Yearly Archives: 2010

Thanks a Billion, Snowflakes!

I was more than a little eager to get back to Philly, to return tomorrow to work since I missed much of last week to be here, and to focus feverishly on the business of traveling and writing. But the specter of disappointment loomed. In case you haven’t heard, an important blizzard blanketed the east coast with more than a foot of snow, causing major delays in air travel. Before leaving today for the airport, I checked Continental’s website, which said my flight was scheduled to land in Philly on time. But when I go to check-in, I double check… Continue Reading

Flying Fears

It happens each time I fly. In the run up to departure, I become obsessed with reading about great accidents in aviation. I like reading determinations of causes. What failed? What went wrong from there? Did anyone survive? It’s oddly comforting, as if the possibility of understanding why the plane I’m on is falling might improve the experience if not the odds. Yesterday at work I spent some time reading about plane crashes. Some crashed through the fog into mountains. Some plummeted into the sea. Others fell at steep angles into neighborhoods and farms and forests. But I think the… Continue Reading

12 Hours in Manhattan

Manhattan Island, New York – There was no point to the trip other than to just go, get out of Philly for a minute and walk around Manhattan without an itinerary or plans except to see some things and drink a lot. We bought our $25 round trip bus tickets to New York, and set out early Saturday morning for the Big Apple. Dustin, exhausted from his previous evening at a Prince concert in North Jersey, slept most of the way up, which was a smart move. Except for the times we sat on bar stools, we were on the… Continue Reading

Standing with a Dopeman in the Footsteps of a Strangler

The vacant lot where the Kensington Strangler murdered his first victim on Nov. 3, 2010. Kensington, Philadelphia – With not much on the agenda today I thought I might make cookies, but I instead put on my Sunday best and headed north to the badlands where a man dubbed the Kensington Strangler has murdered two, but maybe upwards of four woman in recent months and has choked and raped just as many. Several people, including myself, disembarked the el at the Somerset Station. Slow walkers they all were and it seemed like an eternity passed before the line traversed the… Continue Reading

The House Where Poe Wrote

A mural of Edgar Allan Poe painted on a project housing unit in northeast Philadelphia. At the corner of 7th and Spring Garden Streets in northeastern Philadelphia is a non-descript home flanked by project housing and large tracts of commercial space. Between the years of 1837 and 1844, Edgar Allan Poe lived in Philadelphia, writing many of his most famous works during his time here, including The Gold-Bug, The Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Tell-Tale Heart. In all, he published 31 stories while living here. Poe lived at this house for less than a year in 1843.… Continue Reading

From Around the Travelsphere

The walkway Benjamin Franklin used to get to Market Street from his house. The end of Harry Potter’s run in print and on the silver screen doesn’t have tourism officials worried in Scotland, where, International Business Times reports, 1 in 5 tourists come to Scotland to visit locations seen in the movies. Some experts have predicted that tourism to the country will drop when the curtain closes on the final movie next year. * * * * * Indonesian officials are making plans for immediately reviving tourism in Yogyakarta once Mt. Merpi, which has erupted on and off since late… Continue Reading

My Encounter with a Steamer in the Gene Pool

Sunday evening I jumped off the subway at 8th and Market amid a crush of people. As the crowd hurried and hummed like a swarm toward the exit, I noticed there was an escalator offering a direct route straight up to the street. It was out of commission, which is why I supposed no one was climbing its tall metal steps. But I wasn’t afraid of working harder to get there faster so I swung a left and lumbered upward. No sooner had I cleared the first couple of steps when some rogue odor punched my nose. It was a… Continue Reading

Understanding Philly in Signs and Blood

Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs, it’s true. Like most cities, Philly is awash in advertisements and public service announcements. You can discern a lot about a place by what’s advertised to its residents. Sometimes an entire city can be summed up in a few measly words. “We’re getting better,” reads a message from the transit authority posted in the trolleys. I can’t imagine the level of dysfunction that prompted the transit authority to decide “We getting better” was their best they had to offer riders.  “We’re getting better,”  is still displayed just as it was when I moved here three… Continue Reading

Spring Comes in Fall

Center City, Philadelphia -As snow fell on Minneapolis today, Philadelphia was graced with a splendidly warm Saturday that evoked the best parts of spring. The parks teemed with people and street musicians played on what seemed like every corner. I hear tomorrow will be similarly warm. I’d gone to Center City to hit up the Barnes & Noble. I’ve been reading a book-a-week during my commute to and from work and needed a read for the upcoming week. Being a beautiful day, I took some pictures along the way. « Previous Next » /* 1 2 3 4 5 6Continue Reading

Thumbs Up for an American Past Time

You’re sitting on the shoulder of a highway, on your backpack, at the edge of some town. Maybe you’ve been there several hours, thumbing each passing vehicle. You know someone will stop eventually. When they do, a rush surges through you as the brake lights flash and you hear tires hit the gravel. You run up to the car. The driver asks where you’re headed and informs how far they can take you. You scope them out. If all seems cool, you hop in and hope for the best. You’ll repeat this process as many times as it takes to… Continue Reading
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