Archive for November, 2008

Book Jacket Of The Times

Larry Robin – owner, Robin’s Books and, for the last god-damned time NOTSanta Claus, kids

Robin’s Books, the last vanguard of independent bookstores, is closing its doors on January 31st, says the Philadelphia Inquirer:


The death notice appears in the front window of Robin’s Bookstore in Center City, sandwiched between Chopin – A Life and Our Dumb World.

Par for the course in the provocative world of proprietor Larry Robin.

His display philosophy has always been to mix the obscure with the best-seller, pairing “things you’re going to look at because you’re interested and things I think you should know about.”

In this case, the death notice is the thing he wants you to know about. Robin’s, started by his grandfather in 1936 and believed to be Philadelphia’s oldest independent book seller, is calling it quits at the end of January.

He can take the stomach-churning world of declining sales outpacing rising expenses, the unlevel playing field of single owner versus national chain, the predictions of further economic deterioration with no immediate end in sight no more.

Sales dipping as much as 15 percent in recent months, his salary not even $30,000, Robin said his beloved business had gone “from bad bearable to bad unbearable.”

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General Tso’s Slot Machines

Foxwoods wants to build a casino at The Gallery. Some people are opposed to it because of the je ne sais quoi that a casino might bring to the area – like traffic.

Other people are opposed to the casino because of the “shady elements” and “crime” and “prostitution” that a casino “would bring” to the area. That reason always make me chuckle because – if I recall from my eleventeen years – isn’t Chinatown the place where kids go to get fake ID’s and nunchucks and chewing gum that gets you high?

Still others are are opposed to the casino, for, well, batsh*t crazy reasons.

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Easy-to-use SEPTA

Broad and Walnut

Have you seen the new SEPTA signs? I noticed this a few weeks ago; the signs in the photo here are located at Broad and Walnut Streets (the first one I spotted) but there are also posted at 13th & Market, 15th & Market, 18th & JFK, 19th & Market, and 15th & Locust.

The first thing I thought when I saw the sign was “T? Like in Boston?” but the lines of the T do look a bit like rail lines, so I guess it’s an interesting design choice.

What I like more than the huge posts are the signs on the stairwells, explaining the lines and connections that can be made at the station, and the exit orientation signs, giving directions and street intersections. Have you ever come up from the subway feeling disoriented? Well, maybe not if you’ve been riding for years, but occasional riders and tourists probably don’t know which is the northeast corner of Broad and Walnut just standing around in the concourse.

If you’ve seen the signs and have any comments about them, there is a survey for SEPTA and PATCO users to submit.

Do you think these signs will be useful? What would you do differently, or do you think the city’s had a good idea with these?

Orchestral Snub

The Philadelphia Orchestra didn’t make Gramophone’s Top 20 list of the world’s best orchestras. I guess that’s the led-by-a-guy-dressed-like-a-penguin-music world’s BCS standings or something. I guess Philadelphia was knocked out by Boise State or didn’t win enough in-conference Vivaldi concertos.

Maybe it’s the Curse of Riccardo Muti or Eugene Ormandy?

Don’t fret, woodwinds. None of the other cities listed in the Top 20 won the World Series this year.

Suck on those fermatas, Vienna.

– AP

Hit The Bricks, Andy!

Yeah, the Eagles are doin’ pretty bad. We all know it and well hear it and it’s just part of being a Philadelphian.

After the Fightin’s won the World Series, I thought that we were going to see our other teams a bit energized and step it up. While it’s still far too early in the NBA and the NHL season to say whether or not the Sixers and the Flyers will be headed to the playoffs, it’s doubtful that the Eagles are going to be bringing the Lombardi Trophy to Philly this year.

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Why Is The Line For Tater Tots Backed Up To The Parking Lot?

From my peeps at Fox News….

An elementary school cafeteria worker and playground monitor, who had an extensive career in the adult entertainment industry, is becoming a New Jersey school district’s legal nightmare.

Some parents in Vineland, N.J., as well as the board of education president, want Louisa C. Tuck fired, but district officials were advised by their lawyers and those from the New Jersey School Board Association they have no legal grounds to terminate the 32-year-old from her $5,772-a-year part-time job as an aide in the lunchroom and playground, The Daily Journal reported.

“We have no real legal stance or legal right to do anything for two reasons — one, it’s not illegal, and two, it’s not on school time,” Superintendent Charles Ottinger told the newspaper.

Really? People are angry about this? Now people have to worry that their outside-of-work-and-previous-to-work-non-illegal-activities will catch up with them?!

“Hey, Joe, we heard that you were a huge drug addict when you were a teenager. Even though you’re 35 years old and have got a college degree and cleaned up your life, we’re gonna have to let you go.”

I call shenangians. The one guy who was interviewed on the Fox 29 Ten O’ Clock News last night sounded like he was waiting to pick up his kids at 4:20 and not 3:00, if you catch my drift.

The chick’s obviously trying to better her life – although I’m certain she could make far more money in the previous trade she plied instead of working for any public school.

Man, calm down South Jersey. Yeah, like half the parents who are upset don’t work for “legitimiate” “tow truck” or “concrete” businesses.

At least she was on Jenny Jones….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rmf49iAsr8o[/youtube]

I didn’t even have to use one beef stroganoff joke.

