PAPERBOY: Slow-Jamming The Alt-Weeklies

BY DAVE ALLEN 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. That’s why every week PAPERBOY does your alt-weekly reading for you. 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 […]

URBAN PLANNING: The Future Of Pier 11

[Photo courtesy of PHILLYSKYLINE] BY NICK POWELL METRO CORRESPONDENT Cantankerous pundits and enthusiastic pols shared the stage last night at the Festival Pier where the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation hosted a public presentation showcasing the design finalists for the Pier 11 project, an endeavor that, depending whom you ask, will either re-introduce Philadelphians to the beauty of the waterfront, or will drift away into limbo just like other ambitious developments such as the re-design of Penn’s Landing that never happened. Pier 11, an eighty by five hundred forty foot structure that jets out onto the river next to the Ben […]

REWIND 2008: The Year In Obama

[EDITOR’S NOTE: New and improved, with more content than ever!] Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Obama in the White House, the Democrats in control of Congress and the motherf*king Republicans down in flames. If this is a dream, we don’t wanna wake up. Join with us now as we stroll down the memory lane of our in-house commentary and analysis on the 2008 Presidential election (for our complete coverage CLICK HERE). Like Same Cooke prophesied in 1963, a change has come. Truly a once in a lifetime moment in this American life. […]

MILE HIGH: Live And Direct From Denver

[Photos by LenEdgerly & DemConvention] Our DNC correspondent Nick Powell has managed to elbow out a space at the table in the press room. He will be sending us reports from on the ground — God and WiFi willing. Also, our analysts Amy Z. Quinn and Jonathan Valania will be parsing Obama’s speech.   9:55 PM AZQ: gotta go get the kid in pjs back in a sec 9:56 PJV: Oh great, I’ll tell Obama   I am SURE he can stall for five minutes   just start this John Lennon record over   sure nobody will notice 9:58 PM Durbin. This […]

MILE HIGH: Live And Direct From Denver

SEMPER FI: Marine at Rage Against The Machine concert, Denver,  2:49 PM. [Photo by NICK POWELL] BY NICK POWELL DNC CORRESPONDENT  My knees are throbbing, my shirt is drenched in mile-high perspiration, and I’m a little cranky after spending the afternoon with the iron-fisted leaders of the Iraq Veterans Against The War and following their attempt at an anti-war protest through the streets of Denver. The IVAW, who sponsored this afternoon’s concert with Rage Against The Machine, The Flobots, and others, sucked all of the protesting spirit out of the march by refusing media access to some of the vets […]


BY NICK POWELL FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES DENVER — Black activists and celebrities alike gathered this morning at the Movies With A Message Brunch at Earl’s Restaurant in downtown Denver to celebrate the progress made by Senator Barack Obama in his quest for the White House. But while the theme of the party was celebrating the past, Oscar-nominated director and producer Spike Lee focused on the present, particularly the sometimes-tenuous relationship between the hip-hop community and the Obama campaign. Mr. Lee, who has often uses hip-hop music and casts hip-hop stars in his films, said that rappers should, well, […]

MILE HIGH: Live And Direct From Denver

BY NICK POWELL DNC CORRESPONDENT On an otherwise slow day here at the DNC, I had my first official “Convention-celebrity experience” at the Movies With A Message brunch at Earl’s Restaurant in downtown Denver. While shadowing a reporter at the party, I mingled with the smiling Dems, took in the music of a small R&B band, and munched on the semi-mediocre breakfast spread. All was quiet, until suddenly … there’s Civil Rights Activist Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) … and Anne Hathaway … and Pras … and Al Sharpton. The celebrities came pouring in, and for a second I was completely […]

MILE HIGH: Live And Direct From Denver

BY NICK POWELL CONVENTION CORRESPONDENT Yesterday was a good day. Inspired speeches, iconic moments, and wacky delegates make for quite an interesting first day at the Democratic Convention. Most of it was spent running various errands for reporters in my section, but I found time to do a little reporting of my own along the way. I was sent to a cocktail party for the Pennsylvania Delegation in downtown Denver, a spot called Osteria Panini. Unfortunately, I encountered the same problem I did with getting into the Pepsi Center. The hostess of the party informed me that there was no […]

MILE HIGH: Live And Direct From Denver

BY NICK POWELL CONVENTION CORRESPONDENT Greetings from the Democratic Convention in the Mile-High City, where the red tape has confined me to the icebox that is the Media Pavilion. It is pretty quiet down here, as it seems that most of the reporters in my section of the Pavilion have yet to be given a particular assignment. E-mails are being checked, coffee is streaming, and CNN is being broadcast on a continuous loop on a large flat screen. When talking with some reporters, they said that the security for this year’s convention is tighter than it has been in the […]

MILE HIGH: Live & Direct From Denver

Astute readers will remember the precocious yeoman-like political coverage provided by intern-to-the-stars Nick Powell. The New York Times did and they asked him to go to Denver with his dad, who covers the presidential campaign for the Grey Lady (SEE BELOW). Basically they said, ‘How’d you like to go to Denver with your pop, work for us as a news assistant and during your down time you can post to your cute little blog thingee?’ And so he shall. All next week, Nick will be providing Phawker readers with Live & Direct dispatches from the Democratic National Convention. You lucky […]

LIVE & DIRECT: From The Cathedral Basilica

[Photos by TIFFANY YOON/CLICK TO ENLARGE] BY NICK POWELL METRO CORRESPONDENT The steady martial drumbeat of rain provided a suitably dreary backdrop as Philadelphia finest — most dressed in matching yellow rain coats and broken into double-file parade formations — poured into The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul this morning for the viewing of the body of slain Philadelphia police Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski. Hundreds of policemen from the city, state, and surrounding townships were present for the viewing, as well as some New Jersey State Police, all in full-dress finery for the occasion. Outside the cathedral, a video […]

LIVE AND DIRECT: From The Finish Line

MAD, HOT BALLROOM: Hillary Clinton Party, Grand Ballroom of the Bellevue, moments ago. [Photos by AMY Z. QUINN] BITTER PILL: Obama Victory Party, The Waterworks Lounge By The Schuylkill, 9:15 [Photo by TIFFANY YOON] BY NICK POWELL Is that all there is to a fire? I was still in line at the buffet when when Keith Olbermann broke the news that Senator Clinton had taken Pennsylvania. I couldn’t really hear what he was saying but the chorus of boos and wails of despair said it all. The night began with an air of excitement as a hundred or so supporters, […]

LIVE & DIRECT: From The Frontlines Of Democracy

BY NICK POWELL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT Today Philadelphians and Pennsyltuckians all across the fruited plain of the Keystone State help decide the future of our battered republic, as voters flock to their polling locations. From the hardscrabble row homes of North, South and West Philadelphia to the glass and chrome towers of Center City, Hillary and Obama signs dominated the city’s landscape, as the excitement level for both candidates reaches fever pitch after five relentless weeks of carpet-bomb campaigning. In North Philadelphia, Obama fever seemed to mobilize the very young and the very old in exponentially larger numbers than in past […]