Archive for October, 2006

Trick or Treat!

My first couple of years in the city, I bought Hallowe’en candy, and was greatly surprised when absolutely zero trick-or-treaters came knocking on my door. Since then, I’ve fallen out of the habit of having candy on hand, which always leaves me with a certain anxiety about what I’ll do if this suddenly turns out to be the year when the costumed hordes arrive.

Well, tonight I was at choir rehearsal till 10, and Matt didn’t get home from work till after 9. Either way, we weren’t home to see if Center City has finally become a trick-or-treating zone.

How about your neighborhoods? What are the local traditions about candy-gathering in Philly’s different areas and ‘burbs?

So where does this leave us?

I didn’t watch this past Sunday’s game because I had a christening to go to out in Mechanicsburg. It sounds like I had the right idea, because everyone’s told me the game was bloody unwatchable. Dropped balls, penalties, no run defense, no running game, the usual.

Rather than the usual postmortem, I think this post is going to be about the rumblings that are going on three days later.

Synchronicity Abounds

Back in August, I wrote a post about the Rocky statue and the then-uncertain struggle it was experiencing in finding a permanent resting place. Because of that post, I got an email from a rep at a Philly publishing company, asking if I was interested in receiving a review copy of a book called “Rocky Stories,” written by two Philadelphia Inquirer journalists. Never one to turn down a free book, I said yes. He put me on the list and said I should receive it sometime in late October.

Yesterday I was sitting at my dining room table, reading the Inquirer, when this article caught my attention. The student writer in me appreciated the style with which it was written and my soft heart loved the subject matter. When I came to the end of it, I was moved to hop over to my computer and email the reporter to tell him I enjoyed it. It was the very first time I’ve emailed an Inquirer reporter to tell them I liked their piece.

He wrote back to my note within the hour and said, “And if you liked that story, you will love my new book that comes out in a few weeks. Check it out at”

That’s right, it’s the same book.

I know that Philadelphia is really just a small town, but I am still delighted by every instance of synchronicity I experience in my life here. I’m also thrilled, because I know that there’s a book coming my way that I will really enjoy. (I’ll be sure to let you all know what I think when I’ve finished it).

Photo of the Day: Iron Studio Bunnies

Today’s photo of the day comes from Moocat (yes, she is a prolific contributor to the Metroblogging Philadelphia Flickr group so she shows up here a lot), taken during a Flickr meetup that she organized for last Saturday. I wasn’t able to make it myself, but some of the photos from the meetup are being posted here to this Flickr thread.

I don’t know this iron works shop that this is from, so I (like the other commenters on the photo) don’t know why there is a mushroom cloud on the right. Any ideas? (Destruction of innocence? Not sure what that would have to do with iron works though…)

I’m sorry to have missed the meetup, but hopefully I will be able to make the next one! I think it would be fun to explore the city with a bunch of other photographers. Or maybe it would be chaos, I don’t know. I imagine you don’t get very far with everyone stopping to take pictures all the time. :)

Speaking of Flickr and meetups and photography as a hobby, I was walking with a friend by Fitler Square Park yesterday and we passed a woman walking around with a camera in her hands (it looked to be a largish point and shoot, but not a dSLR). I commented to my friend that I probably knew her from Flickr but not in real life (I had Moocat in mind, actually, but now I see from the photos from the meetup on Saturday that this woman was definitely not her). I think I have seen her before in the area, I have seen others as well, and no doubt others have seen me. My friend asked whether this was a new thing, everyone owning a fancy dSLR and walking around specifically to take photos and having photoblogs or Flickr accounts.

It’s hard for me to say, having only my own perspective and not really having paid as much attention to things like this ten years ago. Looking around me, I think that dSLRs are very, very common to see, but at the same time, most of my friends don’t own one. They’re too bulky and expensive. But I do think that the decreasing costs of computers and digital cameras and the simplicity of applications like Picasa and Flickr are allowing people to indulge in a hobby that previously would have been too expensive and/or too difficult to share.

What do you think? Has the photography bug bitten you lately? And moreover, do you think it helps you see and interact with the city around you any differently?

