September 4, 2016 |
Philadelphia's national reputation in 2016 is closely linked to that of its famously boisterous sports fans. But for most of its existence, as a 1956 Rotarian magazine article described, the city was regarded as "quiet, conservative, staid and straight-laced. " Perhaps that historic desire for decorum explains why since the earliest days of American sports Philly has been a breeding ground for those charged with maintaining order - referees and umpires. In fact, the first umpire in Major League Baseball history was a Philadelphian.
August 1, 2016 |
Convention delegate Joshua Clennon realized this place was different when he happened to cross the street at 12th and Market. "Some dude said, 'Welcome to Philadelphia,' " the 23-year-old Bernie Sanders supporter said, certain no such courtesy would be extended in his Manhattan neighborhood. "It'd be like, 'Get out of my way.' " Count one for the home team. After a week of being critiqued, analyzed, and reviewed by thousands of visitors from across the country and around the world, how did Philadelphia come across during the Democratic National Convention?
July 25, 2016 |
Our city is perched on the edge of the abyss representing the unknowable answer to the question "What might go wrong?" During a week of apocalyptic possibilities for civic embarrassment presented by the Democratic National Convention, I have one word of advice for my proud but anxious fellow Philadelphians: Panic. Go ahead, knock yourself out. Fret and worry all you want. It won't make a lick of difference. Besides, it will give you something to do while the rest of us are out painting the town and those 57 shouldn't-they-be-called-jackasses-not-donkeys?
July 6, 2016 |
WILDLY BUT MILDLY, America on Monday celebrated her 240th birthday, validated by a birth certificate issued in Philadelphia. The Declaration was followed by the Constitution guaranteeing freedom of speech (thank you), freedom of the press ( really thank you) and the right to peaceably assemble. Key word: peaceably . This brings us to the Democratic National Convention and the city's schizophrenic approach to it. Citing a "notion of fairness," Mayor Kenney merrily signed a bill to "decriminalize nuisance offenses," such as disorderly conduct, failure to disperse, public drunkenness and obstructing the highway.
June 24, 2016 |
THEY CAME alone to the Art Museum steps on Thursday, with the grief they wear like a second skin. They came with others who know their pain, a growing fellowship of grieving friends and relatives left behind after gun violence took a loved one. Some carried huge photos of young men, frozen in time. Mark Jones held a small photo that he still keeps in his wallet - of his 23-year-old son John Robert Jones, a SEPTA worker killed in 2005. And as often as they could, they said their names.
June 16, 2016 |
In the course of Marc Ribot's critically acclaimed four-decade career, the chameleonic guitarist has mapped a steady path from edgy lower Gotham upstart to Zen-like American master. Long a fixture of New York's downtown improv scene, Ribot is probably best known as Tom Waits' longtime side-man, having played on seven Waits albums and corresponding tours since 1985's Rain Dogs . He has lent his six-string sorcery to recordings by Elvis Costello, Robert Plant, the Black Keys, John Zorn, Philadelphia-born soul legend Solomon Burke, and the late, great beat poet Allen Ginsberg.
June 15, 2016 |
Deirdre McLaurin was horrified by the mass shooting at the gay nightclub in Orlando - but, at the same time, not terribly surprised. At 64, she grew up when being open about her sexuality could endanger a friendship, a job, or her safety. Even as gay people gained civil rights, she saw the lingering threat and reality of anti-LGBT violence. "Yes, we've made strides," she said Monday, but added, "The hate is still there. " McLaurin, a former dance teacher, lives at the John C. Anderson Apartments in Center City, the first housing development in the state specifically designed for low-income LGBT seniors.
June 3, 2016 |
A campaign is underway to keep Philadelphians in town for the Democratic National Convention. The action at the Wells Fargo Center on July 25-28 is closed to the public, but organizers will hold a food-truck festival, happy-hour events, watch parties, and deals at local restaurants and stores - all incentives announced Wednesday to keep people here. "We don't want people to go to the Jersey Shore, we don't want people to go to the mountains. This is not the pope," Mayor Kenney said.
May 29, 2016
1 p.m. Sunday on WRTI-FM (90.1): The Philadelphia Orchestra plays music written in Paris, 1928-33: Kurt Weill's Symphony No. 2 , Maurice Ravel's Concerto for the Left Hand (featuring Ravel specialist Alexandre Tharaud), and George Gershwin's An American in Paris . Music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts.
May 28, 2016
Mayor Kenney announced Thursday that every fourth Thursday in May will be World Heritage Day in Philadelphia, a recognition of the city's newfound status. Philadelphia was named one of 267 World Heritage cities last year. It is a designation given to cities with a UNESCO World Heritage site and a place that the Organization of World Heritage Cities considers to be of global interest. "I hope that all Philadelphians can share in the pride of living in a World Heritage City," Mayor Kenney said.