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.
Run by Anna Maria Florio, the daughter of Italian immigrants, La Cucina at the Market imparts vital culinary arts to its students in intimate, informative classes. Students plunge their hands into the world of handmade pasta in Making Handmade Pasta: Easy as 1, 2, 3, which runs through the art and science of noodle and sauce. In classes of up to 15 people, pupils knead, roll, and slice pasta dough to infuse homemade Italian entrees with a personal touch. Nascent noodle artists acquire the art of lengthy fettuccine and broad pappardelle, and afterward pastacrafters will be able to construct an edible sculpture of a penguin in formalwear using bowtie-mimicking farfalle.
Attracting more than 170,000 art enthusiasts to its events in 2011, the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival showcases original work from hundreds of artisans showcasing everything from handcrafted pottery, sculpture, and metalwork to jewelry, fashion, décor, and photography. Audiences can witness art being made live during educational demonstrations as artisans sculpt clay, whittle wood, forge metals, and imbue baskets with the power of speech. Hungry crafters can also sniff out specialty food items to sample or purchase while dancing across the sprawling venue to the tunes of live music.
The successor to Coney Island’s iconic amusement parks of the 20th century, Luna Park delights families with games, entertainment, and attractions ranging from classic spinning teacups to "The Cyclone Roller Coaster", an 85-foot roller coaster originally built in 1927. As youngsters acclimate to adrenaline on low-fi rides such as the Big Top Express, a colorful circus train featuring clowns, elephants, and a bright-red caboose, bigger kids and stilt-wearing toddlers dive in to such exciting diversions as the Wild River, a log flume that culminates in a sopping, 40-foot plunge. Luna Park packs even bigger thrills into roller coasters such as the Steeplechase, which accelerates from zero to 40 miles per hour in less than two seconds, and the Soarin’ Eagle, which glides above crowds on the paths below. Throughout the day, games such as Whac-a-Mole and Duck Pond challenge players’ skills at naming every animal’s Latin taxonomy.