How Philly Doctors Are Saving the World

For our latest Top Doctors cover story, we went beyond the doctor’s office to the labs where Philadelphia-based researchers work to eradicate diseases that claim millions of lives each year. To read about their bold advances, scroll down or use these links to jump to a specific topic: Read more »

Richard DeCoatsworth: How a Hero Cop Fell

Photograph by Josh Ritchie

Photograph by Josh Ritchie

Richard DeCoatsworth anticipated another great day. The 21-year-old rookie cop was six months into a new job he loved, and the sun shone bright that morning in 2007, through a cloudless September sky. He left his partner off at the courthouse and drove his patrol car west on Market Street toward the wilds of his district, where street vendors and drug dealers work in the open air.

Around 51st Street, he passed a battered blue Buick going the opposite direction. Everyone inside seemed to stiffen. DeCoatsworth had seen experienced police make arrests — for drugs, illegal guns, stolen cars — by acting on such subtle cues. He pulled a U-turn. The driver accelerated and turned out of sight. DeCoatsworth hunted for maybe a minute till he saw the car, parked on Farson Street. Read more »

Pope Francis and Me

Illustration by Heather Landis

Illustration by Heather Landis

My love affair with Catholicism started at age nine, when my family moved from Center City to Fairmount. Those years on 23rd Street were momentous. I saw a man commit suicide by jumping off a balcony. I got held up at knifepoint. My toes were damaged in a skateboarding accident. I saw my first dead body in my friend’s house, which doubled as a funeral home. I became slowly terrorized by OCD.

If ever there was a time when I needed religion, this was it. But my parents were atheist Jews.

So I decided I wanted to be Catholic. All my neighborhood friends were Catholic, and when they went to school they wore beautiful lemon yellow shirts and emerald green jumpers. Their school’s name sounded like something out of Narnia: St. Francis Xavier. The spelling of “Xavier” almost did me in. Read more »

Comcast Knows How Much You Hate Them — and They Really Want to Fix It

How a lot of people feel about Comcast, left, and the man the company has put in charge of fixing it, head of user experience Charlie Herrin. Photographs by Clint Blowers (left) and Eric Prine

How a lot of people feel about Comcast, left, and the man the company has put in charge of fixing it, head of user experience Charlie Herrin. Photographs by Clint Blowers (left) and Eric Prine

It sounds like the title of a ’70s action flick starring Pam Grier, set to an Isaac Hayes soundtrack: Asshole Brown and SuperBitch. As it turns out, these are real people. One is a husband fallen on hard financial times; the other is a 63-year-old woman. Neither is related to Whore Julia, or to Dummy. But all four have one thing in common — they’re customers whose names were changed on their Comcast cable accounts, by Comcast employees. Read more »

Is New Philadelphia … a Fit Philadelphia?

Illustration by Tim Parker

Illustration by Tim Parker

It started out innocently enough. Most plans conceived on yoga mats do.

After a grueling sequence, the instructor paused to offer a gentler, modified pose for pregnant students. Now, I wasn’t technically pregnant, but on that particular Sunday I was experiencing considerable morning sickness and bloating. Hungover, with child — the symptoms are similar. And, whatever, yoga teaches compassion. Look it up. Read more »

We Want Answers: Emma Fried-Cassorla, Founder of Philly Love Notes

Photograph by Claudia Gavin

Photograph by Claudia Gavin

Your website, Philly Love Notes, lets people pay tribute to various things in our city. But you haven’t always loved Philly so much, have you? No, definitely not. It takes a little while to learn to love Philadelphia. I think everyone gets a little kicked around by it. And I think you sort of have to become part of the community, or a community in the city, to really start to love it.

The first time I came to Philly, I asked a shop clerk what it was like, and he said to me, “It’s okay, but it’s no New York.” That sounds about right. That sounds about how a lot of people would answer. I’m glad it’s not New York. I lived in New York; I’m happy to be in Philly. Read more »

Jami Wintz McKeon: The Chairman

Jami McKeon hanging out with some previous leaders of Morgan Lewis. Photograph by Jonathan Barkat

Jami McKeon hanging out with some previous leaders of Morgan Lewis. Photograph by Jonathan Barkat

“This is a party trick.”

Jami McKeon passes her BlackBerry Bold across the polished hardwood conference table to show what she typed just a moment ago. She typed it without once looking at the device, while holding my gaze and saying, “I’m so fast typing on a BlackBerry that my husband calls it a party trick. Read more »

Is Mitch Williams Getting Screwed?

The former Phillie at home in South Jersey. Photograph by Dom Savini

The former Phillie at home in South Jersey. Photograph by Dom Savini

Mitch Williams was, until recently, known for two things — throwing a baseball and talking baseball. He’s doing the latter here in a cramped studio in Collingswood, New Jersey. It’s home to Wildfire Radio, an online station that’s hoping to attract attention with Unleashed, a baseball chat show hosted by former Phillies reliever Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams. On a cold night in January, Mitch is flanked by two co-hosts and a special guest — his son, Declan. “I want people at home to know the depth of the knowledge of kids that are watching our game today,” Mitch explains, in case listeners are wondering why his 10-year-old is sitting in tonight. “It’s amazing. He amazes me on a daily basis.” Read more »

Welcome to Polydelphia!

FAMILY DINNER: From left to right: Jon, Josh, Tiffany, Phillip and Mae cooking up dinner at Phillip and Tiffany’s house in Bensalem. Photo | Gene Smirnov

FAMILY DINNER: From left to right: Jon, Josh, Tiffany, Phillip and Mae cooking up dinner at Phillip and Tiffany’s house in Bensalem. Photo | Gene Smirnov

Tiffany Adams is running late.

I saw that coming even before she texted me at 4:19 p.m., 11 minutes ahead of our arranged meeting at a coffee shop on Sydenham Street: “Hey I’m running a little late but I’m on my way!” First, she’s driving in from Bensalem, and it’s almost rush hour. Second, in our limited interactions leading up to today, she’s given off a distinctly unhurried vibe — not a lack of punctuality, but a casualness about time itself, as though her presence in this dimension is strictly voluntary. Also, she has six boyfriends, give or take a few, which is already stretching the limits of temporality.
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