May 18, 2013 |
For far too long, it was assumed that skateboarding and public parks went together about as well as oil and water. A decade ago, that notion led to skaters' being driven from Philadelphia's LOVE Park, an internationally heralded mecca for the sport. Skaters were seen as an undesirable subculture and a danger to those pursuing more traditional park pleasures, like sitting on benches and eating lunch. So it is a measure of how far our ideas about urban space have evolved that the deluxe skate park opening next Wednesday on Schuylkill Banks, just south of the Waterworks, has been designed in an ecumenical spirit that welcomes skateboarders and passive users alike.
May 7, 2013 |
In a spirit of triumph, joy, and celebration, tens of thousands of runners, in a sea of red socks, safely ran 10 miles through the heart of Philadelphia Sunday in the 34th annual Broad Street Run . The day was emotional for many, just three weeks after the Boston Marathon bombings. But clouds opened to brilliant sunshine and blue sky by 9:30 a.m., as throngs were beginning to finish. What better symbol of a successful day? Many said this year's run felt different. "I teared up going around City Hall," said Lauren Auge, 30, of Magnolia, N.J., wearing a Boston Red Sox shirt and red socks.
April 25, 2013 |
Nine days after twin bombings killed three people and injured nearly 300 at the Boston Marathon, Philadelphia officials said Wednesday that the Broad Street Run on May 5 will have an increased security presence and that every runner will wear a symbol supporting Boston. As hundreds of residents and employees gathered at Rittenhouse Square for an annual walk, Mayor Nutter announced that the 40,000 runners in this year's run will be given a sticker with the phrase "From Philly to Boston With Love.
April 9, 2013 |
SHORTLY after noon Sunday, about 70 volunteers stood together in LOVE Park - hands raised, representing surrender, holding it for exactly 26 seconds. The park grew silent. Pedestrians stopped mid-stroll to watch, while a few volunteers dropped to the ground and partners outlined their prone, motionless bodies in chalk. This was a "flash mob" organized by a group called Artists Against Gun Violence, a movement under the ART=Ammo project. The project was started by Broadway dancer and choreographer Lorin Latarro, 35, in response to the December massacre in Newtown, Conn., and its 26 victims.
February 1, 2013 |
ON A HOT June day nine years ago, I met up with an architect and an historian at LOVE Park and we spent the next few hours slowly making our way up Ben Franklin Parkway on foot. By the time we got to the Art Museum I had not only a sunburn, but also a new appreciation for just how much work this grand boulevard needed. While imposing institutions lined both sides, the spaces in between were, for the most part, unplanned and inhospitable. With no places for people to convene, expanses of dead space, no food offerings but a Subway sandwich shop, and constant car traffic that made crossing the street an obstacle course, the Ben Franklin Parkway fell far short of greatness.
December 7, 2012 |
THINKING ABOUT parking your car in that bike lane? Don't do it. It'll cost you. City Council approved the "Complete Streets" bill Thursday that makes a series of changes to the traffic code for bicyclists and motorists, stressing consideration for all who share the road. For drivers, violations include parking a vehicle in a bike lane and opening a car door against oncoming traffic, a potential hazard to cyclists. For bikers, violations include running a redlight, riding on the sidewalk, or parking a bike in the street (unless it's against the curb or in a designated parking space.)
December 6, 2012 |
Philadelphia City Council seemed preoccupied Thursday with transportation, processing bills that dealt with skateboards, bikes, and even horses. Also, the members plan to examine U.S. Rep. Bob Brady's idea of using profits from a casino to fund schools and the municipal pension system - a proposal the Nutter administration says may be illegal. Council returned Thursday to legislation shelved two months ago, after a lobbying effort by a group of skateboarders convinced the members that a bill to increase penalties for defacing public art was ill-conceived and vague.
December 5, 2012 |
Quite a cast of characters will help Lisa Nutter, the mayor's wife, officially light the city's holiday tree early Wednesday evening at JFK Plaza, better known as Love Park. Santa. At least a half-dozen musical acts. A wizard and an elf king from the world of the new Hobbit film. Assorted marching/dancing/leaping units, including the Sixers Dream Team and Flight Squad. Plus dignitaries and several pageant winners. The 38-foot tree, with its 5,800 LED lights, stands in the middle of a sprawling holiday scene, with the 60-plus shops of the Christmas Village lining most of the plaza's walkways.
December 2, 2012
Dirty ex-Senate leader gets 16-mo. sentence Robert Mellow, a former leader of Pennsylvania's Senate Democrats whose portrait hangs in the state Capitol, was sentenced Friday to 16 months in prison on public-corruption charges. U.S. District Judge Joel Slomsky ordered Mellow, who pleaded guilty in May to a federal conspiracy charge, to pay nearly $80,000 in restitution to the state Senate and a $40,000 fine to the federal government. Mellow has already paid $31,000 in restitution for filing a bogus tax return.