Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Late Friday Linkage

Treehugger, that bastion of eco-blogging, noticed that PhillyCarShare now has more than 25,000 registered users. One more step in changing our city’s reputation from an environmentally backward, aging, industrial city to something just a bit more hip and aware.

You know you like living in Philly, but how often do you think to put a list together of 30 reasons to love it? Well, now you don’t have to, as Jael McHenry has done it for you over at Intrepid Media.

The Philly Geeks/P’unk Ave/Indy Hall get together once again to plan the Philadelphia tech revolution and there are pictures to prove it.

If you’re looking for ways to entertain yourself this weekend, the Fall Fine Arts Show is holding court all around Rittenhouse Square. If you have transportation and would like to get out of the city, think about heading out to West Chester on Sunday afternoon for the Chester County Restaurant Festival from 12 noon until 5:30 pm.

What I missed over the weekend

There was a lot that happened in Philly this last weekend, and I ended up missing most of it. My weekend was chock full of meals with friends, thesis work and cooking, so my time was well spent, but had I the ability to be in multiple places at once, here are some of the places you would have found me.

Podcamp Philly
. Audio and video podcasters (here’s mine) from all over the country (as well as a few from Canada) converged at Drexel University on Saturday and Sunday to talk, network and learn from one another. There’s a bunch of terrific coverage from attendees up and you can find some of it here, here and here.

Sunday morning many of the city’s major arteries were closed to cars, so that Bike Philly could take over the streets. They do something similar in Portland called Bridge Petal and I’ve always meant to do it when I lived there. I’m excited that there’s an alternative here, although I skipped out this year because of timing and cost. However, local blogger Frank Roche rode and took some pictures.

Down on South Street yesterday afternoon, the Philly Greenfest rocked the neighborhood. The Urban Vegan was there and has pictures of the music, veggie sculptures and tasty food.

The Inquirer loves Indy Hall


Congratulations to Alex Hillman and the rest of the folks who made Independents Hall a reality on the very favorable story on the cover of the Inquirer’s Business section today. The space is fantastic and very conducive to getting work done (I spent some time there last Thursday).

Headhouse Square Farmers Market


Last Sunday, I finally got over to the new farmers market at Headhouse Square. I’ve been meaning to go since it opened on July 1st, but a collection of family commitments, lazy Sundays and trips out of town prevented me from making it happen. But this Sunday I got up without any plans until 4:30 pm and decided that it was the day to go check out the market everyone has been raving about.

The raves are totally justified. It is an amazing farmers market. There are standings selling just about everything you need. You could totally do a week’s worth of grocery shopping, with the bread, cheeses, meats, produce, dairy and baked goods. The variety is amazing and the prices are fairly competitive. Plus anything you buy there comes with the satisfaction that you are making a purchase directly from the people who grew/raised/baked/produced the food you’re putting into your bag.

If this post turns on your desire to shop at a farmers market, you don’t have to wait until Sunday to do so. There’s one from 10 am until 1 pm today at Rittenhouse Square and another tomorrow up at 36th and Walnut from 10 am to 2 pm. For complete lists of local markets go here and here.

Geek Fest 2007

Wizard World kicks off today at the convention center. Is anyone going to East Coast Geek Fest 2007? I’ll be there tomorrow perusing the freak show. Tickets are on sale now.

Warning outside the Sidecar Bar

Do Not Put Bikes on My Fence!

Apparently, this Sidecar Bar neighbor got a little fed up with people locking bikes to his or her fence, and so put up a friendly sign, asking people to refrain. On the other side of the fence you’ll find another sign. This one requests that people do not lean on the fence. While I respect an individual’s right to have their property remain unmolested, the posters on all three sides of the fence seem a little excessive.

Got Blood? Need Gas?

The American Red Cross is taking advantage of skyrocketing gas prices by offering blood donors a chance to win free gas. Yes, you read correctly. If you give blood anytime this summer, you will be entered into two drawings, for daily and seasonal prizes. Each day they will give away a $25 gift certificate to eligible donors, and at the end of the summer one lucky winner will walk away with $3,500 in gas money.

Does this seem like it’s in incredibly poor taste to anyone else? There’s also a joke in this somewhere about human blood and the blood of the earth that I’m not quite sharp/sarcastic/cynical enough to make. Feel free to make it for me in the comments section.

Blood Donors Given A Chance To Win Free Gas [KYW]

Are you 13 to 21 Let your voice be heard.

June is Aids education month. Fight .org is holding its first Youth (13 to 21) summit at the Arch Street Meeting House, located at 4th and Arch. 8am to 5pm. Wednesday, June 5th. As our founding fathers declared independence from King George in 1776 it is time to declare independence from ignorance about aids. Come and let your voice be heard.

Welcome to the first AIDS Education Month youth summit! This summit will explore HIV testing, transmission, prevention, and treatment issues relevant to reaching and to empowering youth. Leaders from the youth and HIV/AIDS communities will discuss current challenges in providing community-appropriate outreach, education, advocacy, and HIV care to a population facing rising HIV rates. This summit is youth-friendly and includes a youth fashion show and artistic performances. Come check it out! Let your voice be heard.
Yo! breakfast and lunch will be served. Register online in confidence.

Philadelphia Rocks!

Matt Maggiacomo of the Whomping Willows, performing in Bethlehem PA

Just about everyone knows what a huge Harry Potter geek I am—that’s no secret. One of the most awesome things that’s come out of HP fandom is a movement called “wizard rock”. It’s great because it encourages children to read and to get involved in music.

One of my favorite bands is The Whomping Willows, led by Matt Maggiacomo of Rhode Island. His music, humorously labeled as “botanical wizard rock”, is charming, whitty, and often just a little bit naughty. I mean, come on! One of the songs on his debut album is titled “When You Touched Me in That Special Place”, sung from a pining Whompy to his Remus Lupin, “the greatest love in the whole world”.

Along with with R5 Productions and Harry and the Potters, my HP group Potterdelphia co-hosted the Philadelphia Yule Ball 2006 last December at Starlight Ballroom, which featured The Whomping Willows as the opening act. After that, Matt says, “I decided that I needed to write a song about how effing awesome Philadelphia is. No offense to any other cities, but I’ve never witnessed such an enthusiastic crowd.”

Enthusiastic? Well, yeah, that’s Philly all right!

One day or one trial

Last February I got called for jury duty in March. It turned out to be on a day that I had a prior commitment, and so I rescheduled, setting it up for a date in the distant future. The last two months elapsed quickly, like in old movies when they mark the passing of time by fluttering calendar pages, and that date that had seemed so distant back in February was today.

I showed up at Room 101 in the Courthouse early this morning, grabbed the required paperwork, along with complimentary coffee and banana bread and took a seat. Almost immediately, the woman sitting next to me started chatting and we spent the next half hour talking about living in Philadelphia, past jury duty experiences and American Idol.

This is the third time I’ve been called to serve on jury duty since I’ve lived in Philadelphia, and the experience gets less human and more painful with each iteration. The first time, a judge came in to greet us and give a few brief instructions. The second time, there was a video, but it was fairly quick and not too tedious. This time, they showed a DVD on newly hung flat-panel monitors that seemed to last fifteen minutes and very slowly walked us through how to answer the questions on the paperwork. They seem to be assuming that everyone who passes through that room is light a few million brain cells.

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