Unlike its namesake explorer, Marco Polo makes it so you don’t have to travel the world to find good cooking and a quality atmosphere. Putting a contemporary spin on authentic Italian food, the local restaurant appeals to palates of all inclinations. Appetizer options are mostly prepared to be shared with popular choices like chilled asparagus topped with crab meat, garlic mussels, and crispy calamari. Meat and seafood lovers, meanwhile, will find plenty of choices among the dinner menu, but risotto specialties, fresh pizzas, and handcrafted pasta dishes are not to be missed.
8080 Old York Road
Elkins Park, PA
Exercise routines can fall by the wayside in the deep winter months, as short days and inclement weather restrict our access to the outside world. Stay active year round with these ideas for at-home indoor exercise:
Try some exergaming
Motion sensor games are a fun way to get in some exercise. A large range of games, some specifically designed as exercise programs, will get you moving. If you have an older system, try a dancing game that uses a large mat controller.
Mix up the exercise videos
Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime offer thousands of exercise videos piped straight to your TV or computer. It’s a great way to try out a new exercise routine without the commitment of buying a DVD.
Adjustable hand weight sets are fairly inexpensive and the right set can continue to serve you for a good long time as your strength increases. Hand weights and strap-on weights can be used for full body workouts or be lifted when you’re watching TV or listening to music.
If you have access to a staircase, grab your mp3 player and do some stair climbing… the old fashioned way!
There’s nothing worse than spending your hard-earned money on a movie, CD, or video game that turns out to be below average. Thankfully, the Internet is full of awesome websites that present reviews of just about everything under the sun. These sites are essential stops before you purchase:
Entertainment Weekly covers a wide range of media, and boasts fairly in-depth reviews as well as interviews, features, and more. It's a good place to go for a general audience perspective.
Growing from a niche site that covered alternative music exclusively into one of the most trusted music reviewers on the Internet, Chicago-based Pitchfork puts up multiple reviews every day that cover a huge range of genres.
Featuring reviews sourced from its users, Epinions covers a wide range of products, including movies, TV shows, CDs, video games, and more. It's also a good source for home electronics reviews.
Unlike the other sites on this list, Metacritic works as an aggregator, taking scores from all over the Internet and combining them into an overall critical impression on a product. With great coverage and an easy-to-read design, it’s probably the best one-stop shop for reviews on the Internet.
Looking for something to do? This January, Philadelphia hosts some exciting events! Check out these four:
Mummer's Parade, January 1, 2012
A Philadelphia tradition, old men in elaborate costumes sit in small go-karts and whiz around the streets along with bands and other festivities. It's supposed to be linked to Celtic customs, but mostly it's a raucous good time.
Story Slam: Daily Grind at World Cafe Live, January 9, 2012
In the new year, make your new favorite hang out the Story Slams at World Cafe Live and L'Etage. Twice every month real people pour their hearts out about a selected theme. You can also compete with your own five minute tale of humorous woe.
City Food Tours, ongoing
Philly's foodie scene is thriving and City Food Tours is offering a fun, social way of experiencing it through restaurant crawls. Look out for special tours like Craft Beer and Artisanal Cheese or Decadent Gourmet.
Jerry Seinfeld at the Academy of Music, January 14, 2012
The original funny man comes to the Academy to talk about nothing. Really. But he'll probably include a few topical quips about the city and his act's guaranteed to be a good time!
In the swirl of holiday activity, one of the best ways to spend some quality time with kids is to enjoy a holiday film together. Here are some of the top holiday movies for youngsters:
A Muppet’s Family Christmas
This is a fun movie that will fill your house with song. In fact, the kids (and you!) probably won’t be able to resist singing along. The film features characters from Sesame Street, the Muppets, and Fraggle Rock, a colorful and energetic ensemble that brings the season's spirit right into your living room.
Mickey’s Christmas Carol
Many film aficionados consider this Disney cartoon version of “A Christmas Carol” one of the best adaptations of the classic Dickens tale. You and your children will love watching Scrooge McDuck’s adventures as he discovers the true meaning of the season.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
This holiday classic, narrated by Burl Ives, uses puppetry and stop-motion animation to present an original twist on the famous tale of Rudolph. You’ll enjoy making holiday memories with your children as you share in the whimsy, charm, and intelligence of this film.
This action-filled comedy is particularly fun to share with older kids, pre-teens, and teens. The main character, a spunky eight-year-old boy, accidentally gets left home when his family leaves for vacation and finds himself fending off house robbers. Hilarious holiday capers ensue.
A Christmas Story
Generations of young people have grown up enjoying this funny, moving, memorable tale of a boy’s December adventures during the 1940’s. You’ll love revisiting this classic film just as much as your kids will adore discovering it for the first time.
