Here is Philadelphia the Only World Heritage City in America...the only one! Cool 
      and the lovely Los Angeles Tex-Mex at 723 Walnut makes every item fresh in the kitchen all day long! Yum! 
"Me and my partner, Pete, both started here about 14 years. We bought the restaurant 6 years ago and the only difference is you pay attention to little details now. We didn't pay ourselves a paycheck for the first year. Only minimum wage. And now we have lines almost 3 hrs. long at lunch. It is about respect. Respect of your guests, respect of employees. We throw parties for our employees all the time. We close the store and hire one of these bouncy things for the employees kids and we throw a party and guess what? The newest employee has been here 4 years to 17 years." I tell him that everywhere in the world the worst thing employers say about owning a business is the employees leaving. He is lucky! "I know what it is like to be on the other side. I know that it is important to feel appreciated and respected. That is important to me." says Geronimo. 
    What Mr. James Comey does for a burrito! 
I like 723 Walnut. Why? Because at "happy hour you can BYOB you're own tequila and the good stuff not the cheap stuff!" says Geronimo, the owner of the cool funky "everyday all day homemade guacamole and every item you eat."  Because they love facebook and other social media love it. At 723 Walnut they love that people come from everywhere in the world to try the very Los Angeles Tex-Mex food. They're real funny and real nice people here.. O yes and the name itself is transitioning into the new presidency..."You're fired!" ha ha ha. "make sure you tell people that you bring the tequila and we have the glasses!"
                         http://www.elfuegophilly.com/     
"I came from Argentina about 17 years now to Philly. I started working here 14 years ago and now I have owned it the last 6 years. I can attest that I made the American Dream a reality. I can say that I came here from Buenos Aires, got a visa here and citizenship. And it is true that I work hard everyday. Everyday I am happy to be American. I love the people. My advise to young people?" He starts laughing, "I guess should I say that I am happy making burritos? Yet I am. I am happy to own my own business. You know we do catering too and meet real people of interest in the community. It gives me a great opportunity to do that. The business is what you make of it." he says. 

                         ADDRESS

 

                        723 Walnut St.
               Philadelphia PA, 19106
              elfuegoburritosphilly@gmail.com

        T  /  215-592-1901    215-592-1931

"I come from Buenos Aires and it is very Parisian since the french architects have major influence in Buenos Aires. It is more pretty in Philadelphia I think yet the neighborhoods of mingling outside is more pronounced in New York. That is Parisian and Argentinian to be honest. We chat outside and the Parisians dance in the little squares." he says and I tell him about the Parisians. 
  "I guess one of the differences is we are one of the first Mexican type of restaurants in Philly. Chipotle came after us and others yet when we lost people to them they immediately came back to us. Why? The food is better and fresh and homemade here. That is the quality that they love. We care about the guests and the food. I think you can tell the difference." says Geronimo. I believe that too. I don't care for fast food restaurants unless they're healthy and fresh the way that El Fuego is. And for tourists it is about 4 blocks from the liberty bell! Worth it...
                                                                                       236 Market,  (267) 687-8653       
                                    http://www.stosbar.com/
And let us introduce Mike to emmeanesbook...he doesn't even look like an accountant, does he?  "When I approached the old owner of the bar he gave me such a great deal that I took it. Now one year later, I am finally able to day I know what I am doing, but it took one year." 
                "I am a Pitt Alumni(that is University of Pittsburgh) and I now have between 130 to 50 people that come to see the games here. I would say that they come to socialize and connect and the premise is the Pitt game!"
     Met Mike, the owner of Sto's...and he is hilarious. "See my logo of Sto's? Notice the S? That is my nose," is about the first words he says to me and at that he shows me his profile. Yep it is his nose. "And everybody calls me Sto nobody calls me Mike!" he says. The coolest item in Sto's bar? Honestly there are so many. One is the "Mario Kart Games," he says. At the front of the bar when you enter is a table with two chairs and two televisions where you can play Mario Kart to your hearts content. 
                           Nintendo fans only. 
The second is the fact that he has many different televisions and "they don't just have sports on." He wants to say that  "it isn't only sports on tv at the bar."   "I ultimately want a comfortable bar where you can come up and talk to the bartendcr, watch videos, play shuffle board and when you receive the check  it is only $35.00 for food and beer." he says.
     "I need to show you the beer garden, too. Tonighjt it will be open up. When the weather is nice people love it."
"Honestly one of the reasons I bought the bar is that I am very creative. No, Seriously. Very. Okay the first degree I had is a accountant and the couple of years as a accountant my mother loved me yet when I told her I was quitting as a accountant she was very distressed. Yet I said, I am going to law school. That cheered her up. Now? I am the owner of a bar, we're back to distressed again, however I wouldn't say I had fun the first year which is where I am now. It is work owning a bar. The fun is for instance when I went to London I saw a bar that had a collage of pictures on the wall. I really loved it. I came back and I made my own collages on the wall. The left hand side of the walls is pop culture and girly stuff, the girls here helped me with that. On the right hand side you do see a lot of people involved in sports." Says Mike. Wow I say that to do a pyschological evaluation of Mike all you have to do is check out his wall!                   
 People having fun at his bar below his cool collages. 
                       WEDNESDAY $5.00 HUGE NACHOS 
Image result for pictures from the ardens production of georgia mcbride
The character played by Dito, i corrected it from Dido, is truly amazing. Very honest and deep and vulnerable. Amazing. Loved the characters although personally thought they made fun of instead of had fun with the people they were impersonating; however it being my one and only drag show it is totally lovely :)

