Allan Domb in his Rittenhouse Square office. Photograph by Colin Lenton
There are two distraught gentlemen in Allan Domb’s lobby, flipping out about the Pope. The date is July 29th, almost two months before Francis and a million of his admirers are to plunge the City of Philadelphia into holy sacramental chaos. Domb’s visitors are emissaries from the restaurant world, here to bang warning gongs about the culinary gridlock they foresee: marooned employees, bewildered customers, spoiled meat.
“There doesn’t seem to be a strategic plan at all. Just, ‘Hey, you guys are fucked.’” This is Greg Dodge, manager of the wine bar Zavino. Either Greg’s face is really tanned or all the blood has rushed to his head. He’s wearing one of those shirts where the collar is white but everything else is blue. “It just doesn’t make any sense.” Read more »
1. Laying down a strong foundation for a day of drinking and jeering is vital, but first you should decide how ambitious you want to be. The most hassle-free solution? Legendary Eagles chef de tailgate (yes, that’s a real thing) Cav’s Catering to cater your gig. He runs buffet-style parties of his own over in the Jetro lot (see #4 below) so it’s simple for him to give your group a private set-up on site. Read more »
Photography by Christopher Leaman
The move to the ’burbs used to be almost automatic for Philadelphians with means — families of all races picked up and left the city when their kids were old enough for school, and they did it without much handwringing.
But something’s changed. Philadelphia parents aren’t so eager to quit on a city that’s bigger, better and more vibrant than it’s been in decades. And they’re not at all convinced that what’s best for the kids is a big backyard and often homogenous classrooms. For them, picking a school is about much more than standardized test scores; it’s about finding a place that fits their family’s expectations, values and lifestyle. Read more »
Photograph by Jonathan Pushnik
The following is a typical day on the air with Josh Innes, the new afternoon-drive host on 94 WIP, Philadelphia sports-talk radio’s long-running leader. If you don’t like sports radio — or sports, period — bear with me for a minute. The Josh Innes Show rarely goes where you’d expect.
It’s late July in the station’s studio overlooking 4th and Market, and Innes is praising Jonathan Papelbon, the crotch-grabbing closer the Phillies just traded, to almost no one’s dismay. Innes says he appreciated Pap’s big-mouthed jackassery, especially in a town where “there’s nobody interesting who plays sports.” His co-hosts — Spike Eskin, WIP’s program director and son of Howard, and ex-Eagles lineman Hollis Thomas — disagree that the pitcher’s honesty about his lousy team was a good thing. Spike tries to run the old “Would you tell your girlfriend her new dress looks horrible?” scenario. Read more »
Photography by Theresa Stigale. Assistant photographer: Judy Murray
Hello, my name is Brad Pearson. In March 2006, you were one of three people who kidnapped me in West Philadelphia.
I’m writing this letter not because I’m angry at you, or upset, or hurt. The opposite, actually. While the kidnapping and investigation were difficult for me, in the end they made me a stronger man.
I’m a magazine writer now, and I’ve always hoped to talk to you and Jerry and Mordi about that night, and what your lives have been like since. I’d either like to do that by letter or in person. I can travel to Pennsylvania to speak with you, if you’d allow me to. I also included my email address, if that’s easier for you.
Again, I’m not angry, and I’d really just like to talk.
Brad Pearson Read more »
The author at his First Communion. Courtesy of Chris Matthews
I REMEMBER WHEN “THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH” came to Hunting Park. It really happened. I Googled it. In 1950, the Barnum & Bailey Circus really did come to Philadelphia. It’s in the books.
Better yet, it’s all in my head. I remember the day Dad and Mom took us across from where we lived in that tiny second-floor apartment above the Italian grocery at Hunting Park Avenue and Broad Street. They did it twice: in the afternoon to walk along the gangway and see the lions and tigers in their cages, and that night to the center ring to see all those clowns come climbing out of that little car.
What’s truly wondrous is that Hunting Park is where we and everyone else in the neighborhood hung out. We’d go there on a summer evening to stroll among the old gazebo, the merry-go-round, and the stand where they sold those cartons of orange drink that afterward you could turn into actual cardboard megaphones.
All this was in those years our parents forever called “after the war,” as opposed to “before the war.” Or as Dad’s mom, Grandmom-in-Chestnut Hill, would always say when speaking of the distant past, “Oh, that was years and years ago.” Read more »
Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square in 2013. Photograph by Franco Origlia/Getty Images
I REMEMBER EXACTLY WHERE I WAS STANDING: facing the Art Museum, just to the left of the big fountain at Logan Square, over which had been built an immense white altar. I was right next to — really close enough to touch — one of the two colossal Civil War memorial columns on the Ben Franklin Parkway, shoulder to shoulder with an estimated 1.2 million people who had turned out to see Pope John Paul II celebrate Mass in Philadelphia. On October 3, 1979, I was an 18-year-old sophomore at Penn. That sunny Wednesday afternoon, I probably was skipping an accounting or finance class at Wharton. I remember taking the subway-surface line from University City to Suburban Station and being stunned by the vast crowds that met me when I made my way onto the streets. Despite the loudspeakers, I had to strain to hear Pope John Paul, and his heavily accented English didn’t make things any easier. But I didn’t care. It was cool just to see the Pope. Read more »
So much of parenthood is about negotiation, and some things — like where you’re going to spend your precious free weekends — are worth standing your ground on. Thanks to Philly’s proximity to mountains, lakes, cities and surf, a quick family getaway can truly have a little something that works for everyone. (Rejoice! You don’t have to suffer through another weekend of waterparks and bad buffets.) Here, 11 vacations where you’ll get to slow down, the littlest members of your family will be entertained, and everyone will be happy to break out of the daily grind.
Edited by Ashley Primis
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Gabe Infante gave up a legal career to get into coaching. Photograph by Colin Lenton
It’s an annual event called the Last Supper, and the disciples are sitting in a lazy arc at the front of the St. Joe’s Prep auditorium, arguing over who’ll go first.
Dressed in t-shirts, shorts and backward hats, the senior football players look like Philadelphia itself, black and white, affluent and not, from South Philly, the Northeast, South Jersey and the Main Line.
They’ve broken bread for a last time — pizza, pasta and chicken tenders — then collected the rewards of a second straight state title: old-fashioned wool letterman jackets with leather sleeves, and state championship rings. Read more »