Barbecue ribs with a smoky rauchbier. A melon salad with a dark doppelbock. The folks behind Get Real Presents specialize in pairings like these, sharing the joys of craft beer and delicious, locally-sourced foods. In this spirit, its team of foodies and beer aficionados hosts festivals featuring more than 80 brews, as well as restaurant events that pair craft beer with regional foods. As unique as it sounds, they admit this isn't exactly a new idea—they take a page from other countries, such as Belgium, who actually anchor much of their cuisine around the effervescent beverage. Following this "cuisine a la biere" model, they aim to highlight all of the great things a freshly crafted brew can do to enhance an evening out on the town, such as highlighting the flavors of a complementary dish, spicing up a local chef's stew, or softening your dad to the idea of paying off all of your student loans.
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.
La Cucina at the Market has earned accolades such as the title of Best Cooking Classes of Philly in 2011 in Philadelphia magazine and a feature in the New York Times for its private cooking classes, and continues to pass on Italian recipes and techniques in pasta-making courses. During the 2-hour sessions, novice to experienced food sculptors learn the techniques to prepare from scratch the internationally renowned noodle. Students mix, knead, roll, and cut their own fettuccini, potato gnocchi, and penne pasta that can serve as delectable main dishes or makeshift Mr. Potato Head accessories. Afterward, learn how to outfit nude pastas with house-made sauce such as marinara napoletana and quatro formaggi. Small class sizes of 10–15 students allow for personal instruction and leave students with enough knowledge to delectably decorate any tabletop or child's head with fresh noodles.
Layers upon layers of press clippings — three from the New York Times, others from Ploughshares and Time Out — cling to The Poetry Society of New York, whose diverse projects and events in the named of poetic excellence can't help but attract attention. After all, this is the organization behind the New York City Poetry Festival, whose poets, poetry fans, craft vendors, and food gather annually on Governor's Island to cite verse, hone imaginations, and pole-vault using nothing but giant quill pens.
The Poetry Society of New York also pilots Brothel Books, a small publisher aiming to "[b]ring orange groves to New York City" by printing epic, affecting work. The society's other programs include an ongoing reading series that's hosted poets well-known and obscure since 1978, an immersive theatrical experience called The Poetry Brothel, and a video literary journal. It's all in support of the organization's mission statement, whose three-item list of goals concludes with a simple promise: "to never bore you."