How Wawa Became One of the Top Spots for Missed Connections

Love and Wawa. Photos | Wawa Instagram

Love and Wawa. Photos | Wawa Instagram

Looking for a summer love? Don’t bother with dimly-lit bars serving $6 Coors Lights. Skip the club scene and the electronic beats. Even you’re corner coffee shop with the expensive — but admittedly delightful — light roast may not be the right spot. The real place you should plop down is in your local Wawa. At least that’s what the data from Craigslist’s Missed Connections suggests.

For a February 2013 issue of Psychology Today, Dorothy Gambrell created an infographicmapping the most popular spots for missed connections across the nation. For the majority of states, the prime destinations were the supermarket, the gym, public transit and Walmart (in 15 states, yikes). Aside from Illinois, which oddly has its top location as “at home,” and Rhode Island where apparently you’re bound to meet in a parking lot, Pennsylvania takes the snack cake for the oddest spot with convenience stores — a.k.a. Wawa (and, okay, Sheetz).

If you’re unfamiliar with Missed Connections, its the section on Craigslist where Internet sentimentalists write short posts about a person they saw somewhere — or someone they had a brief conversation with — who they can’t get out of their head. A lot of it is romantically oriented. Occasionally they can get a bit weird.

As I write this, 30 Wawa-related missed connections are currently listed on the Philadelphia site, dating back to March 24th (the posts disappear after 45-day limit), out of 1,003 missed connections. Open it up nearby locations like Central Pennsylvania, South Jersey and Delaware, that number grows to 86 Wawa-romantics out of 2,367 posts. That adds up to about 4 percent of the Missed Connection community. While that may on first glance may seem small, a large chunk of the other messages aren’t actually missed connections. Artist, writer and researcher Ingrid Burrington, found during a study of Missed Connections data that almost half of the posts on the site fall into a “Grey Area” that includes, replies to other posts, tirades about former relationships, and saucy poems or song lyrics. The rest of the posts for Philadelphia are scattered about the city or don’t include a specific location.

But either way, there are a lot of hopeless — or misguided — romantics out there, crossing their fingers that a few Internet clicks may connect them with the love of their life. And a lot them appear to be frequenting your local Wawa; buying sandwiches, filing up on gas, andhoping not to miss another opportunity.

So why would a place that specializes in made-to-order hoagies be a top spot for almost-lovers?Read more »

How Did Wawa Become One of the Top Spots for Missed Connections?

Love and Wawa. Photos | Wawa Instagram

Love and Wawa. Photos | Wawa Instagram

Looking for a summer love? Don’t bother with dimly-lit bars serving $6 Coors Lights. Skip the club scene and the electronic beats. Even your corner coffee shop with the expensive — but admittedly delightful — light roast may not be the right spot. The real place you should plop down is in your local Wawa. At least that’s what the data from Craigslist’s Missed Connections suggests.

For a February 2013 issue of Psychology Today, Dorothy Gambrell created an infographic mapping the most popular spots for missed connections across the nation. For the majority of states, the prime destinations were the supermarket, the gym, public transit and Walmart (in 15 states, yikes). Aside from Illinois, which oddly has its top location as “at home,” and Rhode Island where apparently you’re bound to meet in a parking lot, Pennsylvania takes the snack cake for the oddest spot with convenience stores — a.k.a. Wawa (and, okay, Sheetz).

If you’re unfamiliar with Missed Connections, it’s the section on Craigslist where Internet sentimentalists write short posts about a person they saw somewhere — or someone they had a brief conversation with — who they can’t get out of their head. A lot of it is romantically oriented. Occasionally they can get a bit weird.

As I write this, 30 Wawa-related missed connections are currently listed on the Philadelphia site, dating back to March 24th (the posts disappear after 45-day limit), out of 1,003 missed connections. Open it up nearby locations like Central Pennsylvania, South Jersey and Delaware, that number grows to 86 Wawa-romantics out of 2,367 posts. That adds up to about 4 percent of the Missed Connection community. While that may on first glance may seem small, a large chunk of the other messages aren’t actually missed connections. Artist, writer and researcher Ingrid Burrington found during a study of Missed Connections data that almost half of the posts on the site fall into a “Grey Area” that includes, replies to other posts, tirades about former relationships, and saucy poems or song lyrics. The rest of the posts for Philadelphia are scattered about the city or don’t include a specific location.

