November 29, 2012
Keeping up with Han Chiang's Sichuan machine is no small task. No sooner had I eaten at his new Han Dynasty in University City than it was no longer his newest branch, with the recent opening of HD Cherry Hill. The recent dynastic expansion of the fiery chain gives devoted regulars pause. But his West Philly perch in the old MidAtlantic is a step up, style-wise, from his 3-bell Old City lair, both in decor and service. And our food didn't suffer one bit. I even discovered a new favorite, this double-cooked flounder that gets pan-crisped once, then goes into the wok to finish with leeks, hot peppers, funky fermented beans, and a chile oil-peppercorn sauce that brought just the right touch of numbing heat.
November 25, 2012
Beth Kephart is the author of 14 books, including "Flow: The Life and Times of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River" (Temple University Press) Of the two rivers that carry Philadelphia's dreams toward the sea, it is the Schuylkill that has always snagged a good chunk of my heart. It feels personal to me - the Schuylkill's roving through time, her baptisms and floods, her primeval sheen, her helpless submission to toxins and sludge, her muddy regrets and redemption. The river rises and falls.
November 21, 2012 |
POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. - Commercial fisherman Jim Lovgren has navigated some rough seas lately. First, his 70-foot trawler, Viking II, swamped in high waves and sank 80 miles off Cape May in late September. Then, on Oct. 22, Sandy took a dramatic swipe at the Fisherman's Dock Cooperative, where Lovgren is a director and about a dozen third- and fourth-generation fishermen bring their catch to be sold at markets throughout the country. The operation, which has survived plenty of ferocious hurricanes and howling nor'easters since it was established on the docks along Channel Avenue nearly 60 years ago, had never experienced anything as bad as Sandy, Lovgren said.
October 24, 2012 |
THE LINGERING backlash caused by Ozzie Guillen's praise of Fidel Castro contributed to another Miami Marlins managerial shake-up Tuesday. Guillen was fired after only 1 year with the team, undone by too many losses and one too many illadvised remarks. A promising season began to derail in April with his laudatory comments about Cuba's former leader. Six months later, the episode was a factor in the decision to fire Guillen, Marlins officials said. "Let's face it. It was not a positive for the team; it was not a positive for Ozzie," president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said.
October 5, 2012 |
MARIONETTES, animated household objects and faces fit for "Fraggle Rock" set the stage for a "manualfesto" of puppetry at the Walking Fish Theatre, in Kensington, on Saturday. Billed as "puppetry not for children," the "Puppet Manualfesto Fall Showcase" will feature two shows of live work and film, plus music from Walking Fish house band, Up Your Cherry, with Matt and Melissa Dunphy. Think of it as a poetry slam or literary reading - with puppets, said Martina Plag, vice president of the Greater Philadelphia Puppetry Guild and founder of Frankford-based puppet theater company Studium-Praxis, which got a grant from the Puppet Slam Network to fund a series of events that includes the "Fall Showcase.
September 24, 2012 |
Folks are not free to fish on Freedom Pier in Gloucester City, and the irony isn't lost on Dan Reader. "For being a river town, we don't have much access to the river," says Reader, 53, who customizes cars for a living and used to landscape vacant lots around town for free. He has publicly "resigned" from his volunteer activities to protest the city's move to prohibit fishing from a spot some anglers say is among the best this stretch of the Delaware River offers. Says writer and self-described "die-hard fisherman" Ken Doyle: "It's very unfair that we can't fish because of a few" troublemakers.
September 12, 2012 |
IT SURE beats a pan of paella. Although there's nothing wrong with this rice dish, often served with seafood on a large pan, Maximillian was a better choice. Robert Phillips, a prominent local sculptor who worked in iron, convinced the owners of the Striped Bass restaurant at 15th and Walnut streets in 1994 that a fish named Maximillian would be a better choice as a decorative piece to hide the oven's hood. And what a fish! Bob Phillips' fish is an amazing work of art, 16 feet long, 7 feet wide, 4 feet thick and weighing about 400 pounds.
September 4, 2012 |
NEW YORK - Didn't take long for Serena Williams to show her fourth-round opponent at the U.S. Open where things were headed. "The first point of the whole match," 82d-ranked Andrea Hlavackova explained, "when I served, and she returned, like, a 100 m.p.h. forehand return, I was like, 'OK, I know who I'm playing. You don't have to prove it to me. I know.' " Monday's match was less than 15 seconds old. It might as well have been over. Dominant from the moment she ripped that return of an 88 m.p.h.
August 30, 2012
Excerpts from Craig LaBan's online chat. Craig LaBan: Good afternoon, my hungry friends, and welcome to the summer's-just-about-done Philly food chat! Summer's done for me, now that I'm back from a great season of travels, the final leg being a loop through New England. We had great meals almost everywhere we went. In Providence, R.I., we had grilled corn pizza and wood-roasted eggplant parmesan at the classic Al Forno, and amazing mac 'n' cheese alongside house-made charcuterie (kimchi sausage)
August 6, 2012 |
LINCOLN, Neb. - Thousands of fish are dying in the Midwest as the hot, dry summer dries up rivers and causes water temperatures to climb in some spots to nearly 100 degrees. About 40,000 shovelnose sturgeon were killed in Iowa last week as water temperatures reached 97 degrees. Nebraska fishery officials said they've seen thousands of dead sturgeon, catfish, carp, and other species in the Lower Platte River, including the endangered pallid sturgeon. And biologists in Illinois said the hot weather has killed tens of thousands of large- and smallmouth bass and channel catfish and is threatening the population of the greater redhorse fish, a state endangered species.