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.
October 3, 2013 |
WITH ASTHMA, arthritis and heart problems, Altonya Sheppard is unquestionably someone who needs doctors and drugs. But with no health insurance, the 37-year-old Southwest Philadelphia woman has become a pro at minimizing her medical needs. Her house has no carpets that could trap irritants, and she often sleeps in her living room to avoid overexerting herself on the stairs and triggering an asthma attack. Unable to afford the $600 in medication she needs monthly, she usually buys only the drugs that will fix whatever bothers her most.
October 2, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Another "phoenix moment" for the Philadelphia Orchestra? That's how Carnegie Hall's director of artistic planning, Jeremy Geffen, describes the orchestra's arrival Wednesday to open the 2013-14 season in New York City's august concert venue, whose audiences and management cheered the orchestra through its bankruptcy. Slots don't come any more prestigious than opening night. The concert promises guaranteed star power with violinist Joshua Bell and music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, now in his second season with the Philadelphians.
September 9, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Hours before Nicole Miller's spring collection hit the Lincoln Center runways Friday evening, Debbie Cenci was shopping it at the designer's Garment District showroom. Nicole Miller sales specialists curated a group of dresses and trousers just for Cenci, including a floral sheath fashioned from spongy neoprene. Thick, white lines break up the saturated florals, creating a shattered-glass pattern. This is Miller's signature spring 2014 print, and at 3 p.m., Cenci had purchased the dress - and a few other 2014 pieces - before the fashion editors, bloggers, retailers, and thousands of Fashion Week attendees have seen it, before the clothes have even been made . Cenci slipped on the model-size sample.
September 3, 2013 |
At 1:01 p.m. on March 13, 2008, David Thomsen gained either a passion or a problem. He isn't sure which. That day, Thomsen made a single Wikipedia edit on the page for the expression "Holy cow," then walked away from editing for two months. Fast-forward five years, and on March 13, Thomsen spent the day editing discussion pages on the soccer players, pairs skaters, and other celebrities of Estonia while occasionally turning his attention to the neglected Wikipedia pages for some antebellum Maryland congressional elections and a Korean pop song.