Weekly Photo Challenge: Collage

July 14, 2017 — This week’s photo challenge is collage.

Autumn collage

South Street collage

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The History of Black Friday

imagesNovember 25, 2016 – If you’re someone who pays homage to the day after Thanksgiving by shopping, you probably familiar with the term “Black Friday” as the day of the year that retailers “go into the black” and make a profit. What you might not know is that you’re only half-right.

The term is also used to describe the crash of the U.S. gold market on Friday, September 24, 1869. The crash sent the stock market into free-fall, bankrupting everyone in the country from Wall Street tycoons to farmers.

Black Friday’s ties to the retail industry are more commonly known, but the “black” part of Black Friday wasn’t always associated with profits. Back in the 1950s, Philadelphia police coined the phrase “Black Friday” to describe the chaos that occurred on the Friday after Thanksgiving when suburban crowds would come into the city to watch the annual Army-Navy game, traditionally played the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Large crowds would arrive the day before for holiday shopping, with some taking advantage of the masses to shoplift, which often caused riots.

Philly’s Finest referred to that day as “Black Friday” because of the extra manpower needed to control the crowds. The term didn’t spread to the rest of the country, or take on a positive spin of retailers going from red to black, until several years later when it became a common holiday shopping day nationwide.

It seems that many firsts have roots in Philadelphia.

Celebrate the Season with a Scary Good Time

__3259762_origOctober 28, 2016 – It’s the last weekend in October, and you know what that means. It’s time to get your fright on.

If you’re not heading to a party this weekend and live in the southeastern Pennsylvania area, stop by one of the many haunts that promise to scare you silly.

Perhaps the most popular seasonal event in the Philadelphia area is Terror Behind the Walls, a haunted house that takes place in a real prison, Eastern State Penitentiary. The prison opened in 1829 and was abandoned in 1971 after housing the worst criminals in history for 142 years. You can tour the prison any time of year, which is frightening enough, but during the Halloween season, it turns into one of the craziest experiences ever.

Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” is arguably the scariest movie in his collection. It introduced the world to Norman Bates and his beloved mother, who run the Bates Motel. You can experience Norman’s crazy world for yourself with a trip to The Bates Motel, a haunted spot in Glen Mills, Pa. There are two exhibits on the site, so you can double your terror. The Haunted Hayride and the Bates Motel are sure to scare the bejesus out of you.

If you’re looking for a dose of reality with your Halloween fun, try one of these famous attractions:

Not only is historical Laurel Hill Cemetery the hippest and most photographed cemetery in Philadelphia, it’s also home to the Gravediggers Ball, and the special attractions for 2016, True Tales from the Tomb and the Halloween Picnic and Parade. Check the website for details and times.

Year round Ghost Tours of Philadelphia’s historic regions are super eerie during the Halloween season. The tour guides take you on a candlelit walk through historic cobblestone streets where you will discover the fascinating tales of America’s most haunted city. Walking tours depart from 5th & Chestnut Streets and finish at 2nd & Walnut Streets. Year round tours depart on Friday and Saturday nights; during the Halloween season, tours depart nightly.

Follow a lantern-lit walking ghost walk through historic New Hope, situated in Bucks County, right outside of Philadelphia. The streets are quaint and may look calm to the naked eye, but they are haunted by ghosts from the past. You’ll hear tales of the haunted hitchhiker, and see the historic Logan Inn where Aaron Burr and a Revolutionary War soldier have been known to haunt. During September and October, tours meet each Friday and Saturday night, including Halloween.

The Mutter Museum, Philadelphia’s own medical oddities showcase, is frightful enough on a normal day, but during Halloween, it goes to extremes. During the season, the museum features eerie events, such as the 2nd Annual Mischief Night at the Mutter and the Day of Dead Festivities. Check out the site for dates and times. Only the Mutter can serve up Halloween like this.

Happy Halloween!