March 12, 2016 |
Chestnut Hill does not do change easily. Several years ago, when a Germantown Avenue toy store dared to paint its old-timey facade in rainbow colors, it seemed like the keening could be heard all the way to Center City. The neighborhood once put a stop to a proposed Exxon gas station by appealing directly to major shareholders living in Chestnut Hill. (Yes, shareholders, plural.) "Development" has always been something that happens to other Philadelphia neighborhoods. So imagine the consternation when in 2011 a local developer proposed a mid-rise condo building in the middle of the shopping district on Germantown Avenue.
September 8, 2014 |
I'm probably the last person you'd expect to wax nostalgic about the loss of - what to call it? - a shopping opportunity. I work at the edge of a mall, but I rarely set foot in its stores. When my wife eyes quaint shops on vacation, I've got other ideas. Even craft shows full of beautiful objects tend to try my patience. So why do I care about the closing of O'Doodles, the Chestnut Hill toy store about to begin a going-out-of-business sale? Trust me, it's not just the loss of a favored source for kids' toys and gifts, though I'll miss the convenience.
September 8, 2014 |
The news is bad. Bad for the weary, end-of-day Chestnut Hill West commuters who get off the train at Evergreen Avenue and stop by this fanciful place - not necessarily to buy something, but to be someplace fun. Bad for the legions of frazzled parents of birthday-party invitees who have counted on it for a last-minute present and free gift wrap on a Saturday morning. And bad for the guy who drove the hour-and-a-half to it from Jim Thorpe just to buy six pimple balls. O'Doodles toy store, a fixture on Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill since 1997, is the bearer of the bad news: It is closing.
March 16, 2014 |
BURLINGTON TWP. As shopping centers age and competitors apply pressure in luring customers, the former Burlington Center will undergo a $230 million makeover to regain a regional foothold. The mall's new owner, Moonbeam Capital Investments of Las Vegas - known for revamping underperforming malls - unveiled plans Thursday to transform the mall to include 1.5 million square feet of retail space and expand to adjacent land along I-295 with a residential component. That land is owned by home builder Peter Hovnanian of Mount Laurel.
August 26, 2013 |
At Five Below's busy store in the Gallery in Center City, a grad student stocked up on items for her apartment in Camden - a $2 spatula and a $5 daisy-shaped scarf holder topped her pile of purchases. It's back-to-school season, and the discount teen-oriented store was loaded with $5 backpacks in purple, pink, and glitter, Hello Kitty pencil cases and notebooks in every hue. A year ago, on July 19, 2012, the Philadelphia-based company, founded by the creator of Encore Books and Zany Brainy, held a different kind of sale - an initial public offering, selling 11.06 million shares at $17 apiece.
January 8, 2013
I'VE HAD many adventures with my 11-year-old daughter, Eve. When she was 1, I clutched my wallet in horror as she uttered the words "Da-da" and "Boom-ingdales" in the same sentence. When she was 2, she talked me into using her pink feather phone to converse with her imaginary boyfriend, Poo Poo. When she was 4, I videotaped her "Lifestyles of the Not Quite Famous" tour while 1-year-old Little Solomon yelled, "Superman!" No matter how weird the situation, no matter how endless the talking, my experiences with my baby girl were always enjoyable.
December 19, 2012
EVEN WITH one week left until Christmas, I refuse to panic like those other parents. You know the ones. They're at Toys "R" Us right now, having sneaked out of work to buy little Johnny that Lego set he demanded. I've seen such parents engage their shopping rivals in WWE-style matches. It's the same every time. The toys run out, the coats come off, and a teenage temp with a Justin Bieber face tattoo gets on the P.A. system. "Security to aisle three," she says in a disinterested tone.
May 22, 2012 |
A 14-YEAR veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department was arrested Monday for allegedly engaging in an ongoing conspiracy to steal from a local toy store, police said. Bridgette Paris, 48, was charged with retail theft, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, forgery and related offenses, police said. The charges followed an investigation by the department's Internal Affairs Bureau and the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office. Police have not identified the store that Paris allegedly targeted.
December 22, 2011 |
WHEN I was a schoolteacher in Olney, a fellow teacher used to regale the staff every September with stories about his travels to Mexico and South and Central America. Relaxing! A journey he'd never forget, he'd crow a little too loudly in staff meetings as he passed around pictures. I still remember the nausea I felt when I opened a national news magazine a few years later to see his face on a story about international child predators. He was serving 10 years in a Mexican prison for soliciting sex from children the same age that he taught at our school.
December 12, 2011 |
In Matt Kriebel's world, stuffed microbes are cuddle toys. After all, there's nothing more adorable than a plush salmonella or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus , also known as MRSA around school gyms and nursing homes. But for endless hours of amusement, Kriebel recommends Buckyballs, a cluster of 125 highly magnetic spheres the size of BBs that can be assembled in as many ways as the mind allows. He also likes the fake butterfly in a jar that appears to take flight (thanks to electronics)