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BLUNTCAST #2 Victor Fiorillo


A blunt heads Greg. This blunt cast number two of our live late night. Philly talk show on facebook. Live via zoom This is the audio version of it. This one features Victor Fiorello repeat guests from Philly Magon. He's just a guy who's got his finger on what's happening affiliate the good and the bad places that are staying open when they shouldn't things people are doing to help each other. Get by all that stuff. So he's quite informative and perfect for this check out facebook. If you haven't spoke live between eight and ten sometimes we'll go on there. We'll give notice also put him up on Youtube and this is the audio version of it. So audio again is not great because there's video conference but it's fun and get involved follow US especially if you're on facebook follow us so you can interact live since questions or maybe hop on and go through a philly blunt of your own and Y So say it's Joe. Hello Ladies and gentlemen welcome to Philly Blunt. John Good Times says live on facebook on my phone. I don't believe it. Yeah Hey Victor. Welcome to the welcome to the guys with technology. Show every might be live. We might not okay. We're excited to have everybody here tonight. we have a terrific. Yes we've had him on. The show will be forks and In this most surreal week of perhaps in Philadelphia History He's been writing some really interesting ship. Victor guerrilla welcome to shout after having me thank you I mean. Who else are you going to turn to for guidance? In these difficult times but Victor Fiero you. Yeah I mean thank God we've got you so we can finally get some answers because we're all just in this existential crisis and we know that you know you're you're you're covering the the the stories that matter. Most and one of those stories is Philadelphia species in the corona virus era. And we want to ask you about that what you know first of all what made you think of the story. And secondly how did it come about how you find a place? What made me think of? It was a friend of mine. Sent me a text and said what bars Ruben as I said what do you mean? They're all shut down now. You know the delco bucks and chester bars had shut down already and then this was on the night when philly bars had shut down at five pm so at this point this was like seven pm on Monday night so nothing is open right because the city places of all shut down a lot of this replaces shutdown even before this and then the stuff in the suburbs you know had been shut down since Sunday. So there's literally no where you could go drink or at least that's what I told him right so so did but that that that that peaked your curiosity and you're like actually you know what I wanNA know. Exactly where where I can get a beer. You out there like or you just randomly well. It was too cold and the geographic area. I was in did not really allow for walking around We're not talking about Paseo Avenue here So I did put out some feelers and I got. I got to lead. And so I- headed out and the lead turned out to be no good and wild goose chase. Yeah I mean I think the information was good but the the place had just recently like meaning like within twenty minutes before I got there at close so I was about to leave but the really cold outside if you remember on Monday and I wasn't dressed properly because I wasn't planning on like running around and I was about to Uber. The heck out of there and got another message on my phone saying Oh this place is open and I'm like yeah right but the place that they were talking about was not very far from the place that I was at so I thought you know what what it's worth me. Taking the quick ride over there to see what the deal is and it turned out that they were open and it turned out that there were. I mean I've since learned that there are several more places that have been but that night. I confirm that there were three places open in the one place that I spent the most time in said they weren't GonNa shut down so are they. Are they regulating? My comedy people can come in like. Did it feel clean? Like I don't know like what was your take on. They definitely were not regulating. How many people come in? But also also I will say. It wasn't a packed kind of place but certainly they were operating outside of the law now. The governor's Office didn't actually start enforcing any of this until Wednesday. So Saint Patrick's Day was on Tuesday. And I'm aware of places that were open on Tuesday and I think the governor's office was like let them have their Tuesday Saint Patrick's Day drink. Some green beer hopefully not spread the virus. GonNa kill people and Wha- it was Wednesday night at eight pm that he started you know that they really started enforcing this was this. Was this a place you had been before the place you found that was open at. You've been there before I had been there before it was not a place that I frequented. I wasn't really known to the people in their. Let's say overall but there are people that I know that. Go to that place. Could anybody walk in or did you have locking let you in well? That's what I was surprised about. The front door was just open You just pulled on it and it open now. They did have. The NEON TURNED OFF OUT FRONT. But there were lights coming out so I just tried the door earn. Walked right in and now I will say one of the other two places that I popped into that night. They had their neon and everything they relate. You know we're here. We've got beer d you know. Obviously things are moving extremely fast. Do you think that even by now that that's probably all getting shut down or do you think they're still going to be kind of a black market operating here the next couple of weeks? Yeah I mean I think it depends on what area you're in. I've I've certainly heard anecdotally from sources of mine that I would trust that. There are places that you can go where you go through the back door especially if you know the owner not talking about you know places like Burgis or Bob and Barbara as sort of like reputable neighborhood bars are an important part of the fabric of Philadelphia. No just all these random bars out there Darius neighborhoods that maybe you don't get so much traffic and so I know for a fact that Moore Operating And I don't know what their what their fate is. What what do you think you know? You're a guy that covers a fair amount of Philadelphia ours restaurants that that's part of your beat. You know not all of it but what do you think these guys are feeling in terms of outcome you talk about. You should talk about Bob. Barbara's mean we're talking about absolute Philadelphia like institutions. And everybody's gotTa be horrified because the Barn and restaurant business is going to get wiped out if something doesn't happen soon. Have you talked to anybody at any of these places That are telling you anything. Sure I mean. I've spoken with a number of restaurant owners and bar owners in Philadelphia. Right now. They're keeping the faith as everybody keeps saying. It's a fluid situation is constantly evolving situation. We really don't know what the future holds could places reasonably be open a month from now. I think there are a fair number of people who believed that. That's that's true right. It could be three months. I think there are people who believe that that's true. It's constantly changing. You know we've heard some crazy numbers that I don't even want