August 4, 2015 |
After successful treks across Europe and its native Canada, a child-size hitchhiking robot had made its way via rides with friendly humans all the way from Boston to New York City to the streets of Philadelphia. Whereupon, its makers say, it was mugged and dismembered on Saturday. The Canada-based creators of "hitchBOT" said they received the dispiriting news when they received a photo Saturday night of the smashed-up robot. They believe someone took it apart early Saturday morning.
July 24, 2015 |
Philadelphia has seen a steady rise in its premium ice cream cred over the last few years, and this summer, the frozen stuff is even more tricked out, with soft-serve cones injected with dulce de leche, fresh-picked berry ice cream stuffed between slabs of sugar cookie, and La Colombe-infused mocha ice cream layered with hazelnut chocolate for an affogato cake. And these are just a few of the offerings being churned up by the best of Philadelphia's small-batch ice cream makers. What follows is a list of this summer's best.
June 26, 2015 |
WYOMISSING, Pa. - The doors are locked at Valley Forge Flag Co. Employees must ring a newly installed doorbell and wait outside the dark tinted windows for someone to let them in. Inside, phones are ringing. The Berks County flag manufacturer, one of the nation's largest, has been fielding angry calls since making headlines Tuesday when it announced it would no longer make the Confederate battle flag. The decision came in the wake of the June 17 killing of nine black church members in Charleston, S.C., and growing public opposition to a flag seemingly embraced by alleged shooter Dylann Roof and others as a symbol of white supremacy and slavery.
June 22, 2015 |
Can a beloved cheesecake baked in New York for six decades be just as skillfully prepared in . . . New Jersey? Junior's - New York City's third generation of famed Brooklyn cheesecake bakers - has moved its main baking operations to Burlington City. The company's new location at the foot of the Burlington-Bristol Bridge housed Mother's Kitchen, which produced cheesecakes for Rich's Products Corp. About a year ago, Mother's went south for a new facility in Texas. Junior's owner Alan Rosen needed a larger bakery than the one in Queens, which produced for all the Junior's restaurants and retail.
June 9, 2015 |
Long wallowing in deterioration and neglect, Philadelphia's East Market neighborhood is on the verge of becoming a lively bridge between City Hall and Independence Mall. Though grateful for the corridor's upward momentum, the city should not be so desperate as to accept whatever is offered by developers who also stand to benefit from the transformation. Plans to refurbish the dowdy Gallery mall are vague so far, though the developers, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust and California-based Macerich, promise a better flow of foot traffic between the street and shops, as well as more glass and other architectural flourishes.
May 25, 2015 |
Maker Brad Litwin, 59, makes kinetic sculptures in his East Oak Lane studio, including a line he calls MechaniCards - intricately laser-cut paper made into tiny, greeting-generating machines. They're sold online, at MechaniCards.com, and at museum stores, including those of the Princeton Art Museum and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His start Litwin can't really pinpoint it: He's worked as an engineer, animator, musician, and artist. "In 2010, I was sitting in my studio and looking at some boxes I had on the shelf, CD mailers actually . . .. I was thinking it'd be neat to have a machine inside one of those.
April 17, 2015 |
THROUGH the years, people have told James Stewart that someday someone was going to come along and help him. He thought about those words as he learned to ride a bike. He thought about them as he bonded with his father over cooking lessons. He thought about them as he toured pizzerias to learn how to toss pizzas. He thought about them as he lived his life with a malformed hand, a birth defect. The reality is that Stewart, 34, doesn't need help: He's adapted, he's determined and he's doing just fine in his job making pizzas.
April 4, 2015 |
Alexander Danta curled his frame around a cluttered wooden table in his Jewelers' Row workshop to inspect his latest handiwork, a diamond-and-ruby wedding band that nested in his meaty palm like a newborn chick. Raising the delicate ring to the window, he tipped it slightly to catch the light, revealing an acanthus vine he had just etched on the side, perhaps a centimeter wide and sharp as a line of type. Danta is a master engraver, among the last in Philadelphia to work exclusively with hand tools, and his studio was the custom-made ring's latest stop on its journey through the Jewelry Trades Building at Eighth and Sansom Streets, a six-story beehive filled with designers, casters, polishers, and stone-setters.
March 20, 2015 |
WHEN THE Liberian Women's Chorus for Change performed for soldiers involved in that country's civil war, Philadelphia Folklore Project Director of Programs Toni Shapiro-Phim said that some in the audience were so moved that they handed their guns to the performers as a sign of peace. The artists from the same group performed in different communities with people of varied ethnic backgrounds as a model for reconciliation in the country, Shapiro-Phim said. Shapiro-Phim said these are perfect examples of what the PFP's event tomorrow, "Peacebuilding and Traditional Arts: A Forum," will discuss - how traditional arts and social-justice work can combine to create positive change in communities.
March 14, 2015 |
Ilon Silverman holds the slice of bread in both hands, looking down as if he were reading it. He closes his eyes and chews. "There's not a word to describe it," he finally says. A pause. "There's probably many words. " The elusive, nuanced flavor of pain au levain - naturally leavened bread - is the reason Silverman wakes up every day. It is 9 a.m. Wednesday. He has been at the small bakery in Avondale's new natural-foods market since 3:45. Clad in a houndstooth cap and flour-stained apron, Silverman talks almost religiously about his bread, calling it "intoxicating," "zen," and "earthy.