Chronicling life with — and without — social media
By M.L. Polak
Was life more enjoyable when people did not share so much on social media? Writer M.L. Polak explores the question, drawing on a friend’s experience.
A recent breakfast companion, so far to the left he makes Bernie Sanders look like a right-wing-zealot, regaled me with his adventures as an invited guest at a Thanksgiving dinner at the home of his lifelong Scrabble buddies. The dinner itself was hellacious, he confides, because another guest, someone’s mother, was still – after all this time – strongly pro-Hillary Clinton. Naturally, the mother sinks her fangs into my friend’s tender haunches, conversationally speaking, and obliterates him for his political views.
Unhappy holidays: Feeling teary, not merry?
By Constance Garcia-Barrio
For many of us – whether we celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa — the December holidays don’t come with a Hallmark halo, but rather a gauntlet of potential problems. The passing years may have left us divorced or widowed, like me, or with family members living at a distance. We may also wrestle with thorny relationships and grief. However, we can take steps to navigate the season’s rough spots, go beyond a mask of merriment and find true peace.
Enjoy ‘A Very Philly Christmas’
By Dorothy Stanaitis
Among the city’s current holiday activities, there is one celebration that allows you to step back into yesteryear. “Christmas in Fairmount Park” has welcomed visitors to a month-long celebration of the holidays each December for the past 47 years. Five of the best-preserved examples of 18th and 19th century American architecture in the nation are all decked out in the season’s finest. Once home to the elite of Philadelphia, these mansions are sumptuously decorated by garden clubs and auxiliary groups. This year’s theme “A Very Philly Christmas,” offers weekend programs of food, fun and merriment. Weekdays are drop-in days when you can just take in the quiet beauty.
Journey’s Way senior center reflects its community
Karen Rouse wants people to think a little differently about how they view senior community centers. She’s worked at centers across the city for three decades and is now the director of Journey’s Way, a senior center serving adults 55-plus in Roxborough.
Historic cemeteries offer many autumn activities
By Constance Garcia-Barrio
If you’re looking for a dose of history and autumn beauty, try dropping by an area cemetery. Philadelphia’s cemeteries feature architectural marvels, lush gardens and often-forgotten history. In October, some cemeteries offer quirky tours, sell organic produce, share stories about personalities of the past, and host Halloween parties ablaze in autumn’s mantle of crimson and gold.
At Southwest Senior Center, everyone is welcome
By Michael Hanisco
Just inside the entrance of Southwest Senior Center, 6916 Elmwood Ave., sits a large blackboard plastered with bright posters and stickers. The first poster features a picture of Earth from outer space and is captioned with a simple, provocative tagline: “I don’t see any borders. Do you?” “No one is truly free while others are oppressed,” another declares. A third plainly states, “Immigration is the American Way.” While new images have been added to the collection over time, the unifying message has remained the same: Everyone is welcome.
Having the retirement you want
By Sally Friedman
“Retirement.” The word inspires dueling emotions, and when it crops up, those emotions can run high. People’s take on retirement can be as varied as how they see themselves, their lives and their natures. Exploring the future can be daunting, but retirement is more than just an abstract concept for many who are at or near what is generally regarded as “retirement age” – which, based on American culture and tradition, seems to hover around 65.
Today’s senior community centers promote healthy living, active aging
By Marcia Z. Siegal
With sophisticated fitness centers and wellness programs, computer and Zumba classes, intergenerational collaborations, and a focus on active living, today’s senior community centers are a far cry from the centers previous generations were accustomed to.
National Senior Center Month, observed in September, provides an opportunity to celebrate the vibrant programming featured at senior centers supported by Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA), which is engaging members ranging from baby boomers to centenarians.