to think about in terms of how long we might be on. You know quote unquote lockdown. So but you know there are some operations where the owners are well bankrolled and they're in a position to I know some places are keeping their paying their standards a little extra money that they don't quote unquote legally have to pay them. But you know there are some owners who are great and really care about their snaps in. There are some who are just like at sorry in sure I've always said like everybody Attach labels to different like a businesses and to me. I feel like somebody. That's been in a bunch of different fields. There's the same percentage of astles. Most of you know like I feel like you know we can say oh this. This group of people jerks are these or awesome but You know like I I feel like in general like a tickly kind of works itself out. If there's a certain amount that are jerks and certain certain amount they're cool and You know I I. I don't know if if bar owners restaurant owners are any different. I mean I I like almost every bar owner in restaurant under. I've been I've done quiz does with or done events with or whatever like quiz no relief. Yeah I hear what you're saying. I mean listen anytime. Business closes no matter what the reason is when they closed. Suddenly I mean you hear this all the time. Suddenly business shuts stock doors. The servers didn't know anything about it. They're suddenly out of a job. I'm talking about during normal times. We get letters all the time. Like I can't believe this. They just shut the doors. They didn't tell anybody what that's the common practice. That's what most people do. Most most. I mean there are people out there who handled differently. A new restaurant and bar owners aren't like oh listen. You know a month from now. We're going to be closing down and you're going to be out of a job. These are much more abrupt things normally now this situation. We're in completely different times. Everything is totally screwed up. You know we've been getting emails about a certain philly respirator About how this person is Unethically dealing with his staff. I don't know all the details but what I do know is like nobody really expected this to happen. And so we're sort of waiting for our legislators to decide how these things should be handled. You know how unemployment's going to be handled. There are a lot of fundraisers right now out there for bar restaurant workers but they're uncertain times gone. I was GONNA I was GONNA ask. I was curious about restaurants that are you know momentum's of big deal in that field if you're just getting started you're just starting to get. Baas people are just starting to know about your place. How is that impacting people? That like you mentioned a lot of restaurants that have been around forever that are always GonNa have people come on. What about the guys that are just Kinda getting started? Can they recover from this? Are they still gonNA have people waiting to check them out? If you know three months down the line people have kind of forgotten that they even existed right. I think you have your Forsythias of the city. Where the hot restaurant right now. I think people are anxious for for Cynthia to open up in three months. I think Elvis is always crowded You could name a bunch of restaurants. They're obviously going to be a lot of restaurants. Do not make it through this and I don't also necessarily think it's about how popular they were. There are a lot of restaurants that have been around forever that are like we don't really care about. They managed to stay open because they have good. Operators who understand numbers I can think of a few often top of my head that are restaurants that aren't really newsmakers or not super popular. But they've been there for a long time because he's restaurant owners understand how the business is done. Right GonNA take out tonight. It's a whole. It's everything now is so sex stressful but so I got takeout tonight Matai Place on South Street and just the baggage struck off at like at my door budgets bringing it in and touching the food wiping stuff down and I must have watched my hand at least six times not not exaggerate at least six times between touching different things including the different things. It's crazy crazy stressful time. The takeout is all they have right now. You mentioned the takeout enemy and I have to be honest. I can't see that lasting for much longer as things go the way they were going. I'm happy for my friends who owned restaurants and who work doing these deliveries that. This is existing. I honestly don't know if it's the right or responsible thing not doing well. So much of it is going to sit down in the atmosphere of the restaurant right. I know I've been ordering out but from Mike my local pizza joint so I'm not going to order out from you know like you guys. You know what I mean the problem to me. If you really want to stop the problem at some point they are going to stop these restaurants from doing take out. There will still be places that you can get food that you can cook in your house but not to sound alarmist but typhoid Mary. Right I mean you can have a restaurant. That doesn't have sit down food. But if you have a sick person in that restaurant and they're they don't have good hygiene they're dealing with customers in a lot of these takeout situations. It's not like you have six feet of distance between you and the person I'm just thinking worst case scenario as we might need to be thinking. Maybe these restaurants should not be doing this. I mean it's not my decision to make but it was surprise me a bit if they went to know restaurants of any kind because again we'll be people would still be able to get food they would raise and they will be able to cook for themselves or if the grocery stores shut down and the government is providing food rations to be bombing. We're talking about how far in the future. A horrible thing we don't want to think about But ultimately there are lots of people involved in this chain of getting through to people and they take out thing especially the starbucks thing. Do we really need starbucks to be open? I don't know I is ready reading terminal. Still Open Right. But they're lobbying power against the power of the guy on the corner selling coffee you know. And how much is that? How much of that do you think plays into this like you know like starbucks? They don't need you to buy gift cards. Well the the the city has just not the city and state. They really haven't made any differentiations here. Like if you sell food to go you are allowed to continue selling food to go. Starbucks sells sandwiches and the go so grant at most of their coffee. But you know it's interesting. Governor Wolf just came out with a new list today because people were like he first came out with the sort of vague idea of non essential businesses and then he came up with a list of. I think it was called life. Sustaining yes and I did like the beer. Distributors are still on. I thought I thought liquor stores made the cut to on their lists. No no look originally appeared to be okay but they went out but now the interesting thing is I think it's a real opportunity for local distilleries because distilleries while you can't go in and drink there at blue coat for instance and I don't even know if Luke code is open but they can sell go off a couple of my friends who have distilleries in the city. You know. They're selling a lot of