There is nobody I know who is better at taking advantage of living in this city than my dear partner in Wee (and in crime), Ashley: She’s awesome about getting her crew out and about; she always knows where to eat, where to shop, where to drink; and she’s always up for trying the new stuff. (Anyone with kids can appreciate how difficult these things can really be.)
Anyway. Her latest idea came up while trying to brainstorm ways to celebrate the impending birth of my second kid. I figured we’d do something along the mani/pedi line, maybe go somewhere I could order a mocktail or walk on the wild side with a few sips of actual champagne. She said: “Hey, why don’t we go throw axes?” (See why I love her?)
Kensington’s Urban Axes has been around for about a year now, and it’s super popular with local hipsters and other city dwellers, parties, corporate groups, and ax-throwing leagues. (In fact, it’s so popular that they’re in the process of opening outposts in Baltimore, Austin, and Cincinnati.) We went during walk-in hours, though for groups of 6 or more, they strongly advise making group reservations. You walk in, sign a pretty hefty release (no big surprise there), pay $20 a person for an hour of ax time, get a 10-minute tutorial on safety and form from an affable staffer, and then, well … you fling some axes at a plywood target, competing against another group of ax-throwers. It is shockingly satisfying to feel the weight of the ax in your hand, to get a sense of the right rotation when you throw, to hear the resounding thud of the metal hitting its mark. (Not for nothing, Ash and I did better than the couple of dudes we threw against. It’s not about brute strength so much as it is getting a feel for form.)
Best part is that even if you suck, you’re still hurling an ax, so you feel like a total badass — which is a pretty refreshing way to feel at 8 months pregnant. (Or anytime, really.) In fact, I’m going to suggest this activity for every baby shower, wedding shower, out-of-town-visitor, and date night going forward. (Sorry, cool young hipsters, the olds have caught on now!)
PS. The place — a nondescript warehouse in the heart of Kensington — is within spitting distance from Frankford Avenue, and thus Frankford Hall and Sancho Pistola’s and Johnny Brenda’s and my current personal fave, Weckerly’s (with to-die-for ice cream sandwiches!). So that’s your afternoon in a nutshell.
PPS. In case it’s not glaringly obvious: Do not bring children. They’re not allowed, and they’d harsh your vibe, anyway.