November 6, 2014 |
PITTSBURGH - Gov. Corbett wept Tuesday night, but it wasn't over the election results. Midway through his concession speech, before about 200 supporters and banks of cameras, Corbett said he was most proud of the success he had during his term increasing services for people with intellectual disabilities. A little girl appeared on the stage at the Omni William Penn Hotel, tiptoed behind him, and reached for the hand of his wife, Susan. Her mother, standing just a few feet in front of the governor, burst into sobs.
November 2, 2014 |
"Wait. You're in Puerto Rico and NOT at the beach?" a friend messaged me when I posted a photo of the historic El Morro fortress on my Instagram feed. It was a question I'd gotten used to answering ever since I'd booked a trip with my husband to the island a few months earlier. Yes, I decided to go to Puerto Rico in the dead of summer, and, yes, I decided to stay in a landlocked hotel in Old San Juan. And, yes, it was one of the best (albeit warmest) travel decisions I've ever made.
October 27, 2014 |
In March, I flew to Georgia to embark on an epic adventure to hike the Appalachian Trail. It was an amazing experience on which I met interesting and inspirational people and gazed upon breathtaking vistas very few people will ever see. It was not all sunny days and effortless descents, however. After about two months and 500 miles, I decided to end my journey. It was a combination of nagging injuries and a realization that trail life wasn't for me, at least not four more months of it. Reading the "Personal Journey: Learning if a bear sniffs in the woods" article posted to philly.com on Sept.
October 22, 2014 |
With Vivaldi's music claimed by baroque-performance specialists in recent years, does that mean we have to wait for one of them if we're going to hear his many concertos outside of recordings? Though she's clearly a generalist, cellist Hai-Ye Ni stepped up as guest soloist and leader of Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia in a five-concerto baroque-to-classical program with nothing not to like anywhere. It was a chronological journey that cut a path from Vivaldi to Haydn's Cello Concerto in C major - a great idea, since listeners so easily take genial Haydn for granted, and this concert showed from whence he came.
October 20, 2014 |
I lifted my backpack to my knees, shuffling everything inside it until I found my headphones and sketch pad. I needed these objects to distract me from hearing the man in front of me, belting out the Portuguese song playing on his iPod. Along with the other bewildered passengers at my sides, I couldn't resist releasing a giggle and smiling in the direction of my feet. I could catch a glimpse of the singing man through his reflection in the window. He appeared to be energized, and he sang with his eyes tightly shut.
October 13, 2014 |
The summer of 2014 is certainly one for the record books. My boyfriend and I got the crazy idea to take a cross-country trip together. We shrugged off the astonished faces of all our friends as we prepared ourselves. We had money saved, a chunk of time, and a generalized game plan. We packed our car full of suitcases, food, and blankets; we were ready to hit the road. My boyfriend and I left from our homestead in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania. Slowly, we made our way down the East Coast.
October 6, 2014 |
In true New York fashion, the woman on the other end of the line taking our room reservation stated: "It's like a bed and breakfast, except I don't do anything. " Never being high-maintenance travelers, combined with a desire to go somewhere other than the Jersey Shore, my friends and I left Philadelphia and headed off to Fire Island, N.Y. A small island located a short ferry ride from Bay Shore, N.Y., Fire Island is known for its beach, nightlife, and lack of cars (none). Transportation to different parts of the island consisted of water taxis or wagons.
October 3, 2014 |
"TRACKS" is a movie about the love that these days dare not speak its name - the love of being alone in a world that's made "connectivity" its highest virtue. It's the true story of Aussie loner Robyn Davidson (Mia Wasikowska), who in 1977 decided, rather obstinately, to walk across the deserts of western Australia, a 1,700 mile sojourn she later turned into a celebrated book. That chronicle aside, her journey is a mystery to many. Why? Why cross a desert that had been crossed by others?
September 29, 2014 |
This Valentine's Day, Jeff Ramspacher, my boyfriend of five years, wanted to give me a gift far better than jewelry or candy. Knowing that I've been an animal advocate my entire life and that elephants in particular have always had a special place in my heart, he surprised me with an adoption certificate for Lizzie, an ex-circus elephant now living at the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. The sanctuary is the nation's largest natural-habitat refuge for Asian and African elephants.
September 28, 2014 |
SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, is a big, small town. The type of town where everyone knows everyone - even more so among the small fraternity of hockey players from the prairie lucky enough to make it to the NHL. Journeyman forward Blair Jones is 3 years older than Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn, a bit older still than Brayden Schenn. Their paths never would have crossed in minor hockey circuits or junior hockey. But when Jones signed with the Flyers after the free-agency period opened on July 1, his phone lit up with text messages from the Saskatoon connection.