October 17, 2014 |
Barbara Solem wrote the book she wanted to read about the pioneering South Jersey settlement where industry made history. Batsto Village: Jewel of the Pines (Plexus Publishing) is the author's lively chronicle of an unusual company town, later a gentleman's farm and, more recently, a visitor destination, in Wharton State Forest. While a number of local histories include chapters about Batsto, Solem's is the first commercially published, book-length treatment of a subject that has long fascinated her. "I love research.
October 13, 2014 |
ABOARD THE M/V VIKING IDI - Johann Strauss notwithstanding, the Danube is not blue - rather, a dull gray-green - but this chromatic error takes none of the romance and majesty away from Europe's greatest river as it winds through spectacular reminders of ancient, medieval, and Renaissance history. We - that, is my 168 fellow passengers and I - cruise past terraced vineyards that have been producing wine for a thousand years, red-roofed villages visited by Charlemagne and Napoleon, ruined castles built in the 13th century to repel Mongol invaders, and the remnants of Roman walls that resonate with centuries.
October 6, 2014 |
Gone is the sprawling complex of buildings where the recording industry took root and made history in downtown Camden more than a century ago. The lone reminder of the city's crucial role in the early music business is the Victor apartment building with its iconic Nipper tower and stained-glass images of the dog listening to "his master's voice. " Phonograph recordings by the Victor Talking Machine Co. once captured the voice of opera singer Enrico Caruso and performances by classical musicians such as Sergei Rachmaninoff and orchestras conducted by Leopold Stokowski and Arturo Toscanini.
September 30, 2014 |
CHEF Brian Oliveira and restaurant-business partner Christian Mora hope to make history by giving their employees a living wage, health care, sick leave and vacations at their soon-to-open Girard Brasserie & Bruncherie in Fishtown. Living wage/no tips would have meant no hassles for Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean "Shady" McCoy, who was virally tackled on social media recently after leaving a 20-cent tip on a $60 tab at a Northern Liberties burger joint. And living wage/no tips would have meant no staffer lawsuits against Chickie's & Pete's that cost the restaurant chain a reported $8.5 million in settlements.
September 27, 2014 |
Tom Russo is so incredibly human and warm it's hard to accept that he's passionate about machines. So passionate, in fact, that in his own time and with his own money, Russo, of Garnet Valley, has established a museum - believed to be the only one of its kind and scope in the country - devoted solely to the evolution of business technology through the centuries. The setting of this temple to early technology is an ordinary, three-story commercial building on a highway in Wilmington that's loaded with 3,000 items showing the history of everything from primitive counting and adding devices to cash registers.
September 26, 2014 |
LARRY ROBIN wants to dig deeper into Philadelphia's role in the Underground Railroad. Robin, director of Moonstone Arts Center, and formerly of Robin's Bookstore, designed the center's upcoming Hidden History Program, "The Underground Railroad in Philadelphia. " The events will run from Sept. 29-Oct. 26. The program will kick off Monday with a showing and discussion of the film "The Underground Railroad: The William Still Story," at 5:30 p.m. at Walnut Street West Library. Moonstone Arts Center is offering nine free showings of the film throughout the program.
September 25, 2014 |
The sepia-toned transparency of Paulette Jellinek's late parents hangs inside a window, a constant reminder of her family's tragic and triumphant past. It is this story that Jellinek, a Haverford artist who has taught here and in Israel, seeks to share with the world through www.shoahletters.org . As the name implies, her nearly year-old website archives letters written primarily from 1938 to 1941 by family members, many of whom perished in the Holocaust; but also photographs, documents such as Nazi-acquired asset inventories, family biographies, and historic maps.
September 23, 2014 |
Ask Sam Katz where he was born, and he will say "West Philly. " Had the municipal finance expert been born Catholic instead of Jewish, however, he would likely reply, "St. Francis DeSales," the parish that bounded his first boyhood home. "Parish boundaries were social boundaries in Catholic Philadelphia," Katz remarked on a recent visit to Old St. Joseph's parish in Society Hill. "It used to be that you were 'intermarrying' if you married somebody from another parish. " What explains Katz's newfound interest in things Catholic?
September 17, 2014 |
THE PROLIFERATION of networks has watered down the experience of playing prime-time games. For years, there was "Monday Night Football" and nothing else. No Sunday night games, no Saturday playoff games and certainly no Thursday night games. Chip Kelly coached his 19th game for the Birds last night. Counting last year's postseason loss to the Saints, this will be his sixth game in prime time. From 1982-87, the Eagles did not appear on prime time even once - mostly because the team wasn't very good.
September 7, 2014 |
Real estate developer and certified public accountant Tom Conway bought what he thought was an ordinary house at Holland and Spring Avenues in Ardmore, close to Haverford College. He figured he would renovate the house and perhaps lease it to students. A Glen Mills native, Conway already owned a half-dozen income properties in Manayunk and thought this section of Ardmore was up and coming. Turned out that previous owners were Russell L. and Cleopatra Nelson, who lived there for several decades.