The day unusually warm on the heels of all the snow and polar vortexing we’ve been going through, the clang and crack of bats was a welcome sound as I stepped into Everyone Hits on Girard Ave by 6th St early last Sunday afternoon. Flanking the gleaming green and zellow picnic benches were an array of vendors behind fold-up tables. To the right, a Dj spun from a treasure trove of 45s as people in jerseys seemingly indifferent to it all waited to add to the soundtrack in the cages opposite the entrance.
This was the beta-run for an ongoing series of markets to be held in the space before the indoor batting cages by 6th and Girard. To my left as I walked in were the guys from Peddler Coffee, which is set to take to the streets of Philadelphia by late April with the wares they’ll literally, er, be peddling. Past them was Jessa Stevens from Inspired Brews, a two person company that specializes in small batch kombucha of various flavors. At the table past her was Koliyan, a Cambodian dessert company run by the husband and wife team of Anna and Tim Hitchens of South Philly. Opposite Koliyan, and also abutting the batting cage’s chain link, was a two-person team from Zynnie Bakes, which opened on Marlborough Street in Fishtown in May of 2013.
The other businesses, however, were much more fledging. But, they’re utilizing critical mass in getting out of the blocks.
In regard to the just launched Sunday market which will return to Everybody Hits Philadelphia every last Sunday of the month, Rich Kessler of Peddler Coffee says, “It’s a team effort. It just so happens we’re all starting out opening our own businesses.” A previous event that I attended at Everybody Hits back in November, which was dubbed an industry night and included only Peddler and Koliyan, was a product of “realizing we have this space we can use,” Kessler says. Peddle also hosted $1 coffee happy hours in the space a few times (Pizza brain also did a movie night there).
For Kessler, having access to the space was by benefit of being friends with Dave Gavigan since high school. Gavigan, who launched Everybody Hits Philadelphia in May of 2013, excitedly rattles off a list of former occupants while telling me he’d like to evoke the history of a space that pretty much always had a community aspect to it (apply your baseball analogies to the one aspect of the space’s history he’s not looking to bring back: when a porno studio stood behind where the pitching machine is now). I glance at the ghostly words, Dry Dressed Beef, coming up from an exposed layer on the wall to our left. I then study the monstrous, multi-arm, tube laden beast that is the pitching machine and I’m reminded of the complex of tubes and machinery that was unable to entomb the past, the awful power that was Akira in the eponymous Japanese anime classic.