Signing Off On 2013

December 31, 2013 |  by  |  Last Light  |  ,

 

Sunset—and Venus—over the year that was, 2013 in Philadelphia

Sunset—and Venus—over the year that was, 2013 in Philadelphia | Photo: Bradley Maule

This time last year, I sat around a fireplace with a group of friends on Mount Hood while snow fell around us, trying to determine the best time to let them know I’d be leaving the lives we were building in Portland for a return to Philadelphia. The old Portlandia/Always Sunny heave-ho. After three and a half years in the Pacific Northwest, and a lot of self analysis, everything just made sense for me to come back to the place I knew and loved. It’s the city that loves you back, after all.

I wasn’t even off the plane long enough to set my bags down when Nathaniel Popkin and Pete Woodall grabbed me by the arm at One Shot Cafe and threw me into an editorial role. A six-week festival was coming and they needed help keeping the Hidden City Daily in order. And what better way to re-familiarize myself with Philadelphia than by diving right in, working with dozens of contributing writers researching and reporting on the city around us, taking photos, and just getting out there. So I did.

* * *

Morgan Hall, Temple University | Photo: Bradley Maule

Morgan Hall, Temple University | Photo: Bradley Maule

The Year of Our Lorde Twenty Thirteen: Philadelphia.

The Good: Hall & Oates were voted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Singh Center, Morgan Hall, Gerri LeBow Hall, and DEC Center each opened, giving their respective universities new architectural icons. The Popup Garden kicked so much ass over the summer on South Broad Street, they decided to do it again in the winter at Penn’s Landing. Speaking of, Penn’s Landing’s next incarnation, from the desk of London’s Hargreaves Associates, is slowly coming together, and it’s infinitely better than what’s there now (Winterfest notwithstanding). Bald eagle populations have rebounded so well that they’re now casually gliding down the Schuylkill in broad daylight.

The Bad: Hoagie City collapsed onto the Salvation Army, resulting in seven deaths—and a recharged L&I. Twenty-three schools closed. In their tenth season at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies stunk, and Ruben Amaro continues to make them worse.

The Philly: Brooklyn tried and failed twice to cash in on the sixth borough, as 3rd Ward and Brooklyn Flea both came and went in a flash. Even as Kenny Gamble’s Universal Companies have breathed fresh air into communities like Hawthorne and Nicetown, his Center City properties at the Royal Theater and Philadelphia International Records have languished; in the next year, those could become a high-end residential building and a 47-story hotel-condo tower. Dan McQuade wrote a silly story tracing Rocky’s training run in Rocky II that became an internet sensation—and a marathon-plus.

Johnny Brenda’s turned 10. Mural Arts turned 30. Guild House turned 50. The Lincoln Highway turned 100. The Hidden City Daily turned two.

And before we crank year three into high gear, let’s take one last look back at this one. From the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge to Poquessing Creek, from Morris Arboretum to Citizens Bank Park, through the crossroads at the heart of town under the big Quaker, these photos represent the City of Philadelphia I knew in 2013.

PS: Happy New Year!

About the author

Bradley Maule is co-editor of the Hidden City Daily and the creator of Philly Skyline. He's a native of Tyrone, Pennsylvania, and he's hung his hat in Shippensburg, Germantown, G-Ho, Fishtown, Portland (Oregon), Brewerytown, and now Mt. Airy. He just can't get into Twitter, but he's way into Instagram @mauleofamerica.



2 Comments


  1. You tell a great story with these photos, thank you.

  2. B Love,

    You’re the man. With that being said, please, get Philly Skyline back up and running. A part of me has been missing since it’s gone. It sucks having to check 5 websites to get all of the information I got from just checking Philly Skyline! Thank you.

Recent Posts
A Look Inside Gilded Age Parkside

A Look Inside Gilded Age Parkside

April 18, 2014  |  Morning Blend

A tour of a nearly intact Victorian mansion in West Philly, two civics explore the possibility of creating improvement districts, Stotesbury Gateway to be remade, and cleaning up Clark Park > more

Widdy Dialect: The

Widdy Dialect: The “Hoagie” Of Darts

April 17, 2014  |  Makin' It

Under the rumbling El and amidst the hustle and bustle at Kensington and Somerset, a distinctly Philadelphian brand of darts is made the same way it has been for over 100 years—by hand. Brad Maule throws a round with Widdy Darts > more

New PWD Project To Teach Children Ecology & Technology

New PWD Project To Teach Children Ecology & Technology

April 17, 2014  |  Morning Blend

GreenSTEM systems to be installed in four schools, the inequality of urban pollution, jazz month in Philly, parklets being installed in West Philly, and terrible timing in closing Kensington store > more

A Last Look at Second Baptist Church

A Last Look at Second Baptist Church

April 16, 2014  |  Last Light

The demolition of a former house of worship in Northern Liberties has provided a glimpse into the building's history > more

PATCO Announces $7.5 System Upgrade

PATCO Announces $7.5 System Upgrade

April 16, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Clearer information and working escalators for PATCO, delays in UC student housing development, the William Penn Foundation’s new approach to safe watershed awareness, and what the Lower Northwest invented for the world > more

A Golden Glow For <em>The Inquirer's</em> Saffron

A Golden Glow For The Inquirer’s Saffron

April 15, 2014  |  News

Yesterday, the Pulitzer Prize board announced its 2014 winners. After 15 years with a watchful eye on Philadelphia's built environment, the Inquirer's Inga Saffron won journalism's highest award for criticism > more