                                     NEXT@the Arden Theater Company's production of 

                                             GEORGIA MCBRIDE...NIGHTLY AT 6:30PM

The Legend of Georgia McBride BY matthew Lopez. directed by Emmanuelle Delpech

"You should see the production of "John" upstairs, " he says and as if on cue I say, "Brennan?" it is as if someone says Scottish Play I automatically say "Brennan" whenever someone says John and most people just stare at me! same reaction okay on with the interview. "The other cool thing about Arden is the Children's theater. Amy and Terry had two boys and Amy said you know I would love a theater that indoctrinates children into the theater experience.Image result for children's theater series of arden theater They started the children's theater with Charlotte's Web. The coolest thing about the children's theater company productions is the fact that the budget of the mainstage adult programs is the same as the children's theater. That is amazing. The same care and attention and details go into the sets, lightings, actors, etc. as the adult theater and to attest to the great success of these series is the Barrymore awards that we had displayed in the lobby." he says. WOW! "And they have a series of tickets for inner city children in Philadelphia and New Jersey", he says.  "along with teachers that go into the schools and teach these children theater."

LOVE i say yes

I had a wonderful opportunity to interview the director of the Arden's extensive Marketing and Public Relations Department...Stephen is a lovely person, "I started with the Arden about 1 and 1/2 years now..." he starts the conversation as we sit in one of the coolest architectural lobbys that you will ever see...with stairs suspended above you..."the name Arden theater and the founding members started together about 30 years now. Aaron Posner(now a successful playwright-hey albert maybe we could have Aaron tidy up our screenwriter's guild script?) and Terrence Nolen along with his wife Amy are the founding members who with the help of a very generous Walnut Street Theater space helped launch the now famous company. From there they had their own space on St. Stephen's alley and about 20 years now in the space where we sit. Now upstairs is the Arcadia sponsored theater which carries that name and holds about 200 people, downstairs is mainstage which holds about 400 and about 60 feet down the block is the newest addition of a 100 seat stage theater that houses the drama school and the cabaret series started one year now." says Stephen. Arden Theatre Company""Now the Arden is Producing Artistic Director Terrence and wife Amy. Aaron has since moved on to the Washington DC area where he is primarily a writer...(he answers when I say what happened to Aaron? did you kill him and take over his 1/2 of the theater! ha ha ha -nope)Aaron moved to Washington DC having started the first show of the season here adapted from Anton Checkov's play, the seagull, aptly named Stupid Fucking Bird. It premiered in 10 national Equity Theater Companies around America and the only one that Aaron directed is here his home theater. Truly an amazing experience. I guess what makes the Arden different is numerous items. A. Terrence is keen on finding the right actors. As a matter of fact for that Scottish Play...(!_) that all you actors won't mention." and of course me as a thespian stop him immediately when he starts to say the M! word, "he wanted the Philadelphian actor Ian to play the starring role. When Ian wasn't available for 3 years he waited and waited and finally said alright he says that he can do it! " That is the kind of creative person Terry is. He sees a person that is perfect for a role and needs to have that person. Like Stephen Spielberg for Lincoln. It was Danile Day Lewis or nothing." Me? I remember rehearsing and streching myself with the role of Nina from the Seagull in private Wilma Theater sessions headed by none other than the famous and extremely demanding and intense matriarch of the Arts Institute in Philadelphia, director Irene Baird herself. I can't wait to read Aaron's adaptation of it. http://www.ardentheatre.org/
                          The lovely jewels of Randolph's at 8638 Germantown Ave. 267.961.5762.... as the respected Princess Gloria Thurn und Taxis said, "Marry for Love." 
 
