December 26, 2014 |
A mother and daughter stood before a Christmas tree in Norristown last week, smiling and hugging. But it was no ordinary family Christmas. The 10-year-old girl and her mother had just been reunited after seven years apart. Hours after their reunion, they visited the ACLAMO Family Center in Norristown to thank the social service organization for help with the final leg of the young girl's journey from Honduras. The organization - ACLAMO stands for Accion Comunal Latino Americano de Montgomery County - serves Latino and low-income residents in Montgomery County.
December 22, 2014 |
ATLANTIC CITY - The 22d annual toy drive by the local nonprofit Just 4 Kids came Saturday in a holiday season like no other for Atlantic City - holiday cheer for some of the children whose families have suffered from unprecedented casino layoffs. Among the 200 families treated at St. Michael's Church was that of Flor Dalia Castro, 41, of Atlantic City, who said she has one wish this Christmas: a job. She lost her cleaning job of two years at Revel when the casino closed four months ago. Unemployed since, she has five children, from 3 to 13 years old, and a husband with kidney cancer to support.
December 18, 2014 |
ALAS, PHILLY'S OWN Matt McAndrew is not the winner of season 7 of NBC's "The Voice. " Country singer Craig Wayne Boyd took home the crown, beating out McAndrew, R&B singer Damien and popster Chris Jamison . McAndrew, who came in second place, was a clerk at the Center City Trader Joe's and a teacher at Bach to Rock in Wayne before his loss on last night's show. The UArts grad was a member of Team Adam Levine . He wowed judges with his original, radio ready song "Wasted Love" on Monday's final performance.
December 16, 2014 |
Model trains capture the sweep of American economic history, keeping alive railway company names such as Erie Lackawanna, Western Maryland, and Lehigh Valley, that were long ago caught up in consolidation. That historical dimension turns many railroad buffs into sticklers for accuracy, evident Sunday at Greenberg's Great Train & Toy Show at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks. "Pennsylvania Railroad never ran that engine," said collector Joe Desiata, pointing at a 1930s model steam engine that was actually used by the New York Central Railroad.
December 11, 2014 |
Caitlin Zielinski, 10, thought she wanted a phone for Christmas. She did online research to find models that would meet her requirements - she could text, call, and play games like Be Funky and Skyburger - while acknowledging her parents' - they could tighten the reins if she texted too much or tried to download unapproved apps. Ultimately, Caitlin decided she didn't want to deal with monthly bills, so she revised her Christmas wishes: A laptop is now at the top of her list. Not all children are as likely to weigh the pros and cons of their technological gifts-to-be.
December 4, 2014 |
OUR FAVORITE wide receiver - who's not an Eagle - is the Texans' Andre Johnson. Yesterday, Johnson hosted his eighth annual shopping spree for a dozen children from the Harris County Department of Protective Services. "You can go through the store and get whatever you want," Johnson said, according to the Houston Chronicle. "I'll pay for it. Have a Merry Christmas. " The children, who met with Johnson at a Toys R Us near NRG Stadium, were given an empty shopping cart and 80 seconds (Johnson's uniform number)
October 18, 2014 |
Rapture, Blister, Burn may go down in history as the first feminist play to end with brainy female characters toasting Phyllis Schlafly, that bête noire of the Equal Rights Amendment, without sarcasm. It's no gimmick. Gina Gionfriddo's intellectually ambitious comedy, reopening the question of women choosing between career and family, allows that all choices are valid, even mediocre ones. A bit dour, perhaps? No. Rapture , which opened Wednesday at the Wilma Theater, is part of a growing genre that might be called war-of-the-brain-cells plays, such as Yasmina Reza's 2008 God of Carnage , with intelligent urbanites talking, drinking, and destroying each other's pretensions.
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.
August 18, 2014 |
On a midsummer Tuesday morning at the Roberts Proton Therapy Center at Penn Medicine, the children's waiting room is bustling. Preteens punch up basketball video games while younger children squash Play-Doh through a plastic mold or check doll heart rates with toy stethoscopes. At a round table in the center of the waiting room sits Carlin Beasley, a delicate 3-year-old in a pink tutu whose mischievous eyes gaze out above a wide sterile mask. Chemotherapy for a brain tumor has compromised her immune system, but it hasn't stopped Carlin from pulling out the pieces of a real-life prep kit designed to deliver anesthesia.