This week: Chasing Ben Franklin for

Beginning Tuesday morning, I will be taking over‘s Instagram account to post pictures focusing on Ben Franklin — “The First American” – as we work our way up to his 308th birthday on Friday.

I will have to do my best to live up previous guest Instagram-ers, including old friends David Maialetti, Eric Mencher and Neal Santos.

Please follow along at @visitphilly, share your suggestions for what I should shoot, and let me know what you think about the results.

#OccupyPhilly Monday: still standing past eviction deadline

I checked in on #OccupyPhilly this morning and found it smaller yet still present after yesterday’s eviction deadline. I counted roughly 40 active demonstrators, possibly a similar number of other residents, and slightly more police and old media than usual, but there wasn’t much going on. The veterans section appeared unchanged.

#OccupyingAutumn in Philadelphia

Here’s a peek at the morning rush through #OccupyPhilly on this crisp autumn Monday. After finally visiting #OccupyWallStreet this weekend, I have to say that in proportion to the local population, this encampment at Philadelphia City Hall – of which only part is pictured here – is enormously more impressive.

Video frame grabs: #OccupyPhilly arrests

I grabbed these images just after noon Sunday from the Global Revolution live stream.

They appear to show arrests taking place on the street outside the Philadelphia Police Administration Building, consistent with photojournalists Joe Kaczmarek‘s photos of a protest at the same location last night.

I live in Philly, covered the city for many years and can confirm that I saw familiar Philadelphia Police wagons, bicycles and uniforms – and the Police Administration Building – in the video. Police carried some of the demonstrators – who apparently refused to walk to police vans – but both sides seemed generally peaceful, at least as far as I could see via the video.

Now, 90 minutes later, I can’t find any news of the arrests on any Philly old media news sites. Not even a tweet.

Advancing content produced by an active participant in any story requires at least special attention to ethical journalism practices, but what choices so we have when nobody else delivers? Does waiting for police confirmation make any sense when they have been identified as the other party in the conflict? These are very interesting times.

Day 8: Morning rushes past #OccupyPhilly

I took another walk through #OccupyPhilly at Philadelphia City Hall this morning and found more tents sheltering protesters from the damp weather but couldn’t help but notice the lack of engagement between demonstrators and morning rush hour commuters. ©2011


Idiot Village: Philadelphia city officials take down Christmas, sort of

Politically Correct Village

In a feeble attempt to please everybody, Philadelphia city officials responded to complaints from some city workers and other citizens by ordering the removal of the word “Christmas” from the Christmas Village signs at Philadelphia City Hall, where they are still hosting the Christmas Village you can find at, well,

They plan to replace it with a “Holiday Village” sign, but apparently not at the same time, and so for now it just says “Village.”

Oh, holiday tree.

Meanwhile, in the middle of the village, city workers continued to string Christmas lights on a Christmas tree, as “Oh, Christmas Tree” and other Christmas carols continued to play on the audio system.

Read more:

Philadelphia Daily News





Village will be open through Holiday Eve.


Nutter says market will get its name back

Philadelphia puts ‘Christmas’ back in the village

Mayor Nutter Lights City Hall “Christmas Tree”

Bus stop, Nogales

Travelers waiting at a bus stop face the U.S. border wall in Nogales, Mexico on Saturday. The white crosses commemorate those who have died crossing the border.

My usual tweet blog is still on hold while I try to catch up on business that piled up while I was in Mexico. Come back soon.

Goodbye Nogales

Nogales, Arizona

This was my last look at the border in before we left: A Border Patrol vehicle, light tower and remote cameras in Arizona are watching a spot on the border fence just north and east of downtown Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.

I learned today that many vehicles have numerous dents from large rocks thrown over the fence, but metal grates over all glass surfaces keep the agents safe inside.

(I opted for the black-and-white image because my Canon 900 makes nasty green and pink flares when the sun is in the frame. I miss film when this happens.)