As can be seen in today's edition of Tattle, the controversy over the crap kids are being fed as school lunches continues to rage. Meanwhile, the USDA just released its latest dietary guidelines, pushing more strongly than ever the concept of basing our eating around plant-based foods. And a bunch of recording artists have been working with local record producers, and with some success, to tie the two together.
Back in October I mentioned a CD called "Healthy Food for Thought: Good Enough to Eat" that was put together by a Philly-area team and features pro-bono contributions from people ranging from Julian Lennon, Moby and Sweet Honey in the Rock to local folks such as Gene Shay, Kathy O'Connell and yours truly. The point of the album was to have fun exploring healthy plant-based food options for kids, with the proceeds goingn to the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food.
So is the album any good? Well, on Sunday we'll see if it's named Best Spoken Word Album for Children, as it's been nominated for a Grammy. (Could be a tough battle, considering "Healthy Food..." is up against sentimental favorite Anne Frank among others.) To celebrate the nomination and the general release of the CD, a party was held at the end of January in the studio of the artist who contibuted the cover, a fellow by the name of Peter Max.
Daily News readers may remember our cover story a few years back about how the Philadelphia Community Access Coalition finally got City Council to approve funding for community access television in Philly a full quarter-century after it was mandated.
Since then, the city’s public-access cable outlet, PhillyCAM, has been getting squared away, setting up temporary digs, training Philadelphians and putting them on the air. On Thursday the organization announced its acquisition of a permanent home for its TV studio right around the corner from Independence Mall. Here's how PhillyCam director Gretjen Clausing (who was one of those featured on our cover way back when) explained the new development to WHYY's Newsworks:
"For me, there's still something incredibly powerful to be able to say, 'I'm going to be on TV tonight,' as opposed to saying, 'I'm going to be on the Internet,'" said Clausing. "To be able to truly create a space on the dial that is dedicated to thoughts and opinions of Philadelphians, and where people can tune in and see their neighbors and representatives, is incredibly important."
While we're in the habit of alerting you to eco-friendly content that shows up in the Daily News, it's not usually the Tattle column that we're referencing. And granted, this particular item is not crucially Philadelphia-related. But not everything we ever talk about is - and more importantly, how can Earth to Philly pass up a chance to put a photo of Salma Hayek right on our front page?
Under the heading "Going, going, green," Howard Gensler has the scoop:
The Hollywood Reporter says that Salma Hayek, Vogue editor Anna Wintour and Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter are among the notables partaking in the second annual "Bid to Save the Earth," an auction of unique environmentally friendly items hosted by Christie's.
In our last post we tipped you to a few potential stocking-stuffers for the eco-minded on your list. Those were all oriented around technology. Here's one you can give to anybody who's trying to keep up with the New Rules of Environmental Consciousness, but especially those who are parents.
As you might have gleaned from its cheeky title, Paige Wolf's Spit That Out! The Overly Informed Parent's Guide to Raising Children in the Age of Environmental Guilt is too wry to be a straightforward how-to guide, yet it does have plenty of good tips on maintaining our sanity in a world where we're supposed to keep track of our impact in every possible direction - a task that becomes even crazier when you add raising children into the mix (she's a new mother herself). It's important to remember, she says, that while "perfect" is impossible, we can all do "better."
Earth to Philly attended Paige Wolf's launch party - or at least, I did, as an authorized Earth to Philly representative - at Arcadia Boutique in Northern Liberties and took a couple minutes for a recorded chat, which we've turned into this 5-minute podcast.
I wasn't sure whether the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear would turn out to be an Earth to Philly type of event, but I wound up going down to find out. Prior to Saturday nobody seemed to be sure what exactly it was going to be, though my colleague Will Bunch apparently decided early in the week that it was a largely pointless exercise in 'slacktivism.'
The joke of it is, it may well have been that. But it was also many other things. And I'm glad I was there, because as fun as the onstage entertainment was, the real theater was in the interaction of the many attendees.
Although I got a great kick out of the many humorous signs (more on that soon), I wasn't there to further my own cause. I had gone back and forth on whether to attend and had missed the opportunity on two different buses that filled up while I vacilated. Then Weaver's Way announced a second bus, and I wound up going down that way, seeing people I knew from unexpected places. (Shout-out to longtime Dumpster Diva Ellen Benson, impressario Todd Kimmell and the team from Philly's Peace Advocacy Network.)
And that was a harbinger of the rally itself: People came from all kinds of constituencies with a full spectrum of intentions to an event that was, in essence, a DIY rally.
