Passing Through Philly - @joshuahitsreset of HIT RESET
Most New Yorkers who pass through this city are usually stuck somewhere in Center City and never get to really see what Philadelphia has to offer. Heck, even Center City has awesome stuff they never get to see. When we learned that our old friend Josh Texiera was passing through, we felt it our duty to show him what's up. Hope we did a good job of representing this town.
1. What were you doing in this neck of the woods?
I was meeting with Wlliams-Forrest, a company I partner with who are based in Lancaster. We had a pitch meeting with a local client, and I got to check out their HQ, which is FILLED with one of the most amazing collection of vintage skate decks in the country. I decided to stop in Philly for Design Week, take some meetings with some potential clients and partners, see some great friends and eat amazing food.
2. Tell us a bit about your background and where you're heading.
I’m an experience and content strategist, with the good fortune of having worked in large, complex, information-rich companies, and also with some of the brightest digital thinkers and makers ever in the agency space. I recently started my own venture, Hit Reset, and have been busy making awesome digital experiences with my first few clients.
3. What do did you gather about the creative scene here in Philly?
I’ve been coming to Philly since my college girlfriend graduated a year ahead of me in ’97 and moved from Syracuse. In the years between then and now, I would come to Philly all the time for hardcore / punk / indie shows, and even spent Christmas here a year or two ago. I’ve never been more excited about Philly than I am now. The creative energy on display during design week, the re-energizing of Fishtown, the expanding and evolving agency scene, the food scene… everything seems fresh, exciting, and full of potential.
4. Tell us about your trip.
Was lucky enough to stay with a member of the Egotist in Fishtown, where I got to know local haunts like True Hand Society, Reanimator Coffee, and so many other great spots to drink coffee, have some beers, or eat some food (or all three!). First night in town, we attended the Design Week kickoff at Bluecadet, who are doing big things. When I wasn’t working or taking meetings, we were busy exploring Philly on bike checking out amazing shops like Ritual, P’s and Q's and Art in the Age, and scoping out the unbelievable amount of public art and graffiti. Got to a see Warpaint at Union Transfer as well, which was epic. My favorite part, though, had to be exploring the super cutty skatepark under the overpass at 8th and Poplar, which comes complete with broken glass and a murder memorial.
5. Best food while here?
I know this is very “Brooklyn” of me (my current full-time home, or at least where I send my rent check from the road), but my favorite meal was the amazing Miso Ramen at Cheu Noodle Bar… highly recommended for locals and travelers alike. This was a really close call, because we got to have dinner at Bufad the night their fall menu came out, and it really is hard to top the Scamorza (Smoked Mozzarella, Roasted Peppers, Broccoli Rabe, and finished with Chili Oil and served with Pizza Bianca) and the Cacio e Pepe pizza (Thyme bechamel, sliced apples, pancetta, pecorino romano and finished with honey and arugula). Despite the bike riding, I definitely left Philly a few pounds heavier, and I can’t wait to get back.
PHILADELPHIA: ART IN THE AGE
An interview with the creative director and manager of ART IN THE AGE, A SHOP AND GALLERY THAT ALSO MAKES ITS OWN COLLECTION OF REGIONALLY INSPIRED ORGANIC SPIRITS.
Named after an essay by German philosopher Walter Benjamin, Art in the Age carefully curates its selection of clothing and accessories (like the only Warby Parker frames in Philadelphia) to explore the connection between art and industry But it’s more than just a shop: Art in the Age also hosts exhibitions of artists and other makers, and makes its own organic spirits. We spoke with manager Bob Myaing and creative director Dan Abraham about the story behind the shop.
What can people expect when visiting your shop?
Bob: American-made menswear brands such as Gitman Vintage and Fidelity Sportswear, a Juniper Ridge outpost that provides the store with a constant fragrant mountain aroma, and a pop-up space that rotates every few months. You might walk in on an artist giving a demonstration, sometimes there’s free food, and most of the time there’s free drinks.
How does the aura of handcrafted small-batch products change the customer’s experience?
Bob: Real things just demand more of your attention. You can see it every day at the shop: Customers don’t come in and flip through our garment racks in a rapid fashion. They actually take the time to look at the goods and feel them with their hands. Even if someone visiting the store doesn’t make a purchase, you can tell they still enjoy browsing what we have in store… and often make a point to let us know that they did!
How do you select the goods in your shop?
Bob: Level of quality, place of origin and overall uniqueness are what matter most to us. It comes down to intuition. We know very quickly when we find new items for the store and whether or not we’ll stock them. We try not to think of the store as a retail space but rather as a laboratory for ideas, and we don’t want to pigeonhole ourselves into some exact formula for what does and doesn’t fit. Recently we’ve started working with local vintage apparel dealers and that’s putting a whole new spin on what we’ve been bringing in.
What first sparked your interest in creating organic spirits?
Dan: We’ve always been inspired by regional history, especially in our own backyard of Pennsylvania. We drew on historical recipes from the golden age of American libations to create 100 percent organic, small-batch liquors.
Tell us more about the spirits: Snap, Rhubarb, Root and Sage.
Dan: Root was inspired by an 18th-century Pennsylvania folk recipe—an alcoholic version of what eventually evolved into birch and root beer. Snap was inspired by a medieval recipe invented by German Monks in the 13th century. It’s an alcoholic interpretation of what the Pennsylvania Dutch call Lebkuchen, commonly known as the ginger snap cookie. Rhubarb is based on an old Philadelphia recipe for rhubarb tea that began in the late 1700s when Benjamin Franklin first introduced rhubarb in America. Sage is based on Bernard McMahon’s “American Gardener’s Calendar,” first published in 1806. McMahon was Thomas Jefferson’s gardening mentor, and he worked closely with Lewis and Clark.
