Articles on this Page
- 07/25/13--07:30: _It's Been a Great W...
- 07/25/13--10:30: _If You Haven't Seen...
- 07/25/13--11:30: _The Last Look: Mart...
- 07/25/13--12:30: _Vibe Out to Filliga...
- 07/25/13--13:15: _Talking to Artist M...
- 07/25/13--16:16: _The TLC Biopic Look...
- 07/26/13--07:13: _Here's a Man Dancin...
- 07/26/13--08:55: _Celebrities! How Si...
- 07/26/13--09:30: _Why the Opening of ...
- 07/26/13--10:45: _A History of Critic...
- 07/26/13--12:00: _Designers and Twins...
- 07/26/13--14:07: _GIFs of the Week: A...
- 07/26/13--15:00: _The Best, Worst and...
- 07/26/13--15:23: _Locked Up A-Broad: ...
- 07/29/13--07:10: _Mary Poppins Rearra...
- 07/29/13--10:33: _The Black Eagle at ...
- 07/29/13--11:48: _Please Enjoy Nigeri...
- 07/29/13--13:08: _Icona Pop Make Jay-...
- 07/29/13--14:30: _Philly's Jose Garce...
- 07/29/13--15:30: _#SELFIEWALL: A Pop-...
- 07/25/13--07:30: It's Been a Great Week For Local News
- 07/25/13--11:30: The Last Look: Martha Wilson
- 07/25/13--12:30: Vibe Out to Filligar's Dalí-esque Video, "Money on the Dark Horse"
- 07/25/13--16:16: The TLC Biopic Looks Like an Episode of VH1's Behind the Music
- 07/26/13--08:55: Celebrities! How Similar To Us They Are
- 07/26/13--15:00: The Best, Worst and Weirdest of the Week
- 07/26/13--15:23: Locked Up A-Broad: Orange Is the New Black X Lauryn Hill Songs
- 07/29/13--07:10: Mary Poppins Rearranged As Trip Hop
- 07/29/13--10:33: The Black Eagle at Battery Harris
- 07/29/13--15:30: #SELFIEWALL: A Pop-Up Exhibit Turns Selfie Photos Into Art
ICYMI: here's a clip of a local TV news reporter accidentally drawing a penis on a traffic map, while live on the air. [via Uproxx]
And, while we're on the topic of local TV news, here's a Vine showing a Chicago reporter getting video bombed by an adorable dancing girl. You'll want to watch this approximately 389 times. [via beelievedahype Vine]
This is gonna be our new Rockaways beach blanket. [via The Clearly Dope]
Here's our new OkCupid date. [via Bunny Food]
Carlos Danger's sidekick. [via F Yeah Dementia]
We don't know about this guy... [via Humor Train]
Dripping blood cutting board. [via Laughing Squid]
Whether you occasionally glance at her music videos or obsessively follow her Instagram, you know Nicki Minaj is good at twerking. So obviously her appearance in Busta Rhymes' new video for "Twerk It" is chockablock with Nicki and her dancers' sexxxy moves. It would've been amazing if the men in the video -- Busta, Pharrell and DJ Khaled -- did some ass-shaking for the camera (since men are really striving to get bootylicious these days and all) but what can you do? Instead, look to Busta's designer sea captain lewk for some major style inspiration on this cool summer day. All the twerk that's fit to twerk, above.
(And if you want to get your own twerk on at da club, check out rapper Cakes Da Killa's guide to twerking HERE.)
Blues rock Chicago four-piece Filligar have a new album out this week, Hexagon, and a new video for album track "Money on the Dark Horse," which we're excited to be premiering here on PAPERMAG. In the opening shots, the song's twangy guitar riffs are accompanied by Dalí-esque footage of the band playing in a desert while a silvery cube rotates in the foreground. Later shots show the group, made up of brothers Johnny, Pete and Ted Mathias and close friend Casey Gibson, staring, joking and, in Johnny's case, singing, in front of a black screen while pulsing orbs move in and out of the frame. Around the 4:00 mark, things start to get even more abstract: there's an extended instrumental interlude with more bobbing spheres, cubes and even the bands' disembodied fingers. It's a cool video and, for what it's worth, a soothing watch for those looking to vibe out on their Thursday afternoon.
