Pink Penny IV

Pink Penny IV

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hyperbole [hi-pur-buh-lee] –noun 1. obvious and intentional exaggeration 2. an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity”

pink penny [pink peh-nee] –noun 1. PGN’s two cents on everything kick-ass about Philadelphia 2. the ultimate hotness

You lucky bastards!

Years from now, when Pink Penny has become a national (if not global) sensation that includes a live televised awards show, a star-studded guest list, a red carpet large enough to shut down Broad Street, throngs of rabid paparazzi, tearful acceptance speeches and a seven-second time delay to catch all of the on-air profanity, you will be able to tell all your jealous friends that you were there at the beginning. Like someone who saw Elton John when he was a club act or someone who knew RuPaul when she only owned one wig, you will be able to brag to the envious masses about how you were there when Pink Penny was just a humble effort by a dedicated (and overworked) staff to give its two cents on anything that is amazing about Philly and the surrounding areas.

So, without further ado, bon appetit and laissez les bon temps roulez!

PEOPLE WATCHING: Brew HaHa!, 212 S. 12th St.; (215) 893-5680 OK, so we don’t actually go for the coffee. We frequent Brew Ha-Ha! to gawk at the eye candy and other interesting bits of humanity that comprise the foot traffic in and around this happening coffeehouse.

FAVE GAY BUSINESS SURVIVING AGAINST THE ODDS: Giovanni’s Room, 345 S. 12th St.; (215) 923-2960 Sometime over the last two years, if you were listening closely you probably heard something resembling a Jurassic death rattle followed by the sound of something big keeling over and knocking down trees emanating from Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Rehoboth Beach and New York.

Those were the sounds of long-standing LGBT bookstores closing their doors ... forever.

Thankfully, Giovanni’s Room is still standing, and is now the oldest LGBT bookstore in the nation. So do yourself — and us — a favor and go buy something there, so we can keep the tradition alive.

FAVE USED BOOKSTORE: Book Trader, 7 N. Second St.; (215) 925-0517 Nothing makes us feel superior more than having a big-ass bookshelf packed with novels and informative books that show off our never-ending pursuit of intellect. Never mind the fact that we haven’t even bothered to crack the spines on half of those tomes, and that the bookshelf really is the front for a secret sliding door that keeps our even-bigger porn library out of casual site.

Anyway, used bookstores merge the bargain hunter, bibliophile, historian and faux-intellectual snob in all of us. With over 30 years in the used-book game, no place in Philly makes us want to eagerly peruse its shelves more than Book Trader.

MINI GOLF: Philly Mini Golf, Franklin Square, 200 N. Sixth St. It is so much fun being able to feel like Godzilla and Tiger Woods at the same time. You know ... without all the fire-breathing, Denny’s waitress funk, Mothra attacks and nine-iron head trauma that comes with it.

RELAUNCHED RESTAURANT: Terra (at Tavern on Camac), 243 S. Camac St.; (215) 545-0900 A new chef and a new menu have done wonders for an already-strong player on the scene. Chef Eric Paraskevas’ New American cuisine has upped T.O.C.’s game considerably, whether you’re just filling up on refined appetizers or plunging headlong into tasty upscale entrées.

WOMEN-RUN BAR OUTSIDE CENTER CITY: Rainbow Eye, 1449 N. Fifth St.; (215) 769-1701 It’s damn near impossible to beat out Sisters in the arena of area lesbian bars. Really, it’s almost futile. It would be like trying to beat Eric Massa in a tickle fight. But this cozy space has definitely won our respect for giving it a worthy try.

FAVE HAPPY HOUR: Knock, 225 S. 12th St.; (215) 925-1166 We love the food. We love the drinks. We love the staff. And quite honestly, if it weren’t for the day job, we’d be ensconced at Knock way earlier than happy hour. Unfortunately, martini money doesn’t fall out of the sky for us.

LGBT HANGOUT: Stir, 1705 Chancellor St.; (215) 732-2700 It would be easy to pin Stir’s popularity on its proximity to Rittenhouse Square, but our favorite stylish loungey hole-in-the-wall isn’t one to rest on its laurels. The quality of drinks, décor, service and the DJs place Stir at the top of our places to unwind.

