December 8, 2010
AS ETHICAL scandals go, this has so far been a banner month, topped off by the sudden retirement of elections official Renee Tartaglione as a result of an investigation that found she was actively electioneering: paying for misleading ballots, and serving as de facto ward leader. The thing that strikes us is how long many of these scandals take to come to light. It's worth remembering that it's not just bad players who should be sanctioned; it's also the people who witnessed wrongdoing and stayed silent.
December 7, 2010
Just when you thought the Carl R. Greene era at the Philadelphia Housing Authority had exhausted the supply of embarrassing tales, belly dancers jiggle into view. As reported Sunday, PHA managers held a "diversity training" event in 2006 that featured four belly dancers and salsa lessons. PHA paid $1,200 for the belly dancers; the whole event cost $17,150. PHA funds at work. Greene, the former PHA director, was photographed beaming broadly in the company of the dancers. Apparently he missed the memos about a)
December 5, 2010 |
With the federal government cutting housing subsidies in 2006, Philadelphia Housing Authority managers spared no expense to take "diversity awareness to a new level. " How else to explain the karaoke singers, salsa dance instructor, Swiss Alps yodelers, and belly dancers who were mingling with PHA middle managers at the Wilson Park Community Center? The cost: about $17,150, including $1,200 for the belly dancers. The evening's finale began when four exotically clad belly dancers pulled members of the audience into their show.
August 18, 2006 |
South Philadelphian Dimitri Thrasyvoulou, also known as DJ Dimitri, makes Sunday nights international nights at Byblos. "Greek International Night" attracts college students, urban professionals and regular partygoers, so DJ Dimitri has many musical tastes to satisfy in one night. "People like the variety of the music. I look at the crowd. If the crowd is international, then I play to the crowd," the 30-year-old says. The music style ranges from dance to hip-hop, Lebanese, Arabic, Egyptian, and Greek music.
August 20, 2003 |
Each era has its own erogenous zone, a different body part to unveil, adorn, alter, and elevate. Breasts, legs, necks, bottoms, breasts again. This is the midriff's moment. Jeans ride so far south that their zippers, some as abbreviated as two inches, seem more appropriate for Barbie. Shirts appear pre-shrunk, ending a foot above the waist, possibly borrowed from toddlers. Long displayed only on beaches, belly buttons are now veritable jewelry counters, sporting studs, hoops, chains, dangles, Venetian-glass grape clusters, and circular barbells that resemble key chains.
March 31, 2000 |
The Ben Franklin Parkway is Philadelphia's Champs Elysees. Its grandest boulevard. Home to some of its most important institutions. And among the most photographed spots in the city. More than 1,300 buildings had to be demolished before it opened to automobile traffic in 1918. But it is the Parkway's use as a pedestrian promenade and a tree-lined space for ethnic festivals, open-air concerts and fireworks displays that makes it so special. The belly dancers were dark-haired and cream-skinned with slim, athletic, American-style bodies, and there were so many people crowded around the stage where they were performing, it was almost funny.
January 24, 1998 |
It could have turned into a Greek tragedy, but Kenny Ellis, just as he said he would, stepped in to save the day. First-time promoter Mike Maltepes was enduring the worst maiden voyage since the Titanic until Ellis - more or less thrust into the role of Leonardo DiCaprio - manned the pump and helped salvage Maltepes's sinking boxing card last night at the Blue Horizon. In scoring a sixth-round technical knockout of outgunned Anthony Perry (8-2-1, 4 knockouts), Ellis (21-0-2, 13 KOs)
July 17, 1997 |
The Middle East restaurant, where many Philadelphians got their first eyeful of belly dancers and their first taste of baba ghanouj, has closed after 38 years. The Old City building and furnishings will go up for auction next month. A news conference is scheduled for this morning to announce the sale. Tayoun family members estimated that they had served about a million meals at the Middle East, which was founded in a South Philadelphia rowhouse by a laid-off welder from the hills of Lebanon with a gift for pastry-making.
October 20, 1996 |
During the day, Donna Hernandez types and files for the city of Burlington; at night, she wiggles and swivels as a belly dancer. At a recent rehearsal, her arms rippled as if there were no bones to get in the way. With two fingers on each hand, she played her zils, her finger cymbals. Her shoulders shimmied as her feet slid back and forth. But more entrancing than Hernandez's hip circles and hand undulations was her face: She couldn't stop smiling. Mention belly-dancing and most people think of a woman clad in sequined bra and little else as she moves through a group of ogling men. There's a hint of something scandalous, something forbidden, about the dance and its dancers.
September 17, 1995 |
Those who think dance exercises begin and end with step aerobics to the accompaniment of Madonna, loud and fast, might want to stop by Harcum College in a few weeks. Ask for Habiba. She'll be the one demonstrating the lock-lifts. The arabesques. Various undulations. A whole lot of shakin'. And, of course, the body wave. This body wave has nothing to do with hair. Habiba's body wave means the whole body: From the balls of her feet, which rest on the floor, to the knees, which start to bend, to the hips, which give a gentle undulation, to the torso, which leans slightly forward, to the head, which moves up and down and back.