There were certainly people there to protest protesting, to be walking props for the satirical ideal (with signs like "Down With Toilet Seats," "Each Word On This Sign Is Spelled Correctly," "2,4,6,8... Rhyming is Hard" and "I Support This Sign").
And of course many signs specifically mocked Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and the Tea Party protests ("I Want My Country FORWARD," "Refudiate Insanity," "I'm Mad as Hell At People That Are Mad as Hell " and a black man holding a sign, "REPEAL Civil Rights - I was HAPPY at the Back of the Bus!"). Over-the-top protester Fred Phelps also got plenty of hommage, with the widely reported "GOD HATES FIGS" as well as others I saw including "GOD HATES FOG," "GOD HATES SIGNS" and "GOD HATES FOX News."
Beautiful bottle caps? Really?
Yes, really. This photo doesn't quite do justice to an art installation, called "be like water," currently on exhibit at The Skybox in Fishtown. So my imperfect words must describe what has to be the most lovely and ingenious re-use of plastic bottles and caps you'll ever gaze upon and wonder, "How did they do that?"
Better yet, you should go see it for yourself. The Skybox is the massive, two-story atrium located within 2424 Studios, at 2424 E. York St., whose lofts house eclectic businesses with a creative bent. One of the residents is art curator Eileen Tognini, who commissioned last year's funky and beautiful "Titan and the Firelies," a crazy exhibit that made wonderful use of the gallery's huge space
Did you miss the Annual Green Media Awards? I did, too, (sarcasm intended).
But they've been going on since 1991 (!). They're sponsored by the Environmental Media Association, and they're designed to recognize the entertainment industry's environmental efforts.
So... do they do have a green carpet for celebrities to walk across? And are attendees required to wear eco-friendly clothing? Just how eco-friendly do they have to be?
It's not often that we here at Earth to Philly, the Daily News eco-blog, link to something from our upstairs sibling/rival, the Inquirer. But if I didn't, I'd have to basically write out this info myself, which I had intended to do if nobody covered this - the 40th anniversary of the "South Street Renaissance." Thankfully, they did.
Longtime Philly residents (and here I mean longer-time than me - I arrived in the mid-80s) know the story of the Crosstown Expressway that was set to obliterate then-downtrodden South Street until a bunch of hippie "bohemiams" moved in and opened funky businesses that defined the South Street that's now a venerable Philly landmark.
This is especially E2P-related because two of the visionaries most responsible for pulling that off are also Dumpster Divers, for which this will serve as the latest Dispatch.
There are two eco-oriented events this weekend that Earth to Philly wants to tip you to, and after some head-scratching on how to get them across I'm just going to mash them together into this one post.
First and foremost, if you're anywhere near Manayunk, be sure to check out the EcoArts Festival going on all day Saturday and Sundy, including an Eco Car Show, the Environmental EcoArtists exhibit along the Manayunk Towpath and Canal, the Philly Film & Music Festival, The Art of Recycling Rain Barrel Project and plenty of fun for kids and their relatives. Earth to Philly will be represented, maybe by only me, but we'll be there in some form!
Secondly, something you can do for the Earth and for your overloaded medicine cabinet is to ditch any medications you've had sitting around for a while, which you know you're not going to use because either you no longer have the condition they were prescribed for or you figure they've probably gone "off" by now. Clean those out and take them to a DEA drop-off point for the National Take-Back Initiative to be safely disposed of
Philadelphia's blossoming fashion season is in full swing, what with everything that has been going on - 17 Days of Fashion, the recent announcement of the city-organized Philadelphia Collection 2010 and various Philadelphia Fashion Week events.
If you're in the fashion crowd, then you know it has been one cocktail party and fashion show after another for a couple of weeks now and more are to come. Things won't be slowing down until October when there'll be another Philadelphia Fashion Week series of events.
So the timing's good for GreenFest Philly, an annual one-day street festival on South Street. The day is this Sunday, September 12, and everything will be in the region of of 2nd and South. The focus this year will be on sustainable fashion (read today's YO! cover story for a similarly "fashionable" eco-event coming up in Manayunk).
Denise Shardlow Designs of Elkins Park and Veronica Page Designs are among the designers who'll be showacasing eco-friendly fashions during the fashion shows. (1:30 p.m. street wear and 3 p.m. high fashion).
No extra money to buy new clothes this year? Recessionista fashionistas should check on the festival's clothing swap which will be on Second Street between between Pine and Lombard from 11 a.m until 5 p.m. Items that don't get snapped up will be donated to Project Home.