Philadelphia Spends Much More on Alimony, Charity Than U.S. Averages

On Sunday, the New York Times ran an article on how where you live influences your spending decisions. The article has a trove of data on what people in major cities spend on a variety of items versus the national average.

Philadelphia, for instance, spends 28 percent more on books than the national average. And 95 percent less than the national average on “mutton, goat and game.” Thus confirming the old stereotype about our town: It’s not a big place for mutton.

Here’s another chart from the Times on what Philadelphia spent more and less on:

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Christine Flowers Defends U.S. Citizenship in New York Times

A week ago, the New York Times published an op-ed by Jonathan Tepper titled “Why I’m Giving Up My Passport.” The economist, who insists he is “not a tycoon”, says tax laws are too onerous for him to continue being a citizen.

“If America makes it so difficult to be American, I’ll happily just be British,” he wrote. Tepper has spent just eight of his 38 years living in the U.S. and has voted in only one presidential election, so it doesn’t seem like that much of a loss for the country.

Yesterday, responding to the article was none other than local columnist and lawyer Christine Flowers, who actually opens her two-paragraph letter with a Peggy Noonan-style personal anecdote.

Life is filled with ironies. Stopping by a Starbucks after a hearing in immigration court, I opened up the paper and read the essay by Jonathan Tepper explaining that he was renouncing his United States citizenship because of tax filing requirements. At a cerebral level, I could appreciate if not agree with his fiscal reasons for relinquishing his passport.

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The NYT’s Hugging Story Looks a Lot Like the Inky’s

The Inquirer seems to be ahead of the Times.

Last Friday, The New York Times ran a column titled “The Bro Hug: Embracing a Change in Custom,” this month’s installment of Henry Alford’s “Circa Now.” It’s about the evolutions in how men greet each other, and the perceived uptick in hugging among men.

A fun story. But less fun if you’d happen to read “More young men friends embracing — which has the amazing URL slug “younger-men-older-men-more-men” in the Philly.com archives — that ran in The Philadelphia Inquirer in June.

The piece, by the Inky’s Samantha Melamed, was not the first piece about men hugging. But both it and the Times story months later cited several of the same sources.

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New York Times Plays Up Project HOME’s Success

The New York Times writes today of the success Philadelphia has had with its homeless population. For example, Philadelphia’s homeless population fell 2.3 percent from 2012 to 2013; it rose 27 percent in Los Angeles and 13 percent in New York.

The Times’ Jon Hurdle writes about Project HOME’s Sister Mary Scullion, “a Roman Catholic nun who is known for her ability to cajole politicians and business leaders into supporting her clients.” Joel Mathis recently interviewed Scullion on Project HOME’s 25th anniversary last month.

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Little Nonna’s in the New York Times

Spaghetti and meatballs at Little Nonna's | Photo by Jason Varney

Spaghetti and meatballs at Little Nonna’s | Photo by Jason Varney

Ingrid Williams visits Little Nonna’s for the New York Times. The only flaw she finds is in the pricy wine list.

[O]n a chilly evening in November, I couldn’t resist the Sunday gravy. A heaping portion of “gravy” (marinara made with San Marzano tomatoes) and paccheri (the macaroni of the day) arrived on one platter, and on another were assorted meats — pork braciole, spicy fennel sausage, meatballs stuffed with fontina. Other memorable dishes deviated from the traditional tried and true, like bruschetta with roasted figs, Gorgonzola dolce, celery hearts and crunchy hazelnuts. And a standout pasta dish featured braised duck, pecorino and turnips atop chestnut ravioli stuffed with roasted heirloom squash.

Restaurant Report: Little Nonna’s in Philadelphia [New York Times]
Little Nonna’s [Foobooz]

Mistral in Princeton Gets Two “Very Good” Reviews

mistral-interior-940

Mistral in Princeton lands reviews in the New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer this week. Scott Anderson and business partner, Stephen Distler who also on Elements in Princeton, opened the BYOB in May with Ben Nerenhausen as the chef de cuisine. Both the Times’ Fran Schumer and the Inquirer’s Craig LaBan gave the Mistral a “very good” rating. Both highlighted the octopus and scallops. LaBan definitely had problems with service (they lost his reservation on one occasion) or he might have even rated it higher.

Small Plates, and a Taste of Many Cultures [New York Times]
Mistral helps put Princeton in culinary Ivy League [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Mistral [Philadelphia Magazine]

The New York Times on Le Bec-Fin at Vetri

le-bec-fin-at-vetri

The New York Times’ Frank Bruni was at the final night of Le Bec-Fin at Vetri where he was able to enjoy a heavenly dinner from a bygone era.

Mr. Perrier teamed with Mr. Vetri in the kitchen, and they produced a seven-course tasting menu that wasn’t just a distillation of the best of Le Bec-Fin but a valentine to a lost civilization, the one where LutèceLa Caravelle and La Côte Basque in Manhattan once flourished.

And what a valentine. From the caviar and the escargots, my dining companion and I proceed to sautéed sweetbreads, a crab galette, a fillet of beef and more, some of it with sauces so rich and intense they’re druggy.

For 3 Nights, a Legend Lives Again [New York Times]

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