Archive for September, 2010

September 29th, 2010 by Campus Philly

Pelada: More than Just a Game

Pelada is the Brazilian word for ‘street soccer.’ More literally, it means ‘naked,’ referring to the game being stripped down to its most bare form. This, among other things, is the premise for the documentary film Pelada .

The film centers around Luke and Gwendolyn, two former college soccer stars who never made the pros, yet still love the game whole-heartedly. Although they are both on different career paths, they decide to take a trip around the world looking for pick-up soccer games, while experiencing the culture around them. They travelled for over a year to places like Italy, China, Iran, and (of course) Brazil, looking for the game in its true form.

No matter where they went, there were stories to tell. These stories allow the audience to see the game as we do not see it in this country. Concepts such as the field being a sanctuary or the game being in their blood are ideas that have a completely different meaning in other countries. In some rough neighborhoods in Kenya or Bolivia, soccer is sometimes all people have.

Throughout the film, it’s interesting to see everyday items like bottles and garbage cans become nets; wrapped onions and balls of straw become game balls. But these people do not care about what they play with—the point is they play every day. Even if times are tough, they get enjoyment out of the game.

Even in areas that aren’t as rough, soccer is a large part of the culture. The duo find themselves in Austria, staring the pandemonium that is the European Championship in the face, witnessing firsthand what soccer can mean to not only a country, but to an entire continent.

Along the way, Luke and Gwyn meet some interesting characters. For example, in Brazil, they meet a little girl people call ‘Ronaldinha’ after the Brazilian megastar Ronaldindo. This little girl was amazing, and the audience can only hope she reaches her dream of playing for Brazil.

All in all, the film is very powerful. It is amazing to think what a simple ball could do for an entire population. To the people of these soccer nations, the game means so much—it could mean a chance at a real future, rather than ending up in a gang or in jail. It could mean a break or distraction from a tiresome and struggle-filled life. It is a remarkable sight to see how much people value pick-up soccer.

The most amazing part of this is that it was purely pick-up soccer, says director/producer Ryan White. Luke and Gwyn’s trip was used as a passport to pick-up around the world.

Although the film had a small budget, they were able to release a moving, impressive film. The point was to focus on the culture around soccer rather than the sport itself, and they succeeded in that. The film is currently moving around the country and to different film festivals, but you can purchase the DVD here.

You can contact Nick Iuele at nick_iuele@yahoo.com.

Photo: © http://pelada-movie.com/

September 29th, 2010 by Campus Philly

What Are the Phils Chances?

As the Phillies go full steam ahead into the playoffs, it’s natural that fans all over Philadelphia college campuses are getting excited.

The Phillies have looked very good as of late, sporting their three-headed-monster in their starting pitching rotation: Roy Halladay, Coles Hamels, and Roy Oswalt. The Phils landed Oswalt in a trade earlier in the season, an acquisition that has the fans feeling confident about their pitching heading into October.

“With three of the best pitchers in baseball right now, the Phillies have as good a shot as any team to win it all this year,” says Dan Day, a sophomore at La Salle University.

One concern Phillies fans had this year is inconsistent hitting. The team’s bats have come alive as of late, but were sputtering and playing catch-up to the Atlanta Braves earlier in the season. Although most fans aren’t worried, some cannot help be wary of past struggles:

“The hitting

September 29th, 2010 by Campus Philly

The Orange and Black are Back

It’s tough to image the Philadelphia Flyers without Simone Gagne; Flyers fans were crushed when they heard he’d be putting on a Tampa Bay Lightning uniform. The pre-season opener at the Wells Fargo Center against the New Jersey Devils may have helped ease fans in to the notion that Gagne is not coming back.

Will the Flyers worsen as a result of this loss, or will the team hold down the fort? Temple University senior Jeff McMenamin, who studies sports journalism, thinks that the Flyers “will miss the leadership of Simone Gagne [because] his toughness on the ice made everyone around him tougher.”

The Flyers’ first pre-season game against the New Jersey Devils was the first opportunity for new players to prove themselves on the ice—especially for Bill Guerin, who hasn’t made the team yet. In an interview between periods, the Flyers’ head coach Peter Laviolette said it’s likely that Guerin will join the Flyers during the regular season. Faithful announcer Jim Jackson (sporting a spiffy new goatee) even mentioned that Guerin would have a “big impact” on the team. Although Guerin did not make any contributions to the scoreboard on Tuesday night’s game, he definitely showed that a 39-year-old could still skate fast and apply pressure on the attack.

