March 23, 2006 |
We all know her. Her long, dark hair. Her big, red bonnet. It's the famous Sun Maid raisin girl. For 90 years, she's been sitting quietly in our lunch boxes and in our pantries, alongside the Quaker Oats man, the Peter Pan peanut butter boy, Uncle Ben, and Tony the Tiger. Pretty. Silent. SM has smiled kindly at us, even when we've heartlessly traded her off for a more decadent Little Debbie in the school cafeteria. A real class act. But now, for the first time in her very long life, the beauty on the box has been granted a Pilates body, an aerobics instructor's voice, and a 30-second television spot to launch her new career as a company spokescharacter.
January 20, 2006 |
Miss America has moved to Vegas, but Boardwalk Hall still plays host to a different sort of beauty: the rumbling three-quarter midgets and powerful dirt cars of the 2006 Atlantic City Indoor Race. For the fourth consecutive year, the noise and smoke of revving engines will fill the historic hall, where nearly 100 cars are expected to compete in go-cart-style races tonight and Saturday. Once a wintertime staple in Atlantic City, the races were an annual tradition at what was then called Convention Hall from 1965 to 1981.
July 3, 2005 |
First-time visitors to Ireland usually get caught up in its well-established tourist attractions like kissing the Blarney stone and buying Waterford crystal where it's made - and nothing wrong with that. But for the well-read traveler who wants to see beyond leprechauns and shamrocks, there's a fascinating Irish literary tradition that my family and I tapped into on a happy day in Dublin last year. In the space of a half-mile walk through the heart of the city, we came across literary associations that touched every aspect of the Irish character - from its clerical underpinnings more than a thousand years ago; through the centuries-long struggle for political independence, generally referred to as "the Troubles"; right up to the concerns of the present day in 2004's centennial celebrations of Ireland's national theater.
June 10, 2005 |
I'm willing to bet you've said it in the last week. Perhaps even this morning. I know I have. And together we'll say it again next week, telling others - and ourselves - the same sad excuse: "There's just not enough time. " The refrain seems to be life's answer to everything from why we haven't started that exercise program to why we lost touch with a friend to why we can't possibly accomplish that dream goal. There's just not enough time. Like me, though, you've probably discovered a bit more time in your life in the last few weeks.
May 20, 2005 |
In Cape May, most idyllic of Jersey Shore towns, romance is everywhere. The dozens of frilly bed-and-breakfasts lining the streets are sometimes booked years in advance for Valentine's Day. The Victorian architecture is ornate with hearts and cherubs. But if your summer love is more geared to a stroll along the beach than a walk down the aisle, Cape May offers plenty of options for you, as well. The MidAtlantic Center for the Arts, a local nonprofit responsible for the preservation of much of Cape May's historic architecture, offers two tours slanted toward romance.
October 29, 2004 |
Yes, dear reader, the bony hand of Death beckons you. Not later, but now. And not to die, necessarily, but merely to visit the region's extraordinary cities of the dead, and therein to stroll, to contemplate, perhaps to have a picnic. Melancholy isn't quite as cool as it was in the Victorian age, when the local cemetery was a popular destination on a Sunday afternoon - a combination park, arboretum and sculpture garden for the urban gentry. But people are rediscovering these brooding landscapes, where the gothic atmosphere is so thick with loss and remembrance you'll be quothing ravens like Edgar Allan Poe. So ditch the store-bought Halloween of cheap candy and plastic costumes; Try exploring these four glorious boneyards instead.
September 10, 2004
SEPTEMBER is not only back-to-school time, but a time to get back to all those things you've promised yourself to do, like spending more time working out and being healthy. A great way to give yourself a kick start and help the parks at the same time is by joining the first annual Walk for the Park. This Sunday at 9 a.m., join your fellow park-lovers on the Art Museum steps. This walk is special: It starts at the Art Museum and travels down the Ben Franklin Parkway to JFK Plaza and back to Eakins Oval - a view of the Parkway most of us get only through the windshield of our cars as we commute home.
June 16, 2004 |
The psychic reader's storefront was closed yesterday morning, so there were no clues on the Boardwalk - other than some gamblers on break - as to what John Kerry's future might hold. The Democratic candidate for president generated a polite buzz - not rock star treatment, but friendly enough - along the Boardwalk yesterday as he took an unscheduled 15-minute detour after a speech at Bally's Atlantic City. Kerry was cognizant that these people were in this casino town for something other than presidential politics, so the typical exchange went like this: Mary Rober, 80, of Pittsburgh: "Good luck.
June 2, 2004 |
Before Katharine Hepburn was a Hollywood legend, she was a student at Bryn Mawr College, singing vaguely bawdy songs, dancing around the maypole, and, naturally, starring in the class play. She graduated in 1928, became - briefly - the wife of a Main Line socialite, and years later immortalized another local maiden, Radnor heiress Hope Montgomery Scott, in The Philadelphia Story. Hepburn fled suburbia for stage and screen, but an exhibition and auction of her estate beginning tomorrow at Sotheby's preserve that era and the rest of her life, which ended last June at age 96. Visitors can see and purchase a lock of Hepburn's baby hair, her Bryn Mawr trigonometry exams and notes on Wagner, her wedding dress, and a diamond-and-sapphire pin that Howard Hughes gave her. The pin, which Sotheby's estimates will sell for $15,000 to $20,000 when the sale is held June 10 and 11, is a rare bit of glamour in the life of a woman whose furniture, clothing and jewelry exuded Connecticut Yankee, not Hollywood star.
June 2, 2004 |
Fans of skateboarding in JFK Plaza have long argued that the sport was of economic value to Philadelphia. Yesterday, they put a figure to their position: $1 million. That was the reward offered by a California sneaker manufacturer if the city reversed its ban on skateboards in the plaza, a popular Center City tourist spot also known as LOVE Park. "This has become more than just a park," said Ken Block, president of DC Shoes Inc. "It's become a landmark in skateboarding.