Letters to the editor.
Regarding Jeffrey Barg’s recent cover story about Jerry “The Geator” Blavat:
I was one of those kids at Chez Vous in the early ’60s and wouldn’t think to miss Discophonic Scene on Saturdays. Hell, I even had the album!
Jerry, you totally defined my social life back then. We had the Discophonic Walk way before line dancing to country music was the trend. Thanks PW , this article had me take a few moments out of my day and enjoy a brief walk down memory lane.
MARIA Drexel Hill
Regarding Jacob Lambert’s recent article about the demise of South Street:
Unfortunately, this is the dark side of people buying things online just because it’s cheaper. Retail stores pay high rents, city taxes and insurance, while e-commerce sites have virtually none of those expenses. Even buying something at a chain retail store is better for the local economy than buying online. On top of all that, online shopping is almost always tax-free to the buyer, which is an insane giveaway by the government in this day and age. There should be the same sales tax for online shopping as for retail, which would drive customers back into the stores and lower the deficit at the same time.
MATEO via philadelphiaweekly.com
Although I agree with the lament for South Street, I have to say; For all that has happened in that district over the past decade, there are signs of a new era developing—mostly found on the cross streets.
Indie-owned shops are hanging on; new destinations are slated to open (three restaurants within the next few months alone—as well as a few interactive community spots); and most importantly, those who invest seem to have a newly focused eye on what possibilities the Street holds.
Yes, many of the ‘old guard’ are gone. South Street alone didn’t kill most of them off: Online shopping gave the biggest punch to many of those former stores. Others simply timed out—life goes on. Greed took much of the street over in the 1990s; rents went through the roofs, forcing many businesses to adjust to the point of closure. Sometimes you need to have something die before you can see it reborn.
ROBERT DRAKE via philadelphiaweekly.com
I totally agree that South Street is now a place I don’t even like to drive around, let alone walk down. I remember sitting on the floor of Tower books for hours with friends when I was 16, just looking through magazines to kill time. Another favorite store was Zipperhead; even though it’s now Crash Bang Boom, it’s nothing like it used to be. Every store is the same thing over and over again: nothing special anymore, no creativity anymore. It’s a shame that the old South Street will have to be a chapter in my childhood/teen memories.
MARLANA via philadelphiaweekly.com
Regarding Brendan Skwire’s recent column about turning the S.S. United States into a casino:
Superb idea! I first saw the S.S. United States moored in Norfolk, Va. back in the mid-’70s, before it moved to Pier 82. At the time, I was moved by the decaying shell of this storied vessel. When it was moved to Philly, I was hopeful that there would be a second life for the ship. A few years back, when Norwegian Cruise Lines floated plans to rehab the ship, there was hope.
Not only would turning the ship into a casino be a great use for this storied vessel, it would be a centerpiece attraction of the Penns Landing area.
RICHARD BLAIR via philadelphiaweekly.com
I usually can’t stand casinos, but I would go to one if it was on that amazing ship. Maybe they could do something on the adjacent land as well and make it a real destination.
I also think that putting it that far down Columbus Boulevard would make much more sense from a traffic perspective.