A Chevy Suburban. A Cadillac Escalade. A 14-passenger stretch Expedition SUV. While these could be group of friends dressed as a presidential motorcade on Halloween, they're actually a sampling of the luxury vehicles in DC Private Car's sizeable fleet. Their roster extends from a three-passenger sedan car equipped with reading lamps, 9" LCD screen, and DVD player all the way up to a 32-passenger executive bus. Chauffeurs save clients from the hassle of driving as they motor around the metro area for any sort of occasion, from airport or convention transportation to wedding receptions and personalized sightseeing tours.
When Brian McInerney reflects on the humble beginnings of Wheel Fun Rentals, Inc., he points to his childhood passion for bikes. "As far back as I can remember, I had a real love affair with bicycles," he recalls. During a trip to Italy in 1987, Brian's affinity for cycling blossomed into a full-fledged obsession when he spotted locals' transporter of choice, the surrey. Inspired, he began importing the Italian four-wheelers to a rental business in the U.S. that eventually expanded into Wheel Fun Rentals, now a nationwide web of shops that also loans out bikes, electric cars and mopeds, and man-powered watercraft. Adventuresome athletes can also compete in activities such as surrey scavenger hunts and blindfold obstacle courses navigated via shouted instructions from a seeing teammate or exceptionally long rounds of trial and error.
The second annual Philly F/M Festival culls hordes of independent films and live music, emphasizing the interplay of the two media. Thursday night hosts the event's kick-off party as Philadelphia Slick douses the crowd with waves of toe-tapping beats and games of Simon Says. The neighborhood's lights dim on Friday as the film screenings begin at 7 p.m. with Sound It Out, a phonetically precise documentary that chronicles the last vinyl record shop in Teesside, England. Meet Me on South Street, The Story of JC Dobbs (September 24 at 6:30 p.m.) delves into Philadelphia's artistic subculture and underground crocheting scene from the 1970s to 1996 through the lens of one of its signature and now defunct musical establishments.
Owning a car can be a burden: paying for insurance, paying for gas, paying for a car-sitter every time you go for a hike. That's why Enterprise Rent-A-Car started CarShare, a community program that lets members take out vehicles around the city without worrying about any of those inconveniences. Once at the CarShare location, customers need only to use their membership card to unlock the door. Members can reserve a car by the hour?as well as daily or overnight?and low rates include the cost of fuel, insurance, and up to 185 miles per day. They enjoy a wide range of choices, too: electric and hybrid rides, SUVs and pickups, and passenger vehicles populate the company's stable of fuel-efficient vehicles.
The showroom at Vespa of Philadelphia is a scooter enthusiast's dream. Classic and modern Vespa models sit alongside Piaggio scooters and motorbikes. Some are for rent. Some are for sale. Some just rolled in to visit their friends. The friendly staffers help guests select the right model, though not before they pour some complimentary espresso. As further evidence of their scooter knowledge, Vespa of Philadelphia's team also runs a Vespa- and Piaggo- certified service center. Here, techs change oil, make repairs, and prep scooters for winter.
Philadelphia Scooters acquaints riders with two-wheelers from a mélange of international manufacturers including America's own Genuine Scooter Company. Genuine's Buddy 150 International zips around grids and serpentine stretches of city streets and scenic byways at speeds of 60+ mph thanks to a 150cc, air-cooled engine and automatic transmission. In addition to performance, the Buddy 150 snags glances from passersby with tubeless Maxxis whitewall tires and glistening green, blue, or burgundy paint jobs. The scooter garners aural attention with a powerful Stebel air horn and a throaty four-stroke purr. Part fun machine and part practical commuter, the Buddy 150 protects pocket books by sipping on gasoline and preserves peace of mind with a two-year warranty and two years of roadside assistance.