Friday, May 17, 2013


  1. Just got back in from the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby / Trenton Avenue Arts Festival.

    It seemed like half of the city was there, and everyone had a great time, except apparently for the Philly Socialists, whose assigned booth was all the way on the far edge, and was being manned by Snarly and womanned by Sulky. Or at least, that's the names I gave them in my head as I observed their interactions (or to be more precise, lack thereof) with attendees and neighboring booths for about five minutes before I walked back home.

    In Portland, they run coffee shops where they refuse service to police officers. I wonder what they do here?

    1. The Kensington. Kinetic. Sculpture. Derby.


      Is that a fact!

      Y'know, I cannot even begin to imagine what that possibly means, but OK!

      {Sorry, I'm laughing my ass off, actually.}

      Oh, man, too funny.

      I am suddenly put to mind of when me and my buddy, Kevin, would go to art galleries and sort-of lean up, shoulder-to-shoulder, examining a piece and saying things like, "Well, it's got a real backwards dissonance to it, wouldn't you say? I mean, there's a whole upside-down polarity to the whole structure of the piece which forces the subjective viewer into an entirely new role from the objective-subjective experience."

      {It just slays me.}

      Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby!


    2. Today's was the Seventh Annual Derby, in fact!


      I got a bunch of cell phone pics, but not sure if I'll get around to posting them anywhere anytime soon. The 'sculptures' are mostly tandem bikes dressed up to look like other things. The only real rule is the vehicles can only run on human-power, but not Flintstones-style. Pedals must be involved. My favorite was the Philadelphia Brewing Company's entry, which was a four-person bike made up to look like an old-school beer delivery truck. Most of the teams are just random people from around the neighborhood, though. There were a bunch of good ones there today.

      I was lined up at the finish line on Norris, about half a block in from Front Street and the Market-Frankford El tracks, and my favorite photos I got were when I managed to get one of the bike teams riding toward me, at the moment the train was rumbling overhead right above and behind them. A few shots looked pretty cool, at least in my opinion!

  2. And now I'm off to Chinatown for some liang pi noodles. I wonder if any of those kinetic sculpturers will let me borrow one of their bikes to get there? ;-P

    1. Oh, for G-d's sake.

      Now you know that I will not rest until I find liang pi noodles in either Oakland or The City.

      I never even heard of liang pi noodles before, but I read the wiki page and they sound delicious.

      I mean, for Chrissake, Chinese food is an important part of my identity!

      Now I just have to get me some of this stuff.

      {Damn you.}

    2. Good luck! You'll find them in places specializing in Xi'an cuisine, if that helps.

      I enjoyed the version I had yesterday, but I could have used a bit more heat in the sauce. The noodles were excellent, though, and clearly made fresh in-house. This gives me another place to add to my regular Chinatown restaurant rotation, along with the two hand-pulled noodle houses.

      My most exciting food-related discovery lately, though, is that there's an oddly-located (in a strip mall along a highway near Newark Airport in an area known mostly for auto body shops and adult entertainment venues) Afghan place not far from my new job.

      I love Afghan cuisine, and I have a feeling I'll be a regular there if it's any good!

    3. If I can find a regular spot for a bowl of aush after a 12-hour shift and in a spot well-placed to break up the long, cold, winter bike commutes, well, then I'll be a very happy guy! ;)

  3. Not sure what's worse - hopping off the train in Bridesburg and watching the bus home zip past as I'm 3/4 down the station stairs; or the fact that I've decided to duck into the bar across the street, which is being tended by a half-asleep junkie who can't figure out how to find the Phillies game on the teevee and won't let me try, either (I guess I must look like a remote control thief or something?), so I'm stuck watching some stupid sitcom until the next bus comes in 25 minutes.

    G-d, get me out of Bridesburg, please! ;-P

  4. Just voted in our primary. Traffic Court Judges, Controller, District Attorney and whatnot. No real contested races.

    Was handed some sort of "Official City Democratic Slate" flyer right at the sign-in table (not by an election worker, but by some other dude who was hanging out inside the garage we vote in). Found that interesting. I'm pretty sure that's extremely illegal.

    To be fair, my PA State Rep John Taylor had a bunch of goons outside the same garage last September, aggressively pushing flyers at everyone, but at least they were outside and probably technically within the legal limits for electioneering, if even only very barely.

    My City Voting Division generally reflects Philadelphia as a whole in its habits (85-15 D, roughly), but we're drawn into a Republican PA State House (the border with a D+40 district is literally just down the block from my apartment) district.

    John Taylor is actually a great guy who cares about our inner cities, and those of us in them. He is one of us himself, after all. The very kind of old-school, socially liberal and fiscally conservative Republican I wish there were still more of these days.

    He currently holds the title for "quickest response to a constituent's concern," in my experience, regarding something I brought to his attention last year.

    I kinda feel bad I just couldn't vote for the guy last year, though, as in our stupid system a vote for a great guy like him also essentially ends up being a vote for his foaming, far-right lunatic bigot colleague Daryl Metcalfe, who has spent the past decade in Harrisburg on a Homophobic Jihad which would make the mullahs proud.

    So I, sadly, ended up voting for Taylor's opponent, who we later learned physically assaulted a number of his campaign staff at one point leading up to the election.

    Philadelphia politics, good times. ;)

    Ah well, anyway. Sorry for rambling.