Phillies: Week 2 and 3

The Phillies have struggled to start the season as they sit at 9-8 and are second in the division behind the Florida Marlins. The starting rotation has been a weak spot and they lead the league in home runs allowed.

After the team won the series opener on Monday the 13th after learning of the death of Harry Kalas, they were off for the next two days because of a scheduled off-day and a rainout. The offense struggled in the series finale and Joe Blanton gave up early runs. The bullpen was bad late in the game and the Phils dropped the game 8-2. It was the first loss for Blanton since being acquired last July.

The team returned home for a four game series with the San Diego Padres. In the opener on Friday, the team had many special tributes to Kalas including dedicating the television broadcast booth to him. The team jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the first inning and eventually a 7-1 lead. Chase Utley hit his second homer in that first inning. The Padres crept back into the game and made it 7-5 heading into the eighth inning. Ryan Madson struggled and gave up three runs and Greg Dobbs was thrown out at the plate late in the game in the 8-7 loss. Cole Hamels was better but not great in the loss.

On Saturday afternoon before the night game, the team held a public viewing and memorial for Harry Kalas. Many former Phillies were in attendance and many spoke in a very nice tribute. The private funeral was held later in the week.

In the game, Brett Myers pitched pretty well and gave the team a chance to win. The game was pretty close and tied until the eighth inning. In the top half of the inning, the Padres got another run off Madson. In the bottom half, Chase Utley tied the game and gave the Phils the lead with one swing of the bat. However, Mr. Automatic, Brad Lidge managed to blow his first save as a Phillie and gave up four runs in the 9th and the Phillies dropped the game 8-5. Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez also homered.

On Sunday, Chan Ho Park took to the mound and pitched okay but the Phils found themselves down 4-0 after five innings. In the 6th, Chase Utley made it a two-run game with a homer. Jimmy Rollins hit a pinch-hit homer in the 8th. The new guy, Raul Ibanez, came through in the 9th and hit a walk-off two run homer. The final score was 5-4. The series finale was rained out.

The game on Tuesday against Milwaukee was a high-scoring game that involved a really long rain delay. Jamie Moyer took to the mound. After the first inning the Phillies had a 4-1 lead. They blew open the game and had an 11-3 lead after the sixth inning. There was a 1:18 rain delay in the 7th. The Brewers added another run and lost 11-4. Pedro Feliz homered in the game.

Ironically, the offense completely shutdown on a windy Wednesday night against the Brewers. Joe Blanton pitched very well and was the tough-luck loser. Jayson Werth broke the shutout with a solo homer to deep center in the 9th. The final score was 3-1.

Cole Hamels looked like he returned to his old self as he struck out 6 in over three innings. He gave up 2 runs but left in the fourth after being hit in the shoulder by a line drive off the bat of Prince Fielder. The Brewers scored three more runs in the 5th. The Phillies were no hit until there was one out in the 8th inning. Matt Stairs hit a pinch-hit home run. They eventually lost the game 6-1 as they headed to Florida for the weekend.

In the 1st inning on Friday, Brett Myers gave up three runs on a homer and the offense did not get started at all. Until the 9th inning. They put up seven runs on the Marlins closer including a grand slam by Shane Victorino. Chase Utley also homered. The final score was 7-3.

On Saturday it was more of the same in a way. Chan Ho Park, starting pitcher, started the offense with a home run in the third. Ryan Howard homered in the 4th. The Marlins came back and led the game 4-3 going into the ninth. The Phils came back again and forced extra innings. They won it with two in the 10th. Brad Lidge recorded his first save since his first blown save.

On Sunday, the team finally got their first win without having to come back. The game was a blowout but they only lead 4-1 after the fifth inning. Jamie Moyer turned in a fantastic pitching performance. In the 7th and 8th, the Phillies batted around and combined to score nine runs. They won the game 13-2. A Marlins outfielder pitched the ninth inning.

The team returns home on Monday for a three game series against the Nationals. The Mets will be here on the weekend.

You can contact Colin Fry at

It’s all over

The Flyers season has unfortunately come to an end and it happened to be on a bad note. The off-season has now begun and some changes are probably in store.

After the Flyers took Game 3 at home, it was crucial to come out with a strong effort and hopefully a win after Game 4. However, Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury had something to say about that. The Flyers threw everything at him and he was outstanding. He made some spectacular saves as well. The game was scoreless after one.