LESBIAN KARAOKE: Sisters, 1320 Chancellor St.; (215) 735-0735 Once you get over the shock of watching lesbians singing “It’s Raining Men” (um ... WTF?), you’ll realize that there is some serious karaoke mojo working at our favorite lesbian bar. “American Idol” ain’t got nothing on them.

GAY BRUNCH: Q Lounge, 1234 Locust St.; (215) 732-1800 Normally you couldn’t pay us enough to wipe the crust out of our eyes, give our nether regions a quick refreshing rinse and otherwise pull ourselves together before mid-afternoon on a weekend (that’s right ... sign us up for “Celebrity Rehab”). But the revamped Q Lounge lures us out with its irresistible brunch menu like fresh brain to a zombie. You have no idea how appropriate that analogy is.

FAVE WATERING HOLE: Venture Inn, 255 S. Camac St.; (215) 545-8731 This is Philly’s quintessential classic gay bar. Trends and gimmicks come and go but this longtime fixture on the bar scene will never go out of style.

FAVE DANCE CLUB: Voyeur, 1221 St. James St.; (215) 735-5772 People either love Voyeur or hate its guts.

You never hear anyone in the city say, “Voyeur is OK.” Never. It’s always either, “I love that place” or “I hope it burns to the ground.”

Any place with that many haters spewing froth and venom at it has got to be doing something right. And any club this unapologetically big, loud, obnoxious and divisive is the kind of club we want to be shaking our asses in like there’s no tomorrow.

FAVE BAR FOR POOL TABLES: 12th Air Command, 254 S. 12th St.; (215) 545-8088 See what happens when nobody hates on your club?

FAVE DRINK MENU: Westbury Bar & Restaurant, 261 S. 13th St.; (215) 546-5170 While we are sure there are more adventurous cocktails to be had in the city, the Westbury wins over our deteriorating livers time and time again with the most consistent and wisely chosen selections of beer we could want.

COFFEE: XIX, Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue, 200 S. Broad St.; (215) 893-7892 It’s a bit more out of the way than most other places (it’s on the other side of Broad! It’s 19 floors up!), but sometimes we like to put on airs. Just because it’s the most popular drink on earth doesn’t mean you have to drink it like a peasant. They use some fancy machine imported from Italy or something. While you’re there, sample some dessert too. You wouldn’t want your coffee to get lonely.

SPECIALTY DRINKS: Valanni, 1229 Spruce St.; (215) 790-9494 Whether you drink like James Bond on a mission in a Monaco casino or Marion Ravenwood drinking everyone under the table in “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Valanni’s sophisticated drink menu walks the fine line between the traditional classics and adventurously out-there cocktails.

FAVE WAY TO GET AROUND THE CITY: Vespas, www.vespausa.com Hey, bicycles. We love the crap out of your eco-friendly asses. We appreciate that you have your own lanes on the streets and could use a lot more than the city has given you. But, damn! Lately your riders have started to get a little uppity as far as traffic goes. So this year, we have to throw out props to your stylish mechanized cousin. Sorry. Maybe we’ll hook back up next year.

FAVE PARK TO VISIT ON FOOT: Independence Mall, Sixth and Chestnut streets.; (215) 597-0152 It turns out a picture-postcard aesthetic, glossy tourist trapping and the influx of international history buffs and looky-loos the site attracts make for one hell of an interesting stroll.

FAVE PARK TO VISIT ON TWO WHEELS: Schuylkill River Trail With springtime upon us, our inner cyclist can’t resist Fairmount Park’s Schuylkill River Trail. It offers a wonderful view of the city and the surrounding landscape, for people who can’t get enough of the outdoors. We’ll be even more excited when it’s finished.

FAVE PARK ON FOUR WHEELS: Franklin D. Roosevelt Park When we don’t have the better part of the day to get our nature fix, a zip through FDR, aka “The Lakes,” with the top down, the sunroof open or our head sticking out of a window like a basset hound is enough to give us a quick recharge.

GAY DAY TRIP: New Hope We’re going to let you in on a little secret: Sometimes just being in the city works our last goddamned nerve. Maybe it’s having to weave around those sad-ass horsedrawn carriages, sit motionless on the Schuylkill Expressway every other day or seeing a huge line of people waiting for a Jim’s cheesesteak while the rest of South Street seems to wither. Sometimes we have just had enough.

