demonstrating the effects of alcohol on the brain and sensibility and dedicated to the eradication of booze in Ye Olde University City

photo by Liz Campion

-----Original Message----- From: [] On Behalf Of Ross Bender

Just spotted this item on the exclusive Abbraccio email newsletter which I receive because Roger harvested my kidney and email address while I was slumped unconscious at the bar after one too many Shirley Temples:

Feb. 16, Friday: Kyle Cassidy photographs: "Scenes of West Philly." Gallery Opening, 5-7 pm with free wine and cheese. Kyle's beautiful photographs will surprise and amaze you with many unusual features of our neighborhood. Long-time residents will be challenged to identify the location of many of the shots. Come meet Kyle at the opening!

Yep, it's another wild cheese and booze bash featuring our local celeb, and as long time Cassidy watchers know, where Cassidy goes, many loose women follow in his wake. This is one to avoid, kiddies. Mark your calenders just so you don't forget to plan something else that night. I may again be arranging an Outraged Neighbors Rally and Protest, so watch this space for details. Meanwhile, to remind yourself of just what wretched excess the dude is capable of, take a gander at the recently updated Fabulous Kyle Cassidy Tribute Page:

Fabulous Kyle Cassidy Tribute Page

photo by Kyle Cassidy

On 2/12/07, Kyle Cassidy wrote:

You'll remember that Bender and various others from local temperance groups protested my last photography show because there was alcohol served. For those of you who will be freezing your posteriors off in the streets with Ross waving signs, here's a preview of the show:

Fabulous Kyle Cassidy Tribute Page

-----Original Message----- From: [] On Behalf Of Ross Bender

Man oh man, still can't make up my mind what to do on Friday night. This West Philly funkyvibe is just killing me. So many options. Should I do the right thing and take in Cassidy's gallery opening at the Abbraccio out in Wild West Philly, get plotzed on Margarettas and chase Loose Women around the bar, or should I go to Gate to Moonbase Alpha at the Penn-approved, much safer Anarchist venue on 40th st.???? Or should I just GET WILD and do BOTH???? Merciful gracious.

On 2/12/07, Kyle Cassidy wrote:

melani sed: >OK, Ross, so, you're in, for dinner?   I thought you'd be wearing your kimono >for the opening.   No? heavens, don't call it a kimono. it's a ladies evening gown. my intention is to be so gorged on the free food that eating dinner afterwards would not only be supurfluous, but most likely dangerous. but i'll certianly stick around so that people can be amused by my gastronomic distress. i'll be the one laying in the corner gasping for air like a fish on the dock.

From: [] On Behalf Of Ross Bender

Don't let Cassidy scare you. It's just his way of saying that he'll stay around long enough to see if he can cadge a free dinner offa one of the "Patrons of the Arse".

local real estate agents at a neighborhood bar; photo by Kyle Cassidy

On 2/16/07, Kyle Cassidy wrote:

Riot in West Philadelphia:
Troubles Started at Local Art Show
Sally Ven Pentaham
Special to the UC Review

The streets of West Philadelphia turned violent this Friday Evening as a crowd of art patrons, drunken to insensiblity on the free alchohol offered at the photography opening of world renown local artist Kyle Cassidy, proceeded into a protest being held outside the venue and beat one of the picketers silly. Before police arrived, the mob, who had accused the protester of using an off-color remark earlier in the day, began to hurl small plastic cups of inexpensive red wine into the chanting throng many of whom were carrying signs that said "No Hooch in the Hood!", "Down with Drink!", and "We Protest All Bars!"

Tensions between inebriated art fans and the local temperance union had become heated late last year when a center city brew pub announced that they would be opening a new establishment in West Philly. "The city is no place for alchohol!" said temperence union spokesperson Ross "Rossalyn" Bender who was rumored to bear the brunt of the drubbing last night, in a pre-recorded message. "First come the artists, then the booze, and before you know it, the place is full up with Yoga Studios and five dollar cups of coffee."

In a FOX news interview later that night on the Bill O'Reilly show Cassidy defended the actions of the mob saying, "People weren't buying enough of my art, so we opened a few more bottles of Chateau Sales and put on the James Taylor and stuff began flying off the walls. When there was nothing left to buy, they all went outside and spent some shame on that guy who'd been mouthing off all morning. It's just how things go at my shows; people buy stuff, then they break stuff. " Penn Police Chief Maureen Rush said "You have to expect these sort of things are going to happen if you leave our patrol area."

From: [] On Behalf Of Ross Bender

Anti-booze forces lost ground tonight when the Kyle Cassidy "art gallery opening" turned into the expected drunken brawl, as supposedly staid citizens lowered themselves to the level of the beasts of the field in an orgy of inebriation, leaving dozens stupefied under the tables in the grip of Demon Rum. Grown men and women got themselves plotzed, hammered, fuddled and tanked, and by the end of the evening specimens of both sexes were dancing lewd and topless on the bar, making Sodom and Gomorrah look positively civilized by comparison. A new low in unseemliness was reached as loose women cupped their naked breasts in unison around hapless mens ears, in a kinky sexual maneuver known as "The Earmuff", an abomination beyond even the imaginings of the compilers of the notorious Kama Sutra.

Temperance Union leaders stated that while they had perhaps lost a skirmish, the battle continues, and warned that the forces of sobriety would be out in force on Wednesday night Feb. 28th when the new Dock Street "Brew-Pub" opens its doors to an early influx of degenerates. Ross "Der Hammer" Bender, who suffered a broken nose at the hands of anti-anti-booze militants outside the Abbraccio tonight, said from his hospital bed that he considered himself a martyr in the cause. "Ich bin ein Mennonite," he said, lapsing momentarily into the quaint Pennsylvania Dutch dialect of his ancestors, "und ve gentle Mennonites dont like to use der Roughshtuff unless there is chust a mighty good reason, but chust remember that ve are trained from childhood in the use of  farm implements, such as plowshares and pruning hooks. Und a plowshare might do some awful serious damage to vun of dese broohaha-pubs dat I haff heard about. Dis iss not a threat. Chust sayin. Remember Carrie Nation!"

local brew pub, corner of Beer Street and Gin Lane

-- On 2/17/07, Vincent/Roger wrote:

As usual, Ross wildly overstates his role in the drunken brawl. Actually he got shitfaced on Bacardi-laced Shirley Temples, passed out in a booth, and had to be taken home in a van operated by a group of old ladies from the Roving Mennonite Relief Society.

Always ready with the facts


Roving Mennonite Relief Society to the Rescue




Reading at Abbraccio 9/11/2006