Archive for March, 2007

Photo of the Day: Escucha

terrible_images has started adding some interesting photos of street art to the Metroblogging Philadelphia Flickr group, like this one below.

Photo by terrible_images

I have to say that I am not normally a fan of photos of murals (I know, I’m like the only one, and even worse, Philly has some amazing murals), but what I really love about his photos of street art is the way he incorporates the street and other elements into the composition, like this one and this one. This is photostream to keep your eye on if you love some of Philly’s transient street art. (Or just go here to view his “Street Art & Tributes” photo set.)

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

Still Saving the Boyd

On my way to meet at Grocery Cafe (they always have soups) for lunch today, I spotted activity across the street at the SamEric/Boyd. As you may know, Live Nation, the group that now owns the space, is considering either selling it or developing it. But nothing has been decided yet, leaving the area’s last great movie palace at risk.

All I could tell was that there were a few people standing around the side entrance doors to the theater, talking and briefly consulting some rolled up plans. They looked like they were waiting for a few more people to join them. The rear door of the theater was also open, so that you could look straight through to Sansom Street.

Friends of the Boyd is encouraging all Mayoral and City Council candidates to support the saving of the Boyd. They are also urging all Philadelphians to call or write City Hall in order to voice their support for the preservation of the theater. If you are interested in offering your support, you can reach the Mayor’s office at 215-686-1776. Alternately, you can send a faxed letter of support to 215-686-2180.

Ex-Phillies Pitcher Sentenced to 14 Years

Ex-Phillies pitcher Ugueth Urbina was sentenced to 14 years in prison for the attempted murder of five workers on his family’s ranch in Venezuela. I don’t know if he was involved or not but his story has more holes in it than Dunkin Donuts has on Monday mornings.

Urbina claimed that he arrived at his family ranch, confronted some lazy workers who were using the pool and then went to sleep. Sometime after he went to sleep a gang of men attacked these same lazy workers with machetes and gasoline. Somehow they escaped and named Urbina as one of the assailants.

Not to make light of the situation at hand here but how did the accusers escape? I mean I’ve watched Friday the 13th and Jason Vorhees is slower than shit and he still manages to kill everyone with just the machete. These guys escaped from a gang of machete wielding loonies who also happened to be pouring gasoline on them. I’m not buying it. But neither am I buying that Urbina had nothing to do with the incident either.

Cherry Blossoms

The cherry blossoms have come out this week – at least I think they are cherry blossoms. They could be plum blossoms too. They are perhaps a tiny bit early, but hopefully will stick around until the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival in Philadelphia from Monday, April 9 to Sunday, April 22. According to this page: “Although there is no official cherry blossom forecast in the US, Washington, DC’s Tidal Basin cherry blossoms are expected to be in full bloom from April 1-7, during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Since Philadelphia’s blossoms appear about a week later than Washington’s, we can expect our blossoms to be in full bloom throughout the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia.”

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Sushi Spectacular on Monday, April 16, which costs a pretty penny ($125!), but includes a seating at a table for ten served by its own private chef and a translator. If that’s a little too steep for you, you can try your hand at the Amateur Sushi Contest on Thursday, April 19, sponsored by Temple University. Contestants pay $95 for materials and instructions and their sushi making skills will then be evaluated by judges and prizes given out. At the very least, I would imagine you get to eat the sushi that you make. Or you could skip food altogether and just head straight for the sake at the Sake Fest on Wednesday, April 11th. For $45 you can sample a wide array of Saké varieties.

In spite of my personal love affair with sushi and sake, I probably won’t be partaking in any of these events because of the steep costs, but I will be happy to get my fill of wonderful sushi at my favorite sushi restaurant in DC, Sushi Taro, which is hosting their annual $35 All-You-Can-Eat Cherry Blossom buffet on Saturday, April 7. This is some of the best sushi I have had and to be able to sample it all for $35 (which includes tax and tip), well, it’s worth a trip down to DC.

In the meantime, I hope everyone is enjoying the first sights of cherry blossoms around the city.

