Midweek News Podcast, City Pop Up Shops, Travels through the Midwest, news and events

Roberta and Ryan discuss Philadelphia Pop Up Shops through Meantime PHL, Ryan's continued travels through the Midwest, more news and events

In this episode of the Midweek News, we talk about the recent pop-up shops supporting local vendors of art and design objects. It’s a public-private partnership between the City Commerce Department, some design firms, architects, and others. We think it’s a really great idea for the city to support efforts like this and we hope there will be many more pop ups! We also talk about Ryan’s summer journey. He’s recently in Minneapolis and Wisconsin and moving through to Michigan, the family’s destination for the summer. Enjoy!

Roberta: Hi everybody, it’s Roberta.

Ryan: And this is Ryan, and this is the Midweek News

Roberta: On Artblog Radio. Good morning, Ryan. Where in the world are you this week?

Ryan: Good morning, Roberta. I am in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.

Roberta: Oh yeah! Tell people, enlighten them about what a dells is. What does that mean?

Ryan: I’m not sure what are Dells? There’s a lot of locks and dams that feed from the Wisconsin River, and they created reservoirs and lakes to create this waterpark mecca. Midwest that’s smack between Chicago and Minneapolis. Not far from Madison, not far from Milwaukee. So it’s like a Midwest water haven that has lots of cool, fun parks, a lot of outdoor beauty, fun. And so that’s, that’s why we’re here. I went here one time when I was in high school. I haven’t been back in, let’s see, when was high school? Three years ago, four years ago? So not too long ago. 

Roberta: You didn’t go to high school in Wisconsin. Where did you go to high school?

Ryan: Yeah. Outside of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Roberta: Ah,

Ryan: Yeah, a couple days ago we were hanging out with some old high school friends. You know, it’s nice to have old friends. I haven’t seen them since pre covid. So it’s nice to reconnect and say hello and, you know, meet their kids.

Roberta: Very nice. That’s great. So, all right, Wisconsin Dells. My recollection of Wisconsin Dells is that it comes shortly after Madison if you’re on the road going North from Milwaukee. Going north to, like, Superior, WI, which we did every summer to visit grandparents. The first thing that came up on that trip, that was notable — and we all had to look for it, like it was a game — was the dome of the state capitol in Madison. You could see it from this road. It was very far away, but the road is up high enough so you could see it. My father was really big into this, ‘Who’s the first to see the dome?’ But we would zoom past it. Not stop. I had not been to Madison, WI, at all in my life until I went to college there. Yeah. But I knew that dome from the highway very well. And then we would fly past the Dells and say, ‘Can we stop? Can we stop?’ Nope. No, we’ve got to go.

Ryan: We have a lot of strange connections to Wisconsin Dells. And there’s an old show they do on the river called the Tommy Bartlett Water Show. They do a lot of stunts and water skier tricks, like I’m not a good water skier on the river. They do performances with music and lights and boats and skis and jet skis. And so yeah, friends of ours eventually ended up owning Tommy Bartlett Water Show and yeah, it’s kind of a funny connection.

Roberta: That’s a very funny connection. Yeah. Now that you say it, I had not remembered that. But Tommy Bartlett’s Show is legendary. 

Ryan:Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s really interesting,

Roberta: So you’re not going to get out the skis and go water skiing this afternoon?

Ryan: No. We’re going to stick to the tubes and the slides and the wave pools, and see how it goes.

Roberta: That sounds good. And Wisconsin, just since we’re sweltering here, they are colleagues, they are sweltering also. It’s pretty hot there, right?

Ryan: Yeah. We we’re not going to get into the nineties, but it’s going to feel in the upper nineties. And obviously Philly is going to be aiming for the upper 90’s this week, so. Wow.

Roberta: Yes. That’s our goal. No, not really.

Ryan: oh my goodness. Potentially. That’s brutal. So it’s brutal.

Roberta: Yeah. Everybody’s gotta stay hydrated. Stay safe. Oh my goodness. Yes. And stay inside if you can.

Music: Yeah. And your pets.

Roberta: You betcha. Yeah. And your children.

