What is different about Nutter’s Philadelphia?

Mayor Nutter is clearly setting the tone for civic life in Philadelphia. Having a mayor willing to do that clearly and consistently is a huge plus for citizens. He did so when he admonished Phillies fans to be “joyous” but not to be a “jackass” in their World Series win celebrations. Nevertheless, a small number were but most were not. I work on Broad St. and I was saddened by the destruction of the large planters and the busted windows of a few businesses. Yet, in all honesty, I really thought it would be worse.

One of the most important signs of Nutter setting the tone shows up not just in what he says but also in what he is making happen. Although the short parade began at 12:00 pm, at 4:30 pm the police had not yet opened Broad St. to traffic and the reason was that the Streets Dept. was still cleaning up — with troops of sweepers and with high-powered washers. Philly.com reports that cleaning continued until midnight: After Series celebration, a clean sweep by the city. I’ve lived in Philadelphia 20 years and have attended many Mummer’s parades and I’ve never seen such a serious clean-up effort before. It is great to see that the city under Nutter’s leadership handled this championship celebration so well from start until long after finish.

Link Updates

RiverTyde has been on unofficial hiatus for a while, but I have updated my WordPress account for another year and don’t anticipate shuttering the blog. Sorry for the drought.

Today I found a very interesting blog that I want to follow so I’ve added it, Via Negativa,  to my blogroll. In addition, I have corrected the broken link to Zac Sunderland, the young man sailing alone around the globe. I have a lot of catching up to do with his adventures. I apologize that that link was broken for so long. Under the Gay Links category Large Tony has said goodbye to his blog but has left it up as an archive. I’ll leave that link up for some time yet but will eventually take it off the blogroll.

This has been a wild week here in Philadelphia with the Phillies winning the World Series, the enormous street celebrations (with a small but destructive element), and the gigantic turn out for the parade yesterday. I don’t have photos of that but I’m sure there are plenty to be had out on the web anyway. Next week might be another wild one with the election. Just as millions of people turned out in Philadelphia to participate in the life of the city and its sports team, I hope everyone reading this blog turns out to vote on Tuesday. I’ll not tell anyone how to vote because I find it hard to believe that anyone likely to do so could be truly undecided at this point — but by all means, VOTE.

Solar-powered Trashcan Test

The city just installed three solar-powered trash compactors as a test. The cans are called “BigBelly” compactors and the BigBelly company is hoping the city will find that it will spend less money of fuel and labor to empty trashcans on city streets if it uses these compactors. The cans have a battery to power them and a solar panel to charge the battery. I’ll be passing two of the three test receptacles on my way to work today: 18th & Walnut and Broad & Walnut. Maybe I’ll carry a little trashy snack with me to feed them.

The Philadelphia Inquirer article by Ashwin Verghese is titled: Solar-powered trash units get trial run in Phila. (Not a very snappy title for something that should be hip and exciting.)

Crime Rate Update

There appears to be progress in Mayor Nutter’s push to reduce violent crime in Philadelphia. He and his chosen police commissioner Charles Ramsey announced that for the first six months of the Nutter administration incidents of violent crime fell 20%. Since Nutter’s publicized goal for crime violent crime reduction was 25%, it is good to see an article like this one by Philadelphia Inquirer staff writer Andrew Maykuth: Nutter Seeks Even Lower Crime Rates

As a business manager in Center City I applaud Mayor Nutter’s and Commissioner Ramsey’s dedication to making a real difference for the city. Over the last four years there was a lot of bemoaning the rise in violent crime but very little to nothing was effectively accomplished. It’s clear Nutter will not settle for that and that is excellent news for every Philadelphian.

