Saturday, December 31, 2011

So Long, Farewell!

Dearest of the dearest to my heart,

It is with a solidly mixed up mix of emotions that I find myself writing to you on my very last day at 13th street Capogiro.

Am I sad? Am I happy? Will I miss it? Will I miss YOU? Am I crazy? Excited? Confused? Jubilant? YES. Yes to everything. I don't know how to find the words to describe it.

Leaving this wonderful group of people (co-workers and customers alike) may very well bring me to tears when it truly hits me. Over three and a half years of my life have revolved around an amazing store; full of life, love, food, and incredible people - ones we see daily, and ones we only have the pleasure of speaking to once. So why am I leaving a store that holds such a place in my heart? The world calls, simply put. I'm set to embark on a journey that will remain a dream to me until I find that am actually within it. I am off to travel the world!

Travel is: Thrilling. Risky. Adventurous. Expensive. Amazing. Stressful. Educational. Addicting. Worth it. 

Telling someone you're leaving your job - permanently - to go travel, incites an impressive array of reactions. I expected a bit more opposition than I've ultimately encountered, which helps me reassure myself when I slip back into worrying about finances, language barriers, or understanding the proper attire and conduct for my gender and age. The general response, from friends, family, acquaintances, and flat out strangers has been purely support and encouragement, and I could not be more grateful for it.

When we first considered a long trip, it seemed spur-of-the moment, a notion that came on a whim. It felt as if we were dreaming, and figuring out the logistics of something that would never actually happen, like when you envision your dream kitchen or house, or "allot" potential Mega Millions winnings. We were in the midst of signing a lease on a beautiful house, and had reached the point where we were beginning to consider buying one. We were feeling all grown up... excited and prepared and ready to establish a home of our own in the city. 

In the middle of a very loud concert, Colleen turned to me out of the blue and said (shouted, rather) "We can't sign that lease! And we can't buy a house yet!". I didn't have a clue where it came from or how to respond, so I shouted "What?! OK.". We waited until a pause between songs, and she explained in an eagerly rushed sentence, that if we were to take any period of time to travel, it should be now or never. Now while we're in a decent financial position, free of many future obligations. Now while we're in good health and can survive jet-lags. Now while we're dreaming of it! Who's to say no? And what in the world is really stopping us other than fear? Nothing in me was saying no to the proposition, so... I agreed.

After two or three weeks of weighing pros and cons, and our options with our jobs against the projected cost of a trip, we gracefully backed out of the lease and laid out a serious trip budget. We researched hostels and guesthouses, cheapest travel times and paths with regard to our ideal list of destinations, and after a good month of rearranging our itinerary on AirTreks (the most awesome, helpful, and comprehensive travel site we've come across) we came up with a trip that was within our price range, and only sacrificed a few stops from our lengthy original wish list.

In two weeks' time, we'll be packed and headed to the airport. We will have created our blog (a link to which will be added to this post) so anyone interested can check out where we're at and what we're up to. 
And WHERE in the world will we be? We have three long stays, in Italy, India, and Indonesia, during which we'll be Wwoofing, and volunteering. On the front, tail, and in-betweens, we'll have shorter stops in the UK, Athens, Cairo, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Hong Kong. We'll return to the states in mid-April, to run the Big Sur Marathon. From there, we'll clear and open our minds, and see where the world takes us. We haven't really planned it, and we don't really want to just yet. Regardless of what happens, we're anticipating a wonderful journey. We don't expect it to be easy, or relaxing, but we do expect to be doing a whole lot of learning, growing, and taking chances. I am of the opinion that we spend our entire lives "growing up". There is no tangible degree of maturity or knowledge we can achieve that grants us the title of being grown. We are here to live and to love and to learn, and a great deal of that involves our very own selves and those we come to love. 

I fear I'll ruin the keyboard with salty tears if I begin to thank every single person who has touched my life here, so I'll leave you with a simple and sincere thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Capogiro 13th, I love you, and everything and everyone that is a part of you. 


Friday, December 30, 2011

Auld Lang Syne

One of my most favorite songs of all time, as New Years is my most favorite holiday. There's nothing like celebrating the year with people you love, embarking on the new and having a completely clean slate from which to build. Just writing to say, Happy New Year to all. It's been a pretty amazing year with Capogiro, as Tandy said, but I wanted to reiterate. So here's my favorite version, and I hope you love it as much as I do.

And here's a gratuitous image of a bulldog, just to keep the theme going.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

See ya next year!

Wow, it's amazing that another year is coming to a close. 2011 was a big one; Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died, as well as North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il. Supposedly we killed Osama Bin Laden, but I'd still like to see a body. Protesters Occupied err'ywhere, and were met with resistance from the police. Prince William and Kate Middleton tied the royal knot, and the Queen's corgies got to drink champagne from golden goblets. The US pulled troops out of Iraq (for now), and New Zealand beat France in the final of the Rugby World Cup.

