September 20, 2015 |
Donna W. Pitz, 65, of Paoli, former executive director of the GreenSpace Alliance and a major figure in the open-space movement in Southeastern Pennsylvania, died Friday, Sept. 11, of multiple system atrophy at Tel Hai Retirement Community, Honey Brook. Born in East Stroudsburg, Pa., Ms. Pitz graduated in 1971 from Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa, with a bachelor's degree in biology and education. In 1978, she earned a master's degree in landscape architecture from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, N.Y. From 2008 to 2011, when she resigned for health reasons, Ms. Pitz led the GreenSpace Alliance, a nonprofit in Philadelphia consisting of the leaders of environmental groups and land conservation agencies.
July 13, 2015 |
Paul McCartney keeps a piano bedside to try out musical ideas that come to him in the middle of the night. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin ( The West Wing , Sports Night ) overcomes writer's block by taking six or more showers a day. And John Kounios, a pioneer in the study of insight, rides the quiet Regional Rail car on his commute to and from his West Chester home so he can carve out a creative, idea-inducing space for himself. The Drexel University professor of psychology further isolates himself by donning noise-canceling Bose headphones (to block the rumble of the train)
June 26, 2015 |
The statistics would make anyone's grandmother cringe in shame. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans jammed 35 million tons of food waste into landfills in 2013. Food waste leads to more greenhouse gases, which in turn contributes to climate change. Wasted food represents wasted resources and calories that hungry people could be eating. Another less significant but no less valid concern for serious cooks: It's tons of wasted flavor. Though the EPA has been pushing the idea that Americans should generate less waste at home through videos like "Feed People Not Landfills," new ideas about how restaurants, food-service providers, and stores can do the same are coming to the forefront.
June 22, 2015 |
A Mendelssohn Club concert? An edgy new work by the Leah Stein Dance Company? Or a guided meditation? With Turbine , the new site-specific dance/choral work premiering this weekend at the Fairmount Water Works, all three descriptions apply. Fifty-eight choristers and 18 dancers will perform among the trees, near the gazebo and other Water Works sites - while also (when possible) taking the audience with them. "Blend your voices into sounds within and beyond the trees," reads the first page of the score by Seattle composer Byron Au Yong.
March 11, 2015 |
Ta'Quan Allen's first role was Little Simba in a Camden elementary school production of The Lion King . "I got up there," he recalls, "and I actually nailed it. " Now 19, Allen - a 2014 graduate of the city's Creative Arts Morgan Village Academy - is setting his sights on bigger stages. "My job now," he says, "is freelancing my talents. " So far, so good. In February, Allen spent two weeks working for MTV in New York, where he was a production assistant for the stand-up, hip-hop comedy show Nick Cannon Presents: Wild 'N Out . Allen was on the set as episodes for the forthcoming season on MTV were taped live at the midtown concert venue Terminal 5. "I wanted to cry every second, because I was around everything I ever dreamed of," Allen says.
February 10, 2015 |
Zymir has his heart set on becoming a fashion designer and developing his own brand of "Z" jeans. In fact, he already has made a sketch of them. That's quite ambitious for an 11-year-old, even one as stylish and creative as Zymir. During a recent visit to Philadelphia University's fashion design department, he watched several garments being made and learned the process start to finish. He also got some tips from designer Jay McCarroll, winner of the debut Project Runway competition in 2004.
December 19, 2014 |
Unlike, say, Thanksgiving's green bean casserole, or Hanukkah latkes, what we drink during the winter season isn't necessarily rooted in immovable tradition and high-pressure expectation. And while a glass of supermarket eggnog never goes out of style for some folks, there's plenty of room for innovation in holiday cocktails. Swapping out spirits, going homemade with mixers, adding a new flavor profile with spices or different bitters - all can improve upon or reinvigorate the classics without radically disturbing the toddy-loving status quo. After all, these traditions exist for good reason.
December 13, 2014 |
Coloring outside the lines is a relative concept in the tyrannically ritualized world of classical music. Creativity is welcome - but please, nothing too creative. In reformatting the piano recital Wednesday night at the Kimmel Center the way he did, Jeremy Denk knew he'd better have a compelling justification. Happily, his point in amassing a half-hour block interspersing Schubert and Janácek was something more than a concert-hall invasion of the iPod Shuffle aesthetic. Others on this Philadelphia Chamber Music Society series have manipulated presentation - a joint recital by pianist Richard Goode and soprano Sarah Schafer comes to mind.
December 8, 2014 |
Tom "Chico" Stafford is an imposing figure - both physically, at 5-foot-10, 240 pounds, and by what comes out of his mouth. He apologizes for cursing but says he gets frustrated with his African American community. What especially riles the 64-year-old serial entrepreneur are those who ask for handouts and those who allow money to define them. The latter has happened to hip-hop culture, Stafford said, with rappers whose lyrics degrade women and celebrate drugs and gross consumerism getting all the attention - and a good deal of sales.
December 7, 2014 |
After passing through the property's security gate, rolling up the long drive, finding the 65-foot-long cobblestone courtyard (with pond and waterfall), and seeing what frames that courtyard - a transformed barn with adjacent (also transformed) farmer's cottage, all stone, all picture-perfect - a visitor wonders: Is there a dress code to get in? The answer: No. Linda Thatcher Raichle greets the caller wearing denim. Husband John Duda is barefoot. In their 60s and with previous marriages behind them, the couple are, it seems, as delighted with their Media, Delaware County, home as they are with each other.