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The Spikol Chronicles

bipolar diagnosis
City Life

I Built My Identity Around Being Bipolar. Then My Doctor Said I’m Not Bipolar

My psychiatrist first floated the idea that I don’t have bipolar disorder months ago, when we were spending another session dissecting my history of disasters. […]

philly architecture
City Life

Philly’s Rapid Redevelopment Is Putting Its Architectural Character at Risk

When the owners of Capogiro Gelato Artisans announced they were closing all locations in December, my social media feeds exploded. There was mass mourning; people […]

City Life

It’s About Time Birds Got a Little Respect

Several years ago, I heard a story on public radio that made me cry. This isn’t unusual, of course. Between The Moth and StoryCorps, Reveal […]

City Life

For Rape Victims, the #MeToo Movement Can Cut Both Ways

Not long ago, a friend of mine asked me what the best day of my life was. We were sitting on the banks of the […]

City Life

Separation Agreement: What It Means to Be Living Apart Together

Here’s how it usually goes: We’re sitting on the sofa, Brad and I, the dog somewhere between us, and I’m telling a story about something […]

City Life

The Other Part of Womanhood No One Told Me About

When I was in grade school, one of our hippie teachers told us the story of making soup out of his new baby’s placenta — […]

City Life

How I (Mostly) Found Peace in the Wilds of Philadelphia

It’s a beautiful day on the upper reaches of the Schuylkill River. The birds are singing, and sunlight streams through clusters of leafy trees that […]

City Life

I May Live in Pennsylvania, but I’m No Pennsylvanian

A few months ago, I was walking to the train station when a squirrel hopped onto a nearby metal fence and stared at me with […]

City Life

Love in the Time of Dog DNA Testing

This is my third Chihuahua. That’s what I used to say about my dog, Birdie, until this summer, when I got her DNA tested. That’s […]

City Life

Pope Francis and Me

My love affair with Catholicism started at age nine, when my family moved from Center City to Fairmount. Those years on 23rd Street were momentous. […]