The Flyers also picked up forwards Nikolai Zherdev and Jody Shelley. In the third period, Shelley dropped his gloves with Devils forward Pierre-Luc Leblonde. Flyers’ new defenseman Matt Walker also got into a skirmish with Leblonde in the first period.

As far as what made it onto the scoreboard, Darroll Powe—who is also trying to earn his way into the Flyers lineup—scored the first goal of the game, as he picked up a rebound from the freakishly talented Claude Giroux. Carter went on to score another goal in the first period, but three Devil’s goals from Adam Mair, former Flyer Dainius Zubrus, and Jamie Langenbrunner snuck past Leighton, putting the Devils in the lead 3-2. In the third period, Danny Briere scored to send the game into overtime.

Hey, what about Bob? Bobrovsky, that is—the goalie that replaced Leighton in the third period. As the announcers struggled with his name, the new Flyers net-minder didn’t let anything into the crease during the third period or overtime. The scoreless OT resulted in a shootout. Giroux got the puck in the net for the Flyers, and Jason Arnott, the next shooter from the Devils, made his attempt, too. However, Flyers captain Mike Richards scored the seemingly effortless game-winning goal resulting in a 4-3 win for the Orange Crush.

Some fans viewed this first victory as a good sign for things to come. Pat Ayling, a junior at La Salle University, has an optimistic outlook on the season: “I think the Flyers will do pretty well. They have most of their players back except Gagne. But, they added a few players that could really help out. They can make the cup again if the goal tending stays strong.”

Advice for Flyers fans: Save a place for Gagne in your orange and black hearts, but embrace the new players that could take your team to the cup.

You can contact Gia Lombardi at giamlombardi@gmail.com.

Photo: © http://flyers.nhl.com/

September 29th, 2010 by Campus Philly

How ‘Bout Some Good Eats?

Public House is much more than your average restaurant.

With its prime location in Logan Square, the restaurant is situated in an area of the Center City District that allows it to do well. A great place to meet up with friends after class for a good meal, the place doesn’t start getting busy until around 7:30pm. Without a reservation, it might be difficult to find a table much later than this.

Although it has a crowded atmosphere, the inside is much nicer than you’d imagine. With a fairly large dining area with booths, tables, and a huge projection TV, Public House is decked out in American flags and other patriotic memorabilia, giving it a very homey feel.

The service is also very friendly and helpful. The waiters will gladly answer any and all questions asked, making for a comfortable dining experience.

Did I mention the food is delicious? Public House is the perfect spot for sandwiches and appetizers. One interesting and delicious appetizer, called the carne asada spring roll, has a typical spring roll crust, but it’s packed with shaved rib-eye steak, chipotle peppers and jalapeno jack cheese. It also comes with fried onion straws and a tangy, sweet barbecue sauce that compliments the spring roll nicely. Though only one roll cut in half, the portions are large enough to feed three people!

As far as sandwiches go, the smoked turkey press is very tasty, especially for the fall months. Stuffed with turkey, brie cheese, arugula, and green apples, all on crispy, toasted raison walnut bread, your tastebuds will be thanking you.

Along with the great food, Public House is also affordable. The menu is not expensive, with most items being under $18. Along with sandwiches and appetizers, the restaurant offers a variety of salads, entrees, and desserts (like creme caramel cheesecake), so save plenty of room for your share.

“The food here is really good for the price,” says Rich Klauber, a junior at La Salle University. “I feel like no matter what I get, I am going to enjoy it.”

Public House is located on 2 Logan Square on 18th Street, between Cherry and Arch sts. And, please, come hungry!

Nick Iuele can be contacted at nick_iuele@yahoo.com.

Photo:

September 29th, 2010 by Campus Philly

Top Five Spookiest Spots in Philly

Boo! That probably didn’t scare you. So, if you’re looking for a real scare, or just want to get straight-up spooked, there are a bunch of locations in Philly that might have you running to your mommy.

Number five on the list is the City Tavern Restaurant, located on S. 2nd Street between Chestnut and Walnut sts. in Old City. The original City Tavern was built in 1773, but was partially destroyed in an 1834 fire, and then demolished in 1854. What currently stands is a replication of the original that was completed in 1976.