“Like a giant flash drive”

Inga Saffron, the architecture critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, posted her review of Philadelphia’s tallest building today — The Comcast Center — Changing Skyline: Comcast’s New Tower a Blank Slate for City. She says that this building is, in fact, the 12th tallest in the country, and I’ve heard that it is the tallest between Chicago and NYC. The Comcast Center is easily seen in Fen Branklin’s photo of my previous post. I think Ms. Saffron gives a balanced review. She is disappointed that more daring was not taken in the building’s design, but I’m not sure more daring in such a prominent edifice would have resulted in a better building for the city. This is not a particularly daring city after all. I’m just pleased that the building is not the even more staid rectangular glass box that I was afraid it would turn out to be. The taper with contrasting mirrored and clear glass segments save it (and us) from that. It is true that the see-through top with the girders visible gives it a vaguely unfinished look during the day but when it is lighted from within at night there is a muted lighthouse/beacon effect that enlivens the skyline without being overpowering. I think what Ms. Saffron is getting at is that this “quicksilver obelisk” which tends toward looking “like a giant flash drive” is not the gem that the quirkier and generally admired Cira Centre has turned out to be. That is not so bad, in my opinion. The positive things that I learned from Ms. Saffron’s review was that the Comcast Center is the tallest ‘green’ building in the country and that the plaza and underground shopping complex deserve a visit. I’m just relieved that Comcast CEO Brian Roberts did not put up a giant version of that horribly gaudy and self-aggrandizing marquee on the Avenue of the Arts that bears his mother’s name — the Suzanne Roberts Theater. I may even grow to like the Comcast Center but I doubt I will ever stop cringing when I walk past the excellent Kimmel Center and am next affronted by that mashup of metal pretending to be billowing fabric, uhgg.

Philadelphia from the Schuylkill




Center City Left

Originally uploaded by Fen Branklin

Flickr contact Fen Branklin took this great photo from a kayak in the Schuylkill River. He has many exceptional shots of Philadelphia. Click on the photo to check out his Flickr album. (Thanks to him for allowing this photo to be blogged.)

Ben Franklin Bridge


Ben Franklin Bridge

Originally uploaded by chrisinphilly

It has been a while since I posted a Flickr Feature. Recently, Chris in Philly has posted come really impressive photos of Philadelphia taken from on high. I don’t know what building he took these from but the perspective and picture quality is exceptional. Thanks to him for leaving the ‘blog this’ button on to allow me to share these pictures and draw your attention to them.

Opening of the New Year with the Mummers

What better way (insert sarcastic tone) to start the New Year than with the flu? My partner and I both have it now. Since he excels at so much of what he does, he has moved from flu to pneumonia while I’m still just back at the, “Damn! I feel like crap!” stage. We’ll both be okay eventually, but playing host to these bugs made us miss a New Year’s party at a friend’s house on Broad St. Although I could post some pictures of past Mummer’s parades I’ve attended I’d rather point readers to the PHILLY blog for glittering and colorful pics from the 2008 celebration.

Enjoy and Happy New Year (cough, cough).

Philadelphia on the Delaware


IMG_4694

Originally uploaded by Michlt
Welcome to Rivertyde “2.0”. After 2 years at Rivertyde.com this blog has moved to Rivertyde.wordpress.com. This photo is a view of Philadelphia from across the Delaware River. It was taken from the ferry while crossing to Camden, NJ and is a shot of my adopted city.

I’ve been in Philadelphia for almost 20 years, and am very fond of this city. I appreciate how great the it is while also recognizing that it could be better.

I grew up in Western NC — a very different landscape from the urban one I now live in. I still have a deep love of the Southern Appalachians. You’ll see photos from both the city and the mountains here.

If you are not familiar with the first incarnation of Rivertyde then you’ll find that the posts here exhibit the full range of my eclectic interests. Some will highlight Philadelphia others will focus on rural settings or outtings which remind me of the landscape where I grew up. Many posts will be accompanied by pictures from the photo sharing site Flickr and will often link to my own pics but also those of others stored on that site.

I’m a bookseller and a German Literature major from the University of Pennsylvania; however, my first undergraduate degree was in Forestry from NC State so my posts will alternate between literature/humanities and the natural sciences. I never could decide what engaged me the most.

Some of my early posts at this new location may be ‘reprints’ of entries posted at Rivertyde’s previous location. For those who have read my blog before I apologize for the redundancy. I’m going to build a thin bridge of continuity but will promise not to dwell on the first incarnation of Rivertyde.