Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays!

May the coming year be filled with peace and hope for all of us.

Wissahickon Diary will resume in mid January.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Cormac and Dan drinking pints in a pub.Apropos of nothing, other than this last day of November, 2008, has been a particularly sodden and lonely one, when there is so much uncertainly in the world and too many examples of man's inhumanity to man, and that I wanted to recall better times and company, here's a picture of my old friend Cormac Clancy and me having a pint in a pub outside of Dublin in December of 2001, the occasion being an impulsive decision by Donna and me to hop a flight to Ireland to celebrate my 40th birthday. (Cormac is the good looking one.)

The decision to make the trip had been rash, considering that the attacks of September 11 and the attendant fears of travel abroad that followed, still hung over everything. Looking back of course, no regrets. A wonderful time we'll remember the rest of our lives.

In a few weeks from now we will make this trip again. We won't be celebrating my birthday this time (it will have passed), but Donna's daughter and father, who will accompany us along with Donna's son and mother, will see in their twentieth and seventy-third years while we are there. Certainly, occasions they will always remember.

And we will all see in a new year. Here's to hoping it will be a good one, not only for us, but for you and yours as well, and the rest of the world, too.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

CHillie afternoon

Face of CHillie.That's CHillie. She hangs out on the northeast corner of Germantown and Southampton in Chestnut Hill. She is truly a Renaissance bear. Not only is she a work of art...

All of CHillie, showing she is also a map and a bench.but also a cool and funky map of Chestnut Hill and environs (or perhaps I should say imaginations). And a bench!

She is the creation of artist Rebecca McKillip Thornburgh, and you can read (and see) all about how she came to be on Rebecca's blog.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sarah can't hurt this one

Polar Bear's face in window display.Window display, Robertson's Flowers, Chestnut Hill, Sunday afternoon.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bear with me...

Sculpture of a bear in front of a restaurant.That's Gus, according to a plaque in the sidewalk, standing in front of the Melting Pot restaurant, near the intersection of Germantown and Southampton Avenues, in Chestnut Hill. I like to think of him as the ambassador of fondue.

Bear with me. This is the beginning of a theme...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Der himmel ├╝ber Chesnut Hill

Germantown Avenue, Bethlehem Pike.Intersection of Germantown Avenue and Bethlehem Pike, Sunday afternoon.

Yesterday (Saturday, November 15) felt freakishly like summer. The temperature soared into the seventies, and the humidity was as oppressive as any day in August. To top it off, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for the area into the evening. I stepped out onto my front porch toward the middle of the afternoon to see my neighbor across the street, in shirt sleeves, struggling to set up his Christmas display.

Throughout the night, wind and lashing rain marked the onset of a cold front. This afternoon the temperature was nearly thirty degrees cooler than yesterday, with enough left over wind to drive the cold right through you. The sky had that classic late autumn look, thick gray clouds piled under bright blue. I pulled down the ear flaps on my cap when I went out. The holiday decorations in store windows and lampposts on my trip to Chestnut Hill seemed entirely appropriate.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wait, wait... don't read this!

Update: here she is!

Erin of, well, Erin fame, will become even more famous after Saturday when she appears as a contestant on NPR's Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!

I'm not going to say whether or not she wins... Okay, I am. She wins.

If you don't believe me, call her at (123) 555-9876, and hear Carl Kasell's voice on her answering machine. I swear this is true. Except for the phone number, which I made up.