Should the Sixers Woo Villanova’s Jay Wright?

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Indulge me this post as I find a way to weave the resignation of Sam Hinkie as general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers with the Villanova Wildcats winning the 2016 college basketball national championship.

First, Hinkie.

The man who urged us to believe in his process of sucking on an NBA basketball floor in order to accumulate better draft picks that would hopefully build the foundation of a championship basketball team, jumped off the cliff last night before he had a chance to be pushed off. It is no big secret that Hinkie’s job — as he knew it — was in jeopardy once the Sixers hired Jerry Colangelo to be their president/overseer. Colangelo had his son Bryan, a former GM in the NBA, on ice, just waiting to be pulled out of the tub to take over the Sixers’ GM job.

In a nutshell, Hinkie was doomed by NBA league executives, who reportedly badgered a young Sixers ownership group for the disgraceful product they were putting out every night, into hiring Colangelo, who I suspect always had it in his mind to clip Hinkie in favor of his kid. Read more »

How Did We Become So Obsessed With Food — and So Lazy at the Grocery Store?

iStockphoto.com, juliedeshaies

iStockphoto.com, juliedeshaies

I was shopping the other night with my kid at Fresh Grocer in West Philly, which is the closest grocery store to where she lives. I like taking Marcy grocery shopping. I like Fresh Grocer — not because it’s a nice store, because it’s not, really. The layout is chaotic as hell; nothing is where you expect it to be. Wherever you park your cart even for just for a moment, just to check how much they’re asking for ground beef this week, you’re instantly in someone’s way. It’s a cultural wonderland, which means it’s chock-full of people with completely oppositional ideas of what constitutes personal space. But I like the foreign students chattering away in different languages while they block your access to the yogurt, and the laconic fish guy with the beard, and the checkout clerks who run the gamut from incredibly cheerful and excited to have a job to openly yawning at you. Plus, free parking! So long as you remember to get your ticket punched.

And I like the way the produce section tries to be all things to all those people, with 10 different varieties of apples, sure, but also lots of different greens and an array of mushrooms and dragon fruit and mangoes and bagged salad mixes and three varieties of bananas. Marcy’s more or less a vegetarian at this point in her life, but her husband is from Kenya, where any veggie that hasn’t been stewed for three hours with canned tomatoes is written off as a loss. It’s interesting to watch Marcy struggle to bridge this gap.

Which is why our progress through the Fresh Grocer aisles sometimes comes to a halt while she eyes a glistening array of, say, Japanese eggplant and tries to imagine some way, any way, of preparing it that Basil might eat. Which is what she was doing that caused me (once I had found an unobtrusive spot in which to park our cart) to have the leisure to reach up onto the top shelf in the produce section for a small square package of what turned out to be beets.  Read more »

Four Tips for Philadelphians Traveling Abroad During the “Trump Spring”

Photo Cory Doctorow via Creative Commons.

Donald Eres un Pendejo, sidewalk stencil, Sunset Junction, Los Angeles, California, USA. Photo | Cory Doctorow via Creative Commons.

At this point, when Donald Trump’s face appears on a screen, I tend to feel nothing.

Sometimes it’s the “Been there, done that” variety of nothing, an unavoidable side effect of a 24-hour election news cycle. Other times, it’s the crushingly cold, “I’m so dead inside” brand of nothing that happens when Donald Trump makes a serious run for the White House. Once, it was almost a peaceful nothing, the kind that sets in right before you walk down the tunnel toward the light.

Either way: sweet, sweet nothing.

Unless, of course, I’m in Mexico when Trump makes his appearance. In that case, I panic a bit. Read more »

Signs of the Apocalypse: The Peeple App Launches

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I’m approaching that age where it’s time to decide if I want to bring children into this world.

Most days, the answer is yes. I love kids, and for whatever reason — blind optimism, naïveté, Ambien — I believe that the human race is a good one and that we’ll eventually wake up from this fever dream we call election season.

But on other days, the Peeple app launches. Read more »

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