E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!!

The pre-season found the Eagles with a perfect 4-0 record. But as any Eagles fan can tell you, sometimes the preseason can be deceiving. Still fans remain as all Philly sports fans do, ever hopeful. 

We’ve got 16 chances to get it right this season. 16 shots at greatness. You’re 2016 Philadelphia Eagles schedule. 16 chances to show up, show off, and get it done.

 Here they are:

Week 1 – Cleveland Browns (Sept. 11, 1:00 PM, CBS)

Week 2 – @ Chicago Bears (Sept. 19, 8:30 PM, ESPN) on Monday Night Football 
Week 3 – Pittsburgh Steelers (Sept. 25, 4:25 PM, CBS)
Week 4 – BYE

Week 5 – @ Detroit Lions (Oct. 9, 1:00 PM, FOX)

Week 6 – @ Washington Redskins (Oct. 16, 1:00 PM, FOX)

Week 7 – Minnesota Vikings (Oct. 23, 1:00 PM, FOX)

Week 8 – @ Dallas Cowboys (Oct. 30, 8:30 PM, NBC) on Sunday Night Football

Week 9 – @ New York Giants (Nov. 6, 1:00 PM, FOX)

Week 10 – Atlanta Falcons (Nov. 13, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Week 11 – @ Seattle Seahawks (Nov. 20, 4:25 PM, CBS)

Week 12 – Green Bay Packers (Nov. 28, 8:30 PM, ESPN) on Monday Night Football

Week 13 – @ Cincinnati Bengals (Dec. 4, 1:00 PM, FOX)

Week 14 – Washington Redskins (Dec. 11, 1:00 PM, FOX)

Week 15 – @ Baltimore Ravens (Dec. 18, 1:00 PM, FOX)

Week 16 – New York Giants (Dec. 22, 8:25 PM, NBC) on Thursday Night Football

Week 17 – Dallas Cowboys (Jan. 1, 1:00 PM, FOX)

#FlyEaglesFly

Hey Sports Fans!

We’re “tackling” sports! We started out bringing you local voices talking about the topics that move us, that unify us as a people. Eventually, those topics began to stand on their own. A few of the things that emerged as most successful among our readers were music, entertainment, sports, and human interest stories, all with a local flavor.

We’ve been bringing you our live and local entertainment calendar for a while now and we hope it’s gotten you out and about and into your dancing (or just watching) shoes. Now we’re adding a sports calendar into the mix. One thing we know about Philly, that everyone knows about Philly, is that it’s passionate about its sports! So we’ll be keeping you in the loop with all the games and sporting events going on in our town. And while I’d love to share my kids basketball schedule with you, or invite you to my daughter’s softball games, we’ll be sticking to the majors (and minors on occasion) for now.

So keep your eye on the ball, our sports calendar feature is set to debut any time now. And you can find out when that, our entertainment calendar and any other feature stories  appear by following us on Facebook or on Twitter. We hope this one will be a home run!

Sunday Spotlight…O’Mare’s Irish Pub

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What type of establishment are you and how long have you been in business?
“I am the proprietor of an Irish pub, which has the old Irish pub theme. I’ve owned it for 8 1/2 years. I bought it from a gentleman named Jack Stokes, which is what the bar used to be called. I worked here prior to that, since I was 18 years old. I’m 46 now. When he was getting ready to retire, I got the opportunity to purchase the place from him.”

How did all of that come about?
“There was a bartender here named Mary Ellen. She and I were friendly and started dating. We dated for a long time, got engaged, and our dream was always to purchase this bar. At the time, it wasn’t for sale, Jack wasn’t ready to retire, it just wasn’t available. This was the place we wanted because we both worked there for such a long time. We got married, I continued to work there and another job, the bar was just a part time thing (for her and I). Unfortunately, back in 2003, Mary Ellen passed away. I had the opportunity, in 2007, to purchase the place from Jack. I figured there’d be no better way to honor her than that.”

I’m so sorry. So that is where the name “O’Mare’s” came from?
“Yes. I would always come home late and I would just say “Oh Mare, you just don’t understand….”. So the name O’Mare’s came from that. It was originally gonna be called “Morton’s Barrel Inn” because my father had a back room bar in our house. He named it that, but one day I woke up and said “the name’s gonna be O’Mare’s”.
So, I purchased it with Jack’s help and I’ve been running it ever since (October of 2007).”

I would imagine Jack probably loved having his predecessor be someone that had such a history with the bar.
“Absolutely. We had one strong, common bond between us…his wife died young, as did mine. I wouldn’t say he necessarily took me under his wing, but he definitely gave me a grand opportunity.”

