Philadelphia Metropolis

January 2011 Archives

Hometown Warrior

By Robert Hamilton» There's something about being a Philadelphian that becomes indelible within one's character. Something about the experiences that makes you sort of shock proof. I've got my stripes, that's for sure. My family has lived in My. Airy, Southwest Philly, Germantown and, for the past 13 years, West Philadelphia. Because I've lived in West for most of my life, I've taken to explaining to people that I was born and raised here. Saying that you're just from Philadelphia is too vague, and saying that you're from a bad part of town puts people off. Typically, I get a response like "Isn't that where Will Smith is from?" I usually reply "Yes, he went to my rival high school, actually." A true (Comments)

Vouchers for Education

Vouchers for education has the look of an idea whose time has come in Pennsylvania. After a decade in exile, the idea has new currency, thanks mostly to the arrival of Gov. Tom Corbett, who favors vouchers. There always has... (Comments)

Snow Days

By Matt Lettieri» Snow is subversive. Despite our astonishing advancements in science and technology, we can't prevent frozen water from falling out of the sky nor even predict with certainty when it will fall and in what volume. Snow seemed even more subversive when I was a child. They could make me go to school for 10 months of the year and there wasn't much I could do about it. But when it snowed enough they had no choice but to let me stay home, and they knew there was nothing they could do about that. Snow was my ally in a battle against them. (Comments)

Never Thrown a Punch

By Dalyn Montgomery» When I say I have never thrown a punch, I mean I have never even been in a playground scuffle, not growing up in Salt Lake City, nor later when I moved around the country. I have lived my life avoid troubling situations and employing what I tell myself is wit and charm in situations where trouble seems unavoidable. Five years ago, after moving to Philadelphia from South Carolina, I decided this needed to change. (Comments)

Development Done Right

It is mandatory in America to worship the free market, but when it comes to cities, I wonder if an old European model might work better. Monarchy. As it happens, we have the competing models on display in two neighborhoods... (Comments)

Substitute Teacher Hell

By Michael Waters » After graduating from college with high hopes, and eight existentially agonizing months driving a forklift in a warehouse, I was at the threshold of a glorious future. I had graduated with a degree in history in hopes of teaching, and the following morning I was about to take my first step toward that goal as a Philadelphia substitute teacher. I started off with what I considered an easy assignment - taking over a first-grade class for one day in a North Philly elementary school. Anthony Robbins styled pep talks flooded my mind that night. I was sure I was going to save the world one disenfranchised child at a time. (Comments)

Welcome to Zombieland

By Frank Rubino» Under the El stop at the intersection of Kensington Avenue and Somerset Street is one of the city's busiest and wildest drug corners. Heroin and its synthetic variations are the draws, luring addicts and dealers to the corner from near and far. K&S was the stomping grounds of both the Kensington strangler and the three women he allegedly killed. In this Cover Story, reporter Frank Rubino conducts takes a guided tour of Zombieland, the hellish corner where heroin rules (Comments)

My Voluntary Exile

By Nita Jalivay» I recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of my on-again, off-again residency in Philadelphia. I first moved here in 2000 to attend graduate school, which ultimately proved an exercise in the high art of wasting time after I dropped out to run off to Amsterdam in search of my first international adventure). Now, I sometimes undergo internal interrogations as to why I remain in Philadelphia instead of reconnecting with my former life. Take, for example, my folks. With the arrival of my Mom and Dad's 35th wedding anniversary last week, there rose in me a gnawing ache to throw caution under the bus, (Comments)

Zombieland Survivor

She was a Zombieland regular for four years, addicted to heroin and turning tricks to feed a habit that sometimes cost her $500 a day. The heroin high was a heavenly experience, followed by the hell of "dope having the flu, only 17 times worse." She lost her family to dope. She lost her health. She nearly lost her life. But, she crawled back, got off drugs, and survived. This is her story. (Comments)

A Nightmare on Main Street

By Mike Burke» By Mike Burke Parking in Manayunk in normal situations is challenging, at best. During a snow storm, though, you end up wishing you never owned a car. While the driving is treacherous, that is no one's fault.  It is a... (Comments)

