April 24, 2016 |
AS HE shoveled trash and debris from a narrow alley between a community center and a rowhouse on Catharine Street near 58th, Hakeem Ruiz found the trash was so thick, he couldn't see the ground. There were juice bottles, wrappers, empty potato-chip bags. "About everything people sell at the corner store looked like it wound up in that alley," he said. As Ruiz and a group of friends cleaned further into the West Philadelphia alley on April 16, the trash got heavier, and included fallen branches.
March 24, 2016 |
When Gilberto Gonzalez started getting into trouble as a kid in South Kensington, his father responded by getting him a camera. Peering through the viewfinder gave him a new perspective. "I saw a bigger world once I had my camera," said Gonzalez, 51, still an amateur photographer, and now a designer for Community College of Philadelphia. The photos saved him, and he saved the photos - for years, though he wasn't sure for what. "But I found the need for them now," he said recently.
January 6, 2016 |
Jim Kenney celebrated his inauguration as the city's 99th mayor Monday evening in a huge atrium of the Convention Center that was filled with songs from the 1960s and '70s, and featured dancing mascots, colored spotlights, and 1,500 people. "How do you like the block party?" Kenney asked to cheers. "No black tie, no gowns. We're good, we all come from neighborhoods, we know how it is. " The block party-theme celebration, necessarily indoors on a 33-degree evening, felt more like a megabar mitzvah and wrapped up around 8 p.m. after about 21/2 hours.
October 9, 2015 |
The first time Chuck Volz went to OutFest, he pushed his baby in a baby carriage. Volz's baby is now 23. Volz himself went from passer-through to senior-most volunteer and adviser to the event, the nation's largest National Coming Out Day festival, slated to celebrate its 25th year this Sunday. OutFest began in 1990 as a block party outside longtime LGBT bookstore Giovanni's Room. About 1,000 people attended. A few years on, Volz and fellow organizer Franny Price moved the fair north to 13th and Locust streets.
September 28, 2015 |
The 365 voices from parishes in Newark, Elizabeth, and Linden, N.J., were triumphant as they marched across the Ben Franklin Bridge on Saturday, eager to arrive for the papal festivities. "Glory! Glory! Glory!" the group sang, accompanied by guitars and drums, as the crowds parted to let them pass. The 1.8-mile span was like a fall block party - thousands of joggers, in-line skaters, cyclists, dog walkers, and families pushing strollers - and then there were the faithful headed to see Pope Francis in Philadelphia.
September 6, 2015 |
Saturday STONE HARBOR If the Philadelphia Museum of Art's "Discovering the Impressionists" exhibition put you in the mood for paintings of that style, you'll love Ocean Galleries' (9618 Third Ave.) latest show, "Renoir: Modern Day Impressionism," on display through Sept. 7. The exhibit features the colorful still-lifes, landscapes, and seascapes of Pierre-Auguste Renoir's great-grandson Alexandre Renoir. Alexandre, who was born in France and trained in Canada as an artist, will appear from 7 to 10 p.m. for a special reception, where he'll paint live for guests.
September 2, 2015
I'VE LIVED in Philadelphia all my life, and I can say with reasonable certainty that the solutions to our city's social ills can't be found in academic studies. Try as they might, researchers will never right our ship using phone surveys or focus groups. They won't find answers in science labs. Nor will social answers come through social media. There's only one way for us to find the solutions to our social problems, and that is to socialize. I don't mean fake socializing, either.
August 11, 2015 |
Philadelphia expatriate DJ/producer/performer Wes Pentz - musical name, Diplo - brought his touring Mad Decent Block Party home to Festival Pier on Thursday and Friday, and showed how much his soiree - and he - have grown since the bash's humble beginnings. The Mad Decent party, thrown by the eponymous label, began at a mausoleum showroom (now PhilaMOCA) in 2008. It was so humble that the show-runner helped sweep up. This time, Diplo and friends brought a bigger show. On Thursday, Diplo played as Jack Ü with Skrillex, with Flosstradamus and ILoveMakonnen bringing up the rear.
August 8, 2015 |
The stretch of Lancaster Avenue between 34th and 39th Streets transformed Thursday night, as thousands of city residents came out to taste hard apple cider and corn on the cob at a semiannual block party that made the street bustle. A crowd of people made their way down the block, some dressed in business attire, sipping a beer at the end of the workday. Others grabbed a meal in T-shirts, their dogs and children in tow. The party was called Night Market, a project run by the nonprofit Food Trust and in its fifth season.
August 5, 2015 |
This season, Philly's modern rock station, Radio 104.5, has hosted weekend shows both fun (fun. singer Nate Russ) and furious (its birthday show with Of Monsters and Men). But none of its events had hit on novelty pop - one of the most fun aspects of summer music - until Sunday, when Matt and Kim headlined the station's afternoon Festival Pier block party. The Brooklyn indie-dance duo of drummer Kim Schifino and keyboardist/singer Matt Johnson were clinquant without being utterly tacky.