Archive for April, 2013

In a queer bit of totalitarianism, a Cuban sex educator has been barred from travelling outside a 25 mile perimeter of New York City.  Scholar, writer, educator, and gay rights activist, Mariela Castro will not be able to visit Philly to accept an award at Equality Forum.  Isn’t it nice that America believes in freedom!  And comforting that it also believes in curtailing the activities of crazy communists who are a threat just off our shores!   Yes, the current Cuban regime is no saint and arbitrarily arrests and imprisons people, but that’s what dictatorships do and something the US would NEVER do!  We do not detain or imprison foreign nationals unless they are fairly tried and convicted of a crime…right?



Kudos to Jim Kenney for recognizing certain realities of the 21st century.  Gender has become fluid, and a younger generation just takes it in stride.  It’s time our architecture was truly modern as well so he’s introducing his “bathroom bill.”

I guess not everyone is comfortable with this concept.  Those crazy Arizonians think it should be criminal!  Do these people have separate bathrooms in their homes for wive/husbands or sisters/brothers?  Or do they just fear the possibility of being in a public restroom with a tranny and experiencing a panic attack?  If you’ve been to any hipster bar (and many restaurants) in the city then you’ve used genderless bathrooms.  It’s time to calm down about this.  But, at the same time we have to recognize the importance of a certain sensitivity and etiquette going forward…

gender bending kenney

The New York Times Sunday Magazine had an interesting article about a privy excavation in the author’s back garden in Greenwich Village.  Greenwich Village is not unlike our own Queen Village — colonial neighborhoods of brick row houses, New Netherland to our New Sweden.  Both neighborhoods hold the subterranean remnants of generations of new Americans.  Privies are well known as repositories of historic rubbish (aka artifacts) and can reveal a good deal about our citizen ancestors.

Phound in Philly: bottle, marble, redware, blue & white ceramics, and oyster shells

Phound in Philly: bottle, marble, redware, blue & white ceramics, and oyster shells

There is one “artifact” that is ubiquitous in Queen Village — oyster shells.   They were a very popular street food back in the day, and any modern-day Philly gardener can confirm that.  They were sold as street food in Colonial times — sort of proto food trucks.


African Americans were often street vendors in Philly. This wheelbarrow full of oysters was one of the first food “trucks.” (I guess the shells were proto litter…)


I can’t believe this guy got arrested…It’s clearly a misunderstanding as he made a good faith effort to pay his taxi fare.  But, even in the greenest city in America, the merchant did not recognize bartering.  Yes, barter has made a comeback as a recognized and sustainable form of commerce.  This passenger is clearly on the cutting edge, and his means of barter is not even considered an illegal substance by most Americans!  I think the mayor’s office of sustainability should issue an apology to this citizen who is clearly trying to be an integral part of the city’s green economy.  Even his eyes are green!


Hey, man, I thought this was a Freedom taxi…