Friday, August 21, 2009


Northern Liberties is fast becoming my favorite area in downtown Philly and as it continues to evolve and grow, I'm excited to see what great bars, restaurants, and other hot spots pop up. It is a great place to walk around and sightsee, and if you like architecture, as many of my friends do, it's a great place to go for some architectural appreciation.

I recently happened upon a great little burger place, PYT (may have some Michael Jackson connection), in Northern Liberties with my friend. PYT is an example of the good, though somewhat pricey, food the area has to offer. If you are looking for a good burger, come here. It has a very cute and appealing diner-esque feel with a more modernized burger bar twist. Bright green bar chairs line the colorful bar where patrons seem to prefer to sit and enjoy their meal. The place itself isn't that big, so I would suggest not coming in a large group if you want to eat together.

I sat on the inside in a booth with my friend, but it seems that most customers prefer either to sit outside on the Piazza at Schmidts (and with good reason as there is always something going on out there) or at the bar.

The milkshakes are great, though $5 is a bit much to pay for it. Chips come with the burger so there isn't a need to order fries or onion rings unless you are really hungry. And if you do order the fries, I would suggest asking for mayo on the side for dipping (if you like that sort of thing). The burgers at PYT are small but filling. I really enjoyed my PYT Burger and my friend liked his Shroom Burger as well.

Great background music, cute decor, great burgers, great location, overall great place. If you are in Northern Liberties and craving a burger, PYT is the place to go.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Muslim. Hijab. Conservative Garb No Longer?

Taken from The Customized Hijab (linked below).

So I was walking to the Broad Street Line in the 15th street free interchange from the Market Frankfort Line (Septa) yesterday and I came across a sight that definitely confused me. I noticed a black female, approximately between 17-20 wearing a long black Hijab and hot pants.... Now, I never thought these two article of clothing would come into the same sphere. The Hijab is a statement of religious and social values that include conservative dress for females: "In one tradition, the Prophet Muhammad is quoted as saying: '...If the woman reaches the age of puberty, no part of her body should be seen but this --- and he pointed to his face and hands'". (Linked from: Hijab in the Workplace) This conversation encompasses a much grander social, religious, and moral sphere than the small issue I am touching on today, but when I envision a female in a Hijab, I see a statement of either a religious consciousness or a social choice of conservative dress and living. I do not equate it to a showcase of skin or a way to allure interested parties to you, as I would hot pants. Women wear hot pants generally to make a statement, to appeal to the opposite/same sex, and to garner attention (usually of the sexual type). It is a clearly revealing item of clothing and in a world society where the Hijab is majorly connected with a religion that promotes female and male conservative actions and dress, I would think the paring of the two an oxymoron.

But maybe this is a new trend in Islamic religious culture? Is this an example of Muslim women seeking a freer mode of dress? Or this particular female's way of rebelling against her Muslim religion and culture? However, there is also the idea that she was not in fact Muslim, though her Hijab points otherwise from my general experience. But even if she was not Muslim the pairing of the two garments still points to a dramatic cross of style and dress.

I happened upon this piece that illuminates more of what I have touched on: The Customized Hijab.

I suppose the larger question is what has the Hijab evolved into, religiously, socially, culturally, and in the fashion industry? Is it now becoming only a garment meant to showcase a religious connection/belief, no longer a religious lifestyle? And how does one equate a garment equated with such conservatism with the continually more risque/revealing fashion trends of today? Does it even need to be? I have seen Muslim young adults in Philadelphia wearing tight jeans and shirts, which begs the question of whether there is some sort of regional acceptance of a much less conservative dress? As I am not Muslim myself, I cannot judge what is conservatively fitting in Muslim culture, only say my take from what I have read and learned from Muslim friends.

So what's your take? What does the Hijab mean to you in this quickly evolving world?