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Blue Christmas

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TRAVEL
November 25, 2013 | By Robin B. Smith, For The Inquirer
No place can outshine Paris at Christmas. With its illuminated monuments, buildings, and bridges, the City of Light lives up to its billing all year. During December, however, its visual splendors exceed all superlatives. The kaleidoscope of shifting views down grand avenues and boulevards dazzles and astonishes. Darkness comes early, but there is an enchanted hour just after sunset, when the hastening dusk triggers the streetlights and rich color fills the sky. The French call it l'heure bleue , the blue hour, "when the sky has lost its sun but has not yet found its stars.
NEWS
December 24, 1991 | By Julie Weiss, Special to The Inquirer
The holidays offer the promise of warmth and fulfillment. But they can also highlight the empty spaces in our lives. We become sharply aware of who is with us and who we have lost. The happy bustle of others can underscore loneliness for the newly divorced, the bereaved and those with difficult families. According to Tom McDonnell, a Philadelphia psychologist specializing in depression, even those whose lives appear untroubled often get the holdiay blues. "During this time of year," he said, "just about everyone feels like a flop sometimes.
NEWS
December 26, 1995 | By Wes Conard, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Four years ago, John Capuzzi and his then-girlfriend Joyce spent Christmas night combing southern Delaware County for a place to eat, but found everything closed - an irony that did not escape them. "We joked that we were like Mary and Joseph looking for the inn," Capuzzi said. "We were kind of estranged from our families and we were feeling sorry for ourselves because there was no place open. " Eventually, they found a pub - Bennigans, to be exact - and over a nontraditional holiday dinner of chicken fajitas they decided that they would create a place for people with no place to go on Christmas.
NEWS
December 21, 2007 | By Lini S. Kadaba INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
'Tis the season to be jolly, right? Not everyone, though, has a rousing ho-ho-ho in her. For Ernestine Whiting, 86, this Christmas feels lonelier than ever. Her husband of nearly six decades, Edward, died last year, and Whiting has felt hard hit in recent months. She also struggles with arthritis and a hoarse voice that prevents her from whistling for cardinals - a talent her husband admired. "Everything is different," the Malvern widow said Sunday afternoon just before attending "Blue Christmas - the Longest Night Service" at the United Methodist Church in Paoli.
NEWS
December 22, 2005 | By Dan DeLuca INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Even if you love Christmas music, the sugar rush can make you ill. Billboard reports that 2,100 different Christmas titles have been purchased by fans this year, including bad new ones by insipid sax man Kenny G. and faux classical Euro dudes Il Divo, and a collection of flatulent sounds called Jingle Smells that includes "Silent Butt Deadly Night. " Let me tell you: It stinks. But it's all not holly jolly garbage. Jazz singer Diana Krall's quite classy Christmas Songs is the breakout hit of the season, at No. 17 on the Billboard album chart earlier this week.
NEWS
December 24, 1999 | by Mark Lane
The Encyclopaedia Britannica may have moved from bicep-building bindings to airy blips of digital data, but a few reference works remain that can be aimlessly browsed by the fireplace. I speak here of "The Big Book of Christmas and Christmaslike Phenomena. " Brought out of the box for another year of reference, its duct-taped spine still supple, the book remains a font of holiday lore. You'd look in vain to find such patient expositions of the season's mysteries anywhere else.
NEWS
December 24, 1996 | by Mark Angeles, Daily News Staff Writer The Associated Press and staff writers Joe O'Dowd and Julie Knipe Brown contributed to this report
It's almost Christmas, but domestic violence takes no holiday. Yesterday, from Port Richmond to Chester County, men bludgeoned and shot women they loved. Or used to love. One killer took his own life. The madness struck Lucille Golden on her 77th birthday. It was her last. Frank Golden, 75, whom Lucille described to neighbors as her ex-husband and boyfriend, bludgeoned her to death with a hammer as she lay in bed in her Port Richmond home, police said. Then, police said, he lay beside the woman's motionless, battered body, slashed his wrists and an ankle with a razor blade, and bled to death.
NEWS
December 22, 1997 | By Jen Gomez, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
After the first verse, 2-year-old Corey Somers mustered up some courage. "A-B-C," his little voice quivered. As the "Alphabet Song" played on, Corey's voice grew stronger. Still, his uneasiness showed. He cast brief, wide-eyed glances toward the small crowd, and his face turned a pinkish hue. Corey's singing partner, however, was loving every minute of it. Camila Albo, 2 1/2, smiled at the cameras. She pressed the microphone against her lips and sang her little heart out. The toddlers were among the many amateur singers who performed over the weekend at Ikea.
NEWS
December 20, 2012 | By Daniel Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
A Facebook friend put up his Christmas tree Monday, then wondered how he and his wife could ever celebrate, given what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Thinking about the families of those 20 kids killed in Newtown, Conn., brought them back to the death of their own child, lost years before to a birth defect. "I just want to get through this year," he said. Between the deaths of his mother and his wife's father, and then the suicide of a nephew home from Afghanistan, the couple went to more funerals than birthday parties.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 20, 2000 | By Dan DeLuca, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Bruce Springsteen began his four-song encore at the Asbury Park Convention Hall on Monday with "My City of Ruins," a new song detailing the desolation of the Jersey Shore town that jump-started his career more than a quarter-century ago. "The church door is blown open, I can hear the organ's song," he sang, seated at the piano and backed by a six-piece horn section and three-woman chorus that included his wife, Patti Scialfa. "But the congregation is gone. " The ghostly landscape of "boarded-up windows, hustlers and thieves" evoked in the gospel-fired song was everywhere apparent outside on the streets of Asbury Park.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
ENTERTAINMENT
December 20, 2014 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
The season twinkles with tradition, but secular celebrations also light up cold, dark December nights. Put the gift-wrapping on hold for a night or two: This extended holiday weekend is meant for weirdness. A Night for Jack: Remembering Jack Rose. Though not holy in the conventional sense, a wintry night recalling Philadelphia's pastoral/primitive guitar great Jack Rose is a religious, heartwarming, soul-stirring experience. On the fifth anniversary of his death, guitarists Daniel Bachman and Chris Forsyth, among others (including DJ/friend Ian Nagoski)
TRAVEL
November 25, 2013 | By Robin B. Smith, For The Inquirer
No place can outshine Paris at Christmas. With its illuminated monuments, buildings, and bridges, the City of Light lives up to its billing all year. During December, however, its visual splendors exceed all superlatives. The kaleidoscope of shifting views down grand avenues and boulevards dazzles and astonishes. Darkness comes early, but there is an enchanted hour just after sunset, when the hastening dusk triggers the streetlights and rich color fills the sky. The French call it l'heure bleue , the blue hour, "when the sky has lost its sun but has not yet found its stars.