In the second, the Penguins picked up there play and potted home two goals in less than five minutes than in the first half of the period. Sidney Crosby and Tyler Kennedy were the goal scorers. They Penguins had only four other shots in the period compared to the Flyers’ 15.

In the third period, the shot margin was bigger. The Flyers added 19 more shots to their game total of 46. They finally cracked Fleury a little more than halfway into the third when Dan Carcillo fired home a shot on a pass from Mike Richards on a great shift from the line. The crowd exploded after that goal and did not stop until the end of the game.

But that was all they could get past Fleury. Maxime Talbot added an empty-netter to seal the game and put the Penguins up 3-1 in the series after the 3-1 win.

The teams went back to Pittsburgh for a possible elimination game. Before this game, the Flyers had only one once in the past two seasons in Pittsburgh. The first period was the opposite of Game 4 as the Pens outplayed the Flyers, out shooting them 15-5.

The Flyers played a lot better from the second period. The team got a break in the early parts of the second when Carcillo made a drop pass to Arron Asham who blistered a shot pass Fleury, a shot which he probably should have stopped.

The game remained 1-0 until the third when Claude Giroux deposited his second of the playoffs off a rebound from a Darroll Powe shot. Another rebound caused another goal when Mike Knuble finally scored off a Mike Richards shot.

Marty Biron turned in his best performance of the playoffs with 28 saves in the shutout win. The series was forced to a Game 6, again another elimination game for the Flyers in front of their fans this time.

The crowd was fired up for Game 6 and it seemed to give the Flyers a boost out of the gate. The Flyers came out with some jump but the Penguins were able to counteract that with some pressure of their own.

Late in the period, the Flyers had a good rush which resulted in a couple chances, one of which bounced a puck right in front of the net. Knuble came in and buried it home for the 1-0 lead. The crowd got going again and didn’t have to wait long to get more fired up. Joffrey Lupul put home his first of the playoffs 51 seconds later.

In the second, crowd favorite Sidney Crosby took a penalty. Simon Gagne led Danny Briere ahead with a great pass and he gave the Flyers a 3-0 lead 21 seconds into the power play. It seemed that the game was over, at least I thought it was.

Seconds after that goal, Maxime Talbot coaxed Dan Carcillo into a fight. It seemed to change the momentum. After that, the Penguins scored two goals in about two minutes, both former Flyers. The two goal scorers were Ruslan Fedotenko and Mark Eaton. Late in the period, they managed to tie the game when Crosby batted home a puck.

The tie was broken early in the third when Sergei Gonchar drilled home a slapshot from just inside the point. The Flyers could do nothing as Fleury returned to his Game 4 form and stopped everything in sight, including a big save on Lupul at the end of the game to seal the win. Crosby added an empty-netter for the 5-3 win.

And with that the season ended. It was a very disappointing end to a good season. The good thing is the Flyers will have their core players here for a long time. The team will probably look different in some aspects, but I am sure they will return next year and hopefully make a good run.

The key free agent is Marty Biron. He along with Antero Nittymaki will be up for grabs July 1. So the goalie situation could be completely different. The only free agent defenseman is Andrew Alberts while Mike Knuble is the only forward who is not under contract.

Well the season is over, but the off season has just begun and we will see what will happen.

You can contact Colin Fry at

Ace Ender’s

The line outside the Trocadero Theater on April 23 weaved its way down the sidewalk past all the shops and wrapped itself around the corner of Arch and 11th as kids waited to fill in to see Ace Ender’s and A Million Different People. Security had to keep pushing kids into a straight line, but the hungry crowd just wasn’t having it.

By the time doors opened, many were surprised that the sold out show was being held up on the Balcony stage, which from the looks of it could barely hold 100 people. At 7:45 p.m. the first act took the stage – The Gayblades.

Imagine The White Stripes’ simple rock fused together with David Bowies persona and this is the band that you would get. Simple, crazy and flamboyant. The lead singer is all about the high shrills and awkward cries and loves to remind the crowd that it is all about him.

Their act was entertaining enough until front man Clark Westfield started making rude comments about a big guy in the crowd. Westfield continued to call the kid names and saying things like “fatty clap with us.”