Hexagon is out now via Decade Records.
What was the inspiration for you to explore the world and roles of Real Dolls?
'Real Dolls' or 'Love Dolls' are a growing market of life size fetish sex dolls that can be customized and ordered online. My first introduction to the Real Doll phenomenon was a documentary I found to be both disturbing and thought provoking called Guys and Dolls. As someone who grew up playing with dolls, dressing them, and creating elaborate worlds for them, Real Dolls seemed a way to continue that play and infuse 'grown up' issues.
In your photographs for the series, you compose the scenes to reflect the desires of their owners. Can you tell us about these owners?
The men who I imagine personalize, dress, and care for each doll are just as important to me as the dolls themselves. Each doll (Mimi, Luxx, Ebony and Raquel) is a reflection of her owner's needs or fantasies. It is important for viewers to interpret the story their own way, to create their own narrative.
Do you see these characters ever extending into your video or performance work in the future?
It is too soon to tell. I like to move forward and into new projects, but I have a feeling my love of dolls will not be waning any time soon.
Even though they are inanimate objects I can see how it wouldn't be hard to personify the dolls. But what about people who fall in love with lamps or the Eiffel Tower? Have you explored the phenomenon of people who fall in love with buildings and objects?
Yes, I'm not about to dress up like a lamp but I have thought about it. In working on the Real Doll photographs, I did quite a bit of research into Fetishism and Objectophilia and came to a new understanding about the people faced with it. Some people just love their laptops more than others.
Martin(e) will be running until August 16th at Ryan Lee Gallery, 527 West 26th St., New York City
More photos from the show:
Real Doll, Ebony 3, 2013
Real Doll, Mimi 1, 2013
If the new trailer for Crazy, Sexy, Cool: The TLC Story makes the upcoming TLC biopic look like the intro to an episode of VH1's Behind the Music, that's probably because it's made by VH1 and will only air on VH1. Premiering this fall, the movie stars lip gloss enthusiast Lil Mama as Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, child star/hip-hop artist Keke Palmer as Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas and Drew Sidora as Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins. While VH1 did a great job styling and making the women look startlingly like TLC (and, you know, it's always nice to hear "Waterfalls") it remains to be seen how much of the trio's personal lives will be explored. Will we see Left Eye setting fire to her boyfriend's mansion or the car crash that killed her? Will we see TLC declare bankruptcy at the peak of their fame? At the very least we'd better see a lot of fights scored to sad, warbling violins. Because if Crazy, Sexy, Cool: The TLC Story doesn't have a drama quotient high enough to give a Lifetime movie a run for its money, it can't get no love from us.
We don't know who this man is, but he's got some sweet, sweet moves and a cute, furry dance partner. [via Death and Taxes]
BuzzFeed went to Richard Simmons' dance studio and challenged him to sit still for 60 seconds while upbeat, exercise-ready music was playing. We've never seen Simmons look so pained. [via Queerty]
Oooh, Entertainment Weekly got a little sassy on Tumblr. [via EW]
This "Mommy May Lose Her Schmidt" system makes us feel so much more secure as we go about our day-to-day lives. [via knusprig.titten.hitler]
This supercut of SNL cast members breaking character will make you laugh harder than Bill Hader trying to get through "The Californians." [via Uproxx]
The good people of NBC re-imagined Parks and Rec as a horror movie/thriller. Who knew Leslie Knope could actually be an evil mastermind? [via Uproxx]
We'll be dreaming of this till dinner time. [via mlkshk]
The new Morning Funnies motto. [via Afternoon Snooze Button]
Welcome to our new series "Celebrities! How Similar to Us They Are," a surrealist send-up of celebrity weekly's' "Stars Are Just Like Us!" features. Each installment is written by Eli Yudin and Carey O'Donnell (of the very hilarious twitter account @NotTildaSwinton and our Real Housewives of New Jersey recaps) and illustrations are by Isabel Alcantara. Join us below to see Gordon Ramsay try to take over his local Goodwill.
