Icepack fondant and a jazz food drive

For the last official Icepack of 2021, I really thought I would try to end the year in a different way from my usual gloom each week, and with a note of positivity.

I would say something about redemption, about how we’ve all “got into one way or another,” like my favorite Christmas song says. I would talk about how we came together in a genuinely inclusive and fair city, imbued with kindness and civility between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve and uplifted everything – not just one side.

But none of that happened, and no one leaned in a positive way to show a sense of kindness, positive resolve, or genuine inclusion. No one was reluctant to fuck their neighbor. PECO doubled its invoicing. The Millennial Cone Rangers annoy neighbors trying to save valuable parking spots (I don’t drive, so I don’t have any dogs in the race. That said: you want easy parking? Move to Cherry Hill. The argument is funny to Reddit, including suggestions that the “Rangers” wear orange cones as hats. City council made some restaurant streets cool to exist, and others a few steps away. meters away, were not.

The Sixers could never explain the absence or ignorance of Ben Simmons. Sly Stallone’s former training facility, “Rocky’s” Mighty Mick’s Gym at 2145 N. Front Street in Kensington, will be redeveloped into a mixed-use property. The city’s power structure has allowed killings and gun violence to continue on an upward trajectory, and all we were able to get was a lukewarm apology and nameless blame from our mayor and a sorry from our attorney. Plus, I’m pretty sure the new bike lanes, which will take forever to put together, are going to mess the Italian market, and everyone will continue to use the phrase “Philly igloo” until. let Omicron’s hell freeze over. Or thaws. Whatever it is, a fake igloo does when it expires.

Dissemination of grievances

Here are some lingering issues that are troubling Icepack at the end of December. We meet on the other side.

Singer and actress and now stoner grocery entrepreneur Selena Gomez has just acquired GoPuff delivery startup service from Philly as an investor. I wish there was a good joke here.

The Philadelphia Theater Company board of directors entered the Christmas break with two big leadership changes at the top. First, the company has announced that production artistic director Paige Price will end her five-year term at the end of the 2021-2022 season. Price was initially hired to right the right ship PTC when it was financially derailed for a while (which she fixed), and leaves out of court to continue as a freelance theater producer, although she will be based in New York where she lives. with her husband, Broadway sound designer Nevin Steinberg. Prior to Price’s departure this spring, David L. Cohen resigned as chairman of the PTC board after five years. Cheers. Cohen was appointed United States Ambassador to Canada by the Biden administration and will therefore enter another branch of the theater. Cohen has been replaced by Gary Deutsch, the most recent vice chairman of the PTC board, so there you go. Drama.


When Wawa permanently shut down another of its downtown Philadelphia locations late last week – its longtime 13th and Chestnut Street branch – word of the company got out, and the blame went to operational problems. Talk to anyone who lives in the immediate 13th Street neighborhood or has bothered to go to a Wawa – any Wawa – after dusk, and you know this place has closed for relentless looting and vandalism. . Because Krasner is cool with it.

Grammy time

Two of Philly’s Grammy nominees in January made waves just before New Years Eve. Singer Jazmine Sullivan, whose 2021 album Tales of Heaux is nominated for the top of several Grammy genre films, hinted on Instagram that she may release new music before her 2022 tour begins in February (check Jazzy’s Tale). What’s most interesting about this possible release is that Sullivan takes forever between recorded projects, so a year between releases is like a minute for Jazmine. Pleasant. Also, The Roots’ Questlove – in the Grammy shortlist for its 2021 self-directed Summer of the soul documentary – just put on the Oscar nominations list for the same doc, to be decided in February.

MASKED PHILLY: Immanuel Wilkins

In Icepack’s far too long, complex and ongoing saga of asking local celebrities wearing masks what they’ve been up to, beyond the pale, during C-19 – from lockdown to the current reopening, today ‘hui unmask and re-mask, worry about Delta variants, freak out over Fauci’s call for a potential third round of vax fire barely five months after the last, new mask and vax card warrants, ignored or not ignored (I mean why did I queue at the Palais des Congrès if you don’t ask to see my card?), the possibility of mixing the vaccines which is weird, AND NOW, YES GOOD SR, the world integer B.1.1.529 Omicron variant fear, so welcome to the THIRD ROUND, I contacted, this week, Immanuel Wilkins.

Image | Courtesy of Emmanuel Wilkins

The Wilkins, born and raised in Upper Darby, appeared on the cover of Philadelphia Weekly for his work as a jazz saxophonist (mainly alto), composer and conductor whose immense warm tone, tense undertone and deep spirituality have taken him to concerts with artists such as Solange Knowles and Bob Dylan , schooled at Julliard, working on jazz projects by Joel Ross and Orrin Evans, at the Blue Note label and, ultimately, debuting in August 2020 Omega. In a minute, I’ll tell you about Wilkins’ sophomore follow-up, January 2022. The 7th hand.

Prior to that, however, although the saxophonist had moved his base of operations to Brooklyn, the thing he did beyond pallor during the pandemic – one of the most rewarding endeavors outside of music – Brought him back to U Darb regularly.

Of course, he ventured into her love, her cooking and her food when the pandemic struck. “I had spent so much money on exorbitant meals before Covid, I didn’t want to suddenly start having sad meals,” said Wilkins, who plugged himself in with quality chef’s tools and, by the time we speak, embers short ribs. “My favorite food is salmon, but I can also cook a nasty duck breast. I can also do vegan. Both ends of the spectrum.

What Wilkins did (does) next with those cooking skills and love of food during Covid brings him back to Upper Darby, and the church he and his family have long been affiliated with – Prayer Chapel Church of God in Christ – carrying out outreach activities and within the community of this place of worship, “feeding the families who really did not have food for the pandemic,” Wilkins said. “We distributed food every Friday. It actually became a mission with my group (Micah Thomas, Daryl Johns and Kweku Sumbry), as part of a project we have, BLUES BLOOD | BLACK FUTURE, and its cooking component which will eventually materialize in the form of a food drive situation. We want to help those who need it. “

When it comes to vax and masking, Wilkins is cool with both and sees their need. “I like both. It’s important to keep the boosters coming and the masks. Now. Because double masking is one thing, I do the KN-95 and then I wear hoods with that. my favorite vibe. I get them from local designers, or on Etsy and Instagram. Now because I carry my saxophone in a tube and not in an ordinary hard case, with the balaclava on, some people think I’m a sniper.

What Wilkins and his group did during the summer of Covid was to write and improve their way through a haunting spiritual sequel of seven pieces, The 7e Hand, a brand new album whose intentionality and ambiance ensure that the saxophonist “brings his musicians closer to the ship-hood, with his music formed by the black church, the escape of the gaze, and how all that is essential to divination intervention. “

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Ada J. Kenney