Thursday, July 31, 2014
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POSTED: Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 2:04 PM
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We missed First Friday last month. (Thanks a lot, 4th of July.) But now the unofficial holiday is back and better than ever with the glory of August. Pop your head into any of the following opening receptions, family affairs or retail outings on Friday, Aug. 1.

If your need for speed just cannot be contained, the Speed Raceway in Horsham, Pa., has the solution. To celebrate its second anniversary, the go-kart facility is offering half-price races all day, from noon until 10 p.m. with a chance to win a $250 gift card.

For a garage sale that’s actually in a garage, head to West Chester, Pa.’s Chestnut Street Parking Garage from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. to shop for vintage home goods, accessories, clothing, repurposed jewelry, and other up-cycled goods. A jazz band and food vendors will also be on site throughout the evening.

POSTED: Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 10:43 AM
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 26: Musician John Legend performs onstage during the 56th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on January 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian (Getty Images)

What we’re checking out this week! 

Wednesday, July 30: Nine Inch Nails

This week in Philly is all about repping your favorite ‘90s bands—in addition to Nine Inch Nails, there’s also The Offspring and Bad Religion playing Saturday at the E-Factory, and Slightly Stoopid playing Saturday at Festival Pier. But we’ll take NIN over the pretty fly for a white guy crew any day (although we still think Bad Religion is cool), and Trent Reznor’s pulverizing affronts over pretty much anything else. Since the late ‘80s, Reznor and co. have redefined “industrial” music, adding melody, theatrics, and sex appeal, and these days, songs like “Head Like a Hole” and “Closer” are practically generational anthems. Plus remember when Rez called out the Grammy producers for cutting short his performance last winter? That was bad-ass. The band is now touring behind 2013’s Hesitation Marks, but we have a feeling they’ll revisit some old tunes too. Also on the bill: Seattle grunge-metal giants Soundgarden, featuring Chris Cornell and his trademark 4-octave vocal range. The band released the surprisingly solid King Animal in 2012, although we’d be lying if we said we hope they don’t bust out some “Black Hole Sun,” so we can all pretend we’re in middle school again.

POSTED: Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 3:00 AM
Kids can learn to ride bikes today at The Oval on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. (Photo via Facebook)

Every day feels like Saturday when you’ve got great things to do.

For produce and a show: Starting at 9:45 a.m., kids and their parents will hear a story about peaches and then head out into the fields at Weaver’s Orchard in Morgantown, P.A. to go pick some.

For “fitspiration”: Wednesdays are all about being physically active at The Oval on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Starting at 11 a.m., parents and babies can take part in a baby and me fitness course, kids can get acquainted with bike riding, you can learn a thing or two about nutrition and end the day with dance and fitness classes. The Oval is open until 8 p.m. tonight.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 2:20 PM
Take a musical escape this week. (iStock)

It’s only Tuesday, but are you wishing for the weekend already? Make your workweek more bearable by treating yourself to a night out (or maybe more than one). Whether you are looking to just listen to some jazz or to jam out yourself, we got what you need.

On Wednesday, July 30 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the West Philadelphia Orchestra will bring its unique combination of Balkan, punk and jazz to the Penn Museum’s courtyard on South Street. The concert is free with the price of admission so get there early and check out the museum’s exhibits on Native American Voices and Human Evolution. I promise I won’t tell your boss.

Later that night, Chris’ Jazz Café on Sansom Street will be alive with the sounds of the Philadelphia Jazz Orchestra. Playing from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m, this orchestra, composed of some of the best area high school and college jazz musicians, celebrates Philadelphia’s rich jazz legacy with their energetic show. Chris’ Jazz Café will also host Michelle Lordi, a jazz vocalist on Thursday, July 31 at 8 p.m.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 1:47 PM
A shot from "195 Lewis," a film set to screen at this year's BlackStar Film Festival. (Photo via Skai Blue Media)

In an age of indie film festivals, few celebrate diversity as much as this one. The BlackStar Film Festival, running Thursday, July 31 through Sunday, Aug. 3, presents over 40 selected short, documentary and feature-length films from independent black filmmakers; panels and discussions; book signings; and for the first time ever, an awards ceremony. All events will be held at various locations throughout University City.

Centered on the festival's theme “Music is the Weapon,” some of its films and programming focus on music’s influence in cinema.

Here’s what you won’t want to miss at the third annual BlackStar Film Festival.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 3:00 AM
VSMYARD long view of meadow: Longwood Gardens has more than doubled the size of its meadow to 86 acres and restored the 18th-century Webb farmhouse, seen here in the background. (Photo by Daniel Traub)

I’ve got a good feeling about this one.

For a look in the past: History is explored through children’s eyes and literature at the Rosenbach Museum and Library’s “Bescribbled, Nibbled, and Dog-Eared” exhibit, focusing on early American children’s books. The Rittenhouse museum is open from noon until 5 p.m. today.

For plein air painting: Members from the Delaware Valley Art League will be painting in Longwood Gardens’ new Meadow Garden from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The meadow, which spans 86 acres, will host the artists as they create works as visitors stroll through. All art created will be on display and up for sale on August 2 and 3 at the Kennett Square garden.

POSTED: Monday, July 28, 2014, 12:44 PM
Deniz Duran (left), 10, of Wilmington and Joseph Manisilla, 9, of Buenos Aires, Argentina, putt on the Philadelphia-themed miniature golf course at Franklin Square Tuesday, July 22, 2014. MICHAEL S. WIRTZ / Staff Photographer

One of five original open parks in Philadelphia, North East Publik Square — later renamed Franklin Square after the iconic Philadelphia native — not only serves as a fun space for families and outdoor loungers, but it also offers a wealth of fun goings-on. Open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., the square located at 6th and Race Streets is preparing to finish out the summer on a high note. I’m sure Ben Franklin would’ve wanted us to have as much fun as possible in an area of land named after him; he seemed like a fun guy.

Speaking of the fun guy himself, Franklin will make an appearance at the square on Thursday, July 31, for Franklin Square’s eighth anniversary of its rededication. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., families can stop by the park, sip on a special birthday milkshake, grab a slice of birthday cake — cut by Franklin, of course — and enjoy the park’s other attractions.

What would a Philadelphia location be without a session of Quizzo? Take your knowledge to Franklin Square for a change of pace on Thursday, Aug. 7. You’ll be treated to beverages and snacks from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to help feed your brain through those tough questions.

POSTED: Friday, July 11, 2014, 3:20 PM
"Omega Point," a piece in Hilary White's "SEER" will be on display at Space 1026. (Photo via Hilary White)

When the humidity gets to unbearable levels and you feel like you might die if you spent another second outdoors, turn to the area’s museums and galleries. There are a slew of new exhibits and bodies of work for your wandering eye to appreciate this summer.

The underground, do it yourself music scene is visually depicted through Geoff Hall’s photographs, displayed in the University of the Art’s Sol Mednick Gallery on Broad Street until Friday, August 1.

Historic Philadelphia buildings and other notable landmarks are honored at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia’s 200th Anniversary exhibit, on view through Friday, August 8 in Old City.

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Discover great events, festivals, museums, parties, music, restaurants, movies, performances, and art happening in Philadelphia. Want to share an event? Click here to submit an event for consideration on Philly.com

Gabrielle Bonghi Philly.com
Kate Bracaglia Philly.com Music Blogger
Colin Kerrigan Philly.com Photographer
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Danya Henninger Philly.com
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