July 13, 2016 |
"WHAT DOES a citizen have to do to be heard in this democracy?" South Philadelphian Vince Iezzi is asking me because he has a question and no one else is hearing him. He says he has written to the mayor; his councilman, Mark Squilla; the at-large Council people; the Board of Education; the city and state human rights offices - even the TV stations. He has received only one reply, which I'll get to in a moment, and zilch from all the other "public servants. " His is not really a big question, not "important" in the grand scheme of things, but something that's bugging him, and not him alone, I think.
January 11, 2016 |
My son, Martin, a junior English major at St. Joseph's University, is taking full advantage of the many opportunities that have come his way at SJU - including the study abroad program. He spent the last semester in Galway, Ireland, at the University College of Galway. Being of Irish heritage, and with a great love of Irish folk music (along with a great love for my son), I was quick to jump at the chance for a visit. We spent a special and memorable week together in Galway, Cork, and Dublin.
December 21, 2015
Megan Ritchie Jooste is a Colorado writer who is missing Christmas in Philadelphia We've been celebrating the holiday season for a solid two months in my household. It all began at some vague point in time around late September, when a Curious George Christmas movie popped up among the "you might enjoy" selections on our Netflix home page. (Giving our 2-year-old full rein of the remote has wreaked havoc on our preferences.) "It's Christmas!" our daughter shrieked, throwing herself off the sofa and at the television set. "It's Christmastime!
December 9, 2015 |
Matt Hopkins has reinvented himself six times. Almost once for every decade. There's Matt Hopkins, Scrabble master. Jazz musician. Playwright. Actor. Classical musician. Now, there's Matt Hopkins, hip-hop dancer and rapper. At age 70, he pops, locks, and occasionally drops on 15th Street near City Hall, and also in the corridors leading to Suburban Station. Recently, he's been performing at Christmas Village in LOVE Park. He dances to tracks by Fetty Wap, Drake, and Chris Brown.
November 21, 2015 |
For a month beginning this weekend, Dilworth Park will spotlight local artists and their unique creations in a new holiday-theme festival and market. The Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market at Dilworth Park will have 30 vendors, including purveyors of hand-popped kettle corn and "potato tornados," artisan woodcrafters, and makers of eco-friendly neck warmers. It will open Saturday and stay until Dec. 27. It will be closed Christmas. While it is there, the park will be filled with decorated tents stocked with arts and crafts, jewelry, accessories, and food and drink booths, all from the Philadelphia area.
December 19, 2014
ISSUE | CONGRESS Maiden budget effort a bad sign Once again, our supposed leaders brought us to the brink of a government shutdown as another short-term spending plan was about to expire, the members scrambling to put into place another eleventh-hour agreement so that they could begin their lengthy holiday recess ("Congress passes $1.1 trillion bill," Dec. 14). There was no possibility that a clean spending blueprint would be proposed. Rather, we found shenanigans, an unwillingness to fund the Department of Homeland Security for more than a few months, and special-interest poison pills inserted into the legislation that were unrelated to the matter at hand, but provisions that a sufficient number of Democrats were willing to accept.
December 4, 2014 |
Just as Santa Claus was put on trial at Christmastime in the film "Miracle on 34th Street," so too will Philly Jesus be put on trial just days before his namesake's big day. Perhaps the old "In God We Trust" defense will work this time too. Philly Jesus, whose real name is Michael Grant, was at the Criminal Justice Center yesterday for a status hearing on two charges against him - disorderly conduct and failure to disperse. In front of a packed courtroom, Grant, 28, dressed in his trademark white robe, pleaded not guilty to both charges and was scheduled for trial on Dec. 15. Grant turned many heads as he entered the courthouse on Filbert Street near 13th dressed as Jesus and carrying his trademark wooden staff.
November 29, 2014 |
The McBride family from Northeast Philadelphia started their Christmas season with a trip to Christmas Village on Thanksgiving Day. By 5:30 p.m., Dylan, 6, and Danny, 3 - both of whom are on Santa's "nice" list - were with their parents in the Macy's lobby on Juniper Street, waiting for the store to open. "Since we were here walking around, we figured we'd wait since the opening was at 6," said Robert McBride, the boys' father. Their mother, Jamie, had the day off for the first time in years.
January 4, 2014
After workers finish tearing down Christmas Village at LOVE Park, the plaza will return to its dowdy appearance, dominated by gray granite slabs and intermittent encampments of the homeless. To the northwest lies the splendid Benjamin Franklin Parkway, with its museums, generous setbacks, and streams of runners and cyclists. The boulevard offers a stark contrast with the drab plaza, especially on a cold winter's day. How long that gulf in appearances between the two settings lasts may be up to Council President Darrell Clarke, who these days seems to cast every decision as part of some power struggle with Mayor Nutter - which is interesting because although Clarke may run for mayor, it won't be against Nutter, who is in his final term.