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El Vez: A Taste of Mexico in Center City February 1, 2012

Posted by Matt Wargo in Philadelphia Scoop, Travel and Explore.
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Fresh guacamole and one of the city’s best margaritas? Yes, please!

El Vez, 121 S. 13th St., offers diners a unique dining experience that only local restaurateur Stephen Starr could pull off. From the food to the decor, El Vez transports guests into a world of Mexican cuisine.

For starters, this Mexican eatery offers seven different guac options. Seven! All made fresh and served in a traditional molcajete or as a sampler platter.

When it comes to the main course, the portions are just right. Be sure to pick up a few of the side options to spice up your meal. I recommend the grilled corn on the cob with lime and queso fresco or the creamy poblano corn rice. Yum!

So, go and explore! The food’s great and the drinks are too. Plus, the guest service at the Center City establishment is beyond extraordinary.

Oh, El Vez also offers a photo booth! Three bucks to get some a strip of retro, black-and-white photos. Over the weekend, a group of friends and family went for Abby’s Birthday and the waitstaff offered to have the photo booth images screen printed onto an El Vez t-shirt. How cool?

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‘Sparks Fly’ at Taylor Swift’s Sold-Out Philadelphia Spectacular August 7, 2011

Posted by Matt Wargo in Philadelphia Scoop, Travel and Explore.
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Sparks were flying as Berks County native Taylor Swift opened her 2011 “Speak Now” World Tour in Philly Saturday night.

Over 50,000 fans packed the field and stands at Lincoln Financial Field in South Philadelphia to welcome the country singing sensation to their city.

While most of those screeching for Swift were barely legal, hundreds of those cheers were surely from Swift’s self-proclaimed “Chaperone Dads (or Moms).” But, a few of those screams and ill-pitched sing-alongs did come from Section 116 where four double-daters were seated (My sister and her boyfriend, Greg, along with Abby and me).

And “Swifties” had plenty to sing-along to, as the Grammy-winner belted out 17 songs throughout her old stage show/musical-themed show.

Saturday’s sold-out show was one of six shows scheduled at football stadiums during the “Speak Now” Tour.

Owls On The Town In Old City March 20, 2011

Posted by Matt Wargo in Travel and Explore.
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Fellow Owls and Friends (L-R) Aaron, Vinnie, and Matt share a cheers at Bridget Foy's.

The Owls joined together for a night on the town and for some good eats over the weekend!

Saturday evening a group of Owl Ambassadors celebrated a colleague’s birthday and fun-filled semester at one of Old City’s dining hot spots, Bridget Foy’s, 200 South St, Philadelphia.

Barbers, Bees, and Operas: Exploring Philadelphia’s Theater Scene December 15, 2010

Posted by Matt Wargo in Haphazard Happenings, Travel and Explore.
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Eight shows in 12 weeks will open anyone’s eyes to the world of theater in Philadelphia. From large-scale musicals, Italian Operas, and small-theater drama, we heard, saw, and experienced it all.

As part of the General Education program at Temple University, the Dramatic Imagination course requires students to explore the theater scene around the city. Take a look below at how some of this city’s most talked about fall performances ranked in the STUDIO M’ys.

1. “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” by Philadelphia Theater Company

The first-place STUDIO M’y goes to this laugh-out-loud musical; ‘Spelling Bee’ breaks down the fourth wall and mixes the world of show business with those in the audience. Funny songs and dances: Check and Check! Weird middle school sexual humor: Check! This musical showcases teenage interaction on their road out of eighth grade and on to adulthood. The show will time warp you to when getting that word correct was E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

2. “The Threepenny Opera” by Arden Theater

In this show, adapted from Bertolt Brecht’s ‘The Beggar’s Opera,’ Mack  the Knife is on the run as London’s most sought after thief, enjoying some of the city’s ‘friendly ladies’ and finest stolen goods. This racy and rule-bending musical will surely draw a smile to your face.

3. “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” by Temple University Theater

Would you like a pie, Sir? How about a fresh shave? Are you sure? In this thrilling musical, Sweeney Todd returns to London to find things have changed since he left his barbershop on Fleet Street. Now, he’s back and it’s all about revenge in this dark, mysterious show.

4. “Iron” by Theater Exile

A mother and daughter reunite after being separated for 15 years by a iron-clad prison cell and family tragedy. Fay and Josie struggle to reconnect amid “a life sentence of isolation with literal bars and figurative walls.

5. “Silverhill” by InterAct Theater

Alden fights to keep the communist and complex marriage spirit alive in his community founded around Bible-communism. After one young member goes on a business trip, the utopia must combat  a new interest in capitalism. The show is based on the 19th century Oneida Community from upstate New York.

6. “Otello” by Opera Company of Philadelphia

7. “The Belly” by Temple University Theater

8. “Macbeth” by Wilma Theater

Taylor Swift, ‘Speak Now’ Tour to Rock Out Lincoln Financial Field in August November 25, 2010

Posted by Matt Wargo in Philadelphia Scoop, Travel and Explore.
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Country-pop princess Taylor Swift is set to rock out Lincoln Financial Field in South Philadelphia next summer.

The Grammy-Award Winner is scheduled to bring her “Speak Now” World Tour to the outdoor venue on Saturday, August 6th. Swift’s stop at the “LINC” is one of six stadium shows scheduled in the United States.

The eight-month tour is expected to kickoff February 9th in Singapore. From there, the 20-year-old singer is set to make 87 stops in 19 countries before closing the tour in Texas on October 8.

“The Fearless Tour was so much fun and even more unforgettable than I ever imagined, and I can’t wait to get back out and play my new music from Speak Now!,” Swift said, “The fans have been so amazing, and I’m thrilled to play in new cities around the world and meet even more of my fans in 2011!”

Swift announced her plans for the tour in line with the release of her third album, “Speak Now.” Within the first week, sales of the new album skyrocketed to over 1 million copies.

Officials have not released ticket information or on-sale dates. According to the Swift troop, tickets will start at just $25.

The Berks County, Pennsylvania native last performed in Philadelphia in March on the 2009-2010 “Fearless” World Tour. That string of shows grossed nearly $64 million and entertained more than 1 million fans.