Portraits

The Weiss brothers have been part of the Philadelphia scene for quite some time. The terrific twosome, Michael and Billy, have shaped the look and feel of Philly nightlife for most of us. I was a coat-check gal myself many moons ago in what was then the 2-4 Club (back when I could stay up past 2 a.m.). The 2-4 Club became Pure and is now called Voyeur, to go along with its hot new interior and attitude. Promoter extraordinaire Noel Zayas put me in touch with notoriously low-profile proprietor Michael Weiss for a chat about family, cars and bars.

I have a confession. I come from a family of maternal packrats. My mother was/is a hoarder, just shy of us calling Dr. Phil on her (or better yet, Niecy Nash from “Clean House,” since we share a last name and all). Her mother was a “collector” and I fear I have some of the same tendencies. Especially in this day of going green, I get a knot in my stomach when I throw something away that I think someone else could use. Fortunately, I’ve found a way to end the cycle: PAT, otherwise known as Philadelphia AIDS Thrift. I decided to clean out at least a portion of my basement in the summer, but where to take my old cassette tapes and computer parts from the days before I went Mac? I felt slightly embarrassed, fearing they’d look at me with scorn, like the Main Line thrift store I tried last summer: “We don’t take Atari!” Fortunately, at PAT, a young man with a broad smile greeted me, and treated me like I’d just brought in my firstborn as a gift. “We can definitely put these out, I’ll find someone who could use them ...” He was so enthusiastic I came back the next day with another trunkload. Little did Adam Proctor know, he may have just ended my family curse. A real people person, Proctor embodies the bumper-sticker adage “Straight, but not narrow.” I spoke to the community ally about his work at Philly AIDS Thrift.

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