I feel like I am running a gauntlet as I pass these people eating. Their chairs are often in my way, and most of the time people will get up and let me pass. But there are those times that people actually get annoyed. Once, a man said, "you could say, ‘thank you'?" after moving his chair. I'm sorry if I don't feel like thanking these people for giving me access to the sidewalk. It is called a sidewalk, not a sidesit.
If the ordinance reads the way you say it does, then none of these restaurants are in compliance. I fear the Nutter administration just doesn't care. Hospitality is the major industry in Center City. Anything that would interfere with that industry will probably fall on deaf ears.
I have a cost-free solution to the tables-on-the-walk issue. Turn the enforcement of the rule over to the cowboys and cowgirls at the Philadelphia Parking Authority. Within a week no one would dare break the rule.
Stu Bykofsky: I did not enjoy your article on sidewalk cafés, nor do I think anyone else did. It seems like you decided to pick a topic that no one except you is concerned about. Outdoor seating gives life to neighborhoods and is a pleasure to see and to experience firsthand on a nice day. Thanks for giving the city a reason to go out and ticket non-complying restaurants while improving almost no one's day. Accessibility is very important; if you feel the same way, why don't you do an article on sidewalks in Philly with no ramps, or SEPTA stations with no elevators? Surely that would be a better use of time and money than getting out tape measures and laying out floor plans for outdoor seating at restaurants so some lard-ass doesn't have to walk on the curb for five seconds. There seems to be nothing you don't dislike, so this is no surprise, but the sheer stupidity of this piece is a new low.
The latest black eye for the Pennsylvania General Assembly is inflicted through the stunning news that convicted serial child rapist and beast Jerry Sandusky will be able to continue drawing a $59,000 annual state pension as he serves what is certain to be a life sentence.
Our "full-time" state representatives and senators, whose starting salaries are in excess of $80,000, have the time to enact a "Year of the Bible" resolution, to designate "Pennsylvania Restaurant Week" and to kill the elusive dream of property-tax reform for beleaguered state homeowners, but the matter of criminal predators drawing fat public pensions was not on their list of priorities.
I do not seek to diminish the seriousness of the public integrity crimes of which former state Sen. Jane Orie was recently convicted, but I wonder whether our legislators can explain to me why she is required under state law to forfeit her pension while the individual who forever shattered the lives of innocent young boys through pervasive and horrific criminal sexual assaults is not.
Oren M. Spiegler
Upper Saint Clair, Pa.
Meek Mill vs. minister
Jenice Armstrong: I was happy that you gave Rev. Jomo Johnson some press (July 10). He is truly "a talent," a real talent, and his cause is well founded. I was disappointed in the result of your piece.
First, Rev. Johnson is not a small-time preacher trying to make a name for himself. You misrepresent him and his motivations with that statement. He already has a name. He is a child of the King and therefore carries the name of Jesus Christ.
Secondly, you have bought into the same misguided direction that many young people do today. ("Plus, the song is catchy. I caught myself bopping around in my seat as I listened to it for the umpteenth time," you wrote.) From a spiritual perspective, Meek Mill's lyrics are the worst. They take the name of a pure and holy God and associate it with a degrading lifestyle. Far too many young people are buying into that lifestyle.
Jenice. I am surprised at you, speaking of "old farts." You should know better.
Minister Frank Seawright
Great article on "Meek Mill." People often underestimate the power and influence of the music culture. Mass media = mass persuasion = mass deception. Music also stimulates the same part of the brain that narcotics do. These rappers and entertainers are role models for the world and not just the adult half, but the children also. Lyrics dispersed through the airwaves with a catchy beat and constant rhythm causes our minds to capture their message and to interpret that message however we see fit. There is absolutely nothing positive in "Amen" or in any of the new generation of hip-hop culture. Music is one the reasons this generation won't succeed. If the devil has a tool that could destroy a nation, it would be ignorance.