Frank Olivo, the Santa Claus who was pelted with snowballs at the Philadelphia Eagles game in 1968, has passed away. The Philly native was 19 years old when the Eagles pulled him out of the stands and asked him to fill in for the regular Santa who was snowbound in New Jersey.
A tip on a shady deed transfer involving a man who died in 1980 is continuing to uncover many other instances; an on-going nine-part (so far) investigation. [more inside]
It's been over a month since our last Jon Bois post, and longer then that since the end of Breaking Madden, so feast your eyeballs on his newest series, NBA Y2K. In this first installment, he aspires to take the Philadelphia '76ers to an 0-82 season.
Four months ago, Philly resident Joe Groh did the right thing. Now he's paying the price for it. Groh is the owner of Joe's Steaks + Soda Shop at 6030 Torresdale Ave., and if that doesn't ring a bell, here's the name it used until March 31: Chink's Steaks, a Wissinoming landmark since 1949. [more inside]
Since the Riley Cooper story broke last week, writer Khalid Salaam has "had an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other" about how to react. [more inside]
Slaughter Rico, perhaps best known for a gritty and inspired (but very-much slandered) manic YouTube performance [lyrics] is a low-key rapper from Philadelphia who has cranked out some pretty amazing contributions to the underground hip-hop community [freestyle video]. [more inside]
If you like real-life crime drama, Burgled in Philly, by John Davidson, will keep you occupied for a few minutes. [more inside]
Stéphane Missier alias Charles le Brigand (and/or Carlito Brigante) is a Brooklyn-based urban photographer and filmmaker. "From the Bronx to Brooklyn, I capture the real New York, the one I like to call 'RottenbutBeautiful'." Flickr Sets. [more inside]
Blunt Assessment: The Need for Legal Weed in Philadelphia. To many inside the criminal justice and pro-legalization arenas, the racial disparity in Philadelphia's pot arrests is nothing short of an ongoing conspiracy. Offenders caught possessing 30 grams or less get to make a deal: Agree to pay a $200 fine and attend a three-hour treatment class and avoid going to trial and risking jail time.
BRUCE ROSENBAUM and his wife, Melanie, cook their food on what looks like a cast-iron Victorian stove. But the stove, like many items in the Rosenbaums' kitchen, has been gutted and repurposed. There's a modern appliance inside that antique shell, a theme that repeats itself from the fridge to their water heater. "We created this romantic Victorian feel to it," Bruce Rosenbaum said. "But everything works." The Massachusetts couple have steampunked their kitchen. [more inside]
The Jungle. Made in 1967 and awarded a Documentary Film Award at the Festival de Popoli, Italy, The Jungle is a short film made in Philly by Harold Haskins and the 12 & Oxford Film Corp. Re-discovered a few years back through Temple University’s Urban Archives.
Philadelphia is going to decriminalize Marijuana. Or maybe they aren't. Well, the police aren't going to stop arresting people. “We’re not going to stop locking people up,” said Lt. Frank Vanore. “We’re going to stop people for it. . . . Our officers are trained to do that,” Vanore said. “Whether or not they make it through the charging process, that’s up to the D.A. [more inside]
Watch out, Pat’s, Geno’s, Steve’s and Jim’s. A new woman on the block wants to bust up the cheesesteak boys’ club. Espionage? Stakeouts? All is fair in love and chessesteaks.
Native American Sites in the City of Philadelphia is a superbly illustrated exposition of the historical development of Philadelphia, with a focus on those few surviving Native American sites which lie under the urban fabric. Lots more excellent Public Archaeology is available from the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum. Bonus link: Philly's lost creeks and streams. [more inside]
Analyst Tim McCarver calls the Philly Phanatic "The best mascot in baseball." However, former Slim-Fast pitchman and ex Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda hates him. On being in the Phanatic costume Tom Burgoyne, who has had the role since 1993, says "I feel like I'm reliving my childhood." However, the Philly Phanatic is not always the funniest thing happening at Citizens Bank Park.
"This is the safest place these kids have," Mr. McMonigle explains. "No matter how crazy it gets here, no matter how bad the school is, it’s still better than what’s waiting for them out there when they leave. The irony is that after all the bitching and the moaning about how they don’t want to be here, at the end of the day you can’t get them to go home!" School of Hard Knocks is a heartbreaking 7-part series of articles about kids with behavioral problems in a Philadelpha high school. [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] [via mefi projects]
Harry Olivieri, one of two brothers credited with inventing the Philly cheesesteak, has died at the age of 90: "Despite a heart condition, Olivieri had reportedly showed up at Pat's King of Steaks almost every day until about three years ago."
The cheesesteak -- a veritable cornucopia of heart-healthy ingredients on a bun. Pat and Geno make 'em in Philly (where else?), inspiring a rivalry not quite as intense as Sunni vs. Shi'a. (In bad taste, you say? Since when is a cheesesteak in good taste?) Some people put Cheese Whiz on 'em (a "Whiz wit"). Jim FedExes 'em. Philadelphians have strong opinions about 'em. The leader of the Free WorldTM eats 'em and then lies about 'em. Faux-fu, they ain't. Ever eaten one and lived?
Help find Latoyia: A not-so-quiet movement is going on within the Philadelphia blog community - the movement to find 24 year old African American Latoyia Figueroa. Those involved have managed to get a front-page CNN article for the young woman. Those involved seem driven by the recent news coverage of Natalee Holloway. From Richard Cranium's post: Consider this as a social experiment. If Natalee Holloway rates a $1 Million reward, certainly, a missing mother (and mother-to-be) rates enough reward money to shake a few street rats out of the woodwork, and we should put our money where our mouth is.