Sofia Vergara stared at her own Pepsi ad on a city street, saying "That looks just like me!" to passersby.
Zooey Deschanel laid in the middle of Sunset Blvd, coyly shaking her head when asked to move.
Tom Cruise smashed a bird house at a flea market that he felt was threatening him.
Bill Maher walked into Pinkberry and asked every customer "Really?" repeatedly until removed.
Adele wore a cloak while holding a lantern on a small boat in the middle of a foggy lake at night.
Gordon Ramsay tried to forcibly take ownership of a Goodwill.
The opening of a new store is not usually big news around here, but Shinola on Franklin Street in Tribeca is an exception. What makes a store selling hand-crafted watches, bicycles, leather goods and journals so special is that it's made in Detroit. It's a great story of how one entrepreneur decided to open a watch factory in America's most battered city, bringing in Swiss machinery and expertise and then training local residents in the laborious process of making a high performance, luxury product at an affordable price. Designed by David Rockwell, the store's ironwork staircase is in keeping with the brand's vision and mission, made in America, built to last filled with details like a 1930s Bronze Mercator map and a restored 1910 quarter-sawn oak display vitrine acquired from Seneca New York Junk Shop. A cafe run by the friendly folks from The Smile greets you as you enter a world built on the past and headed into the future. Detroit may be bankrupt, but if Shinola is any indication -- and I think it is -- the story of America's great city's revival has already begun. See more photos of the Tribeca flagship and watch a video about the company, below.
In an annual occurrence as surefire as the Superbowl, Woody Allen's latest movie -- in this case, Blue Jasmine -- is praised as a "return to form," used as a cudgel for critics to beat down the recent clunkers that stand between contemporary viewers and the director's distant triumphs. Few dare describe an Allen film as an unqualified "best in years," but most are happy to mark a revived sense of humor or, if the film in question lacks laughs, praise the director for rediscovered depth. So it is with yesterday's New York Times, in which Manohla Dargis calls Allen's new Blue Jasmine "his most sustained, satisfying and resonant film since 'Match Point.'"
Two years ago, in the Financial Times, Peter Apsden attacked the "return-to-form" phenomenon, dismissing everything Allen had made in the previous two decades. But could the opposite be true? Did Allen ever actually fall off? Could critics' widespread dismissals be a projection of false familiarity with his body of work? Or are they afraid to wholeheartedly praise the man famous for marrying his adopted daughter?
We found the "return to form" phenomenon again and again in reviews of the 20 theatrical films Allen has directed in the past 20 years.
To Rome with Love, 2012 (Rotten Tomatoes score: 43%)
The New Yorker: "Woody Allen's new movie, 'To Rome with Love,' is light and fast, with some of the sharpest dialogue and acting that he's put on the screen in years."
Midnight in Paris, 2011 (Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%)
Movieline: "Woody Allen Returns to Form For Real This Time With Midnight in Paris"
You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger, 2010 (Rotten Tomatoes score: 45%)
The Guardian: "Woody Allen's fourth London film is an elegant return to form"
Whatever Works, 2009 (Rotten Tomatoes score: 50%)
Philadelphia Inquirer: "Whatever Works, directed by Allen from a script he's had in his desk since Annie Hall days, and starring [Larry] David as the surrogate Woody, is easily one of the loosest, most satisfying comedies to hail from the prolific writer/director in a while."
Vicky Cristina Barcelona, 2008 (Rotten Tomatoes score: 82%)
The Economist (blog): "I know, I know -- every time a Woody Allen film comes along, the critics fall over themselves to hail it a return to form, only to apologise afterwards and admit that they got carried away. But 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona', which opens in Britain this week, really is the funny, sad, sharply ironic comeback which few of us believed would ever happen."
Cassandra's Dream, 2007 (Rotten Tomatoes score: 46%)
Boston Globe: "Allen's storytelling is crisper here than it has been all decade, even if he's making shadow puppets out of the forewarnings."
Scoop, 2006 (Rotten Tomatoes score: 39%)
Match Point, 2005 (Rotten Tomatoes score: 77%)
Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert): "The movie, Allen's best since 'Crimes and Misdemeanors' (1989), involves a rich British family and two outsiders who hope to enter it by using their sex appeal."
