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Sunday, May 29, 2011

She's Leaving Home

Good Morning Darlings,

Last night I had a drinks with a few local friends to bid adieu to my life as a Philadelphian (or a Philly Jawn* as any real Philly kid would say)  for a while.We met at the Continental Midtown on the rooftop deck, which was much more crowded than expected for Memorial Day weekend. In fact, it was packed! I got there early and was already surrounded by way too many bros and an already drunk bachelorette party (note to bridesmaids: buying your bride a pink bride tiara and sash from spencers without putting any individual twists on them makes you a bad bridesmaid. just saying) So obviously I was the first one to arrive...and as I sat at the bar by myself drinking what else, but a BlueCoat Gimlet, I made some observations.

For those of you who don't know (either you don't live in the tristate area or you live under a rock in the tristate area) Steven Starr is the big Philly restauranteur. He mades theme parks for adults and disguises them as restaurants. He's easy to hate on because he is about as corporate as Philly gets and Philly loves to damn the man. From my moderate point of view, he has given this job a ridiculous amount of fairly stable jobs and pretty much singlehandedly revived the diminishing restaurant scene. Anyway, it all started with The Continental (le original at 2nd and Market), a martini bar with a very mod feel to it. We used to go there in high school to drink champagne cocktails with tang on the rim (I believe they are called Buzz Aldrins) because they never carded us and we pretty much loved to use our disposable income pretending that we were sophisticated ladies who eat expensive Asian tapas and drink drinks with more sugar than Mondos (Although Mondo from Project Runway was pretty sickeningly sweet as well).
Mondo, the lovable Reality Show Fashion Designer
A Buzz Aldrin, yes that is Tang on the rim
What kind of parents would let their child drink this? I do like their Alliterative Flavour Name however

 Anyway, his empire grew in Philadelphia and beyond. Each restaurant has a shtick, but the food is always decent and no more expensive than any other restaurant in Philly. A bunch of years ago, Starr added a second Continental closer to my hood in a huge corner property. The space used to be a Casual Corner women's apparel shop and even as a child I remember looking into the windows and wondering what type of women wore the things they sold in that shop. I believe it was around that time (let's say somewhere between '89 and '92) that "unfortunate" became a part of my vocabulary. When you walk into the Continental, the first thing you think of is the Brady Bunch house. I mean, it's completely contrived, but it is an open space with two floors, hanging birdcage chairs, sunken tables, mirrored walls and retro light fixtures. The rooftop bar has a round table and keeps with the super mod theme. All of Starr's restaurants are like this, themed to the last detail. It's kind of hoaky, but he's a very rich genius for coming up with a formula and sticking to it.

Anyway, my first observation last night was that bros (see: like to point out the obvious in loud voices in hopes that the female version of a bro (what do we call that?) will hear it and it will work like a mating call. Last night, I am sitting trying to enjoy my gimlet, when a large hairy hand reaches over me to grab a menu. I hear 

" Bro, it looks like a f**king 60s like lounge up here. Bro, it's like f**king mad men or something."

I was hoping that the Bros would look like this, but alas.


I wanted to turn around and point out that "yes since they happen to be patronizing a 60s themed restaurant, it makes sense that they feel as though they might be hanging out with Draper and Sterls (who would have nothing to do with these boys IMHO) but could they please not announce their stupidity to the entire bar?" But I'm a lady, so I did not. These same Bros ordered a "vodka coke" which means

A. They are true bros and cannot be pressured into drinking decent liquor , and will order well vodka until they day they die (get married)

B. They still have the taste of children. Coke? COOOOOKE? With your vodka? Guhross. 

They also made a grand showing of taking the pink straws out of the drink and making fun of the pinkness. Okay. 

So that was the first bro observation of the night.

The next bro observation was the next pack of bros to huddle up next to me at the bar. One bro says:

Bro1: "I feel like in order to fit in here, I should order a Pimms Cup. It's totally appropriate"
Bro2: "What's in it?"
Bro1: "I don't know, but I bet Draper would drink it"
The Bros engage in a high five to congratulate themselves on replicating their favourite womanizing television character. Bro1 receives his Pimms Cup, takes a sip, and spits it out (warranting a chuckle from the female bartender who probably has a similar thought process to me when it comes to these things)
Bro1: I can't drink that s**t.
Bro2: CHUG IT.
Bro1 chugs it.
Bro1: (to bartender) I'll have a Miller light.

Excuse me, bros, but I'm fairly certain that Don Draper nor any other member of the SDCP family would drink a Pimms Cup (well maybe Lane, he is British after all), as while the drink was kind of popular in 1960s, it had it's heyday in the 50s. Not to mention that it is traditionally a daytime summer drink. Anyway boys, you might want to do your research next time. And let's be honest, you'll probably have better luck with the ladies that you are interested in if you stay home, shotgun some brewskis and text your 2am bootycall instead of lifting your pinky while drinking your cucumber garnished $12 cocktail.

Okay, enough hating. Maybe.

Well yea, another thing that bugged me about last night was the male bathroom attendant. Well really that there was a bathroom attendant at all. Now, I am happy to tip and I am a great tipper, but listen I can turn the water on and get my own paper towel. But since you just did that for me I should feel obligated to give you a dollar? No sorry. I'm upstairs paying $13 for 4oz of champagne, they can pay you more. And it's not like there is a basket of fun stuff like tampons and hairspray. Just a guy running in front of you so that he can turn the water on before you get there. Can you say wasted water? For heavens sake! And can you imagine how this poor guy must feel? Turning water on for drunk girls in tight dresses all night? Well actually now that I think of it, I guess it's not that bad of a job.

Anyway, it was an interesting evening full of champagne in cans, friends both old and new, and lots and lots of humidity, just ask these guys:




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