July 3, 2015 |
Erich Weiss is a mensch. His grandfather John M. Taxin - late co-owner of Walnut Street's legendary Old Original Bookbinder's restaurant, who started life as a huckster selling produce from a horse-drawn wagon - also was a mensch. Don't take it from me. Just look at the ring Weiss had made from an Indian-head nickel his grandfather left him: "Mensch," it says. It is a small part of the long story that Weiss - advertising guy-turned-documentary filmmaker-turned-curator - has hung on the walls of the Independence Seaport Museum in a new exhibition called "Hucksters: The Tumult of Dock Street.
July 3, 2015 |
It was a polite protest, the women wearing dresses and heels, the men in dark suits and ties. But when John James stepped onto Independence Mall on that hot July Fourth in 1965, he had a lot to lose. Being identified as gay - much less taking part in a public protest - could bring jeers, insults, and punches. He could be fired from his job if people knew he was gay. Psychiatrists then classified homosexuality as a mental illness, one that demanded a cure - electric shock therapy, or even lobotomy.
July 3, 2015
IT BEGAN Jan. 30 with what a Parking Enforcement Officer wrote up as a "stop prohibited" violation for 38-year-old Brian Carroll. It seemed bogus. It ended Tuesday morning when the Bureau of Administrative Adjudication threw out the ticket on a technicality. "It's a win, but the lowest level of win," says Carroll, happy with the victory but disappointed the hearing examiner didn't ask for his carefully assembled evidence. That evidence didn't carry his first appeal, which he filed by email on Feb. 24, a day after receiving notification of the violation.
July 1, 2015 |
Smoking rates in Philadelphia have dropped to all-time lows, reflecting the effects of a comprehensive tobacco-control campaign, city health officials said Monday. Seven years ago, when rates began steadily falling, 27.3 percent of adults smoked; now, 22.4 percent do. During this period, youth smoking fell from 10.7 to 7.5 percent. Smoking decreased among all racial, ethnic, and socio-economic groups, according to the data, from a regional survey by the nonprofit Public Health Management Corp.
June 30, 2015 |
The hard-core classical lover isn't exactly settling when he goes to hear an entire evening of Gershwin. As a melodist, Gershwin is right up there with Schubert. It is especially true that when orchestrated, and orchestrated well, his songs strike a particular vein in the American spirit that is more breathlessly optimistic than Irving Berlin, more urbane than Copland, and yet retains its sincerity to the tender core. The Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Cristian Macelaru could not have picked a better banner for these ideals than the opener to Friday night's concert at the Mann Center.
June 29, 2015 |
For the last three years, one man has dominated the Philadelphia TriRock Triathlon. No matter how many professional athletes and former Olympians descend upon the streets of Fairmount Park, just one man has run through the ribbon at the finish line first since 2012: Cameron Dye. The Boulder, Colo., native returns Sunday seeking a fourth consecutive win in the Olympic-distance event - a feat almost unheard of in the sport of triathlon. The course is not forgiving to athletes with tired legs - riders must climb the notorious Lemon Hill twice on the two-lap, 24.8-mile cycling circuit.
June 29, 2015 |
There was a time, not very long ago, when the number of unsubsidized, market-rate residential construction projects within the Philadelphia city limits could be counted on one hand. Now, you need a scorecard to keep track, and even that list might need to be updated daily. Noah Ostroff, of Keller Williams Real Estate in Center City, said that, typically, when he gets a call from someone looking to buy a property in the city, it is for new construction. "I don't have many people looking for traditional - what we call 'homes with character,' " he said.
June 28, 2015 |
Claudette Elizabeth Harris, 75, a retired teacher and classroom aide for the School District of Philadelphia, died Friday, June 19, of a blood infection at Kindred Hospital. Ms. Harris was the youngest of 10 children of Ola Pearl Phillips-Wallace and Sylvester Wallace Sr. Her childhood experiences in South Philadelphia gave her two of what her family called her greatest gifts - cooking and educating others. "She was literally the family cook," said State Rep. Jordan Harris, one of her two grandsons.
June 28, 2015 |
It was an offer you couldn't refuse: a classic film, a great score, a great classical orchestra. There was much to like about the Philadelphia Orchestra's Thursday-night performance at the Mann Center of Nino Rota's score beneath a vivid screen showing The Godfather . There is also something of a feeling of treading water on these movie nights. In terms of developing audiences for classical music, the trend of pairing live orchestras with film likely will have little to show for it in the end. Still, it feels like justice to those of us who believe that as much art lies in that quivering line off to the side of the celluloid as in the main frame.
June 27, 2015 |
ROME - Philadelphia's security preparations for Pope Francis' 48-hour visit have been going on for more than a year. For Ignazio Marino, mayor of Rome, papal security is an everyday issue. "It's pretty tough because the pope is a terrific person, he attracts millions of people, so traffic and security is a huge, huge issue - particularly in these days and time with possibility of terroristic attacks, we are always concerned," Marino said Thursday outside his office in Rome. The final day of the Philadelphia delegation's trip to Rome focused largely on getting input from Roman and Vatican City authorities on security and infrastructure for large-scale events featuring the pope.