The Three Questions I’m Never Asking Anybody Ever Again

Okay, so the first question you should never ask anyone is pretty obvious, because almost all of us have done it anyway. The question is, “When are you due?” And the reason you should never ask it of anyone is in case they’re not.

Theoretically you could safely ask this of men, but given the increasingly tenuous boundaries of gender, better to play it safe and just zip your lip. Because, really, if you’re a woman and you’ve ever been asked this when you weren’t, you remember. The moment burns in your memory even if (as in my case) it was decades ago. Pregnancy is a joyous occasion. Having a gut is not. Being reminded that you have a gut really is not. So, don’t ask this question. Even if you’re pretty damned sure she’s due any minute and she’s carrying twins.

The second question you should never ask anyone is, perhaps, less obvious, because sociologically, it’s a more recent development. Read more »

9 Philly Missed Connections That Need to Happen This Valentine’s Day

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It’s not easy to find love — especially in Philadelphia, especially in February.

But it’s not like we’re not trying. No, we’re trying really hard — from the Whole Foods check-out line to the Market-Frankford El — to make contact with fellow humans. Some of us just aren’t very good at it.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re nudging along some of the cuter Missed Connections posted on Craigslist during the past two weeks. You guys deserve to be happy, if only just for one fake holiday. (As for the gross guys trying to pick up Kelly Drive joggers? Ya’ll are on your own – and stop that right now.)

Recognize yourself? Get in touch! Don’t, but like what you’re reading? These people are looking for love on Craigslist — they’ll probably give you a chance.

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Americans Are Paying Good Money for Professional Cuddling

In the latest sign of the Apocalypse, the Wall Street Journal on Friday had an article on the growth of professional cuddling. That is, people who get paid to lie on beanbag chairs and chaise longues beside other people who pay them for the privilege. Of being cuddled. I know your next question, and here’s the answer: $80 an hour. And I know your next question: Yes, everyone’s clothes stay on. Read more »

WATCH: Can’t a Hawk Just Eat His Boyds Breakfast in Peace?

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Seems that one of the peregrine falcons who hang out at 2400 Chestnut [update: or maybe not — see comments below] picked up a squab snack around 9 this morning but just couldn’t find the right spot to settle down and dig in:

The perfect aerie soon presented itself, however — the canopy in front of Boyds.

Video below:

Why Do Philadelphians Just Love to Play With the Word “Philadelphia”?

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When I returned to Philadelphia in 2011 after a few years spent in D.C. and abroad, I couldn’t help but notice Philly’s borderline obsession with, well, Philadelphia.

More precisely, the word “Philadelphia,” which we just absolutely love to mess around with. “Philadelphia” finds its way — in part or in whole, one way or another — into countless other nouns in this toponymically infatuated city.
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Who Says Halloween Is Just for Kids (and People With ’Em)?

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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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The Philadelphia Outrage Meter for the Week Ending October 17

50%: People mad about the boys-will-be-boys culture that allowed regular forwarding of porn emails among members of state government and even into the judiciary, setting off a civil war in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

50%: People mad at Attorney General Kathleen Kane for letting the world know about the boys-will-be-boys culture that allowed regular forwarding of porn emails among members of state government and even into the judiciary, setting off a civil war in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Activists: Immigration Enforcement Shifting to Philly Suburbs

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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Here’s Why the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk Is a Hit

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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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