The Millennial Revolution: We’re Committed to the City

Erica Palan, 28. Photo by Chris Sembrot

Erica Palan, 28

It’s 9 p.m. on a Saturday night, and my boyfriend and I are driving toward the Philadelphia skyline. We’ve had a lovely evening visiting friends who just bought a house in Ambler. We giggled at old photos, had burgers and beers on the deck, and played board games in a room with track lighting and Yankee Candles. Then we headed back home to Fishtown to begin our evening

“Let’s never move to the suburbs,” my boyfriend says as we sip lagers at our neighborhood dive bar. “I just think we’d be so … boring.”

He’s not alone. For many millennials, suburbia’s white picket fences are looking more and more like cages. In August, Leigh Gallagher, author of the new book The End of the Suburbs, told this magazine, “Millennials don’t really have any interest in this kind of cul-de-sac life. They’re not saying they hate suburbs entirely, but they want to be someplace where they can walk everywhere.”
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ThinkFest Video: Leigh Gallagher

Philadelphia native, journalist, and self proclaimed suburbologist, Leigh Gallagher, gives an informative talk about the major changes happening to the suburbs.

The American dream is at a pivotal point of change, as families abandon long commutes from their white picket fence suburban communities to move closer to the city. Thoughts from the public on suburban living from the public such as “dying slowly, one day at a time”, do seem a little dramatic—but it’s not all bad. “It’s not really the end of the suburbs, it’s really the beginning of something new, and there are more options.”

Big names in construction are beginning to notice this changing trend, and are now trying to deliver the best of both city and suburban living.

Anthropologie Coming to Newtown

AnthropologieHuge news on the Bucks Co. retail scene: It looks like Anthropologie is opening an outpost in Newtown. The township will welcome the chain to its Promenade development, according to the Bucks County Courier Times. The developer, Jim Worthington (who also owns the Newtown Athletic Club), noted that they need to deal with a sewer issue first, and then construction will begin.

For a town that’s long been surprisingly light on retail, especially apparel (I should know, I live there), this is a major gain. Hopefully it’ll increase traffic to the few smaller boutiques in the area, and drive more independents to come to the township. After all, a stylish suburban town can’t survive on Gap Body and the mall alone.

The Hooters Opened Ardmore Music Hall On Saturday Night

Nearly thirty years ago, the Hooters opened Live Aid, Philadelphia’s greatest concert event of all time. (Sorry, Made In America). And on Saturday night, the band opened Ardmore Music Hall, which was filled to its 600-person capacity for the sold out show. (Technically, Ardmore Music Hall opened on Friday, but Saturday night was the big deal opening.)

I usually find something to complain about in any situation, but I have to say that the band was tight, the sound was crystal clear from my position on the floor, and the staff was friendly, accommodating and expeditious. And the fact that I was in a music venue where I could get a pint of beer for $3 didn’t hurt a bit. (Take note, Trocadero).

If the folks behind the Ardmore Music Hall can bring in the right acts for the grown up suburban crowd (look for Fountains of Wayne, Soul Asylum, Johnny Winter and Rusted Root in the coming weeks and months) and keep the concert experience so pleasant and stress free, World Cafe Live is going to have to run for cover.

Below, some photos from the night.

Dozens of people waiting in line during Saturday night’s drizzle outside the Ardmore Music Hall:

The Hooters’ set list at Ardmore Music Hall:

WMMR’s Pierre Robert introduces the Hooters at Ardmore Music Hall:

The Hooters’ Eric Bazilian on guitar at Ardmore Music Hall:

The Hooters’ John Lilley feels the spirit at Ardmore Music Hall:

The Hooters’ David Uosikkinen (it’s Finnish) behind the drums at Ardmore Music Hall:

The Hooters on stage at Ardmore Music Hall:

The obligatory crowd shot at Ardmore Music Hall:

PHOTOS: Howard Pitkow

Three Philly Suburbs Among America’s Best Small Towns

NewsWorks reports:

Two Pennsylvania and one New Jersey suburb have been named in the “America’s 50 Best Small Towns” list compiled by CNN Money roundup, one of them even making the top 10.

West Goshen, in Chester County, was named the 10th-best small town to live in, with its “lush, suburban feel, quiet, tree-shaded residential areas, lovely parks, and a full slate of community activities.” Hillsborough, N.J., was named 17th, and Horsham, Pa. came in at 34th.

CNN’s take on West Goshen:

Looking for larger-scale entertainment? The King of Prussia Mall, America’s largest shopping center, is only 20 minutes away. Surrounding the town is store- and restaurant-packed West Chester, a hamlet that serves as the area’s unofficial downtown.

West Goshen also boasts an array of local employers, including Comcast and QVC, and is an easy commute to the economic hubs of Philadelphia and Wilmington, Del. If your heart’s set on moving into a brand-new house, keep in mind that some newer residential developments lack personality and are expensive compared with older homes.

It’s true. The King of Prussia Mall makes everything better.

The Second Powerball Ticket Belongs to a Group of New Jersey Garage Workers

A group of 16 workers in a Ocean County, N.J., garage have stepped forward as the owners of one of three winning tickets in Wednesday’s $448 million Powerball jackpot drawing. The group’s boss, Jim Pine, called the group “wonderful, hardworking-people” that showed up to work the day after their big win. How New Jersey.

The first $448 million Powerball winner, Jim Pine, 45, has decided to take a lump sum for his winnings, totaling $58.3 million after taxes. A third winner, who reportedly purchased the winning ticket at a Central Jersey supermarket, has not yet stepped forward. [WFMZ]

Meet Leigh Gallagher, Author of The End of the Suburbs

Your new book says the American Dream is in the middle of a major shift — various forces are making the suburbs unnecessary and undesirable. That’s tough talk from someone who grew up in Media and whose parents still live there.
[Laughs] That’s true. I had this almost comically idyllic childhood. I had a boss in New York who once came to visit me and had dinner with my parents, and from that moment on, he would chide me: “How’s everything in Grover’s Corners?” Because Media is really this unique place. It’s got all these ingredients that a lot of suburbs don’t have — a trolley, a courthouse, a 1927 vaudeville theatre. It’s built on certain urban-planning principles that got thrown out and replaced by what we more commonly see today, which is sprawl.
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Dave Matthews Hitchhiked to Dave Matthews Concert in PA Last Night

Please let this story not spawn a rash of indiscriminate hitchhiking behavior. Last night, a nice, friendly couple was late for a Dave Matthews Band concert in Hershey when they spotted some poor sap standing by the side of Boathouse Road with a flat bike tire, sticking his thumb out. The poor sap was, of course, Dave Matthews himself, who didn’t have a cell phone on his person. Luckily for him, they were Dave Matthews fans headed to a Dave Matthews concert. Given the amount of anti-DMB vitriol out there, he might have been left stranded for hours if not for them.

Here is Dave himself recounting the story using some especially guttural various of his trademark guttural scat singing thing.


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