December 1, 2014 |
For the last few years, Day Two of the holiday shopping season - or is it Day Three now? - has been dubbed Small Business Saturday, a day to spotlight independent entrepreneurs and encourage visits to stores not on the mall map. If the holiday traffic at three of the region's shopping destinations was any indication, the strategy might have been working. By noon Saturday, Chestnut Hill's two-lane shopping district along Germantown Avenue began filling up with cars. Shop owners sounded cautiously optimistic and said some customers were specifically trying to patronize local businesses and avoid the malls.
November 30, 2014 |
It took Holly Phares 27 days and 20 hours to enroll in health insurance during 2013's disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act website. She doesn't expect a repeat of her slog through last year's cyber hell. But the choral director for Tabernacle United Church in West Philadelphia will be shopping the marketplace for a better deal rather than simply reenrolling in her Independence Blue Cross platinum PPO. "They say there are twice as many choices" in the marketplace, says Phares, 51. "I'm just not going to stick with Blue Cross.
November 23, 2014 |
Two childhood memories always stay with me. For several years, my mom asked that we "adopt" families - whom we never met - and supply a full-Monty Christmas, including wrapped gifts, clothes, toys, and a holiday meal. And in the weeks leading up to the holidays, my dad would read Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol to my sister and me. Sometimes, he fell asleep. I remember these as the greatest gifts they ever gave us. With hard-core, ugly-sweater-shopping season approaching in advance of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, how do we avoid the urge to buy more stuff no one needs?
November 9, 2014 |
When the Affordable Care Act marketplace reopens on November 15, Lenora Fedick will "more than likely" reenroll in her current Independence Blue Cross plan. But before she commits, the Phoenixville resident wants to know that she's getting every penny's worth for the premium she's paying. So Fedick is going to do a little shopping. "I want to make sure that I'm getting the best deal," said Fedick, who was among the roughly 50 residents who attended Independence's "Renewal" seminar at the Phoenixville YMCA last week.
November 8, 2014 |
A proposed development on Lancaster Avenue, a key corridor on the Main Line, would bring new restaurants, shopping, and offices to an undeveloped tract in Bryn Mawr. The $20 million development still requires final approval from the Lower Merion commissioners. It could open in spring 2016 and would incorporate a vacant 1920s-era garage at 909 Lancaster Ave., between North Merion Avenue and North Warner Avenue. A strip of vacant shops behind the garage would be torn down. "Bryn Mawr has a history," said Paul Aschkenasy, the property owner and developer.
November 7, 2014
WE, THE anti-consumerists, are losing the battles to curtail the consumerism that drives America, especially during the holiday season. Again this year, major retailers are leaping over each other in an effort to be the first to open early on Thanksgiving Day - before you even have a chance to cut the apple pie. This trend has been building since 2011. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is no longer the traditional kickoff of the holiday shopping season. We now have Black Thursday.
November 6, 2014 |
Perusing department store racks is my downtime thing. Hauling armloads of jeans into dressing rooms is thrilling. One day I hope to walk into a boutique and embrace the trimmed-in-leather herringbone sheath I've been searching three years for. That is why the thought of searching for, and buying, clothing from a cold, hard laptop or smartphone app is weird to me. But I could no longer ignore the lure of the curated click. In the last few years, cyber-fashion shopping has evolved well beyond Gilt Groupe's online sample sales and Net-a-Porter's best buys in luxury.
October 31, 2014 |
Jewelry lovers might want to make time this weekend to visit the University of Pennsylvania's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. As part of the 127-year-old museum's fund-raising efforts, it's hosting "Treasures," a four-day baublefest starting Thursday that features a private reception, talks with jewelry historians, and fall fashion advice from local stylists. In addition, 26 jewelry designers will be selling handmade, one-of-a-kind accessories to shoppers with a sweet spot for frippery.
October 29, 2014 |
THE CO-OWNER of a Frankford auto-body shop who pleaded guilty to bribing a police dispatcher for information in the tow-truck business was sentenced yesterday to three years of probation. William Cheeseman, 43, of Delran, N.J., was ordered by U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno to spend the first six months under electronically monitored home confinement. The judge said Cheeseman may leave his home to go to work, for medical appointments or for religious reasons. Robreno also barred Cheeseman from the towing business in Philadelphia during his probation, but did not prohibit him from doing other work.
October 19, 2014 |
For Stephanie and Gerald Wright of Philadelphia's Germantown section, the ideal high school for daughter Nyla would be a public school with rigorous programs in science, math, and the arts. "I'm looking for a high school that's going to be geared toward 21st-century learning," Stephanie Wright said. Wright was among more than 1,000 students, parents, and counselors attending the Philly High School Fair on Friday afternoon. The free two-day event at the Armory at Drexel University features representatives from more than 100 public, charter, private, and archdiocesan high schools from around the region, offering information to prospective students.