Photo of Randolph's Fine Jewelry - Philadelphia, PA, United States
Photo of Randolph's Fine Jewelry - Philadelphia, PA, United States
  The Phillies and the Flyers are part of the Campos teams that they were specifically invited to set up stands for. And below is the number one Phillies guy showing his appreciation...how in the world does he eat in that outfit! Below is the Phillies Fanatic. The number one craziest fan ever. 
                               

Definitely a family affair since it is the 3rd generation, and if you count the little ones below the 4th in training! Now ready to meet Mike, the father, Michael and Mia the son and daughter, when you enter Campos on 2nd and Market? The only way you can meet Mike's wife, Denise, is if you eat her homemade meatballs that she makes everyday from home! 
                          http://www.claudiofood.com/IntuitSolutions magento design
"The picture is of the butcher shop that my mother and father first started with, and as a young child of 5 years old I had fun everyday putting things on the shelves...however, when I grew to age 10 years to 14 years, while all the other children were outside playing I had to stock shelves. It wasn't fun anymore! At the age of 16 due to my father's health, I became a full-fledged member of the Campo team," says the very nice Mike. "My son is Michael. That is how we tell the difference when were really busy here. MICHAEL!  Campos has been a Philadelphia institution  since 1947. We moved here in 2000 and only have the restaurant now. At first I thought that people wouldn't know us and we would have to start all over but soon people came everyday and we have people all the time that come in and say, O are you the Campos of South West Philly?" Mike smiles when he tells me the story. After seeing everybody come in ordering cheesesteaks for the last one hr., the owner asks if I would love one? Alright I say and try one with cheezwhiz. 
            Michael is helping out on the shelves below! "That is me believe it or not!" he says. " The funniest thing is when the tourists come in and ask if we have Phillycheese cakes instead of Phillycheese steaks! We know they're tourists. If you're from Philadelphia you assume that it is a Philly cheesesteak and only ask for cheesesteaks. Tourists are great!" he says.                 http://camposdeli.com/
Above is the Grandmother and Grandfather of Campos...while below is the next generations...
Mia, Mike's daughter, says, "I have a Master's Degree in Childhood Education and yet I came straight to work here with my father and brother. I love it. And trust me when I say that my Elementary Education degree is used here. The guests are like children. I always have to gently tell them to wait their turn when they get a little rowdy." She says. "My mother watches my 11 month old daughter for me while we all come to work at Campos yet she makes the meatballs from home that we have here. Whenever she can!" she laughs when I ask if it is when her daughter is taking a nap! "I love dealing with people all day, and working with family is all that I have ever known so I really can't compare it." she says. 
                        "My Grandpa is from Belguim and he taught me how to brew. By trade I am a CPA and worked for Price Waterhouse and Campbell's Soup in Belguim 3 years. At Antwerp. Yes, I drank many Belguim beers and grew to appreciate and love em. Finally after 10 years with Campbell's soup I opened the bar here. For the first year, my sister managed it and my brother's brother-in-law, who said he is a master's cook, was my cook. The first year was horrible since I trusted the cook and finally one day surprised him by walking into the kitchen and he was putting food in the microwave. He had this attitude like I have plans, and I was like me too, new cook! I hired wonderful people from the country club and had 3 master specialty chefs that concentraed on sauces, a saucier named Jason, Theo who did the fish and produce and Richard the savory. It is a very old traditional Belguim French Restaurant feel to it. I chose the word Tavern since it isn't a bar. It is a place where people can come to meet. And it is reasonable although we have specialty beers, 400 of them, people can come in here and take a 2 hour vacation with something to eat and 2 drinks and spend $25.00. The level of beer is of the highest quality and the staff here is educated to talk about these beers" says Mike.   http://www.eulogybar.com/
                                     136 Chestnut Street, Old City, Philadelphia (215) 413-1918