At this point in the show I was ready to leave because I was so sick of how this human was treating a fan. Westfield dropped the name calling soon after when he must have realized no one found it amusing.

Next up was Seattle natives This Providence, a very mellow band with obvious influences from the band Copland. I was able to sit down with their drummerAndy Horst who said that not only were they huge fans of Copeland, but that it was a dream come true for them to be a part of Copeland’s current headlining tour.

They will be with Copeland till the end of April and then in August they will be playing a few dates of this summers Vans Warped Tour.

This Providence was a huge crowd pleaser with many people in the crowd pushing through the sea of people to get a closer look at the band, all the while singing along to the heartfelt lyrics.

Around 9 p.m., a funny thing happened. Ace Enders himself took the stage for a special performance of his 2004 side project, I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business.

Sharing the stage with him was the original line up – Jeff Krummer, Bill Lugg and Chris Badami. Krummer and Lugg were also in Enders’ other band, The Early November, who broke up back in April of 2007. Badami has been Ender’s long time friend and producer who has engineered and produced all of his work up until his latest release with his new band.

Enders stated in the middle of the set that that night was the first night that I Can Make A Mess had shared the stage in over three years. Even though it was a special reunion show for the band, they still played a solid set which included all the fan favorites off the album like “Timshel” and “Whispering.”

After opening for himself, Ace Enders remained on stage while his next band formed around him. Ace Enders and A Million Different people ended the night with a heartfelt and energetic set which included the songs “Bring Back The Love (Year 2020),” “The Only Thing I Have Left” and “Reaction.”

With his whole family there, Ender’s recalled that he was so happy and honored to see so many familiar faces in the crowed and even pointed to a few that he personally remembered seeing at past shows.

After their, set he walked off the stage and into the crowd, because that night Ace Enders just wasn’t the front man of a band – he was just an ordinary person that night on the Balcony at the Trocadero, sharing a few songs he had written for his friends and family.

You can contact Eric Povish at

As I lay Dying

“For some reason or another we have this thing we consider the Philly curse,” As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis sat across from me in the band’s dimly lit tour bus scanning the floor with his light blue eyes searching for the nicest way to say that Philly brings the band the worst of luck.

“Not with anything about the show or the crowd, but usually everything seems to break when we’re here.” He told me. “I don’t know why. We love the crowd, we love being here, but we’re always scared that we’re going to get on stage and nothing is going to work.”

San Diego natives As I Lay Dying preceded Lamb of God at the sold out Electric Factory show on April 19. The crowded mass of people wrapped around the Factory from the front doors – where security guards yelled instructions on what not to bring into the venue and what do to if your friend falls in the pit – all the way to the front end of As I Lay Dying’s tour bus.

Amped, they waited patiently for 6 p.m. when the anticipation for God Forbid, Children of Bodom, As I Lay Dying, and metal legends and Philly favorites Lamb of God would end and the brutality would commence. Tim and I sat, shielded from the wind and cold, chatting about their recently released dvd and our mutual love for the Troc.

“Usually, we play the Trocadero,” Lambesis commented. “It’s nice because that place is big but it’s not so big that you lose that intimacy. It’s the best of both worlds.”

As I Lay Dying joined this tour only a couple days before the Factory show, the original plan was to headline their own tour and continue to promote their most recent album An Ocean Between Us and DVD documentary, but found that jumping on a U.S. tour with Lamb of God, rather than competing against them, sounded like a better plan.

And they were right! A sold out venue, two simultaneous circle pits (on more than one occasion), and a wall of death were indisputable confirmation that Lambesis and his fellow group mates Nic Hipa (Guitar), Jordan Macino (drums) and Phil Sgrosso (guitar) made the right choice. As I Lay Dying’s performance was a perfect illustration of Tim’s description of their sound.

“I would say it definitely fits under the bigger genre of metal. It’s got all the aggression and energy of death metal with a lot of double bass and really fast beats that’s kind of blended with the really melodic side with the guitars. Our music comes across as very melodic given how heavy it is.”

Lambesis’ towered over the rest of the band on stage with his long lean body and lengthy tattooed limbs, jumping and head banging in unison with his band mates, giving their performance that extra metal edge and proving them worthy to share the stage with the masters of metal that followed.

