Philadelphia Metropolis

October 2012 Archives

A Day in the Life: The St. Francis Inn

The recession is over. At least that's what the media keeps saying. So why is it that on a rainy October morning, nearly two years after the Great Recession's end, there is a line of hungry people rounding the block at St. Francis Inn in Kensington waiting to be fed? The scene at St. Francis is a more accurate barometer of the state of the post-recession city, where the economic pain continues. As I make my way up to the century-old building that was once a corner bar, I am struck by the mélange of faces that have coalesced to embody the face of poverty in Philadelphia. (Comments)

Don't Change a Thing!

It's hard to defend the status quo when the status quo sucks. In a nutshell, that is the problem facing PCAPS, the new group set up to oppose plans to reform the Philadelphia school district. PCAPS, formally known as the... (Comments)

My Halloween Horror Story

By Scott Baldwin» There were definitely benefits to having an art teacher for a father. There was a sense of creativity around the house that helped our own creativity flourish. We had the art studio where there was a pottery wheel so we could work with clay and we also could sketch on the walls of the studio which encouraged imagination. But there is a down side to being around creativity. Examples of my father's overabundance of creativity usually manifested itself around Halloween. For me, it meant that I wasn't going to be getting my Halloween costume from the local store. He felt it was his responsibility to make me one, usually an enormous papier-mâché mask that by far was unparalleled to the other students at my elementary school. They had to settle for pirate costumes (Comments)

Can Bob Casey Lose?

Let's see, the script I have calls for U.S. Sen. Bob Casey to be cruising to victory over coal magnate Tom Smith with less than two weeks to go before Nov. 6th. So, my question is:  Who threw out that... (Comments)

One Last Swim

By Tom Mulderick» When I lived in Center City I loved summers. Easy enough to love when you are a teacher and have summers off. My best friend was also a teacher and lived just two blocks down Pine Street from me. One of our favorite summertime activities was to get up really early in time to catch the first train available to the nether regions of the city. We'd ride to the stop that got us closest to Valley Green then we'd walk the rest of the way. We would talk up a storm as we passed through quiet neighborhoods that hadn't awakened yet to the day. (Comments)

Kids in Cuffs

Pity the child who ended up before Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr., head of juvenile court in Wilkes-Barre. Ciavarella, elected to the Luzerne County bench as a "tough love" advocate, was notorious for giving out long sentences for minor offenses. There... (Comments)

Change Comes to North Philly

By Victoria Trower» Philadelphians hate change and will complain about anything and everything that wasn't "how it yoosta be", while simultaneously enjoying (secretly) the benefits of the metamorphosing into the next phase of its existence. I am one of those people who take it the extreme. I'm pretty sure my therapist would tell me that it's a physical manifestation of my inability to deal with emotional transitions thereby prohibiting me from reaching the outermost branches of the Jungian tree of self-actualization. Or something like that. It started with Temple University's never-ending need to acquire more space, and the re-gentrification of the neighborhoods I grew up in. It was already happening as a child, but when my mother passed away, it suddenly mattered to me that the (Comments)

You Asked for This

By Ariadne DuBois-Hires» He says it's cheating. I disagree. I believe that cheating is something you do that betrays your relationship, something that could tear you both apart. He is straight so, of course. He doesn't understand. He says he does but he couldn't possibly understand. What I crave is purely sexual never emotional. That's why I tell people I am straight with a lesbian twist. In truth, that is all it is, all it ever was. I do not get my feelings involved. I guess I'm not out for a truly monogamous relationship, but at 23 years old not many people are. I can do things (Comments)

Arlen Specter 1930-2012

The most surprising thing about Arlen Specter was that he died. One on level it is not a surprise.  He was 82.  He suffered from a variety of serious maladies. He had been hospitalized about a month earlier. When he... (Comments)

Toxic Tom

The various polls disagree over the spread on the Obama-Romney race in Pennsylvania, but they sync perfectly in another area: They all show Gov. Tom Corbett's popularity in the tank. Corbett got only a 30 percent approval rating in the... (Comments)

Backgrounder: Can Obama Win Pennsylvania on November 6th?

With the election just days away, the polls are showing a tightening of the race between President Obama and Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania. Can Obama hold onto the lead he has enjoyed through the summer and early fall or will he lose this important state to his Republican rival? We analyze the broad voter trends that may decide the race on Nov. 6. (Comments)

Internet Date from Hell, Episode 4

By Jack Grauer» Most young people I know have experimented with online dating and can furnish some impressively gruesome stories. But, almost none argue when I tell them mine wins the marbles after they hear it. I apologize if that sounds boastful, but hear me out. I met a girl on OKCupid, this year. She went to school in New York City and had come down for the day to visit me. We decided to go out for dinner. During the meal, she became completely quiet, stuffed her head inside of her coat and refused to respond to anything I said. I assumed that she was playing some type of coy game with me and pretended I didn't notice while continuing to eat. (Comments)

The Post-Graduate Blues

By Dan Bound-Black» In college, I had such clarity about what I wanted out of life--to get the hell out of school, move to the city, and be an actor. I spent my four years of college making the most of what I had so I was working all of the time. I loved being busy and taking every opportunity I could get my hands on. I never said no, and I often found myself getting into trouble for having too much on my plate. But it was always worth it. After a particularly difficult semester, one professor gave me a hug and said, "You performed miracles this semester. I don't know how you did it." I was on top of the world, and knew I could do anything. I had every opportunity I had ever wanted at school, and if I didn't, something better always came along. As I walked off the stage at graduation, the president of the university's last words to me were, "I'm really going to miss you. I don't know how we're going to run this place without you." I was ready. School was finally behind me, I had an apartment in the city, auditions lined up, and dreams ready to be fulfilled at any moment. (Comments)

About Wednesday's Presidential Debate

Whenever I look at Mitt Romney why do I think of this guy? The President should read the label. You take it at bedtime, not after dinner.  This is how Romney is going to cut tax rates by 20... (Comments)

My Office Away From My Office

By Rachel Levy Lesser» My office is wherever I am - the kitchen table, the front porch, my favorite spot on the family room couch and most recently, my local Starbucks. When the couch gets too cozy, the kitchen table too messy, and the deadlines too close, I head down to the Starbucks on State Street in Newtown. It's the perfect office away from the office for this writer. On a good day, I grab my favorite table in the back - the one under bright lighting, next to an outlet and with (from my perspective) the strongest Wi-Fi connection. This small table has just enough room for me to set up my computer, spread out my notes, and put down my coffee drink, but not enough space for someone else to sit across from me. Just to make sure, I place my workbag on the empty chair. (Comments)

A Day In The Life: The Teacher

A new school year is underway in Philadelphia and we sent reporter Connie Langland to oberve the work of two teachers at two different schools. Gratz High School is a former public school that was turned into a charter school by the district. JacQueline Palmer has taught there for three years -- both before and after the change was made. We look into the classroom of Palmer to get an insight into the everyday life of a teacher in an urban school..... (Comments)

A Day in the Life: The Teacher, Part Two

With the fall semester underway, reporter Connie Langland visited two Philadelphia high schools to take a measure of how the schools and teachers were doing early in the semester. The two schools -- University City and Gratz -- have undergone major changes in recent years, each taking a different approach to the same end: improving student performance. The story opens with a day in the life of UC teacher A.J. Schiera. (Comments)

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