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The New York Times reviews the Pennsylvania Ballet under new director

The New York Times visits the Merriam Theater to check out the Pennsylvania Ballet under new director Angel Corella.

On Saturday, I watched two performances of a triple bill at the attractive Merriam Theater (to be a century old in 2018). My particular interest was in “Shift to Minor,” a world premiere by Matthew Neenan, whose position as resident choreographer Mr. Corella recently extended by three years, and in a revival of George Balanchine’s “The Prodigal Son.” The audience loved both, as well as Christopher Wheeldon’s opening “Polyphonia.” But it is not from these pieces that we can judge Mr. Corella’s taste; for that, we’ll have to wait until he announces his 2015-16 season. The most immediate shifts of emphasis lie in dancers beneath principal level.

In Philadelphia, the program was advertised with a poster image of a newly promoted soloist, Alexander Peters, as the Prodigal. Mr. Peters and a corps dancer imported by Mr. Corella this summer, Mayara Pineiro, were also prominent in “Shift to Minor.” And Saturday’s performances also gave important breaks to two other dancers added by Mr. Corella: the soloist Oksana Maslova and the corps dancer Etienne Diaz. Ms. Maslova and Ms. Pineiro have unusually glamorous presences, considerable poise and technical flair; Mr. Diaz has a boyish charm and athletic energy that somewhat recall Mr. Corella’s own.



Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete review here.

Philly 0.0 Instant Gratification Run is all fun, no work

This run has everything -- drinks, t-shirts, food -- without the actual running.

The Philly 0.0 Instant Gratification Run finished a step after it started Friday night. An official time of 1 second was given to each of the estimated 350 participants, who paid $20 to $35 apiece for a T-shirt, beer, food and live music. It was a race like any other race except for, well, the actual running.

Traditional races have spawned any number of novelty alternatives: obstacle courses featuring mud, fire and barbed wire; mile runs in which participants chug a beer before each of four laps around a track; color runs in which participants are showered with kaleidoscopic cornstarch.

And now, inspired by a cartoon, comes the nonrun, with the motto “All the fun, none of the commitment!”

Depending on one’s view, Friday’s race was an existential comment on engagement and responsibility; a critique or embrace of entitlement and self-importance; a celebration or rejection of couch-potato sloth; a chance for serious runners to shake off the midwinter doldrums with silly fun; or a sly enticement of nonrunners, luring them to what may be the best part of a race — the after-party.

“We wanted to prove that with no hard work, no perseverance and no discipline, anyone can be a winner,” said Dan Babeu, 40, of Levittown, Pa.


Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.

PA college student to appear on 'Shark Tank'

PA student-entrepreneur Christopher Gray will pitch his scholarship app Scholly on ABC's 'Shark Tank.'

Airing of the show will be next Friday, Feb. 20, at 9 p.m. on ABC. A show teaser says Gray, an undergraduate student at Drexel University, kept things interesting: "Interest in a scholarship app created by a student from Philadelphia ignites into the most heated Shark fight ever with three of the Sharks walking out of the Tank!"

Original source: Philadelphia Business Journal
Read the complete story here.

Washington Post backs Philly for 2016 Democratic Convention

The Washington Post blogger thinks Philly is an ideal choice for the 2016 Democratic Convention.

As much as I love my home town, New York City, and would love to see Brooklyn host the 2016 Democratic convention, I have to agree with my MSNBC colleague Chris Matthews. The party’s next presidential standard-bearer should accept the nomination in Philadelphia. “By gathering in iconic Philadelphia, Democrats could lay claim to not just the flag but what it stands for,” Matthews argued Sunday in The Post. “A week there, sparkling with American values, could produce the kind of inspiring national convention we’ve missed in recent years.”?

Original source: The Washington Post
Read the complete story here.

Drexel tackles the complex town-gown dynamic in West Philly

NPR's Code Switch blog takes a look at the ways Drexel is rethinking the traditional town-gown dynamic, especially with its Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships.

Like many expanding colleges and universities, Drexel has put real estate pressure on its surrounding neighborhoods including Mantua, a predominantly black community and one of Philadelphia's poorest neighborhoods. The school is now trying to counteract that pressure with a center designed to serve not just faculty and students but mainly local residents.

"Developers were looking at this beautiful 1.3-acre site and were saying, 'Boy, we could put a lot of student housing on the block!' " explains Lucy Kerman, who oversees the Dornsife Center as Drexel's vice provost for university and community partnerships. "What's intentional is to look at this as a resource for the community and to say, 'No, that's not what's going to happen.'"