booze right now. Because you can't get booze. Legally at least in Pennsylvania were Philadelphia other than going direct to the distillery. Y- you trucks food truck shut down. Well I'll tell you. Mr softy was going down the street yes yes. He was reports off Mississau- few parked in front of a close playground. Just like what a sad sight that one normally Mr Soft. He's not selling food. You know like you gotta you know what he's selling his also very important at this time in the You're you're seeing this across the spectrum of how it's affecting everybody from the big guys the little guys two guys in between what. What do you have any sort of prediction or is this? Just the wild west. And there's no way to tell anything that's GONNA be the Shakeout from this whole thing or the big guys going to hold on or the little guys gonna be able to find a new niche in terms of takeout like you have any prediction from what's GonNa what's GonNa shake out of this. You know if I were the kind of person who ran around making shocking predictions. I would be on Fox News tonight and not sitting here in my music room talking to you. Three based he's been kicked out of the House. I'll hoarder never got the the ring video. You guys still see me I I I. I'm off of this thing now. Doesn't like arranged rigged. Many of you just rang my door looking good all the predictions. I have or sad predictions. You know I have a lot of friends in the service industry. A ton of friends who are actors and other kinds of performers You know they're not salaried employees. They're you know they're out of luck right now and it remains to be seen how long until they get unemployment. How long until you know what's happening with the trump money there and a lot of them. I know many many many people who I probably know. Far More people in terms of people that I count as my friends Or close acquaintances who live paycheck to paycheck. Then who don't so? There are a lot of people suffering out there. I'm honestly not sure how to help them. Because there are so many of them that I know I realize how much Until I started seeing like go fund me. Start Rolling in in It was it was. It was very overwhelming just out. How many people I know that are like you know they they. They don't have anything coming in now at all. You know yeah and I think that this applies to all four of us like none of our friends have lobbying power. None of our friends are like you know have some a guy in DC with like four thousand dollars suit. That's like oh I need. You need to be sure to count these guys in and speak for yourself lake. You know like we. Just we hang out with creative types and creative tights. I think are the ones that are going to be the last ones on the food chain if you lack absolutely I mean you also asked me about predictions. Obviously money's thing and I think we don't talk about it a lot but one thing I'm nervous about not necessarily in Philadelphia but elsewhere in the country is civil unrest MC depending on how bad this gets stories. I did this week. Was I paid a visit to a gun shop. That's where we're going next. Yeah well great segue perfect. I'll make you seem intelligent at an. Ask Me my one of my closest friends. I've known since we were like thirteen. He lives up in tycoon sexy whistleblowing and he was sending me screen shots. He said he was going to get bullets when he couldn't get bullets. 'cause the line was like twenty thirty people deep in this northeast. Philly gun shop and he showed me pictures from the outside read different various times of the day it was still the same the same. It's still twenty people in line outside but a different twenty people every time. He's on the pitcher now. Part of the reason for definitely they're busy part of the reason for that is they're only letting to four people in the store at its. I'm so creates a line outside. The other thing is that background. Checks are taking quite a bit longer than normal Because the background check system is on overload. But certainly you the the Owner of the store that I went to in northeast Philly. He said business was booming to quote him he said. Ar Fifteen or flying off the shelves. Jesus Christ any said that You know they've had far more. Asian Americans buying weapons than they've ever seen before I mean. I don't remember the statistics he gave me. And it certainly wasn't a scientific one but he said it was just insane. The number of Asian Americans were seeing you know and he referenced. Nine eleven Saying how he said look how horrible what happened to the seven eleven owners. The gas deal after nine eleven and he kind of likened it to that which is just weird to me because I live in a different world and I don't even think about China when I think about this year. Like what are you? You'RE GONNA you're gonNA like shoot someone my year. Ye I I got you for bringing that virus like mainly that'll show you like what but then you have the president of the country and calling at the Chinese flu so I think somebody needs to talk to him and say you need to stop doing that. That's a good way to start. I think they're heading there. I think they're saying it but he's just not listening you saw. They had written corona virus on his speech and he scratched it out in Rhode. Chinese flew himself so You know he's obviously instigating fear With the use of language but You know the thing that was interesting about that story to me. Victor is like I'm a guy who I hate the NRA. And I'm very anti gone Even though I grew up in EH GROVE IN HOUSE. That had a gun. But I I hate the lobby right like I support the Second Amendment but I hate the lobby but I had to admit that guy sounded like a decent do like the owner of the gun store like I was ready to hate him and I read it and I was like I kinda liked this guy like everything. He said he wasn't a lot of people when they think about guns. They have this image in their heads. Of what those people are all like well just as in anything else. Generalizing really doesn't work. And you know. He seems like a guy his family's been in the gun business for over seventy years They've had that shop for seventy years. You know his mother and father opened it and he's he's doing business and I think he is genuinely concerned about what's going to happen but he's certainly doesn't believe that he has to shut down Believes that they have every right to be open. I'm a little concerned about what's going to happen if the city goes there and says you need to close what's going to happen if there's a standoff between a gun a gun store an city a find it interesting that that like the gun. Stores aren't on the top of the list of things that need to close like that's like not even something that's been brought up yet correct. Yeah I mean I asked the city about it and they confirmed that it needs to close down now to the gun store owner again today. The city doesn't really make a list of things that have to close as much as they make a list of things that can stay open. People have questions about like. Oh what about this? What about that now? There was nothing on the city's general list of it suggests that a gun store could stay open so md due-diligence. I asked the city and they said no gun. Stores have to close the gun. Owner was surprised to hear that. Now that was I guess. Two days ago that I was in the gun store and two days ago that I published that story I talked to the gun store owner today and he said that he still has not heard