Wednesday, February 29, 2012

First Water Ice of the Year!

Wow, what a difference a day makes. Today was the epitome of winter; grey sky, about 40 or so degrees and rainy. Yesterday though, it was nothing short of heavenly! There wasn't a cloud in the sky, which was bright blue. The temperature felt like spring and as I walked home from work, people were jogging en masse, playing tennis in the local park and riding bikes all over the place.  No matter yesterday's weather abberation, we can't kid ourselves here as today is the last day of February. Yup, definitely still winter.

As I exited the subway yesterday I spied something out of the corner of my left eye: Pop's Water Ice was open for business! For about five seconds I wrestled with myself on whether or not to buy any of the tasty semi-frozen treat. Desire won out. I HAD to feed the need. Winter or not, Pop's was open due to a freakishly warm day and that was all of the excuse I needed.

I know that just before spring comes, the workers at Pop's are likely readying their shop and working up their plethora of flavors so it came as  no surprise how limited the selection was on this special day.  All I know is that a large cup of Blueberry was calling my name.  After two women and six children exited the line ahead of me, it was time to trade off my money for blue deliciousness.  This was an awesome way to end a work day, I'll tell ya that!


There are two places in South Philly that sell great wate ice; Pop's and Italiano's. Just three city blocks separate them and their tastes are similar but I'll have to admit to loving the later-opening Italiano's just a wee bit more.  I've eaten from both on a consistent basis all my life so if you're wondering who is better, try choosing between to things you absolutely adore. My friends, this is a win-win situation! Each shop has the traditionals (cherry, lemon, chocolate) as well as their own modern additions, two of which I'll name here.  Pop's has a mind-bogglingly incredible Dark Chocolate and though both do an Iced Tea flavor, I find that Italiano's quenches my thirst much better.  Try your own taste test and debate which does the Ginger Ale flavor best.  I promise you won't be disapointed by either! 

These places have spoiled me, so naturally, like anyone who experiences the best on a regular basis I've become a water ice snob.  Sorry folks, Rita's just don't exist in my world. That stuff is just way to sugared up for me.  I want my thirst quenched and I found that after tasting Rita's a time or two I needed to drink water directly afterwards.  Those rock hard Italian ices in supermarket frozen dessert sections just won't do either.  I don't have the patience to scrape, scrape, scrape my snack onto a spoon.

Once the warm weather hits and you happen to be in South Philly, give these places a look.  Clicking the two links above will provide the addresses and then you'll be all set. There really isn't anything better in the summer than stopping by Pop's or Italiano's before (and sometimes even after) a Phillies game for a near-freezing cold treat to beat the heat and they're both about five minutes from Citizens Bank Park.

A Quick Greeting

Hey folks!

First, let me thank you all for stopping by my newest blogging venture and allow me to  give a brief explanation on what to expect in this neck of the blogging woods.

I'm a Philadelphian born and bred. For thirty-nine years now this has been the only city to which I've called home and couldn't be happier to have done so.  My city is a great (though sometimes overly fickle) sports town.  We've got incredible restaurants and other edibles that have absolutely no relation to soft pretzels or cheese steaks.  The arts are very much alive and well here.  Our museums are top notch and there is just always something going on, more so if you know where to look...and yes, I totally know where to look!

This blog title is very much a play on words despite my being a complete and utter Philly-phile.  Most of the time I'll be writing about things I love here in Philly (and some surrounding east coast spots).  Sometimes I'll even jot down a word or two about things I certainly do NOT love about my city.  But what you'll get here are pieces, reviews and opinions on all things sports and entertainment, nightlife (drinking/dining) and general Philly-based culture. 

CULTURE. Yeah, we've got some of that. 

Getting back to the play on words, I tend to hear the theme to the "X-Files" whenever I think of the name PHILLY PHILES.  Don't ask why becuase I don't really know myself. I just get a kick out of the mock dramaticism it brings to the table.  If you don't know the music I'm talking about, click HERE and it'll open in a new window. So, to this effect let us consider each entry into this blog as a file. Then as I said above, most will be about Philly.  Finally, Philadelphians like to intentionally misspell and mispronounce words.  We enjoy spelling similar sounding words with "PH" (see Phillie Phanatic) just as much as we enjoy calling the ACME supermarket chain the "AC-A-ME." Don't know why, but we do these things.

So there you go! Philly-centric entertainment with a sometimes off-kilter perspective. Just how I like it.

Come back often and don't be afraid to comment!