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

Thoughts on the Blackhawks

The Flyers won and if you just look at the score they did it handily, defeating the Chicago Blakhawks 3-0 last night. What that score doesn’t tell you is that Chicago is struggling worse than the Flyers to score right now. Robert Esche’s shutout victory over them last night was the third straight shutout for Chicago. What the 3-0 score also doesn’t tell you is that the Flyers still have absolutely no scoring depth. Once again Peter Forsberg and Simon Gagne did the scoring for the Flyers. With Mike Knuble out with a broken finger for roughly two weeks, the Flyers really need some additional scoring outside of their top guys.


Khabi Alvida Naa Kehna

I just finished watching the Bollywood film Khabi Alvida Naa Kehna, and was surprised that it was shot mainly in Philadelphia. I knew something was up when they thanked the Philadelphia Film Association in the opening credits, but there were no less than 8 scenes in SEPTA stations alone. The story was theoretically based in NYC, but I guess they figured few people watching would know the difference (they did have some stock images of Radio City Music Hall/Statue of Libery). Shah Rukh Khan is one of the leads, which means there are a couple of melodramatic crying in the rain scenes, but other than that the story’s pretty good.

Furniture Lifestyle

The photos I’ll be posting this week are all, I think, from the same street in Center City. (I think it’s Locust Street, but I don’t remember now. Please feel free to correct me.) These are also from the weekend that my husband’s parents were visiting and we did some walking around the city. This was taken on Saturday (10/21) on our way to Reading Terminal Market.

I’m sure I’m a lot of fun to walk around Philly with, snapping pictures of things like furniture stores and making everyone wait until the sidewalk is empty and there are no cars going by.

But there is just so much to see in Center City everywhere I look. It’s hard to stop trying to photograph everything…

Furniture Lifestyle

Camera:     Canon EOS 350D Digital Rebel XT, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
EXIF:     Aperture Priority, Pattern Metering, EV 0, 1/200 sec, F/6.3, ISO-100, 27 mm (43 mm equivalent), slight perspective correction that still isn’t quite right

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

Halloween Weekend Fun


The fact that my friend was part of the performance motivated me to engage in a different form of Halloween fun. We went to a the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion in Germantown for a haunted mansion on Saturday. It was like a live version of Clue–each room had a different character, all of whom had reasons why they had nothing to do with the disappearance of the head of the household. It was a great way to tie into the season as well as raise the profile of the mansion. I have to go back to Tulpehocken Street during the daytime–at first we had difficulty figuring out which house was the Maxwell Mansion, as all of the houses lining the street were such absolutely stunning houses.

They Did It!

The college football story of the weekend: Temple University’s struggling football team won a game! Hallelujah. The first win in twenty games. Though I was happy (well, shocked) to hear the news, I don’t really think it will mean much for them in terms of the rest of the season. My first reaction was, “Wow, Bowling Green must really suck.” Which perhaps is not nice. I know the team is struggling with many issues–I think they will have much more success by going into a lower division. But, I’m sure the team tries as hard as they can, and, even if it won’t mean much, they deserve at least one glimmer of hope for their efforts. I am not a Temple alum, but no Philadelphian wants to see one of our teams suffer so endlessly. Though, pain does seem to be an inextricable part of Philadelphia sports…

Thoughts on the Penguins

The most telling moment of last night’s 8-2 drubbing that the Flyers received from the Pittsburgh Penguins was broadcaster Keith Jones stating, “Penguins forwards are making a habit of skating around the Flyers defense…” For the second time in a week and a half the Philadelphia Flyers were humiliated, this time on their own home ice to their cross state rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins and a lot of it was the same. The Flyers were out-skated all night but unlike the Buffalo game, the Flyers showed some signs of life. Derian Hatcher and Ben Eager both dropped the gloves in an attempt to spark their team and the Flyers were still attempting to throw some hits late in the game. Outside of that little edge that the Flyers showed, the team was dreadful. They were slow and consistently broke down in their own zone. Antero Niitymaki was pulled early in the second period but even the goalie change didn’t quell the Pittsburgh attack as they scored 18 seconds into Esche’s time on the ice.


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