from the city. You know I think a lot of a lot of it's that neither of the city government or state government or federal government wants to call in the national guard or wants to like a lot of this are hoping that social pressure is going to close a lot of things that they don't WanNa have to force close. Do you feel like that's the case. Well I think that that is the case to some extent but a gun store is a little bit different because evolves the second amendment issues. So I think it's one thing when I did the story about the bars being open. I got a lot of hate mental about that and people imploring me to name the bars which I do in the article. And we had an internal discussion about this at the magazine And that's one thing and people were very upset. The those bars were open now. Granted I did you know here from a handful of people that I never met before. Who were like dude? I need a drink. Tell me where this bar is creamy. You come on it but but you know so. Public opinion was against those bars being open. And you know it continues to be a gun store. Yeah there are a lot of people among us who think this is ridiculous. Gun store opened at a time like this but I've a lot of friends who think it's exactly the time when a gun right ran. Who was taking pictures? He was telling me he's like I'm begging. You Fly Gun Lee gone by gone so there are a segment of population. Who feel like. That's a necessity right now. Will Not my worry is that there's a lot of people that are buying guns but they don't know how to shoot them or clean immoral. You know what I mean by going this week. If someone tries to steal your fucking beer tomorrow like shooting yourself right right. Yeah the gopher us Situates yeah exactly. So what is it would've been like at the magazine. Victor like you guys you know. You're typically covering the hottest new restaurants you're generally coverings you know whatever you know the show that aired nets shooting in Philly this months and now all of a sudden you've been hit with you know like all of us have just this thing out of the blue just a right hook. What are the conversations like in the newsroom? Sure so to your original point absolutely we do a lot of lifestyle stuff we also right seven thousand word features on generational poverty. But I get your point you know. It is definitely a jab johnny. Yeah Yeah it's just it's just the truth but I know that we do a lot of lifestyle things as well now. Excuse me recently. In terms of our online coverage we did shift from the idea of chasing the breaking news of the day to spending more time doing fewer stories but stories that had more impact So just some more serious well-thought out more research stories that instead of people producing story a day or story every two days or every three days some people were producing a story a week You know but these were longer and more deeply research then so that was in January. Then this happened and now we find ourselves in a situation like wow you know. We need to be corona virus all the time so we're really not doing anything that's unrelated to the krona buyers with the exception of our website property which is real estate we do. I believe one post today because people love to look at these absolutely enormous gorgeous houses for sale the clicks and we can tell. I mean they're always popular and we weren't sure if people would want to see this right now but I mean you know what once we guillotine billionaires hours Victor. We want to know what they look like now. I think there's a I mean those posts that ninety nine percent of the people that look at those posts in general are verbs right like they're not actually in the market for three point. Five MILLION DOLLAR HOUSE IN. Malvern Leach but we do need I mean I mean look at what people are netflixing right now there. Most of them are watching outbreak. There watching things that are a bit of escapism and I would just say that are real. Estate Post for instance are sort of the same thing a little bit of voyeurism and escapism now It's interesting because we were kind of wondering well what happens to our wedding channel right. We have a very very enthusiastic readership of our wedding channel which is sort of another brand of Philly MAG And we were like. Well what do we do with weddings? Well turns out you have all these people who are. You have wet. Big Wedding scheduled. They cancelled them in the. I think yesterday the one couple in about fifteen minutes planned a Ceremony in Independence Park and it looked absolutely lovely. Were running a bunch of stories of people on how they're changing their wedding plans and they're actually really interesting Right I mean they're not. I'm not in the wedding market so I don't typically read our wedding content but this content I am reading because it's about how the corona virus is affecting real people at this incredibly important time in their lives so And then you look at the food channel that we have which is extremely popular. You're like what do you do with that? All the restaurants are closed. Well they're doing a lot of things that are talking. You know there was a great story. I think that we did Earlier today because a lot of restaurants are having problems with the insurance companies because the insurance companies are saying. Whoa you're not covered in a pandemic and that's three explorers. Well would you do if your insurance company doesn't cover you? You can check it out at three booze dot com. We are doing these really nice recipes. That are like five ingredients things you commonly have in your house. We're focusing on instead of dining out dining in so we've got prominent chefs from all over the city. Who were you know turning over five ingredients six ingredient recipes? So you kind of like have to like take Take a step back and say okay. These are different times. The world has changed almost overnight. We have a large readership. Our booze readership is huge. People come to US Restaurant Information. And they're coming to us now for like how to eat in this crisis we're doing stuff on takeout restaurants. We're going to be doing a lot on fundraising for a restaurant workers. So there's a lot to be done and for me I I mean I'm I'm running all over the place. Every morning I do a round up of. What's what happened overnight These are sort of like four to five items in the post. Were instead of doing. You know. Two thousand words on You know the Jersey shore telling people to stay away. The enquirer might do you know I kind of do my own summary of it with using my own voice and you know they have a slightly different spin on all these things and then I'm chasing stories like the gun. Owners jaising stories like You know the bar is being open. I mean you know me and the kind of stories I look for. I'm trying to arrive in stories that not everybody else's telling you to ask is like good Greg. Good good one. Oh I was just going to ask you know as someone that I'm able to tune out the noise a little bit But if someone that's in the in the thick of it as a newsman. How are you dealing with all this your mental health anxiety all that other stuff? Because you're seeing this stuff before us all day everyday. Well it's funny. You mention the metal help because when Johnny asked me if I use zoom I told I told him you know what I just use zoom for the first time this afternoon meaning earlier today. Telehealth session with a therapist. Which is the true story. I mean