So when we have to run for the hills to recharge, it’s almost always a beeline for New Hope. Its quaint and gay-friendly charm is always the surefire cure for our frequent bouts of cityitis.

FAVE ALTERNATIVE TO THE GAYBORHOOD: Northern Liberties Look what we found on the way out of town to New Hope!

REASON TO VISIT NOLIBS: The Piazza, 1050 N. Hancock St.; (267) 455-0471 If you build it, they will come. The Piazza is like the field of dreams for anyone in the area with money and free time to spend. With enough restaurants, shopping and artist studios to keep anyone’s head spinning, The Piazza is retail heaven. Plus, you don’t have to fight traffic or flash mobs (so far). Awesome!

FAVE ALTERNATIVE TO THE ALTERNATIVE TO THE GAYBORHOOD: East Passyunk Avenue Soon we will have the city surrounded! Now, if only there were a way to gentrify Camden ...

FAV PLACE TO CATCH A CABARET PERFORMANCE: Harlans at The Nevermore, 6426 Lower York Road, New Hope; (215) 862-5221 Harlans takes the prize for drawing some serious star power to its New Hope stage, with the region’s best singers, comedians and entertainers. Being nestled up against one of the best gay hotels in the area doesn’t hurt either.

FAVE RESORT: The Borgata, 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City; (609) 317-1000 Maybe you’re turned off by the gaudy spectacle of the other resorts dominating the skyline. Or maybe you don’t like getting strafed by seagulls. So if you really want to insulate yourself from the rest of Atlantic City for the duration of your stay, the Borgata has everything you could ever need to ride out your visit in style until it’s time to go home.

FAVE LIVE MUSIC VENUE (SMALL): Tin Angel, 20 S. Second St.; (215) 928-0770 Tin Angel is, hands down, the best place in the city to catch gay and lesbian singer-songwriters on the rise or on the national touring circuit.

FAVE LIVE MUSIC VENUE (MID-SIZE): World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St.; (215) 222-1400 We have trouble figuring out whether we like the more laid-back and intimate upstairs room or a larger star-magnet that is the downstairs room. But one thing is for sure: World Cafe Live is a class act when it comes to hosting the best performing artists.

FAVE LIVE MUSIC VENUE (MASSIVE): The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 5201 Parkside Ave.; (215) 546-7900 It just wouldn’t be summertime if we didn’t spend at least one evening getting serenaded by classical music or grooving to a rock concert while stretched out on a blanket on the lawn at this open-air venue.

FAVE THEATER COMPANY: Mauckingbird Theatre Company, www.mauckingbirdtheatreco.org It’s not hard to find LGBT players on Philly’s theater scene, but we love Mauckingbird for the sheer volume of gay talent and stories it puts onto the stage year after year.

FAVE REASON TO VISIT ATLANTIC CITY: Harrah’s, 777 Harrah’s Blvd.; (800) 645-6774 It’s hard to choose which giant neon monolith to bow and scrape to when visiting our Jersey Shore cultural abyss. Harrah’s managed to beat out some stiff competition this year by hosting some high-profile gay-friendly events and raising the bar on its entertainment game.

FAVE REASON TO VISIT REHOBOTH BEACH: Canal Side Inn, Canal and Sixth streets, Rehoboth Beach; (302) 226-2006 They had us at “We do not accept persons under 18 years of age.” But Canal’s sophisticated sense of style, excellent service and proximity to town, the boardwalk and the beach are bonuses — and pretty much everything we’re looking for in a quick beach getaway.

FAVE EVENT: Stimulus; www.facebook.com/stimulusparty This huge and diverse monthly LGBT party is sometimes the reason we can’t be bothered to de-crust our eyes, rinse the glitter off the nether regions (don’t ask) and find a strong pair of sunglasses to get us to brunch in time on the weekends.

FAVE DJ (TIE): DJ Sparkles; www.djsparkles.com Carl Michael; www.myspace.com/djcarlmichaels So many phone numbers never gotten. So many drinks spilled in the stampede toward the dance floor. We’ve lost count of how many conversations have ended abruptly with, “Oh, snap! That’s my jam,” when either of these DJs worked their sonic magic.