In Capo news, 2011 was also a big year. We were given the esteemed title of "Best Ice Cream in the World" by National Geographic. That was awesome! We also introduced new sandwiches and teamed up with some really rad new vendors for candy and baked goods. At 20th Street, we hired Andy this year, which is probably the best thing ever (see previous post), and I managed to still not kill Zach. WooHoo!!

Here's hoping that 2012 will be a winner. Love all you guys!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Every party is better with a pint of gelato.

Hi everyone! Out and about today? Finishing up some last minute shopping downtown? Strolling around West Philly? Doing whatever it is people do on Passyunk Ave that doesn't involve cheesesteaks or dive bars? We're here for you! Grab a pint, gas up with a quick cappuccino, pick up some last minute Love Bars for that inevitable chocomergency...or just come in and say hi! All the Capogiros are open until 5:00 or so tonight, though obviously closed tomorrow.

Anyway. Happy ChristmaKwanzaKah or however you're celebrating the season, from your Capogiro Crews. Be warm, be safe, be merry.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas movies that aren't really about Christmas

More dogs in Santa hats!! More!

Christmas movies are typically centered around themes such as family, togetherness, the joy of giving, and selflessness. However, some movies are about things that don't suck, like monsters and shipwrecks! Just because the Christmas holiday makes an appearance in certain films, doesn't mean the movie is all about Christmas. Here's a list of...

Tandy's Top 10 Christmas Movies That Have Very Little To Do With Christmas!

Gremlins (1984). Billy gets a mogwai for Christmas. Billy doesn't listen to the rules, gets it wet, and feeds the spawn after midnight. Melee ensues. Also, as I've blogged before, Phoebe Cates delivers the most gruesome and amazing Christmas monologue ever.

Home Alone (1990). With a forgotten child, Wet Bandits, and an ever adorable aftershave scene, who can forget this timeless classic? And why did Macaulay Culkin have to grow up to be such a pasty, gangly trouty-mouth?

Grumpy Old Men (1993) This is a classic winter tale staring the always cheeky Walter Mathau and Jack Lemmon. True story, when I was a kid my father and I went to the video store to rent this movie, and my dad asked the teenaged clerk if they had "Dirty Old Men" in stock. The clerk got really red and told my father that they "didn't carry those kinds of films, sir". My father never went there again.

Better Off Dead (1985). Fraunch fries? Fraunch toast? This classic Cusack movie tells the tale of a teen dealing with breakups, a new exchange student, a homicidal paper boy, and a ski competition against a total tool. I want my two dollars!

Die Hard (1988). Terrorists try to seize control of an office building during the Christmas holiday. Oddly enough, for Die Hard 2, terrorists try to seize control of an airport during the Christmas holiday. Apparently terrorists reeeeally like Christmas.

While You Were Sleeping
(1995). This movie is about a stalker. Sandra Bullock plays an insane woman who falls in love with a guy in a coma. In. A. Coma. Like totally unconscious. Really, it's creepy.

The Holiday (2006). I actually watched this romantic comedy whilst dog sitting for Sarah. Her bulldog and I wept giant squishy tears over the charming plot. This movie will actually make you not hate Cameron Diaz. As much.

Cast Away (2000). One fateful Christmas Eve, Tom Hanks' FedEx plane crash lands on a deserted island. Somehow, there is still dialogue in this film, thanks to the inclusion of a bloody volleyball. Who else cried when Wilson floated away?

Mean Girls (2004). Although this movie has very little to do with Christmas, who can forget the tender rendition of "Jingle Bell Rock" that the girls perform? BTW, congrats on the recent Playboy spread, Lindsay, those pictures looked absolutely nothing like you!

Love Actually (2003). THIS IS THE SINGLE GREATEST MOVIE EVER MADE!!!!! It's funny, it's tear jerking, it's Chrismas-y, it's British! If you do not adore Love Actually, then you have no soul or are just a scumbag.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Letter to Santa

Deeeeeeeeear Santa,
Here is our wish list! We here at 13th street have been very very nice this year. The only naughty incidents were a few months when Sarah bumped a tray of cones and they fall down the stairs... and then a few weeks later Dawne did the same exact thing. But Rudolph forgave them, so they're good to go.

We don't have too many wishes, but we know you're busy, so whatever you can handle would be great.

Thank you!
Capo13th <3

1. Endless pints of Strawberry gelato and sorbetto
2. A new puppy.
3. Enough of that delicious Capo bacon for at least 1 serving (aka 6 pieces) a day for a whole year.
4. Cool new bike helmets for everyone.
5. A hammock for napping in.
6. Candied Chestnuts on the daily.
7. Teleportation capabilities.
8. A doggie spa visit for Toro the Dog
9. Some snow so we can have a snowball fight please!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Various dispatches from the West Side.