Original source: NPR
Read the complete story here.

Pope's visit causes headaches for engaged couples

Pity the local couples who had selected September 26, 2015 as their big day:

Nearly everything was set by the end of August.

The church was chosen, hall booked. The groomsmen would wear gray tuxes and light blue dresses for the bridesmaids. At the reception, there will be touches of the Jersey Shore — the place where Brittany Lowell and Jeff Doney first went steady...

Everything was going smoothly and then last November planning hit a big roadblock: Pope Francis.

The leader of the world’s largest Christian church confirmed he'd make his first trip to the United States and spending three days in Philadelphia from September 25-27 to take part in the World Meeting of Families conference and deliver mass to some 2 million people.

“As soon as that happened I went into panic mode,” the 26-year-old legal secretary and dance instructor from Northeast Philly said.

It’s not the serious influx of visitors or the traffic or the increased security that is causing a snag, rather, finding a place for the newlyweds-to-be and their guests to stay.


Original source: NBC 10
Read the complete story here.

Temple University's online MBA program ranked No. 1

U.S. News and World Report has named Temple University's Fox School of Business the nation's best online MBA program.

Temple, tied with Indiana University and theUniversity of North Carolina, scored a perfect score of 100 when judged on faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, student engagement, peer reputation and admissions selectivity.
Is it validation for Temple? "Absolutely, yes," said Darin Kapanjie, academic director of the online MBA program.

Temple's online MBA program launched in fall 2009 under Kapanjie's leadership. He came to Temple in 2003 as a faculty member in the statistics department, and actively took to integrating technology into the classroom...

The program has since developed an online and digital learning team, which has seven in-house instructional designers that help the Temple faculty organize and deliver their courses online most effectively. There are also two technology support specialists and two staffers in charge of video production. (The Fox school has its own TV studio, where faculty members can record their lectures).


Original source: Philadelphia Business Journal
Read the complete story here.

Philly named No. 3 'Place to Go in 2015' by New York Times

Philly earns a coveted spot on this yearly list of "52 Places to Go."

"A series of projects has transformed Philadelphia into a hive of outdoor urban activity. Dilworth Park, formerly a hideous slab of concrete adjoining City Hall, reopened this past autumn as a green, pedestrian-friendly public space with a winter ice-skating rink (and a cafe by the indefatigable chef Jose Garces). Public art installations, mini “parklets” and open-air beer gardens have become common sights. The Delaware River waterfront was reworked for summer 2014 with the Spruce Street Harbor Park (complete with hammocks, lanterns and floating bar) becoming a new fixture, following the renovation of the Race Street Pier, completed in 2011, and offers free yoga classes on a bi-level strip of high-design decking and grass. The city’s other river, the Schuylkill, has its own new boardwalk. To top it off, this spring, Philadelphia will get its first bike share program, making this mostly flat city even more friendly for those on two wheels."

Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete list here.

Philly will be home to Forbes' Under 30 Summit for years to come

Forbes has announced that Philadelphia will play host to its yearly youth-oriented summit for the foreseeable future.

After a successful first yearForbes magazine's Under 30 Summit will be back in Philadelphia this October. The announcement came as the media company unleashed its newest 30 Under 30 Who are Moving the World list Monday.

The inaugural summit brought together about 1,500 young movers-and-shakers, mostly from past Under 30 lists, for educational panels, pitch contests, TED-style presentations, music and food festivals. Last year's speakers included Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate, who detailed her campaign for girls' education, and Monica Lewinsky, who talked about the culture of digital harassment. Also on the lineup were Pete Cashmore, founder and CEO of Mashable; Neil Blumenthal, co-founder of Warby ParkerJosh Kushner, managing partner of Thrive Capital; and Steve Case, founder of AOL.

"While we have no multi-year contract, we have every intention of making Philadelphia our long-term home," said Wendy Furrer Egan, senior director of editorial publicity at Forbes.

This year's summit will take place Oct. 4-7 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and other venues in the city...

Lane, from Forbes, told the Philadelphia Business Journal last year that the No. 1 reason he chose Philadelphia as the go-to destination was because of its location. He named its proximity to other major cities, like New York and Washington, D.C., as well as its simplicity to get to via public transportation — whether train, bus or plane.

Of course, Philadelphia's young crowd and "increasing entrepreneurial world view," he said, is a plus.


Original source: Philadelphia Business Journal
Read the complete story here.

The Barnes Foundation finds new executive director

After an exhaustive search, the shifting Philly institution has found a new leader.

