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Monthly Archives: February 2014

February 28th | Posted In Philadelphia

Philly’s Had Enough Cheesesteak

cheesesteak

If you’ve been on the Facebook.com (its that new “social networking” website that all the kids are talking about) today, you probably saw one or seven of your friends liking a Huffington Post article titled “31 Reasons why Philadelphia is the Most Underrated City in America.”  While appropriately full of Philly civic pride about our history, restaurants, sports, the citywide special and Wawa, it included one thing Philly needs to just shut up about already.

The cheesesteak.

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February 25th | Posted In Philadelphia, Trivia

Trivia Tuesday!

JBTaylor

Isn’t quizzo the greatest?  Whether you are a New Deck purist who spells it with just one ‘z’, or prefer to win “adult” toys at a round of Kinky Quizzo, you can’t help but to love the thrill of being the only person at your table who knows Philadelphia’s official motto‡.

To celebrate my love of Philadelphia and our love of quizzo (which is one of the reasons #whyilovephilly), I give you a Philly-focused trivia question every Tuesday.  Answers after the jump.

This week’s trivia question:  In honor of the recently-ended Olympics and Black History Month, I’m asking a straight forward question about John Baxter Taylor, a Central High and Penn graduate, the first African American gold medalist, and the handsome gentleman pictured above.  What year did he win the gold?

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February 20th | Posted In Citizenship, YIP

Vote for YIP!

YIP happy hour stock

Befitting an election year, we need you to help us get out the vote.

It’s not the Gubernatorial race that we care about, though (at least not right now): Young Involved Philadelphia has been nominated for a Philly DoGooder Award.

In keeping with one of our lesser known, unpublicized missions of destroying false modesty, let me be clear: YIP is awesome.  We deserve your vote.  We’re sure those others organizations are all well and good, but, we’re like ’08 Phillies and they’re all like the ’93 Phillies, y’know what I mean? So vote for us – it’s the next best thing to playing catch with Chase Utley.  

 

February 20th | Posted In Philadelphia, Policy

We (and City Council) Want to Hear from You

Don’t we make you sick sometimes? YIP that is. Aren’t we just a bit too pro-Philly to stomach? How many #whyilovephilly tweets can one group of people produce, after all?  (I don’t know, but it looks like we had 444 Instagram posts in February.)

We’re worse than a drunk couple at the bar, making out when they think no one is looking, even though we’re all staring daggers and would probably throw actual daggers if we had them.

Listen, we know we’re a bit saccharine sometimes.  Much like the grammar behind “jawn”, Philly ain’t perfect, and we get that.  We all have things we’d like to see changed around here.  Hell, that’s one of the reasons why YIP exists (and you thought it was just the happy hours and resume padding). We want to improve the city and believe young Philadelphians can contribute something valuable towards making that happen.

Today, that something valuable is also something simple: we need your opinion.

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February 18th | Posted In Philadelphia, Trivia

Trivia Tuesday!

EdBacon

Isn’t quizzo the greatest?  Whether you are a New Deck purist who spells it with just one ‘z’, or prefer to win “adult” toys at a round of Kinky Quizzo, you can’t help but to love the thrill of being the only person at your table who knows who Kelly Drive is named after‡.

To celebrate my love of Philadelphia and our love of quizzo (which is one of the reasons #whyilovephilly), I give you a Philly-focused trivia question every Tuesday.  Answers after the jump.

This week’s trivia question:  I’m finishing up a pretty great biography of Edmund Bacon, the man who gave us Society Hill (yay!), the Vine Street Expressway (boo!) and the star of Footloose (meh, I liked him better in Animal House).  One of YIP’s first causes was keeping Love Park open to skateboarders, a cause Ed famously joined by skating the park at a 92 years young.  Born in West Philadelphia and growing up in Swarthmore, Bacon studied Architecture at Cornell, worked briefly in Shanghai and was then awarded a scholarship at the Cranbook Academy of Art.  Eventually, he’d return to Philadelphia and transform it into the city we know today.  But between Cranbook and Philadelphia, he spent some time in another city, where he was run out of town by that city’s upper classes for trying to develop federal housing there.  What was that city?

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February 12th | Posted In Philadelphia

February 14th is #whyilovephilly Day!

Final logo

It won’t surprise long time readers of the YIP blog that we’re just a bit crazy about Philly around here, and not only because there are no long time readers of the YIP blog to surprise (it’s still pretty new). Whether it’s a stirring defense of SEPTA, a paean to running through the streets of Philadelphia, or just giddy excitement about a new skyscraper, the YIP Blog is prone to the online equivalent of bear-hugging Broad Street.

Personally, I completely less-than-three this “greene Country Towne“.  When I visit friends in NYC or DC, it almost feels like an extrametroplian affair.  I won’t pretend that it’s rational. But, as Blaise Pascal once wrote, “The heart has reason that reason knows nothing of.”  Sure, he meant that as a logical inference supporting the existence of God, but I prefer to appropriate it to help explain my abundance of Brotherly Love.

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February 12th | Posted In Philadelphia

Shivering in Suburbia?

tree-on-car-ardmore-_loeb

This past week was a nightmare for our friends and family in the suburbs.  Approximately 715,000 lost power in the region, second only to 850,000 who lost power during Hurricane Sandy.  Perhaps more upsetting than the massive scale was the length some went without power – there are still some homes in Chester County without electricity.