Hi! Is anyone going to St. Albans, West Virginia soon? Could you take a couple of things for me? Shockingly behind on my holiday shopping and starting to worry that my gifts may not make the last reindeer out of town. Anyone? St. Albans? Charleston, even?

So Sarah's been on this enormous old-fashioned hand crafted candy kick lately, and gratifyingly a lot of you seem to be on her wavelength (we love when that sort of thing happens). The latest goodies in are from Brooklyn Hard Candy, and they're predictably amazing. Just look at 'em:

Candy with a cork: srs bznz.

Give 'em to people you like. Or stash a jar in your desk drawer to sneak into when the boss is gone for the afternoon and you're noodling around the internet reading various blogs.

Everyone got the memo that we're staying open through the holidays at this year at CapoPenn, yeah? Super excited. Because we want to be here for you! You need espresso and gelato, and at the risk of sounding a little smug, sometimes we feel like we're one of the few outposts of genuine good taste in West Philly. Not that West Philly isn't up and coming in a lot of ways! But for now, consider us your refuge for real, good food. Come on by! Soup and candy and gelato and booze and jalapeno chips and...

OH YEAH THE JALAPENO CHIPS! These are new, too! Deano's Jalapenos from my old stomping grounds in Vermont. Tasty! They are just little bite-sized noms of jalapeno and they go really well with a beer. And seriously, Stowe's a great little town! Lamoille County generally, but I'm maybe getting a little nostalgic now. I always start missing it this time of year because it's one of those places where you can place a pretty solid bet on a white Christmas.

Speaking of white Christmas and the lack thereof... seriously, if a symptom of global climate change is going to be that I have to adjust to 60 and humid on Christmas, I dunno what I'm going to do. It's just...WEIRD. Y'know? Like...what's Christmas Eve without snowballs? Sleigh bells jingling? Do you even WANT an open fire over which to roast chestnuts when it's...muggy?

Blatant appropriation of someone else's awkward family holiday portrait. I don't think they posed for it, do you? It looks totally spontaneous. (Dad's trying to hide that he's panting from running back to the shot after setting the self-timer on the camera.)

Yeah. We've all got those embarrassing hand-made Christmas tree ornaments that Mom (erm...Grandmom, more like.) won't let anyone get rid of because she remembers when your sister made that Elmer's Glue and third grade Sunday school. Christmas. Family and memories. And shopping. Seriously...anyone going to Huntington, West Virginia? I could make that work. HAVE to get to the post office tomorrow...

This song will never fail to make me happy. Happy Holidays everyone! Come see us soon!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Capogiro World Domination.... Phase Z

Our pants are SOOOOOO friggin' fancy.
Thanks, Zagat!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Its HERE its HERE its HERE!!! We're as excited as a kid that can't take their eyes off the window waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve. And YOU'RE about to be that excited to see your delivery driver! We've put together a package of our classic Holiday offerings to get you in the seasonal spirit! These holiday flavors come but once a year! Order six perfectly packed pints to share with your family over the holidays.


PURE KING LEO STRACCIATELLA - Local mint gelato with crushed candy canes and bitter sweet chocolate!

HEIRLOOM APPLE MASCARPONE - Made from Lancaster County Heirloom Apples and the richest creamiest Mascarpone cheese.

CLEMENTINE - Tiny fruit with a BIG citrus taste!

POMEGRANATE - We painstakingly separate about a bazillion fresh pomegranate seeds so you can enjoy this seasonal sorbetto!

CHESTNUT - In case you don't have an open fire to roast them on, we've got ya' covered.

NEW ORLEANS NOG - What holiday package would be complete without it? Spiked with Southern Comfort!

Click HERE to order!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Meet Andy Phillips

This is Andy. He is, to put it simply, perfect. Andy is the most well meaning, hard-working, kindhearted people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. He makes everyone else look bad by how awesome he is. I wish I could clone him and put one of him at every Capo, just so all of the other managers could experience what an absolute joy he is to have on shift.

Andy is from Effort, PA, which I'm fairly sure is a quaint Christmas village located in the Poconos. His parents are magic elves, and he was brought to them on the wings of a golden stork. Andy has been with the same girl all of his adult life, and spends all of his time trying to think of ways to make her happy. Andy rides a unicorn to work and he bleeds liquid silver. Andy is straight-edge, which we all agree will probably only last until his 21st birthday. His favorite drink is milk and he can frequently be found enjoying a tall cold glass with a chocolate chip cookie. If you all get a chance to meet this gem of a man at the Holiday Party, please go up and awkwardly gaze upon him, for you should all use him as an example of how to be a decent human being.


