You’re Welcome, America: We Killed hitchBOT

HitchBOT via Facebook

hitchBOT via Facebook

Most weekends I don’t leave South Philly, let alone the East Coast. But I spent the past couple days in Los Angeles, and I have to admit that by Saturday evening I started to entertain the idea of extending my stay.

Because really, California doesn’t seem like such a bad deal. It never snows and it barely rains. There’s a beach to the left and mountains to the right. If you forget your laptop in a coffee shop, it will be waiting for you behind the counter with a glowing barista who smells like sunshine and rainbows. What, I wondered, do I have against happiness? Why do I insist, year after year, on proving that I can survive Philadelphia?

And then you beautiful assholes killed hitchBOT. Read more »

Philadelphia, Quit Your Pope Whining Now!

By now, you’ve probably seen the maps.

Depending on which one you look at, it appears that somewhere between a large chunk and an extremely large chunk of Philadelphia will be swallowed up by the so-called “security perimeter” for Pope Francis’ September visit.

Mayor Michael Nutter attempted to smooth things over yesterday, but by then the damage was already done. After weeks of reports that SEPTA service would be suspended, bridges could close and I-95 might even shut down, the city seemed to have had enough — it was time to throw a full-on tantrum and give in to the Pope panic.

Philadelphia, this is a bad look for us. Read more »

How Switching to Two Wheels Helped Me See Philly With New Eyes

Illustration by Tim Parker

Illustration by Tim Parker

Before you get the wrong idea, this is not a love story.

There have been plenty of those penned about the joys and merits of cycling in the city. Especially in this city, where — in case you haven’t noticed — the ever-widening, constantly creeping bike lanes are suddenly packed with everyone from die-hard daily commuters to meandering tourists on rented wheels.

But this, well, this isn’t one of those stories. Read more »

Department of Duh: Of Course Margie Winters Got Fired

Archbishop Charles Chaput, Photo | Jeff Fusco. Waldron Mercy Academy via Google Maps

Archbishop Charles Chaput, Photo | Jeff Fusco. Waldron Mercy Academy via Google Maps

In some ways, I feel for Archbishop Charles J. Chaput.

Yesterday, when he released a statement on the archdiocese’s position on the firing of Margie Winters, I honestly believe he wasn’t prepared for the collective “NOPE!” the Internet sent his way. It lacked a little finesse, sure, but my guess is that he pretty confidently hit “send” on the below: Read more »

The 7 Worst People at the Farmers’ Market

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer   Diet Coke  woman  and produce  images via  Shutterstock.com

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer
Diet Coke , woman and produce images via Shutterstock.com

In theory, the farmers’ market sounds like a lovely place to spend your Sunday morning.

And it should be. It could be. Sometimes it is. It’s a great opportunity to meet the hard-working people who grow your food, and if you have a lot of thoughts about tomatoes, there’s nowhere else you should be. Read more »

Which Shark Week Star Is Your Favorite Jersey Shore Point’s Spirit Shark?

shark-week-940x540

Shark Week is upon us, friends.

The Discovery Channel’s annual celebration of scary fish and worse puns kicked off Sunday, and it looks to be another banner year. Maybe not quite as good as 2014 now that the network has promised more science and less Megalodon, but still — pretty damn good. (People whining about the factual accuracy of Shark Week: Why do you hate America? It’s the freedom, isn’t it? May your boardwalks be paved with splinters.)

This year’s marquee villains include ninja sharks, alien sharks, serial killer sharks and — we owe you one, Jesus — “The Bride of Jaws.” Most of these bad boys are trolling the waters of Florida, Australia and South Africa, but just in case they ever decided to drop by the Jersey Shore, we wanted to figure out where they would feel most at home.

Why would anyone waste their time doing such a thing? Because Shark Week. If you start bringing logic and good taste into this, you’ll ruin Shark Week. Stop that right now. Read more »

We Owe Mr. Trump a Big “Thank You”

Developer Donald Trump displays a copy of his net worth during his announcement that he will seek the Republican nomination for president, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Developer Donald Trump displays a copy of his net worth during his announcement that he will seek the Republican nomination for president, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Now, more than ever, I’m a huge fan of Donald Trump.

The guy’s having a tough week, to be sure, but as NBC cuts their ties with The Apprentice host and the GOP tries to avoid eye contact in the hallway, I’ve come around. While he left a little to be desired as a reality TV star and is just plain creepy as a Miss USA overlord, as a presidential candidate, I can finally understand his value.

Read more »

Philadelphia, We Needed the Cheesecake Factory

Photo | Brian Howard

Photo | Brian Howard

Everyone has their safe space.

Maybe you like to take a time-out at Rittenhouse Square when the office feels like it’s closing in. Or perhaps you find peace in your garden at the end of a long day. Yoga studios are popular, as are churches, temples, synagogues, mosques and other buildings where vampires aren’t welcome (or aren’t usually welcome — it all depends which season of Supernatural you’re watching).

My personal sanctuary — that little nook of the world where time seems to stop and breathing comes easy — is The Cheesecake Factory. Read more »

Why Do I Find Taylor Swift So Annoying?

It was hard not to cheer for Taylor Swift over the past couple days.

Less than 24 hours after she penned a blog post criticizing Apple’s new music streaming service, the company backtracked and confirmed that it would, indeed, pay artists full royalties during the trial period. After a few polite, eloquent paragraphs outlining her argument and the importance of compensating both struggling artists and established talent, Swift signed off with this succinct little mic drop to let them know she meant business:

 “We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”

Seemingly all corners of the Internet came together in support and admiration of the 25-year-old Berks County native. As for myself, I decided it was finally time to figure out why I absolutely can’t stand the woman. Read more »

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