Philly Cuts

YouTube: Jamal Smith Skates Philly

If you love videos of people on skateboards — and judging by the number of videos people make of themselves on skateboards, somebody must — then this one from Gnartifact.tv is pretty cool. Jamal Smith skates along South Street and up into Center City — and gets kind of busted. But politely. “Rules and regulations in Philadelphia, man,” he protests.

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The Sadness of the Sugar Maple

The two-lane country highway leading into Nickel Mines village rises and drops through fields of corn and wheat. Harvest season is all but over. The corn stalks are yellow and stiff, the husks empty a…

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Stolen Scenes

Hamid Floyd never saw the punch coming. He’d never really been in a fight. When the 16-year-old Cardinal Dougherty senior imagined being in one, he’d dream up some dramatic scenario in which he’d hero…

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The Little Engine That Couldn’t

If you live or work in Center City West, you may want to double check your smoke detectors and rewire any faulty electrical outlets. That’s because the fire engine protecting you is a broken-down, sta…

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Wild at Heart

On hot summer days I sometimes sit with Mikey Wild at the Italian Market sidewalk cafe where he peddles his magic marker paintings for $2 a shot. Demented great-uncle of the Philadelphia punk scene, …

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Acting Out

Frank Joseph Tartaglia is always thinking up big ideas. Late at night, while sitting at the gray felt card table in the performing arts space he’s opening in the Italian Market with his older brother …

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They Don’t Consider That Sex

I recently had the opportunity to watch footage from a still-in-the-works documentary about Joe’s Fruit Stand, an Italian Market produce and knickknack shop on the corner of Ninth and Ellsworth. Shot…

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Angels of God

The meeting was arranged through an intermediary. Thursday, 11 a.m. Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul rectory. His eminence Cardinal Justin Rigali, archbishop of Philadelphia, has agreed to sit dow…

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Pregnant Pause

Qyntell holds Mama’s hand and stares into the display case of cell phones. He’s eye level with the top shelf, and his eyes run across the black phones with floating cartoons, the gray phones with smil…

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Dead Wait

The young woman stands before her father’s lily-laden casket, her brother and sister at her side for support. She cries softly as she addresses the overflowing congregation. “He was a man with a big …

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