Melinda and Melinda, 2004 (Rotten Tomatoes score: 53%)
CNN.com: "His latest effort, 'Melinda and Melinda,' is his best in awhile [sic], but still pales next to his brilliant films of the 1970s and part of the '90s.
Anything Else, 2003 (Rotten Tomatoes score: 40%)
Chicago Tribune: "The good news about 'Anything Else' is that it's one of the best, most smoothly executed Woody Allen movies in recent years."
Hollywood Ending, 2002 (Rotten Tomatoes score: 47%)
Christian Science Monitor: "The movie is Allen's most successful in years, even if you don't see it as a self-made commentary on his own career."
The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, 2001 (Rotten Tomatoes score: 45%)
New York Post: "As snappy as a felt-brim fedora, 'The Curse of the Jade Scorpion' is Woody Allen's most purely entertaining film in years, a romantic comedy set in a lavishly re-imagined Manhattan of 1940."
Small-Time Crooks, 2000 (Rotten Tomatoes score: 67%)
Film.com: "This is vintage Allen, his powers intact after a string of increasingly cranky, creaky films in the last few years."
Sweet and Lowdown, 1999 (Rotten Tomatoes score: 78%)
Miami Herald: "After years of anxiety-ridden divorce comedies, Sweet and Lowdown just might be the movie Allen fans have been waiting for."
Celebrity, 1998 (Rotten Tomatoes score: 41%)
L.A. Weekly: "Filmed in crisp black and white by Sven Nykvist, structured like a merry-go-round to take in as much contemporary reality as our wits can bear, boasting wonderful performances by Joe Mantegna, Charlize Theron and Leonardo DiCaprio, Celebrity is one of Woody Allen's finest."
Deconstructing Harry, 1997 (Rotten Tomatoes score: 71%)
San Francisco Chronicle: "'Deconstructing Harry' is Woody Allen's strongest and most mordantly funny movie in years, even if it is also his bleakest."
Everyone Says I Love You, 1996 (Rotten Tomatoes score: 79%)
Slate: "Allen's less-successful films have suffered from the tiresome repetition of big existential questions, but the entirely successful Everyone Says I Love You brings to bear on those annoying Big Questions some of his most hilarious writing in years."
Mighty Aphrodite, 1995 (Rotten Tomatoes score: 77%)
Entertainment Weekly: "The casual obscenity liberates Allen's humor, making it laugh-out-loud funny again."
Bullets Over Broadway, 1994 (Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%)
Washington Post: "Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway' is the most substantive, accessible -- not to mention the funniest -- film that the prolific writer-director has made in years."
Manhattan Murder Mystery, 1993 (Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%)
Washington Post: "Happily, these two [Allen and Diane Keaton] stir up stardust memories of his earlier, funnier work, instead of the embarrassing voyeurism of 'Husbands and Wives.'"
African roots with simple American sportswear. Their Spring 2013 collection features breezy silks and organzas in summery, L.A.-inspired beach hues. "We love using color and silk, which is very Somali, in clean, feminine silhouettes," Ayaan explains. "We're designing for a multicultural woman who's strong and doing her own thing -- just like us."
As first-generation Americans, their family pushed them toward "serious paths at serious universities" -- but the twins had their eyes set on fashion and they moved to New York after school. Within days of arriving in the city, Idyl landed an internship with Betsey Johnson and Ayaan got a production job at Jill Stuart. They came together to launch Mataano in 2008.
Their easy-chic clothes quickly landed them an appearance on Oprah and invitations to show in South Africa, Sweden, Jamaica and at New York Fashion Week. Last spring supermodel Iman signed the twins as brand ambassadors for her cosmetics line.
"This is the Beyoncé age," Ayaan says. "We want to be successful and empower women to do the same. It's time for women to rule the world."
Mataano is available at mataano.com
Photographed by Bill Durgin, assisted by Taro Hashimura at Factory Studios
Makeup: Valente Frazier / Hair: Malcolm Curtis Goldie for Bumble & Bumble / Models: (l-r) Fatima at NY Models, Katya at Women Direct, Maylan at Major Model Management and Vika at Muse.
