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 of each edition. Why? Because we like you.
ON THE COVER
CITY PAPER: OK, this week it’s CP’s turn for the Ye Olde Fall Guide. I might be yawning right now, since I’m still a bit tuckered out from plowing through PW’s last week, but holy Klimt! Look at that cover art — it’s nearly as gorgeous as anything you’ll see at the Perelman Center. Other highlights include listings galore, Birdie Busch, and Robin Rice’s evenhanded look at the Perelman itself. And in the lead-off piece in the package, about an exhibition of Alfred Stieglitz prints at the Perelman, comes news of the WTF, Philly? variety:
“His work is really the foundation of our photo collection,” Ware says, noting that a donation of hundreds of his prints by his widow Georgia O’Keeffe in 1949 was one of the first large-scale photography acquisitions the museum made.
“We loan it out all the time,” she says. “These prints have been all over the country, all over the world. But this is the first time they’ve been shown at home.”
PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY: Yezzur, we love us some Jeff Deeney, who lands himself on the cover for the second time in four weeks! Ka-POW! This time, a piece on the landmark “permission wall” on North Fifth Street that has served as a public graffiti art space for years but is headed for the wrecking ball. Developers, of course. It’s exactly the kind of organic urban-cool that’s usually the first to go when the gentrification comes. But even more than that, this particular graffiti wall, where artists genuinely appreciate each others’ work for a while then paint over it and make room for the next spraypaint Picasso, is about the kind of social compacts that hold a city together.
It would appear the locals consider the Cecil B. Moore wall a complement to their community.
As the artists work, more than one car pulls over, its driver leaning out the window to voice appreciation. Passers-by on foot stop to watch, shouting compliments from across the street before moving on.
There’s a collective, cooperative atmosphere at the wall. When it comes time for BESO to put some color on the cinderblocks, he turns to the Latin guy working next to him, moves his hand to a spot along the wall, and asks, “Is this your end?” The Latin guy indicates he has all the space he needs, and thanks BESO for checking with him before starting.
As far as the Mural Arts Program goes, they should use their power for good here, and help find a wall space elsewhere in the ‘hood to which these artists can relocate. Instead of having meeting after meeting to decide which type of flowers to cover a wall with, they should help find a patron, another gracious property owner, to offer up some space.
But wait, back to Deeney. Look, yeah it’s cheerleading and all, but read a passage like this one, compact and clean and telling:
There’s no enemy in the story of the lost graffiti wall except perhaps the winds of change that bring gentrification and the culture clashes that come with it. If you were expecting a portrait of an uncaring capitalist who’s out of touch with the community, Deussing isn’t it.
And know that Jeff Deeney is, hands down, the best storyteller in the city right now. We at Phawker are damn lucky, and damn proud. Own it. (You can check out our slideshow of other ‘Permission Walls’ here.)
INSIDE THE BOOK
CP: In Philly, we like our men like we like our surfboards: Long and local; blahblahblah the Barnes Foundation; a look at Kathy Manderino’s health plan.
PW: If Sylvester Johnson doesn’t care what Kia Gregory says about here, but he’d do well to read her piece on the Jena Six (especially today). And he might want to hear what Kate Kilpatrick is saying: “With 298 homicides in Philly so far this year, [memorial T-shirt makers] Rosa and Amaker just opened a second location on Kensington Avenue at Clearfield Street.” A check-in with sportswriter Ray Didinger, the real deal. Respect must be paid.
WINNER: Like, duh. PW is off the schneid!