The Barnes Foundation — now in its third year in its gleaming new home in downtown Philadelphia after a contentious relocation — announced on Wednesday that it had chosen Thomas Collins, a longtime museum leader and curator, to become its new executive director and president after a search of almost a year.

Mr. Collins, known as Thom, has served for nearly five years as director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami, previously known as the Miami Art Museum and renamed in 2012 to recognize a multimillion-dollar gift of art and cash from the developer Jorge M. Pérez. Under Mr. Collins’s leadership, the museum constructed a new building designed by the firm Herzog & de Meuron that opened in December 2013 and attracted 300,000 visitors in its first year, far exceeding expectations...

Asked his opinion about the Barnes’s relocation from the suburb of Merion — permitted in a 2004 court decision that circumvented the charter and bylaws of Barnes, who had stipulated that his collection could not be lent, sold or moved from its original home — Mr. Collins said: “To me it seems like an unqualified success. I have no reservations now about it at all, and I wouldn’t be going there if I did.”


Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.

Wharton student -- and founder of four companies by age 21 -- reflects

The New York Times spoke with Daniel Fine, a serial entrepreneur and Wharton student who's staying in school.

Daniel Fine is the founder and chief executive of Glass-U, a two-year-old, 10-employee maker of foldable sunglasses bearing the licensed brands of universities, music festivals like Lollapalooza, and the World Cup soccer tournament last summer. He arranges for the manufacture of the glasses in China and their distribution around the country. He’s also a senior in college.

Mr. Fine financed Glass-U, which operates out of off-campus housing, in part with proceeds from a tutoring company, NexTutors, that he started right after high school. He has also founded Fine Prints, a custom apparel company he started during high school, and Dosed, a health care technology company that is working on a smartphone app to help diabetics...

Q. You considered applying for a Thiel Fellowship, a $100,000 grant to forgo college and pursue your dream?
A. I made it through the second round, but I didn’t complete my application. At Penn, I’ve absolutely learned in the classroom, but it’s been a much greater benefit being here and growing as a person and learning who I am, what I’m becoming and what I’m hoping to be.


Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.

VIDEO: MSNBC showcases Wash Cycle Laundry, one of Philly's top startups

MSNBC's Your Business highlights the story of Wash Cycle Laundry, one of Philadelphia's most innovative -- and greenest -- startups. 

Check out the video here.

Bye Bye Tokens: Philly's transit system blasts into the future

Septa's long-anticipated high-tech update is on the way -- and Philly is jumping straight to the top of the queue. 

A public transit system that still uses metal tokens and paper transfers - yes, in the 21st century - appears finally to be moving into the era of debit cards and pay-by-cellphone technology.

Philadelphia riders can now see evidence of SEPTA Key, the long-awaited smart card system for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. Dozens of computerized kiosks, turnstiles and fare boxes have popped up in stations and on vehicles, and testing begins this month.

"We see this project as taking us in the fare payment industry from last place to first place," said Kevin O'Brien, SEPTA senior program manager.


Original source: The Associated Press via The Philadelphia Inquirer
Read the complete story here.

Philadelphia's casino soap opera takes another twist

Philadelphia's latest gambling license was awarded to a South Philadelphia project. It's the latest in a wave of casino projects coming to the East Coast.

A $425 million project with a casino and a boutique hotel rising in the stadium district of Philadelphia is the latest entrant into the tumultuous world of East Coast gambling.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board awarded a license on Tuesday to a joint venture of Cordish Companies and Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment to build the Philadelphia area’s fourth gambling hall and the 13th casino in the state.

The decision came as New York is edging closer to approving up to four Las Vegas-style casinos at locations outside of New York City. Massachusetts recently approved two billion-dollar casinos, one at either end of the state. And in Connecticut, some lawmakers are talking about expanding the state’s casino industry to protect its market share.

The frenzy of casino building is taking place in what is widely regarded as the most competitive market in the country despite flat or falling gambling revenues in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.


Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.

The Pope is coming to Philadelphia; could draw a million people to a public Mass

Pope Francis has announced a 2015 U.S. trip with Philadelphia as the flagship stop.

Pope Francis confirmed on Monday that he will make his first papal visit to the United States in September to attend an international meeting in Philadelphia on the theme of family, as part of an American journey that is also expected to include a stop in New York...

Francis’ visit to Philadelphia is expected to draw as many as a million people to a Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in the heart of the city.


Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.
647 Philadelphia Articles | Page: | Show All
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