Hard to believe it, but your Daily Miltonian is about to turn one year old. As legend has it, the Daily Miltonian was born on October 18th, 2006, as a kind of content/bulletin stopgap for the now-defunct (for now) True Jersey Novel/Magazine/Lifestyle website, which had gone on hiatus at the time. Both the True Jersey site and the original Miltonian were created by the original Fort Saint Davids Team, Erik Bader and Alexander Zahradnik, and their story and the story of True Jersey can be read about in this Philadelphia City Paper article.
The first post was written on a bright, autumnal morning in a Fishtown apartment (this was before the FSD Philly Offices opened proper) on October 18th, 2006, and consisted of a short report regarding a possible South Street Revival, spearheaded by some of the cats down there who were trying to bring True Vibes back to the Strip. We’re talking the likes of Crooks, Squid, Cali, Josh Agran…even Patricio and Burger Boy, who later fell into the mix.
Here’s author Erik Bader, on this monumental first post:
EB: The truth was I wasn’t sure if there was a South Street revival happening or not. At the time I was going through an awful breakup, really the worst breakup of my life, and my ex and her brand-new boyfriend were to be seen crawling all over Fishtown and Northern Liberties, where I had been spending most of my time, so I moved my haunts down the road to new zones: South Street/Queen Village/Bella Vista/Italian Market. I was pretty much safe below Market, and that happened to be where Crooks lived, so I was spending a lot of time hanging with him, trying not to think about my otherwise terrible situation.
FSD: Crooks seemed to be a really good friend to you during those times.
EB: Oh no doubt. He still is. Out of all the Philly friends who still take the time to call me, keep in contact, Crooks is in the top. Good old Sarah is way up there, Burger Boy…Schwartz recently wrote me an actual pen and paper letter. Good people, and incidentally all of the people who were down there for what ended up being the South Street revival are the people who still keep in touch.
FSD: So there was a revival after all.
EB: I’d say so. Ground zero has to this one day — one of the first really crispybright autumn afternoons, and I’m walking down the Strip w./Crooks and Joey Sweeney rings me up and I tell him I’m just kicking it on the Strip and that we’re thinking of getting pizza at…I can’t remember the name of the place, it’s the one where you walk down the stairs…I wanna say it’s below Fat Tuesday? Anyhow it’s that pizza joint where everyone had a slice of pizza sometime in the 90’s and no one has been down there since but the place is still open and if you look down there still somehow seems to be customers in there. And Joey sounded real envious on the phone and why wouldn’t he. And that’s when it hit me that we were back, we were back on the Strip after all these years, and right then and there we ran into someone, maybe Adil, maybe Agnew, who knows, and it all felt like it just went full circle.
FSD: The Strip was back.
EB: Exactly. And maybe it never went away. We went away. But we were back, and yeah it felt good.
FSD: It’d be interested to talk to some of the other principal players, Crooks obviously, but maybe some of the more sideline guys like Patricio or even Cali.
EB: Patricio’s wine shop became a kind of focal point for the whole thing. Even in a post-cellphone/email world we still just converged on that place without any prior communications. Almost instinctual like. It was kinda beautiful. From there we might hit up the coffee shop next door…
FSD: Was this where the whole Yerba Mate thing started?
EB: No, credit where credit’s due, that was Ben and Sarah up in Fishtown, but that’s getting ahead of the story a bit. We did get Mate from that coffee shop on occasion, though.
FSD: Well without further ado, let’s take a look at the original article, shall we? The first ever piece of writing ever published on the Daily Miltonian.
EB: Yep yep. Here it is, enjoy.