February 12, 2014 |
On the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, I'm listening (OK, singing along) to the Fab Four at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood. Sunday's concert, billed as the ultimate tribute, promised "note-for-note renditions" so "uncanny" as to persuade us we were watching "the real thing. " It turns out the talented professional mop-tops on the stage are convincing, at least musically. As for the visuals, the skinny suits are sleek, "Paul" is adorable, and "George" is plausible, but "Ringo" and "John" look about as much like their counterparts as I do. Maybe less.
February 9, 2014 |
The federal government says a new designation as a "Promise Zone" holds the possibility of transforming a big, ailing chunk of West Philadelphia. Robert Morris Skaler can remember when the area didn't need a zone to have promise. He was born there, grew up there, and forever after remained interested in the place and its potential. As a boy, he lived on the boundary of Mantua and Belmont, an area that in the 1940s held not just a healthy middle-class population but something that to him was more intriguing: a stock of big Victorian and Italianate houses, the envy of any in Philadelphia.
February 10, 2013
Recognized as one of the world's preeminent fiber artists, Lenore Tawney (1907-2007) also had a magical touch with paper. Her collages, assemblages, and postcards are being displayed side by side with her fiber-art pieces at the University of the Art's Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery in one half of the two-venue exhibition "Lenore Tawney: Wholly Unlooked For. " It's a tandem effort with the Maryland Institute College of Art, which is showing Tawney's drawings, weavings,...
February 3, 2013 |
Thirty-four years and what looked like a century ago, I traveled inside what was then known as Red China. With official United States recognition approaching, the People's Republic opened its doors. Having studied in Taiwan, I received a limited visa and missed the Great Wall and other sites. After teaching Chinese culture for 30 years, I returned in November. What we saw on my return was more contemporary than I anticipated, and being there was inspiring. Here were 12-lane highways intersecting modern, crowded cities; stores with merchandise aplenty; and a fashionably dressed, vibrant people.
February 2, 2013 |
February, the most fleeting month of the year, will offer four sales featuring paper ephemera, including autographs; historical and political correspondence; postcards and greeting cards; and a bird's-eye view of Manhattan by Currier & Ives. The autographs, including signed books and photographs of theatrical figures, such as Spencer Tracy in Army uniform, will be included in Freeman's sale at 2 p.m. Feb. 12 of books and manuscripts. The sale is being billed as a prelude to Freeman's much bigger sale on April 4 and 5, which will offer two major collections.
April 22, 2012 |
As we were leaving the temple of Angkor Wat a boy who looked to be about 10 years old sidled up alongside us. It's hard to guess someone's age in Cambodia, where the people are slight, even by Asian standards. His little legs matched our stride as he walked with us and offered to sell 10 postcards for a dollar. After touring Asia for two months, we've grown accustomed to aggressive hawkers, so we usually put on our game face and stoically work our way through the throngs selling everything from T-shirts to ginseng to who knows what.
April 8, 2012 |
William B. McNamee told his grandson a secret about memory, even as he was losing his own memory to Alzheimer's. One day, we'll be strangers . . . but you can remember the way we held hands when the wind moves through your fingers. McNamee, an orthopedic surgeon from Drexel Hill, died in 2003. Six years later, as Matthew Ross Smith drove along the Schuylkill - with a hand out the window in the early-spring breeze - his grandfather's words came back to him. Thus was born the Spaces Between Your Fingers Project, which offers people across America a chance to connect by tracing their handprints on postcards.
December 30, 2011 |
While I'm away, readers give the advice. On people who see therapy as an admission of weakness: I'm a guy. I'm also someone you might have met at a Mensa meeting years ago when I was kind of an elitist, arrogant toe rag. Going to a therapist is something I just would not have done; so much of my self-worth was wrapped in being smarter than people that admitting I needed help thinking through something would have been unthinkable....
November 13, 2011
Postcard apps are getting better. Many send real postcards from smartphone images; with this app, though, postcards are created so quickly that you can spend more time taking the perfect photo. Name: Postcard on the Run Available for: Android and iPhone What it does: Helps you turn smartphone camera images into real postcards that can be sent anywhere in the world. Cost: The app is free, but mailing the postcards starts at $1.49. What's hot: Don't sweat it if you don't have a person's mailing address.
October 17, 2010
Nowadays, it's easy to become too dependent on wireless communication gadgets. Apostcardaday.blogspot.com reminds us of times when life was simpler. What's hot: Readers get to view a postcard each day from a different part of the world from the collections of Sheila Milne, of Dover, England, and her father. Some listings add notes about the card's significance or a quotation from its back. Scroll down the right side of the home page to find an archive by destination or topic, or click on the interactive map to see recent postcards by geography.