BY AMY Z. QUINN Like time, news waits for no man. Keeping up with the funny papers has always been an all-day job, even in the pre-Internets era. These days, however, it’s a two-man job. That’s right, these days you need someone to do your reading for you, or risk falling hopelessly behind and, as a result, increasing your chances of dying lonely and somewhat bitter. That’s why every week, PAPERBOY does your alt-weekly reading for you. We pore over those time-consuming cover stories and give you the takeaway, suss out the cover art, warn you off the ink-wasters and steer you towards the gooey center. Why? Because we love you!
ON THE COVER
CITY PAPER: The beer geeks are coming! The beer geeks are coming! The 10-day Philly Beer Week celebration begins March 7, so this week’s cover takes a look at the area’s bitchin’ brew scene. Bring your own (organic multigrain artisan) pretzels.The reason is simple, according to experts:
Philly, for all of its faults, is a damn fine town to have a pint. “Philly Beer Week is unequaled by anything in the entire country, ever,” says Stan Hieronymus, a New Mexico-based beer writer, blogger (appellationbeer.com) and author of brewing tome Brew Like a Monk (Brewers Publications). “The number of events, the diversity of events — there’s nothing like it. And that reflects Philadelphia’s status. You’ve got brewers coming in from everywhere, and obviously that’s an indication that Philly is important for beer.”
A question: How come nobody mentions Dock Street when they talk about the renaissance in Philly brewing? I always liked the Dock Street Amber. Anyone? Blah blah blah controversy, blah blah blah we don’t actually have enough brewpubs, Yards Philadelphia Brewing Co.SlyFoxVictory blah blah blah Philly drinks more Belgian ale than they do In Bruges (and have the beer guts to prove it), blah blah blah Joe Sixpack. And don’t forget the suburbs, youse guys.
Phoenixville’s Sly Fox, which has won kudos for both the quality of its beers and its innovative use of cans for packaging, reported 30 percent growth last year. Beers made by Delaware’s pioneering Dogfish Head, South Jersey’s Flying Fish, Adamstown’s Stoudt’s, Easton’s Weyerbacher and Harrisburg’s Tröegs are commonly found on local taps, too.
PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY: For anyone who wonders what motivates your average dude, while listening to WIP (or any other sports talker, for that matter), to make the leap from muttering back at his radio (which, in my own research, is what most men do) to picking up the phone, consider one Phil from Mount Airy:
Phil pleads an inability to restrain himself. “I’ll be sitting here on the computer with my radio on, minding my own business, right?” he explains. “And then somebody’ll say something really fucking ridiculous, and I just can’t take it. I have to call.”
We hear you, brother. Still, what is it that makes this average Philly Dad, living his average Philly life with his average Philly family (complete with child’s bedroom decorated in floor-to-ceiling Iggles gear), rise above the rest of the schmoes who call in? Whatever the reason, Phil’s repartee hasn’t just turned him into a local celeb, recognized by voice at the supermarket. It’s landed him in 610 AM’s pantheon of regulars, “a cadre of callers with handles like “Chuck from Lansdowne,” “Mitchie Tools,” “Sly from West Philly,” “Mike the Weasel” and “Cowboy Dave.” Apparently those last four are not actually the lineup of this weekend’s revue at The Cave:
These are all callers with lives that allegedly extend beyond their radios and phones. Take Mitchell Cohen, aka “Mitchie Tools” — 47, married with kids, and the proprietor of a hardware store at Fifth and Passyunk. Like Phil, he usually calls Gargano and Martorano. But unlike Phil, he doesn’t care about sports all that much. “I’m not on top of the stats and everything,” he says. “Actually, I like it when they talk about other stuff.” Cohen does impersonations. “He thinks he can do them but he can’t,” corrects Gargano. “That’s what’s funny. He calls and imitates Elvira from Scarface and [Fox football sideline reporter] Tony Siragusa.”
CP: New Editor Brian Howard takes his bow, reveals other staff-shifting, we remember our own wax-pasteup days. A 30-hour famine to raise awareness of world hunger; cosa fai oggi, Italo-hipsters?
PW: Admit it: Eco-friendly living wasn’t the first “green” you thought of you when you saw this headline about “Green” Roxborough, or as I like to call it, Manayunk With Driveways. McManus on the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s Thriller — Shamon! Bryn Mawr College’s new president is an Islamic studies scholar.
WINNER: You, dear reader.