March 25, 2010 |
The magnolia tree on the north side of Rittenhouse Square looks as if it were plucked from a Dr. Seuss book. Its split trunk is wrapped in a whimsical sweater of pinks, blues, purples, and oranges. The tree cozy is the work of Jessie Hemmons, 23, a graduate student in psychology at Chestnut Hill College and census worker - and a graffiti artist with a soft side. Hemmons is part of a growing trend of rogue knitters who have taken their "yarnbombing" to the street to brighten the cityscape.
September 12, 2009 |
In hushed tones, Betsy Ross motions three children into a secret huddle to show them her latest act of treason against the British government: the first American flag. It is the 1777 version, with 13 stripes of red and white, and 13 five-pointed white stars in a circle on a field of blue. Just as she did for the Founding Fathers three centuries ago, Ross boasts to the children that she can make a five-pointed star with just one snip of her scissors. Carrie Haynes, 11, and Mary Neely, 7, believe her. Adam Young, 11, looks skeptical.
August 30, 2009 |
In the long history of the Academy of Music, perhaps no memorable moment was like the one when the false teeth of Grant L. Blankin Jr. got a standing ovation. The moment came during his solo as a second tenor at a spring concert of the Orpheus Club of Philadelphia in the 1990s, his daughter Leslie Lane said. "Right in the middle of the song," she said, "his bridge dropped right onto the stage. "To the surprise of the blue-haired set - and without missing a beat - he reached over, picked them up, put them back in his mouth, and finished the song.
May 20, 2009 |
The six knitters call themselves "The Needle Nuts," but what really makes them wacky is yarn. "I have more yarn than A.C. Moore," confessed Barbara Devarenne, 52. Responding to a few incredulous looks, she added, "I'm serious. " Fellow Needle Nut Dawn McCormick nodded solemnly. "She's serious. " So having Linda Ostroff and her traveling yarn shop come to their recent weekly meeting at Mary Lou Cuneo's Franklinville home - with seemingly endless skeins of yarns in all colors and materials spreading over three tables - was a dream come true.
January 11, 2008 |
After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Jonelle Raffino found herself suddenly out of work. So did her husband, mother and father, who, like Raffino, had been consultants in the telecommunications industry. When the stock market plunged, their jobs simply disappeared. Desperate for a way to turn around their bad luck, Raffino and her mother, Jonette Beck, saw a possible solution. "We turned to an old family friend," Raffino says. "Knitting. " Yarn can be created from soy fiber, a byproduct of tofu manufacturing, the pair learned.
June 22, 2006 |
Fifty years ago an obscure young New England writer was transformed into what few writers become - a lasting force in American life. The writer was Grace Metalious, a 32-year-old mother of three in Gilmanton, N.H. The novel was Peyton Place, a name that became a synonym for small-town meanness, bigotry and sexual hypocrisy. Peyton Place came out in September 1956. On Nov. 25, it reached No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list. Sales reached more than six million by 1958 and 10 million by 1966.
February 12, 2006 |
It says a lot about America - and movies, and the genius of the Taiwan-born director Ang Lee - that Brokeback Mountain, the first gay love story to be embraced by the public ($62 million and going strong) and the Oscars (eight nominations, including best picture) is an oater, a horse opera, a western. Like a stagecoach trundling over a rocky pass, the cowboy genre has been used to carry baggage - heavy themes, messages, metaphors - from the Silent Era to the iPod Age. In Brokeback, it's gay love.
December 9, 2005 |
While it was way too long and depressing for summer (let's face it: 'toons, guns, and superheroes always rule in the heat), Ron Howard's Cinderella Man still packed a serious punch. The DVD, available in single-disc form and a two-disc collector's edition, does a pretty good job of protecting the film's integrity. The story is the stuff of boxing legend. A once-promising heavyweight prospect, James J. Braddock (admirably portrayed by Russell Crowe), rises from the ashes of the Depression to upset champ Max Baer (Craig Bierko)
November 11, 2005 |
With a tip of the fedora and a tap of the gumshoe to Raymond Chandler, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is a modern-day piece of Hollywood pulp, with a wisecracking detective, a disheveled charm-boy thief, a couple of thugs, and a bevy of drop-dead women. Robert Downey Jr. provides a voice-over ("I'll be your narrator," he intros to the audience), playing Harry Lockhart, a con artist turned movie actor signed to play a private eye. The directorial debut of L.A. screenwriter Shane Black (the Lethal Weapon series)
October 20, 2005 |
A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts Inc. blamed a glut of yarn supplies, unusually hot weather, and high gas prices for its third-quarter loss. The Berlin, Camden County, retailer said yesterday that it lost $1.9 million, or 10 cents a share, in the quarter that ended Sept. 30, compared with a profit of $865,000, or 4 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier. "We are beginning to experience declines in our yarn sales," chief executive officer Jack Parker said in a statement. "Last year at this time we were achieving major sales increases that cannot be repeated this year given the large supply of yarn in the marketplace.