Be seeing you,

– AP

The Best Soap Opera On TV

It’s not “Days Of Our Lives” or “The Young And The Restless” or even “One Life To Live“.

It’s the Fox 29 Ten O’Clock News.

For any of us following the Larry Mendte saga (including some of us on Metblogs..) – you might know that his hot wife, Dawn Stensland, is a news anchor on Fox 29. With the cold weather (what is this white crap coming out of the sky?!) – it’s nice to heat up a bag of popcorn and curl up to the disclaimer that follows each Mendte report about Hot Dawn working there and how they have her support 100%.

Nice.

`Cause..yeah…Every time they do a report about the douchebag Mendte, they take her off the news desk or do the story at the beginning of the news before she shows up. I’ve noticed the past few nights she’s looked kinda sad after the reports. Especially now that we’re finding out that “OMGZ Larry hacked into another news anchor’s Yahoo e-mail duudez. LOL.”

Don’t be sad, Dawn. Besides the obvious reason that you can look me up and I’ll come “console” you any time day or night (preferably day, as I work in retail…) – here are some other reasons you can feel better about your otherwise terrible situation:

TOP TEN REASONS DAWN STENSLAND SHOULDN’T BE SO SAD

10. At least you’re not married to this guy:

9. Maybe Larry was just hacking into the weather guy’s e-mail to get the way extended forecast to take you on a second honeymoon?

8. You never, ever have to do the dishes again.

7. Stensland is a way cooler last name than Mendte.

6. You get to play yourself in the TV movie while Larry will be played by Bill Murray.

5. He gets house arrest, you get to look at John Bolaris every night.

4. Put it this way. Any time there’s something about Larry they need to discuss, you get 5 minutes to go get a coffee or finish your Sudoku puzzle.

3. You could always get back at Larry by banging Antonio Villaraigosa

2. You now have the right to tell Larry to stop practicing his god-awful stand-up routine whenever you want.

1. Your new catchphrase is: “Not only do I report the news…I AM the news!”

Be seeing you,

– AP

Don’t Call It A Comeback (Well, You Can, I’ve Been Gone For Eight Years)

Hello, everyone!

I’d first like to tip my hat to Frazgo over at Los Angeles Metblogs for getting the hook up for me here at Philadelphia Metblogs.

My name’s Aaron Proctor. Otherwise/formerly known as “The Noticeable One“, “The Proc“, or “The Most Electrifying Man In Pasadena” and generally known as a damned handsome man. I like long walks on the beach, “Arrested Development“, corporate slang, vodka tonics and house cats that sound like they’re meowing with a “Brrrrrrrowww” instead of Meow. You know what I’m sayin’?

I moved back to the Philly burbs – Delaware County, right in the Chichester area – after living in Los Angeles for the past eight years. You can read about my exploits, triumphs and tribulations in Los Angeles by going here. It’s wiki-accurate.

I grew up in various parts of the Philly area. Was born in Chester. Moved to Mt. Airy to attend the first part of grade school. Moved back to Chester for a short period of time up until around 5th grade and then I finished out my middle and high school experience in the Marcus Hook/Lower Chichester/Upper Chichester area.

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Green means go, no light means… what again?

Philly drivers are crazy to begin with, but what happens when a traffic light ceases to be a traffic light?

There’s been a signal at Broad and Jackson for who knows how long, but last Friday on my way to the subway I noticed that the light was out, and the intersection was a free-for-all. The cars on Broad Street seemed to think they had the right of way (being on a wide four-lane state highway with parked cars for a median), while the cars on puny little one-lane one-way Jackson Street just tried to sneak through across the intersection. The ones turning right from Jackson onto Broad had it easier. Woe to the driver insane enough to try a left turn onto Broad!

Even though Chapter 2 of the PA Driver’s Manual, “Signs, Signals and Pavement Markings”, clearly states that “[a] non-functioning traffic signal should be treated as though it were a four-way STOP sign”, does the city of Philadelphia really expect that drivers remember those silly rules from their learner’s permit days? Apparently not! Sometime over the weekend, big bright red stop signs were installed at each corner of Broad and Jackson.

Did this help the situation? Watch and learn!
[youtube] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAQdjVvpGoY[/youtube]

The poor woman yelling “stop sign!” at all the drivers had been walking her dog and made several attempts to cross the street. She’d been waiting for about five minutes when she finally got fed up and marched right into the intersection. I myself did the same thing, because no one—seriously, no one—was stopping for pedestrians.

5 days until: The Philadelphia Marathon

It’s that time of year again! The Philadelphia Marathon is scheduled for this coming Sunday, November 23 at 07:00, beginning at 22nd and Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Check out one of these “cheer zones,” too!:

* 16th & Arch (Mile 1) Starbucks
* 4th & South (Mile 4.5) Starbucks
* 10th & Chestnut (Mile 5.5) Starbucks
* Memorial Hall (Mile 9.5)
* Philadelphia Museum of Art (Mile 13.5 & Finish)
* Kelly Drive & Fountain Green Drive (Mile 15 & Mile 23)
* Main Street & Levering (Mile 20) Starbucks

The race is full (18,000 runners!), as is the half-marathon (same start time, same place, and the Rothman 8k (starting at 07:15, same place).

Come out and cheer on the runners who have worked so hard to prepare for this race! (Find the course here.)

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