FAVE LOCAL SINGER-SONGWRITER: Aiden James “On the Run” is the best way to describe this homegrown folk-pop artist. His band performs all over North America, but we love him because he always comes back to his roots for video- and CD-release parties. We’ll keep a guitar handy and a candle burning in the window for you, Aiden.

BARTENDER: Kyle Stoudnour at Tavern on Camac, 243 S. Camac St.; (215) 545-0900 He’s friendly, knows what we drink, cuts us off when said drinks impair our judgment and still will not give us the digits no matter how much we tip. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

DRAG QUEEN: Sandy Beach Sandy is such a versatile performer, she can class up a red carpet one minute and have people laughing their cummerbunds into a knot the next. Any event lucky enough to feature Sandy is sure to be memorable.

INTERIOR DECORATOR: Joe Matthews; matthewsinteriordesign.com If you, like us, thought you were a bad-ass with the look you cobbled together from Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, The Home Depot and the occasional antiquing trip, take a peek at the white-hot stylings on Matthews’ Web site and try not to weep as you realize how far away you are from true 007-movie-level décor and just how close you are to college-dorm chic.

FAVE PERSONAL TRAINER: Gavin McKay at Fusion, 105 S. 12th St. When it comes to whipping us into shape, Gavin is the man. If we were getting our asses kicked any better, there would be restraints, scalding hot wax and a gimp mask involved. (Look for a second location soon.)

FAVE LOCAL LGBT TV/RADIO PERSONALITY Pierre Robert WMMR’s top disc jockey is a true survivor. Rock radio is a constantly changing and especially cutthroat industry. So anyone who can keep up with all the trends, remember the history and stay on top of the game for more than 25 years is definitely a reason to tune in. Did we mention he’s out?

FAVE LOCAL LGBT AUTHOR: Fredric Joss Shelley His most recent novel, “The Alphabetical List of Would-Be Princes,” was one of the best books we came across in the last year. It also challenged us to attempt to land dates with 26 different individuals. We’ll keep you posted on our progress.

FAVORITE ACTIVISTS (TIE): David Acosta From founding Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative 20 years ago to his current work with the city’s AIDS Activities Coordinating Office, Acosta has used his unique perspective as a longtime community leader to generate measurable change and motivate a new generation of activists. The Rev. Jeffrey Jordan The Metropolitan Community Church of Philadelphia’s pastor has led his congregation through relocation to a new space and the launch of its One Church social-justice campaign, but has also been ever-present at community rallies and discussions, bringing his message that LGBTs deserve a place in faith communities.

FAVE DOOR PERSON: Barry, Knock After a long week, we need to relax with friends. We don’t need attitude between us and the adult beverages. So we appreciate Barry at Knock. He’s always kind and courteous and never fails to open the door for us, hastening our entrée. Thanks, Barry.

FAVE GAY CHORUS: Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus; www.pgmc.org The hardest-working gay chorus in Philadelphia always impresses us with its expansive range of songs and sheer frequency of amazing performances.

FAVE GROCERY SHOPPING: Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th St.; (215) 922-2317 This is a no-brainer. Who needs the upscale grocery chains (or their prices) when we can get fresh, organic products and crafts from local farmers?

FAVE PLACE TO GIVE IN TO TEMPTATION: Naked Chocolate, 1317 Walnut St.; (215) 735-7310 Like Willy Wonka’s Factory crossbred with Caligula, Naked Chocolate is so addictive that we aren’t even mad when the implied nudity in its name fails to materialize during our many crack-house-level desperation visits to this chocolate wonderland. We love the chocolate-covered pretzels with Reese’s Pieces, hot chocolate, chocolate mousse, dark chocolate and Nudo bars …When we die, please have Naked Chocolate make our casket.

FAVE FROZEN TREATS: Capogiro Gelato, 119 S. 13th St.; (215) 351-0900 No matter how many times we visit (often), the gelato at Capogiro always blows our minds with its myriad inventive flavors, such as bitter chocolate and Thai coconut milk. We’d happily walk past 10 Rita’s on a 100-degree day just to get some.