All around the world sometimes I can go about 12 hrs and try to receive that one lovely quote, here is one from Mike that made me laugh uncontrollably, "My  music? How do I chosse it? I usually upload it from Pandora, however if I trust my employees I let them choose the music." I laugh and say Okay what if you don't trust them? "They don't get to choose the music." Um I really thought he was going to pull a Donald Trump, "You're fired." He laughs. "No employees are too hard to find, especially with the Septa Strike!" 
                     Work out at Optima Gym at 325 Bainbridge for $24.00 for 30 days and head out to the left towards 3rd to find elegance at the lovely chic brass bar and dimly lit luxurious restaurant named ELA.
JasonCichonski-1000
                             http://elaphilly.com/Ela, Queen Village, Philadelphia
It has a very chic atmosphere the minute you enter and you fell really important sittting at the bar just drinking a martini, which of course you have to drink here...the bar calls for nothing else...and try the food., too.
Image result for ela philadelphia
Image result for ela philadelphia
627 S 3rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone(267) 687-8512
The minute you walk into Don Quixote you will notice one of two things. That you respond like your vetching to your long-lost college classmate on a variety of important issues that effect your life. The things you love and the things that annoy you. It is that kind of place and more importantly that kind of people. It is tiny, intimate and 100% homemade. The chef is owner Vanessa and her only assistant is Ria who is a certified Tarot Card reader. Very accomplished. I guess while you eat your huge portions of Spanish tapas you can have your future read. 526 South 4th street, Philadelphia, PA, 19147
                       http://www.donquixotetapas.com/
"Here is my baby," says the lovely owner, Vanessa. I have been opened one year now and we're always trying new things. We have a lot of people that come in and say great things about us and that is important. For about 3 months we had master's students from Temple and they came in with their college books and would hangout here and eat tapas, drink their wine, since we don't have a liquor license and just chill. That is really fun to meet so many different people." she says. 
"I want people to come here and feel like they're my family. I help everybody and I mean everybody.  I have art shows and let local's put their art on my walls, I have people from the neighborhood that are my real good friends and I try to help everybody out. That is my motto in life. It is about Karma. You help people and they will in turn help you." says the lovely owner of the tiny funky Don Quixote. 
A wonderful dessert that Vanessa has created. 
Above, Ria is posing. "Try the Sangria. The special that we give the guests is if they bring in their own bottle of wine we'll make Sangria for them. We ask for $3.00 for the ingredients and the entire table can enjoy it. The tapas are huge portions. And happy hour every Tuesday to Thursdays is only $5.00 a tapa. People think that tapas are little portions but we give huge plates. I thought that the Spanish tapa is the best although I am Italian, " says Vanessa. "Italian tapas just doesn't work!"
          65 Miles from Philadelphia is Ocean City New Jersey. a $6.00 a day pink bike ride all the way along the south of the ocean across the fishermen wading in glossy boots bay and over the $1.50 toll bridge is the Ocean Hidden city of Strathmere...the only places to eat and drink are right across the bridge...the Deauville Inn, and behind the Pancake House. The one cool thing about Deauville Inn? During the summer and on the slow weekends don't mention that you're from out of the state! Especially if you're a girl, but if you are a girl don't wear makeup and hope for a makeover that is great.If you are from far away, it is your first time at the shore they take you out to the docks and push you into the water on the little shallow water docks. And once you're soaking wet, we hope you're clothes aren't too nice,  they give you a makeover as a welcome...free of charge(the beer and food you have to pay for yet the food is great, especially the seafood which is wonderful)The water is low about 1 foot near the docks and they push you in...yes that is right. You can sit in the outdoor tables or the inside tables, yet outside the local folk told me, That's right, they take the women in, dry your hair, redo a complete makeover and here you're ready for the shore life. And the makeovers from the shocked faces that I saw today were rather incredible. Gorgeous. But you can't come here everyday for a beauty makeover, it is only for first-timers to the shore, remember as you bike still further south that within 5 kilometers you reach the Sea Island Party City of the famous MTV JERSEY SHORE 5 YEARS.  Yep. And along the way is the most private secluded forgotten stretch of on one side the ocean and dunes and the other side of the one lane road is one layer of homes. That is it. Cool. Private. Ghostly...think of a perfect place to write a Steven King novel. http://www.deauvilleinn.com/  
          

Do you enjoy playing Majong?

