The West Philadelphia Orchestra entertained an enthusiastic and dancing crowd of youngsters and oldsters for a Chanukah celebration at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on a December Friday night as part of the museum’s “Art After 5” program. The West Philadelphia Klezmer Orchestra, an offshoot of the band, played primarily Klezmer, East European celebration music, for the occasion. What began on a West Philadelphia porch in 2006 as a mostly string ensemble playing Macedonian tunes, Romanian ballads and Jewish folk songs has evolved over the years into brass instrument Balkan band playing Serbian and Gypsy melodies and its own versions of these genres. Watch video here.
Tom Shallow's kids fell in love with "Pocono" at a deer farm in Pennsylvania where deer are bred for their racks and meat and certified as disease free. Saved from the fate of being hunted, Pocono is the family pet and now makes a yearly appearance dressed up as a Santa reindeer for the holiday open house at the American Legion lodge in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. Watch video here.
John Rauch and other library patrons arrived at the Chestnut Hill Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia early Monday afternoon and unexpectedly found it closed. A sign posted in the front door window read, "The library will open at 3:00 today due to a staff shortage." (two hours late) The library has been closed before due to staff shortages but this was the first time Rauch had encountered an unexpected closure. He reacted with equanimity, expressing his support for the Mayor, and sympathized with the City's budgetary woes. And he extolled the Free Library system. Watch video here.
Carol Isard talks about a library stool created by the renowned wood sculptor and furniture maker Wharton Esherick. Esherick made the stool for Isard's mother, a friend and patron, who used it to retrieve things from a tall closet in her home. Watch video interview here.
PASSERSBY REACT TO BOULDER WRAPPED AS CHRISTMAS PRESENT
Passersby react to seeing a boulder at the corner of Ardeigh and Evergreen in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, gift wrapped in green and red. The boulder appears to have been placed on the sidewalk at the corner intersection to keep motorists from driving up on the sidewalk when they make a turn. Watch video here.
PARKING LOT ATTENDANT SAYS NO ONE'S BEEN TOWED YET FOR PARKING BUT NOT PATRONIZING TOP OF HILL BUSINESSES
The Chestnut Hill parking lot at the top of the Hill off of Bethlehem Pike has an attendant to ward off parkers who are not patronizing Top of the Hill plaza businesses. Other lots in Chestnut Hill are policed by the Philadelphia Parking Authority which monitors kiosk-issued timed parking receipts. There are often a lot of open spaces at the Top of the Hill Lot. Matt, the attendant, says you probably won't get towed if you park just long enough to return at book at the Chestnut Hill library at the northwest side of the lot. Watch video here.
DAD TAKES BABY DAUGHTER FOR HIKE ON FORBIDDEN DRIVE
Lou, a construction manager, is taking a break from work to care for his 4-month-old baby daughter while his wife continues to work. Tired of staying inside so much, they began taking their daughter on hikes. On this day, Lou had hiked a mile with Ilya before a refreshment break and diaper change at the Cedars Café at the northern end of Forbidden Drive. Watch video here.
MANUFACTURER'S REP OUT FOR A JOG
Lou, a construction manager, is taking a break from work to care for his 4-month-old baby daughter while his wife continues to work. Tired of staying inside so much, they began taking their daughter on hikes. On this day, Lou had hiked a mile with Ilya before a refreshment break and diaper change at the Cedars Café at the northern end of Forbidden Drive.
Nathea Lee, Anthony Dean and Monica Lyons-Jones (above with a self-portrait) are photographers who, together, form the Philadelphia Street Sounds Collective. Dean likes how the lighting and weather on the street is always changing. A postal worker by day, he often shoots at nighttime and is also an avid documenter of the vibrant Philadelphia jazz scene about which he has authored two books. Lee’s photography reflects her loves; she captures the details in flowers, iconic Philadelphia architecture, ballet shoes and more. Jones shoots images reflecting the seasons, feelings and things important to her. A former teacher, she hopes to show how important reading is through photographs of people doing it, such as her portrait of a young girl quietly absorbed in a book. The threesome exhibited and discussed their work in the upstairs of a restaurant/bar in Fairmount as part of the annual fall Philadelphia Open Studios Tours (POST).