June 2, 2014 |
It's hard to imagine blue-collar Philadelphia sports fans, as impatient, boisterous and passionate as they can be, paying to watch people walk in circles for days on end. But for a brief period in the 1880s and early 1890s, when spectating options were as sparse as clean-shaven faces, our athletic-loving ancestors apparently found these marathons of monotony compelling. Competitive walking - or pedestrianism, as it then was called - briefly was the equal of baseball, horse racing, and rowing, particularly in large eastern cities like New York, Boston, and Philadelphia.
May 30, 2014 |
SHENZHEN, China - The earnest young Chinese woman asked the question with a directness uncharacteristic of her world: How do you learn to appreciate Western classical music? She had come to the right place on Wednesday: an open, practical dialogue about symphony orchestra conducting featuring Philadelphia Orchestra associate conductor Cristian Macelaru. His reply: "You don't need to understand anything more than that it's beautiful. Allow yourself to be moved by the same things that move you in Chinese music.
May 28, 2014 |
MARY ROBERTS was packing a box - a care package of sardines, cookies, canned beans and Kool-Aid - to send to her brother in Vietnam when the knock came at the door. "My mother opened the door and just started screaming," Roberts, now 79, recalled yesterday during a Memorial Day tribute at Philadelphia's Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Her brother, Cpl. Lorrence T. Friday, was 25 when he was killed in Vietnam on April 7, 1968. "He had enlisted in the Army," Stellzene Roberts, 59, said of Friday, her uncle.
May 16, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIANS have strong opinions about the issues facing Philadelphia as well as poverty's causes and solutions. With support from Temple University's Center for Public Interest Journalism, we commissioned a citywide survey from the Insight and Survey Center, a survey-research unit associated with the School of Journalism of the University of Missouri-Columbia and the Reynolds Journalism Institute. Nearly 350 randomly selected people from across the city were phoned. The results of this survey demonstrate that an economically, racially and educationally diverse cross-section of Philadelphians see poverty as one of the most important issues that the city must address to move forward.
February 7, 2014 |
The week wasn't typical, but also not exceptional. In a span of seven days, Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducted the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in Shostakovich's weighty Symphony No. 7 , and conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra in both the Academy Ball and a subscription series with pianist Radu Lupu - while shuttling to New York for Dvorák's opera Rusalka , starring Renée Fleming, at the Metropolitan Opera. This Saturday, the HD simulcast of Rusalka - to be seen in six area movie theaters - will require Nézet-Séguin to commute from his native Montreal.
December 18, 2013 |
ROME - Ignazio Marino began putting together his vision for this motor-mad city while pedaling a red Schwinn on Spruce Street to his job as a transplant surgeon at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. If Philadelphia could install bike lanes on its narrow, colonial-era streets and create car-free days on Martin Luther King Drive, he thought, why couldn't this ancient capital do the same? In June, the former Society Hill resident got his chance to make Rome a more bike-friendly place when he was elected the city's mayor.
November 17, 2013 |
When he led his own superb Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra last year at the Mann Center, Manfred Honeck drew razor-sharp unanimity from the ensemble. That he could do the same Thursday night in his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra points to a conductor of unusual powers of persuasion. It helps that the interpretations were so gorgeously etched, so generously individualized. The program was skimmed from the top of the popularity charts, so you might not have expected to leave the hall buoyed by a sense of discovery.
November 1, 2013 |
WHEN MY phone rang first thing Tuesday morning, I naturally assumed someone was dead. Not sure if you've noticed, but I'm one of those glass-half-cracked types. And when I heard Lorraine Falligan on the other end, I was certain it was bad news. "It's coming down! It's coming down!" she said. When I first wrote about Falligan and the other women of North Sydenham Street in North Philly, they were worried about a list of longstanding issues on their block. But they were most concerned about a crumbling vacant home they feared would collapse before the city did anything about it. "Had it finally happened?"
October 18, 2013
MOST neighborhood activists will tell you that the longer a vacant property sits unoccupied, the more vulnerable it becomes to vandalism and decay - and the more likely that surrounding properties will experience similar decay and destruction. It's a fact that left unchecked, blight will spread block by block until the whole neighborhood is engulfed and eventually destroyed. Long-term uncollected property tax delinquencies are a major factor in creating blight that leads to property abandonment - never mind the impact on the city's finances when an estimated $300 million in delinquent taxes remain uncollected for the past five years.
October 10, 2013 |
NEWS FLASH: Philadelphians do not want more taxes. That might seem obvious, but it really is news. According to a poll released yesterday by the Pew Charitable Trusts, Philly residents have shifted in their belief about a fundamental question regarding government: Would you rather have more taxes and more services, or less taxes and less services? Last year, 49 percent of respondents asked for more taxes and services, while 42 percent favored less. This year, 41 percent wanted more, and 50 percent wanted less.