Join the Ladies on Monday mornings at 10:20am for Majong
All are welcome, meet  friends...

Bring your own board, teams of up to as

many as 4 people

Stay and Enjoy Lunch after the games

Call for your Reservations ~ 609-263-2080
Reservations for Dining Room Only
majong-1

           Ladys Playing Majong at Deauville Inn...              
Image result for road of strathmere new jersey to sea isle new jerseyThe Charming One lane road from Strathmere, New Jersey, right south of Ocean City and continuing down the Ocean shore to Sea Isle City-party town. The peace riding on that little 5 kilometer road, with the breeze blowing my hair as I ride my bike, smelling the ocean air, waving to the locals in their shore houses is amazing.
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Some of the coolest homes are the little non-descript ones that have their own docks and boats outback. I can imagine walking outside and putting on my goulash boots, grabbing the fishing pole and puttering out to bay.
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The Ocean Shore from Ocean City to Cape May has some of the most untouched natural wild beauty with these huge millionaire homes one right after the other that the owners rent out in the summer and they stand empty in the winter except for the weekends when the owners drive from Philadelphia or Maryland and finally have a little peace and tranquility,
       Strolling the boardwalk of Ocean City last night I saw little flash lights on the beach, walked out in the dark with my bike and a family of 5 were looking for seashells, their flashlights in hand. The moon? a pale brilliant pink.
Image result for road of strathmere new jersey to sea isle new jersey
Above is the Romeo's fun Pizza Store of Ocean City. All of the city is that way, quaint, funky in the designs, special. Image result for the cool restaurant of ocean city new jersey
                  Image result for the cool restaurant of ocean city new jersey
The famous curly fries of Ocean City's Boardwalk 3.3 kilometers long with shops, two roller coasters, ferris wheels, food, minature golf, you name it it's got it.
Image result for charlies bar somers point
First night had  to take the bus 507 which runs every 30 minutes from Friday to Sunday and is about 3.3 kilometers over the bridge from Ocean City to Somer's Point. It must be pointed out that Ocean City is the famly resort town of the Shore...as in it is a DRY TOWN, No alchohol is even sold in the city, however on all sides is neighboring shore towns within 6 kilometers and you can find bars abound such as in Somer's Point. As I said, jumped on the 507 bus, paid $2,25 and found Charlies. Along the way a group of pink and black t-shirt crazy people celebrating a 50 birthday party to which they invited me on the journey to Charlies. I was there to purchase a 6pak of Bud LIght. I passed a thrift store the 1/2 block to Charlies and went in. A bright pink and black t-shirt saying HI on the front and BY on the back awaited me. $2.00 later I was dressed for the black and pink party; however in walks a gentleman and the store keeper tells him to move his vintage light teal porsche...He says that he thought it okay to park outside and I said that maybe someone would think it is part of the thrift store and buy it! On to Charlie's a wonderful cool beach bar complete with funny people to stick your heads through to take pictures of.
Here is my pink bike on my favorite bridge of the world, the bridge that links Ocean City New Jersey to Margate and Ventor...beautiful lovely ride of about 8 miles to Atlantic City...and best of all you can take the regional train or bus from Philadelphia for about 10.00 dollars to the wonderful shore of Jersey. 
Above my favorite shore house in Ventnor New Jersey ...right on the boardwalk it has a haunting unkept beauty about it...abandoned? I wish I could afford it. Love it. 
                                      Alright 8 days of Philadelphia, my favorite small city big city in the world, the cobbledstoned streets that Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson walked remind me of Regensburg, Germany, a old medieval city of beauty and secrets. Love that city of Philadelphia where I spent 5 years of my young life.