September 12, 2014
BASEMENTS, basically by definition, are the ugly and unloved stepchildren of any tiered structure. A damp, dank place to stack cardboard boxes full of ex-lovers' stuff. A resting place for never-used exercise equipment. A sunlight-free ecosystem perfect for the cultivation of cobwebs and dust bunnies. An eminently unsafe hiding place for psychotic clowns armed with blood-stained garden equipment. (Just me?) But none of these subterranean stereotypes, even the totally rational killer-clown one, apply to what lies beneath the Reading Terminal Market, one of Philadelphia's most recognized historical and culinary contributions.
September 7, 2014 |
Art is imitating life here. As I write this, I'm waiting for our utility to replace a 1924 steel gas line that was found to be leaking. So the gas is off for a couple of hours, and a three-man crew is digging up the street in front of my house to fix the problem, thanks to a detection unit that roams our street once a year, as required by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. What happens between visits? Detection is up to you, and the utilities have made it easier.
August 7, 2014 |
Janet Monge knew for years that the Penn Museum had quite the skeleton in its closet, a box of bones supinely displayed, carefully encased in wax, wrapped in burlap, and positioned on a board. "Somebody took great pains to take a very fragmentary skeleton and bring it here," said Monge, the curator who oversees the physical anthropology section of the museum in University City. "Therefore, it must be important. " There was no catalog card or identifying information. So the skeleton sat obscurely for years in a ground-floor storage room at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
July 13, 2014 |
Jon and Alexis Sherman are expecting their first baby, and after heavy rains earlier this year, they had to hurry to waterproof and finish their basement in advance of the little one's arrival. "We bought the house as our first home, and we didn't want to overstretch ourselves," said Jon Sherman, a filmmaker at two companies in Philadelphia - Video City, of which he is president, and Expo Films, which he co-founded. (Alexis Sherman is assistant director of human resources at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.)
June 15, 2014 |
Q uestion: My son and daughter-in-law purchased a twin ranch home with a finished basement in the Northeast in September. The recent heavy rains invaded their home and caused a great deal of damage to the back wall in both the basement and the bedroom above. They called an adjuster, who cut out the damaged walls and removed carpet, and brought in fans and a dehumidifier. All materials were saved for the insurance company to see. The adjuster said he would file the insurance claim for them, and that potential causes of the water intrusion could be the bedroom window and the back patio, put in by a previous owner.
April 9, 2014 |
Two Philadelphia men received long prison sentences Monday after they pleaded guilty to fatally shooting an 80-year-old man during a burglary at his Southwest Philadelphia home in which they stole a laptop. Common Pleas Court Judge Rose Marie DeFino-Nastasi sentenced Sean Johnson, 20, to 35 to 70 years in prison, and Aaron Pitts, 22, to 20 to 40 years. A jury was about to be chosen Monday for the two men's trial. Instead, the pair pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, burglary, robbery, and related offenses in the May 2012 slaying of Joseph Fleming, 80, of the 6600 block of Yocum Street.
December 1, 2013 |
Q uestion: I came across your article about coating interior stone foundation walls, but my question concerns coating the exterior. My 1890s house has a fieldstone foundation with remnants of a white material clinging here and there. Would recoating it be a good thing aesthetically and perhaps keep some of the "critters" out? Answer: Having never seen your house, I wouldn't know whether coating the foundation would be aesthetically pleasing. I imagine whatever you use would need to be in keeping with the age and architecture of the house.
October 19, 2013 |
Update: Authorities have arrested Michael Beer in connection with the pipe bombs. He is the son of the woman who reported finding the devices. Earlier Story NORTHEAST PHILA. Hours after the bomb squad left, neighbors lingered at Shisler and Benner Streets in Oxford Circle on Thursday, pointing at the caution tape still draped across the alley. Most had just returned home after police had ordered them out, a precaution after six pipe bombs were found in a house on the 6100 block of Shisler.
October 16, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA After 17 hours of tense negotiations periodically interrupted by gunfire, Philadelphia police coaxed a troubled Temple University student out of a rowhouse basement Monday morning, averting a threatened suicide. The 26-year-old student, whose name police have not released, was not injured in the standoff, which left two residential streets near campus on lockdown and many students trapped in their apartments on orders from SWAT officers. The student - who police said has a history of behavioral-health and substance-abuse issues - was taken to Temple University Hospital for a mental-health evaluation.
October 15, 2013 |
AN ALL-DAY standoff with an armed Temple University student began yesterday morning when police were called to a home near campus where a man had barricaded himself in the basement, fired shots and threatened to commit suicide. Negotiations continued late into the night. Gunshots were heard in the morning and a series of shots were heard in the late afternoon, Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan told the Daily News . Negotiators continued to communicate with the distraught man last night.