NEWS
December 20, 2012 | By Daniel Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
A Facebook friend put up his Christmas tree Monday, then wondered how he and his wife could ever celebrate, given what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Thinking about the families of those 20 kids killed in Newtown, Conn., brought them back to the death of their own child, lost years before to a birth defect. "I just want to get through this year," he said. Between the deaths of his mother and his wife's father, and then the suicide of a nephew home from Afghanistan, the couple went to more funerals than birthday parties.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 2011 | By Howard Shapiro, Inquirer Staff Writer
Grab some eggnog, roast a few chestnuts, don a pair of oversized holiday-colored pasties, and twirl your bazooms. That's the way Flashpoint Theatre Company is celebrating the season (well, OK, not the roasting chestnuts part or the eggnog) with its world premiere of the unfortunately titled Chlamydia for Christmas and Herpes for Hanukkah: More Sex-Ed Burlesque for the Holidays , shooting forth like hormones racing down the stairs on Christmas morning. Chlam , which I'll call it for short, is the brainchild, or some other part, of two of the company's cofounders, Gigi Naglak and Meghann Williams, and is directed by a third, Amy Smith.
NEWS
December 17, 2009 | By GARY THOMPSON, thompsg@phillynews.com 215-854-5992
WHEN A TREE falls in a forest, and James Cameron is there to direct, it definitely makes a sound. An earsplitting sound. Of course, in "Avatar," the tree is 500 feet high and felled by missiles launched from a flock of attack helicopters, and it's a sacred tree whose roots are connected to the souls of the forest's indigenous peoples, whose cries of pain are entwined with the noise of the bombs and shattering wood. So some noise is to be expected. But the OTHER sound you hear in "Avatar," the sound heard round the cinema world, is that the brave new 3D, computer-generated world that Hollywood tech-heads have been promising is finally here.
NEWS
December 21, 2007 | By Lini S. Kadaba INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
'Tis the season to be jolly, right? Not everyone, though, has a rousing ho-ho-ho in her. For Ernestine Whiting, 86, this Christmas feels lonelier than ever. Her husband of nearly six decades, Edward, died last year, and Whiting has felt hard hit in recent months. She also struggles with arthritis and a hoarse voice that prevents her from whistling for cardinals - a talent her husband admired. "Everything is different," the Malvern widow said Sunday afternoon just before attending "Blue Christmas - the Longest Night Service" at the United Methodist Church in Paoli.
NEWS
December 22, 2005 | By Dan DeLuca INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Even if you love Christmas music, the sugar rush can make you ill. Billboard reports that 2,100 different Christmas titles have been purchased by fans this year, including bad new ones by insipid sax man Kenny G. and faux classical Euro dudes Il Divo, and a collection of flatulent sounds called Jingle Smells that includes "Silent Butt Deadly Night. " Let me tell you: It stinks. But it's all not holly jolly garbage. Jazz singer Diana Krall's quite classy Christmas Songs is the breakout hit of the season, at No. 17 on the Billboard album chart earlier this week.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 20, 2000 | By Dan DeLuca, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Bruce Springsteen began his four-song encore at the Asbury Park Convention Hall on Monday with "My City of Ruins," a new song detailing the desolation of the Jersey Shore town that jump-started his career more than a quarter-century ago. "The church door is blown open, I can hear the organ's song," he sang, seated at the piano and backed by a six-piece horn section and three-woman chorus that included his wife, Patti Scialfa. "But the congregation is gone. " The ghostly landscape of "boarded-up windows, hustlers and thieves" evoked in the gospel-fired song was everywhere apparent outside on the streets of Asbury Park.
NEWS
December 15, 2000 | By Cynthia J. McGroarty, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
The annual Tree of Hope Commemoration will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Bucks County Courthouse in Doylestown. The decorated tree will be lit in remembrance of those who have lost their lives through or who have been affected by alcoholism or drug abuse. A message of hope will be delivered. Ornaments can be contributed and dedicated to individuals, organizers said. They also can be sponsored by donors. For information, call 215-345-6644. ON THE CALENDAR Handel's Messiah will be performed at 4 p.m. Sunday by the Lower Bucks County Community Chorus and members of the Newtown Chamber Orchestra at First Presbyterian Church, 771 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Morrisville.
NEWS
December 24, 1999 | by Mark Lane
The Encyclopaedia Britannica may have moved from bicep-building bindings to airy blips of digital data, but a few reference works remain that can be aimlessly browsed by the fireplace. I speak here of "The Big Book of Christmas and Christmaslike Phenomena. " Brought out of the box for another year of reference, its duct-taped spine still supple, the book remains a font of holiday lore. You'd look in vain to find such patient expositions of the season's mysteries anywhere else.
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