Ryan: And your children

Roberta: And your grandparents.

Ryan: Yeah. In that order.

Roberta: Yes. Well, okay, let’s talk about the news now. Let’s move on to what’s going on in Philly. I don’t have a whole lot in, in typical fashion, has, my email inbox has not been inundated as much as it normally is during the spring. Fall seasons and the winter season. So the summer gets a little quieter, but I have two things I want to share and one is that June is going to be a really big pop-up marketplace city courtesy of the Commerce Department.

The City Commerce Department is in a collaboration with the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation and some real estate organizations, Callahan Ward, MAR Partners, O’Donnell and Naccarato, is architects, Tague Lumber, (I mean that is a zinger out of the blue), Church Brick. So some builders and realtors and the City Commerce Department and a plant store called STUMP Plants.

And they’ve hired a group called Meantime PHL to curate these pop-up markets to activate. Empty storefronts throughout the city. The commerce department is looking to develop what they’re calling a replicable short-term pop-up model for underutilized storefronts throughout Philadelphia.

And I want to say artists listen up and let’s, get involved in some of these popup markets. We have a popup market that’s coming. The 19th is the next one. That’s tomorrow’s South Philly autonomous cinema screening June 20th to the 23rd. Almost Famous art market. That’s a music reference I think, isn’t it? Almost Famous. Isn’t that a movie?

Ryan: There’s a film on that. Yeah. 

Roberta: A film. And June 27th to the 30th. Low Pass presents, synths and coffee. So very exciting to do all those popups. And we’ll put some links into the, the transcript so you can see. And I’ll have this in the news post. I’ll link it up too so you can see more and click over.

Ryan: I love  this idea.

Roberta: I think it’s super great. It’s super great. Let’s activate the empty storefronts. Let’s give the artists a platform to show their work. And crafters makers, anybody who is in the cultural sphere should be allowed to be in there.

Ryan: What would you think of a food truck? But it was an art truck. So you set up your art truck next to all the other food trucks, and you’re selling art. That’d be fun.

Roberta: Yeah. Or, and maybe it’s a maker space so you can have space, a little table for people to set up. As long as it’s not 99 degrees. So yeah. Yes.

Ryan: Okay.

Roberta: The summer, maybe not in the high part of the summer. Anyway, the second thing I wanted to talk about is that I received an email from David Acosta, who’s the artistic director of Casa de Duende in Philadelphia. Very respected artist and leader in the Latino community, and he is asking for people’s support of the No Arena in Chinatown effort. And there is a letter that you can sign on to showing your support for that effort if you’re in favor of it. Artblog doesn’t have a position on it, but we are against something that would hurt Chinatown and hurt artists. So we’re all in favor of you all going out and signing this letter. And we’ll have links to the letter so you can read it before you head out and sign it. And that’s about it for me. I hope everybody’s stiayng hydrated in this weather. And over to you now, Ryan.

Ryan: So obviously tomorrow’s Juneteenth. So that’s a lot of events are happening. A lot of block parties African-American Museum of Philadelphia AAMP is having their block party. It’s going to be hot. So bring your water. And some more and bring your umbrella and a fan if it but it should be a great time. They got a great cast coming out for their show, so look forward to that being a good time. Another fun one that I, that I’d like to see when I return, is the Inside the Picnic Basket at Pentimenti. I love the name. I love the vibe that they’re curating for this show. That looks like a lot of fun that I think you should all go take a look at. 

Roberta: Question. Do people actually have baskets anymore? Once upon a time, picnic baskets were really a thing. I don’t know that they are anymore. I love the term, it’s just really great.

Ryan: Yeah. I don’t have a picnic basket, but I have a picnic backpack that has plates and cups and dishes and all my utensils. All like a straps, that’s what we use for camping or car camping. But not a picnic basket per se. But yeah, it’s kind of a, a nostalgic, romantic throwback. It’s that I do like. Yeah.

Roberta: Kind of nice. It, it does conjure up Afternoons on the Island of La Grande Jatte, for example, by Seurat. 