They definitely earned and maintained Philly’s respect which is more than I can say for the show openers Municipal Waste who were booed about three songs into their set. Well, maybe Municipal Waste will be able to change Killadelphia’s mind on May 9th when the entire line up from April’s date returns to distribute more pain and metal.

You can contact DaVonne Armstrong at

Art Thou: Bernard Katz

I’ve always been interested in glass art and sculpture. It’s fascinating the way an artist can mold a small cylinder of hot glass and shape it to any dream the artist can weave. It has always reminds me of somehow taking water and making it into a solid form that can never be melted back to it’s liquid state.

This past weekend, I met Bernard Katz, a glass artist who works in his shop at Sharp Street, Manayunk. His work spans from literal pieces like his “Tree and Root series,” to much more free form collections like his sculptural “Hozhoni” series.

Most of his tree and root pieces stem (no pun intended) from his earlier years. Most likely, this was a time when he was trying to find his hand at glass. He was getting used to the shapes and scales, still trying to prove himself as a skilled glass blower.

Today however, Katz is creating glass with more meaning. Pieces like “the Shidoni in Scarlet” involve more than one glass object. The idea is to look at both objects and recognize how they come together with both their shape and the space between them.

Shidoni in Scarlet involves two glass objects in the shape of upside-down commas. The scene is supposed to portray the image of a mother and her child. Both objects face each other but one, the mother, is largest. The object symbolizing the child has what would be its head, somewhat pointed down, while the mother’s head hangs over top in a comforting position.

It’s like they are hugging without arms.

Both pieces glow a vibrant orange in the light of Katz’s gallery, which is kept in a small corner of the workshop. It’s important to take notice of how light will affect a glass piece. In most cases, the way the glass can bend the light to the shape of the piece’s form, is the trait that makes the glass most beautiful.

One thing that made me relate to Katz is when he told me of the constant struggle he endures when it comes to thinking up a new piece. He said that in order to create a truly original glass piece, the mind must be free and completely forgetful of what the eye has seen as beautiful. This is an extremely difficult state of mind to achieve.

I find it uncommon for an artist to reveal the real struggles he must go through in order to create. However, because of this, I believe Katz is more real and relatable than most artists I have met. His arrogance and his ego were conquered and batted off long ago. I can tell all from this small confession.

When he creates a piece, Katz will work with a group of two or three. What could be better! To create art with your friends, it has to be one of the most empowering and fulfilling jobs to know that your friends are behind your creations, that they have the same feelings that you have toward a piece. It’s like everyone is involved in some sort of art mission or movement.

I recommend a visit to Katz’s workshop to experience the process of blowing glass first-hand.

You can contact Andy Stettler at

We have a Series

We are through three games in the Eastern Conference Quarter-final between the Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Despite a slow start, a strong Game 3 has help kept the Flyers in this series as we enter Game 4 on Tuesday night.

On Wednesday in Game 1, the Flyers were thoroughly dominated in every aspect for almost the whole game. The Flyers main problem were that they were very undisciplined and gave the Penguins nine power plays.

The Flyers first penalty gave the Penguins a lead quickly when their captain, Sidney Crosby beat Marty Biron for 1-0 advantage. The Flyers were somehow able to withstand the onslaughts by the Penguins offense for the rest of the period. Less than two minutes into the second, a 3-on-1 by the Pens gave them another goal from gritty forward Tyler Kennedy.

The Pens put the game away in the third in less than four minutes when another superstar, Evgeni Malkin, and former Flyer Mark Eaton both beat Biron. The Flyers lone goal of the game came when Mike Richards hit the post for the third time and the rebound went right to Simon Gagne who put the puck in the net. The final score was 4-1.

Although the Flyers gave up many power plays and not many goals because of them, they were not letting themselves get many chances on Penguin goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Dan Carcillo was suspended for Game 2 after hitting Pittsburgh forward Max Talbot in the head with a stick at the end of the game. Luca Sbisa was inserted into the lineup after being recalled from the Phantoms along with Jared Ross.

Friday in Game 2, the Flyers were better in every aspect of the game but it did not end up in their favor. The team only took five penalties in this game but two ended up being very crucial. The Flyers took their first lead of the series when Scott Hartnell deflected in a shot from Matt Carle on the power play. This was the only goal of the period.

