North of Philadelphia, in Bensalem, there is a mile-long dirt track, established in 1974. Then it was called the Keystone Racetrack. Now it is known as Parx Casino and Racing, on 417 acres, with 1,400 stalls for thoroughbred race horses. Throughout the day over 100 jockeys and 300 trainers will ride and train their hopeful winners. MORE
NewsWorks Tonight is coming to Ocean City
Photo 1: The beach at Ocean City, N.J., is starting to look better after replenishment.
Photos 2 and 3: From under the boardwalk, we’re running cable to the broadcast position.
Photo 4: In case of rain Friday, there will be a big covered space for the live broadcast at the Ocean City Music Pier.
Michael Nutter meets Bart Simpson in Northern Liberties.
This should be lacquered to the wall for posterity.
Design enthusiasts from all over Philadelphia turned out to see the 7th Annual Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby and to watch the parade of human-powered sculptures roll through the neighborhood last Saturday. For the finale, spectators watched as the floats barreled through a mud pit one by one, hoping for a crash. Judges awarded builders in categories such as best costume, engineering and best breakdown. MORE
“Mighty Mike,” Adventure Aquarium’s 14 ft. alligator, was the star of “Endangered Species Day” Friday. Mike is an example of the American alligators (and other species) the Endangered Species program has helped to spare.
Mighty Mike was hanging out behind glass, but kids at the Camden aquarium got a close look at Melvon, a baby alligator, as they talked about the Endangered Species Act and learned how to help with preservation.
Fiber artist Melissa Maddonni Haims leaned precariously over the railing of the widow’s walk atop historic Mount Pleasant mansion. She was checking her work, a yarn-bombing job commissioned by Philadelphia Parks and Recreation.
“You know, usually this takes place in the middle of the night,” Haims quipped, as she returned to safer ground.
A fiber artist since 2006, Haims once saw yarn bombing as a way to keep busy between projects. She didn’t even bother to take pictures of her work, never thinking she would one day have the opportunity to bomb a historic house.
Stella is getting ready for her big day. As Joanne Dhody brushes Stella’s teeth, a pink tongue searches for a random smear of beef-flavored toothpaste. Stella is Dhody’s 13-year-old Jack Russell terrier, a registered therapy dog. The two have visited St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children every week for the past 9 years.
“There isn’t a staff member or doctor at St. Chris who doesn’t know Stella,” says Dhody, as she packs her 16 lb. companion into the back seat of her Honda CR-V. Stella’s hind legs are shaking in anticipation of the weekly field trip. She knows where they’re headed as soon as Dhody attaches Stella’s plastic photo ID to her dog collar.
As soon as Dhody and Stella arrive at the hospital’s visitors’ desk, the receptionist gives them an enthusiastic greeting. “Stella!” MORE
On Tuesday, with his signature, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton made the Land of 10,000 Lakes the 12th state in the union to legally recognize same-sex marriage — and the first Midwestern state to do so through legislative means.
And I couldn’t be more annoyed.
This business in Minnesota means that my partner of 15 years and I have now lived in two states that adopted same-sex marriage after we left. While same-sex marriage advocates have been chasing their goals for years state by state, I feel like marriage equality has been chasing me. And it has not yet caught up. MORE
There is a ghost economy at work in Old City. Hand-painted advertisements from a different era, faded to the point of hardly being there at all, emerge like apparitions during building renovations.
“The signs have been buried behind a brick wall, or a building, or stucco for however many decades, and all of a sudden it’s there again,” said Lawrence O’Toole, author of the photography book “Fading Ads of Philadelphia.” Sometimes it gets covered right back up and it’s only there for a couple weeks, or less.”
O’Toole started taking photos of old advertisements painted on brick buildings as a thesis project 20 years ago, when he was a student at Drexel.
He was fascinated by the lettering and layout of the old signs, and how time had its way with them. That project turned into a blog, The Ghost Sign Project, and later, the book.
Three young priests — John Stokely, 26; Thomas Viviano, 28; and Sean Loomis, 28 — will be ordained to the Catholic priesthood this weekend.
The young men will be the first seminarians to be ordained in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia since the conviction of Monsignor William Lynn last summer. Lynn was sentenced to three to six years in prison for covering up sex abuses by priests under his supervision and endangering children.
Behind the iron gates at St. Charles Borromeo, the seminarians have not turned a blind eye to the landmark conviction or the scandal.
Stokely said last summer they spoke about the scandal nearly every day.
“The scandal caused a real sad awakening for many of us,” said Stokely. “We realize that evil is real and even priests aren’t impervious to its influences.”
Despite the hurt and betrayal that Catholics have felt over the scandal, Viviano and Stokely see their role as being a part of the healing process for the church.