This historical spot was the favorite hangout for George Washington, along with John Adams, who quoted it as the most genteel Tavern in America. If you visit this location, you will feel as if you are in colonial Philadelphia; the servers are all adorned in period attire, and the rooms, decoration, and food are how they would have appeared in the 1700s.

If you sit down to eat at this tavern and notice that your silverware isn’t exactly where you left it, don’t be alarmed; it’s just the ghost of a mischievous waiter! It is also rumored that a bridal party died in the fire. This tavern is sure to give you chills because of its rich history, and because of the spirits who never left.

Philly gets much spookier than that, so grab you teddy bear. Number four on the spooky list is the Philly Ghost Tour. There are four different tours to choose from:

The Candlelight Walking Tour, which departs at 5th and Chestnut at Singers Garden, will guide you through gardens, graveyards, and haunted houses of Society Hill and Independence Park. Be prepared to pay $17 per person.

There is also a Haunted Trolley Tour for those of you who aren’t up for walking too much. Ride an open-air Victorian-style trolley through Society Hill and Old City, as you explore various haunted sites. This tour departs from the Bourse building, which is on 5th Street, between Market and Chestnut Streets. This tour is priced $30 per person.

If you really want to get in touch with the other side, the Ghost Hunting Tour will provide you with ghost hunting equipment, which includes an EMF (electromagnetic field) detector. You will stop at the Powel House mansion, which is a hotspot for supernatural activity. This tour also departs at Singers Garden. It may be too scary for kids, so it is only available for those over the age of 13 for $22 per person.

If you want to dig deeper, the Beyond the Grave tour takes place on 10/10/10 at 10pm for just $10, departing from Singers Garden. You will hear

September 22nd, 2010 by Campus Philly

Philly Gets Delicious!

If you’re a foodie, boy, are you in for a treat!

Center City District Restaurant Week Presented by TD Bank is one of the major highlights of living in Philadelphia. A much-loved annual event in the city, Restaurant Week is a fantastic opportunity for college students to experience fine dining without breaking the bank.

Here’s how it works: First, you check the list of participating restaurants in the Center City District. And, don’t worry: There’s plenty of them. Over 100 locations, specializing in everything from Japanese and Mexican to steaks and seafood, are lined up to satisfy those tastebuds.

The next step (and this is an important one) is to make a reservation. Trust us. Restaurant Week is an extremely popular local event, and the only way to guarantee a table is to reserve one. You’ll thank us later.

And, finally: Bring $35; that’s how much it’ll cost for you to devour a scrumptious three-course dinner. Not available for dinner? Relax! Many participating restaurants also offer three-course lunch specials for just $20.

Now you know why Restaurant Week is so popular!

One participating restaurant, the Rum Bar Lounge & Restaurant, offers an absolutely delectable Restaurant Week special, including five courses (two appetizers, two entrees, and a dessert). Although it sounds like a great deal, the servings are just right (a.k.a. you won’t feel terribly guilty afterward).

In particular, Rum Bar’s mango salsa and jerk wings make for phenomenal appetizers. With just enough of a balance between sweet and spicy, these courses will surely make your stomach happy. For an entree, keep an eye out for the Jamaican paella or baby back ribs—both of which are cooked to perfection. And for dessert? Anything on the menu will do! Each dessert is served warm and fresh, topping off a perfect meal with a sweet treat.

Restaurant Week is a time to explore food options you’ve been unable to try before. No matter where you choose to eat, always ask the waiter for a recommendation. Because they understand that Restaurant Week brings new customers, they’ll be sure to give you an honest assessment of their best items (and you’ll greatly appreciate it, we’re sure).

A major plus for college students is its location. All participating restaurants are within the borders of Center City District–an area easily accessible by SEPTA transit. And, if you have a car, there’s plenty of local parking garages available for a quick, simple alternative to street parking.

But, there’s not much time left! Center City District Restaurant Week Presented by TD Bank only lasts for another two days. You know what that means, right? Get to reserving your table now! You can thank us later.

You can contact Elisabeth Harby at elisabeth@campusphilly.org.

Photo: ©http://www.tinseltine.com/2010/02/three-for-3-restaurateurs-contribute-to.html

September 8th, 2010 by Campus Philly

Philly, It's Time to Rock the Vote!

Are you registered to vote?

No?! Then, what are you waiting for?

You’ve probably heard of Rock the Vote before