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Archive for April 6th, 2012
This weekend marks the end of one of Philadelphia’s most bold social experiments, a seminal moment in local history that ranks with the signing of the Constitution, the first union of processed cheese and steak strips on a roll, and the birth of Kevin Bacon. The E-Lane along the 1400 block of JFK Boulevard is an American first: the only stretch of sidewalk designated exclusively for morons who enjoy walking while looking down to text or play Angry Birds. What began as an April Fool’s gag by everyone’s favorite comedian-in-chief, Michael Nutter, has been hailed as a “trailblazing breakthrough” (by his office).
Oddly enough, the first time I heard about Fifty Shades of Grey was in a tweet from Percy Jackson author Rick Riordan on March 3. Thinking it was some new young adult book, I investigated. The book, dabbling heavily in BDSM (bondage & discipline and sadism & masochism), by E. L. James was anything but. Deemed “mommy porn” by some and “anti-feminist” by others, it was obvious I wasn’t the target audience. But then I began to hear friends and co-workers—who aren’t usually Harlequinites—talking about it. The New York Times wrote about it. So when Entertainment Weekly featured it on its April 6th cover, I had to know: why was this book getting so much attention? Many other novels had focused on similar proclivities, what was so special about this book that it would cross over into mainstream success and even become a New York Times bestseller? After reading it, I still am perplexed. Fifty Shades of Grey is truly one of the worst books I have ever read.
Santorum's Bleak Last Stand. In case you hadn't already heard, Rick Santorum is trailing Mitt Romney as we approach the Pennsylvania primary. Some are calling the primary in Santorum's home state his last stand. [L.A. Times]Mayor Nutter Launches "Connect Philly." The new program helps city residents track down free WiFi on their mobile devices. [CBS 3]Flyers to Face Pens In Pittsburgh. Last night, a late goal from Matt Read lifted the Flyers to a 2-1 victory and officially eliminated the Buffalo Sabres from playoff contention. The Penguins also found the win column last night, meaning Philly and Pittsburgh will face
The complexities of racial politics inside the Philadelphia Fire Department may have deepened early this week with the firing of Deputy Chief Robert Wilkins. Wilkins makes an appearance in “Why Did No One Save Jack?,” a feature I wrote for April's Philadelphia magazine. In that story, which addresses the 2011 suicide of fireman Jack Slivinski Jr., the department's troubled racial history acts as both backdrop and foreground.
Revel—which opens this month—really feels like a beach resort. Why did it take so long for an Atlantic City casino to notice there’s a big ocean right there?Well, I think originally, when these places were built, most folks were trying to get in business as quickly as they could. I don’t think there was a tremendous amount of thought given to architecture and sense of place. We’re trying to focus on a customer today who’s different from the customer of 20 or 30 years ago.