Do the holidays leaving you feeling slightly...unenthused? Droopy, listless? Scratching at the walls to find a safe haven from visiting relatives? How many times have you found yourself wandering West Philly, desperately wishing CapoPenn was open during the holidays so that you could sate yourself with a libation, gelato goodness, and bacon?

We heard you. We're here for you! So this year, we'll be here, all the times, for you and yours during the pre and post holiday crazy.

So there's a happy. You know what else is a happy? Spiked hot chocolate. You know what's even happier than that?! The mind reels. This:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

We're Baaack: A CapoYunk Story

Tis the Season™ is the reason! We've braved the Autumn with it's dewy 70 degree days and are now steadfast to slaughtering Winter's slightly brisk horde.
Our hours have changed to suit (2pm-10pm) East Passyunk Ave.'s late-night bustling.
We even got some new duds to match! Check it! «

You can catch the House Ghosts casting their Jolly Spells now! »

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Watch Out for Santas!

I like to run.
I don't necessarily like the actual running so much as I like the sense of completion I get from finishing a run. One of my favorite things about the winter are 5K's. I know it sounds loony. Give me a moment to defend myself..
It is COLD in these parts in December, January, February, March, and often April... but that doesn't mean you can't go enjoy working up a sweat outside, it just means that you (and race directors) have to get a little creative. The first awesome thing about races (besides staying healthy): most, if not all races support a great cause. Secondly: obviously, you've got to keep your body warm! Wear a hat, and some gloves (fingerless is fine). A scarf might make you overheat if you get above a jog but it's certainly allowed. If you're someone who tends to get cold and stay cold, a one-piece costume is never a bad idea. The lack of seams/holes between layers will keep all that body heat in! The closer you get to the holidays, the more likely you are to see Santa Hats, Elves, reindeer antlers and the like showing up on race participants.
There's a decent chance you've even heard of a Santa Run (where everyone dresses up like Santa or Mrs.Claus... Philly certainly has a version or two, but this pic from New Zealand is pretty darn awesome :)

I suppose I do like running a little bit. Especially on really beautiful sunny days, spring, summer, fall, or winter.
If you're a runner, an occasional runner, or a brave/curious first-timer, there are plenty of local runs coming up this month. Jump in one! Grab a friend. You can walk, jog, run, skip, or combine any of those options. See the short list below, and just google any of 'em for more info or more runs! Remember, it doesn't EVER hurt to dress up in something silly to make a run more fun.
We all wore ridiculously bright colors to this West Chester race (pictured below), but we forgot to actually document it so you get a picture of us post-race in our sparkly clean shirts instead.

Happy running!

Jingle Bell 5K's on December 10th and 11th in Philadelphia support the Arthritis Foundation
Kris Kringle 5 Miler December 18th in Reading
Northeast Roadrunner's Christmas Is For Giving 5K December 18th
Patriots' Run 5K on December 31st
New Year's Eve 5K on December 31st

Friday, December 2, 2011

Our special is specialer than their special.

So. A Citywide Special. Sort of a hallowed Philadelphia institution, particularly if you're looking to get tight on the cheap: a can of cheap lager and a shot of cheap liquor. It's humble, it's serviceable, it's...kinda meh. Humble and serviceable? Is that really what we think of ourselves as a city? ESPECIALLY since the two components are so frequently imported from, I dunno, Milwaukee or somewhere out there in the flyover states.

We thought to our selves, "Selves, we can do better." So we're really excited to open the curtain on our own, strictly Philadelphian, let's-class-up-this-jawn-a-bit Citywide: Yard's ESA from the draft and a shot of Philadephia Distilling's Shine Whiskey.

Yard's Extra Special Ale is one of the truly few ambers available that ISN'T like The Eagles (the band, not the team. Though, dammit, increasingly the team)--bland, innocuous, middle-of-the-road pablum. ESA has character. It's got complexity. It has...flavor. A lot of it, and in all the right places. This beer's taste is positively curvy, if you see what I'm getting at. Everybody should have a go-to beer and if you live in Philly, this should be it.

We're matching it up with Philadelphia Distilling's Shine Whiskey, a total throwback. You'll sip it (I do recommend sipping it, but knock that sucker back if you're feeling kinky) and gather immediately that yeah, this is a corn whiskey for sure. It's sweet, it's hot, and it's definitely got some bite--just what everyone's looking for, right? Know what I'm saying? For sure it'll make a tasty cocktail, and you can bet we'll have them for you, too. But just in a glass, with a ESA back? Good.

This is Capogiro's Citywide: All Philly, all the time. Because honestly--we have this conversation more often than you'd think, though now you might be wondering who "we" is, exactly--we love our town, and we love local people like Yard's and Philly Distilling that make seriously good things right here at home. Like us, not for nothing. So come see us, especially if you're visiting from out of town. You'll leave with a glow.

As always...have a good weekend everyone. Time to start snuggling into that holiday sweater.