December 20, 2012
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Craig LaBan: Good afternoon, my hungry friends, and welcome to our final food chat of 2012! What an amazing year it has been for restaurants in Philly. I can hardly believe it's over. I'm in the midst of putting together my annual Year in Bells review, which I'll be sharing on Dec. 30. But why not open the chat-room floor to your favorite chefs, restaurants, dishes, and moments from 2012? To get this going, we're doing a poll: Who was the breakout chef of 2012?
December 18, 2012 |
As the young-adult genre continues to grow, more and more books for teens are turning out to be substantive and engaging enough for older readers to enjoy, too. Here is a handful of YA books, out this autumn, that would make good gifts for the young - or young-at-heart - readers on your list this holiday season. Call the Shots by Don Calame (Candlewick, $16) . If Hurricane Sandy squelched your Halloween spirit, now's the time to catch up. Don Calame's sweet-natured YA novel Call the Shots is a paean to all the great horror movies - as well as the not-so-great horror movies, like the one Sean and his friends are trying to make.
December 15, 2012 |
The last time we met, I wrote about a couple in Elkins Park who were dealing with the expensive cleanup of a purported mold problem that began with a routine energy audit. In the homeowners' defense - which they failed to mention in their first e-mail to me - they had obtained other estimates and had done as much homework as civilians can do on problems that often require an impartial expert. As usual, and this is why I treasure my readership, your response to this situation came fast and furious.
December 6, 2012
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Craig LaBan: What have been your highlight flavors from the past week? I've had many, including this wood-fired pizza with brussels sprouts, rosemary ham, and balsamic from In Riva in East Falls - very Stella-like in setup. Some really nice wood-fired pies (even if those heat blisters can flake a bit too much char for my tastes. ...) But the flavors are great, thoughtful, and well-prepared. It's really settled into becoming the neighborhood anchor - casual, affordable, tasty - that I think East Falls really needs.
December 2, 2012
We're not among that group of tech-savvy travelers who have to have every new gewgaw that comes along. In fact, we tend to wait until some gadget screams "everyone else has one" or "we need it" before we buy anything with a learning curve steeper than a speed bump. Which is why we finally bought Rhonda a few months ago. Rhonda - as in the Beach Boys' 1965 hit, "Help Me, Rhonda" - is the name we gave to the GPS we bought for a recent car trip to visit friends who have a cabin in the mountains.
November 29, 2012
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat from Nov. 27, 2012: Craig LaBan: Went to New York Bagel Bakery, the oldie off City Avenue that sits just behind the McDonald's (7555 Haverford Ave.), and found these bagel sticks. This place is often recommended to me by old-timers who make regular pilgrimages there. This is a classic bagel as it should be - perfect combo of light crunch on the exterior followed by a persistent central chew, then a lingering malty sweetness.
November 27, 2012 |
NEW YORK - Louise Erdrich is more than this year's winner of the National Book Award for fiction. She's a bookstore owner and has some ideas for what customers might pick up as holiday gifts. The four other finalists: This Is How You Lose Her , by Junot Diaz; A Hologram for the King , by Dave Eggers; The Yellow Birds , by Kevin Powers; and Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk , by Ben Fountain. "This was a tough crowd!" Erdrich, who runs Birchbark Books in Minneapolis, wrote in a recent e-mail about her competition.
November 22, 2012
For results of Wednesday night's football games, visit .
November 10, 2012
Starting Monday, The Inquirer converts to a slightly narrower page width, while at the same time enhancing the paper with new content. This is the beginning of an accelerated effort to expand our print and online offerings in the weeks and months ahead. The physical change to the paper mirrors an industry standard adopted by many large U.S. papers, including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Miami Herald. Others are planning similar conversions that will help their companies as they seek to expand their commercial printing opportunities.
November 8, 2012
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Craig LaBan: Hopefully, you've all got your power back on. I know too many friends who endured an entire week without power, and read of too many others in North Jersey and New York who've witnessed much worse. The restaurant industry of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn took a major blow. And the New Jersey wine industry - with numerous warehouses severely damaged in the storm - is practically washed out up north for the next few weeks.