September 13, 2015 |
There will be no papal campground after all. A day after word circulated that an expensive campground for papal pilgrims would be constructed in Fairmount Park, the plan was scrapped. "Francis Fields" was to be a multi-acre swath of RV and camping grounds, with restrooms, showers, and food vendors in the eastern part of Fairmount Park. It was to be capable of accommodating 16,000 people for $199 per camper - with costs for tents, cars, and RVs ranging from $99 to $999. As of Thursday, there was no sign of a campground going up in the park.
August 31, 2015
The Fairmount Park Conservancy has been awarded a $3 million grant to involve local artists and arts organizations in its ongoing work to support the city's municipal park system, the organization announced Monday. The award - given by ArtPlace America, a public-private philanthropy - was one of six similar grants issued this week to regional organizations across the country, including gifts to groups in fields as varied as public housing, health care, and youth development. The goal for each award, ArtPlace Executive Director Jamie Bennett said in a statement, is to encourage what the philanthropy calls "creative placemaking" - that is, the inclusion of art and cultural projects in community development and renovation plans.
August 12, 2015 |
The long: Do-it-all, 1.3-acre, open-daily park has climbable rock garden, wade-able pool, play-in fountains, trees, grass and all-day cafe. The short: Fairmount Park's mini me. Location, location: On the edge of a traffic circle, across from the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul and Swann Fountain. The demo: Swim-diaper through early elementary school. Early risers: The pebble-bottomed pool (originally intended as a boat pond) and winding-path hilltop garden don't open until 10 a.m. (But the cafe's up and running at 8 a.m.)
August 11, 2015 |
Temple University and its friends deserve congratulations for the on-schedule, on-budget start of restoration of the historic East Park Canoe House. The university took a long and difficult path to a graceful solution that will provide a fitting home for its rowing teams without encroaching on a well-used stretch of Fairmount Park. The university's teams were thrown out of the canoe house in 2008, when the city condemned it following years of neglect. At first, Temple considered building another, 23,000-square-foot boathouse in the area, near the Strawberry Mansion Bridge, which would have consumed precious parkland and made for a tight fit between Kelly Drive and the Schuylkill.
August 6, 2015
ISSUE | WAGES Minimum rate hike not all it seems An increase in entry-level wages by more than 100 percent would ignore the serious unintended consequences for the economy and the employees it's intended to help ("$15-an-hour movement brings hope to city workers," July 29). Numerous nonpartisan organizations have found that mandated increases lead to negative employment impacts, including the Congressional Budget Office, which recently concluded that an increase to the oft-cited level of $10.10 would lead to a loss of approximately 500,000 jobs.
August 3, 2015 |
Bits of hand-painted porcelain - likely part of a 19th-century teapot - were pulled from clumps of earth as the archaeologists shifted through the excavation site. A copper knot that may have been part of an earring dropped by a visitor long ago was found, along with a piece of a figurine monkey and the base of a wine bottle. One hundred and thirty-nine years ago, the ground where the artifacts were unearthed was the location of a Japanese garden and bazaar, one of the attractions at Philadelphia's Centennial Exposition in Fairmount Park.
July 13, 2015 |
On Thursday morning in the pouring rain, Peter Sagal set out to run the streets of Philadelphia with 19 people in tow. Sagal, who is host of NPR's Wait Wait . . . Don't Tell Me , was in town to do a show at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts that night. But that morning, he went to the WHYY studios to get in a run, a city tour, and help fund-raise a little bit, too. "It's totally selfish of me because people want me to come out and hang with the donors," said Sagal, a multi-marathoner who also writes a column for Runner's World magazine.
July 8, 2015
PHILLY'S OWN Patti LaBelle recently wowed audiences with a surprise performance on the BET Awards. Earlier this year, the music legend competed on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" and also made a guest appearance on the season finale of the Fox hit "Empire. " She told me yesterday that the key to staying young in spirit even at age 71 is to keep trying new things, which is why she took a chance at competing on a dance show. "It was, like, I did something that I had said 'no' to for years," LaBelle said.
June 30, 2015 |
It was a familiar story Sunday in Fairmount Park at the Philadelphia TriRock Triathlon. Both the men's and women's champions from last year - Cameron Dye and Alicia Kaye, respectively - crossed the finish line first in the makeshift duathlon race. Event organizers said Saturday that the 1,500-meter swim of the Olympic Distance race would be cancelled due to unsafe conditions in the Schuylkill. Instead, the pros started the race in time-trial fashion, each athlete starting 20 seconds after the previous one. Both Dye, 31, and Kaye, 31, were the first participants out of the gate in their respective divisions, painting a target on their backs from the opening foghorn blast.
June 29, 2015 |
For the last three years, one man has dominated the Philadelphia TriRock Triathlon. No matter how many professional athletes and former Olympians descend upon the streets of Fairmount Park, just one man has run through the ribbon at the finish line first since 2012: Cameron Dye. The Boulder, Colo., native returns Sunday seeking a fourth consecutive win in the Olympic-distance event - a feat almost unheard of in the sport of triathlon. The course is not forgiving to athletes with tired legs - riders must climb the notorious Lemon Hill twice on the two-lap, 24.8-mile cycling circuit.