Teatime means unplugging for street-harassment activist

Rochelle Keyhan , who runs HollabackPhilly, takes a break for tea at Dandelion in Center City Sunday.
Rochelle Keyhan , who runs HollabackPhilly, takes a break for tea at Dandelion in Center City Sunday. (MORGAN ZALOT / DAILY NEWS STAFF)
Posted: October 30, 2012

Chillin' Wit' is a regular feature of the Daily News that spotlights a name in the news away from the job.

FOR ROCHELLE KEYHAN, a criminal lawyer by day, activist by night and food-tour guide and freelance book reviewer by weekend, afternoon tea at the Dandelion near Rittenhouse Square offers the perfect Sunday escape from life's craziness.

And despite Hurricane Sandy's approach, Keyhan is at her usual spot, mulling over Tana French's In the Woods and enjoying a pot of traditional English tea with raisin scones.

Keyhan's eyes light up when she speaks of her frequent Sunday English-pub escape in Center City: curling up by the fireplace with a good book during the harsh winter months.

"If you come early enough, you can just sit here," she says.

Then, with a laugh, she jokes: "It's embarrassing, too, because they know me by name."

About 18 months ago, Keyhan, 27, started the Philadelphia chapter of Hollaback, a national organization against street harassment of women and members of the LGBTQ community. Most of the Southern California native's time, aside from her two paying jobs, goes to organizing events and maintaining the chapter's blog at philly.ihollaback.org.

"Sunday is my catch-up-on-life day," Keyhan says.

She talks excitedly about her current read, which she describes as a detective book about a murder investigation.

"They're already developing the characters in this one," she says. "I really love the excitement and the suspense."

Her Sunday routine at the Dandelion started about nine months ago, when she stumbled upon the restaurant. Her dedication to activism makes it tough to make time for herself at her Center City apartment, with research to read and emails to answer.

At the Dandelion, she says, she doesn't feel like she's neglecting her work when she takes a break.

"It was accidental at first," says Keyhan. "Then it became a routine."

- Morgan Zalot


Chillin' Wit' is a regular feature of the Daily News that spotlights a name in the news away from the job. Contact Morgan Zalot at zalotm@phillynews.com or 215-854-5928. Follow her on Twitter @morganzalot. Read her blog at PhillyConfidential.com.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|