These Are Philly’s 10 Worst Catcalls, Ranked

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A sign declaring “No Catcalling Anytime” in Brooklyn’s Grand Plaza area, Thursday, April 16. A nonprofit company called Feminist Apparel says it hopes to have at least one sign up in every borough by week’s end.

I hate to say it, but sometimes, I don’t mind a catcall.

Ideally, yes, women would be able to walk down the street without eliciting any unwanted comments, rendering Fishtown’s fantastic new “No Catcall Zone” signs obsolete. In reality, well, sometimes “Looking good, honey” is the nicest thing I’ll hear all week. (Ever since resolving to meet this city halfway, I sleep better and drink less. Join me.)

The following, however, have no place in civilized society, or even Philadelphia. From drive-bys to bike bys, from the Northeast to Washington Avenue, these are Philly’s worst catcalls. 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 »

That Was Fast: Hillary Clinton Already Attacked for Running While Female

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with local residents at the Jones St. Java House, Tuesday, April 14, 2015, in LeClaire, Iowa.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with local residents at the Jones St. Java House, Tuesday, April 14, 2015, in LeClaire, Iowa.

Well, that didn’t take long.

The same day Hillary Clinton officially launched her campaign for president, she was scrutinized for doing so while being a woman.

“I don’t need her to drown me in estrogen every time she opens her mouth,” GOP strategist Ana Navarro said Sunday while on CNN to complain about Clinton’s lack of “subtlety.” “Every time she opens her mouth it’s about the granddaughter and Chelsea’s wedding and the yoga routines. She doesn’t need to have a sign that says, ‘I’m a woman, hear me roar!'”

(I know – I thought this was another on-point Onion story, too. I’m still a little paranoid it might be. But I watched the video, and those are real words coming out of a real person’s mouth in 2015.) Read more »

FLOWCHART: A Handy Guide to the Wide World of Philly Crowdfunding

When the first couple crowd-funding requests popped up in my Facebook feed, I was a fan. It was hard not to be.

Out of the bleakness of the Internet came something intrinsically human — a call for help — and it, in turn, was answered with something even more human: support from a community willing to sacrifice a little bit to contribute to a greater good. Hidden among the selfies and Candy Crush invitations, perhaps we were a species worth saving.

But nothing gold — or even a little bit shiny in the right light — can stay. Read more »

9 Reasons Not to Observe April Fools’ Day in Philly

Clothespin photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia | Broad-Ridge Spur map via SEPTA | Milton Street photo by Jeff Fusco | Lenfest Plaza photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Clothespin photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia | Broad-Ridge Spur map via SEPTA | Milton Street photo by Jeff Fusco | Lenfest Plaza photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

In some parts of the country, I can see how April Fool’s Day has the potential to be fun. Everyone likes a good prank, and even a lame one deserves some credit on a sleepy Wednesday afternoon.

But in Philly? This city messes with our heads year-round.

I’m not talking about the cute, folksy, “how-weird-is-Philly?!” stuff that populates Buzzfeed lists. If you’ve spent 15 minutes here, the Mummers make perfect sense: glitter, feathers, booze. So does Wing Bowl: meat, boobs, booze. (Was that really so hard? Act like you know and let’s never speak of this again.)

No, I’m talking about the arbitrary, home-grown psychological warfare that Philadelphia wages on a daily basis, seemingly for sport.

Every day is April Fool’s Day around these parts, and after enduring the below petty mind games, we owe it to each other to abstain from the holiday. Or, at the very least, direct all of our efforts toward the PPA. Read more »

Mo’ne Davis Just Wrote the Book on Twitter Trolls

Mo'ne Davis attends the 2015 Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Mo’ne Davis attends the 2015 Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at Madison Square Garden in New York.

By now, I’m used to Mo’ne Davis making me feel bad about myself.

At 13, she throws a 70 miles-per-hour fastball, has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated,” wrote a memoir and designed a line of sneakers, the proceeds of which benefit impoverished girls. (At 13, my only goal was for Brian McKenna to like my hair. It went unrealized.) Read more »

Confession: I Hate Spring in Philadelphia

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer. Photos | background, M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia; Peep, PhotosJC / Shutterstock.com, person in jacket, leedsn/ Shutterstock.com

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer. Photos | background, M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia; Peep, PhotosJC / Shutterstock.com, person in jacket, leedsn/ Shutterstock.com

I woke up on Friday morning with a distinct, creeping sense of dread. The kind of dread that makes you afraid to open your eyes, that brings you to the bargaining table with gods long forgotten.

Some of this could be attributed to the dog sleeping on my head. It was the smelly dog, and I had to decide whether to wash my hair or Febreze it like a dodgy futon before heading into work. I knew what I would choose, and it wasn’t a choice that inspired much hope for the day or the decade.

But, smelly dogs aside, it was also the first day of spring.

I know how I’m supposed to feel about spring.  Read more »

Should We Ban Fraternities? Or Just Watch Them Destroy Themselves?

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At this point, we probably shouldn’t bother pretending that we’re shocked by the news coming out of Penn State. (Which is unfortunate, as shock makes great fuel for Internet opinion pieces. Outrage, thankfully, is still on the table.)

It’s not as if fraternities have much of a reputation to uphold lately. Just two weeks ago, we got a peek behind the scenes of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University of Oklahoma, which apparently has absurdly racist and violent sing-alongs when they think no one is looking. Now, police are investigating Penn State’s Kappa Delta Rho for allegedly operating two private Facebook accounts that included nude pictures of unconscious women.

And yet, there is a part of me that’s surprised, if not shocked. Read more »

In Defense of the Erin Express

2009 Erin Express at West Tavern. Photo by Kevin Burkett, used under a creative commons license.

2009 Erin Express at West Tavern. Photo by Kevin Burkett, cropped and used under a Creative Commons license.

Last year, the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day was absolutely gorgeous. Unseasonably warm and impossibly sunny, it was the kind of day that Philadelphia occasionally hands over just when you threaten to pack your bags — right around the time you start counting the number of Februarys you’ve barely survived here. Read more »

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