June 24, 2015 |
Just a few weeks ago, when we were still waking up to chilly June mornings, the neighbor across my back wall put up another radio antenna. That makes three, and I took this development as the squirrel might greet the news that a crop of peanuts had just been planted for his express consumption and pleasure. It would be only a couple of weeks until my neighbor - we'll call him Fritz - would be sitting out nights under his patio umbrella, releasing distant radio signals into the warm air. This scanning across the crackle and static for strands of music and indistinct languages is an instant atmospheric change, as though Fritz turns our house over to a previous era. Summer in the city comes with its own vocabulary of sounds - not the driving buzz of suburban lawns being mowed, but stray rap escaping from passing cars.
June 3, 2015
The long: Seventies-born, Emmy-winning educational segue that once interrupted Saturday morning cartoons takes to the stage in a story that aims its catchy rock 'n' roll hits squarely and energetically at elementary schoolers. The short: Kids learn. Parents reminisce. The demo: Ages 5 to 12. The length: One quick hour. The plot: A teacher named Tom dreams up five fantastical Technicolor characters the night before his first class. The set: Tom's studio apartment alternately transforms into Independence Hall, the Capitol building, a map of the USA and, during a visit from Interplanet Janet, outer space.
March 21, 2015 |
Matilda DeFlaviis Fumo could often be seen in the Independence Hall neighborhood, turned out as a well-dressed 18th century lady. In springtime and autumn, from the mid-1980s into 2009, Mrs. Fumo was a costumed guide for Centipede Tours. A very patient guide. The last tour that Mrs. Fumo worked alongside Centipede guide Sally A. Downey was especially memorable. Though the tour groups often consisted of local schoolchildren, this one was peopled by adults from out of state.
March 12, 2015 |
Philadelphia will celebrate 50 years of LGBT civil-rights activism with four days of anniversary programming this summer and a four-month-long exhibition at the National Constitution Center. A huge rainbow banner laid across the lawn of the Constitution Center on Tuesday marked the announcement. The exhibit, "Speaking Out for Equality: The Constitution, Gay Rights and the Supreme Court," will run from June 5 through Sept. 7 and coincide with Gay Pride Month in June. The six-part exhibit will include testimonials and items from public demonstrations called Annual Reminder protests, which took place every July Fourth in front of Independence Hall from 1965 to 1969.
March 4, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - Joe Sestak will formally launch his Senate campaign Wednesday at Independence Hall, he announced in a news release Monday. Sestak, a former admiral and Delaware County congressman, has long made clear that he intended to run for Senate in a bid to unseat Republican Pat Toomey in 2016. He has been fund-raising and making appearances across the state in hope of a rematch from their race in 2010. Sestak "is running to restore Americans' lost trust in their political leaders by being accountable to the people," said the announcement.
February 26, 2015 |
Along hundreds of miles of railroad tracks, mourners stood silently, reverently, as a doleful whistle and wisps of smoke and steam announced the approaching funeral train. Many wept and bowed their heads as it passed. In towns where the locomotive stopped, thousands surged forward, pushing and jostling to get a better view. Bands played melancholy tunes and preachers offered up solemn prayers. They focused on a dark maroon railcar, swathed in black crepe, carrying the martyred Abraham Lincoln, who had come on another train four years earlier to tell throngs at Independence Hall that he'd "rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender" the country.
February 16, 2015 |
A travel guide should be easily organized, so readers can quickly find what they're looking for. It should be written in a friendly tone, and provide background and supplemental information that might not be readily available at historic sites. And it should offer guidance on where to turn for present-day comforts. A new book by Larissa and Michael Milne - Philadelphia Liberty Trail: Trace the Path of America's Heritage - does all of that. The authors' names might sound familiar.
January 8, 2015 |
PHILADELPHIA-AREA police officers will get another shout-out on Saturday at a "pro-blue" rally at Independence Hall. Beginning at 1 p.m., speakers including U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey and conservative radio talker Dom Giordano will give testimonials about their positive interactions with cops, said rally organizer Joe Eastman. "This is not pointing fingers at any group. This is to say, 'Thank you, and this is why we're thanking you.' We have a police department here that does a pretty good job, day in and day out," said Eastman, 63, who is retired from the Navy and serves on the 6th Police District Advisory Council.
November 2, 2014 |
You are in Philadelphia for a few hours. You have an impulse to explore before leaving. You stand on a downtown sidewalk and wonder - what's around the corner that would be perfect for me to see? A marketing study about Philadelphia's historic district has yielded a high-tech answer that could find its way into the smartphones of on-the-fly travelers and send them to Independence Mall. A build-your-own-itinerary app that would serve up results based on a user's passions and available free time is being considered.
October 26, 2014 |
What was once City Hall's largely stone and concrete Dilworth Plaza now has a bright swath of green. With a pair of garden shears, city officials snipped a grass ribbon Friday to officially open the Albert M. Greenfield Lawn at the newly renovated Dilworth Park. The green space is named in honor of the former chairman of the city Planning Commission, who was dubbed "Mr. Philadelphia" for his contributions to city planning and revitalization in the 1950s and '60s. The lawn, christened by Temple University gymnasts who back-flipped across it following a trumpet salute, will be open to the public year-round for lounging, recreation, or as an events stage, said Paul Levy, president and chief executive of the Center City District, which completed the project.