Monthly Archives: February 2014

#floydatfranklin: Set the Controls for the Franklin Institute


Franklin Institute: Where is Pink Floyd in your Pompeii show?

When the Franklin Institute opened the feature exhibition One Day in Pompeii in November, my mind immediately returned to that hazy, darkened, college living room, sunken into the couch with a couple buddies fully entranced in Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii. And then I thought: why can’t the Franklin Institute host a screening (or some screenings) of this film?

In my second-ever visit to Philadelphia, in 1996, I went with a college girlfriend to see Laser Floyd at the Franklin Institute. They had Dark Side and The Wall—we opted for the former. FI’s Fels Planetarium had hosted the popular Laser Floyd for years—check out this 1988 story in the Inquirer—and continued to do so until a couple years ago. That is to say: The Franklin Institute and Pink Floyd have a history.

Directed by Adrian Maben, Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii was released in 1972—as the band was recording The Dark Side of the Moon, one of the greatest and best selling albums of all time. The film was distributed by Universal Pictures. Pink Floyd’s record label, EMI, was purchased by Universal Music Group in 2011. Universal Pictures and Universal Music Group are owned by NBCUniversal. NBCUniversal is owned by Comcast. Comcast’s headquarters are about four blocks from the Franklin Institute.

There they are, performing in front of only ghosts under a looming Mt Vesuvius! | Screen capture from Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii
There they are, performing in front of only ghosts under a looming Mt Vesuvius! | Screen capture from Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii

This needs to happen.

One Day in Pompeii runs through April 27th, so there’s still time for it to happen, and for it to be timely. The exhibition features 150 items on loan from the Naples National Archaeological Museum—the same museum that provided the b-roll for Live at Pompeii. There might even be some of the very same relics on display on the Parkway that were featured in the film 41 years ago.

Not only does Live at Pompeii feature typically Floydian breathtaking cinematography, but the music shows the band at the doorstep of its zenith. “Echoes” is the single song that bridges their early, Syd Barrett ’60s exploration and their Roger Waters ’70s golden era. The director’s cut of the film even splices segments of them recording The Dark Side of the Moon at Abbey Road Studios. I’d think for a screening at one of the Franklin Institute’s theaters—Franklin, Imax, or preferably, as a nod to Laser Floyd, Fels—the original, 60 minute version of just the concert in the ancient Pompeii amphitheater would suffice. People will come. I will definitely come.

* * *

C’mon Franklin Institute. I contacted you in November about this, was told someone would look into it, I never heard back from you, and you haven’t responded to my follow-up calls and emails. And I ain’t even mad. But time’s a wastin’.

Sure, we can watch it at home on DVD, or even on Youtube. But we want to see it on the big screen, with that big, digital, Franklin Institute sound. We want to see that slow pan of the “Pink Floyd London” gear. We want to see Roger Waters bang a gong, 26-year-old David Gilmour without a shirt, the late Rick Wright with a funeral organ, Nick Mason with a mustache and a mission, and we want to see it on the big screen.

Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii is a milestone in concert film. It even inspired a Beastie Boys video.

It’s also worth noting that Comcast is a corporate benefactor of the Franklin Institute, and Comcast’s VP of Community Development Charisse Lillie is a board member of both the Franklin Institute and NBCUniversal Foundation.

Let’s make this happen. We want to see #floydatfranklin.

One Man’s Trash: Week 8 Report

WEEK 8: Allens Lane & Lincoln Drive to Summit Avenue


Forget last week. This was the week of canine landmine. Comments and photos to come.

