August 15, 2016 |
Parking garages rarely merit much architectural discussion. Most of today's designs are no-frills stacks of open floors, laid out to accommodate as many cars as possible. With their shadowy interiors on full display, the naked concrete structures have the melancholy look of buildings that were never finished. Yet, parking garages did not start out as a purely functional architectural form. For evidence, please see the exuberant, art deco garage that stretches for a full block on Chestnut between 11th and 12th Streets.
August 13, 2016 |
Frank Fox didn't speak a word of English when he immigrated to the United States from his native Poland as a teenager in 1937. But he got into Central High School two years later and spent the rest of his life learning, writing, teaching, and translating. He was fluent in seven languages. Dr. Fox, 92, who lived at the Quadrangle in Haverford, died Tuesday, Aug. 2, of complications of a stroke at Bryn Mawr Hospital. "I could spend hours telling you about him," said his son, Julian.
August 11, 2016
ISSUE | DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION Arts can help us get past anger, prejudice During the Democratic National Convention, the arts and culture community's museums and performing-arts venues showed off the beauty and vibrancy of Philadelphia. More importantly, cultural groups stepped up with messages of unity, justice, and civic duty through pop-up performances on Broad Street, a youth art contest to inspire future voters from Fleisher Art Memorial, an issue-based voting display at the Free Library, and political street art. Hundreds of engaging community events and activities allowed locals and convention-goers to use their voice, share their beliefs, and offer social and political solutions.
July 31, 2016
The Secret War Spies, Ciphers, and Guerrillas By Max Hastings Harper. 640 pp. $35 Reviewed by Paul Jablow At first glance, Joseph Rochefort was about as unlikely as a war hero gets. A mediocre (at best) naval officer, he narrowly escaped court martial when a destroyer on which he was the duty officer dragged its anchor in San Francisco bay amid six destroyers. He was transferred to cryptoanalysis when fellow officers noted his penchant for crossword puzzles and bridge.
July 30, 2016 |
Kanye: she's a selfie goddess You'd think Kanye West might feel uncomfortable with his wife's propensity to plaster nude pics of her corporeal essence all over the web. You'd be wrong. To him, a Kim Kardashian selfie is art. "Like, I love the ones from the side, the back ones, and the front," West, 39, tells Harper's Bazaar. "I just love seeing her naked. . . . I feel like it's almost a Renaissance thing, a painting. " In true post-feminist fashion, Kanye opines that Kim's bod is her talent: "I think it's important for Kim to have her figure.
July 24, 2016
Political party conventions, we are often told, have become exercises in image-making. Each produces two kinds of pictures: the memorable portrait and the cruel cartoon. The first depicts our party's candidate, the strong leader America needs to guide us through these troubled times. The other exposes the foolishness, nay the malevolence, of the opposition, pigheadedly determined to lead the country toward greater chaos and eventual ruin. This same contrast in imagery is visible throughout "Happiness, Liberty, Life?
July 23, 2016 |
Murals in Philadelphia have been created, variously, to uplift underserved communities, honor local leaders, fight blight, and amplify grassroots causes. Now, in a swath of the city's Callowhill area, they're advancing a new goal: rebranding a neighborhood. Artists commissioned by the city's Mural Arts Program are installing nine permanent and temporary murals that, collectively, create a revolving outdoor gallery billed as "Spring Arts District. " That also happens to be the identity that developer Craig Grossman, who sought and partially funded the project, is trying to cultivate in this gentrifying stretch between Eighth and 12th, from Noble to Spring Garden Streets.
July 20, 2016 |
I'd like to think the folks attending the Democratic National Convention next week will spend every minute of the day doing intense politicking at the Wells Fargo Center. But I'm willing to bet a few visiting dignitaries, delegates, and volunteers also will strike out to explore the city. My fellow Philadelphians are betting on it, too: Just about every arts and cultural organization in town has an event, exhibit, or performance planned. Here's a taste of what the city will have to offer.
July 15, 2016 |
WHEN PIANIST Sumi Tonooka headlines the 10th annual Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival on Saturday, it will mark her second time at the event, having been a special guest with guitarist Monette Sudler's band at the 2010 installment. But she was far from a stranger to the neighborhood even then; though she's called New York, Boston, and Seattle home over the years, Tonooka was born and raised in Powelton Village. "The festival is literally right down the street from where I grew up," Tonooka said last week, already in Philly and barraged with reminders of her old environs.