FAVE CUPCAKE: Buttercream Cupcake; buttercreamphiladelphia.com If you happen to see our grown asses running down the street like children chasing an ice-cream truck, you can thank Buttercream for the embarrassing spectacle. This cupcake truck roams the city, loaded up with super-addictive treats while its loyal customers follow online to track its location for their little piece of cake-and-frosting nirvana. Believe us when we say that if you have to go through Wile E. Coyote extremes to catch this vehicle, it is worth the effort.

FAVE DESSERTS: Franklin Fountain, 116 Market St.; (215) 627-1899 Modern, media-savvy ice-cream parlors have damn near ruined ice cream for us. Most of the time, we’d rather have a simple sundae or two scoops on a cone than five scoops of mocha-cocoa-supernova-ripple-crunch-bomb supreme served in a hollowed-out Teletubby skull with 10 inches of sprinkles, Oreo cookies and Snickers bars and a lit roman candle on top. Thank heavens the Franklin Fountain keeps it old-school with old-fashioned simple flavors and simple pleasure.

FAVE DELI: The Kibitz Room, 1521 Locust St.; (215) 735-7305 Philadelphia’s only Jewish-style deli delivers New York-style flavors (and prices) that we just can’t resist. Whether you’re all about the kugel, knishes and kreplach, or want to tackle a sandwich big enough to give Dagwood Bumstead a reason to step back, the Kibitz Room is the king of deli in Philly.

FAVE PIZZA: Joey’s Stone Fired Pizza, 517 South St.; (215) 238-9999 It’s amazing what a new name and owners can do for a place. There’s a pizza joint every 10 feet on South Street, but Joey’s — which occupies a nice corner that was once home to a pizza chain that went belly-up, and before that was a KFC — has jumped to the head of the pack in a short time with its tasty pies. Best to get ’em while you can.

FAVE DINING UNDER $10: Darling’s Diner, 1033 N. Second St.; (267) 239-5775 Normally a diner is our last resort for eating out, but Darling’s definitely makes our first string of favorite restaurants thanks to its friendly staff, trendy décor and some of the best cheesecake around. Where else can you get something called a Hipster’s Paradise, with bananas, blueberries, Nutella and peanut butter over your choice of French toast or pancakes?

FAVE VEGAN/VEGETARIAN FARE: Horizons, 611 S. Seventh St.; (215) 923-6117 This is where we bring vegetarian friends without feeling all mad at ourselves that we’re not being meat-eaters for the evening. Horizons skillfully executes dishes without any of the tasty carnage most of us are used to ...

FAVE PLACE TO CONSUME RED MEAT: Del Friscos, 1426 Chestnut St.; (215) 246-0533 ... but once our vegetarian friends are out of visual range, we are compelled to re-up our carnivore status in grand fashion with a refined and healthy serving (or two) of the best meat and potatoes money can buy in the city.

BURGER: Five Guys Burgers and Fries, any location No matter how many upscale burgers with their fancy ingredients we try, we always come running back to the effortless charm of what has to be the best burger chain on earth. We dare you to find us a better burger.

FAVE SEAFOOD: Devon Seafood Grill, 225 S. 18th St.; (215) 546-5940 If the seafood were any fresher, we’d have to fight off sea lions in order to have a nice dinner. Also impressive is the way Devon switches up the menu based on what came off the boat that day.

FAVE GYM: 12th Street Gym, 204 S. 12th St.; (215) 985-4092 Most gyms get boring after the first month, which is why we stop going. That will never be the case with 12th Street Gym. Like a maze without the cheese, this fine fitness establishment keeps its members going and interested during their many sweaty visits.

FAVE YOGA: Dhyana Yoga, multiple locations, www.dhyana-yoga.com With over 100 classes per week and some of the best instructors in the city, Dhyana is the grand champion of bending and twisting our sorry asses into better health. Plus, they bring in guest instructors who make us weep with enlightenment.

FAVE FREE WORKOUT: Shoveling snow Who the hell needs a gym membership when you have a record-setting 60-some inches of snow to shovel off your sidewalk and a city nigh-on incapable of clearing it off the streets in a timely manner? Now all we need is free chiropractic care.