1 12oz bottle Canada Dry (old school)
1 small bottle Bluecoat Gin
1 piece random broken bottle

1 grill rack
4 12oz cans Budweiser
1 12oz can Shop Rite grape soda
1 12oz can Mountain Dew
1 12oz can Sprite
1 12oz can Yuengling Lager
1 12oz can Rolling Rock (pull tab)
1 12oz can A&P cola (super old school)
1 16oz can Miller Lite
1 12oz can Pabst Blue Ribbon
1 23oz can Arizona grapeade
1 12oz can Welch’s grape soda
2 12oz cans Coors Light

1 napkin
1 Wawa “fresh & tasty” tub
1 container McDonald’s french fries
1 box 12-pack Bud Light Platinum (WTF)
1 Valentine card (“You are a Heartbreaker”)
1 11oz bottle Coco Cafe Mocha
1 container Chick-Fil-A sandwich
1 12oz McDonald’s Happy Meal cup
1 16oz carton Arctic Splash

1 2litre bottle Mountain Dew
1 1litre bottle Vintage seltzer
1 sippy cup
1 16oz bottle Wawa green tea
1 20oz bottle Pepsi
1 container Dannon Yogurt
3 2oz bottles 5 Hour Energy (all berry)
1 wrapper air freshener (new car smell)
1 bag Herr’s potato chips
1 bag Tostito’s Crispy Rounds
1 wrapper Nature Valley granola bar
1 giant bag Popcorn, Indiana(???)
1 random light switch cover(???)
1 16oz bottle water (Refreshe)
1 16oz bottle Propel Zero
1 16oz bottle water (no label)
1 16oz bottle water (Nestlē Pure Life)
1 lid Primo Hoagies tub
1 drivers license (NY)
1 label Dasani water
1 black bag
1 SEPTA weekly pass (student)
2 straws
1 fork
1 knife
1 dimebag (alien heads)
1 bag Herr’s onion rings
1 piece random car part
1 label Acadia water
1 giant bag Herr’s potato chips (sour cream & onion)
2 random bottle caps
1 bag full of random plastic pieces

1 pair boxer shorts
1 t-shirt sleeve

1 tennis ball

1 roman candle
2 pens
1 broken arrow
2 pieces random ceramic
1 piece burlap
1 piece wire (orange)
3 pieces ribbon (green, red, blue)
1 part of a leash

19 dog shit piles(!!!)
2 dog shit bags
2 dogs on leash
8 dogs off leash

NOTE: 1 half gallon bottle of Langers cranberry grape juice was filled with ice and too heavy to carry in my plastic bag

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⇦ WEEK 7WEEK 9 ⇨

Once upon a PSFS Sunset

What light through yonder window breaks
What light through yonder window breaks

Leaving the studio of History Making Productions last night, producer Andrew Ferrett and I walked south down 12th Street toward Center City. It had been dark and cloudy and rainy for most of the day, to a point we even lost power in the studio for 15 minutes or so. But at about 5pm, things stabilized and started showing a hint of the spring-like Saturday ahead.

Waiting for the light at Vine Street, I could see a break in the clouds to the west, the direction from which our weather patterns originate, with a small but growing line of clear sky coming our way. At Race Street, it looked even better; at Arch and Filbert, the same line was already reflecting in the buildings of Penn Center. By Market Street, going to the 33rd floor of the Loews Hotel inside my favorite building in the city seemed a foregone conclusion.

This set of photos might illustrate why I did. In chronological order from the last of the rain through the breaking of the clouds to the setting of the sun …

One Man’s Trash: Week 7 Report

In the cave, behind Icicle Wall
In the cave, behind Icicle Wall

WEEK 7: Chestnut Hill College to Valley Green


Ah yes, the nigh-60º Saturday spring tease in the midst of the long winter of our discontent. This one was especially long—a roundtrip urban-woodland hike.

In trying to get to my bank in Chestnut Hill, I just missed a 23 bus walking toward Germantown Avenue, so I started walking up the Avenue toward the Hill. You know the routine, walking ahead and looking over your shoulder every half block for the bus that isn’t coming, so you keep walking. Made it all the way to the bank on foot before another one came. Yep.

Left the bank bound for the high end of Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill College, figure I’ll catch the L or 97 bus there. You know the routine, walking ahead and looking over your shoulder every half block for the bus that isn’t coming, so you keep walking. Made it all the way to the college, crossed the Germantown Avenue Bridge over Wissahickon Creek, crossed at the crosswalk and started in on the Orange Trail. Oh look.


Bound to happen.

This sunny and quasi-warm day expedited the snow melting process, which left even my “waterproof” boots soaking wet. A squishy slushy day on the trail for sure. Melting snow always exposes piles of dog turds buried under snow too, a bonus for this long hike which follows the Orange Trail all the way to Valley Green. Pretty good looking, all American haul too.



