August 29th, 2011

andrew potter

Greetings from The Gayborhood, Philadelphia

Washington Square West (or Wash West) is a neighborhood in downtown, or Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The neighborhood roughly corresponds to the area between 7th and Broad Streets and between Walnut and South Streets, bordering on the Independence Mall tourist area directly northeast, Market East to the northwest, Old City and Society Hill to the East, Bella Vista directly south, Hawthorne to the southwest, and mid-town Philadelphia and Rittenhouse Square to the west. In addition to being a desirable residential community, it is considered a hip, trendy neighborhood that offers a diverse array of shops, restaurants, and coffee houses. The area takes its name from Washington Square, a historic urban park in the northeastern corner of the neighborhood.

Philadelphia's Antique Row lies in the area as does the nation's oldest hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital. Educational and medical facilities associated with, Thomas Jefferson University, a leading regional medical university and health care center, are located within the neighborhood. The one-time headquarters of the former Curtis Publishing Company and the University of the Arts lie at the edges of the neighborhood.

Washington Square West's real estate is characterized by two, three, and four-story townhouses interspersed with condominiums, mid-rise apartments, and offices with ground-floor retail. The neighborhood follows William Penn's original grid layout for the city, with many one-lane and pedestrian side streets added later as the population became more dense. In addition to the block sized Washington Square Park to the East, the neighborhood contains the smaller Kahn Park, named after the Philadelphia architect Louis Kahn.

The name "Washington Square West" came into official use in the late 1950s and early 1960s as part of Edmund Bacon's comprehensive plan for Center City. In this plan, the south-east quadrant of center city was split into Washington Square East (more commonly known as Society Hill) and Washington Square West. Both neighborhoods were scheduled for urban renewal by Philadelphia's City Planning Commission and Redevelopment Authority. After a period of decline in the early 20th century, city officials hoped that redevelopment would clean up the neighborhood and clear blighted areas.

Last Drop Cofffee House

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There are lots of bars and clubs that people might like. Here is a partial list: Knock -- a great bar and a great restaurant with terrific food and a great brunch menu. Usually a large crowd of diverse patrons; More Than Just Ice Cream -- a gaybohood restaurant which serves everything from breakfast to late night meals; Tavern on Camac which has a popular dance floor, a piano bar which is always crowded, and Terra a restaurant with good food and it's own bar; Uncle's is a great neighborhood kind of bar and popular; The Venture Inn is a long time bar/restaurant that everyone knows and loves; The Westbury Bar is a great small bar that has a revitalized restaurant open for dinner only right now; The Bike Stop, our leather bar, has new owners and a continuing loyal crowd; Stir is a classy little place which hosts some great events and is a must see; Q Lounge (the name may change) is a centrally located popular bar which is also a great restaurant; Woody's continues to be popular and is a bar that has been around for a long time; iCandy is the old Twelfth Air Command that has beeen excitingly redone and is host to a number of great events. They have recently begun serving food as well (The Tuscan Tavern); Sisters is out premiere lesbian bar which is welcoming and lots of fun; Newcomers to the gayborhood, include Tabu which is a fun place to spend some time; After hours there's Voyeur, which is often an all night party!

Philly has several huge events through the year and the one that takes over the gayborhood in October (this year it's October 9th) is OUTFEST, this is an event not to be missed. Everyone comes out for this festival and you will see a wide cross section of the gay community. There's entertainment, food, and vendors all around. This is a very popular free event.

Of course, Giovanni's Room is the place to go for books and magazines. The William Way Community Center is a place to go for information and while there see what activities might be happening when you're in town. And The Alexander Inn is a cool place to stay. We've got a Film Festival (July) a Theater Festival (August) and lots of other things which usually draw big attendance.

Just walking around in the gayborhood is fun. Lots of cafes and places to sit. You get to do a lot of people watching in this always busy section of town. Almost anywhere you'll go is a gay-friendly venue, so that will make your visit easy.

There are lots more gay-friendly places. –Joseph DeMarco
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andrew potter

Hurricane Irene

sorry if I didn't follow up with my friends who were in the line of Hurrincane Irene, but I had to hospitalize my mother today and I spent all the day among various emergency rooms. Hope everything is fine for you, please post update and I will read them.
andrew potter

Vicki Baum (January 24, 1888 – August 29, 1960)

Hedwig (Vicki) Baum (Hebrew: ויקי באום‎; January 24, 1888 – August 29, 1960) was an Austrian writer. She is known for Menschen im Hotel ("People at a Hotel", 1929), one of her first international successes.

Baum was born in Vienna into a Jewish family. She began her artistic career as a musician playing the harp. She studied at the Vienna Conservatory and played in an orchestra in Germany for three years. She later worked as a journalist for the magazine Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung, published by Ullstein-Verlag in Berlin. She was married twice: first, from 1914, to Max Prels, an Austrian journalist who introduced her to the Viennese cultural scene; and, from 1916, to Richard Lert, a conductor and her best friend since their childhood days. Richard was the brother of stage director Ernst Lert. During World War I she worked for a short time as a nurse.

Baum began writing in her teens. Her first book, Frühe Schatten, was published when she was 31. She is most famous for her 1929 novel Menschen im Hotel which was made into an Academy Award winning film, Grand Hotel. She emigrated to the United States with her family after being invited to write the screenplay for the film. Her memoir, It Was All Quite Different, was published posthumously in 1964. She wrote more than 50 novels, and at least ten were adapted as motion pictures in Hollywood. Her post-World War II works were written in English, rather than in German.

Baum visited Bali in 1935 – and as a conseqeunce she wrote Liebe und Tod auf Bali (A Tale from Bali) which was published in (1937). The book was about a family that was caught in the massacre in Bali in 1906.

Vicki Baum died of leukemia in Hollywood, California, in 1960.

Vicki Baum is considered one of the first modern bestselling authors, and her books are reputed to be among the first examples of contemporary mainstream literature.

Vicki Baum’s Books on Amazon: Vicki Baum


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