it's weird doing it over the over the computer screen but it certainly was helpful. She didn't have a green screen. I'll say that Morning Star. Would that have been may not everybody's still loaded these days. You know the economy's not everybody can afford a green screen. Just rub it in faces with all that virtual quiz. Oh what how was it because I I go to therapy every other weekend? They're trying to set up a the virtual session like this. Was it helpful? It was definitely helpful. I mean this is a person I've known for a long time I haven't seen her routinely Until fairly recently but she somebody that might family is known for a long time so she kind of like already knows my quirks and you know meaning what a pain in the ass. I can be so sitting down with her is just easy. Wasn't ideal doing doing it over the computer. But I think it's important right now that we it's mental health is not something that we like to talk about and I don't have any diagnoses or anything like that but I get anxious and in times like these like anxiety. Level is through the roof. It's funny you asked me review me about work and seeing it all the time. It's like I do and it's great on one hand because I have worked in an extremely busy so I'm not like left to all my thoughts over time. I'm not staring at the ceiling at night. 'cause I'm writing articles but at the same time it's like. Oh my God I'm writing. I'm basically covering all of this horrible stuff that's going on so it's really important to try to figure out how to do how to work it out. And I'm taking like very active steps giant Valium pills every day. For instance on taking a very preventative measures my wife and I had a long conversation about it because she can see how it's affecting me. I'll give you one example. Just kind of a silly thing Today I did a piece in. We're going to do it every Friday. Which is I? Don't remember the title but something to the effect of here. Six awesome things that actually like this piece today. I liked it. It's like it. Lets me right about how we're living in the age of corona virus but in a very positive way? So I talked about you. Know The flower bombing of Rittenhouse Square. Yesterday I talked about how all these On houses put out rainbows on different houses and the kids went on us. Having to find the rainbow's on them so as bad as this gets there are still going to be those. You'll beautiful human moments even if it's like the the young teen in the neighborhood who winds up knowing everybody's lawns for or a baking a bunch of pies for You know the older people in the neighborhood or you know whatever. I'm just spitballing Dad. It gets there's always gonNA be some glimmer of hope out there because it's not the end of the world it's the end of the world as we know it but it's not one of the world look for the Helpers. Mr Rogers you look for the help ask. This is your is your eye for a story totally different than what it was. Two weeks ago. I would say it has expanded A. There are other stories that I am looking into right. Now that are not current virus related That involve some prominent people in the city and some things surrounding them that they probably wouldn't WanNa get have out so I'm definitely still looking for the the scandals attached to the big names. Of course that's sort of part of my My Repertoire let's say but you know I'm doing basically doing corona virus twenty four seven definitely looking for new ways into it again. Not just doing listen. The Inquirer is doing a fabulous job You know frankly I would say they're the only real other major voice out there that's doing a lot of good work in this realm. Whyy does some stuff. Billy voice at early seen anything from them. I don't know what the heck they're up to. But the enquirer. I if you want all the breaking news you know a a lightning pace then you know the enquirer definitely has that for you. I mean they. They are little literally publishing like eighty word articles happens. It's like Oh fear it is. You know it's up there. That's what we're doing. We're not staffed to do that. They do that very well. We're doing something different. Yeah questioned like like it. You know like we. We live in extraordinary times and this especially in these past two weeks. Do you feel any sort of like you know you look at like Ernie pyle with World War. Two like you do you. As a journalist take that responsibility of okay. We've entered this new realm that is unlike like this will be the biggest probably monse of our lives and for you as a journalist you take an extra level of responsibility for what you produce this next month to do well. I think you're forgetting about the month. I spent covering the Swiss cheese pervert. Say I would love to know what he's doing right about now monument for talking about that two days you'd but no. I mean listen I have always can. I do a wide range of stories right like I do. I have done completely silly stories about ridiculous. People stories that have only been to entertain Not necessarily to change the world. I've also done huge feature stories about institutional institutional sexual assault in the Lower Marion School System I've done stories about women. Being rookie did a certain very popular South Philly Bar and what the police are doing about it but I have wide range and a lot of people only Sushi. Hit me with the the kind of silly scandalous but I do have it in me to do quote unquote real journalism And I find myself doing much more of that now and I will tell you that I keep getting so many. It's heartwarming and it drives me because I keep getting messages from people some of whom I kind of know and some of whom I barely know or even don't know saying thank you so much for the work that you're doing. They see how busy I am. They see that. I'm really trying to keep them informed. And the Nice thing about working for Philadelphia magazine to is that a lot of publications. You don't really have a voice you know it's kind of like here. Are the facts right? Philadelphia? Magazine were told. You need to have a take. You need to have a voice. We need victor fear in the article. So it's nice because I can kind of bring my own sensibilities to it. It unlike working at some other places. I really enjoy that. I can inform people. But I don't have to do it. In a Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah were biotic wet. When you go to these on like to the gun shop into the speak easy I mean do you identify yourself as a writer and if so how do they have? Do they take that today? Embrace you they office to do the hate you. So the gun shop was pre-announced And it's so happened that the Saturday last Saturday my son and I got our hunting licenses in Pennsylvania at the Alverson Rod and gun club in Chester County. So when I went to Send a message to the The owner of the gun shop. I made sure to mention that Because obviously are approached by a lot of journalists who are like just no guns. No Way I'm not. I don't own a NRA card You know I'm not like some crazy gun dude. I think a lot of guns on the street had no business being on the street but I have a lot of friends who were like. We need to get rid of all guns. And I think that's equally as ridiculous so when I approached him you know I said You know here this is who I am not an anti gun guy my son. I just got our hunting licenses last weekend You know I'm kind of more in the middle. He agreed to talk to me. We had a great conversation. He was very