Week 7, a colorful mix
Week 7, a colorful mix

1 16oz bottle Snapple Apple
1 9ml bottle Rush nail polish remover

3 16oz cans Rolling Rock
1 12oz can Miller High Life (pull tab)

1 small tub Baskin Robbins
1 crumpled white bag

1 Little Tikes baseball bat
1 24oz Wawa cup
1 pack CVS tissues
1 pouch Capri Sun
1 24 oz McDonald’s cup
1 1/2 gallon bottle Welch’s (no label)
1 12oz bottle (green, no label)
1 small bottle Sutter Home pinot grigio
1 pregnancy test (not pregnant)
1 giant bag (18 “treat bags” inside) Cheetos/Doritos
1 treat bag Doritos
1 condom wrapper (Trojan)
1 bag Fritos
2 pieces random plastic

Germantown Avenue Bridge, built 2003
Germantown Avenue Bridge, built 2003

1 hat (Tree City USA)
1 glove
1 crampon(?)

3 cigarette butts
3 tennis balls
1 piece twine
1 US flag
1 rubber band

Dog shit pile: 8
Dog shit bags: 0
Dogs on leash: 5
Dogs off leash: 5

Bells Mill Road Bridge, built 1820
Bells Mill Road Bridge, built 1820
Orange Trail, Lavender Trail ... Green Trail???
Orange Trail, Lavender Trail … Green Trail???
Trail between the rocks
Trail between the rocks
Wissssssahickon Schissssst
Schist. Love that schist.


Northernmost bend of the creek in Wissahickon Valley Park, across from Harper's Meadow
Northernmost bend of the creek in Wissahickon Valley Park, across from Harper’s Meadow

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⇦ WEEK 6WEEK 8 ⇨

1818 Market & The Other Ones

Skyline signs: 1818 Market
Skyline signs: 1818 Market

Since 1987, the Philly Skyline has grown in several periods of spurts, none of which will stack up against the current boom we’re experiencing. In just a few years, the additions of the Comcast Innovation & Technology Center, two Cira South towers, SLS International, Mormon tower, and a slew of others will go a long way toward making any gentleman’s agreements a trivial relic.

But before One Liberty Place’s spire broke through William Penn’s glass hat ceiling, the game for big time developers often meant getting as close to the actual Quaker height without going over—The Height Is Right. In 1974, 1818 Market Street opened as the tallest of the second-tallest buildings of the William Penn era, at exactly 500′.

Bathed in Beneficial
Bathed in Beneficial

Designed by Ewing Cole Cherry Brott (now EwingCole, the longtime Philly-based firm responsible for the designs of Citizens Bank Park, Camden’s Cooper University Hospital, and MetLife Stadium, which just hosted the Northeast’s first Super Bowl), 1818 opened as a plain, 40-story, proto-brutalist tower whose unpolished concrete was The Thing. Yellowed late-70s/early-80s postcards of the flat-top Philly Skyline really accentuate this feature. It’s still the tallest reinforced concrete building in the city.

When One Liberty Place ushered in the polished flare of the 80s, bringing with it its sibling Two Liberty, Mellon Bank Center, the Blue Cross Tower, the Commerce Square twin towers, and the Bell Atlantic Tower, 1818 cleaned up its act with a coat of white paint.

Last year, the 160-year-old Beneficial Bank signed a lease in the building to move its headquarters there, relocating from Independence Square to 1818 Market, leaping past the magnificent-but-empty giant building at 12th & Chestnut Horace Trumbauer designed for the same bank in 1916—which has been empty since 2001. As part of the lease agreement, 1818 has been renamed the really-catchy 1818 Beneficial Bank Place.

In addition to Beneficial, Booz Allen Hamilton’s Philadelphia operations, the American College of Radiology, Merrill Lynch, and Philadelphia magazine keep offices in 1818 Market. The following bird’s eye phone pics were taken from Philly Mag’s perch. Shame I didn’t cover up the office glare in the shot of the Blue Cross tower, innit?