Welcome to our weekly GIF roundup, featuring a collection of important, amusing and/or newsy GIFs and GIF sets by Mike Hayes of BuzzFeed and Gifhound.
GIFS OF THE WEEK! EVERYBODY IN THE POOL! [via ForGIFs]
Welcome to earth, baby. [via MSNBC]
Well, now this is the coolest thing I've ever seen. A donor heart kept beating waiting to be transplanted. [via Everything Is Science]
Remember that time Kanye got p.o.'d that someone leaked a fake version of his 'Black Skinhead' video so he could do something super weird on the internet? [via husssel]
My internal monologue watching this GIF: No...C'mon...Oh..wait...OK...yeah...YEAH...YES! HAHAHAHAAH [via ForGIFs]
My internal monologue on this one: Where are this little diva's parents? [via You Fill Me Up]
A day in the life of a tree in the woods.
Leaving this one here so that you can save it to wish everyone in your life a happy birthday. [via imgur]
That's it! Have a great weekend! And don't forget to... [via Reddit]
Not quite it, actually. Also, don't forget to... [via Over GIFs]
Best Anthony Weiner-Scandal 2.0 Cover of the Week: The New Yorker, FTW. -- Elizabeth Thompson
Biggest Cronut Kerfuffle: Last night's Piers Morgan Live, guest-hosted by Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain promised David Simon and David Carr cronuts, but the show ran out of them earlier than expected. Cut to Simon writing "Tony Bourdain, you sonofabitch, you owe me a motherfucking cronut" on his blog. -- Max Kessler
Biggest Fashion Revelation (That Wasn't Really a Revelation Because We Predicted It): That those Armani diapers turned out to be fakes. We got to be one of the first to talk to the artist behind them. -- M.K.
Best "Blurred Lines" Parody We Watched This Week: This gender-swapped version of the song. Get it, gurls. -- Abby Schreiber
Cutest New Baby: Many will disagree but the award goes to Winnie Fallon, Jimmy Fallon and Nancy Juvonen's one-day-old daughter. She's so adorable! -- M.K.
Most Generous Gift We Received All Week: This photoshopped pic of Paul Rudd wearing Lisa Frank, dedicated to us by our friends over at Funky Fresh in Lisa Frank. -- A.S.
Best Dick Pic of the Week: Sorry guys, it's not Anthony Weiner. It's Australian rugby player George Burgess who had some, uh, very racy pics leaked. Uncensored version at OMG Blog. -- M.K.
Most Nightmarish Toy That's Been Haunting Our Dreams All Week: This vintage Prince William doll. -- A.S.
Two of my current favorite pop culture obsessions center around prison life. Of course I'm referring to Orange is the New Black and Ms. Lauryn Hill. In case you've been living under a rock, OITNB is a new Netflix series based on Piper Kerman's memoir of her year in a women's prison. Similarly, MLH is currently serving a three-month sentence for tax evasion and her new record is out in October. This week's Five 'n' Five pairs characters from the show with songs from Lauryn Hill.
1. Piper Chapman: "Forgive Them Father" - Lauryn Hill
Who among us hasn't made a bad decision or two (or ten) in the earlier part of our twenties? Lauryn Hill has been called many things, but, as Piper Kerman discovered in real life, accountability is the biggest bitch of all.
"Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."
2. Alex Vause: "Ex-Factor" - Lauryn Hill
Visitation rights for the dog. Dividing up the books. Splitting the couch in half. Sending one another to prison. Breaking up is hard to do.
"It could all be so simple, but you'd rather make it hard."
3. "Red": War in the Mind - Lauryn Hill
Ever get so mad you just hit someone? In the boob? And it deflates their implant? And you find yourself in jail?
"Everyone knows they're guilty, everyone knows they've lied."
4. Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren: "Doo Wop (That Thing)" - Lauryn Hill
Some people just can't take no for an answer.
"Some girls are only about that thing."
