Archive: February, 2009
|He's at Penn today, but you won't see |
him. The event is closed to the public.
You can probably catch him later at
Home Depot, though.
As part of President Barack Obama's "Middle-Class Task Force" (see, he does love you, average American!), V.P. Joe Biden will be talking about green jobs at the University of Pennsylvania's William B. Irvine Auditorium today at 12:30 p.m. This is the first stop of the task force's, which is made up of Energy Sec. Steven Chu, Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood, Agriculture Sec. Thomas Vilsack and others. The Philly regulars will be joining them: Gov. Ed Rendell, Sens. Arlen Specter and Bob Casey, and Reps. Chaka Fattah and Robert Brady, as well as members of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly's Executive Board at Penn.
The task force's goal is to discuss how green jobs can benefit the middle class in Philly and Pennsylvania, and how to create more of them. Biden's got big plans, which he outlined in an op-ed in the Inky:
According to the Council of Economic Advisers, green jobs pay 10 to 20 percent more than other jobs. They also are more likely to be union jobs. Building a new power grid, manufacturing solar panels, weatherizing homes and office buildings, and renovating schools are just a few of the ways to create high-quality green jobs that strengthen the foundation of this country.
More green jobs can also mean more money in consumers' pocketbooks at the end of the month. They can reduce your electric and heating bills, leaving you more disposable income for other things.
Right here in Philadelphia, for example, there are 400,000 rowhouses that could be weatherized and made more energy-efficient. Just doing that would lower household energy consumption by 20 to 40 percent, saving families hundreds of dollars a year.
Every once in a while, Philly gets all college-y on us and throws a kickin' Thursday night party and then leaves us high and dry on Friday night, forcing us to make hemp necklaces and play with our cats alone. This seems to be the case this week. There are at least four things you should be doing tonight. Choose wisely. Just don't choose the necklaces.
1) See comic Brian Posehn, the "giant, orange and gay" guy from The Sarah Silverman Program (Thu., Feb. 26, 8 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., Feb. 27-28, 8 and 10:30 p.m.; $20-$30, Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St., 215-496-9001, heliumcomedy.com):
Here's how Lauren Friedman describes his style, in the Agenda section:
Brian Posehn is getting older. While he's still a hardcore metalhead and an unapologetic nerd, Posehn — who's now married, with a baby on the way — admits that his life and, subsequently, his routine, are changing.
"I still talk about being a 15-year-old boy," he says. "But now I'm 30-12.
Later in the article, Poshen says that he's not as offensive as his lady co-star. After watching this clip, I don't know if that's true. But who doesn't love a little uncomfortable humor?
2) Check out Jeff Gordinier's at the Free Library (How X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft But Can Still Keep Everything From Sucking | Thu., Feb. 26, 6 p.m., free, 3601 Walnut St., 215-898-7595, jeffgordinier.com):
Sick of hearing about how great the Beatles, protests and LSD were? So is Jeff Gordinier. He thinks Gen X hasn't gotten nearly enough attention, compared to the baby boomers. As Dianca Potts puts it in this week's Agenda section:
Made up of green fiends, artists and political activists, Gen-Xers are anything but carbon copies of the past. By creating what Gordinier calls "new forms of philanthropy," his generation has contributed much to the greater good. "It wasn't a matter of shameless self-promotion," Gordinier says. "I saw Gen-Xers making an impact." Don't believe him? A few beloved Gen-Xers include President Barack Obama, comedian Stephen Colbert and author Douglas Coupland.
3) Listen to jazz artists performing the late Julius Hemphill's work (Thu., Feb. 26, 7:30 p.m., $12-$18, World Life Cafe, 3025 Walnut St., 215-222-1400, arsnovaworkshop.com):
As Shaun Brady puts it in this week's Music section:
Hemphill works his instrumentalist's lines into thick, intricate patterns as if making lace out of wrought iron. No stranger to thorny large-ensemble work, Bobby Zankel will turn his Warriors of the Wonderful Sound big band loose on this material with the addition of Hemphill collaborator and standard-bearer Marty Ehrlich and a pair of French horns for the second installment of Ars Nova Workshop's three-part Composer Portrait. Then Ehrlich and the Warriors' sax line will tackle several of Hemphill's sax sextet pieces.
