Archive for October, 2007

City sends Boy Scouts packing over discriminatory policy

Back in June I wrote a post about how the City Council had proposed an ordinance that would end the very sweet deal the Boy Scouts of American have had with the city since 1928. They rent a very nice building from the city at 22nd and Winter (a prime spot near the Franklin Institute) for a $1 a year. However, since BSA ban gays from membership (a right that the Supreme Court upheld in 2000) the city didn’t feel like it was appropriate to continue to subsidize their use of the building.

So the city has upped the rent to $200,000 a year and the Boy Scouts are saying that they will have to relocate (it does get a little tricky in that the city owns the land but the BSA constructed the building. I guess they didn’t anticipate a world in which their discriminatory practices would become problematic). They are still trying to work out the final details and there may yet be an 11th hour stay, but barring some vast policy change, it looks like the Boys Scouts are out.

City hikes Boy Scouts’ rent by $199,999 over gay ban [Inky]

Another Philadelphia?

So, I’ve been out of town for a week, attending the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany. It was all work – no time to see anything – but I heard one little tidbit about a Philadelphia that I would like to share. My return-to-the-airport cab driver, a native Jordanian, relayed the little fact that the capital city of that country, Amaan, was once called Philadelphia. For hundreds of years, in fact! The Greeks named that city, and, of course, William Penn then chose the name (meaning “Brotherly Love,” as we all know) for our Philadelphia.

Another interesting fact: the Native American name for this Philadelphia was Coaquannok, meaning “grove of tall pine trees.” ( Where are those pine trees?

By the by, there are or were other Philadelphia’s (some spelled differently) in the world: New York, Tennessee, Mississippi, England, Germany, South Africa, Egypt, Turkey, Paraguay, Italy, and Brazil (

I hope you enjoyed this history/geography lesson!

Photo of the Day

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I never knew about this wonderful stained glass until I saw Prof. Jas. Mundie’s photo of this John LaFarge window: Art at the Fleisher Art Memorial. LaFarge was one of the great stained glass creators of the Art Noveau period.
The window is just another reason to visit the Fleisher; they also offer lots of free and low-priced classes in the arts, ranging from drawing to book arts to ceramic tiles. This semester is half over, but keep your eye out on next year’s offerings at

Busy Weekend for Philadelphia’s Uncut Productions

The Philadelphia film scene is a growing community and one of the up and coming independent production companies, Uncut Productions, is having quite the busy weekend and could use some of your support.

They will be participating in the Big Bang Film Festival, showing “Rule #437” on Friday 10/19 at 7:30PM and on Saturday 10/20 at 10PM. You can get more information on the Big Bang Film Festival here.

Horror fans might want to take part in the Terror Film Festival, where Uncut Productions will be showing Kindfeuer on Friday at 3:30PM. You can get more information on the Terror Film Festival here.

And finally, Uncut Productions will be partaking in the National Film Challenge this weekend and is looking for some help in making their film. If interested shoot an e-mail over to for more details.

Cowtown Flea Market

I’ve never been to the Cowtown Rodeo in South Jersey, but it’s one of those places that keeps crossing my consciousness. Friends of mine went a couple of years ago, and recently I heard a story on NPR about the rodeo and the land that it runs on. The last time I got lost in South Jersey, the friend that I was driving around with pointed at an exit and said, “That’s how you get to Cowtown.”

Today there was a really interesting article in the Inquirer about the Cowtown Flea Market that shares space with the rodeo. My interest in heading out there has now increased, as I’ve never been able to resist a good flea market (I’m always up for an opportunity to sort through the assorted flotsam of the lives of others). Cowtown seems to be calling to me and I feel I must answer!

Walk to help stop gun violence

Over the weekend, I attended a day-long community forum (there will be more on that later) that was in part focused on what has to change in Philadelphia in order for it to become the great city we know it can be. One of the things that came up in several of the groups in which I participated was the need to do something about the current rate of murders.

If this is also something that concerns you (and if it doesn’t have you worried, you might want to check your pulse) there’s a walk and rally, led by survivors of gun violence, that you can attend tomorrow (October 16th) from 12 noon until 1:30 pm. The walk begins at noon at Magee Rehab Hospital (16th and Race) and goes to the State Building at Broad and Spring Garden Streets.

Photos of the Day

I couldn’t decide between two beautiful Schuylkill photos for “photo of the day”, so here’s both of them.
— from terrible_images(?)
“Burning” by Terrible Images, is a really outstanding sunset scene of Boathouse Row. Gorgeous colors, nice composition, interesting silhouettes…very lovely.

— from odhusky(?)
“Morning Fog” by Odhusky is a very different river scene, with muted tones that trick the eye, making the bridges and reflections meld together. Nice job, Andy!

National Coming Out Day

As the resident mo on our little slice of life weblog, I’d like to wish the City of Brotherly Love a happy National Coming Out Day!
Today also marks the day when Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Daniel Anders takes his oath of office, and becomes the first openly gay male judge in the city.

South Street Bridge


Experts assure us that the South Street Bridge won’t actually fall down, as the girders are in good shape. It’s just the paving and other stuff on top of the girders that has problems…The bridge is scheduled to be overhauled someday.
This is looking through the railings towards the east bank of the Schuylkill.

Did you know this was in Philly?


I didn’t! I know, I know, many of you DID know about it, but I didn’t. Do you know how, sometimes, when you are riding or running or walking, you just want to keep going? That’s how I found this bridge, located by Forbidden Drive, in the Wissahickon Valley portion of Fairmount Park. The trail is easy, but if you’re riding, watch out for pedestrians – they have the right of way. There were many people out with small children, who tend to suddenly stray in front of bikers, and they are NOT looking behind them. Anyway, if you are car-less, like me, this is a nice way to escape into nature. I picked up a lovely map of the Wissahickon Valley at the Valley Green Inn snack bar, and you can also see it at the Friends of the Wissahickon website. Happy trails!

I apologize for the weird angle. Sometime, I like to get creative.

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