In the second, the Flyers held off a flurry by the Pens which they had to do in all periods as they were desperate for the tying goal. They were able to hold that lead until late in the second when a wrist shot from the top of the circle by Bill Guerin beat Biron.

It took the Flyers little time to re-gain the lead when Darroll Powe ripped home a wrist shot quickly into the third period. The turning point of the game came when Jeff Carter was somehow stopped by Fleury when he had an open net staring at him.

Not long after, a power play ended up giving the Penguins the lead when Malkin deflected in a shot from the point. This pushed the game into overtime. In the playoffs, it is a continuous 20-minute period until someone scores.

The teams went back and forth and each goalie was very good for most of the overtime. The Flyers got a power play with less than five minutes and a huge chance to even the series. It was wasted when Mike Knuble was called for a penalty. The parade to the box continued when Claude Giroux took a slashing penalty which gave the Penguins a 5-on-3 power play. Of course, the Penguins scored and took a 2-0 series lead.

As the venue changed, it seemed that the series did. The Flyers came out flying and took it to Pittsburgh. In about the first five minutes, both Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, on the power play, both scored for the early lead.

Despite playing so well, the Flyers seemed like they were going to lose control when the Pens scored twice in 25 seconds. One goal came at the end of the first and the beginning of the second.

However, it lifted them and they scored two goals on beautiful plays that both involved Claude Giroux. He received a very nice pass from Danny Briere for an easy goal. He then made a great individual play to feed Simon Gagne for a shorthanded goal. That made it 4-2.

Rookie Jared Ross, from Hunstville, Alabama, iced the game in the third period on a nice pass from Andrew Alberts. Gagne added an empty-net goal after Evgeni Malkin scored another one. The final was 6-3.

The two teams combined for 22 penalties. Dan Carcillo did return. Game 4 will be Tuesday in Philly and Game 4 will be back in Pittsburgh on Thursday. If necessary, Game 6 will be at home on Saturday.

You can contact Colin Fry at

To see 17 Again

Only minutes into 17 Again, I was already laughing at the colorful cast and comical situations.

17 Again first shows us Mike O’Donnell (Matthew Perry) as a middle-aged man working in pharmaceutical sales for a large company that doesn’t appreciate him. He is a father of two, with a wife who is in the process of divorcing him because she is tired of him complaining about how his life turned out.

We then get to flash back in time to high-school Mike (Zac Efron) who has a promising basketball career until he throws it all away to take care of his high school girlfriend who he got pregnant and made his wife.

While walking through the hallways of his old high school, Mike has a run-in with the janitor and is given the option of going back in time to re-live his high school years. He takes it.

With the help of then and now best friend Ned Gold (Thomas Lennon), Mike enrolls at the high school he graduated from.

It is comical to see Zac Efron strolling through the hallways in his Ed Hardy gear only to see him acting and thinking like Matthew Perry. It is also hilarious to see the way Mike’s soon-to-be ex-wife Scarlet O’Donnell (Leslie Mann) responds to the young Mike.

She plays with his face and tells her friend that he looks exactly like her husband in high school. The two of them continue to form a strange bond throughout the movie.

The turning point of the movie is when Mike realizes he is not here to change his career or himself but rather to help his kids, Alex (Sterling Knight) and Maggie (Michelle Trachtenberg).

He helps Alex get the confidence to play a key role on the basketball team and also, to get the girl. He also guides Maggie as she is treated poorly in a relationship with a bad guy and is there to support her when he dumps her for not putting out.

Just when Mike is getting his chance to make it big with his basketball career again, he runs after Scarlet and instantly turns back into the old Mike.

The movie is wholesome and leaves you feeling like you shouldn’t regret or want to change the past but only move forward to create your future.

17 Again was fun, funny and relatable for people of all ages. While there were quite a few laughs during the movie, I may have seen a few tears in the theater at the end.

You can contact Kate Hollinger at

Phillies, sweat and tears

The Phillies first full week of play was one that started out with celebration of their World Series Championship and one that ended in sadness for all Phillies fans.

A struggle to find offense on Sunday night continued Tuesday when the Phillies continued their series with the Braves. Before they had a chance to bat, the Fightins were down 2-0 when Jamie Moyer gave up a lead-off home run and another run in the first inning.