open with me so there are times when I do identify myself and there are times when things are just happening where I might not identify myself like if I'm in public in. Something's happening you know. I don't need to put up my hand and say oh. Hey I'm the journalist because I am there too. I write about what happens hurt. You know. There's a little bit of weirdness surrounding the speakeasy story. So we're saying you got. You got a lot of hate mail for that in terms of identifying myself I mean the the original place that I went to the the bartender certainly knows that I am a journalist and I talked to him and he asked me to Not Name the place which I agreed to do. Because I couldn't get the I couldn't get I couldn't if I named the place of course now I didn't name the other two places because they would tend to identify in a certain sort of way because I said in the story that they were close by. If you figure out where the one places you're going to know where the other two places are with sort of you know what I mean and I just felt that I had a pretty clear understanding with that first bar owner that I was not going to make them identifiable Now I got a lot of hate mail including from some prominent people in Philadelphia. Heat now and also just letters of concern. Let's say From people who said that I was contributing to the public health crisis by not outing. These places what I told them is that even though I didn't name them I had. I had good reason to believe that these places. I shouldn't say these places but places that were open were already on the radar of the state and the state did not take action against any of these places until night at eight PM. Listen my my whole thing with all that is like you know at the end of the day if someone wants to open up their house and have served our. There's nothing we can do. People are GonNa do what they're gonNA do. You know what I mean so you didn't. You'd say who it is doesn't change the fact that if they get shut down it'll be another one open tomorrow. You know what I mean. Yeah I mean people were saying I had a moral obligation I would say I had an obligation to that bar because honestly I wouldn't have had a story of been didn't couldn't talk to anybody there So I told the story. The information was already. They're already knew what was going on. and also. I know that not referring to any of the bars that I went to but I know of people who reported other bars in the same general vicinity of the bars. I was talking about there. Were people in the community who knew that these bars were open. Some of these bars were open and they reported them. I mean actually I was told and I. You know I'm just telling you this as this is what I heard somebody in a position to know that a bar owner that shutdown is one of the people who reported one of the bars that stayed open because he was like. I'm losing money. I did the right thing. These guys at mile down the road. They're going to be open. I don't think so so my understanding is that he may have been one of the people but my understanding is also that there were a lot of people who complained. These are neighborhood GARS. We're not there are people who live in the neighbor granted. There's a lot of people who wanted to ours to stay open but there are a lot are looking at the numbers on TV and saying no. No no no no. This is not good. You can come have whiskey at home. You don't need to go to the bar in the story. Isn't that far story that there's bars open it? If you can find them the authority to find them. Yeah absolutely it was very easy for me to find like I said the front door was open on at the other one. I might just have on me right now is what I understand. No I hear some. I got some interesting facebook requests the other day like friend requests from people who are connected to some of these bars and I'm not friends with them so I can only imagine that they were trying to reach out to me. You know. I don't know why but yeah. These are people connected the bars that got shut down. We talked about this landing. I might not ending any time in those neighborhoods for a few months writer. Right not being allowed to stuff. How much does that bother you? Well you know you know that I get a lot of hate mail There are certain some of them for me right after best. Filly there's why You know there are certain situations where I feel threatened and when I did the story about Mike Tyler the guitar player Who we cannot talk about since he's been sentenced to fourteen years in prison for what he did to young boy in South Philly. That was a story where you know. I felt I had I was told I had an army coming after me and I looked up some of these people who were contact me and you know these were not great people so you know I listen. I'm not stupid. I realized that what does upset a lot of people. I've done it for eighteen years now and have managed to remain largely unscathed. And I take precautions right Gotcha. So we're we're talking about is that is Bruce springsteen still the most hate mail you've got I think that Bruce Springsteen if not in terms of volume in terms of volume right. Yeah I like that your biggest your your death threats came from Bruce springsteen and my buddy Air Our mutual friend Deemak most of him. I it's still thirteen or fourteen years later. Came from the Smarty Jones Story. Let's let's take you through the blunt. Let's let's let's let's make it move quick. We're GonNa hit you with some fast questions. You're going to give us some fast answers. I can do that by the way. What's everybody drinking? I'm drinking Yards Pale Nice. Is that a sponsor of the philly blunt non sponsor. A bunch of Keyuan tastic. He was a fantastic gas. And I think now more than ever anyway listen Mike obviously support everybody local like let's let's stroll inward a little bit and let's let's take care of our people here. I was drinking a local Kinsey Ri- onto West Coast loggins. Ip Old Love. Like as I'm drinking champagne with strawberry lemonade from Wiwa Aka. That truce this guy. This guy really is vacation. He's on the Jersey shore the San Right now and it's also what are you drink it? Victor well I am drinking Let's see at beefeater and tonic in my special vintage Rome glass. I don't know if you can see that very nice. I've got to set a eighty these. We've got The Hague London Athens Roane and I can't remember where else and that's great looking glass now. The reason that I went for I told you I was going to do Martinis. But then I saw my doctor Dr Mike on Fox twenty nine. This morning Dr Mike From Fox twenty nine and President Steve Show. He's my personal doctor and he was talking about how they're now testing an anti malaria drug and its efficacy on this virus so I switched to gin and tonics. Tonic has quite woody how you pronounce it. Quinine. Yeah why not? Yeah that's larryelder properties. That's how America built the Panama Canal. Yes and they found fake news happens. Yarn FIORELLO SAID DRINK. Gin and your corona virus will go away. It's gone like we've built the Panama Canal. Because the GIN and tonic. I love these glasses. They are they are terrific using the room one in solidarity with my ancestors there and also because we're currently living through it again. Rome is happening right now. You see the canals in Venice. How clear they are. We the virus the virus. The canals are clear. There's like dolphins swimming in them. And now it's all it's US main. We are with Earth