May 31, 2016 |
Tropical Storm Girard unleashed a torrent of water on West Philadelphia in March. Missed that news? It was not a real storm, but it might as well have been. Philadelphia Water Department employees turned on a fire hydrant on West Girard Avenue for three hours, enough to fill up two longish ditches with 35,000 gallons of water - an experimental simulation of 3.5 inches of rain. Then they watched it disappear. The ditches are rain gardens, brimming with grasses, flowers, and monitoring equipment, and they are part of an underground revolution.
February 20, 2016 |
There is a great work of art in the center of Dilworth Park. Unfortunately, you can't see it right now. Called Pulse , the site-specific piece by Janet Echelman was commissioned in 2009, just as a major reconstruction was being planned for the City Hall plaza. Her idea was to use colored light and mist to trace the path of the subways as they rumbled under the park's surface. Ephemeral and magical, the piece was meant to be the capstone of the plaza's $55 million overhaul, a civic gesture that could be as captivating as the famous sculptures of Chicago's Millennium Park . But nearly 18 months after Dilworth reopened under the auspices of a private manager, the Center City District, Pulse is only half-finished.
December 12, 2015 |
Christmas music has been the sound track in stores since we were still full from Thanksgiving. The tunes are a festive reminder there is still a lot left to check off on your holiday shopping list. Luckily, festive craft markets and holiday pop-ups are in full swing, making it easy to find the perfect, locally made gift. Christmas Village Shop like the Germans do at Christmas Village, the quintessential Philadelphia holiday pop-up, which sets up shop just outside of City Hall, transforming LOVE Park into a Bavarian-style market.
September 4, 2015 |
British comforts What this town needed, London-raised chef Sam Jacobson had been saying to anyone who would listen, is a pie and mash shop. And so he has opened Stargazy at 1838 E. Passyunk Ave. (215-309-2761), a simple spot with cases and counters, with mirrors and assorted woodwork by friends Craig Parahus and Owen Mercurio (a.k.a. Hoboglyph). Much of the business is takeout; there are a few tables for dine-in. Jacobson hands out free hot tea. The fare is similarly low-key: pies and mash provides low-cost, savory sustenance to the masses.
April 11, 2015 |
For almost two weeks, a poll on Philadelphia Magazine's Property website has been asking, "Which LOVE Park design do you love?" It refers to four drawings that were shown by landscape architects from Hargreaves Associates at a March 24 public meeting. That event ended with city Deputy Parks Commissioner Mark Focht also asking the audience to pick their favorite. This may sound like carping, but those images are not designs - they're diagrams. They're certainly an important step in the process of redesigning the problematic park across from City Hall, a gateway to the Parkway.
March 28, 2015
ISSUE | SPECIAL ELECTION Democrats rebuffed What a great win for Martina White in the state House race in Northeast Philadelphia. And what a message about the legacy left by now-Congressman Brendan Boyle and a wake-up call for those voting Democratic. Finally, some union members are realizing that Democrats don't have their interests at heart unless they're donating plenty of money. |Stephen Dreher, Philadelphia ISSUE | PA. BUDGET Bold is best Gov. Wolf's budget proposal is right on the money: It is time to go big ("Senator: If no pension fix - no deal," March 24)
March 26, 2015 |
LOVE Park is getting a new fountain, lots of lawn space, gardens, and a food-truck area. The question is, What goes where? The design team working on the $15 million renovation of JFK Plaza presented four designs to the community at a meeting Tuesday at the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia. The four plans, presented by Mary Margaret Jones, president of the project's lead architectural firm, Hargreaves Associates, include all the same elements but vary in layout.
September 16, 2014
ISSUE | NAME GAME Jefferson and what? What a coup for SEPTA to receive a significant financial contribution from Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals to rename Market East Station. And it's a brilliant move by Jefferson to put itself on the Philadelphia transit map. While Jefferson staff and patients will benefit, however, the general public may get lost. Transit stations are not like ballparks: They cannot change their names every two years and expect to serve local and visiting customers effectively.
July 17, 2014 |
JIM MORA sat in the den of his Palm Springs home, tan and fit and still so damn young-looking even at the age of 79. Behind him, the walls were filled with dozens of pictorial memories of a successful coaching career that saw his teams win 125 NFL regular-season games. Only 24 other coaches in history have more victories. But the photograph Mora was focused on at the moment had nothing to do with any of those 125 wins. The picture shows him standing on a platform in JFK Plaza holding up a trophy with two other men. It was taken 30 years ago today, at the end of the victory parade the city threw for Mora and his Philadelphia Stars after they won the United States Football League championship with a 23-3 win over George Allen's Arizona Wranglers.
March 6, 2014 |
Just in time for Valentine's Day, Mayor Nutter and City Council President Darrell L. Clarke came to an agreement on the renovation of John F. Kennedy Plaza, better known to skateboarders, lunching office workers, tourists, and bridal parties as LOVE Park. There had been a fierce debate about its fate, but one thing had never been in dispute: The LOVE sculpture would stay. After all, the sculpture - based on a distinctive, stacked composition created by Robert Indiana 50 years ago - is practically the unofficial logo of Philadelphia.