Ocean City, New Jersey, the Most Magical Shore Town on Earth

Gilligan's Wonderland Pier Ferris Wheel | Edwin under a CC 2.0 license.

Gillian’s Wonderland Pier Ferris Wheel | Edwin under a CC 2.0 license.

My family has gone to Ocean City, New Jersey, every summer since I can remember.

When things were tight, we went for a long afternoon or a short weekend. Other times, we’d pack up that gigantic blue station wagon and put Fox Chase in the rearview for an entire week. Regardless, for a few hours or a few days, it was always and easily the best part of the year, the time when the Weymouths most felt like the families on TV.

It wasn’t until I was in college that we decided to take our first “real” vacation and booked a flight to Disney World. Read more »

Meet the Local Hospital Worker Who Posts Autopsy Photos on Instagram

Nicole Angemi via Instagram

Nicole Angemi via Instagram

When you go into the hospital, you probably don’t expect that your tumor, gangrened leg or, God forbid, dead body will wind up on Instagram. But thanks to one local hospital’s pathology assistant, who moonlights at Drexel University as a teacher, it could happen. South Jersey’s Nicole Angemi routinely shares pathology and autopsy photos with her 350,000-plus followers on Instagram (she swears none of them are her patients), so we reached out to her to find out how a mother of three wound up with such a gruesome hobby. As a condition of the interview, we agreed not to reveal the hospital where she is employed.

See below the interview for a gallery of some of the photos she has shared. Read more »

Autism and Vaccines, Earthquakes and Malaysian Mountain Spirits

Image of the hikers that circulated on social media.

Image of the hikers that circulated on social media.

It isn’t often that I laugh out loud while reading the staid New York Times, but I did last Thursday as I perused a story about four Western mountain climbers who, after scaling Malaysia’s highest peak, disrobed and took nude photos at the top. The cavorting tourists — a Canadian brother and sister, a woman from Britain and a Dutchman — were subsequently detained by authorities. The charge against them is public obscenity, but their real crime when they stripped atop Mount Kinabalu in May, according to the locals, was offending the holy mountain, angering it and thereby causing an earthquake in June that killed 18 people.

How supremely silly. Read more »

Relax, Everyone: Millennials Are Getting Laid Plenty

Two studies came out recently showing that — surprise! — millennials get laid less than their parents did.

My Baby Boomer colleague Sandy Hingston wrote that as soon as she heard the news, “I knew the kids would twist themselves into pretzels explaining to me how that’s a good thing. After all, we’re the ones who ruined the environment, razed the economy and stuck them all with a hundred grand in college debt, so how could anything that we did ever be good?” Read more »

How Pope Francis Made It Safe for Me to Come Crawling Back to Church

It was in second grade that I first suspected I didn’t belong at St. Cecilia’s.

I was only 7, but when I looked into Sister Mary’s unfeeling eyes I knew, as clearly as only 7-year-olds can, that whoever she was working for wasn’t worth my Sunday morning. I brought my concerns to my mom, hoping for a quick “Jesus Loves You!” Band-Aid to ease the impending existential crisis.

Now, I realize this was a mistake. My mother is a wonderful, empathetic, kind-hearted woman, but comforting white lies aren’t really her strong suit. Santa died early in our house, and the Easter Bunny wasn’t far behind. The Tooth Fairy, well, she never stood a chance on Hoffnagle Street. This is what it sounds like when a child asks Joan if we’re floating on, all alone, through this vast, indifferent universe:

“How do you know God is real?”

“Well, I don’t.”

“Oh. Do you think he is?”

“I’m not sure.”

“So … where do we go when we die?”

“Nobody really knows.”

“Where did Smokey go?!?”

“He’s in the flower bed, honey. Now brush your teeth – Wings comes on at 8.”

Read more »

Brick and Mortar Opening

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Last night Michael B. Welsh’s much anticipated Brick and Mortar (BAM) opened up at 12th and Pearl Streets in the Loft District of Philadelphia. The New American tavern seats up to 110 people and is located on the first floor of the Goldtex Building, which features large windows letting in a lot of light and banquet style tables as well as having a community table for large parties. Chef Brian Ricci’s menu will serve lunch and dinner, as well as late-night snacks, plus the best cocktails you could imagine.

Last night’s opening served as a fundraiser to support Friends of The Rail Park, attracting supporters including Inga Saffron, Connor Barwin, Sam Sherman and Paul Steinke, who enjoyed signature cocktails + hors d’oeuvres crafted by the BAM staff. Friends of The Rail Park had a lot to celebrate last night as the Philadelphia Art Commission had given final approval for the anticipated park’s design on Wednesday. During the event Philly’s favorite rapper, Chill Moody performed with Yufi Zewdu & DJ Ricochet.

Photos after the jump »

Internet Meets Caitlyn Jenner, Immediately Sexualizes Her

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I was getting coffee when Caitlyn Jenner met the Internet. Not fancy coffee — regular drip, black, get that cinnamon-sugar shaker away from me — so we’re talking maybe 15 minutes away from my desk. And yet that was enough time for seemingly the entire world to chime in on the Vanity Fair cover story documenting her transition.

Many were supportive and respectful, from Lady Gaga to Rick Santorum. Others, of course, were decidedly less so. (Tell me, how does it feel to be behind Rick Santorum in the Evolution line? Or don’t you guys believe in that yet? As you were.) But lurking through it all — the Facebook comments, the coverage from major outlets, even Vanity Fair’s presentation and promotion of the story — was an ugly subtext: After less than a day of revealing her new identity, Caitlyn Jenner had already been objectified and sexualized for our entertainment.

Which makes sense. She is, after all, a woman. Read more »

Two New Studies Debunk What You Thought You Knew About Millennials and Sex

As soon as I heard about the pair of new studies showing that millennials are getting less sex than their parents did, I knew the kids would twist themselves into pretzels explaining to me how that’s a good thing. After all, we’re the ones who ruined the environment, razed the economy and stuck them all with a hundred grand in college debt, so how could anything that we did ever be good?

The first of those two studies, published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, revealed that millennials have had far fewer sexual partners than the boomers or Generation X. In fact, millennials are having sex less than anybody since their grandparents’ “Greatest Generation,” who averaged just two partners apiece. Boomers and Gen X’ers in the study averaged 11 sexual partners. Millennials, the study says, are likely to average eight. Read more »

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