dying and death: Philadelphia Metropolis
By Stacia Friedman»
I grew up in a secular Jewish family in which death did not exist. We children were not allowed to go to funerals or cemeteries. We had no concept of Heaven, other than a once-a-year excursion to the Concord Hotel in the Catskills where we were allowed to stay up late and hear comedians tell obscene jokes with Yiddish punchlines. Even better, there was no Hell. At least not after my parents put my sister and me in separate bedrooms.
So what happens when we die? "Nothing," said my father, the doctor. "It's like unplugging a TV." I accepted this with an air of superiority. When religious friends of all stripes spoke wistfully of dear, departed relatives being "in a better place," I rolled my eyes.
In the mid-1800's, an adult male in Ireland consumed an average of 14 pounds of potatoes a day. Each day. So, you can imagine the effect it would have on Irish men -- and women and children -- if the...
By Joel Mathis»
Here's how I screwed up my arrival in Philadelphia: I didn't get a newspaper subscription. That probably sounds anachronistic. We're into the second decade of the 21st century, and newspapers are dying. Philadelphia's daily newspapers, which are just now emerging...