Why I love the Philly accent and why it’s not going anywhere [NewsWorks essay]

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I could not sit idly by last week as University of Pennsylvania researchers announced findings that the Philadelphia accent may very well be fading.

So as a NewsWorks colleague set out to determine exactly what that meant, I took it upon myself to defend the oft-mocked accent, and explain why, no matter how the city changes, its residents will likely always say “wooder.”

The full essay is below, and you can read the original on NewsWorks. Continue reading Why I love the Philly accent and why it’s not going anywhere [NewsWorks essay]

Why I feel safe in ‘Killadelphia’ [NewsWorks]

In summer 2012, Philadelphia was abuzz – with gun violence. As the WHYY newsroom worked to cover the violence and its affect on the city, I felt compelled to write about my own reaction to the violence.

The full story is below.This essay first appeared on NewsWorks July 6, 2012 [pdf version]. Continue reading Why I feel safe in ‘Killadelphia’ [NewsWorks]

Five unique stops in Philly

South Philly's Famous 4th Street Deli is among the five stops I recommended to Wilmington News Journal readers.

This is a story I wrote for the March 27, 2009 issue of Delaware’s Wilmington News Journal about some great stores in Philadelphia that people should stop by when they visit. I also took the photos.

The next time you visit the City of Brotherly Love, take the locals’ approach to shopping: mix it up, hit several neighborhoods and avoid the box stores.

You’ll find that Philly’s shopping scene is more than The Gallery and South Street. Unique stories can be found around the city — and they offer friendly service, reasonable prices and exceptional quality.

Start from the south and work your way north for a memorable trip. If you don’t want to drive, every neighborhood in Philadelphia is easily accessible by public transportation.

Here are five stores (with photos) worth a look.

Continue reading Five unique stops in Philly

Strawberry Mansion organizations want more from Nutter’s budget

This is a story I did for MURL, Temple University’s senior journalism class. The assignment was to go out into your assigned neighborhood – in my case, Strawberry Mansion- and report on how the residents feel about Mayor Michael Nutter’s budget proposal. This was a team reporting project, but I was responsible for the written portion.

Eric Jones* is almost 3 years old. His age is painfully apparent as his faulty legs struggle to carry him up the jungle gym beneath the weight of his puffy coat and snow cap. Eric spends his days the same way he has since he was 7 months old – in the care of Phyllis Fultz and Roslyn Fulton, who run the Urban Pioneers daycare on French and 31st streets near Ridge Avenue in Strawberry Mansion.

Eric – along with his five playmates – embodies childhood innocence, right down to the runny nose his caretakers attribute to the change in seasons. What Eric doesn’t know as he clasps the hands of a girl around his age, guiding her up the sliding board at Mander Playground at 33rd and Diamond streets in Fairmount Park, is that the odds are stacked against him. His race, socioeconomic status, neighborhood and infrequent contact with his father are designed to hold Eric back in life. These factors will work against him in every stage of his life until he either rises above or succumbs to them, becoming another statistic in Philadelphia’s records.

Several people will influence Eric’s life and guide him along what they hope turns out to be the right path: his parents, his caregivers and Mayor Michael Nutter.

Continue reading for thoughts from daycare owners, school teachers and nonprofit organizations. Continue reading Strawberry Mansion organizations want more from Nutter’s budget