September 7, 2012 |
Things are looking up, ever so slightly, at the city's tourism epicenter, where litterers and displaced homeless people have made a steep challenge out of keeping LOVE Park lovely. "It's actually been a little cleaner," said Albert Figlestahler, the city employee who arrives at 7 most mornings to tidy up the park. He wasn't sure what explained the minor improvement. "It's always been up and down," he said shortly after he began work one day last week. Help from the park's homeless denizens themselves and new "no loitering" signs posted by the city appear to have reduced the trash a bit each morning, Figlestahler said.
November 22, 2012 |
Philly seems to have a new holiday tradition. The giant yellow noodle is back in JFK Plaza - Love Park - with the untarping scheduled for today. If it helps, think of it as a collosal yellow smile that funds the nearby holiday tree, instead of a crass pitch for Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. "You know you love it," the noodle says, just as it has in other cities, including Philadelphia late last year. Thanksgiving Day, the 60 shops of the annual Christmas Village will open, offering an array of merchandise, including jewelry, ornaments and other arts and crafts, as well as waffles and gingerbread among its "food, drinks and sweets," organizers say. At 2 p.m. Saturday, the village will mark its official grand opening will a visit by the angel known as Christkind, who's flying in from Nuremberg, Germany.
June 19, 1997
The all-out war against the rats of Love Park - a.k.a. JFK Plaza in Center City - is less than two weeks old, but the men from Vector Control were able to detect early signs of victory yesterday. Poking a stick into several rat holes, city Health Department official Randall Hirschhorn found only a few burrows in use by the whiskered enemy. That's down from a dozen at that spot the other week, when the city took the unusual step of banning eating at JFK Plaza, and city crews stepped up the attack with rat poison.
April 29, 2002
ONLY IN Philadelphia would a park named "Love" create so much heartburn. The sickening graffiti scrawled on the LOVE Park statue, and arrests late last week of a group blocking construction, will probably not be the final chapter in the fractious story of LOVE Park's interim spruce-up, which has just begun. When plans to renovate the park came to light, the loudest yelps of pain came from the skateboarders, who claim that they were the only ones who cared about the concrete park while everyone else ignored it, so why should they give it up?
December 11, 2002 |
I am a lover of parks. Having worked in Philadelphia for many years, I have had the pleasure of seeking out the quiet seclusion of the small, quiet courtyards scattered throughout the historic district and the shaded walkways of Rittenhouse Square, with its eclectic mix of office workers and street people. As parks go, few people familiar with the gritty expanse of concrete bordered by 15th Street, Broad Street, Arch Street, and JFK Boulevard would have characterized this spot as a place of pastoral respite.
October 18, 2012
Just when you think no one really cares, someone steps up to prove you wrong. Like the 50 people who heeded a local cleaning-supply company's call to help clean up LOVE Park. With brooms, dustpans, and trash bags, they staged a "flash cleanup. " In a delightful video ( http://vimeo.com/51066383 ), dozens of merry cleaners can be seen sweeping, bagging, and rooting through plant beds. A woman mugs for the camera while picking up a banana peel. Another sweeps up leaves - in heels no less - proving civic pride can transcend foot discomfort.
August 10, 1998 |
It sits underneath I-95, nestled between concrete barriers and tucked away at the back of FDR Park in South Philadelphia. Skaters come from across the nation to sample the gravity-defying twists and turns of the obstacles of the skateboarders' park. Four years after the Rendell administration proposed banning skateboarding at JFK Plaza - or "Love Park" as skateboarders across the nation called it - its replacement is even more popular than its predecessor. "It's a success," said Shane VonHartleben, 24, owner of Subzero Skateboard and Snowboard Shop on 5th Street near South.
August 4, 2003
LOVE MUST OFTEN change in order to grow. So do editorial boards. That's why this one is now giving a tentative thumbs-up to a new plan that could bring skateboarders back to LOVE Park. Last year, we supported Mayor Street's action to shut down the park to skateboarders and redesign it to encourage wider use. We disagreed with skateboarders and their supporters that this park should be signed over to the ones who use it most. We still believe that a city park, especially one in the heart of the city, should not be designated the exclusive domain of any single group.
June 26, 2002 |
The broad runways of rickety granite paving stones are gone. So are the hard benches that banged wheels and shins, the round concrete planters, the scraggly shrubbery, and the sheer grittiness of the place. LOVE Park, once one of the great touring sites in the world of skateboarding, is only a memory now. In its place, and nearing completion, is a renovated JFK Plaza, a little more grassy and a lot less brassy. The city hopes to reopen the park, closed since the end of April, by July 3 - in time for much of the citywide Welcome America!
July 29, 2003
Sometimes a good idea has to go dormant awhile, get revived and gussied up, then presented again before people take it seriously. That's how the effort to return skateboarders to LOVE Park is rolling. There always has been a way to satisfy two worthy usages of the Center City park - giving people a grassy lunch spot and allowing skateboarders to do their thing. But only one side has been served so far, as Mayor Street had JFK Plaza redesigned last year and, with City Council, kept skaters out. The city should continue its commendable plans to help skaters build a privately financed skate park at the Schuylkill River Park.