FAVE REASON TO GET DRESSED UP: Kimmel Center, 260 S. Broad St.; (215) 790-5800 Sometimes we like to go out like Thurston Howell III and Lovey. The Kimmel Center is the best venue in which to show off your tails and monocle or evening gown and baubles while taking in the best classical music and theater productions the city has to offer. We could wear jeans, but what’s the fun in that?

FAVE PLACE FOR PORN: Spruce Street Video, 252 S. 12th St.; (215) 985-2955 If we could build an addition to our house and then decide to turn it into our own personal porn library/cellar, it would look just like this.

TOURIST TRAP: South Street If nothing else interests you here (the food, the culture, watching thousands of people get parking tickets in under 60 seconds, watching people over the age of 18 run for their lives, etc.), you can watch the retail economy collapse in real time.

GAY ART GALLERY: William Way LGBT Center, 1315 Spruce St.; (215) 732-2220 Whenever we visit, we can always count on the center to expose us to new and established LGBT artists, as their works are always adorning the center’s massive walls.

GAY-FRIENDLY ART GALLERY: AxD Gallery, 265 S. 10th St.; (215) 627-6250 AxD has won us over with its ability to find edgy artists and display the most eye-catching paintings, sculptures and graphics around. And the venue routinely mixes mainstream and gay artists, keeping everybody happy.

FAVE KITSCHY ART: Absolute Abstract, 141 S. 13th St.; (215) 733-0190 Whether your tastes and budget range from the poster section at Spencer Gifts to “put it on my black AmEx,” Absolute Abstract is the place to go to decorate (and class up) everything from a studio to a luxury penthouse.

FAVE PLACE TO GO GREEN: Big Green Earth Store, 934 South St.; (267) 909-8661 It’s not easy being green, but thanks to Big Green Earth Store, it sure is fun. The hip and eco-conscious store is one of the best places around to shop for earth-friendly products of all kinds.

FAVE PLACE TO GEAR UP FOR THE PENDING FALL OF CIVILIZATION: I. Goldberg, 1300 Chestnut St.; (215) 925-9393 We usually don’t panic easily, but with all the earthquakes, angry killer whales, signs of financial collapse, flash mobs and tea-baggers running amok, we’re seriously considering loading up the panic room with bottled water, canned goods and whatever survival gear we can afford to haul in mass quantities out of our favorite military-surplus shop. Did someone say gas mask?

FAVE CD SHOPPING: FYE, 100 S. Broad St.; (215) 496-8338 Commit to the physical CD-shopping experience so you can tell your kids what it was like five years from now.

FAVE RETAIL MECCA: Jake & Elwood’s House of Chews, 122 S. Main St., New Hope; (215) 862-2533 Do you love your pet(s)? No, do you really love your pet(s)? Well, if you haven’t even been to this New Hope pet boutique to buy them something, we and your four-legged companion(s) know for a fact that you do not love them as much as you possibly can. This place takes shopping for your loyal and furry friends to ridiculous levels, but damn, is it ever impressive.

FAVE WINDOW SHOPPING: Tiffany’s & Co., 1414 Walnut St.; (215) 735-1919 It’s times like this we wish we had found ourselves a sugar daddy or sugar momma when we were younger and prettier. Sometimes, when you look really close, you can see the outline of our noses and palm prints on the windows and display cases in this mecca of bling and opulence. Later, you can find us weeping in Marshall’s or TJ Maxx.

FAVE DVD SELECTION: TLA, 1520 Locust St.; (215) 735-7887 Even though we’re still mad at it for shuttering the Fourth Street location, TLA remains the place to find the hottest blockbusters and the obscurest of arthouse flicks for your viewing pleasure.

FAVE LOCAL LGBT SPORTS: Gryphons Rugby; www.phillygryphons.org A bunch of sweaty, dirty athletes wearing shorts and crammed into a big pile: That’s all we needed to know.

BOWLING: North Bowl, 909 N. Second St.; (215) 238-2695 With its 1950s décor, classic video games, pinball machines and Wednesdays being $2 shoes/bowling/Tecate/tater tots (that’s right, bitches, tater tots!), we can party like we’re in the middle of a John Waters film at this amazingly kick-ass bowling alley.

