Archive for the ‘Neighborhoods’ Category

Books Are Burning

Books and firemen haven’t shared this much of the limelight since “Fahrenheit 451“.

With Nutter’s proposed “cost cutting decisions” like closing down 11 Philly libraries and consolidating city fire departments making headlines ever since I returned to the Cradle of Liberty, I’m at least glad to hear that there’s a stay of execution on the libraries – for now.


Expand The R2 Schedule, The Magic Voice, & Other SEPTA Musings

Oh, SEPTA. How I missed thee. Sure, people here may complain but – come on – could it get any better than riding a bus or a train or a subway and actually see OTHER people riding it, too?


General Tso’s Slot Machines

Foxwoods wants to build a casino at The Gallery. Some people are opposed to it because of the je ne sais quoi that a casino might bring to the area – like traffic.

Other people are opposed to the casino because of the “shady elements” and “crime” and “prostitution” that a casino “would bring” to the area. That reason always make me chuckle because – if I recall from my eleventeen years – isn’t Chinatown the place where kids go to get fake ID’s and nunchucks and chewing gum that gets you high?

Still others are are opposed to the casino, for, well, batsh*t crazy reasons.


Senator Clinton Wins PA Primary, Farnese Wins 1st District Senate Seat

In one of the most exciting primary elections in recent history, Senator Clinton (NY) takes the PA primary with a 10 point lead over Senator Obama (IL).

While Obama overwhelmingly won the support of Philadelphians (65% to Clinton’s 35%), Clinton proved that she is the clear choice for Pennsylvanians state-wide. Being a huge supporter of Senator Clinton, I listened intently to her victory speech last night. She said one thing that really stuck in my mind (not verbatim), “…I’ve seen parent’s with their daughters saying – See? You can be anything you want to be.”

On an even more local level, Larry Farnese won the 1st District Senate Seat – proudly representing South Philadelphia. While I voted for Anne Dicker, I was very satisfied that union boss John Dougherty did not clinch the victory. Dougherty also “killed” more trees then Farnese and Dicker – and if anyone knows, I am all about greening South Philadelphia.


Mayor Michael Nutter is encouraging all Philadelphia residents to join him in a city-wide cleanup. Tomorrow, Saturday April 5th, between 9am and 2pm, thousands of people will be out and about showing their dedication to beautifying the city. Post cleanup, Mayor Nutter will be hosting a BBQ at Lincoln Financial Field in South Philadelphia. Volunteers ride SEPTA for FREE to the BBQ and back home. Check out this link for details on how to help:

April showers, mark your calendars!

I’ve been all work, all the time lately, and the weeks are just flying by. It’s sad, really. I need to slow down. But no time for that! I’m leaving Philly for Milan and London, for very important businessy business, in oh, about 9 days, and here are some April things I hope to do and will also miss while I’m away:

1. Philadelphia Film Festival: April 3-15. There are complimentary guides around town. I’m sure you can pick them up at any Ritz theater, the Prince Music Theater, The Bridge: Cinema DeLux, International House, and the Bryn Mawr Film Institute – all venues for the films. TLA stores are selling advance tickets already.

2. April 5 – Philly Spring Cleanup. Join me!

3. April 12 – Roller Derby Double Header at the Sportsplex in NE Philly. $10 advance purchase, $12 at the door. Never seen them; have always wanted to be one – a tough bitch on wheels. I’ll have to watch. They would kill me, I suppose.

4. April 15 – Deadline for filing 2007 income tax returns. Yay.

5. April 15 – reward your possibly last-minute scramble to file the taxes with a Phillies home game. It’s Hatfield Phillies Franks Dollar Dog Night! Get yourself some cheap weiners and expensive booze.

6. April 18-20th – Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention, Sheraton Philadelphia City Center Hotel. $15 per day, $35 for the weekend. Get marked!

7. April 22 – Pennsylvania 2008 General Election Primaries. 7am-8pm. Here’s a handy guide to finding your polling place. Rock it!

Here’s wishing you a sweet April!

Philly Spring Cleanup – April 5

Mayor Michael Nutter is inviting you, citizens of Philadelphia, to help cleanup the city of Philadelphia, on April 5, from 9a.m. to 2p.m.

