FASHION Feed

Valentines Day roses - does love hurt?

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[Alexandra Serfass, Robertson's Flowers greenhouse employee]

In the 2004 movie, “Maria Full of Grace,” a pregnant young woman trades the harsh conditions of a flower packing operation in Colombia to come to the United States with a friend as a “drug mule.” It doesn't turn out well.

The flower export business is big business. Large, drab greenhouses, like those in Ecuador where “Maria” was filmed, can stretch for miles. From my bus window, I knew the eerily transformed landscape would not be on any picture postcard I would be sending home to the U.S.

Beauty has its cost to both the environment and people, however, according to “The Secrets Behind Your Flowers,” a February 2011 Smithsonian Magazine report. Because it may take three gallons of water to grow just one rose bloom, groundwater supplies become depleted.  The low-paying work is tedious and straining. In traditional growing operations, workers are exposed to the dangerous pesticides and fungicides that keep insects from taking the slightest nibble from an otherwise picture-perfect flower.

Public outcry in recent years has led to the introduction of fair trade practices.  Nicole Serfass, flower buyer at Robertson’s Flowers greenhouses in Wyndmoor, showed off the Veriflora label on the roses they import from South America.  Veriflora is one of a handful of certifying organizations that try to ensure that their growers are using sustainable agricultural methods and providing equitable, healthy conditions for their workers.

At Robertson’s showcase Chestnut Hill store, Sandy Robertson says they source their flowers locally  from New Jersey,  domestically from Florida when they can and even sees growing customer interest in organically or sustainably grown flowers. Serfass has been asking their growers about organic but believes it’s not yet economically worth it for them to invest the years required for organic certification.

“Aren’t they gorgeous?” Donna Beardell of  Chestnut Hill asks,  exiting Robertson’s with a brilliant bunch of pink tinged roses, destined for her nieces competing in a gymnastics meet. On Valentines Day, she’s hoping she’ll be the recipient.

watch video here

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[Sandy Robertson]

 

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[Donna Beardell of Chestnut Hill]

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[Nicole Serfass Robertson's Flowers greenhouse, Buyer]


Jo D-Maggie-O wins most creative at NW Equestrian Costumed Horse Halloween Contest

Jo D-Maggie-O

SO HOW DID MAGGIE, “D-MAGGIE-O”, GET HER NUMBER “5”? Joe DiMaggio was number 5 because he was fifth in the batting order for the New York Yankees and they were the first team to start using the numbers regularly for their players. IS THAT NUMBER RETIRED NOW? I think it is. And we have Marilyn Monroe with us today because Joe DiMaggio married Marilyn and they were married for just a short while, under a year. And after two hundred and thirty some days she filed for divorce for mental cruelty. But here’s the interesting thing. She goes on to lead a life of fame and fortune but of course it comes to a very sad end. After she dies, Joe DiMaggio arranges her funeral, keeps all the paparazzi away and then after the funeral, he proceeds for the next twenty years to send red roses to her grave every week. Isn’t that wild? So that’s why we have Joe and Marilyn united today. AND THE HORSE? The horse is Maggie and today she’s ‘Jo D-Maggie-O.’” Sue Land, in background,with Maggie and Marissa Hall,Northwestern Equestrian Facility, Philadelphia. Watch video here.

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Andrea Shumsky, as Marilyn Monroe, with Maggie.


Jasper the horse becomes unicorn for Halloween parade

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WHAT IS IT WITH GIRLS AND UNICORNS? WHAT’S THE MAGICAL CONNECTION?
[giggle]
WHAT IS IT WITH GIRLS AND HORSES? HOW COME YOU SEE SO MANY GIRLS AND WOMEN AROUND HORSES BUT NOT BOYS AND MEN THAT MUCH. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?
[giggle]
WHAT QUESTION WOULD YOU LIKE TO ANSWER?
[giggle]
CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT YOUR HORSE?
Jasper’s a good horse. He’s stubborn. And really gentle.
WHAT KIND OF MOVES DO YOU DO WITH HIM?
Jump, cantor and trot.
WHAT DOES HE LIKE TO TO DO BEST?
Jump.
AND YOU?
Jump.
Francesca Franzzo of South Philadelphia at the Northwest Equestrian Facility, Philadelphia, Halloween Parade with Jasper. Watch video here.


Barber Frank cutting hair for 70 of his 88 years

Frank Salemno, who turned 88 this week, shown here giving a haircut to long time customer Charlie Gallagher, received a citation from Philadelphia's Mayor for barbering at his shop in Chestnut Hill for seventy years! Frank Salemno (FS) “I’ve been in business here in Chestnut Hill – here’s an article they did in the Philadelphia Inquirer, it was out Tuesday – seventy years! HOW’D YOU GET YOUR START? FS: I was cleaning up the barber shop. I used to get a dollar a week. Charlie Gallagher, customer (CG):This shop here or somewhere else? FS: Same shop. And then when I was old enough I went to barber school. WHOSE SHOP WAS IT WHEN YOU WERE CLEANING IT UP? FS: The guy’s name was Domenic Rosetti. CG: Like Rosetta stone. FS: Yup. CG: The mayor was here this week. Tell him about the Mayor, Frank. FS: The Mayor came here yesterday and I got this from the Mayor, “City of Philadelphia- Citation” and that’s his signature. WHAT ARE YOU BEING CITED FOR? FS: Being a dummy, I don’t know. CG: Longevity, hangin’ in there, ever hear that expression? FS: Right, my birthday was Thursday the 22nd - I was 88. CG: He’s the best barber in the whole world. FS: That’s right. CG: Know how I know that? He told me this morning. YOU STILL USE THE STRAP TO SHARPEN YOUR RAZOR? FS: There’s a strap over there. I beat my customers when they get out of line… Frank Salemno, barber and long-time customer Charlie Gallagher,Frank’s Barber Shop, Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA. Watch video interview here.


Kids favor mohawk, blowout, grunge hairstyles

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WHAT DO THE KIDS COME IN ASKING FOR? “A lof of fades, blowouts… “ WHAT’S A FADE? “It’s a tight taper. I just take it from the neck, increasingly a little bit longer toward the top.” A BLOWOUT YOU SAID? “It’s just a tight taper at the neck where it leaves it a lot shorter than the rest.. Mohawks are getting real popular, pushups in the front and for some reason they want to start growing their hair out, more of an escape order type, a little more grungy, a little more messy, a little less to deal with. A lot of kids don’t like to use a comb. They rather just throw some stuff in it and go wild with it.” Rebecca Olearnick, Hair Pair Salon, Roxborough. Watch video interview here.


Fedex Marty's Mohawk

Fedex Marty's Mohawk
JUST WANTED TO ASK YOU WHETHER FEDEX GIVES YOU ANY GRIEF ABOUT YOUR HAIR? No, it's OK. I'm there almost twenty years and I do a good job, so... IS THERE A POLICY ON IT? Well, it's sort of a decision, district by district. And my run is actually in Mount Airy so it's a pretty cool neighborhood like Chestnut Hill. They don't hear anything so it's all good." Marty Maynard, Fedex driver. Click here to see video interview