PAPERBOY: Special ‘Hooray For Us!’ Edition

BY AMY Z. QUINN Like time, news waits for no man. Keeping up with the funny papers has always been an all-day job, even in the pre-Internets era. These days, however, it’s a two-man job. That’s right — these days you need someone to do your reading for you, or risk falling hopelessly behind and, as a result, increasing your chances of dying lonely and somewhat bitter. Hey, we know how it is — so many words to read, so little time to surf for free porn. That’s why every week, PAPERBOY does your alt-weekly reading for you, freeing up valuable nanoseconds that can now be better spent ‘roughing up the suspect’ over at Suicide Girls or what have you. Every week we pore over those time-consuming cover stories and give you the takeaway, suss out the cover art, warn you off the ink-wasters and steer you towards the gooey caramel center each edition. Why? Because we like you.

deeneypw.jpgON THE COVER

PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY: Awesome! Another opportunity to rep Jeff Deeney’s cover story, on the 3200 block of Hurley Street. We hear the folks at PW had never seen anything like this story, reported as it was from an inside/outside perspective and written in a style that is matter-of-fact but not cold, detached but not resigned. We’ve been wondering for a while now who would play Mona, the “block captain,” in the movie version of this, or at least the TV crime drama episode.

I know, I know, it’s another symptom of our collective sickness and cynicism to trivialize it so, but what do you want me to do, rail against the injustices of a society in which people are expected to raise children in such environments? Curse the police for being so determinedly clueless about what’s really happening on the streets? Wag my finger at people living lives of relative safety in “better” neighborhoods of Philadelphia for not demanding more of their city, and of themselves? Sorry, I come from the show-don’t-tell school, and Jeff Deeney shows the city’s other face in all its hideous glory.

CITY PAPER: Stories like this, Brian Hickey’s piece on a Strawberry Mansion baseball league inspired by “Pop the Cop,” who once walked that neighborhood beat, are the other side of the coin of the Hurley Street saga. It’s about men rising up, choosing to do something positive — in this case, create a baseball league through which they can be the kind of influence to young men and boys that Pop had been to them — and seeing it through.

The Strawberry Mansion All-Star Baseball League had been born.

“May 4 came around and we had 84 kids out on the first day,” says Rick [Ford]. “Now, we have 157 kids, and they’re still coming in from all different areas. They all wanted to play; there was a need for something like this.” He’d used his wide array of connections to get some TV publicity and donations from many. The Phillies donated equipment, uniforms and money and put up banners for Major League Baseball’s RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program. Then came the Fairmount Park Commission, which helped return a rocky swath of dirt and overgrown weeds into a baseball diamond.

Like I said, props. But one wonders why it’s always the city who gets involved last. Though perhaps that’s as it should be.

hickeycover.jpgINSIDE THE BOOK

PW: It’s official: I am now the only person in the city who hasn’t yet been to the new Silk City. But those empanadas might be enough to get me there. Que sabor! Kia Gregory wants you to read this book. “Mad Men” is swell TV, though we need to give it up for one of the show’s mad females. The writers could have taken the easy way and made Joan Holloway, the ballsy redhead (duh) office manager, a token female account executive trying to hold her own with the men. She’s much more effective being able to move between the worlds of executive and steno pool, making her one of the show’s most interesting characters.

CP: Mary Patel laments coverboys Obama (GQ) and Edwards (Esquire), wonders when Hillary will hit Elle. Amy Quinn rolls eyes, wondering whether Patel really believes women’s mag readers aren’t entitled to content more substantial than how Kelly Ripa and her hubby keep the romance alive. ‘Cause it sure sounds that way. A Southerner living in Philly discovers Jersey corn, which warms our heart, but that art — yellow corn? Everyone knows white corn rules. Fishtopher, gone but not forgotten.

WINNER: Because it’s impossible for us to be impartial this week, we’re just gonna be honest and come right out and say it — we win this week.

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