What exactly makes O’Mare’s a “true Irish pub”?
“A true Irish pub has to have the more Irish feel and look, which I feel we have. We don’t necessarily have all the exact Irish pub food, but we have a majority of it. It’s hard in this neighborhood and we try to keep up with the trends and keep it as fresh as possible. We read the Irish papers and try to keep it as authentic as possible.”

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Have you ever regretted purchasing the bar?
“The day I regret purchasing the bar, will be the day I sell the bar. I don’t regret one day being here, for 30 hours straight some days…being the bookkeeper, the plumber, the janitor, the bouncer…I don’t regret it. Are there days I’m tired when I’m here? Sure. But there’s never a day that I say “I don’t want to go to work today”. You’ll never work a day in your life if you love what you do.
I’ve had two passions in life: to be a fishing boat captain… I became one when I was 18 and to own a bar. I’ve done both. I can definitely scratch those off of my bucket list.”

What challenges do you encounter as a bar owner?
“Trying to keep an upbeat and honest staff, that all get along. It’s very hard to have people from all walks of life that all get along. It’s very hard to unify people. I really try to find people that will work together as one. My turnaround a rate here is very low because I try to keep moral up and be good to my employees.
The guy that owns Virgin Airlines said “if you take good care of your employees, you’ll never have to worry about your customers”.  If you’re good to them, they’ll be good to you. I know one thing, this bar’s nothing without the excellent staff that I have. I’m just the guy that writes the checks.

In the beginning, I learned a valuable lesson from my older brother, who owns a business himself. He told me: “one thing you’re gonna learn, when you’re dealing with multiple people, is you criticize/correct in private and praise in public”. I try to stick by that everyday. I had no training. I didn’t go to college or have a business education, I just had 10-15 years here before I bought it. I had no official education.”

I believe experience is sometimes worth a lot more than a college degree.
“It’s funny, I don’t live by quotes or anything, but I live by things I hear that are true to me. I heard Samuel L. Jackson say something a couple of weeks ago on the radio like “be careful of what soul you yell at today, because it’s the ass you might be kissing tomorrow” and I believe that (laughter). I guess I base my life on crazy philosophies, but it seems to have worked so far.”

They doesn’t seem all that crazy to me. It seems like good, common sense. Just treat others the way you want to be treated. Pretty simple thing that would make the world a better place.
“And you’d sleep better at night if you did it.”

You draw a crowd on Thanksgiving morning for the annual  Washington/Ryan game and also host a horseshoe tournament a couple times a year. What other specials and events does O’Mare’s have?
“Wednesday and Sunday nights we have all you can eat snow crabs.
Sunday nights we also have karaoke with Harry O.
Thursday nights we have Quizzo.
One night of the weekend, we usually have some form of live entertainment.”

Lastly, what advice would you give to someone that may be considering opening their own restaurant or bar?
“Be prepared to work a lot of hours and to be able to do every job that you give someone. You should be able to do it, and do it well, before you give it to someone else. If you like to sleep a lot, get into another business.”

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Find O’Mare’s at:
10253 Bustleton Ave., Philadelphia, Pa 19116
http://www.omaresirishpub.com
O’Mare’s Irish on Facebook

This Weeks Live and Local…

Read and hear more about our featured artists by clicking one of the links below:

http://oneunifiedproject.com/archives-2/backstage-pass/
Brodi Valos, Steal Your Face

http://oneunifiedproject.com/archives-2/backstage-pass/backstage-pass-kevin-kirk-of-kirko/
Kirko

http://oneunifiedproject.com/2016/01/31/sunday-spotlight-great-scott-band/
The Great Scott Band

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Sunday Spotlight…Local Musician and Songwriter, Saver

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What is your name and do you have a stage name?
“My name is Tim Burke, and I play under the name, Saver.”

What style of music you play?
“I’m an acoustic act from Northeast Philly. My musical tastes vary every day, so I find it difficult to pinpoint a distinct genre. I’d say angst driven acoustic; very heartfelt and honest, and easy to sing along.”

How long have you been playing?
“I’ve been playing the guitar since I was 13. It was never my intention to be a singer, though. As a kid, I played music with my brother and cousin, and I’d write full songs and be like, “I’ll just sing the songs until we find a full time singer.” I’ve never stopped writing since then, and after some vocal lessons, I really locked down my singing abilities, and wrote around my range. My voice is something I’m very proud of, because I worked very hard to achieve that skill.”

Do you write music as well?
“I write all my own music, and even when I do cover songs, I tend to play songs you wouldn’t expect from an acoustic artist. I like to make them my own. I do a cover of Drake’s “Best I Ever Had”, and even “Juicy” by Notorious BIG, which has been getting a lot of positive feedback.”

