The day before Easter Sunday, Nick Hasselback and his wife, Jenna, who was due to deliver their first child four days later, marveled at Patrick Dougherty's new stick sculpture installation at the Morris Arboretum. "A Waltz in the Woods" is a handful of closely circled tall and leaning towers consisting of willow branches and saplings woven together. And then left for nature to take its course as with Dougherty's previous work at the Morris. Nick and Jenna describe themselves as woodsy people and are hatching similar, likely more modest, ideas of their own. Watch video here
Langston Darby held an icepack to his jaw before his program on “Found Objects: Unleash the Voice of the Everyday through Performance“ at the Chestnut Hill Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia. But the icepack was to ease the pain of an earlier dentist appointment and not part of his program, one of many events in the Library’s One Book One -Philadelphia celebration. This year’s selection, The Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline is about the relationship of an older woman, Vivian and a young woman, Molly. Molly is a Penobscot Indian who has lived in various foster homes and gotten into trouble. Molly is assigned community service to help Vivian sort through the many keepsakes Vivian has stored in her attic. These objects evoke memories of the older woman’s own traumatic childhood experiences after she was sent on an “orphan train” from New York City to the Midwest during the Great Depression subsequent to the death of her Irish immigrant parents and siblings in a tenement fire.
Darby led our small assemblage through improvisation centering on objects- like a certain knife from our own memories and then had us feel for and pick the thing out of a “magic bag”, instructing us to let the object choose us. A sparkly dark orange artificial pumpkin chose one of us, a large black plastic knight/horse from a chess set, another. A small book chose your correspondent. Recommended reading: The Orphan Train.
Drexel University Homecoming King Richard Felix and his frat brothers cheered on the Drexel men’s basketball team to victory against the College of Charleston Cougars this past Saturday. And the Drexel Dance and Sprit teams helped the Dragons breathe fire in the come from behind win. Drexel trailed from 6 to 8 points for almost the entire game but clawed their way to a 53 to 51 win in the final minutes of the homecoming game at the Daskalakis Athletic Center in West Philadelphia. Watch video here.
Julia Weekes loves to sing with a musical instrument and to bash out non-ukulele sounding songs like hard core rock on the ukulele she got from a jazz bass player friend of a friend who was giving out ukuleles to all his loved ones. She immediately fell in love with the instrument, which felt, to her from the outset like she was playing a heart that had been plucked out from the chest. At a Bar Mitzvah luncheon, your correspondent imposed on her to sing some impromptu Radiohead and more as if she were playing along with her uke. Your correspondent would like to video her singing these songs with her uke. Watch video here.
Melissa Maddonni Haims led kids in weaving the fence at the J.S Jenks School in Chestnut Hill with colorful strips of fabric as part of the community’s annual Fall for the Arts Festival. Sections of the fence represent the colors of the Jenks School and also represent the Houses the of Hogwarts School for Wizardry. The Harry Potter festival descends on the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia the weekend of October 17th. Watch video here.
At the popular and busy outdoor Clover Market in Chestnut Hill Sunday, a photographer with “Poseybooth” took photos of anyone willing to pose and of at least one unwilling dog. Poseybooth is a modern version of the ubiquitous instant photo booths of yore. But instead of a getting a wet print, those posing received their photos in digital format via text or email. The freebie souvenir appeared to make many people very happy. Watch video here.
At Philadelphia's summer pop up park on the waterfront, kids splash in the fountains, a kayaker waters the wetland garden art insallation,families take photos and more at the harbor park
"The Spruce Street Harbor Park at the Penn’s Landing Marina is a two-month summer program throughout July and August that will bring a boardwalk, urban beach, fountains, and misting areas to the Delaware River Waterfront. The centerpiece of the project is a series of floating barges complete with lily pad water gardens, a pop-up restaurant and bar, and nets that will suspend visitors over the water. The full design of the project including the landscaping and programming will help evoke the maritime history of the area, and will celebrate the River’s industrial past and the bright future ahead for Philadelphia’s waterfront. Come down and enjoy a day or evening at the park with your whole family (that includes the pup, who's allowed in the park, but not on the barges)" from the Delaware Valley Riverfront Corporation Website.
Eighty-seven year old Pat Sellers, laid off from the Philadelphia Cricket Club three years ago, has started doing what she has seen young people doing to try to make ends meet. Since July she has been busking on the street. She serenades passersby on her electric keyboard with show tunes and old time favorites outside Kilian Hardware, with electricity provided by the store, in the hope they will put money in her donation bag. On a recent Sunday, the musician, striking in her poofy, coifed silver hair and smart blue and white pants outfit, tapped out songs from Les Mis and Nat King Cole. Watch video and interview here.
When Tiffany Gaal is not selling popcorn or sweeping up spilled popcorn at the 100 year-old, one screen Hiway [Movie] Theater in Jenkintown, Pa., she’s auditioning for or appearing in musical theater. After the early evening screening of “Jersey Boys,” the story of singer Franki Valli and the Four Seasons, your correspondent cajoled Gaal into singing while she was restocking the snack stand. She chose “Come with me” from the epilogue of Les Miz, the musical she is most desirous of performing in. For good measure, I got her to sing some of Valli’s hit song, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.”
In the accompanying video, Andrew Heller, Gaal’s work partner at the Hiway, appears in a non-singing role.
Lillian Bijl (left) and Tara Bucci, Mt Airy USA interns, are going around the neighborhood stapling up posters for the popular “Moonlight Movies” series this summer. Starting with an outdoor showing of “Frozen” at 8:30 pm on June 20th in the park adjacent to the Lovett Library at Germantown and Sedgwick Avenues , the series continues on Fridays there, and on Saturdays next to the Trolley Car Diner. At Lovett, moviegoers may patronize “Dining under the Stars” food trucks or bring their own picnic dinners. Mount Airy USA, Trolley Car Diner, the Free Library of Philadelphia, Valley Green Bank and a certain big box store sponsor the popular series of mostly G and PG rated films through August 16th. For more information, visit http://gomtairy.com/events/moonlight-movies-in-mt.-airy.html.
Complete list of movies: