December 10, 2003 |
Chestnut Hill oozes with charm, and it's no accident. The quaint village of twinkling lights and Belgian blocks is the result of careful planning by residents so determined to preserve, promote and protect their neighborhood that they volunteer untold hours to the myriad committees of the Chestnut Hill Community Association. Founded in 1947, and energized by a 1954 fight over development of what became the Market Square Shopping Center and Chestnut Hill Village apartments at Willow Grove and Stenton Avenues, the nonprofit organization effectively runs Chestnut Hill.
August 24, 2003 |
Your house is as pretty as a picture during the day, but what about at night? Some well-placed outdoor lights might be just what the doctor ordered. By using a combination of lights to illuminate a tree and the ground around it, for example, you can create the effect of moonlight when the real thing has taken the night off. Under-the-eaves illumination can wash the sides of a house with light, highlighting architectural features for passersby. And while you are creating a thing of beauty, you are enhancing security.
July 27, 2003 |
Denise Cavalieri Fike made a last-minute decision to enter her bathroom renovation in this year's Better Homes & Gardens remodeling contest. The deadline was Feb. 5. She took the photos Feb. 4. Fike, an artist in Queen Village, promptly forgot about her entry after she mailed it. That is, until she received a letter May 5 from Joan McCloskey, the magazine's building/remodeling editor. The bathroom had won an award of merit from the magazine. The prize: $100. Not enough to recoup the cost of the renovation, but when you consider that there were 7,314 entries and only 12 winners, the money was hardly the point.
July 25, 2003 |
Maybe it's the new mayor, riding into office on a mission to make the beach potty friendly, and a city commissioner sidekick who wants to wangle some choice parking spots for the common sunbather. Or maybe it is just the new Starbucks, which seems in just two weeks to have made this whole beach town a little over-caffeinated. Whatever. Between a fight over beach-block parking and the imminent arrival of Porta-Potties, things in tony Margate have become a bit, shall we say, edgy.
April 14, 2003
Journalist J. Sterling Morton stood on a grassy Nebraska plain in 1885 to dedicate the first official Arbor Day, now celebrated on the last Friday in April. "Each generation takes the Earth as trustees," Morton said. "We ought to bequeath to posterity as many forests and orchards as we have exhausted and consumed. " Pioneers missed the beauty of the forests back east. Plus they needed shade and wood. Nebraska offered neither. So Morton, determined to plant trees where there were none, founded Arbor Day. He understood trees' value beyond aesthetics - their power to block wind, prevent erosion and filter water.
October 11, 2002 |
It's flashback time again at the Seraphin Gallery, where California assemblage artist George Herms is showing constructions that span nearly 50 years. Herms' sculptures, many dating from the last decade, are classic in being created from obviously cast-off junk, from rusty license plates to old shoes. This process is supposed to be transformative, to demonstrate that just about any dross can be invested with aesthetic value. This was a radical strategy when Kurt Schwitters was pasting together used bus tickets in the 1920s, and it was still provocative when Robert Rauschenberg stuck real objects onto his "combine" paintings in the mid-1950s, about the time Herms began to work.
October 10, 2002 |
The flap over New Jersey poet laureate Amiri Baraka's absurd assertion in a poem that Israel had advance knowledge of the attack on the World Trade Center is reminiscent of a controversy nearly four decades ago. Then, as now, the country had just experienced a major trauma - the assassination of President John F. Kennedy - when another African American known for his radical views caused a nationwide furor. Less than a month after the 1963 shooting of Kennedy, Malcolm X implied that the President had twiddled his thumbs when South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem had been assassinated and concluded that Kennedy's assassination was a case of "the chickens coming home to roost.
March 5, 2002 |
The dispute over a proposed Walgreen's in Cheltenham would be just another "not in my backyard" controversy except for one thing: For those people living in many of the "inner-ring" Pennsylvania and South Jersey suburbs, it relates to what's happening in all their backyards. Change. Not the "sprawl" gobbling up the once-wide-open spaces of the outer suburbs, but its aftermath, which has the 50-year-old suburbs struggling to stay viable as homebuyers and businesses look elsewhere.
March 25, 2001 |
The experts assure us that houses are getting bigger. Gopal Ahluwahlia, chief statistician for the National Association of Home Builders, said the average size of a new detached house was 2,300 square feet of living space in 2000. In 1950, the average was 983 square feet. In 1970, it was 1,500 and in 1990, it was 2,080. Further, Michael Carliner, an economist for the association, insists that every time builders try to build smaller houses, they lose their shirts. Perhaps, it is true that many people do want bigger houses.
September 7, 2000 |
Planners have decided that, when it comes to reinventing the depressed Route 130 corridor, looks count. After years of talking about industry and economics, the Burlington County freeholders, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, and state Department of Transportation are embarking on a study of the aesthetics of the corridor. The study, expected to cost the Department of Transportation more than $300,000, is to recommend ways to improve the appearance of Route 130 where it passes through seven municipalities.