Six Great Children’s Gardens to Visit for Mother’s Day

childrens gardens header

There are so very many different ways to fete the mom of your kiddies on Mother’s Day: breakfast in bed, a fancy brunch, takeout Chinese. Or you could make the whole fam happy with a visit to a children’s garden. It just so happens Temple landscape architecture professor Lolly Tai has a pretty new book out, The Magic of Children’s Gardens, and among the 19 American gardens it highlights are six — six! — within day-trip distance where your offspring can get up close and personal with the natural world instead of with an iPhone. Here they are, with a brief overview of the wonders they hold. Read more »

Knight Cities Finalists Break Bread in Public Places

"Night markets" in neighborhoods across the city have become popular tools for unifying and showcasing communities. One might say that this year's Knight Cities Challenge might produce a number of "Knight markets" that will have community bridge-building as a more explicit goal.

“Night markets” in neighborhoods across the city have become popular tools for unifying and showcasing communities. One might say that this year’s Knight Cities Challenge might produce a number of “Knight markets” that will have community bridge-building as a more explicit goal.

It’s been demonstrated in many ways that Philadelphians love good food. They also cherish the public spaces that allow them to relax and gather with their fellow residents.

The great majority of this year’s 20 local finalists in the annual Knight Cities Challenge have as an element food as a cultural connector, open space as the cement of a community, or some combination of both. There is one finalist, though, that takes an unsparing look at a different form of community-building, or in this case, destroying: the practice of redlining and how it both cut out communities’ hearts and isolated them from the city as a whole.

As for food and open space, here are a few of the proposals that rely on either or both: Read more »

21 Classic Photos From the Philadelphia Auto Show’s 116-Year History

Mercedes-Benz display at the Philadelphia Auto Show in the 1960’s. | Images courtesy of Brownstein Group

Mercedes-Benz display at the Philadelphia Auto Show in the 1960’s. | Images courtesy of the Brownstein Group

The Philadelphia Auto Show makes its highly anticipated return this weekend—and the event is encouraging guests to, pun very much intended, “Find What Moves You.”

Running from January 28th to February 5th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the show will mark 116 years since its debut in 1902. Over the past century-plus, it has provided visitors with an all-access pass to the automotive industry’s latest creations.

Highlights of the show include displays of pre-production, hot production, exotic, and classic car models. For the first time ever, a Hollywood cars display showcasing vehicles from some of Hollywood’s biggest films will also be available to guests. Read more »

You Wanna Make America Great Again? Save the Bank Tellers, Not the Coal Miners

Illustration by Francesco Bongiorni

Illustration by Francesco Bongiorni

A couple of decades ago, my sister confided to me that she tried to buy only clothes and household goods that are made in America. She wants to support American manufacturing and preserve American jobs. I thought at the time that this was cool, but also impractical for me to emulate. Nan was married to a big-shot lawyer; I was married to a musician. It’s easy to order your sheets from Holy Lamb Organics when you don’t have to worry about the price.

What she said got me thinking, though. I thought about it a lot during this last election cycle, as I listened to Donald Trump tell Americans he was going to bring back the jobs of coal miners and steelworkers.

He’s not. Nothing is; experts are agreed on that. These industries that once sent workers home sweaty and covered with grime now employ robots to do the hard labor; the jobs that still exist are for skilled technicians and require specialized training rather than a strong back.  Read more »

11 Things You Might Not Know About Drexel University

Drexel's Bossone Research Enterprise Center. Photo | Courtesy Drexel University

Photo | Courtesy Drexel University

In case you somehow missed the cake and balloons, Drexel University turned 125 this year. To celebrate, two Drexel profs, Richardson Dilworth (grandson of the two-time Philly mayor) and Scott Gabriel Knowles, have put together a comprehensive history of the school, with chapters on everything from its architecture to its sports teams, its Greek life to its role in the civil rights movement and relations with adjacent neighborhoods. Building Drexel: The University and Its City, 1891-2016 is published by Temple University Press. Here are 11 things you might not know about Drexel, recently named by U.S. News & World Report one of the top 500 universities in the world. Read more »

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