Archive for September, 2006

Wait…now?!

Apparently the smoking ban goes into effect today! As much as I love this idea I seriously doubt it will be enforced very well, especially given that there will only be two enforcement officers. I am especially skeptical of the rule that smoking is not permitted within 20 feet of a restaurant entrance. Unless they flood restaurant districts like Olde City and Rittenhouse with cops that’s not going to happen.

I hope everyone cooperates as nicely as possible and look forward to being able to go out and not reek of cancer when I get home.

Pink Skies over Philadelphia

And finally here’s the money shot of the skyline, at that perfect moment when it is day and night and evening and sunset all at once, and the city lights really start to define the skyline.

This photo was taken (as were the two I posted previously: here and here) from the South Street Bridge.

Philadelphia Skyline at Sunset



Location:     Center City
Camera:     Canon EOS 350D Digital Rebel XT, Sigma 55-200mm f/4-5.6
EXIF:     Aperture Priority, Pattern Metering, EV +1, 15 sec, F/8, ISO-100, 78 mm (125 mm equivalent)


Please add your Philadelphia photos to the Metroblogging Philadelphia Flickr group. Readers’ photos will be featured here on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Two Philly Restaurants Ranked Best in Country

In the October edition of Gourmet Magazine there is a list of the top 50 restaurants in the country, according to Ruth Reichl and the rest of the magazine’s editorial staff. Happily, two Philadelphia restaurants have landed on that list, both for the first time, in positions 16 and 25.

Striped Bass
occupies the #16 slot. Neil Stein’s former seafood palace, it is now part of Stephen Starr’s portfolio of restaurants. I ate there once several years ago with my cousins, for their wedding anniversary. It was one of the lushest, most indulgent eating experiences I ever had, and I would love to go back to see what the Starr group has done with it.

Philadelphia native, Marc Vetri, is the owner and chef of the self-named Vetri, the other Philly establishment on the list, coming in at 25. I’ve never eaten there, but have heard wonderful things. I have been looking forward to the opening of Osteria on North Broad, since I first heard about it a couple of months ago.

Oktoberfest and Fall Festival

On Saturday, Ludwig’s Garten hosted its annual Oktoberfest at 13th and Sansom. I’ve been to this event for the past few years and it is a great way to welcome fall to Philadelphia. Though the sky threatened rain in the morning, the weather held out for the duration of the event. The beer, pork sandwiches, potato salad and sauerkraut were as delicious as ever. For the first time, other business in the surrounding area joined in the fun for the first annual Fall Festival. El Vez got into the action, hosting a free tequila tasting for a portion of the day. Their outside table offerings featured delicious sopapillas among other offerings. Other area restaurants including Vintage also were part of the action, and there was art and music to add a cultural element to the day’s event. My early sighting of Fergie foreshadowed the fact that Fergie’s was my last stop of my day-turned-night at the Fall Festival.

I didn’t know what to expect when I heard that my beloved Oktoberfest would be part of a larger event this year, but the results were positive. The area immediately surrounding Ludwig’s was as fun as ever, and the infusion of other happenings in the adjoining blocks brought additional energy to the area. The event drew a great mix of people–this is something I’ll definitely be looking forward to next year.

Flyers Roundup

This is a special Flyers themed edition, brought to us by former Metblogs author, Kariyanine.

forsberg.JPG

Team Name: Flyers
City: Philadelphia
Established: 1967
Stanley Cups: 2
GM: Bob Clarke
Coach: Ken Hitchcock
Key players: Peter Forsberg, Simon Gagne, Joni Pitkanen

If anyone understands the financial structure of the not so “New” anymore NHL its Philadelphia Flyers general manager Bob Clarke. While other GMs around the league struggle with the salary cap, Clarke has hit the free agent market over the offseason adding defenseman Nolan Baumgartner, winger Randy Robitaille, center Mark Cullen and winger Geoff Sanderson. Clarke also traded Michal Handzus to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for winger Kyle Calder. He also re-signed key free agent winger Simon Gagne. The question remains though, with all these moves and signings are the Flyers going to be better than last year when they fell flat on their face to a speedy Buffalo Sabres team in the playoffs?
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Happy Holidays

Three holy times converge this weekend and I’d like to wish everyone celebrating joy and peace. For those who celebrate Rosh Hashanah, may the new year hold many good things for you. For those who are starting their Ramandan fast, may it be filled with love and truth. And for the pagans out there, may this equinox celebrate the abundance of summer and help us honor the cycle of the seasons.

And you thought your neighbor was bad.

The local news story doesn’t give a whole lot of detail about the man shot in South Philadelphia last night after threatening people with a knife. I happen to know his next door neighbor who has been detailing this man’s activities over the past week. In the preceding three days has threatened to beat up and kill three of his neighbors, harassed another, called the police insisting one of his neighbors was spying on him, stolen a bag of trash, and screamed very loudly that he was going to his brother’s house to kill him and that there would be a knife fight.

The cops were called four times within a 48 period. They did nothing, not even take a report. They told everyone there was nothing they could do because he was simply crazy. Some neighbors considered filing a 302 to have him involuntarily committed. Apparently that idea was being put into action when the knife standoff began, ending with him being shot in the stomach. When the aforementioned next door neighbor gave a report the detective had the gall to ask her “why didn’t you call the police?” He had no idea they had already been there four times and done nothing. Why would she call them again? They were completely ineffective the last four times.
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Photo of the Day: Sunny in Philadelphia

While I’m on a roll featuring my own skyline shots of Philadelphia (still one more to come tomorrow), I thought I’d feature this one by Fen Branklin. Those clouds are just unreal.


Please add your Philadelphia photos to the Metroblogging Philadelphia Flickr group. Readers’ photos will be featured here on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Center City Go Boom

Around 1:00 this afternoon four PECO transformers exploded in center city while crews were doing repairs underground. Manhole covers blew off and 16th street between Chestnut and Market was closed off, causing all sorts of traffic fun.

Meghan Walter, who works at 16th and Chestnut, said: “Billows of smoke rose from the ground and steam grates as well as a huge fire ball. Quite terrifying/thrilling.”

For more details, there is an article and video on NBC10.com.

Center City Explosions

I’ve been sitting at my desk, next to an open window for several hours, working on an assignment that is due tonight. Taking a break to check my email, I see I have a message from a fellow Metroblog captain, saying that he heard there was an underground explosion in Philadelphia and wanted to know if I was okay. I followed the link he sent and saw that indeed, there have been THREE explosions in Center City today, and that One Penn Center has been evacuated. It certainly explains the hovering helicopter I’ve been hearing all afternoon.

I called a friend who works at 15th and Market, and she was totally unphased. She said that she heard the explosion while walking to lunch with some co-workers. Everyone on the street paused for a moment after the bang, but then returned to normal in about 15 seconds. She thinks that the explosions were closer to Chestnut than to Market, and mentioned that if you went to the windows on the south side of her building, you can see some smoke.

According to the Inquirer
, it was an underground transformer that blew.

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