But either way, there are a lot of hopeless — or misguided — romantics out there, crossing their fingers that a few Internet clicks may connect them with the love of their life. And a lot them appear to be frequenting your local Wawa; buying sandwiches, filing up on gas, and hoping not to miss another opportunity.

So why would a place that specializes in made-to-order hoagies be a top spot for almost-lovers? Read more »

First Car Passenger Robert Hewett Recounts Surviving Crash of Amtrak 188

Amtrak 188 survivor Bob Hewett. Photo | Mariam Dembele

Amtrak 188 survivor Bob Hewett. Photo | Mariam Dembele

The Amtrak 188 train derailment happened one year ago today. Survivor Robert Hewett has relived it every day since.

“Every breath I take, I think about it, I have a lot of terrible sleeping at night, if it’s not various pain, it’s my mind just replaying the crash,” said Hewett, 58, a security official for BASF, at a press conference held at the law firm representing him on the anniversary of the Amtrak 188 train derailment that killed eight people and injured more than 200. Read more »

Two Bike Accidents on Tuesday Precede Next Week’s “Ride of Silence”

iStockphoto.com | carlballou

iStockphoto.com | carlballou

Two bike accidents on Tuesday come right before the annual “Ride of Silence,” which aims to bring awareness to bike accidents, as well as honor those who have been killed or injured. The ride, hosted by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, will take place on Wednesday, May 18th, at 7 p.m.

Early Tuesday morning, a bicyclist was seriously injured in a hit-and-run in the Cobbs Creek section of West Philadelphia. The incident happened around 2 a.m. near 52nd and Spruce Streets, said police, adding that the 46-year-old man was struck by an unknown vehicle. He suffered injuries to his head and ribs. The bicyclist was taken to Presbyterian Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition. Read more »

White House Social Secretary Deesha Dyer to Speak at CCP Graduation

deesha-dyer-community-college-commencement-940x540

From West Philly to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue; Deesha Dyer is our own hometown success story.

The Washington Post describes her as “a girl from a hard-knock neighborhood in West Philadelphia who dropped out of college, got a 9-to-5, developed a side-hustle writing about Philly’s hip-hop and soul scene, went to community college, and at age 31 became a White House intern.”

After working her way up the White House ladder from intern in the Office of Scheduling and Advance to associate director for scheduling correspondence to hotel program director to deputy to the social secretary, in 2015 she was named President Obama’s Social Secretary. The Washington Post reports that it’s a role that’s typically held by “upper-class white women with pedigree, connections and political networks.” Dyer is the second black woman to hold the position; she succeeded Jeremy Bernard, who was the first man and first openly gay person to have the post. Along the way she had gained the respect of First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama.

In a White House statement announcing her role as social secretary, Michelle Obama praised “her passion, creativity, public-mindedness and relentless competence” as well as her efforts to “truly make the White House the ‘People’s House.'”

Dyer attributes her career success to her alma matter, the Community College of Philadelphia.  Read more »

Inquirer, Daily News Hiking Newsstand Prices to $1.50

inquirer daily news newspapers

Philadelphia Media Network — the parent company of the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com — will be raising the price of weekday single issues of both papers from $1.00 to $1.50 beginning May 23rd.

“Our pricing reflects the value associated with our products,” said a PMN spokeswoman in statement.  Read more »

Uptown Theater Is Hosting a Prince Memorial Today

Prince performs at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., February, 18, 1985.

Prince performs at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., February, 18, 1985.

UPDATE: The Prince tribute will be postponed to Friday, May 6th due to inclement weather. It will be at the same time and place.

Original: Since Prince died last week, numerous Philadelphia music venues have paid tribute to the musical legend.

On Friday, the Uptown Entertainment and Development Corporation is hosting a memorial of its own for Prince. It will take place under the marquee of the historic Uptown Theater on Broad Street. Guests are invited to bring purple candles to light at 6 p.m.; the event officially begins a little earlier, at 5:30 p.m.

“We felt it was important to have a tribute that was solely a Philadelphia event,” says Linda Richardson, president of the UEDC. Read more »

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