Are the Duggars Pro-Family — or Just Anti-Woman?

The Duggars

The Duggars

In general, I try not to dissect why I care about the lives of strangers on reality TV shows. Best-case scenario, I don’t have enough going on in my own life. Worst case, I have a sneaky crush on Dr. Dubrow that’s about to surface and cause worlds of pain and confusion.

But 19 Kids and Counting has always been a little different. It’s hard to be a woman in 2015 and not be interested (or, in my case, morbidly interested) in the Duggar family, who are followers of an ultra-conservative brand of Christianity that adheres to the Biblical patriarchy movement.

After this weekend, it’s impossible not to be afraid of them. Read more »

Should Philly Get to Vote on Its Public Art Installations?

Clothespin, B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia | Doctored <em>Paint Torch</em> via <a href="http://www.phillymag.com/ticket/2015/04/01/photos-street-artist-turns-part-of-the-pafa-paint-torch-sculpture-into-a-poop-emoji/" target="_blank">Streets Dept.</a>

Clothespin, B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia | Doctored Paint Torch, Streets Dept.

I don’t have great taste in art. Or, maybe even worse, I don’t have any taste in art.

I have a couple of nice pieces courtesy of friends and family who haven’t yet realized their work is too good to give to me. But, left to my own devices, I gravitate toward the Basic Bitch Trifecta when decorating my walls: beaches, dogs and inspirational quotes. Part of me still misses my freshman dorm’s super-cheesy Audrey Hepburn print (another part of me misses it so bad that it’s in my Ikea shopping cart).

And so I’m never quite sure how to feel about some of Philly’s more abstract art. Is an oversized electrical plug art? Probably, considering it ended up in the Art Museum’s sculpture garden. How about a plastic, swirled dollop of paint? Perhaps. What if you dress up the dollop to look like the poo emoji? I’m going to go with definitely, but like I said, what do I know? Read more »

Why Dunkin’ Donuts Is Philly’s True Coffee Soulmate

The cup of coffee you carry around Philly says a lot about you. In a city where no one smiles or, God forbid, says hello, it can quickly relay a good amount of information about strangers. I like to think of it as the human equivalent of a butt sniff – or rather, the Philadelphian’s equivalent of a butt sniff.

When I see Red Hook’s cute little cup parading down Fourth Street, I can’t help but admire its drinker. Not only did she resist the best muffin in town, but she went to a locally owned café and spent a little extra to support her neighbors. She’s socially conscious and expensive smelling, but not so much better than me that she remembered her reusable travel mug. Read more »

4 Biggest Mother’s Day Social Media Missteps

As far as holidays go, Mother’s Day is traditionally in the minor leagues.

It’s an important one, yes, but it barely takes up an entire aisle in CVS. No long weekend, no dead deity, no big deal.

Unless, of course, you’re going by social media standards. Because on Facebook and Twitter, Mother’s Day is apparently a High Holy Day of Sharing (and, possibly, caring).

Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that. After months of stalking your bar selfies and whiny status updates, your mom was probably delighted to spot herself in your new profile picture. If your partner granted you a tiny human over the past year, it’s more than appropriate to send a shout-out. You gave life to those kids and got them dressed for a family photo shoot before noon? Go ahead, lady — blow up my feed with your tiny army of brunch terrorists. You earned this.

That said, there was also some pretty questionable Mother’s Day posting this year. Do mom a favor and remember the following next time around. Read more »

5 Rules for Behaving During Philadelphia Street Festival Season

South Street Festival. Photo | South Street Headhouse District

South Street Festival. Photo | South Street Headhouse District

Somehow, I went almost three decades in this city without having to experience a neighborhood street festival.

Actually, it was easy. I grew up in the Northeast and then spent a good chunk of my 20s in West Philly, two of the most insular communities this side of North Korea. (Go on, ask your friend from Fox Chase to meet you in Center City. I’ll wait.)

But now I find myself renting in Queen Village, an apparently popular part of the city with things to offer and visitors to entertain. If last weekend’s record-breaking South Street Festival was any indication, it’s going to be a long, long summer of improvised trashcans and suspicious puddles.

Want to be a good temporary neighbor? Here’s what to remember before you go back to the ’burbs. (Want to be an even better neighbor? Make some room in that fancy crossover vehicle and bring me with you to the promised land.) Read more »

What I Learned About Philly Through My Google Search History

google

Shutterstock.com

 

I realize that I’m late to the Google search download game.

The option to download your search history – as in, your entire search history – has been available since January, when Google quietly rolled out the feature. It came to the attention of the Internet masses last week, when a third-party blog spelled it out: Everything you have searched for while logged into Google has been saved, and you can take a peek if you want.

I did not want. Read more »

Philly’s 5 Worst Reality TV Moments

Kate Gosselin | Shutterstock.com; Parking Wars | aetv.com; Real World Philadelphia cast | mtv.com

Kate Gosselin | Shutterstock.com; Parking Wars | aetv.com; Real World Philadelphia cast | mtv.com

What exactly did Philadelphia do to deserve TLC’s “Summer Block Party”?

The short answer is that Northeast Philly resident Lisa Miller “won” a contest to host the event, which will bring a slew of the network’s reality stars — including the expansive Duggar family from 19 Kids and Counting, Kate Gosselin of Kate Plus Eight and a grown man who refers to himself as The Cake Boss — to Penn’s Landing on May 20th.

(We should resist blaming Ms. Miller, who seems to be a lovely woman trying to do something nice for her community. Sometimes good citizens mistakenly wish catastrophic events upon their hometowns.)

The longer explanation is that Philly’s karma debt runs deep, and the universe took a quick break from indifference to hand-tailor an 11th plague, just for us. It seems you can’t put shows like Parking Wars out there and expect to dodge the consequences.

Here are the city’s worst moments in reality TV — until, of course, TLC films a special of next month’s unholy gathering. Read more »

These Are Philly’s 10 Worst Catcalls, Ranked

AP-NO-CATCALLING-bebeto-matthews-940x540

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 »

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