itself. It might be true assertion. Let's say to the blunt Victor I'll start off. Where are you getting takeout? These dates you basically. I have not been getting takeout. I've been doing a lot of grocery store shopping and cooking at home. I made an excellent Pork loin yesterday. My wife has been doing quite a bit of cooking however however I think that this weekend we might order take out from peak is pizza in Upper Darby. How is that pizza as soon as I hear? Well you know my good friend. Tina fey loves it. So I think that's good enough for me. Now we limit. Liz Lemon likes it. I like it right. We go there for so we can't sit down and eat there so we would probably get a large pepperoni pizza. It's a the rectangular kind. They use a very nice pepperoni. Not your standard And we would get a large escarole soup with that and then make a salad at home so we might do that this weekend. I do. I do think that things are going to escalate to a certain level where we might not be able to get takeout food like that for a certain period of time so I wanNA get one or takeout meal on me before that. Yeah I'm raid. Cbs or Walgreens CVS. Cbs is closest to my house. There are actually three close to my. I like I can literally drive to three. Cvs is in about from my house right now. With no traffic it would take me about ten minutes to go to three. Cvs -is give us a story that you pitched that sounds ridiculous in a headline no. Roe context right. You want me to give you a headline that I pitched or a story. I'm sorry this is far too complicated. Okay just do the headline. I'm trying to think of a good answer for you. Guys slamming GIN and tonics. I mean I just wanted to glass. I'm still on my same on now. Just a store. You pitch that like if you didn't have context sounds ridiculous. Yeah yeah no I hear you. You know it's funny. I can't think about what I'm trying to think of is a story that I pitched. They said no to and because I think that would actually be interesting. Because I can't think of what you're asking me and actually I have one that's relevant. Go ahead a few weeks ago I went to. I went out while this was all starting. You know it was all like we were kind of like corona virus grown virus. But not the way we are now and I went to a couple of bars and restaurants observing the hygiene of the customers snap the way that they were handling plates glasses and things like that and I kind of like randomly throughout this. I mean I throw out a lot of ideas right. It's not like a formal process. It's like what if I do this piece about this? And this and this and you know They declined to do it. They said it sounded alarm and I listen in their defense. We didn't know then what we know and it would have been alarmist in a responsible to do that. Obviously now a totally different situation of course so. I'm sorry that I didn't answer your question. But in a way sort of be like stinky people handling food. What question mark. Yeah Yeah Yeah. He was trying to blow people up a month ago and now he can only be up now right. You know So where what? What dude comes of this and Philadelphia? And what's the negatives of this situation Philadel- in we're looking if ever having this conversation again in one year? What are we gonna say the good came of it? What's the bad the came on obliging rapid fire questions? I think that there are going to be a lot of come together moments There are going to be a lot of examples of philly really. Listen you're going to see this all over the country but philly didn't really have a nine eleven right and the way that New York came together after nine eleven. I think that philly would could show a lot of those signs to right and I think that would be great and bond us all together again. I'm not a guy who gets paid you on Fox News participate but obviously the economic disaster could be incredible. We could lose a lot of Great people in the city You know deaths from the virus Again civil unrest seeing the worst philly has the offer I think ultimately the end of the day. We're GONNA come out strong and we're going to have more to talk about in terms of Philly showing its best side. Then we are going to have talked to talk about Philly showing its worst side on this on the balance sheet. We're going to come out better. We're GONNA put Kook nicest how that's GONNA play up. We're GONNA come out better. I do believe that was the last time you bought Swiss cheese. I generally only Bhai prevalent cheese. I mean other than if I'm doing a cheese play You know having a dinner party and we WANNA get some go we WANNA get some raw cow that kind of thing. But I can't think of him. I bought Swiss cheese. I can think of you know maybe three years ago I ordered a Turkey and Swiss it Wa wa you just mentioned a dinner party and give me a fascinating guessing. You would love to have your dinner party anyone in the world alive or dead past the president well. I would probably go with somebody lake. Donald TRUMP. Wow Okay love to sit across the table from him. I mean he'd be. He'd be pissed if you didn't have lunch and big MACs you didn't ask me who. I would want to learn a lot from or be inspired by like to sit across the table from him and try to have a conversation. I mean this is just. It's mind boggling to me that this man exists that he remains in power. I and I can't think of anybody right now in our world. Who has the power so much terrible in the world but he also has the power to do good and do the right thing. He's done. He's done a lot wrong but he still has time. He's never gonNA come out historically as a as a good president he's going to play as Arbel president but in the crisis that we're in right now the man this is a come to Jesus moment for him and we all know how much he loves. Jesus all the books of the Bible Right. I think that he needs up. I would love to have him over for dinner and you know slip a little something extra in his food nate. Just some of the Basil in my garden that week. Wink Wink Wink Wink wink. What what are you listening to this week? What what? What's the album or the song that that you're playing in one of the strangest weeks of our lives? I don't remember the last time I listened to music other than for research for my band. Martha Graham Cracker I'm not a person who tends to listen to music I have a turntable and a bunch of records and I randomly. Just stick them on Oh I will say that a couple of weeks ago on the I guess Apple. Tv or some device. I put on. I put on like you know how they have fifty million different quote unquote stations. I put on some kind of like a radio station called like the burning spliff or something. Britney Spears that's very whatever that's very unusual for me I listen to NPR lot. I find myself doing that. You know more than ever now But Music tends to be about me doing research for my band or actually you know my kids. My daughter plays heart by someplace cello. My son and I are working on a duet right now together. So I listened to Yoyo Ma playing that song for instance the kind of hear how it's quote unquote supposed to go son. Claims that Yoma can only play it that well because Yo Yo. Ma is like a five billion dollar cello we had to interview with Alexandra who is one phillies. Best Violinist and she made a similar point. She was like a good violinist. Can some great with the right violin and a great violinist and sound only good with mediocre violence? Which was to me? No it's very. It's very interesting but I'm