FAVE MEN’S CLOTHING: Metro Men’s Clothing, 1615 E. Passyunk Ave.; (267) 324-5172 Metro Men’s has all of our favorite brands and a friendly, knowledgeable staff that always lets us know which items we can and can’t get away with wearing in polite company.

FAVE WOMEN’S CLOTHING: Macy’s, 1300 Market St.; (215) 241-9000 This department store is a classic for a reason. What makes this location interesting to us is that it’s not in a mall. Which means we don’t have to schlep by the Build-A-Bear and Club Libby Lu to get our retail therapy.

FAVE SHOES: Aldo, 1625 Chestnut St.; (215) 564-4630 Bring a friend when you shop at Aldo. Because you’re either going to need her/him to stop you from buying up footwear like you’re the second coming of Imelda Marcos or to help you carry your packages like a Sherpa guide, should thoughts of fiscal responsibility fail to materialize.

FAVE TATTOO PARLOR: Eddie’s, 621 South St.; (215) 922-7384 We would show you some of the great work Eddie’s has done for us, but damn it, this is a family newspaper.

FAVE NEW LIVING SPACE: 777, 777 S. Broad St.; (215) 772-0777 This shiny new complex is not only giving a section of South Broad a much-needed upgrade, but also puts its occupants within walking distance of everything great about Center City. We like that it’s LEED-certified too.

FAVE PLACE FOR LGBT HEALTH SERVICES: Mazzoni Center, 21 S. 12th St.; (215) 563-0652 Whatever is about to come down the pike with universal health care (or not come down the pike, as the case may be), it’s good to know Mazzoni is there to serve the LGBT community.

FUNDRAISER: Dining Out For Life/AIDS Walk It’s a tie. Any fundraiser that manages to make money from activities we were going to do anyway is aces with us. (And yes, that does mean that we walk regularly. Surprise!) Hopefully someone will soon invent a fundraiser centered around wine and yoga.

FAVE PLACE TAKE LGBT VISITORS FROM OUT OF TOWN: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th and the Parkway, (215) 763-8100 Us to said visitor: “Fine! I’ll take you to see the freakin’ Rocky statue. But you have to look at some real art while you’re there.”

FAVE SECOND-HAND SHOPPING: Sophisticated Seconds, 2019 Sansom St.; (215) 561-6740 and 2204 South St.; (215) 546-0784 This place lives up to its name. When we want to get our itch for designer dubs scratched without taking a horse and carriage to the poorhouse, Sophisticated Seconds never ceases to amaze us with fashion finds that make us only too happy to fork over our hard-earned dollars.

FAVE SALON: Ettoré, 1201 Market St.; (215) 928-9010 The hard-knock life of working at PGN can make anyone look rough around the edges from time to time. No salon gets us from hot mess to ready-to-impress in a more expert fashion than Ettoré.

FAVE NEW SALON: Salon K, 1216 Locust St.; (215) 545-1880 It never hurts to have a back-up. Don’t be surprised if Salon K, with former Rocker Head stylists K and Harris taking care of us, rises to the top next year.

FAVE BARBER SHOP: Chop Shop, 513 South St.; (215) 923-5545 It turns out, you don’t have to be the best to impress us. Just get us in and out for a reasonable price and a reasonable amount of time and we’re happy.

ORGANIC MAKEOVER: JuJu Salon and Spa, 713 and 728 S. Fourth St.; (215) 238-6080 Just because we want to look good doesn’t mean we have to make the environment look bad. JuJu somehow, someway, works its beautification voodoo with non-toxic, organic and green professional products to create a better world for us to look great in.

FAVE WAXING: Cut, 204 S. 13th St.; (215) 545-3930 Whether we want a crop circle, a topiary garden or just to wage a scorched earth-campaign on our body hair, we count on the professionals at Cut for manscaping.

FAVE PLACE TO HAVE A WEDDING: Washington, D.C. Oh, how we wish there were a location closer and more convenient to recommend. Just remember that there is a three-day waiting period from when you apply for your marriage license to when you can have your ceremony.

FAVE TRAVEL AGENCY: AAA South Jersey Travel Agency, 201 Kings South, Cherry Hill; (856) 428-9000 If we lived in southern New Jersey, we’d be total ninja-level black-belt experts in getting the hell out of Dodge too.


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