5. Sophia Burset: "The Mask" - The Fugees
One of the most interesting characters on the show, Burset, committed credit card fraud in order to pay for her sex reassignment surgery. Sadly, sometimes being who you really are comes at the highest price.
"Feds be hawking me, jokers be stalking me. I walk the streets and camouflage my identity."
Some strange, wonderful soul spliced and rearranged clips of the 1964 Mary Poppins to make it into a jaunty little trip hop song. Learn all your lessons from childhood while cutting a rug. [via Death and Taxes]
Here's a clip of a cat protectively snuggling with some ducklings because it's Monday and we all need a pick-me-up. [via Jezebel]
Ours too. [via knusprig.titten.hitler]
"Oh no, I couldn't possibly." [via knusprig.titten.hitler]
Aaron Paul came down to greet/terrify a group of people on a celebrity bus tour stationed in front of his home. Let's all go visit Aaron Paul now. [via PopCultureBrain]
Here are Simon Pegg and Nick Frost at a Fatboy Slim concert in 2002. Wish you were there, right? [via Afternoon Snooze Button]
This is a hot lewk, but it would be more on trend if it were a Home Depot bag. [via Afternoon Snooze Button]
Fashion victims or ensembly challenged? [via I'm With Kanye]
You know, just Debbie Harry and Siouxsie Sioux hangin' out. Screw the 2002 Fatboy Slim concert, we wish we were here. [via mlkshk]
Fun with word association. [via mlkshk]
Back in 1988, Jean-Claude Van Damme appeared in a clunker of a martial arts film, Black Eagle. At Williamsburg's Caribbean snack den Battery Harris, head barman Saul Ranella's drink of the same name (funnily enough, all of his cocktails are an ode to the Belgian actor's high-action flicks) is in the midst of a far more compelling run.
"Amaro tends to be perceived as heavy and aggressive," Ranella explains, but despite Averna's starring role in the Black Eagle, this summer-light libation is an invitingly flirty spin on a sour. "Like a margarita, you can easily have two of them."
Thanks to a punch of soda water, the quenching post-jerk chicken palate cleanser is topped with a sophisticated crown of beer-worthy froth. Underneath, caramel and vanilla whiskey notes intermingle with agave nectar, fresh lime juice and lively mint. The latter ingredient, points out Ranella, "has a habit of making any cocktail refreshing."
1 ½ oz. Averna
½ oz. aged whiskey
¾ oz. light agave nectar
1 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice
3 to 4 sprigs of fresh mint
Combine all ingredients in shaker and add ice. Shake vigorously. Double strain into chilled highball glass. Top with a quick press of soda water to create a froth. Garnish with mint.
Nigerian singer Temi Dollface's video for "Teenage Dirtbag" may not feature a baby-faced Jason Biggs acting out a watered-down version of American Pie, but it's great nonetheless. The video is part of a series called "The White Room" developed by the This Is Africa YouTube channel: every few months, This Is Africa invites an African artist to perform a cover of one of his or her favorite pop songs. There are only three rules: it must be done in a white room, and it must be down in one take with one shot. Dollface kills it with her rendition of "Teenage Dirtbag," swapping the gender, replacing "Iron Maiden" with "Stevie Wonder," and giving the pop-rock hit a big dollop of soul. Wheatus would definitely approve. [h/t Cooper Fleishman]
Icona Pop have taken Jay Z and Beyoncé's hit "'03 Bonnie & Clyde" -- which actually originated from 2Pac's "Me and My Girlfriend" -- and made it into an anthem for besties with their video for "Girlfriend." Unlike the two tracks that preceded it, which are all about romantic duos finding solace in each other in a tough-as-nails world, "Girlfriend" is an unabashedly joyous celebration of friendship. The video finds Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo going on a road trip, breaking into a train junction and hopping aboard -- with discotheque interludes thrown in because, you know, it's Icona Pop. No word on whether "Girlfriend" will appear on the duo's debut album This Is... Icona Pop, out September 24, but either way it's a great mid-summer pick-me-up. Watch above.
