here and get shot or stabbed or set on fire, but NONE of those are as creepy as being subjected to thought crime.  So the Cradle of Liberty’s finest has deployed a large (and no, we don’t mean obese) presence to keep us safe.  Sure, the last Occupy was basically peaceful, but they can’t be trusted like the normal, average citizen converging on the Parkway this week.

Truth is, our constitution is barely worth the paper it’s written on…But Mayor Nutter certainly knows how to put the parch in parchment – NO WATER FOR OCCUPIERS!

Freedom from thirst isn’t free…

We all know there’s more than one way to get gas at a Wawa…but now Wawa Corporate may have gotten more than a little indigestion itself, thanks to a hacktivist group taking down their websiteUGNazi, put up a kawaii Hitler on the site yesterday in protest  of…well, nobody really knows.  If you believe the comments on, it was most likely because of the lousy food they peddle.  Not a bad explanation.   Those hackers keep odd hours and Wawa may be the only option when there’s a late-night craving so they may be intimately acquainted with their soggy shortis.

For the uninitiated,  kawaii Hitler is essentially a cutesy-fied version of the furher.  Sort of like turning Satan into Hello Kitty…Why Nazis are considered cute is incomprehensible, but it may be that WWII is so much ancient history to the youngsters drawn to these designs, that they have no impact.

We might suggest, however,  that Wawa move Hoagiefest to Oktober this year — just a marketing suggestion…

There’s something in die Luft…OR…do you want fries with that hindenburger?

Mmmmm…Michael Karloutsos seems to be the kind of guy who has a lot on his plate.
Firstly, he has a restaurant to run, and prior to opening the Water Works he had almost no restaurant experience at all – that’s gotta be stressful.

He’s got loans to keep track of, runs a consulting company, has to keep straight how many people actually own the restaurant, he has to remember which political party he’s affiliated with and who he’s raising money for, which of his relatives is in jail, which of his friends might have ties to the mob, and who’s suing him.  On top of all that, he’s even helped out the school district!
Unfortunately for the city, having so many pots on the stove has caused him to completely miss the fact that he hasn’t paid any utility bills for years.  He does make a point, though  — he says he never got a bill from the city.  It makes some sense that you wouldn’t ante up until you got a bill, and nobody in city hall seemed to take notice either. I guess those folks in city government are really busy too, thinking up ways to raise more revenue for our beleaguered city.

Hmmm…maybe it’s time for a trip to the Water Works for a $35 pork chop and an $11 salad and then when I’m done, I’ll just casually make my way to the door.  If anyone comes after me I’ll tell them, “Of course I didn’t pay, I never got the check!”

I thought the building was prix fixe — utilities included!!