The Chocolate Factory

By Samantha Alman» Chocolate making is part of Philadelphia's history and it continues today in a nondescript factory in Juniata Park that is home to John & Kira's Chocolate. The plant used to make Godenberg's Peanut Chews, but John Doyle and his wife took it over 10 years ago to create their boutique brand of chocolate, which has a national following. It is more than a business. The couple are also on a mission to help urban and locla gardeners. Reporter Samantha Alman profiles the couple and their business. (Comments)

Taxes No, Tax Reform Si

Repeat after me: There will be no tax increases in Pennsylvania.  There will be NO tax increases in Pennsylvania. That's the message - clear and direct - you can expect from new Gov. Tom Corbett in his inaugural speech this... (Comments)

How I Ended up in Philly

By Juan Seguel » I will try to keep it short and get to the point. I don't get women and I put too much time and effort into it. Way too much. So much that I end up traveling half the world - not once, but twice - and started living here in Philadelphia, despite the fact that I'm from Chile. Maybe I need to start from the beginning. I'm 26 now and I studied economics for seven years back in my hometown. I had a couple of relationship during those years (one for four years and other for just a few months). Even though I was committed both times, I never really thought that any of them would be the girl of my life. I know, I'm a jerk but for me that was a good reason to end them. (Comments)

Luz Jimenez's American Dream

By Olivia Haber-Greenwood » Luz Jimenez is a new arrival to the city who is working his way from the bottom up, as so many immigrants before him. Jiminez is owner and operator of Los Gallos, a small Mexican restaurant and grocery store in South Philadelphia, one of a wave of Mexican immigrants who have settled in this area of the city and who are changing their neighborhoods as they settle into life in America. Reporter Olivia Haber-Greenwood offers a profile of this Mexican-American entrepreneur. (Comments)

My Urban Love Affair

By Caitlin Croke» By Caitlin Croke I grew up in a Glenside, a small suburban town just five minutes outside the city limits. Yet I lived in an entirely separate universe. My parents grew up in Glenside, all of my friends' parents grew... (Comments)

The Baker's Daughter

By Dana Eiselen» For ore than three generations, the Eiselen family has run bakeries in Philadelphia. It was a tradition that began in the 1880's when the first Eiselen's arrived from Germany. It continues today with a bakery in Roxborough, a community fixture for more than 40 years. How long it remains is an open question. We continue our series on the changing city with a profile of Eiselen's at a critical point. The old baker may soon retire. Is there anyone to take his place? (Comments)

Tale of Two Cities

by Kat RIchter» By Kat Richter Exactly one year ago, I dragged the soggy remains of my life in London to the Ravenscourt Park tube station, made my way to Acton Town and caught a Piccadilly Line train bound for Heathrow Terminal 5.... (Comments)

Ed Rendell's Final Days

A Harrisburg friend once divided governors into two categories: the activists and the custodians. Clearly, Ed Rendell was an activist. Rendell, who steps down as governor this week, rarely talked about the mechanics of programs. He talked about ideas. In... (Comments)

Dating Disasters: Drunks & Stalkers

By Traci Butterfield» By Traci Butterfield   I needed to get myself back out there after a break-up with my boyfriend so I decided to jump in with both feet and resume dating new guys. Bachelor #1 seemed like a nice enough guy -... (Comments)

Volcanic Ed

So Ed Rendell has a Mt. Vesuvius moment with Lesli Stahl during an interview for 60 Minutes. A glimpse into the governor's capacity for anger may shock the nation (though, frankly, I doubt it) but it's the same-old-same-old for those... (Comments)

First and Last Blind Date

By Alia White » By Alia White I've never been one for blind dates. It never made sense to go on a date with someone I didn't get a chance to see beforehand. But all that changed one recent Saturday night when I went... (Comments)

Attack of the Tax Monster

Here is a bizarre, off-the-wall idea on how to deal with the $4 billion to $5 billion deficit the state of Pennsylvania will be facing this year. Why not raise taxes? I know it is a taboo topic in Harrisburg today.... (Comments)

The Sleazy Side of the Gayborhood

By Luke Cavanaugh» By Luke Cavanaugh I live in the Gayborhood. I'm a married guy, mid-30s, and my wife and I live in the area of Philadelphia where the street signs are marked with rainbows, and giant a mural of an androgenous ballet... (Comments)

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