October 13, 2014
If I hadn't been looking for "psychylustro" through the tinted windows of the Chestnut Hill West train, I would not have seen the helium balloon bucking at its tethers above the Philadelphia Zoo. I wouldn't have wondered about the skinny, leafless trees (like tinder, like wishbones) or imagined 19th-century factory girls behind the smashed windows of abandoned manufactories or reflected on Philadelphia's history as a generative incubator of modern graffiti. I wouldn't have thought about rail yard grass, either, or about how, despite every zooming, spewing, speeding thing, it grows.
September 23, 2014 |
HEY, THE BIG fellas need ink, too. Sure, the quarterbacks and speedsters rack up the stats, but what about the hurly-burlies up front? At 6-4 and 280 pounds, Roman Catholic senior two-way lineman Gavin Wiggins was large on Saturday as the Cahillites chased down host Archbishop Ryan, 24-16. Grunts might not get the touchdowns or the numbers, but that doesn't mean they aren't playmakers. "On the offensive line, you're doing it for someone else to make plays, but on defense, you can be the person to make those big plays," Wiggins said.
August 8, 2014
NOT EVEN a decade after Wall Street gamblers took us to the brink of global economic ruin, the same players are back abusing the financial product that caused so much trouble - the subprime loan. This time the loans are for used cars sold to lower-income Americans who can't afford them. It's such a lucrative market that, according to the New York Times , subprime car loans have increased by 130 percent in the last five years. And Equifax reported this spring that subprime auto lending was the highest it has been since 2006.
August 1, 2014
THE CRIMINAL GANG was ruthless and relentless: kidnapping and beating up victims, stealing money and property, and dealing drugs. What set them apart from an ordinary criminal cabal was not their greediness. What set them apart was that they were police. In the latest black eye on the Philadelphia Police Department, a 42-page federal indictment released yesterday describes in chilling language a "criminal organization" whose six members organized for the purpose of "generating money for the members through crimes including robbery, extortion, kidnapping and drug dealing and concealing those activities from law enforcement scrutiny.
July 1, 2014 |
Luis Rodriguez knew it was the house for him and his family when he saw the rhododendron on the side, the size of a tree. He is a landscaper. His wife, Danielle, loved the size of the lot, a corner, and the five bedrooms. She was excited about all the work her husband could do! This was in Williamstown, a place to raise their family. Luis never finished high school in Camden. He worked, often seven days a week, to provide for his family. His wife worked full-time, too, first for Comcast, then for Penn Medicine scheduling appointments.
July 1, 2014 |
David Buchanan fired 187 pitches in his last two starts. Just 99 - or 52.9 percent - were strikes, a number that bothered the rookie righthander despite two five-inning starts that were decent enough to keep the Phillies in games. "I'm trying to get as many chances to win as I can," Buchanan said. "I'm taking these last two and trying to scratch them from my memory. Walking guys like that is unacceptable. " He walked six batters in his first six major-league starts (361/3 innings)
June 15, 2014 |
I've probably done worse things to our kids than drag them through innumerable ruins - Greek, Roman, Mayan, etc. - but we have been to a lot of ruins. If it was built and fell down, we'll make a detour; if it was built, fell down, buried, and dug up again, we'll book a room. Owing to their proximity to margaritas and warm beaches, we've been to a lot of big-ticket Mayan ruins in particular (Tikal, Tulum, Chichen Itza, Caracol). On a recent cruise, though, we stopped at Costa Maya, Mexico, and discovered, by circumstance and somewhat by accident, a new favorite.
May 23, 2014 |
Nearly four years after its supposed completion, the President's House commemorative site on Independence Mall is so plagued with chronic leaks, water pooling, and moisture drenching the ruins of George Washington's and John Adams' executive mansion that Independence Park may have to cover the site to protect the archaeological remains. While the memorial, at Sixth and Market Streets, is within the park's confines, the city managed its construction with the understanding that it would turn over a finished, functioning President's House to the park's care.
May 14, 2014 |
THERE IS NO POVERTY OF WAYS to tell the story of how Philadelphia became the poorest big city in America. You can tell it through images like the pictures that the photoblogger aptly named "RuinPorn" posted of the massive Budd Co. complex in Hunting Park. In the 1940s, it anchored the surrounding Hunting Park community with 7,000 well-paying jobs, but has sat mostly abandoned for a dozen years, an aging cathedral of shattered glass and stagnant water. You can tell by stories like that of Tianna Gaines-Turner, 34, a Frankford woman who photographs and chronicles her struggles to escape food insecurity with her three children for the Witnesses to Hunger Project, and writes that "a lot of times I let my well-being go for them.
October 21, 2013 |
DURHAM, N.H. - Villanova sophomore quarterback John Robertson put together another impressive bunch of numbers Saturday and led a furious rally to give his team a seven-point lead over New Hampshire with just 1 minute, 9 seconds left to play. It wasn't quite enough. New Hampshire charged back and got a 4-yard touchdown run from its own sophomore quarterback, Sean Goldrich, with 14 seconds left and added two points on a Chris Setian conversion run to pin a 29-28 loss on Andy Talley's team in Cowell Stadium.