Angela Bocage


Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Not-to-be-missed in Philadelphia category.

Spring IS gonna come.

I’ll simply have to insist! A couple days in the last week when the snow had melted and I could walk along actual damp SIDEWALK…and then this last couple days’ vaunted blizzard being a “Feh, THAT you call a blizzard?!” sort of event for the now-ever-so-much-more hardy citizens who’ve been digging out from several feet, and I’m convinced. Yup. Spring! Maybe not THIS week, but…it’ll get here.

This spring at the Willliam Way center in Philadelphia my friend Pearlette Toussant is presenting a supremely cool event—which she’s already blackmailed me into attending because now that I’m dating again, girl has way too much inculpatory evidence which, while formally inadmissible as hearsay, could prejudice my case.*

On Tuesday, March 25 at 6:00, jumping off from the lobby of the center, to “Whet Your Appetite for Spring:” a walking tour of Philly’s Gayborhood to pick out all manner of places and things creatively includable in romantic spring date plans—but ahead of time so we’re not all frantic! Whee! This is also just a cool way for newcomers or visitors to Philadelphia to learn their way around and discover some amusing, healthy, fun and fascinating LGBTQ destinations, for Philadelphians of all tenures to meet nice people, and for everybody to enjoy.

*Anyone who knows me knows what a big lie that is; if I were a language I wouldn’t have a word for “overshare,” or “TMI”!** I love information! It’s all about the information…which reminds me to recommend, as well, Lisa Lutz’ shriekingly funny, like when you can’t help but yelp like a sea lion with laughter, ¬†Curse of the Spellmans! A lot more than funny, too, in its unsparing but ultimately nonjudgmental portrayal of a most non-traditional family. (“Uh, I request Mal Blum’s ‘For Making Art’ song plizz, goin’ out to Lisa Lutz…”) I hope the first one, The Spellman Files, is as good, since I’ve accidentally ended up reading them out of order, but I’ll let you know when I read it, which WILL be as soon as possible!

(**In terms of MY life I’m like that proverbial open book, that is. Secrets told to me, I keep to the grave. Serious as an aneurysm about that.)

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Very, very late on posting this….

Because I think it happened in January. But it was this magical night in Philadelphia, warm and ever so slightly misty, and very dark, and I worked a bit latish in center city to then walk over to the Borders bookstore to Charles Burns’ book signing. Whee, there I was, [trying to pretend not to be terrified at being out in public where I could be observed and despised by my fellow humans who would recoil in disgust and possibly crush me like a worm were they to notice me, for how could they not then instinctively intuit my loathsomeness and the need to rid this plane of existence of an evil of my ilk?!] getting to meet this great artist at last whose work just inspires me to my core. And besides being this amazing artist whose crisp black and white inkinesses and negative space somehow by sheer vibration create color, being this prolific imaginer whose dark baroque eruptions dance elegantly with language clean as a Morandi painting in words, he’s a real sweetheart, super nice and gracious. I’ve never been able to really understand the whole color-out-of-black-&-white thang, I just stare at his pages at length. If you’ve never read his stuff, please don’t deny yourself this experience of beauty. You might go to his entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Burns_(cartoonist) as a start, because for some reason I’m not finding his actual website tonight–I’m lucky if I can walk and think at the same time actually, we’re dealing with humongous sinus infections in an epic microbial badminton match around here–or look at the hardcover collection of Black Hole which is what he was signing and discussing that evening. When I spoke to him I of course told him how fantabulous he was, but mostly we talked about our BREEEEEELLLIONNTT seventeen year old daughters and how they’re juuuuust starting not to be too embarrassed by us ūüėÄ and how one of our former publishers who’ll remain unmentioned is a total asshole. And bless his heart, Burns is a Philly boy now, too, after doing the childhood-as-trek-around-the-U.S.-cauza-Dad’s-job that I and many other artists did as well. Go buy his books, y’all….


Sweet skin…sweet clothes…and a sweet deal

Many swear by Laura Mercier’s fine foundation products, whose oil-free, silky, yet coverage-provident formulae make them my teenage fashionista correspondent’s favorites. At the fantastic shop fronting the Rittenhouse Square area Blue Mercury spa, I learned today that LM also makes sweetly fragranced bath and body products, and brought home the chocolate shower cream. It smells fresh and clean, which is amazing when its notes of vanilla, honey, and possibly amber are intoxicatingly rich and delicious. Shea butter and macadamia nut oil promise smooth nourished skin; if more moisture is needed, the same fragrance comes in a generous-sized jar of body butter. This particular Blue Mercury shop always seems to have lovely things I’ve given up on finding elsewhere, so let me also mention that your beautiful, fragile vintage/silk/rayon/knit or crochet items that can’t machine wash will also be pampered and brilliantly fragranced by my other Blue Mercury find, Tocca washing solution for delicates. Unable to choose between longtime fave Stella, a spicy, woody, fresh blood-orange-based scent, and Florence, a white floral full of gardenia goodness, I got both. Not a lot of this luscious serum is needed to wash a reasonable size tub of lacy dresses, knit hats, etc., and by getting both, why, it will last twice as long, how’s that for logic? Never could be fully logical when things smell SOOOOO good and aren’t even fattening….

