Backstabbing isn’t just for friends

January 31, 2008

Here is a story straight from the streets of my school.  A guy walks down the street (the street is Broad Street), feels a punch to the back, figures ‘damn that hurt, whatever’ and keeps walking.  The man continues down the street until someone informs him he has a knife in his back.  He goes to the hospital, he will be fine.  I think this story is a perfect summary of the area I go to school in.  First off, a stranger might just stab you for no reason, you could get punched in the back and know it is not worth reporting, another stranger wouldn’t hesitate to get up in your business about the knife, and Temple hospital still wouldn’t be shocked when you came in.  It also says something about the students in the area, an article about the event has been the biggest e-mailed story through campus all week.  Read Article Here. Here is a quote from the article.

Here’s something you’d hear only on the hardscrabble streets of Philadelphia:

“Dude, you got a knife in your back.”

That’s what a passer-by yelled to a Philadelphia man after a bizarre incident as he was walking along Broad Street in North Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

After receiving what he thought was a punch to the back from a stranger, the victim told police that the passer-by pointed to his back and yelled about the knife.

America’s Favorite (and Least Favorite) Cities

October 10, 2007


Travel and Leisure conducted a poll of travelers and residents of the things they like and dislike about 25 major urban destinations.  The results are interesting, check them out: Results.  Philly did well in some very predictable categories, such as, cheap eats, historical sites, good pizza, museums, antiques and farmer’s markets.  Philly did awful in things like style, vacation spot for adventures, cleanliness, and safety.  Why isn’t there a category for murals?  Here are a few categories.

Museum and galleries (I think the list would be different if Pittsburgh was one of the cities evaluated)

1. Washington

2. New York

3. Chicago, Illinois

Home design (I don’t really know what houses look like in charleston, but they must be pretty nice)

1. Chicago

2. Charleston, South Carolina

3. San Francisco, California

Intelligent (I was surprised Chicago, which thinks so highly of itself was notably absent in the top 3)

1. Seattle

2. Minneapolis/St. Paul

3. Boston

Farmers’ markets (Philly’s Italian market alone should have made it number 1 )

1. Seattle

2. Portland, Oregon

3. Philadelphia

Bad Start for the Phillies

October 3, 2007

I put off pharmaceutics for watching the Phillies game with my dad, big mistake. The boys lost 2 to 4. Utley and Howard were incredibly disappointing; out of 8 at bats they racked up 7 strikeouts. After an early Colorado lead of 3 runs, the game seemed already decided. But in the 5th inning they came back and the score was 2-3. There were several times where they seemed set up to at least tie up the game, but in the 8th Colorado solidified their lead with another home run. Its not just that they lose, it is that they get you excited. I didn’t expect them to win today (how could I after going to a game earlier this season and watching them get crushed by Colorado 12 to nothing), but then as they seemed to be coming back you just get into it.

They could still come back in this best of 5 series. The upside is that Utley and Howard played so poorly that they could only be better in the rest of the series. The downside is Colorado beat them with their premier pitcher, Hamels, starting.

No one in Philly do anything stupid tonight.

My two dads

September 16, 2007


There is an interesting little gay debate going on right in the neighborhood. In Evesham Township, NJ (like 20 mins from Philadelphia), a video about diverse families was pulled from classrooms. In Jersey it is mandated that the curriculum include the different forms families can take. This particular video, “That’s a Family!” includes such cheesy gems as:

“It’s not your fault,” says Montana, a first grader whose parents are divorced.

Emily describes her interracial family — her father is of European descent and her mother’s background is Asian — this way: “It doesn’t mean you have to be a rat to marry a rat. You can be a rat and marry a mouse.”

Daniel introduces his parents: “These are my two dads.”

Another child says, “It’s really cool have to two gay dads, because they brought us into a home, and they adopted us, and they love us.”

Therein lies the problem, parents in the district felt the reference to gay parents was inappropriate for third graders. Parental voting was pretty evenly split on whether to show the video or not. A committee was formed and eventually decided to ban the film. Gay rights activists argue it is being banned solely because of gay prejudice and that a video designed to inform children about the different forms of family must include gay families. Parents against the video are arguing that it is too controversial of a topic to teach children that young and that parents should be able to teach there children about homosexuality.

I have mixed views on schools introducing homosexuality to children. I do think it is important for children to understand that it is out there and what exactly being gay means, not just the negative stereotypes. But I also think parents should be the ones that decided when there children are ready to learn somethings, and what they are exposed to. But I think the video should be shown, because it is not specifically about homosexuality but rather family forms. And in New Jersey specifically gay families are a big reality. The state has union/partnerships and is moving towards marriage. Jersey was also one of the first states to allow gay second parent adoptions.


My New City

September 5, 2007

Although I’ve lived right at the city edge most of my life, I haven’t really explored what Philadelphia has to offer. It is time to change that. September is “get out and see Philadelphia month” (according to the Nicole calendar of holidays). I love (d) Pittsburgh, and managed to check out the major museums, some of the historical sites, and many of the restaurants and theaters in the area. Although I only lived in Pittsburgh for 3 years I managed to see more than I have in my 18 years out here.

Because I am busy with Pharmacy school and working, I figure a modest plan of attack is necessary. I am going to break it down into regions and sample a little at a time from each. Keep in mind these are only the goals for September, hopefully I will become more comfortable/knowledgeable about the city and explore further.

West Philly is an interesting, but sometimes dangerous region of Philadelphia. I will be reserve trips to West Philly for the day light hours. There are the remains of beautiful, large homes particularly Victorians, that crime drove away the occupants. But there are up and coming areas, particularly as a result of University City neighborhood. My goals are to check out one of the supposedly delicious Asian restaurants near Penn’s campus, and to visit the new Big Cats Fall Center at the zoo.

North Philly
is my new home. At least 4 days a week, I drive down Alleghany or Broad Street and see the sites of North Philly. Now I know there must be more than hospitals and check cashing places. Since I have 4 years to get intimate with North Philly, I only have 2 goals for September. First I need to discover where the Temple libraries are (Medical/Dental/Main Campus). Secondly, and more in tune with this post, I have to go to the Draught Horse. After talking to a bunch of my classmates, it was agreed on. The Draught Horse is the definitive college bar/hang out at Temple. The Draught Horse’s website even says, “Where the Owls come when they are away from the nest.”

South Philly
is what I stereotypically envision when thinking of spots people visit when in Philadelphia. While I have been there several times, I haven’t been very many places there, nor have I given the proper amount of time to exploring the places I have been. The goal for the month is to get a cheese steak at Pats (I’ve been to Genos multiple times) and to go to the Italian Market.

Center City has Penn’s Landing, Old City, Society Hill, Logan Circle, Chinatown, Museum District, Avenue of the Arts, City Hall and Rittenhouse Square. There are many attractions within Center City, ranging from amazing (but too expensive) restaurants, bars, museums, and historical sites. I have explored Center City far more extensively than the other sections, but there is always more to see. My goals for the month are to see the King Tut exhibit before it leaves Philadelphia, and check out that big monster, the Comcast Center.