The gallery has hosted some exhibits and workshops. What have been some of your favorites?
Bob: Last year we hosted an exhibition of local taxidermy artist Beth Beverly—it was pretty interesting having racks of clothes within just a few feet of her pieces and even more interesting checking out customers buying a button-up shirt along with her smaller wearable accessories. Last year’s Holiday Pop-Up Marketplace was another memorable use of the space: We let local makers and vendors build their own environment for their products to live in.
What’s next on the docket?
Dan: We just finished construction on a farm-to-bottle distillery in Tamworth, New Hampshire. It will be our test kitchen for new Art in the Age spirits, which will be available in limited releases in early spring 2015.
What would be some of your dream collaborations?
Bob: We’d love to make something that can be used for a function and not just worn; many of our collaborative items have been apparel or accessory-based and have been well received. A “Shop Bike” made by a local bicycle builder would be amazing. Philadelphia is home to internationally known builders Bilenky Cycle Works (with whom we hosted an exhibition) and Engin, in addition to former Bilenky builder Simon Firth’s own make, Hanford Cycles. If you guys are reading this, hint hint.
What other ways are you involved in your community?
Dan: We frequently host workshops, lectures and in-store shows featuring local craftspeople, artists and musicians. We also try to support and collaborate with local makers to keep the creative spirit alive in Philadelphia. It’s a store but it’s also so much more: a living, breathing space where things actually happen.
116 North 3rd Street
We 10% believe that if you won’t drink gin it’s for one of the following reasons:
- You’ve never tasted a superior gin.
- You’re a slave to vodka.
- You had a less-than-stellar experience with gin when legally you should have still been drinking Shirley Temples.
- You think gin is for cocktail snobs (Try gin in your beer. Seriously good).
- You don’t really know what gin is.
- Juniper berries are for birds.
- Someone once told you that gin is nothing more than flavored vodka.
Whatever the reason, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone and try a fantastic new gin that doesn’t actually have juniper in it: Sage gin. It’s a non-gin gin. Yes, it’s still botanical based but the predominate herbal influence here is sage. And also thyme, rosemary, lavender, and fennel. If that list doesn’t get your mouth watering then wait until you’re thirsty and read this again.
Produced by Art in the Age distillery, this gin is a great foundation for classic gin drinks that you’d serve as an aperitif before Thanksgiving dinner, or that you might drink all day instead of shopping on Black Friday. To find out where you can pick up a bottle for yourself and to learn about the other imaginative spirits they’re creating, visit their website.
At Lithe, we're all about making healthy choices without sacrificing any of the fun. Welcome to our Lithe Foods Skinny Heathen collaboration with Art In The Age Spirits! First up in this 13-week series is our Bunny Mary, which is made with Lithe's Bunny Detox and AITA's Rhubarb liquor.
Lithe's Bunny Detox is our cold-pressed juice made from: orange, carrot, lime and celery. AITA's Rhubarb liquor is made from a botanical bounty of beets, carrots, lemons, petitigrain, cardamom, pure cane sugar and rhubarb. Together, they make a refreshing, perfect-for-brunch Bloody Mary!
If you're celebrating with us at Lithe Tour Philly this Saturday, you'll get to try this one, or you can make it at home!
4 ounces of Bunny Detox
2 ounces of Rhubarb liquor
Celery for garnish
Rim the glass first, then combine the Bunny Detox & Rhubarb into a glass, Add ice until the liquid comes almost to the rim of the glass. *To coat the rim, mix the St. Lucifer spice (garlic, salt, vinegar & fiery habanero), which can be found at the Art in the Age store into a bowl with coarse sea salt. Use a lime to wet the rim of the glass, turn the glass upside down and coat the rim of the glass with the spicy/salt blend.
Yield: 1 serving
1 oz. American Honey
1/2 oz. Art In The Age™ SNAP
1/2 oz. Combier® Peche de Vigne
Combine all ingredients over ice in a shaker. Shake well and strain into a shot glass (use glass only). Top with a splash of American Honey. Using a candle lighter, hold the flame directly over the shot glass until it ignites. Blow out the flame before taking a drink. Be careful, the glass will be hot!
Art in the Age Sage
Produced by Modern Spirits LLC / Los Angeles, California / 80 Proof
Art in the Age decided to create a line of artisanal spirits based on the foundational herbal history of the United States. Taken from field guides, New World botanical texts and original recipes from the first European-turned-American settlers trying their hardest to break from their Old World heritage, Art in the Age spirits are steeped in history.
Based on the publications of Bernard McMahon and his gardening mentorship of Thomas Jefferson, Sage is alive with the post-colonial, pre-industrial New World essence. Essentially a garden gin, Sage on the nose is very botanical, with the namesake herb of course being the dominant aromatic. You might also notice a hint of lime carrying a floral bouquet—this smells like a finished cocktail. Delicious, sweet and smooth, this is a very easy-drinking spirit. Sage is not the only flavor here, either; it is well balanced and the other botanicals are very prominent. Infused with elderberry, pine, black tea, rose, dry orange peel, cubeb, angelica, sage, lavender, spearmint, dandelion, thyme, sumac, rosemary, licorice root and fennel ... this garden gin is a must for cocktails or just plain sippin'.