not going to spend five hundred billion dollars on cello for him at this point in his life. Sure I mean the guy who owns a harp but I don't have a car that can transport the harp we've seen the heart behind you like literally when the backdrop literally when my daughter performs with Martha Graham Cracker I have to borrow. Somebody's minivan to drive the harp to the venue and then carry it up the steps and whether whether no small harps harped. How large so. She wanted to play harp since she was three years old. We're not sure why when she was about five. I found this really nice folk are pan. Made at a thrift store in Norristown. It was like eighty bucks. It was really nice and I brought it home and showed it to her. And she's a very grateful person. She's not a materialistic type at all. But she said Daddy. That's not a real harp. A real harp is big and and she was basically right. That was like a small Celtic harp concert. Well this is a caught a lever harp. It's not what you would use the play with the Philadelphia Orchestra that there are people who to our tour all over the world playing. This art is my last blunt. You like you're a hunter now. If you had to watch a hunting show you watch elmer. Fudd or duck dynasty? I've never seen duck diner dynasty. I do remember with fondness Elmer Fudd. Although not long ago I remember seeing somewhere One of those bugs bunny era Cartoons and it was censored Which kind of shocked me. There is a scene where I think bugs bunny gets shot or something and goes floating up to Heaven on clouds playing actually a harp as an angel. And they cut that scene from the cartoon. I found that very disturbing but were things. It'd be disturbed by now than that right. If only that could be the most disturbing thing going on right now. It was being censored. This is my last blunt father to father. How are you dealing with this with your kids? What do you tell them how you guys get along? Yeah so I mean it's a fluid situation and we're sort of at the beginning of it. I think that yesterday we had a great discussion about this. And we continue to You know they're twelve and fourteen You know so little kids. They're also you pretty well informed We definitely are the kind of people who talk truthfully with them about things. We don't hide things from them. typically So they're going to be well informed I do like the New York. Times section. I think that it does a good job of explaining things. I mean. They're capable of reading the The New York Times Standard Edition. I just think that the New York Times Children's section breaks down and away. That is a little bit easier and more enjoyable for them to absorb so sure. That's a good source mostly. We're just trying to keep busy. They've been busy with school because they go to school from like nine until three most days because their privilege to go to a school that gives them laptops and they have online learning. I know a lot of kids aren't in that position so So we're keeping busy. There's GonNa be a lot of scrabble in our future. They were just talking about doing a marathon of all the Harry Potter movies in one day. And I have to say I've never seen a single Harry Potter movie. So that's going to be a very long day for kind of more like. Can We do a Godfather Marathon? Kind of looks at me. I'm like they're living through corona virus. They can watch. The Godfather are art. A rabbit up. What should people be binge watching right now? People are sitting home and and trying to find something to watch. What would you recommend? Yeah so the thing is is that I know. A lot of people are looking for escapism and comedies. Literally the only thing I watch are like the darkest most twisted evil dramas that there are so like. I love the killing on Netflix. But that is like one of the bleakest darkest shows that there is the other day I was watching that. Hbo Documentary Series. That came out years ago about those three or four kids who got convicted of basically killing young kids in some sort of devil worshipping thing. You know what I'm talking about. I remember that panic panic. Yeah yes And I watch stuff like that the center on USA an again another dark and twisted show. Oh well actually I will. I will say that people don't want to watch something about you know a satanic killings victim. What would you recommend okay? So let's just say hypothetically I forgot that Dispatches from elsewhere is out which of course filmed in Philly. I've seen the first four episodes love three of the four eve. Linley the actress who plays the romantic lead opposite. Jason Segel is amazing. This is going to be a huge. She's going to go from being basically a nobody to being a huge star. After this. Encourage people to watch dispatches even from like the Philly location spotting it was so Jason Segel laundry three thousand like they were just roaming the city. People were taking pictures left and right with them like that was a really really cool thing when they were filming. They really like embrace the city. 'cause I gotTa Pick Andre. Three thousand mad friends did and I know. People got mad pitchers Jason. They said they were all like down Earth humble that so I'm going to watch that show the strength of how great they were when they were here. Yeah absolutely so. I think that is worth watching and other than that. I watch things that are dark and depressing and horrifying so wait. I just got a trial for YouTube. Tv that new service that they do the Youtube TV. God I sound like an old person calling the youtube the Youtube TV to watch the YouTube burner. Classic movies is on Youtube TV. I my favorite thing to watch our old black and white movies and listening especially film noir. Alfred Hitchcock enough. Tc is now on Youtube TV. I got a three month free trial. If you can get one of those get that just watch movies from like seventy years ago. When imagined virus you'll fort before children. My my lady could be found. Hey how's it going on before before children before children my lady could be found sitting on the couch at like two in the morning watching. Turner classic like. Yeah Yeah Yeah my wife and I love watching that. She's actually watching right now from upstairs and I just WANNA give a shout out to my beautiful wife Sue Cheetah because listen. I can be a very difficult person as most of you can imagine. What with me over the years. But can you imagine being married to me this woman who so beautiful? She met me twenty years ago. A Bob and Barbara this July twenty seventh And we are still together. We got married two years later. We've had our ups and downs and I would not want to ride through this storm with anybody but Sajida Fiero John Out John Out. That's love right. I understand I think all of our we are very very grateful for the women we have in our lives right now. Because we'd be out here in the street with a diaper on screaming at the heavens victory. Thank you sir with us. Ostrom the Harper a quick. Just so you can have a nice into the perfect send-off firm extend that heart last night. We had creator. Or where's the United? We had tweeter It's just GonNa get wilder man. We got It's GonNa get yeah it's GonNa go off the rails why everybody take it easy all right. We'll see you guys. Hopefully Monday night. We got the won't be back on Monday nights. Welcome to the home of brotherly love blood. The mayor's office in bugs that you've creams cut short Switzerland.

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