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

Eagles sign Takeo Spikes

Yesterday the Eagles traded Darwin Walker and a conditional draft pick to the Buffalo Bills for Pro Bowl linebacker Takeo Spikes and backup quarterback Kelly Holcomb. I think this is a good move, sort of like how the Eagles signed Kurt Gouveia a few years back as another bargain free agent linebacker. Back then, the one thing you couldn’t deny was Gouveia’s intensity and his nose for the ball. Reading Rich Hofmann’s article in the Daily News, Spikes was returning to form last year after recovering from an Achilles tendon injury, and he’ll be playing to prove himself when he gets here.

And let’s face it, we needed the help.

The pitfalls of outdoor seating

19th and Sansom

It is just barely spring and already I’ve encountered one of the things that deeply peeves me about Philadelphia in the warmer months. Now, before I get going on this mini-rant, let me say that I really enjoy bars and restaurants with outdoor tables. It’s fun to sit outside with a drink or a meal. But I don’t love it when the tables are large enough that they make it impossible for even a single file of people to pass comfortably.

And over at Oh! Shea’s, that’s exactly what they’ve done. Their outdoor tables, coupled with those potted trees, make it nearly impossible to walk down that portion of Sansom Street without bumping diners and repeatedly excusing yourself (although not everyone bothers with the excusing).

It bugs me and I’m not afraid to say it.

Photos of the Day: Where Will the Elephants Go?

The elephants at the Philadelphia Zoo were supposed to be transferred at the end of this month to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, but due to a real lack of funding the Maryland Zoo isn’t going to be able to take them. According to this article in the Baltimore Sun, the Maryland Zoo was unable to raise the necessary private funding for an exhibit expansion.

Photo by moocat

So where will the elephants go? According to this article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, possibilities may include the Pittsburgh Zoo and the North Carolina Zoo. They are trying to make the move as local as possible since one of the elephants, Petal, is 50 years old. They are also hoping to breed the elephants, and the other two, Kallie (24) and Bette (23), are in their reproductive prime – Pittsburgh is a major breeding center.

Another elephant, Dulary (42), an Asian elephant, is being moved next month to the Elephant Sanctuary in rural Tennessee.

If you’re interested, there’s still time to catch the elephants at the Philadelphia Zoo during the next “Elephun Days” on Saturday, March 31st and Sunday, April 1st from 11-3 (free with zoo admission).

To see more of the animals at the Philadelphia Zoo, stop by Moocat’s Flickr stream for some really cool shots. I especially love this one of a hippo, this leopard, and these flamingos.

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


Today, March 27th, the weather people are promising a magnificent Spring day. If you work or are near the Municipal Services Building at 16th and JFK Blvd. then make it a point to celebrate the birthday of Philadelphia’s Civic Flag. There will be a jazz band, a school chorus and other festive events. What better way to celebrate a beautiful day than to join together with fellow citizens in our great city, learn about our city flag, and support our flags motto, “Let Brotherly Love Continue”. The celebration is brought to you by The Partners for Civic Pride.

La Colombe

I have a conflicted relationship with the La Colombe coffeeshop on 19th Street. I love their coffee and how no one hassles you if you sit there for hours. However, often times I have a very hard time stomaching the attitude with which the baristas dispense said coffee. The level of hipster-chic that predominates also leaves me feeling a little inadequate, as if I’m not quite cool enough to be there in my raggedy, too-long jeans, beat-up Dankso clogs and black top. And yet I still can’t stay away.

How do other people feel about La Colombe?

Spring Crocuses

Yesterday I went out crocus hunting, knowing that they can appear overnight where there had previously been no sign of them, and then just as quickly, they may disappear. I checked out every little bit of dirt I could find along the rowhouses in Center City, looked over Rittenhouse Square (even though a friend had already informed me that there were none there, but you never know what could have popped up overnight), and found the ones in this photo close to home in Fitler Square.

I briefly felt a little silly as I contorted myself to get the camera in around the wrought iron fence circling the flowers to keep people like me out, but then I noticed a group of guys who were doing their own filming project. I have no idea what they were doing, but each had a job. One manned the camera, one sat on the bench and was filmed, one held a big white board to reflect light, and one ws responsible for dumping a box of spare change over the actor’s head. One that box of coins was spilled, no one really cared about me and my crocus photos.

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

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