September 24, 2016 |
During Pope Francis' visit last year to Philadelphia, lifelong residents got to experience the city in a brand-new way - with open streets . Following "Pope Weekend," many Philadelphians, including a group called Open Streets PHL , called for another an opportunity to open the streets to cyclists, pedestrians, backyard ball players, and others. Now, nearly a year later, Philadelphia on Saturday will host Philly Free Streets . "Philly Free Streets is an exciting opportunity to see Philly in a different way," said Clarena Tolson, the city's deputy managing director for transportation and infrastructure.
August 6, 2016 |
"Caryn Kunkle is off the deep end," sighed former Gov. Ed Rendell, head of the Democratic National Convention host committee. He was reacting to accusations by Kunkle, CEO of the arts advocacy site ArtJawn.com, that the artists who painted the DNC donkeys were misled in their contracts. Fifty-seven fiberglass donkeys have romped around Philadelphia since July 1, each representing a state or territory. The initiative, Rendell's brainchild, was funded by the host committee. ArtJawn and the Mural Arts Program sorted through applications.
August 5, 2016 |
Oh, the woes of an unwanted Democratic donkey. Imagine being abandoned by New York, of all places. More understandable might be rejection by Guam, American Samoa, or even Connecticut, but the Empire State? The bluest of blues, birthplace of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and home to Hillary Clinton? In the end, it is all the same for four spurned fiberglass burros that were part of the herd of 57 scattered about Philadelphia to promote last week's Democratic National Convention. They won't be going home, their delegations unwilling to pay their shipping costs.
July 23, 2016 |
Murals in Philadelphia have been created, variously, to uplift underserved communities, honor local leaders, fight blight, and amplify grassroots causes. Now, in a swath of the city's Callowhill area, they're advancing a new goal: rebranding a neighborhood. Artists commissioned by the city's Mural Arts Program are installing nine permanent and temporary murals that, collectively, create a revolving outdoor gallery billed as "Spring Arts District. " That also happens to be the identity that developer Craig Grossman, who sought and partially funded the project, is trying to cultivate in this gentrifying stretch between Eighth and 12th, from Noble to Spring Garden Streets.
July 7, 2016 |
On a secluded street in South Philadelphia, an unusual duo of crime-fighters hopes to fend off night lurkers. Mural artist David Guinn and lighting designer Drew Billiau have combined their talents on "The Electric Street," an illuminated neon mural on Percy Street between Reed and Wharton, down the block from the iconic cheesesteak spots Pat's and Geno's, in an alleyway hidden by the unusual curve of the block. Low-energy flexineon LEDs bend with the curve of the paint on the 30-by-15-foot wall spanning the backs of two residences.
July 2, 2016 |
A team of donkey doctors is on standby, Ed Rendell said Thursday, pointing to a sparkling, blue-and-green donkey bearing the painted label "COLORADO" in front of the Union League of Philadelphia. The former governor wasn't kidding. The Colorado donkey is one of 57 fiberglass donkeys unveiled Thursday in honor of July's Democratic National Convention. And if the material breaks or if someone decides to deface a donkey, experts will be on hand to handle it. The "Donkeys Around Town" installation is presented by the Mural Arts Program, the convention's host committee, and the arts group ArtJawn.
July 1, 2016 |
On a sun-drenched Philadelphia day, Lynnette Shelley settled outside a warehouse at the Tioga Marine Terminal, paintbrush in hand. The warehouse didn't allow for much natural light, and to finish her masterpiece on the sixth day (on the seventh, she rested), she needed to see its vivid colors and make sure they matched. She touched up images of flora and fauna, and complex geometric patterns, until her donkey was resplendent. Let's backtrack a bit. On Friday, in celebration of the Democratic National Convention, 57 fiberglass donkeys are coming to town, courtesy of the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee, the city Mural Arts Program, and ArtJawn.
June 22, 2016 |
The flags along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway have started to fray. The sidewalks around the Convention Center are showing cracks. And Center City construction sites block sidewalks along main pedestrian routes. A little more than a month out from the July 25-28 Democratic National Convention, it's time to tidy up. With that in mind, the convention's host committee over the last few months has deployed a crew of volunteers to canvass the areas around the Convention Center and the Wells Fargo Center.
May 29, 2016
Grit The Power of Passion and Perseverance By Angela Duckworth Scribner. 352 pp. $16.80 Reviewed by Tommy Rowan Imagine that: a Philadelphia psychology professor setting the education world on fire with a one-syllable noun that just happens to define the city she currently calls home. Angela Duckworth deserves all credit for her recent rise to Gladwellian heights - but we do hope the punks who still view Philadelphians only as Santa-pelting-snowball-throwers can order this book for next-day delivery.
May 14, 2016 |
Art is bringing together on one enormous canvas what Cold War-era hatreds had kept apart for more than a half-century. Within the artwork's borders, the Betsy Ross House is depicted in the same imagined neighborhood as the Hotel Dominica of Cárdenas, where Cuba's flag first flew in 1850. The Phillies logo is emblazoned beside the emblem of the Crocodiles, a Cuban national team. The towers of the Ben Franklin Bridge sprout palm trees, while a tocororo, Cuba's national bird, perches on a cable.