Here are his goals:
Recruit over 10,000 volunteers
Clean up 5,000 neighborhood blocks
Clean more than 50 commercial corridors along major thoroughfares
Clean 10 neighborhood recreation centers
Clean 10 areas in Fairmount Park
Remove over 1 million pounds of trash and litter from across the city!

If you’ve ever wanted to help out in making this city better, this is a great way to begin. It is very easy to sign up. I, for one, would be very happy for Philly to lose the reputation of “Philthadelphia.” Besides, aren’t we trying to become a green city?

Buoyed by a sense of hope


Here is my post about the experience I had last Saturday, attending a Great Expectations community forum as a observing blogger/citizen journalist. This is also up on the Great Expectations blog. Albert Yee was also there and has posted his thoughts (and some terrific photos) on his blog and Philly Future.

Walking into the John M. Perzel Community Center in the Mayfair section of Philadelphia last Saturday morning, I had little idea of what to expect. I was there to attend a forum of neighborhood leaders and listen in as they brainstormed ways in which a new mayoral administration could help Philadelphia overcome some of the challenges that prevent it from serving all its residents effectively.

After signing in, I was pointed towards the far end of a double-wide basketball court. Ten round tables were set up around the sectioned-off area, covered with white tablecloths and multiple sheets of clean white butcher paper. Pens, note cards and crayons were set in the middle of each table in order to encourage creative thinking and the taking away of ideas.

Parkway Emergency Drill, Fairmount, Art Museum, Alert

What if there was an emergency on or around the Parkway while an event was happening? Amost every weekend something is going on in and around the Parkway, Art Museum, or Drives. The city in an attempt to be prepared is having an emergency drill tonight.

This Monday night drill will impact driving, Septa lines, and give you cause to wonder, “What’s going on?”

The following is from the READY PHILADELPHIA site about tonights exercise.

Road Closures and Detours
Road closures and detours will be in effect from approximately 6:45 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. The Police Department will barricade these locations:

Fairmount Avenue and Kelly Drive (inbound only)
Traffic will be detoured onto Fairmount Avenue. Right onto Pennsylvania to 21st Street, right onto 21st Street back to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

25th Street and Kelly Drive (inbound)
No traffic permitted into Eakins Oval.

25th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue
Access to the Art Museum and Spring Garden Street Bridge will be through the Spring Garden Street Tunnel ONLY.

Spring Garden Street and Pennsylvania Avenue
Spring Garden Street traffic will access the tunnel for travel to West Philadelphia.

Eakins Oval at the outbound Kelly Drive entrance
No traffic permitted into Eakins Oval. This closure will allow outbound Parkway traffic to go north onto Kelly Drive.

Monday, August 6, 2007
Road Closures:
6:45 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.
Exercise: 8:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Eakins Oval, Benjamin Franklin Parkway

This is only a drill – there is no impending threat to the citizens of Philadelphia or the region.

During this exercise, residents should expect to see a large number of Fire and Emergency Medical vehicles, as well as private ambulances, responding to Eakins Oval, Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Residents should understand that there is no actual emergency.

The Hogwarts library once lived in an awesome Mt Airy book shop


Last Friday night, tons of kids, teens, and adults gathered around town for the release of the seventh and final Harry Potter book, Deathly Hallows. Just about every Borders and Barnes and Noble in Philadelphia had events, but my discussion group Potterdelphia decided that a smaller independent book shop would be the perfect place for our party!

And it was. It was totally awesome. The festivities at Big Blue Marble in Mt Airy began at 7pm and ran until just past midnight—of course no one wanted to hang around once books were handed out! The Marauders performed a set around 9pm, we did trivia for an hour starting at 10pm, kids and teens were running around in costume, and boxes of books taunted us at every turn.

Big Blue Marble is a wonderful book shop located near Weaver’s Way co-op in this neat little section of the city. The walk from the Carpenter R8 station takes no time at all and the store itself has three levels of awesomeness, with a cafe on the second floor and community space on the third.

Thank you thank you thank you to all the great staff members who were so amazing that night! I had more fun at this party than previous big-name-store-sponsored Harry Potter book releases, and the warm and cozy atmosphere made this truly feel like an intimate friends and family gathering and not some nameless event with people lined around the block barely looking at each other.

(Side note: I just love Mt Airy, and one of our group members, who’d just moved to Philadelphia last year, had never been in this neighborhood and had to call her friend and gush about it.)

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