But here’s something to mull (besides wine) while inches of the white stuff pile up tonight: Philadelphia was left largely unscathed.  A day after the ice storm, over 125 thousand in MontCo, 37 thousand in DelCo, 97 thousand in Bucks and 121 thousand in Chester still had the lights off.  In Philadelphia, only 7,920 went without power (and most of them were on the outskirts of town and were quickly restored).

Where we chose to live has consequences.  Philadelphia may have a higher crime rate and worse schools, but there are a few advantages to living here beyond restaurants and the citywide special.  Being able to make it to the office after snow is one of them.

 

February 12th | Posted In Entrepreneurship, Philadelphia

To Attract Entrepreneurs to Philly, Just Make Philly More Attractive

university-city-philadelphia-skyline-day-1400vp

As we all know, the millennials love Philly for its vibrancy, culture and nightlife.  But when asked whether they expected to live in Philadelphia in five to ten years, half said they would not, citing career reasons as the primary reason, along with concerns over schools and crime, for their potential departure.   While it’s not certain whether other cities have similar numbers of millennials expecting to move, or whether this differs from the expectations of previous generations, some reacted to this news with the sort of pre-emptive guilt trips that would make a Jewish mother proud.

But hold your kvetching: a new survey by Endeavor Insight suggests that Philly may be poised to attract and retain entrepreneurial millennials – and thus create new jobs, the exact thing the city needs to keep less-than-entrepreneurial millennials – simply because so many millennials (of all entrepreneurial persuasions) have moved to Philly, making it more vibrant and attractive to millennials.  What admittedly sounds like a tautology might actually be the beginning of a virtuous cycle.

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February 11th | Posted In Philadelphia, Trivia

Trivia Tuesday!

TempleOwls

Isn’t quizzo the greatest?  Whether you are a New Deck purist who spells it with just one ‘z’, or prefer to win “adult” toys at a round of Kinky Quizzo, you can’t help but to love the thrill of being the only person at your table who knows why Temple’s mascot is the owl‡.

To celebrate my love of Philadelphia and our love of quizzo (which is one of the reasons #whyilovephilly), I give you a Philly-focused trivia question every Tuesday.  Answers after the jump.

This week’s trivia question:  Temple’s not having the best of basketball seasons, but there is reason to cheer the Owls yet – the Inquirer reports that two former players are making a documentary on their beloved former coach, John Chaney.  Irascible, tenacious and a lightning rod for controversy, Chaney enjoyed over 500 wins with Temple, over 1000 games as a collegiate coach (741-312), and 17 NCAA tournament appearances.  No wonder the man was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001.  226 of those 741 wins came at a school other than Temple, though.  Name the historically black college where Chaney coached before becoming a legend on North Broad.

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February 6th | Posted In Politics

In Case You Missed It: Ward Politics 101

Ward System 110

The sold-out crowd; way cooler than the sellout crowd

After an abortive attempt to expand federal housing in Michigan, Edmund Bacon returned to his hometown of Philadelphia.  Bacon was a visionary thinker and urban planner whose work still influences how cities are designed.  Disgusted by the corrupt machine politics that could undermine his planning reform efforts, Bacon hoped his return to Philly would be temporary.  Instead, he stayed, joining other reformers to create the City Policy Committee, a grassroots movement of young Philadelphians that was instrumental in Philadelphia’s political reform movement.

Last night, over 125 young Philadelphians learned how to infiltrate Philly’s political ward system and reform it from the inside at YIP’s Ward Politics 101.

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February 5th | Posted In Philadelphia

The First Steps

Boston bombing solidarity run

Boston bombing solidarity run

The first step in getting involved in a city should be discovering your place there and learning to love something about it. My love for Philly is inseparable from running. I moved here in 2006. That seems important to tell you, as if the time I’ve spent here, running here, lends me some legitimacy to talk to you about running in Philly. Truthfully, every day I go out running feels a lot like those first days. Yes, I have learned some street smarts when running in the city, like being hyper-vigilant at intersections, basically assuming that a car is going to do its best to hit me. But the running itself has stayed the same, a stress-releasing means of exploring my city and making it my own.

Whenever I try to express what running means to me, I am reminded of a Radiolab episode titled Cities. The episode begins with a tale of a country kid who moves to NYC, and finds himself completely overwhelmed with the experience. In fact, he hates it. That is, he hates it until he finds a way to center himself in the giant shifting seas of the city. He does this by coming up to the roof of his building and seeing the city calmed by a dense fog, no longer so massive, and suddenly completely coherent. Read more

February 4th | Posted In Philadelphia, Trivia

Trivia Tuesday!

250px-Philadelphia_Eagles_primary_logo

Isn’t quizzo the greatest?  Whether you are a New Deck purist who spells it with just one ‘z’, or prefer to win “adult” toys at a round of Kinky Quizzo, you can’t help but to love the thrill of being the only person at your table who knows the name of the state bird of Pennsylvania‡.

To celebrate my love of Philadelphia and our love of quizzo (which is one of the reasons #whyilovephilly), I give you a Philly-focused trivia question every Tuesday.  Answers after the jump.

This week’s trivia question:  Man, was that an awful Super Bowl or what?  Watching the Seahawks dominate made me think of our beloved Birds, the subject of this week’s trivia question.  The Eagles were formed in 1933 to replace the Frankford Yellow Jackets as Philadelphia’s pro football team.  The owner, Bert Bell, named the team the Eagles after the logo of a government agency.  Name the agency!

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