Archive for February, 2007

Thoughts on Milton Street

I was listening to the radio this morning on my way in to work, and they just happened to have upcoming mayoral candidate Milton Street on in an interview. And I have to tell you that at first I was very impressed. He seemed to be making a lot of sense and I was thinking maybe…just maybe he’s actually for real.

Then he started going on about the black community and how most murders are committed by blacks and how most taxes are paid by whites. He then went on to say that black people need to stop blaming white people for the problems they are having in their communities and they need to realize that the whites are the only ones paying to improve their communities. I don’t have any sort of a statistic to back up what he’s saying. I do think he uses too many phrases involving the words “most” or “all.”

I’m not calling him a racist because I sort of see what he was trying to get at, but I’m concerned that if Milton Street is elected mayor we will only see a broadening of any racial divide that is in the city. Call me naive, but I’m not making the distinction when I walk down the street, and I really don’t think most people I run into downtown do either.

I’m very sick of everything coming down to race. I don’t think that we need to ignore race but I don’t think that everything in life has to come down to race. And – until I think everyone can learn to make that distinction – I don’t see any of these problems going away.

Fire Sale in Full Effect

First Peter Forsberg, and really who wasn’t thinking a trade with him wasn’t coming, then it was Alexi Zhitnik, aquired earlier this season and now the fire sale is in full effect with the trade of Kyle Calder back to the Blackhawks, who then traded him to the Detroit Red Wings. Calder seemed unhappy here, and really could you blame him, but his trade opens up the giant question of who is safe? Simon Gagne? Jeff Carter? If we are willing to trade away young talent like Calder, who we already traded fan favorite Michael Handzus away for, for a new experiment who really is safe?

Center City bikers and drivers beware the pothole

There is an enormous pothole on 20th Street just south of Chestnut. It is so huge and deep that were it filled with water, some might confuse it for a reflecting pool. When I went past it today, there were two cones indicating that you shouldn’t drive, ride or step there, but cones have a way of disappearing and Philadelphia isn’t known for it’s ability to fill in potholes in a timely manner.

Since it is the season of potholes, we’d love to hear about the choice examples from your neighborhood. If you’ve got a doozy on your block, or notice a crater near your work or school, we want to hear about. Just send the location and a description and we’ll write about it. Even better if you take a picture! You can email me your pothole stories at apt2024 [at] gmail dot com.

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Arches in Arches

This photo popped up today; lovely timing as I wanted something to show the semi-snow we keep getting. Every time I hope for a heavy white blanket it turns to ice or slush. I particularly like the odd angle and the way the snow outlines the countours of the trees and slopes.

Photo by odhusky

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

Some Free Advice for Milton Street

Dear Milty,

When I first heard that you were throwing your hat into the race for Philadelphia’s next mayor I thought it was a sick joke. But, I keep hearing bits about it here and there, so evidently you are serious. So, I thought I’d give you some advice: Save yourself the trouble. It’s not like name recognition is on your side, as not many people are impressed with your brother’s tenure in the post. You’re embroiled in legal scandal after scandal, and you may not even be a resident of Philadelphia. Save yourself the time and money–I can’t imagine what you feel you have to prove by staying in the race.


Tavern on Green: The New Monk’s?

As I have written before, I adore my local neighorhood haunt, Tavern on Green. As you may also know, I love Monk’s. Rumors has it that Tavern will be closing it’s doors for a little while to re-open as Monk’s 2. While I would be sad to see the place that I’ve known and loved my entire time in the city close, a version of one of my all-time favorite places practically around the corner? Heaven, I tell you. Anyone heard any confirmed reports of this?

We’re looking for a few good bloggers

Are you a blogger who is passionate about Philadelphia? We’re looking for foodies, sports fans, political junkies, movie buffs, historians and anyone in between who’s got attitude, sass and something to say about local goings-on.

Writing for the Philadelphia Metroblog is a volunteer gig, but the perks aren’t bad. They include occasional free drinks, potlucks at my apartment and the knowledge that people are actually reading the things you write. Know that we expect at least three posts a week from you (but would be thrilled if you wanted to do more).

If you’ve read all this and are thinking to yourself, yeah, that’s something I’d like to do, drop me an email at apt2024 [at] gmail dot com with a statement about why you’re interested in writing for us, along with a link to your current blog. If you don’t have a blog, don’t fear, in that case we just ask that you write a sample post for the site.

The deadline to apply is this Friday, March 2nd at 5 pm.

An outsider’s view of Philly

So often I forget that I live in one of the most history-rich cities in the country. It’s hard to walk a block in Philly without passing some site of significance, or a museum or historic site but when you walk those blocks regularly, you stop seeing so much of it. I was searching online tonight for little snippets of Philly history when I stumbled across an editorial that a writer and history teacher from Georgia wrote in the Gwinnet Daily Post about a recent trip he took to our city. He says,

We saw the Liberty Bell, which is just a symbol — and a cracked one at that. Yet I had tears in my eyes as I stood and contemplated the rejoicing that must have greeted its boisterous pealing 231 years ago.
We saw the very chair in which George Washington sat as he presided over the Constitutional Convention, the one with the “rising, not setting sun,” as the aforementioned Dr. Franklin affirmed after our new Constitution was adopted, and we saw the encampment at Valley Forge where Washington and his tattered army hunkered down and stayed the course during those hard times — the ones that Thomas Paine said “tried men’s souls.”

Sometimes it nice to have an opportunity to see the place where you live through the eye’s of a visitor.

Photo of the Snowy Night: Hiding the Crack Pipe

I chose this rather stark photo as it presents a common reality mosty of us rarely see, much less capture on film. I wonder if he’s keeping warm and dry tonight.

Photo by podolux

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

Zento Sushi–Try the toro scallion roll

Toro Scallion Roll

Everyone has been singing the praises of Zento, the new sushi restaurant on Chestnut St., between Front and 2nd. Philly Inquirer restaurant reviewer Craig Laban recently gave the four-month old restaurant a glowing review and two stars.

A couple of friends and I decided on Friday to go to Zento on Saturday night, and when I called at about 2 pm that day, the earliest reservation I could get was 9:15 pm, which is a testament to what a positive Inquirer review can do. We arrived a couple of minutes early and were quickly directed to sit at a table, which the slightly overly solicitous waitress stressed would not be where we would actually sit for our meal, and look at the menu. We got an order of tempura calamari and edamame to start out and then each got three rolls. In addition to her rolls, Lara got a couple pieces of the special sashimi which were otoro and baby yellowfin.

My favorite of the night is pictured above, a meltingly delicious toro scallion roll. At the end of the meal, we actually tried to order one more toro roll, to serve as dessert, but they had run out of toro by that point. Everything we had tasted fantastic, was beautiful to look at and was suprisingly reasonable in price.

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