Each week in our Chefs Off Duty series, we talk to some of our
favorite chefs and industry folk around the country to find out their
secret late-night spots where they like to grab a bite and a pint when
their kitchens are finally closed. Next up: Jose Garces, the Philadelphia-based Iron Chef, and chef/owner behind a slew of restaurants in Philly, Atlantic City, Palm Springs, Scottsdale and Chicago including Distrito, Amada, Tinto and Mercat.
Where do you like to go grab a bite to eat and a drink when you're leaving your own restaurants?
I like a place called David's Mai Lai Wah. It's a Chinese restaurant that's opened 'til, like, 4 in the morning. It's in Philly's Chinatown. I really like their salt and pepper shrimp. They make this really delicious pork congee. There's also a drinks spot in Chinatown that's open really late that I also like called Hop Sing Laundromat. It's run by a gentleman named Mr. Lee, a really nice guy. There's a gated front entrance and you have to ring the doorbell. There's a doorman that comes out -- there's a whole ritual about going into the place. You go in and sit in this sitting room and he comes out and explains the rules of the club. There's no cell phones allowed, no picture-taking, no tweeting, no Facebooking, nothing. If he catches you, then you're removed from the establishment. He makes incredible drinks but my favorite is an Old-Fashioned he makes there. He has pretty much any whiskey you can think of -- I like the Pappy Van Winkle.
How did you first find these places?
It's funny because in Philly, there are very few late-night spots. If you don't like cheesesteaks, you go to David's Mai Lai Wah. Being in the industry, you seek those places out.
It's on a pretty prominent corner in Chinatown and there's probably ten tables in there. It can be pretty rowdy in there -- a lot of late-night revelers go there. Hop Sing is really cool. There's only a handful of tables -- maybe eight -- and they're pretty spread out. There are couch chairs and comfortable seating. It's pretty dark and candlelit. The décor is really eclectic and oddly pieced together. It's a good place if you want to lay low, catch up with a friend or have a date spot.
What are some of your favorite things to order?
Besides the shrimp and pork congee, they also have a pan-fried chicken noodle dish that's really good. I like their hot wings, too. It seems like the poach them in a broth and then fry them really crispy with corn starch. They're juicy and crispy on the outside. I love all the condiments that they have on the table -- they have a Chinese red chili oil, garlic ginger scallion mixture that's steeped in oil, a few vinegar sauces. Whatever food comes to the table, you can doctor it whichever way you're feeling.
Any good stories from nights at either of those places?
[Laughs] Well, one thing at Hop Sing that happened recently is that Mr. Lee has a supposed secret membership. We had an out-of-town guest who is, let's just say, pretty well-to-do. He's from Dallas and is the type of guy who can pretty much buy anything he wants. Lee got to talking to us and our out-of-town guest and found out he was from Dallas. I think Lee is an Eagles fan and Eagles and Cowboys fans don't necessarily mesh well. My friend was like, "I want to buy a membership" and Lee refused to give him a membership just because he was from Dallas. It became kind of awkward and funny for a moment. My friend was offering him 3x the amount of a normal membership and the membership only gets you, like, Lee's cell phone and access into the club -- it doesn't get you much else. Lee stood his ground though and didn't sell it to him.
David's Mai Lai Wah, 1001 Race St., Philadelphia, PA; Sun-Thu, 11:30am-3am; Fri-Sat, 11:30am-4am
Hop Sing Laundromat, 1029 Race St., Philadelphia, PA; daily, 5pm-2am
This weekend we stumbled on #SELFIEWALL, an exhibit on the LES all about exploring selfie culture. The pop-up show was sponsored by Interrupt Magazine, an all-female collective whose magazine issues are determined each month by their audience and feature a new staff each issue working on graphic design, copy, editing and writing. This month, their audience decided that the upcoming issue should be #selfie themed. Lucky for us, this meant that Interrupt set up a gallery show that allows guests to flash their best duckface for the camera in front of art created by the staff. Not only can these images be printed out for your own enjoyment (now you can tack a photo of you throwing up deuces by your fireplace!), but they also have the potential to later be featured in the issue. The pop-up ends today so bring your iPhone and get there fast! We're just curious whose #selfie is going to be the first one to make into MoMA.
More selfies from the exhibit