So I have this idea. Because that’s the way my brain works; I have these ideas, and I’m super excited about them when they occur to me, then I inevitably get distracted by something shiny and never follow through. But I have this idea, and it involves taking a picture every day as I pass through Love Park on my way to the train.
We’re currently going through a several-week-long heat wave here in Philadelphia. When the weather gets like this, and even when it’s not quite this bad, people tend to treat the Love Park fountain like a public swimming pool. I find this phenomenon fascinating, though Ican’t say I blame them.
So my idea is to snap a quick picture, every day that I’m in the city, of the people frolicking in Love Park fountain. It’s an excuse to play with my new phone’s camera, and the Vignette app I found (via Neil Gaiman’s journal). And it’s a way to capture a moment in time, a slice of life (which I realize may be interesting only to me.)
Here are two pictures from day one:
Let’s see how long I stick with this one before I get distracted by…oooh, is someone jingling keys?
At the Poe reading, Edward Pettit mentioned a term I hadn’t heard before – Philadelphia Gothic. There’s an exhibition currently on view at the Library Company of Philadelphia dedicated to the subject. In particular it focuses on three Philadelphia novelists, Charles Brockden Brown, Robert Montgomery Bird, and George Lippard.
Their work spawned a literary movement of “lurid crime, weird hallucination and the brooding supernatural”, growing out of the existing Gothic tradition, but with a more urban flair. Their work, in turn, inspired Edgar Allan Poe.
It’s the end of an era here in Philadelphia. Robin’s Books, Philadelphia’s oldest independent bookstore, is closing after 73 years. I’ve mentioned Robin’s here before – good books, very supportive of authors, beautiful building. What it boils down to, basically, is they are awesome, and the city will be slightly less for their loss.
But all is not doom and gloom. Robin’s will be rising from the ashes as “…a center city salon, where people can meet, listen to interesting presentations, purchase interesting books, have interesting conversations and generally maintain their cultural health.” I like the sound of the new business model, and I’m really glad to hear they won’t be going away for good. If I’m reading things right, they will continue to occupy the top floor of their current building, which is even better news. You can read all about the end and the beginning of Robin’s here.
And if you happen to live in the Philadelphia area, from now until January 31st all of their new stock is on sale, starting at 25% off and going up to 50% as it gets closer to the end of the year. I know what I’ll be doing on my birthday!
IndieBound is a great website, which I found via Neil Gaiman’s journal. Among other things, it lets you find listings for independent bookstores in your neighborhood. The list is by no means exhaustive. For example, Robin’s Bookstore, which I’ve mentioned here before, didn’t show up in my Center City Philly search, but it did turn up a whole slew of bookstores that I wasn’t even aware of – several within walking distance of my workplace. This is a very dangerous knowledge for me to have, and it makes me very, very happy.