The funeral begins at parking lot C, marching slowly past the team’s corporate offices and into the plaza, where kids kick soccer balls on a grassy expanse and folks line up for fast-food giveaways. It’s a gorgeous spring evening in Chester, at the city’s biggest attraction — PPL Park, the waterfront coliseum that’s home to Philadelphia’s pro soccer team, the Union. The stadium is also the rallying point for the most dedicated fan base in town, the Sons of Ben. Before tonight’s match against rival D.C. United, they’re marching in unison to protest the team’s front office. Loudly. “We’ve had enough!” they chant while carrying a massive banner that reads UNION FANS DESERVE BETTER. They’re also carrying a coffin for the team’s CEO, whose photograph is labeled “Serial Franchise Killer.” Read more »
It started as a social-media phenomenon: Grab a friend and your phone, make duck-faces, click and post. Then came the official dictionary definition, and an entire book of photos from Kim Kardashian (titled Selfish, of course). There’s no denying it, folks—we’re living in the Age of the Selfie. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The cameras we carry have turned us all into amateur documentarians, with even the goofiest snapshot exposing how we see ourselves and the rapidly changing world around us. Read more »
I am in pursuit. It’s late May, and I’m spending a few days driving all over the southeastern corner of New Hampshire, that plug of land that gives the Live Free or Die state a right-of-way to the sea. Random inlets of crystalline water lap small towns built around proper squares and painted white. Many are older than America itself.
This is where I’m searching for Chip Kelly — a revolutionary masquerading as a football coach — even though I’m sure he’s in Philadelphia, with his team. Read more »
Every snowy week this past winter, my block in Bella Vista resembled the site of a garbage strike. Lumpy piles of trash built up day after day, knocking over brown-paper recycling bags that dissolved into mounds of cardboard-and-plastic-bottle mash, hair weaves and food wrappers. It looked like the prequel to Wall-E. Read more »
The first and only time I sat down with Herman J. Saatkamp Jr., the former president of Stockton University, he was very much the current president of Stockton University. A few weeks later, an avalanche of disastrous business decisions and horrific PR blunders would tarnish the school’s reputation, help bring an end to Saatkamp’s career there, and, for good measure, plunge the zombie metropolis that is Atlantic City into ever deeper chaos. But on that late afternoon in early March, all seemed fairly peachy. Read more »
The Please Touch Museum isn’t just another Philadelphia landmark on the mandatory class-trip agenda. For kids seven and under, it’s the exact opposite of a stuffy museum or snooze-worthy historic site. Put your hands all over everything? Yes, please. Meanwhile, parents love it because they can let their children roam free in a wonderland with fun, educational experiences at every turn. It’s the kind of place where even a clear-eyed financial guy — who offers very sobering statistics about the museum’s future — can’t wait to tell you his grandkids are big fans. Read more »
Ruth Lenahan remembers the feeling she had when she sat down with her friend Kathleen Kane in a political operative’s office in downtown Scranton back in 2011. Kane had been a prosecutor for Lackawanna County for a dozen years, but left in ’07 to raise her two young sons. Now she was restless, and thinking of running for some office. The year before, in 2010, she’d promised to take on a corrupt state senator, Bob Mellow, but was pressured not to by her husband’s family, which owns a large trucking company — taking on Mellow meant risking the loss of a huge state liquor-hauling contract. So she backed out. But now there was a new office to run for, one that seemed to fit her: state attorney general, which, after governor, is the most important elected position in Pennsylvania. And Ruth Lenahan’s feeling about her friend was profound: She was awestruck. Read more »