What and who influenced the music you play and write?
“The very first band I listened to where I thought, “Wow, this is what I want to do!”, was Linkin Park. I’m heavily influenced by Brand New. They are my favorite band, and I love Jesse Lacey’s lyrical style. I’m very mindful, and passionate about my lyrics, because I want someone to listen to my music, and feel the way I feel about the lyrics of Brand New. I’m also heavily into The Wonder Years, who are a pop punk band from Lansdale, who are blowing up right now. I love every one of their albums. They’ve taught me to be relatable, and not cloud the messages of my songs. It’s awesome seeing them in concert, because the venues they’re playing now are venues they grew up going to. I hope to share in that experience.”

 

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What inspires the songs you write?
“I’m heavily influenced by people, by social interaction, as well as honest feelings, and conversation. The only thing we are looking for, as people, is genuine connection. We’re always reorganizing thoughts in our head to help us better fit the social mold, but when it comes down to it, we all feel the same exact way, and it’s unfortunate that most of us don’t realize it, or hide it. My favorite thing on the planet is after a show, when someone comes up to me and says “Dude, that one song you played, is exactly how I feel/felt.” Because that’s what we all want. That’s what I want. The things I sing about are the most personal feelings I’ve ever had. Some of the things I sing about, I can’t even talk about. So when people are singing the words back to me, or tell me they relate to my songs, it’s absolutely incredible, and that’s what feeds my passion.”

What role does music play in your life? Was it always something you had a passion for?
“I remember picking up the saxophone when I was in grade school, because I thought it was cool, but it never really clicked, and I never practiced. And then one day my cousin brought over his new guitar, and wouldn’t let me use it, so I asked my parents for one for my birthday, and it’s been all music ever since. It’s been my lifeblood every day since I turned 13. It’s had every effect on my life decisions. It helps filter my creative mind, and at this point has become therapeutic. I tend to shell my emotions, and whether it’s through songs, or poetry, I’ve been able to cope with things a lot easier through this means.”

Are you pursuing music as a career?
“I’m currently attempting to build a career in music, and I’m putting a heavy emphasis on attempting. I’m currently working two jobs, to help pay for this dream, whether the money goes towards studio time, music video/photo shoots, or just general travel expenses for shows. I’ve been in the studio for the past year, and I’m about to drop my debut EP, which is currently in mixing and mastering stages. It’s been a lot of time, effort and money to accomplish this, but I’m very excited to release it. Hopefully, this cd is my kick start into a stable career doing what I love.”

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What is your goal?
“My ultimate goal is to be a full-time touring musician. I want to see as much of this planet as I can, playing the songs that I wrote in my basement. This has been my dream forever, and it wasn’t until recently that it looked like it was actually possible. I’ve been really lucky this past year to come into contact with some awesome people. I’ve had a few gigs with Radio 104.5 and Wired 96.5, I was a finalist in last year’s PHL LIVE competition, as well as playing some awesome venues all over the city. So, needless to say, I’ve kept busy and stayed motivated. I’m super excited to take it to the next level.”

Where can people hear your songs? Are you playing anywhere live anytime soon?
“I’m currently on Facebook, and Twitter. I’m also on Youtube, and my first single, “Don’t Even Bother”, is currently for sale on Itunes, Google Play and Amazon. There’s also a music video for that. My next show is a cancer benefit for a friend at Big Heads in Bensalem. I was originally planning on laying low on shows until my cd drops, but this was too good of a cause to pass up on. I’m going to be debuting a lot of new music at this show, as well as some other surprises. It’s on 11/7/15, and it starts at 3:00pm. If you’re reading this, and want to come out, or can’t make it out, and would like to donate, please contact me through my Facebook page, or website. Other than that, I don’t have anything booked, but once the EP drops, I’ll be all over Philadelphia, as well as some other cities I’ve been trying to sink my teeth into. I’m very excited. A lot of fun things are happening.”

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To check out more about Saver, visit the links below for his “Juicy” cover, one of his original songs and music video and his social media sites:
Music Video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKW7yObWQlo
FB- https://www.facebook.com/saver33
Twitter- https://twitter.com/saverphilly33
Youtube- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUaxNFrfpHn2CyhnDGsUxSg
Website- http://saverbooking.wix.com/savermusic
Juicy cover- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vGrbWiQeiI

Cheesesteak Wars… Rivalry on the Philadelphia Food Scene

They call it the city of brotherly love. Philadelphia sometimes gets a bad rap for its, shall we say, passionate residents. A basically blue collar town with a rich history and a high society sector, Philly has been playing second fiddle to New York and DC in so many areas for as many years as I can recall. Recently however, Philadelphia has been experiencing something of a resurgence. While never falling out of favor with its own, Philly is finally getting some of the national and international recognition that it deserves. For one thing, Philly was voted into the top 15 most livable cities in America by Forbes Magazine. We got the Best Urban Trail award last year for the Schuylkill River Trail, and we even garnered the unusual honor of having the best public restrooms in America for the bathrooms at Longwood Gardens. And that was just a few of the multitude of awards we received from various magazines and other sources. Even the New York Times, the flagship paper of one of our biggest rival cities, voted Philadelphia #3 on their annual list of the best places in the country to visit. Maybe, just maybe, Philly can finally shed the negative images that it has become known for.