The director has the greatest influence over the trajectory of a film, more so than writer, actor, or editor. It is the director's vision that, in the end, makes it to the silver screen. It’s not surprising that the history of cinema has produced a number of auteurs that elevated the form. If you are interested in expanding your knowledge of movies, becoming familiar with the movies made by these groundbreaking directors is essential.
- Alfred Hitchcock. The master of suspense is one of the most influential men to ever make a film. So much of the visual style and storytelling that we take for granted was innovated by Hitchcock in films like Psycho and Rear Window.
- Orson Welles. If the only film Welles had ever made was Citizen Kane, he’d still be one of the most influential directors ever. Welles packed his frames with detail and potency, pushing the art of cinema forward in new ways.
- Jean-Luc Godard. One of the leading lights of the French New Wave, Godard helped transform the way we think about movies, freeing them from commercial responsibility and opening the door to unique viewpoints.
- Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick’s films range across a wide variety of genres, but they are united by the director’s keen sense of visual style. His films are among the most aesthetically beautiful ever made, even as they delve into the darker side of human emotions.
- Steven Spielberg. Perhaps the director who epitomizes modern cinema more than any other, Spielberg ushered in the era of blockbuster filmmaking with Jaws in 1976 and hasn’t slowed down since.
Trifles are coming back into fashion in the dessert world. If you’ve never had one, they’re layered treats made with candied fruit, cream, and spongecake, usually presented in a clear dish so you can better admire the visual splendor of the dish. Here are five great ideas for making trifles:
- Chocolate is an awesome trifle base. Start with lush, creamy brownies, layer them at the bottom of your trifle dish, and then layer coffee-flavored pudding on top. Add chopped chocolate and toffee to finish off the trifle.
- Angel food cake is a traditional trifle base, and pairs perfectly with fresh berries. One classic trifle uses interspersed layers of cake, fresh whipped cream, blueberries, and strawberries.
- Bananas make a great trifle base as they retain their shape well when layered. Pair them with coconut macaroons ground up and formed into a cake layer, and then top with whipped cream.
- Using crumbled graham crackers as the base of a trifle can make it a delicious down-home treat. This pairs exceptionally well with blueberries and fresh cream, as well as melted chocolate.
- Caramel apple trifles are a great autumn dessert, with crisp, fresh apples cooked with walnuts and maple syrup to make a delicious filling and served over caramel cream cheese and poundcake cubes.
It was a great night for all last night at Freddy Hill Farms. Our residents enjoyed a nice long hay ride followed by fresh doughnuts, apple cider and homemade ice cream! Thanks to all who came out! Thank you to Freddy Hill Farms! See you next year! Check out all the photos on our Facebook Album!
Let’s be frank: plain bread isn’t that good for you! It packs a carbohydrate load but wheat flour lacks many essential vitamins and minerals. Thankfully, there are many ways to make bread with added ingredients that not only taste delicious, but are good for you. Here are five exceptional breads that can be made quickly and easily.
- Banana bread is a very common sweet bread. Mashed bananas add potassium and other nutrients as well as a tantalizing flavor that improves as the fruit sugars caramelize during the baking process. To cut down on sugar and fat, use applesauce to moisten the bread instead of butter.
- Zucchini bread is probably the best use for the squash ever. Any home gardener knows how quickly this plant grows, and making bread from it lets you transform it into something just about anybody will eat. Shred the thick flesh on the outside, but discard the seedy, soft core.
- Pumpkin bread is another very popular squash bread. The unique flavor of the pumpkin adds an autumnal bite to the loaf. You can use canned pumpkin pie filling if you don’t want to go through the hassle of preparing the pumpkin.
- If you’re tired of regular breads, consider using another grain as the base. Rice flour can make a light, fluffy bread that is good for people with gluten allergies, and cornbread is a delicious Southern classic.
- If you have leftover mashed potatoes, consider mixing them in to your bread dough to make classic potato bread. This crusty, savory mixture is excellent for dipping in soup.
While you’re waiting for your next turn Farmville, here are some lesser-known Facebook games that will keep you occupied. Who knows: one of them might even turn into your new favorite!
Zombie Lane – You and your friends can rebuild your suburban neighborhoods and stave off the living dead in this wickedly funny game. The zombie and weapon types will have you cracking up and always wanting to collect more.
Epic Goal – Unlike many sports games on Facebook, Epic Goal actually lets you control gameplay as well as manage the behind the scenes workings of your team. A cute, cartoony style rounds out this soccer sim.
Bejeweled Blitz – Bejeweled Blitz is a simple match-3 puzzle game; shift jewels around to get 3 in a row of the same color, they disappear, repeat. This kind of game can get addictive, as you use strategy and power-ups to rack up ever-higher scores.
Tower Bloxx – Stack building pieces to make swaying towers in this nail-biting physics game. Watching the towers fall is almost as fun as building them as high as they can go.
Typing Maniac – Speed typing becomes surprisingly fun as you try to perfectly replicate words as they fall from the sky. Power-ups shake things up and the game becomes extremely challenging at higher levels.