Category: Community Life

  • Dog sitting vignettes

    One of my favourite things about living in North Philly is the constant exchange of cultures. I love when friends from other neighbourhoods visit so I can watch their reactions to a foreign environment. Moreover, I enjoy watching my neighbours’ reactions to my non-North Philly friends/visitors. There was a point last year when I was probably unhealthily…

  • Advent and the City

    Advent and the City

    We stared at the piece of plastic and sank into the futon.  Positive.  We were sure of it even as our minds struggled to grasp the enormity and totality of its meaning.  Positive.  Were we ready for this, for anything?  Positive.  We were going to be parents.

  • Health Education Inside and Outside Philly Schools

    My neighbours, McHale (15) and Yahsair (13) came over the other evening. The three of us ate yogurt with granola for dinner. M: Yahsair, you’re gonna like this. It says organic yogurt. And organic granola. Y: This is delicious. Is granola always like this? Me: No, this is the sugary kind. That’s why y’all like…

  • Only as an urban resident – Ep. 1

    A prequel: Episode 1 – Lil’ Annikin Shihiem is the third out of 10 living children born to his mother. Mom started having kids at age 16. Daddies took turns fathering children while taking turns in and out of jail. At age 4, Shihiem set the curtains on fire. The firefighters came and found him…

  • Brown and Bubbles: Why Ferguson and Wilmington Are Alike

    Brown and Bubbles: Why Ferguson and Wilmington Are Alike

    “Hey, Bubbles has a gift for you.  He’s been looking for you, since you saved his life,” my neighbor said casually.  I was somewhat surprised; Bubbles (not his real street name) was a young man whom I met while administering first aid for an injury sustained on my block.  Bubbles had a critical wound to his chest, and…

  • Maybe I should have taken grappling lessons

    The other day, I texted a friend, “Today my assistant put a kid in a headlock while his grandmother straddled him so that I could remove his tooth. Horrible experience!” She responded, “Headlock and straddling? Taken out of context, I’m pretty sure I could have you all arrested.” Lawyer friends are the best! Alas, not all…