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.
May 13, 2014 |
Good vision in low light is essential to enjoying Alchemia , which Momix brought to the Annenberg Center last weekend. The gloam can hide the scraps and bits that would make the piece seem magical. But for those with healthy peepers, Alchemia is a brilliant journey into a surreal otherworld where earth, water, air, and fire - in the form of dancers, music, lighting, and props - do their thing. Moses Pendleton, choreographer of the "Doves of Peace" segment of the Sochi Olympics' opening ceremony, is the "Mo" in Momix.
April 17, 2014 |
Hello there Kate was getting ready for a Fourth of July 2010 barbecue when her friend Melissa, who was going with her, asked if she could bring her friend Bettner. Sure, Kate said. This was a come-one, come-all kind of summer shindig. Kate caught Jon Bettner's eye at hi. "She was a tall blonde with blue eyes wearing white jeans," Jon said. "That's a trifecta for me. " Jon assumed Kate was dating someone at the party, but enjoyed their conversation. Kate did, too. "I thought Jon was funny.
February 21, 2014 |
AT THE RECENT American International Toy Fair in New York, Gizmo Guy found playthings so profoundly juiced with tech magic he longed to be a kid again. MAKE-IT-YOURSELF TOYS: The concept has gotten a major rethink. Industry leader Hasbro announced the first kid-oriented (and reasonably priced, we hope) 3-D printer, a programmable device that spits plastic goop in precise layers to build a play-ready object. Expect it by Christmas. Hasbro's venture partner is printer maker 3D Systems, which just bought a toy modeling company with rights to "Star Wars," "Harry Potter" and "Hobbit" collectibles.
January 25, 2014 |
Logan Milleman bounced down a hallway of Wills Eye Hospital on Wednesday, showing off his new ID badge: Master Logan, Commander in Chief. He was in good spirits. His right eye has been cancer-free for almost five years. The 6-year-old's parents, Robert and Jeri Milleman, trailed behind him with three large Kohl's bags filled with stuffed-animal toys they had brought for the children in the hospital. He has come a long way. In 2009, Logan's right eye was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare pediatric cancer that is blinding and life-threatening.
December 15, 2013 |
Dexter, a purebred Australian cattle dog, gnawed on a stuffed animal until he found the sweet spot that made the toy squeak. "They love that squeaker," Marianne Ahern said this month as Dexter and two other four-legged creatures played with the squeaky item at her half-acre house near Langhorne, Bucks County. The toy was originally a Beanie Baby that would have ended up in a landfill, but Ahern reclaimed it, cleaned it, and converted it into a Glad Dogs Nation product. "I see this as my retirement business," said Ahern, 57, president and founder of Glad Dogs Nation.
November 15, 2013 |
ON SATURDAY, family and friends of Aimee Willard, a 22-year-old college lacrosse star who was slain in 1996, are holding a collection drive to benefit a community center in the North Philadelphia neighborhood where her body was found. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., donations of unwrapped toys and coats for children ages 5 to 15 will be collected outside Riddle Ale House at 1073 W. Baltimore Pike in Media. Monetary donations will also be accepted. All donations will go to the Hero Community Center at 3439 N. 17th St.
September 10, 2013 |
The United States' trade deficit with China topped $30 billion last week. In Hatfield, Michael Araten, 43, chief executive of K'nex Brands L.P., the toy company, is making that trend go the other way. President Obama visited K'nex in November to highlight the company's decision to bring back most of its manufacturing from China. In August, K'nex began exporting its toys to China. Question: What struck you about your visit with the president? Answer: He was personally incredibly charming.