June 8, 2014 |
Five years ago, I moved abroad to begin my graduate studies in the international city of Brussels, Belgium. Though I had traveled before, I always did so surrounded by close friends, staying in hostels full of Americans, people familiar with the East Coast. But in 2009, I made my home in a foreign country and entered a world of expatriates. Along with the challenges presented by language barriers and cultural confusion came one unexpected quirk - having to explain my hometown. The business of choice in Brussels is politics - European Union politics.
May 25, 2014 |
When my wife and I planned an April trip to Vienna, we were simply going to one of our favorite cities to hear a young soprano friend, Meagan Miller, in Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos at the Vienna Statsoper. We also planned a one-day trip to Bratislava, Slovakia, because of its proximity. We had no idea at the time how momentous the trip would be. My maternal grandparents, Maria and Michael Bohinik, emigrated from Slovakia to Upper Darby in 1900, leaving a son and daughter behind, to be sent for later.
May 23, 2014 |
IN WHAT could be described as a low-speed chase, former Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Willis W. Berry Jr., 71, was arrested yesterday and charged with abusing his office to run his private business affairs while on the bench in the 1990s and 2000s. The arrest of the retired judge came seven long years after news reports first tagged him as a slumlord running rental properties out of his judicial chambers, and five years after he was suspended over the alleged misconduct. But although the initial judicial-ethics complaint against Berry was lodged in 2007, Attorney General Kathleen Kane, in announcing the criminal charges, said the matter was not referred to her office until July, prompting an independent probe.
May 23, 2014 |
TONY CHENNAULT bounded to the front door of his Olney home, a young man with a wide grin, a warm handshake and the easy confidence of a brand-new Villanova University graduate who is a budding filmmaker. "He's a very handsome young man with the most beautiful, infectious smile," said Kevin Rafferty Sr., the father of one of Chennault's basketball teammates at Villanova, where Chennault was a point guard. Behind the smile, however, is pain. The pain of the drive-by shooting that killed Chennault's oldest brother, Michael Jay, who was like a father to him. It was a "wrong place, wrong time" shooting that killed Jay, 30, who worked for an insurance company and was engaged.
May 19, 2014 |
As he waited to be selected in the 1982 draft, a budding young goalie named Ron Hextall had particular disdain for one NHL team. The Flyers. Growing up and watching the Flyers try to intimidate his father and uncle - feisty NHL players during the Broad Street Bullies' heyday - Hextall did not have a warm and fuzzy feeling about the Orange and Black. "I absolutely hated them," he said from his Voorhees office last week, five days after he got what he called his "dream job" - becoming the seventh general manager in Flyers history.
May 18, 2014 |
Thanks to our loving and benevolent parents, my brother Dan and I have been to Walt Disney World in Florida numerous times. However, on all those trips, we never met a Hollywood celebrity while there - well, none that made any real impact on me. We did see Cher from a distance while dining at the Rainforest Café in Animal Kingdom in 1999. But I was only 5 at the time and didn't know Cher from Sonny or Chaz Bono, to be honest. Well, this time, the result was far different. The cast of the ABC hit show The Middle happened to be filming in the Magic Kingdom the March day we visited, so we decided to stay near Space Mountain and watch the filming of the show's season finale.
May 13, 2014 |
TOM SAVAGE had to wait a bit longer than some expected, but the Springfield, Delaware County native is headed to perhaps an ideal situation. The Houston Texans, led by former Penn State coach and noted quarterback guru Bill O'Brien, made Savage the 120th overall pick of the NFL draft on Saturday, taking him with a compensatory selection late in the fourth round. "It means a lot," Savage said on a conference call with Houston reporters. "I think it's a great organization and I'm excited to get in there and just start working.
May 12, 2014 |
Going on vacation always wakes up the adventurer in me; I want to try new things and seize life one tourist trap at a time. On a recent trip to Cozumel, Mexico, it was with this mind-set that my good friend and I set out to find this experience. As a seasoned vacationer, I knew what sort of day to expect. There would be shopping for souvenirs that were cheap and made of somewhat questionable materials. There would be snorkeling. But more important, there would be free margaritas at the local bar for any patron over the tender age of 13. After having one (free!
May 7, 2014 |
So I go to my bookshelf to find Ibsen's Peer Gynt , and discover that I do indeed have a copy - but it's in Norwegian, a souvenir bought in a little shop in a little town high up in the mountains of Norway. A fat lot of good that will do me. Should I go to the bookstore? To the library? To Gutenberg.org? But no: I decide to see EgoPo's production of Gint (the Americanized title of Romulus Linney's adaptation) as if it were a new work, and just let this famous (but unread) play reveal itself to me onstage.
May 5, 2014 |
My husband and I were on our first trip to Africa, a 17-plus-hour trip to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. I was filled with the same senses of trepidation and awe that I experience on other long flights. I knew I would arrive halfway around the world tired, but still energized by the prospect of a safari in the Serengeti. What I didn't expect was the kindness and warmth of tribal women. We chose an organized tour that promised a safari adventure with no more than 16 travelers. The tour included several cultural visits to a Masai village, with local craftspeople, and inside a government elementary school.