Thursday, October 11, 2007

Brother, Can You Spare Some Love?

For those interested in stalking GayProf, you will have that opportunity this weekend in Philadelphia. I am emerging from my Midwestern seclusion to present a paper at an academic conference.

Presenting at conferences usually stresses me out. This is especially the case given that I am trying out material from my next project (No, the Never Ending Project of Doom has not ended. I just thought that working on two projects at the same time would be crazy foolhardy sick okay). All the same, I wanted feedback on the direction that I am heading. At least, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

So that you can share in my travels, here are some things that you might or might not know about Philadelphia:

    * Philadelphia is currently the sixth largest city in the nation.

    * Philadelphia police dropped a bomb from a helicopter on a house containing a radical organization in 1985. It killed eleven people, five of whom were children. The fire spread throughout the neighborhood.

    * I often think of Philadelphia as the Boston that went wrong in the second part of the twentieth century.

    * Philadelphia was the largest city in the United States until 1830.

    * Despite its name, Philadelphia-brand cream cheese was first produced in 1880 in New York. As a marketing gimmick, the producer called it “Philadelphia Cream Cheese” because he thought that the city of Philadelphia would add a touch of class to his product.

    * Philadelphia had the first public library in [what would become] the United States which opened in 1731.

    * The Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and agreed to creating a nation independent of Britain. Their meeting rooms are now known as Independence Hall.

    * Today, Independence Hall has no public restrooms once you have cleared security. This is something that I learned the hard way the last time that I was in Philadelphia.

    * The American Philosophical Society was founded in Philadelphia in 1743 by Ben Franklin. It would compete with Boston’s American Academy of Arts and Sciences, founded by John Adams in 1780.

    * Philadelphia has one of six facilities operated by the U.S. Treasury. The mint in Philadelphia produces coins of all denominations for circulation in the U.S.

    * Betsy Ross lived in Philadelphia where she allegedly stitched the first flag. Others attribute the design of the U.S. flag to Francis Hopkinson, a delegate from New Jersey.

    * The nation’s first carpet factory opened in Philadelphia in 1791.

    * Philadelphia saw the first comic book produced in the United States, the John-Donkey, in 1848.

    * Delegates drafted the Constitution of the United States, the document that currently dictates the structure of the government, in Philadelphia in 1787. Contrary to many people’s presumptions, Thomas Jefferson did not attend this event as he was residing in France at the time. He did write home, though, to criticize it.

    * The film The Philadelphia Story ended Katharine Hepburn's reputation as "box office poison" when it became a major hit in 1940.

    * Jazz legend Ethel Waters got her start singing blues in Philadelphia.

    * Slightly more women (53% of the population) live in Philadelphia today than men.

    * Over 43 percent of the city’s population identify themselves as African American. Only 8.5 percent identify themselves as Latino.

    * Philadelphia was the site of a major celebration in 1876, marking the centennial of the nation. The efforts by people in 1976 to mark the bicentennial were quite pathetic in comparison.

    * Served as the temporary capitol of the United States in the 1790s until Washington, D.C. was built.

    * Philadelphia Freedom was the number one song in the U.S. in 1975. It was a tribute to tennis player Billie Jean King, who played on the team the Philadelphia Freedoms. Just two years earlier, King defeated Bobby Riggs in a “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match.

    * Billie Jean King was born in Long Beach, California.

    * The Society of Friends seems like one of the more reasonable of organized Christian groups in existence today.

    * Current chart-topper P!nk started singing in clubs in Philadelphia when she was 14.

    * Last year, 406 people were murdered in Philadelphia Over 10,500 people were victims of aggravated assault.

    * It has been almost two years since GayProf last visited Philadelphia. The citizens of the city have cried out to heaven and wondered why I have forsaken them. Now their wait has ended.


dykewife said...

i thought it was new york city cops who bombed the house.

Doug said...

I've been crying out to heaven for a visit from GayProf, but my pleas have gone unanswered. Or rather, the answer has been, "NO!"

Have fun in Phillie. Relax and enjoy your presentation. *hugs*

StinkyLulu said...

I'm at the same conference.
I'll be stalkin'!

vuboq said...

Hm. And I don't have anything planned this weekend ...

I love Philly. Have fun. Good luck with your presentation. Hang out at Woody's.

Steven said...

Since Halloween is approaching, I thought I would attend your lecture series in a Wonder Woman costume. Bracelets and magic lasso included. ;-)

Thanks for the tidbits on Philly. I always think of the movie of the same name starring Denzel Washington whenever Philadelphia is mentioned. Which then prompts the memory of the title song by Springsteen.

pacalaga said...

Wow. I enjoyed the area a lot when I went years ago for a business trip. (Admittedly, it was because I was near the area where Witness was filmed and I may have walked on hallowed Harrison Ford-touched ground.) Now I have two reasons to go back: Harrison Ford and GayProf touched ground. Sigh.

David said...

I too will be in Philly this weekend! Saturday evening I am visiting with friends who recently adopted a baby, where I will stay overnight. Sunday I am meeting up with a group from my community theatre production of 1776 for a fact-finding tour. I'd love to meet up but not sure if time will permit.

Roger Green said...

My ex lived in Philly after we split up, so I've been there a few times trying to make peace, which we ultimately did.

Marius said...

Some of my maternal ancestors are from Pennsylvania. Anyway, I hope you have a great trip. You and Stinkylulu should get together, and then blog about each other. That would be fun. :)

Also, thanks for the history lesson.

Cooper said...

I always learn something from your posts. In this case basically the only thing I knew of Philadelphia was the cream cheese, which I eat almost everyday, and that turned out to be just a nominal name. Oh, and the movie of the same name starring Tom Hanks. You could say I was Philadelphia challenged.

Yes, "it's so lonely without GayProf".

tornwordo said...

Yes, my invites go spurned as well doug.

You really like to do research. If only history class was as entertaining as this, I might have retained something, lol.

Laverne said...

I've never been.

Although, you left out any information about that wonderful, tastebud-pleasing, heart attack-inducing cheesesteak sandwich.

Oh, how I love them.

And they're really hard to find here in California.

Les said...

Worth noting that cops not only bombed the house, they actively prevented firefighters from doing anything to save the black neighborhood as blocks burned to the ground. I don't recall if the newly homeless folks were ever compensated for their losses. I do recall hearing an interview where one of the neighbors really regretted asking the police to get involved. They didn't like the PUSH organization either, as they were loud and annoying. But, obviously, would rather have loud and annoying neighbors and an unburned house.

bardelf said...

My only experiences with Philadelphia are flying into the airport once, and seeing its nice skyline at night from Camden, NJ.

Had it not been for the power of the Virginia founding fathers, Philadelphia would have surely become the permanent capital of the US. The Virginia delegation pursuaded others to construct a city on the Potomac, which of course is Washington.

Enjoy your stay and best of luck with presenting your paper.

Mike said...

The group house that was bombed was inhabited by MOVE.

Philadelphia was also home to two long-running television shows for awhile...American Bandstand and the Mike Douglas Show.

Earl Cootie said...

All I know about Philadelphia I learned from The Sixth Sense, Pesky Apostrophe, and GayProf.

Tenured Radical said...

But...but....we were in the same hotel and didn't meet!

I am devastated.