Ryan: Yeah. Also that block party at AAMP is from 12 to five, so right in the heat. So there, I think the building will be open till four. So keep that in mind that there, there might be some air conditioning available there. AAMP is a large building, so lots of space there. But the block party is going to be during the day. So keep that in mind. Yeah, those are my two big shoutouts for the day. Yeah, those are the two that I want to shout out this week. And then it looks like next week’s got some more that we’re going to talk about, I’ll bring up next week. So lots to look forward to next week.

Roberta: Great. And where will you be next week? 

Ryan: Next week I’ll be home. I’ll be home next week.

Roberta: Yes. Back in Philly.

Ryan: 6,000 miles or 6500 is my expectation. Wow. So quite a few miles.

Roberta: Okay. Well we’re looking forward to seeing that map, Ryan! You’re remember you said you would make a map for us. Yeah. You could hand draw it. I love hand drawn maps. There’s something very appealing about them.

Ryan: Yeah, that sounds great. I’ve already used, I’ve gone through two digital memory cars for my camera and however many on my phone. So I’m going to put together a video for the trip.

Roberta: Oh, fun.

Ryan: So yeah, we’ll see. Try to keep it short. Travelogs.

Roberta: We need, artists need travelogs in the summer. Because not everybody goes on a 6,000 mile trip you know.

Ryan: No, me either. This is the certainly once in a while, maybe a long while. So, yeah, my notes from the road, we did, last time we talked, we were in Salt Lake. So Salt Lake ended through Wyoming, which was rather gorgeous. I was surprised. I thought it was going to be like Eastern Montana, but it was very interesting, a lot of really beautiful landscapes. Really, really beautiful. And then we got into Eastern Wyoming at Devil’s Tower. So, really interesting looking. But I was a little surprised that there wasn’t more to it, but it was still by itself pretty. And then we did Mount Rushmore, which is the biggest tourist trap I’ve ever seen. Are you kidding me? Oh my goodness. 

Roberta: Would it be that big if Alfred Hitchcock hadn’t done that wonderful scene on Mount Rushmore in North by Northwest?

Ryan: Well, he, I think he made it look good when, when I was there. You know, maybe it’s changed in the time since that film came out (1959), but I was thinking, you know, Trump was there a few months ago or whatever, and I was thinking that seemed perfect for that kind of person. Just so fake, so phony, just perfect for this. Anyway, the, the sculpture, you know, the engineering feat that was required to get it done. That’s, always interesting. But, and you could see it from the road.

Roberta: Ah, interesting. Okay.

Ryan: And then after that we did Black Hills and Badlands, and those are both beautiful. Black Hills are really pretty. I guess once you do Utah, you kind of start seeing, oh, I’ve seen this kind of thing before. So but it was really pretty.

And then we got to like, middle of Central South Dakota, like boring, started getting flat and like, oh, we’re back in the prairie now.

Roberta: We’re sorry, South Dakota.

Ryan: Well Eastern and South Dakota. And then, then we got into North Dakota. And again, just flat prairie growing farmlands and all of that, just as you expect in the Midwest. We found this cute little state park and the grasses were all so many colors. It was colorful, beautiful, so painterly. It was just lovely. And Google, however, was having some trouble since I didn’t have good internet connection and we were just on this roaming service. And so I took whatever Google could give me and we ended up going down this a ATV two track. Like, I’m not sure we’re going to make it through here, but luckily our little Subaru made it through all the sand. That was quite an adventure. And then, then into Minneapolis/St. Paul’s, a beautiful city, and we went to MCAD and the Art Institute, and we didn’t get to Walker because a couple other things came up. But those were really, really nice experiences into St. Paul. And now we’re into Wisconsin, Woohoo, Michigan, and then back towards Philly

Roberta: Next week. Okay.

Ryan: So I’ll call in from the office. 

Roberta: So phoning it in from the office. Yep.

Ryan: Yeah. Live in person. Yeah.

Roberta: Okay, Ryan. Well great. Safe travels and we’ll see you next week. This is Roberta signing off. Bye everybody.

Ryan: And this is Ryan and this is the Artblog Midweek News. Thanks for listening everyone. See you next time. Bye-Bye bye.