October 21, 2014
Dotty Brown is a former Inquirer editor who is writing a book on the history of Boathouse Row for Temple University Press Every year, thousands of people pound down the paved backbone of the city in the sweaty exuberance of the Broad Street Run. Next weekend, in another extraordinary test of athleticism and determination open to all, the sound will be the beating of oars down a different city artery - the Schuylkill. Rowing out their hearts and lungs in the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta will be more than 80 categories of rowers sorted by age, sex, and ability, from high school teenagers and college freshmen to committed athletes striving for world competition to masters rowers in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and, yes, 80s. Also racing will be gold-medal Olympic champions from New Zealand and top rowers from Norway, Australia, the Czech Republic, and the United States.
August 29, 2014 |
THE ABDUCTIONS of three men, two of whom were found in the wee hours yesterday butchered, bound, haphazardly tethered to makeshift anchors and sunk into the Schuylkill, remained shrouded in mystery last night. But one thing was clear: Somebody wanted them to suffer painful, gruesome deaths. All three men - who investigators said were targeted as a result of a "drug nexus" and may have ties to Asian gangs in Philadelphia - were bound with duct tape at their hands and feet, their faces covered, and were thrown into the dark waters off Kelly Drive, police said.
August 1, 2014
IF YOU MOVED to Philadelphia during the last, say, 20 years, you speak a different language than the rest of us who are natives and have been here a while. I include myself in the latter group because, sure, I was 6 weeks old when my parents moved back north from Baltimore, but 42 days does not devotion make. We wax poetic (or "paoh-edd-ig") about East River Drive. We remember that the other side with the great view of Boathouse Row used to be called West River Drive, proving for posterity that Quakers are much better at educating folk than surprising them.
May 9, 2014 |
ROWING HAS always been a big part of Philadelphia sporting culture. Ever since the conception of Boathouse Row in 1858, the Schuylkill River and Kelly Drive have been a fixture of the deep passion the city has for rowing. This weekend, the river will be overtaken by more than 120 teams from around the country that will compete in the 76th Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta. "Rowing infiltrates the town," said Paul Savell, Drexel's director of rowing. "It is the largest collegiate regatta in the country.
December 16, 2013 |
Jim Glavin, now the rowing coach at St. Joseph's Prep, can remember the phone call. He was just back in the country after coaching a boat at the world rowing championships when one of his rowers called. They'd dropped the rowing team. "I thought he was kidding," said Glavin. "I thought it was a practical joke. " This was St. Joseph's College, summer of 1975. Title IX, signed into law by President Richard Nixon three years earlier, called for gender equity in educational programs that receive federal funding.
December 16, 2013 |
As the shock bit into her, Temple's women's rowing coach didn't remember saying much of anything. "I couldn't even think of a question," Rebecca Smith Grzybowski said. "I was completely blindsided. " Seven Temple sports had just been cut, she was told by athletic director Kevin G. Clark, including her sport. By the time of that conversation, midday on Dec. 6, Temple's board of trustees had already voted unanimously to cut baseball, softball, men's gymnastics, men's indoor track and spring track and field, and men's and women's rowing, effective at the end of the spring season.
August 6, 2013 |
Tow-truck operator Rodney Williams sat beneath a gloomy underpass on Kelly Drive, watching the cars whiz by as drivers headed into a notorious curve just before Boathouse Row. The rain came down in slanted sheets, scarring the surface of the surging, mud-churned Schuylkill River during Thursday's rainstorm. Small ponds of rainwater formed along the edges of Kelly Drive in both directions. Williams waited. He knew it was not a matter of "if," but "when. " "There were two accidents so far today within the past two-and-a-half hours," said Williams, 36, who drives for Poppy's & Son's towing.
July 29, 2013 |
So why were the club flags on Boathouse Row recently at half staff? For a relatively young man (36 years old) who had lived in Philadelphia for just over two years? Who didn't formally belong to any of those boathouses? Who wasn't even American? Did those spiritual descendants of Jack Kelly along the drive named for him believe they recognized a kindred spirit, or hoped so? Did they see a throwback to a time before performance enhancers and luxury suites and Andrew Bynum?
July 18, 2013
YO, PHILLY! I'm interrupting the regularly scheduled diet and exercise tips that usually run down the righthand side of this page to bring you some shameless promotion for a great cause. Back on My Feet is having its sixth annual fundraising race event Saturday and Sunday. It's called the Stroehmann Back on My Feet 20in24 Challenge and features a long slate of different races over 24 hours, all on a loop along the Schuylkill. Proceeds benefit BoMF, the national nonprofit organization founded in Philadelphia by Anne Mahlum that uses running to help homeless individuals turn their lives around.
July 8, 2013
DID YOU KNOW that you - you, John or Jamilla Q. Public - can have the lights on Boathouse Row lit in a color of your choice to mark a special occasion? Yes you can, but there are conditions and stipulations, says Barry Bessler, chief of staff, Office of the 1st Deputy Commissioner, Parks & Facilities. That's his official title, but since he's the guy who controls the lights, I think of him as Philadelphia's lumiere extraordinaire , or, in Stu-Speak, Director of Pretty Lights.