Archive for February, 2007

I just want some sleeeep…..

So at around 10:00 Monday night, we get someone knocking persistently on our front door. We answered, and two gentlemen were there who identified themselves as PGW. A car and a van with PGW stickers were behind them, so we figured they were legit. They said there was a report of a gas leak in our area, and could they have a look in our basement? I wouldn’t have been very keen on that, but the good thing is, we don’t have a basement. The houses have a common underground garage, but no basement. So I let them into the garage, and a few minutes later went out to check on them to make sure they weren’t hot-wiring any cars. They were already walking out; that was the good news.

About an hour later, the jackhammer started.

Photo of the Day: McGintys

This is an older shot from my camera phone taken in my former neighborhood, Queen Village. These black and white cats, whom I called the McGintys, congregated on a small stretch of Montrose Street. This was a particularly quiet, peaceful afternoon and the cats didn’t scatter as they normally did when I walked by.

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

Lights out in Rittenhouse Square

I have been walking alone through Rittenhouse Square at night for years. I’ve never felt unsafe doing it. There are always people around and the square is always radically well-lit. Last night after class, I went over to a friend’s house who lives on the other side of the square from me to help him eat the leftover cheese from his birthday party and watch the previous night’s episode of Heros that he had DVR-ed. I left around 11:30 pm and as I crossed into the square I felt markedly uncomfortable. I increased my pace and tried to figure out why it was that I felt so nervous. Looking up, I realized that three quarters of the lamps in Rittenhouse were out. I don’t know if they had a power failure last night, or if this has been going on for some time, but I never realized how depending I was on those lights for making me feel safe as I walked through the square.

“…the most murder-plagued big city…”

David Gambarcorta posted a piece on the Daily News site today about the murder rate in Philadelphia.

Much of what I’ve read previously claims our rate isn’t much higher than other cities and that increasing violence, particularly gun-related, is on the rise all of the country. Well, turns out those are big fat lies.

Check out the homicide totals (to the right) and read on about how “Philadelphia is the most murder-plagued big city in the country.”

Oh, and the cops still like to blame the weather. Now they say there are more indoor homicides because it’s cold. If you recall, over the summer they claimed the violence would decrease when the weather cooled off.

Not so much. Try another excuse.

Flyers aqcuire Biron

The Philadelphia Flyers stopped the fire sale and bought something yesterday at the trading deadline, nabbing goaltender Martin Biron from the Buffalo Sabres for a second round draft pick. Biron is a solid goaltender and he sures up the position as he will split time with Antero Nittymaki. I guess rebuilding is in full effect and we can expect to see Robert Esche traded in the off season. It is actually quite a nice deal for the Flyers, unfortunately I am just having a hard time getting excited for anything they do right now.

Beware the Blog Virus

Be on the lookout for Storm worm, which allows PCs to be taken over by malicious hackers. It is being spread via blogs. The worm is embedded in postings from users’ PCs that have been infected. It plants links to malicious web sites that contain the worm, which if visited, download the worm to the visitor’s system. The worm is polymorphic, which means that it changes signature code with each download, making it difficult to prevent infection.

My computer has Kapersky antivirus, but I reccommend whatever you use that you regularly update its virus definititions and regularly scan your systems, especially given how most of you are blog trollers.

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Sunny Day in South Philadelphia

I enjoy the seasonless stark blue sky in this one, and the old school cable antenna reminds me of when I was little and cable was this new amazing invention.

Photo by meg_k_walter.

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

No, it really isn’t open 24-hours

This past Friday night, my friend Alex was in town, performing a show at LaSalle University. The show ran late and by the time the gear was packed and the cars loaded, it was about twenty to two in the morning. Where were we going to eat?

Someone suggested the South Street Diner, since it’s not that far from where I live. “No,” I said, “I think they close at two.” Nonsense! It’s a 24-hour diner! A sign on the building says so! “Nope,” I reiterate, “they close around two. They are not open 24-hours.”

My statements ignored, we drove down there—the only time you can get a good parking spot on South Street is two in the morning—and gathered in the diner’s doorway, still waiting on two more people, but were told that the diner would be closing in about five minutes, and if our friends didn’t show in in that time, they’d be locked out. Sit down or leave, basically. I could tell we were seriously annoying the hosts.

“WTF?” said Alex. “Let’s just go.”

The good news in this is that we met up with our other two friends at Maoz, which (I didn’t realize) really is open that late. Hooray! Late night felafel, awesome.

As we walked back to the car, we saw a couple trying to get into the diner. “It’s not open 24-hours,” we told them, but the girl pointed to the sign on the building, clearly stating 24 hours. “Yeah,” I said, “they lie.”

Puppets and Activism

Dragon Head

If you don’t have plans tonight, and would like to experience one of the places where activism and artistry merge, then I suggest you head over to the Sierra Club office in Manayunk. Michelle Posadas from Spiral Q Puppet Theater will be there talking about the history of puppets and activism. She will also help the folks from the Sierra Club plan a large puppet to use during their Earth Day events.

The event starts at 6:15 pm at 4100 Main Street, Suite 405 (just above the Grape Street Pub and next to the Manayunk Brewery). Call 215-508-3310 for more information.

The picture above is from a program that Spiral Q did with kids from North Philadelphia during the summer of 2005. I was working at a local university doing community service coordination in those days and since some of our students were helping out with their summer program, I got invited to the midafternoon parade. It was really a kick.

Carrot Attacks

This one is from the ‘burbs, far too odd to pass up. Extraordinarily rich bitch Susan Tabas Tepper thought she could get away with assaulting her housekeeper with a phone and bag of carrots. After all, Daddy owns the Twelve Caesars (that hideous thing on City Line Ave) and is chairman of Royal Bank, while hubby is CEO of TRM.

The housekeeper, Xiomara Salinas, quotes her as saying “You’re not calling anyone…I’m important, you’re nothing. No one will believe you.” Well, it turns out someone did believe her. Salinas was treated at Bryn Mawr Hospital for cuts and bruises to her face and now Tepper is on probation for a year.

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