One thing Philly has been known for that has not been a negative (unless maybe you’re a personal trainer), is the food. Most notably, the Philly cheesesteak. Often simulated but never correctly duplicated, it’s basically the pinnacle of the true Philly food experience. Hoagies, soft pretzels, water ice, Tastykakes (although many of these are now available nationwide) are all things that we grew up loving, back when the rest of the world was left out. The battle over who has the best cheesesteak in town has raged on for generations. It’s come between brothers, broken up friendships, and probably even called off a wedding or two. So, if you have your own strong opinions on who makes the best cheesesteak in Philly, or the best hoagie, or the best pizza for that matter, you need to vote your favorites in our Best Of Philly 2015 competition. Do it now. Do it here. In the meantime, we asked a few folks who are not from Philly, if they’d ever been here and what they liked or disliked about the food.

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pretzelsYou’ve been to Philly multiple times, right? You’ve done the search for the best cheesesteak thing? What was your favorite?

“Oh hell yeah! Not even a question, Pat’s! Jim’s is a close second though.”

Is there any place where you live down south that tries to simulate them? How do they do?
“We have a place called Ankar’s. They come closest.”

What’s the biggest food faux pas for the people who try to simulate the Philly food experience?

“Well, the biggest thing is thinking that the cheesesteaks are supposed to have green peppers in them. It’s a crime I know.”

Is there any other Philly food that draws you when you come?
“Used to be Tastykakes, but we have those now. Soft pretzels too.”

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cheessteakYou’re not from Philadelphia, but you come here often. Where do you live and what brings you to Philly?
“I’m from DC originally, but live in Aston PA right now (for work), so I am close enough to be in Philly quite often.”

Were you familiar with Philly foods before you got to the area?
“Oh yeah. DC is close enough that we either have it, have someone who tries to make it, or we just know about it.”

“So, what is your favorite Philly food? And where  do you get it?”
“Gotta be the cheesesteak. I mean, it’s the most iconic of them all, right? I think when you arrive here they don’t let you in unless you promise to go immediately to find the cheesesteak of your liking. I like Jim’s on South street. I did the corner war thing and was kind of disappointed. I mean, they were both so good, but for all of the hype I was pretty shocked to get one just as good or better, elsewhere.”

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hoagieWhat’s your favorite food to eat when you visit Philadelphia?
“I like soft pretzels. They’re so good. They’re not like the kind you get in a box and heat up in the microwave. They’re so soft and we really don’t have anything like that where I am (in Davis, CA).”

Did you try the cheesesteaks when you were here?
“I don’t eat red meat, but my friend took me out to get a chicken cheesesteak that was so good! I’ve been told that’s not the same, but it tasted great to me!”

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Okay, where are you from and how many times have you been to Philly?
“I live in Denver. I’m from Philly originally but moved away when I was a kid.  I’m here probably 1 or 2 times a year.”

When you come back to visit what’s your must have Philly food?
“Well my real must have Philly food is my grandma’s sausage and peppers. But I always get a cheesesteak when I get in and I get pizza at Tacconelli’s. The pizza sucks out there. It’s not the same.”

Where do you get your cheesesteak?
“Usually Steve’s Prince of Steaks. They’re the best. It’s really good and right near where I’m at. But, sometimes while I’m here I wind up down at Pat’s at like 2 a.m after being out with my cousins all night catching up.”

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peeps1After asking about 10 more people, all of whom reside outside of the Philly area and all of whom have been here multiple times and enjoyed a cheesesteak (knowing about the ongoing war), we wound up with a 30% share of the votes for Pat’s. Jim’s and Steve’s each garnered 20%, Gino’s, Tony Luke’s and Dalessandro’s each got 10%.

peanutchewsHonorable mention of Philly food favorites went to the hoagie, the soft pretzel, water ice, and Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews. We even learned a little Philly food fact ourselves when someone told us that ‘Peeps’, those marshmallow delights that we jam into our kid’s baskets at Easter time are considered a “Philly food” in other parts of the world. We knew that the Peep originated and is still produced in Bethlehem, not far from Philly, but we had no idea that they had such a regional connotation. Oh well, you live, you learn, you get schooled on fluffy marshmallow candies.

Any way you look at it, if you’re coming to Philly, you’ll need to come hungry. Be sure you grab one of Philly’s finest while you’re here. And if you check back on Saturday, our own Best of Philly 2015 will be out and you can see where our readers advise you to go.
Happy eating!