Philadelphia Metropolis

May 2012 Archives

Cornered

By Connie Briggs» After six-and-a-half years, the final straw fell at a meeting the night before. Everyone saw what happened, but few noticed anything unusual. But that was it for me, without going into details, I decided it was time to go. I think I did a great job there. I will miss my colleagues. Time will tell whether I was the difficult person, or my boss was the difficult person (and I was an angel to put up with her), or that both are true. I resigned the next day. It has been about a month. And I sleep so much better now. Good sleep may be short-lived, however, because I need money for health insurance, having had a pre-existing condition since I was 10. On Tuesday, February 22, 1972, (Comments)

Baristas with B.A.'s

By Shannon Frost Greenstein» I made two horrible decisions at the culmination of my high school career that had lasting repercussions and remind me daily of the choices I should have made the first time around. My folly? I chose to go to a Liberal Arts college. The second bad decision - I chose to major in Philosophy. I'm aware of the supposed benefits of a Liberal Arts education - well-rounded instruction, broadened minds, a cross-section of the combined knowledge collected thus far by the human species; variety and exposure and learning not what to think, but how to think. And, yes, to a certain extent, I did benefit from these objectives. Perhaps most significantly, I learned how to escape from the narrow suburban bubble in which I had been ensconced for the first 18 years of my life. I can say with complete confidence that my alma mater, Muhlenberg College, fulfilled (Comments)

The Urban Forager

David Siller is secretive about his work. Territorial, even, with just a touch of paranoia. So he insists on ground rules if I am to accompany him on his rounds. "I don't even want you to say if the places are rural or urban," he insists. "Don't even describe them." Agreed. But, how close can I get in saying where he carries out his work? "You can say it's the Philly area," he says. "That's it." With that, we settle into his Mazda pickup, to begin the hunt in his secret green places. (Comments)

Gov . Coma

Normal 0 0 1 1200 5644 94 29 8405 11.1539 0 0 0 Someone once  asked the author Gertrude Stein what she thought of her hometown of Oakland. She replied: "There is no there there." It seems obscure -as... (Comments)

Life & The Manayunk Dog Park

By Shannon Frost Greenstein» Having gone to college and discovered the joys of binge drinking, the influx of drunken college students stumbling down Main Street every weekend hardly has an impact upon the life I've built in Manayunk with my husband and our Great Dane, Sequoia. While the omnipresent beer bottles and empty red cups scattered over the streets come Sunday morning are an eyesore, the neighborhood has enough perks to outweigh the inconvenience of some guy peeing in the corner of your parking space every year during the Bike Race. In addition to a coffee shop, wine bar, and train station within spitting distance of our apartment, we can also walk to the most convenient of locations for those of us of the canine bent - the dog park. (Comments)

A Grand Civic Moment

This is about the new Barnes, but it begins on a beautiful Friday night at Citizens Bank Park with the Phillies playing the Boston Red Sox.  Through the kindness of strangers, we had 100-level seats, seven rows behind the home... (Comments)

Meeting Sam

By Abby Sanders» I found Sam, a scrawny Lab mix, on the corner of Sixth and Spring Garden Streets during my search for the small non-profit where I was scheduled for an interview. He was sitting with his haunches thrown awkwardly out from under him, the side of his hip resting flat against the concrete. I didn't have time for a proper introduction, so I crouched down, thumped him quickly on his knobby head. He scooted toward me and reached out his chin. He wore a collar but his matted coat looked like it hadn't been touched in at least several weeks. I eventually found the office tucked behind two large factory buildings, its ceiling bowed down beneath some invisible weight. Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, the reality of moving to a new city, renting the lower half of a house owned by someone (Comments)

Challenging the Status Quo

There is a lot of consternation over the plans to reform the operations of the Philadelphia School District and I can understand why.  The proposal advanced by the leadership of the district is almost too big to wrap your arms... (Comments)

A Leap of Faith

By Marianne Ruane» So what, you just moved to Philly on a whim?" Pretty much, I had to admit. This weekend in particular I was smarting from that decision. I'd only been in Philadelphia about a month when I broke up with my boyfriend, and the reality of my situation - no friends, no job, no local community to support me in my emotional duress - knocked me down with a thud. What had I done? The 9x9 room I'd fixed up so cozily now chafed like a prison cell. The great city of Philadelphia which I'd imagined to be teeming with job possibilities now seemed surrounded by an impenetrable fortress. The few contacts I'd made in the city had taken my resume and mysteriously disappeared, like victims of a Soviet purge. (Comments)

Making Public Schools Work

Can failing schools be saved? The can and there are ways to do it. Reporter Connie Langland, who has covered education for more than 20 years, outlines how. It's not a magic formula, Langland says. It takes hard work and a belief that all children can learn. But it can -- and is -- being done today. Our new Cover Story reveals some of the step that must be taken (Comments)

The SEPTA Man & Me

By Karen Devaney» Since moving to Philadelphia from the golden hills of California, I have become a subway user--which has its advantages and horrors depending on the time you use the system and your destination. I got in the habit of waiting for the throngs of rush hour folks to dissipate like smoke from a train as it departs the station. Then I'd descend the concrete stairs, praying the smell of urine would not stick to my shoes, to face the SEPTA man. The SEPTA man, at the Ellsworth and Federal stop, who sat in his secure stainless steel booth was not of a friendly persuasion --in fact, I secretly thought he hated most people. It appeared people gave him a rash or uncontrollable (Comments)

Ye Shall Know the Truth...

Greetings and salutations to the Class of 2012. I am delighted to be here today as commencement speaker at St. Josephat College and I want to thank your president, Father Malloy, for inviting me and for the Starbucks gift... (Comments)

Making Schools Work: Part II

Reporter Connie Langland continues her series on making schools work with a report on fundamental strategies schools can use to help students learn. All of them are being employed in schools throughout the region to improve student performance. Read about these innovations in Part II of our series. (Comments)

No More Zombies

There is a too-muchness about the Philadelphia School District, with its 249 schools, 207,000 students, 20,000 employees and its $2.5 billion annual budget. Unlike the old days, when they kept data under lock and key, information about district operations and... (Comments)

Lost in the Grind

By Shahida Muhammad» It was beginning to be way too much. My hair was looking like "Who did it and why?" Those lovely bags under my eyes had become even more emphasized and I had a to-do lists that I could never seem to to conquer. I knew I had to let go of something, but was I prepared to make the sacrifice for my general well-being? Was this my breaking point? Let me rewind a few months. I had been job searching for months after being laid-off of my first job out of college. The nice and cushy salaried job with benefits, had been replaced with the scarce reality of the limited job market. My job search went through phases. There was the 'Stay in your lane' phase where I was striving to stay career (Comments)

The End of The Deal

One of the reasons people are reacting so negatively to the rush to re-evaluate real estate in Philadelphia is because it means the end of The Deal. As I define it, The Deal is this: If you live in Philadelphia,... (Comments)

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