Please note: This article is published as an archive copy from Philadelphia City Paper. My City Paper is not affiliated with Philadelphia City Paper. Philadelphia City Paper was an alternative weekly newspaper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The last edition was published on October 8, 2015.

April 20-26, 2006

Culture Shock

This Week in A & E

Julie Mehretu

I can't stop looking at Julie Mehretu's drawings (Black City, pictured)—they make me feel like I'm staring at the architecture of the world's thought processes. I wish she'd do a series representing Philadelphia. I wonder what she'd make of the crosscurrents of utopian promise and despair she'd find here. My 4-year-old daughters are fascinated by her work too. The pieces are big, squiggly and beautiful.

Artistic director, New Paradise Laboratories

Don Johnson's early work

To help sustain his early career, Don Johnson apparently traded on his youthful body to cultivate a loyal gay audience. On stage he got naked for a prison rape scene in Sal Mineo's Fortune and Men's Eyes, and followed this with a string of bizarrely appealing movies. In The Magic Garden of Stanley Sweetheart (1970, pictured) he plays a Columbia University student obsessed with masturbation; in Zachariah (1971), he plays a pretty-boy gunslinger smitten with the same; and in The Harrad Experiment (1973), his nude scenes include full frontal. He also posed nude for Touch magazine. A solid blueprint for any aspiring star!

Group member, Yellow #5 and Alley Ink Dance

Afternoon at the movies

If you've ever been to the movies in the middle of the day during the week then you already know it makes for a pretty interesting crowd. Spread out among a few random individuals you'll find mostly senior citizens, all of whom appear to come packed with their own luncheon of choice. I come equipped with a vegetarian hoagie from Café Nhú Y and a can of ginger ale. During the previews expect to hear some noisy chatter, especially amongst those who use hearing aids; later, it's their fellow companions who fill in all of the missing plot details. I, in turn, try to chew my sandwich during the previews and during loud parts of the film's montage sequences. This is pure bliss. By the end, a silent bond has formed between my fellow constituents and myself; clearly we are on to something.

Artist

Open mic at Helium

One thing that I love, love, love is open mic night every Tuesday at Helium Comedy Club. It's free admission, happy hour from 6 to 8 and a place where some of the funniest people in the area can show their chops. (Well, some are actually funny; the others are so awkward or just lame that it makes it funny ... or sad ... depending on your dark humor level.) And don't feel obligated to stay the whole night—you can go in, have a few drinks, a few laughs and go. It's very relaxed and a just plain fun place to be on a Tuesday evening.

Press coordinator and director of online media, Relapse Records

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