July 22, 2015 |
Go in peace. Organizers are assuring the hundreds of thousands, even millions, of people who will throng Philadelphia for Pope Francis' visit in September that they need not worry about bathroom access. Porta-potties will abound, about one for every 250 people. And they'll be cleaned three times a day. More than 3,000 porta-potties and about 350 urinal stalls will be set up for the papal crowds. Organizers say the fleet, plus area restaurant and public restrooms, will provide for the 1.5 million people expected.
July 17, 2015 |
Plans for Pope Francis' visit to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will include consideration of the homeless people who frequently sleep there, organizers reiterated Wednesday. That may include some prized ticketed seating near the front of the stage for the Sept. 26 Festival of Families. The assurances came a day after a homeless man approached Mayor Nutter outside City Hall and tussled with a member of his security detail, forcing Nutter to pry the man off the aide. The man, identified as George Creamer, later told NBC10 that he was upset over plans to clear the Parkway of homeless people during the World Meeting of Families from Sept.
July 17, 2015 |
CARLO STOOD at attention on the corner of Vine Street near 19th last week and saluted as former President Jimmy Carter's Secret Service caravan drove away from a book signing at the Free Library. Carlo, who gave his first and last name as Carlo - "Everybody just knows me as Carlo" - didn't know who was in the large black SUVs with the tinted windows and flashing lights. It didn't matter. "I always salute for government officials," he said. The empty patch of grassy land where Carlo salutes passing officials is his front yard, his back yard and his bed - his slice of the American dream.
July 15, 2015 |
Parkway Corp. has paid $2.8 million for vacant land on the 2200 block of Market Street, giving it control over nearly the entire block where Center City's last porn theater once operated. Market West Associates, a Parkway affiliate, bought parcels totaling 5,250 square feet on June 9 from Richard Basciano, who had owned the Forum Theater, according to records filed with the city. The land sandwiches an additional 1,340 square feet purchased on May 11 from the estate of Anthony Trombetta, who had operated the Forum and the nearby Basciano-owned Les Gals strip club, records showed.
July 8, 2015
CONTRARY TO the old Army recruiting slogan, July 4 in Philadelphia is not all that it can be. A rain-dappled Saturday held down attendance some, but I think the fault lies elsewhere. The morning ceremonies at Independence Hall lacked a hook, which it once had. More troubling was the evening concert on the Parkway, which has several problems, including scrubbing of any trace of the "P-word:" Patriotism. To some people, "patriotism" smacks of jingoism rather than simple love of country (even though love sometimes means having to say you're sorry)
July 6, 2015 |
During September's great papal convergence, when well over a million Catholics and associated others are expected to blanket the city from river to river, more than a few visitors might want to see the riches arts and culture groups have worked hard to lay out before them. Right there on the Parkway, at the locus of festivities for Pope Francis' visit, an exhibition of Bibles beckons at the Free Library. The Franklin Institute is flying in treasures from the Vatican. And for a knowing crowd, a postcard-sized 15th-century oil by Jan van Eyck at the Philadelphia Museum of Art awaits the devotional gaze, its title of suddenly modern relevance: Saint Francis of Assisi Receiving the Stigmata . But the ability to take in the city's cultural riches will be hindered.
July 5, 2015 |
With more than 700,000 people expected Saturday on the Parkway for Independence Day festivities, city officials say they are focused on keeping everyone safe. "There has been a lot of preparation and coordination to make this a safe and enjoyable event," said Michael Resnick, the city's director of public safety. "People should come out and have fun and be vigilant. If anything seems out of place, please report it to 911 or any police officer. " Those officers will be easy to find, with a strong police presence set for the events.
June 18, 2015 |
Next summer, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will host a new urban curiosity: glowing, inhabitable sculptures that will carry visitors from City Hall to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The moving illuminants will traverse the concrete jungle as part of an Association of Public Art (aPA) exhibit called Fireflies by Cai Guo-Qiang, a New York-based artist. The exhibit, a world premiere, is made possible in part by a grant from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. The grant is for $300,000.
June 8, 2015 |
Looking to get out on the open road this summer? How about one that cuts across the Appalachian Mountains and has provided drivers, motorcyclists, and cyclists with stunning views of mountains and rivers and waterfalls for 80 years? The Blue Ridge Parkway was begun in 1935 as a Franklin D. Roosevelt New Deal project, built to give jobs to the Depression-era unemployed. It also provided tourism options to all those new automobile drivers. When the last piece - the Linn Cove Viaduct - was added in 1983, the 469-mile ribbon of road was completed, with end points in Shenandoah National Park at the juncture with Skyline Drive in Virginia and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park along the North Carolina-Tennessee border.
May 30, 2015 |
The Ben Franklin Parkway will get a makeover into a Parisian-style wonderland with the public art installation "Future Sensations," starting Friday. Partnering with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy, the French buildings-material company Saint-Gobain will offer pop-up beer gardens, food trucks, and night-to-day entertainment. But the main events are the five pavilions, ranging from 13 to 70 feet high, and telling the story of Saint-Gobain's 350-year history.