I started to worry about Halloween a couple years ago.
Right around the time when my hallowed hangover started to creep into November 2nd, my friends started staying home because they couldn’t find a sitter. Just as 10 p.m. began to sound a little late to head out to a costume party, my Facebook feed blew up with pictures of tiny humans in tiny pumpkin costumes.
This year, it seems official: I’m in Halloween purgatory — I’m wise enough to know the true cost of an open bar, but still selfish enough to steal Reese’s Cups from your little pumpkins.
But while there are a lot of holidays I’ll surrender to my 20s (it was real, New Year’s), Halloween is not one of them. I grew up in the Northeast, where trick-or-treating was a competitive sport, where tightly packed row houses meant all the candy you could carry — and then a second helping after emptying your pillowcase at home.
So how to celebrate a proper Halloween when you’re not a kid anymore — and don’t have one? It’s easy, but there are some rules.
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Immigration authorities have moved the bulk of their enforcement activities to the suburbs since Mayor Nutter ended cooperation with the feds during the spring, an immigrant-rights group reports.
“In some counties ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) meets with the district attorney twice per week,” said Jasmine Rivera, lead organizer for Juntos, a Philadelphia immigrant-rights organization. “In Chester county the juvenile court system reports all undocumented juveniles to ICE. Driver’s license check-points are used to identify undocumented immigrants. And we have noticed an increase of arrests in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where there are no ICE hold policies”
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“So is that it? Is that the end?”
The woman in leopard-print flats seemed disappointed. She’d just walked the length of the brand-new Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, entering behind the dog run and trudging 2,000-plus fiercely footwear’d feet to the base of the South Street Bridge, her totally on-trend fall 2014 look rippling in the breeze in time with the undulating waters of the Hidden River. And all this, if her snap reaction was any indication, struck her as a little more meh than majestic.
If it were up to leopard-print flats, the conclusion of the boardwalk, which just completed its first weekend open to the public, would be punctuated by something a little more dramatic than a set of stairs. A length of unsnapped finish-line tape from the 1920 Antwerp Olympics, perhaps, or maybe a jaunty faun coaxing her into an ornate wardrobe leading to Narnia.
Not everyone hanging on this freakishly gorgeous autumn day was quite as vocal about the perceived shortcomings of this long-awaited $18 million project, part of the East Coast Greenway Alliance, an “urban sister to the Appalachian Trail” that stretches from Maine to Florida. But it wasn’t like anyone was blaring trumpets to hail its arrival, either. (Not counting, of course, the trumpeter hired to play as part of a jazz quartet.) It’s early yet, but I think this can be seen as the biggest sign of the boardwalk’s success so far. Philadelphians like it so much, they’re acting like it’s been theirs forever.
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For as much as I avoid driving and exercise, I take a cab maybe once a month. Although most tend to think that this is the safest option for a single woman on her way home, at the risk of sounding like a paranoid cat lady, I’ve always thought that getting in a stranger’s car is a convenient way to end up in a stranger’s trunk.
Personally, I just feel safer on the El or the Green Line, where we have seemingly made a city-wide contract to be as weird as humanly possible during our time together, but to do so fairly harmlessly. (That is, when we aren’t attacking each other with hammers or kicking each other’s teeth in. I get it — it’s flawed logic, but it’s working for me.)
Would I feel differently if I was in New York, where SheRides is scheduled to roll out this week? Probably. An Uber-like cab service, SheRides (renamed from SheTaxi due to regulations in NYC) exclusively employs female drivers, who exclusively pick up female passengers. The idea is two-fold: Employ more women in an industry long-dominated by men, and make customers feel at ease — whether it’s religious or cultural norms that prevent them from getting into a cab with a man, or having seen too many Quentin Tarantino films.
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Quick question on the first day of kindergarten in Philly public schools: Is it actually immoral to take your kid and flee the city for suburban schools?
Silly question, right? After all, city families have been fleeing to the ’burbs (or to private schools) for decades. We don’t really blink at the process, because of course the right answer to the question is to do whatever it takes to get your child the best education possible.
But maybe there’s an alternative argument.
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(This piece has been updated to include comment from a PGW spokesperson and a copy of the termination of service notice Anderson-Bell says she received.)
LiRon Anderson-Bell and her husband Glenn relocated from Blue Bell to a big house in the Overbrook Farms neighborhood of Philadelphia in 2003 after they fell in love with the tree-lined community just minutes from the Eastern edge of the Main Line. But now their love affair has turned into a veritable nightmare after a visit this week from PGW. Read more »
Maybe Philly should do more to promote itself with a series of advertisements like these:
Why? Because we apparently have the most public pools per capita of any city in the country. That’s the claim that city officials are making, Newsworks reports.
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If you live in Philadelphia or park in it on occasion, you necessarily hate the Philadelphia Parking Authority and its trolling band of uniformed parking enforcers, who make your life miserable with their little handheld parking ticket generators and their unique inability to offer an ounce of human compassion or empathy. But the thing is, they’re almost always right.
Earlier this week, crusty Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky offered the world a story about a man who supposedly got a parking ticket before he even had a chance to get out of the car and feed the meter. It was one of those generic “The PPA Sucks!” PPA-indictment stories that pop up on a fairly regular basis and that are always good for lots of righteous indignation. As of Thursday morning, Bykofsky’s story had generated over 150 comments.
But I was unmoved, because all Bykofsky had was one man’s word that this had happened, and in my experience with people and their parking tickets, either people lie outright or the truth is somewhere in the middle. Or they outwardly admit that they were “technically” in the wrong but that they still shouldn’t have received a ticket and that, oh yeah, THE PPA SUCKS!
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