Among the grooming rituals my big strong gorgeous partner religiously observes, Neutrogena hand cream at least once a day and always right before sleep is very comforting, to keep with today’s theme smells fresh and wonderful, and certainly makes her hands’ skin velvety soft. It’s not the least bit expensive, so if you don’t observe many rituals for yourself, try this one–after you’re done blogging, reading, making lists and smooching/snorgling your sweetie and your pets, of course, or you’ll literally have a mess on your hands–but you’ll see instant difference, benefit from its springtimey, mood-elevating fragrance, AND have extremely caressable hands.

(This is the sixth month since I quit smoking, so perhaps the healing of smoke-inhalation-anosmia is what’s making me delight so in the olfactory wonders of the world. Yay smokefreeness!)


I have a good idea: buy some art. Also, see a shrink. And remember your keys.

When my beloved says, or I say, the words “I have a good idea,” the other replies without pause: “Uh-oh.” I suppose it’s a way of acknowledging that many things that “seemed like a good idea at the time,” e.g. putting your fist through a door’s glass panel to impress a cute girl at a party (hers) or skipping any interviews with big “corporate” law firms despite being top-10-and-Law-Review cause you just wanted to help the downtrodden (mine) turned out not to be so good.

But this here is a darn good one: Wanna buy some art?! I’ve decided to take commissions again, after having done one just because¬†our friend Peggy¬†is so wonderful I couldn’t say no to her, even though kinda terrified. But it turned out amazingly well!

I just did a huge four-panel cartoon on commission for my Peggy, my¬†wife’s old bandmate, for her main squeeze’s birthday, all about his early history flying at what she has referred to as “a cartoon airport” (so this present was a natcheral, see) whose planes had names like Gimpy, Polky and Turkey and whose flight teacher was so beloved by students that his WASP (a women’s division of the Air Force) students from the fifties and sixties still kept in touch with him for decades. It was a revelation–I don’t think of myself as drawing landscapes and heavy machinery too well, but it ended up absolutely beautiful. Though given excellent photo reference for the planes and the gentlemen in question–thank you ever so much, Peggy–I basically had to plan and write the sequential narrative pulling all the elements together. Using multiple colors of ink, I couldn’t believe how much fun I had. I hadn’t used colored inks in I don’t know how long. I’ll put up some pictures of this and other cool stuff soon. But there you are, I’m ready to take on such challenges.

God, I love my shrink. If you live/work in Center City Philadelphia, are an artist, or have ADD, or love dogs, Dr. Jeffrey Bedrick, who is a real doctor and thus can prescribe the pharmacopeia so necessary to modern urban life, could be great for your mental health and functioning. I’m increasingly skeptical of the knee-jerk dissing of Ritalin, dismissing ADD as a mere scam by big business–haven’t enough large scale studies shown the structural and functional differences in our tricky brains? Hello, hippocampal hypertrophy?! I worked on AIDS News Service back in the day, so nothing’s news to me about the tangled relations between profits, politics, science and the FDA’s pharmaceutical approval process; for many like me, benefits may outweigh risks, and I’m deeply thankful I can get helpful medications. And really really super thankful for the smarts and wisdom of Dr. Bedrick, who’s active in canine rescue!

Finally, let’s all remember our keys. Okay? I’ve kinda run outta time here but far far sooner than my last regrettable posting-lapse, I shall tell you the story of the Great Lockout of 2007 and why my spouse caused Legionnaire’s Disease, the near-extinction of the rare Florida blue-tongued vole, the Indonesian tsunami, and possibly even the hanging chads precipitating W into the residency!


The White Dog Cafe (no, this isn’t another pup-cuisine post, it’s a restaurant review!)

Where did I want to go for my birthday dinner? I was so blissed out and floating from my birthday abduction surprise adventure,¬†I almost couldn’t think. [I had¬†been totally surprised to be taken to Red Bank, New Jersey for a pilgrimage and shopping spree at Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, a comic book store and shrine to the films of its owner, one of our heroes, Kevin Smith, which films include those zeniths of the cinematic art, Clerks II, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and Dogma.] After the redonkulous fast food sludge I’d been enjoying on my BASA, all I knew was that¬†it had to be healthy! My darling is so sweet…when all I could come up with was the buffet at Whole Foods over in Princeton, she was ever so tactful in suggesting that I rethink.

¬†It had to be the White Dog Cafe, of course. We’d been there before with friends, and I love¬†the White Dog¬†for its unending visual variety–look, it’s a sepia-tone photo of a flapper lady holding a baby pit bull!–seems like one’s in a different room with a different feeling each time. But they all have in common imagery based on dogs, and as anyone who knows me knows, I find the company of dogs¬†to be one of the best aspects of being alive!¬†

The White Dog’s philosophy of buying locally and supporting cruelty-free, organic food¬†is something more restaurants should emulate. Its results are varied and delicious! Our waitperson, Lauren, was delightful and attentive and very knowledgeable about the food. And best of all, my carnivorous beloved could rave about the strip steak with onion rings on a bed of mashed potatoes, while I luxuriated in a vegetarian sampler as delicious and varied as it was healthy, and in the awareness that we were supporting¬†a way of bringing food to the table that didn’t harm the earth or mistreat its critters. If you’re in Philadelphia, you must check out the White Dog Cafe!



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