The Phillies only managed six hits and no runs against Atlanta pitching. The Braves scored two more runs off Moyer on there way to a 4-0 win. Don’t be alarmed, the Phillies lately have been slow starters out of the gate of a new season.

On Wednesday, the Phillies World Series celebration concluded for now as the team received their rings in a ceremony before the game. Pat Burrell did return along with other former Phillies from last year, including Adam Eaton who was booed. Broadcaster Harry Kalas threw out the first pitch.

When the game got underway, it was all Braves as they flew out of the gates again. By the third inning, Joe Blanton was gone and it was 7-2 Braves. Raul Ibanez hit the Phillies first homer of the season in the second inning. By the time the Phillies batted in the seventh inning it was 10-3 Atlanta.

Then, somehow, the Phillies exploded for eight runs. The team had only four hits as the Braves loaded the bases and walked in four runs. Ibanez, Pedro Feliz, Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard were the only ones that got the bat on a ball to knock in a run. Matt Stairs, Chase Utley, Chris Coste and Jimmy Rollins all walked in runs. After it was all said and done the Phillies led 11-10 after the inning.

The Phils added another run on an Eric Bruntlett sacrifice fly in the eighth. Brad Lidge gave up a run but kept his saves streak in tact and the Phils won 12-11.

The team was off until Friday when they traveled to Colorado. Cole Hamels started Friday and struggled mightily only lasting 3 2/3 innings while giving up seven runs and eleven hits. The offense struggled as well except for Jayson Werth who was 4-4 with a home run and two doubles. Pedro Feliz knocked in two runs in the 10-3 loss.

Brett Myers toed the rubber on Saturday night and turned in the best pitching performance of the season. He struggled with the long ball again giving up three of them which accounted for all of Colorado’s offense against Myers and the Phils.

The Phils were down early when Ryan Howard hit a bases clearing double in the third. After a Colorado homer, Jayson Werth stayed hot hitting a two-run triple giving the Phillies the lead for good. Raul Ibanez later homered and Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz knocked in runs.

Myers lasted seven innings giving up the four runs. He struck out six for the win. Brad Lidge finished off the 8-4 win but it was not a save. Before the game, Carlos Ruiz was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained oblique. He suffered and later aggravated the injury in Friday’s loss. Lou Marson was recalled from Triple-A.

After winning the 5th starter’s job and making a relief appearance earlier in the week, Chan Ho Park made his first start as a Phillie. He was rocked for four runs in the first inning and the Phillies were down 5-1 after two innings. Park only lasted 3 1/3 innings giving up five runs and seven hits while walking three and striking out two. He was later saved by the bullpen and the offense.

Werth stayed hot and he made it 5-3 when he knocked in Chase Utley in both the fourth and sixth innings. Utley then tied the game in the eighth inning with a two-run homer. In the 9th, Matt Stairs hit a monster pinch-hit two-run home run to give the Phillies the lead and the win 7-5. Brad Lidge closed out the game. This game ended up being a lasting memory for Phillies fans.

Monday, the Phillies were set to open a three-game series with the Washington Nationals, their home opener. Around 12:30 PM, broadcaster Harry Kalas collapsed and was found in the visiting booth in Nationals Park. He was rushed to George Washington University Hospital and was said to be in serious condition. At 1:20 PM, Harold Norbert Kalas passed away at the age of 73. The cause of death is unknown. Kalas was in his 39th year of broadcasting for the Phillies. He was also the voice for NFL Films. He leaves behind a wife and three kids.

The game did go on. The Phillies and Nats went back-and-forth and combined for six homeruns. Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez went deep for the Phillies who pulled out a 9-8 win. Jamie Moyer picked up the win and Brad Lidge saved the game.

Team President David Montgomery on the loss of Harry Kalas, “We lost our voice.”

As a Phillies fan, I grew up listening to Harry and learned about baseball from him. I, along with many other Phillies and baseball fans, will miss Harry Kalas and his famous homerun calls. “Watch that babyyy, outta here.”

The Phillies are off Tuessday and have postponed their scheduled visit to the White House. The series in Washington will conclude on Wednesday and Thursday. The Phillies will open a four-game home series against the San Diego Padres on Friday.