4) Go to the Sideshow Adventure at Tower Gallery (Thu, Feb. 26, 8-10pm, free, Tower Gallery, 969 N. 2nd St, 215-253-9874):
This is my personal favorite, but that's cause I'm a sucker for freaks. The circus-themed event will feature burlesque, music and art performances by the Olde City Sideshow, the Peek-A-Boo Revue, Dr. Sketchy's Philadelphia and DJ Deejay. You have to register at Yelp.com for some strange reason (which probably involves them spamming you for years), but whatever, you'll get free food, booze and entertainment. Take a gander at the Peek-A-Boo Revue above.
|Seven school buses were purposely set on fire.|
The fires keep on coming.
Two weeks ago, Doron Taussig and Mike Newall gave you the scoop on Coatesville, a town 45 minutes outside of Philadelphia where a rash of arsons have been devastating people's lives since last year. Then, last week, we informed you that 19-year-old Rodger Barlow had been arrested and charged for nine of the fires, which was followed by the arrest of his friend Mark Gilliam for one more.
Despite these arrests, seven school buses were torched this weekend at North Brandywine Middle School, which is two miles away from Coatesville.
Firefighters were called to the school in Chester County at approximately 3 a.m. Sunday. Investigators say the fires were deliberately set.
The buses could be seen smoldering as officials surveyed the damage. Some were drivable and others were destroyed. Damages from the fire total at least $400,000.
"Obviously we have more than one fire setter by the number of arrests we've had and also by another fire here today," John Hageman of the ATF said.
Local police are offering a $20,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest for the arsons.
|Is that the whole Philadelphia story?|
I know this is a little late, but I still think it's important to get out there: A number of national publications have deemed Philly's budget crisis worthy (or bizarre, or depressing) enough to cover in the past month.
The New York Times and The Economist are among them, with the latter's piece being an overly simplistic summary of the library fiasco. (Unlike our boy Isaiah Thompson's coverage, which is far more complex. Hooray local papers.)
The most interesting aspect of The Economist's article is the accompanying graph, pictured here. It paints the city of Philadelphia as essentially selfish — we've always had more libraries per person than other major U.S. cities, and we'd still have more even if Mayor Michael Nutter made his proposed cuts.
Funny thing is, the graph is straight from the Nutter's office. And despite giving prime real estate to Nutter's side, The Economist does little to explain his opposition. The writer basically says that the public is "overwhelmingly unhappy about the cutbacks," and ends it with that.
Of course, we've heard the other side of the argument before. But to Economist readers outside of Philly, it's likely one they're not familiar with. As Amy Dougherty, executive director of Friends of the Free Library, says, "This talking point ignores that in six of the nine cities to which the Nutter administration is comparing Philadelphia — Los Angeles, Houston, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas and San Jose — all public schools have libraries staffed by trained professionals … in Philadelphia, by contrast, about half of our public schools have no libraries."
Whatever side you're on, it's an important point to remember. Unfortunately, not everyone's had the chance to hear it.
|Fight the good fight, people.|
Don't know what to do tonight? Don't worry, we've got you covered.
Now that the economy is vomiting up jobs — especially those mom-and-pop shops that make Philly lovable — Dejha Ti thinks net neutrality is more important than ever. "If a clothing company can't afford to keep a physical retail store open, it can at least open one up online. That's much cheaper to maintain," says Ti, president of realizePhiladelphia. "If Comcast got what they wanted and could pay to have their Web site load faster, those small companies wouldn't be able to afford to keep up."
Yes, Comcast acting as a gatekeeper to the Internet is a scary prospect indeed. Despite failing to make much headway in the fight against net neutrality, though, providers like Comcast continue to spend millions of dollars each year in hopes of getting their way. So lest you think that net neutrality was a right we established in the early 2000s, realizePhiladelphia and the Future of Music Coalition are holding a Webcast series to make you think otherwise. "Yes, we've achieved net neutrality," says Ti. "But now we have to go into preservation mode, otherwise someone will come in and take it away."
