I Was in No Hurry to Open My New iPhone

About four years ago, my husband started telling me I could get a free iPhone whenever I wanted to. A couple of weeks ago, I finally did.

You can probably tell I’m no early adopter. It took me a really long time to get used to my flip phone. It’s partly because I didn’t use it much. I don’t like to talk on the phone, so I mostly used it for texting my kids and my husband. I did like to take photos of my garden and occasionally post them to Twitter, which is what made me finally break down and get the iPhone. The camera on my flip phone stopped working. I didn’t mind so much in winter. But when the full panoply of my tulips came out this spring and I couldn’t share it, I was bummed.

By then, I had an iPhone. When my son was home for spring break, he took the bull by the horns and, over my protests, ordered me one. He went back to school, and my iPhone arrived at the house a few days later. I didn’t bother to open the box. I knew that learning how to use it was going to be a huge pain in the ass, and except for the camera that didn’t work, my flip phone suited me fine. I didn’t need any apps to help me figure out what restaurant to eat at or what wine to pair with lamb chops or what dress would match my nice new apricot-colored sweater. Fifty-eight years of life experience was taking care of all that just fine.

So the phone just sat in its unopened box on the dining room table. Meantime, one day I was using the flip phone and noticed a piece of fuzz stuck in the camera lens. I extracted it with an X-acto knife, and suddenly the camera was working again. That made me even more unhappy that my son had ordered the iPhone, which I now didn’t need for anything. 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 »

Introducing the Philly Selfie Contest

This classic Philly Selfie was captured at the Independence Visitor Center.

Hey Philly! Get pumped for Selfies Week! We need your best selfies for an upcoming photo feature. Starting Monday, May 4th, we’re collecting your submissions online, via Instagram, or Twitter or email us at social@phillymag.com. Make sure you use the hashtag #PhillySelfieContest. Here’s what we need:

1. Selfies with you and a celebrity with Philly ties.

2. Selfies that show you in an iconic Philadelphia setting. The more creative, the better — do you have a killer selfie from the observation deck of City Hall at sunset? On the 50-yard line at halftime of an Eagles game?

Read more »

How Wawa Is Spreading the Gospel of Hoagies

wawa-sub-hoagie-twitter-940x540

Promotional image posted to Wawa’s Twitter account on April 11th, with the message: “They say it’s National Submarine Day, but we’re sticking with the term hoagie.”

Wawa opened three stores on April 23rd in Fort Myers, Florida. The convenience store chain, which began an expansion into Florida in July 2012, has 65 stores in the state. It plans to have 100 locations by the end of 2016. 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 the 20 Stupidest Computer Passwords

You know you ought to change the passwords you use online more often. You hear about it, you read about it, you even know that lady in accounting who got hacked and is still trying to straighten out her finances six months later. But your passwords are like your slippers — cozy and comfortable. It’s so hard to remember the passwords you already have. You just can’t face the prospect of changing them again. Right?

Well, good news. We’re not here to try to get you to change your computer passwords. We already tried that, and besides, the Wall Street Journal just tried it, too, in an article by Punam A. Keller, a professor at Dartmouth’s school of business. Well, actually, her article was on how businesses can encourage password-changing amongst their clientele. But even Keller admits she hasn’t changed her password — she uses the same one for her computer, iTunes, PayPal, and lots of online shopping sites — in three years.

Doesn’t that make you feel better — knowing that an Ivy League professor who’s getting paid to tell companies how to get their customers to change their passwords doesn’t change her password? That’s the business we’re in today, my friend — making you feel good about yourself.  Read more »

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