You can contact Colin Fry at

Art Thou: The House of Esherick

Click here to view the newest Art Thou multimedia pieces: Art Thou: The House of Esherick

From Cezanne, to The Philadelphia Magic Gardens, every week I am in awe of the variety and scale of the art in the Greater Philadelphia Region.

I have to admit after finishing a multimedia piece or a print article; I do worry about how I will top that week’s art adventure. But somehow, each week, I feel that I have found another piece that lives up to the previous week.

This week, I found Wharton Esherick’s house. This painter, gone wood carver and sculptor decided one day to turn the architecture of his home into a work of art.

His garage made of wood surrounds a metallic chimney that twists as it rises. Pulling up to the home and garage, which have been turned into museums, a Dr. Seuss story crosses the mind.

A piece of structure that the Brothers Grimm would find inspirational, the roof of Esherick’s garage dips inward, allowing the rest of the structure to avoid a design with straight lines.

Both the garage and Esherick’s house have been converted into a museum, which was marked as a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior. A tour of Esherick’s home is worth the sunny afternoon drive through Valley Forge to Paoli.

Entering his home, on a wall by the door, Esherick has hospitably carved coat hooks on a wall in the shape of those who have helped him build the house. Only a small detail of the entirely wooden house compared to the wooden spiral staircase highway in the entranceway.

An important thing to remember about Esherick is that he was simply a creative person who decided to be creative with the home how his house would look and attend to his practical lifestyle.

His bedroom, found at the top of one of the spiral staircases, holds a bed raised high enough to let the artist look out the window while in bed.

But to prove Esherick’s practicality, he built long, shallow shelves, finding that the design not only saves space in the room, but also, the shelves are shallow so that he does not have to search for what he is looking for. The all of the shelves contents are visible upon first glance.

In the family room, where there was once no underground floor, Esherick has built a sculpture well. In order to fight a termite infestation, he dug into a large area of the bottom floor. He kept the hole in order to have a place for his tallest wooden sculptures, which reaches over 10 feet tall.

Beyond the carvings on his furniture, Esherick is known as an innovative furniture designer. His designs are both comfortable and strong. He loved the idea of refrigerator lights. So he built drawers on the upper half of one of his desks that, when pulled open, illuminate the table top with electric light. This desk was built as a placeholder for Esherick’s papers while his actual desk was to be featured in a museum. The museum actually took this desk instead.

You can contact Andy Stettler at

Phantom triump in final

Click here to view the Phantoms multimedia piece Phantoms Triumph in Finale

One final game! Victory was the only prescription for the Phantoms.

Philadelphia’s American Hockey League team, the Phantoms, came and delivered to the packed crowd at the Wachovia Spectrum on Friday, April 10. Fan’s stretched for miles for the fun, excitement and love for hockey.

Since their inception in 1996, the Phantoms have won two Calder Cups in 1998 and 2005. On Feb. 4, Comcast Spectator had reached an agreement to sell the Phantoms to the Brooks Group of Pittsburg.

The new ownership has shown interest in moving the Phantoms to Allentown Pa.. Until an arena is built, the team will have to start their 2009-10 season in a temporary location that still remains unknown.

Although for many, being the Phantoms last home game at the Spectrum, this historic event would seem to be a sad and momentous time. Not in the eyes of the Phantoms. Being the last home game gave more reason to celebrate.

The game may not have started until 7:05 p.m., but the commemorating began two hours prior. Radio stations provided the music and fans provided the moments and recollections that made this night; a night to remember.

At 7:05 p.m. the stands were pack and ready for a victory. The Phantoms played their final regular season home game at the Spectrum in front of a sold out crowd of 17,380. This was 21st sell-out in team history.

The game started out fierce, only five-minutes in and there were already two major fights on the ice. The Phantoms were determined to take the Hershey Bears down showing no mercy.

In the end, the Phantoms gave a win for all fans alike at this historic home event. After 13 fantastic years, the Phantoms will be moving to Pittsburgh. Although the Phantoms will no long be at the Spectrum, Philly will always be on their minds and never forgotten.

The Phantoms are gearing up for the 2009 Calder Cup Playoffs where they will go head-to-head with the Hershey Bears.

With such nostalgia and sadness, a banner was dropped from the rafters symbolizing the end of an era, and proclaiming what famed Philadelphia Flyers announcer Gene Hart always said, “Good Night and Good Hockey.”

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