Tonight's event takes place at Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.), and addresses how creative culture is dependent upon a freewheeling, wide-open Internet. Neil Kleinman, dean of the College of Media & Communication at UArts, will be moderating the talk, with local bloggers, entrepreneurs and artists pontificating on the topic.
Can't make it? The series will be available tomorrow online, where you can also access the other web.illish.us series.
Wed., Feb. 18, 10 p.m., $8, Silk City, 435 Spring Garden St., 215-592-8838, web.illish.us.
Don't know what to do tonight? Don't worry, we've got you covered.
You may know the Canadian band Metric in one of the following ways: 1) You heard "Monster Hospital" on Grey's Anatomy. 2) You like Broken Social Scene and are aware that Metric is somehow connected to that strange family-tree of a band. 3) You've heard lead singer Emily Haines critique consumerism. 4) You've heard lead singer Emily Haines' voice on a TV commercial for Polaroid film, despite critiquing such things.
OK, so the band may be a little hypocritical. So what? They make super clean, '90s throwback pop, which sometimes sounds just like Euro dance music and other times sounds exactly like Stars. The slow songs, like "Ending Start," are so dreamy and ethereal that they may send you into a coma. Conversely, the faster-paced songs, like "Monster Hospital," may induce an anxiety attack. Check out their show tonight and revel in the paradox.
Tue., Feb. 17, 8pm, $23, Upstairs at World Live Café, 3025 Walnut St., 215-222-1400.
In this week's issue, Robin Rice wrote about two galleries that found inspiration in our new commander in chief. The exhibits, "Obama-rama" at Projects Gallery and "Yes We Did: An Obama Celebration" at Sande Webster Gallery, are both worth checking out, if only to recall the mania you may have felt immediately after the election. (It's harder to be unreasonably joyful about the stimulus package, but that's for another post entirely.)
Rice didn't mention the other Obama-themed exhibit in town, Jayson Musson's "Barack Obama Battles the Pink Robots" at the Last Drop Café (1300 Pine Street). Known more for his musical art than his visual art — he's a rapper for Philly group Plastic Little — Musson is also a talented illustrator, painter and comic writer. His watercolors at this month's exhibit, though, are far more lighthearted than his other works, which often convey a sense of political unrest. Conversely, his pieces on Obama are utterly ecstatic. Without any sarcasm, they portray the childlike awe he inspired in many upon being elected. In some, like the pictured work, Musson also reveals the danger in trusting Obama too much. After all, the man's not a superhero.
Through Sat., Feb. 28, Last Drop Café, 1300 Pine St., 215-893-9262, lastdropcoffeehouse.com
|His name is Randi Warhol. |
In the same way that Christmas, birthdays and graduations are letdowns because they're wrapped up in so many expectations, Valentine's Day is sure to be a bummer if you deconstruct it. So don't. The weather's going to be nice, there's a bunch of cool stuff going on, and you probably got a box of chocolates from your mom — so what do you have to complain about, really? My suggestions for Long Live Monogamy Day:
1. Check out local artist Myles Smutney Hyde's one-day installation. Entitled "Heartless," it's the size of a room and features her usual juxtaposition of skulls, girliness and morbidity. The accompanying party speaks to the horny teenager in you: There's a kissing booth, a Spin the Bottle session and free PBR. Just like seventh grade, right? (Sat, Feb. 14, 10 p.m.-2 a.m., free, Vesuvio, 736 S. 8th St., 215-922-8380, momtried.com)
2. Use your hands with your date at The Hacktory, where you'll learn how to make a monogrammed heart or card that plays music. It'll be just like that scene in Ghost, except you'll be holding a glue gun, you're geekier, and your date is alive. Hopefully. (Fri., Feb. 13, 6:30-9:30 p.m., free, The Hacktory, 1524 Brandywine St., 215-564-6686, thehacktory.org)
3. See "Saturday Night Live with boobs in it," AKA Revival Burlesque's Andy Warhol-inspired show, "The Flesh Factory: A Night of Pop Art, Pasties and Perverts." I'm going just to see if a deadpanned Warhol will be wearing glorious, glittery tittie tassels. (Fri.-Sun., Feb. 13-15, 8 p.m., $15, Walking Fish Theatre, 2509 Frankford Ave., 215-427-9255, walkingfishtheatre.com)
|I'll never forget his mutton chops.|
He left us 144 years ago and we're still not over him. He inspires President Barack Obama, drug companies make ads starring him, and, today, we celebrate his birthday: Former Prez Abraham Lincoln is now 200 years old.
In honor of his special day, Rosenbach Library & Museum launched a Web site that takes a look at our prolonged obsession with the man. Why, more than almost every other U.S. president, does he still capture our attention? Yeah, the dude was a great speaker. But we've got Obama now, so why do we still want Abe?
Scholars and artists will attempt to tackle this question, but the Rosenbach wants to hear your answers, too. The site is interactive as hell — you can post your audio, images, text and videos on Lincoln, and will be able to compete to be a pundit on the site in the future. Plus, it's got Rosenbach's documents on the man, including scandalous letters about Mrs. Lincoln's financial transgressions. And music inspired by Lincoln. And a kid's book on Lincoln. And a hand-painted Lincoln dress. And tons of other stuff. Get to it, people.
In this week's issue, we try to find out why Coatesville, Pa. — a drive-by town of 12,000 that's 45 minutes from Philly — is burning to the ground. And that's hardly hyperbole, people. There have been 23 fires since Jan. 1, and 15 last year. The most frightening thing? Police have arrested several people for the arsons and houses still keep burning down, suggesting that many are capable of such destruction.
- Ask A Man-About-Town
- Award Tour
- Bad Idea Factory
- Below the Curve
- Brian Hickey
- Budget Fuss
- City Council
- City Hall
- CP Abroad
- CP in the Community
- Criminal Justice System
- Day Tripper
- Death and Taxes
- Delaware River
- Dubious Distinction
- End of Days
- Film Fest
- Financial Meltdown
- Free Library
- Gay Stuff
- Get Lit
- Hall Monitor
- Health Care
- Hello, Kitty
- Ice Cubes
- In Memoriam
- Marcellus Shale
- MUST READ
- Mysterious Mysteries
- Non Sequitur
- PA politics 2010
- Parking Wars
- Parks and Recreation
- People Send Us This Stuff
- Philadelphia Police
- Philadelphia Union
- Philly From Scratch
- philly madness
- President Obama
- Print Edition
- Readers Write
- Real Estate
- Rock Bottom
- Screwing Philly
- So Lush
- Sporting Life
- Sports Complex
- State Politicians
- State Politics
- Street Art
- Stuff We Like
- Taxi Drivers
- Tech Fetish
- The Budget Crisis
- The City Paper
- The CLOG
- The Human Condition
- The Mayor
- The Phightin Phils
- The World
- Things that make you go hm
- Tinfoil Hats Off
- Under the Table
- Under the Tables
- Urban Development
- Urban Planning
- urban wildlife
- Video Poker
- We Call Shenanigans
- Web Junk
- Weekend Omnibus
- White House
- What We've Found
- Women's Issues
- Flyered Up!
- How 'Bout That Weather?
- it's always sunny in philadelphia
- get out
- 10-track mind
- Bruce Being Bruce
- Gigantic Surprises
- Hello Canary
- Hello Puppy
- get lost
- Inside The Fishbowl
- Library Closings
- Local Support
- Night Moves
- Skeeze Police
- State Politicians Screwing Philly
- That's a cool stencil!
- Things We See
- This Week
- This Week in Oates
- University City
- What we don't heart
- what we heart
- Feeling Guilty
- Broke in Philly
- Dear Paper Doll
- Do A Good Thing
- Film Fest Schism
- G20-20 Vision
- Great American Heroes
- Pearl Jam Week
- Stars of the Photostream
- Lower Merion Webcam-Gate
- The Cycle
- Equality Forum
- Bureaucrat of the Week