Hidden City Philadelphia, a blog you should be reading if you’re not, has a few recent posts on the S.S. United States including pictures and an interview with Steven Ujifusa who recently had a book published about the ship.
“There’s this one side of the coin where people see just this disenchantment and negative view of government,” says Jay Nath, the Chief Innovation Officer for the city of San Francisco. “But there’s also this flip side where people actually believe that working with government, we can make a better solution and better improvements for our society.”
…There are, by our count, just two major cities in the U.S. that currently have someone sitting in this role, and they’ve both settled in within the past six months. Adel Ebeid stepped into the job in Philadelphia after working as the chief information officer for the state of New Jersey. Like Nath, he views his role largely as connecting city hall and all of its resources with a new generation of problem-solvers outside of it.
…The birth of the municipal chief innovation officer job is a response to these two trends: to fundamental changes in technology that are revolutionizing citizen engagement, and to a cultural movement that is turning the data-dense inner workings of city halls into public challenges that are actually kind of a kick to solve.
“There aren’t that many of us right now,” Ebeid says, “but I can tell you we’re certainly an early testbed for what will become mainstream by 2015.”
The majority of the residents of Frankford do not have internet access. The Free Library Branch does offer some service which is very well utilized all day long by students and others but those facilities cannot come close to meeting the demand. The new computer center will help to close the gap.
“Do real work, solve real problems. Trust kids to make good choices. Let them learn from failure. If we’re serious about schools helping to change some of these kids’ lives, we have to have these conversations.”
Friday night I made it down to Fishtown to check out Albert Yee’s show at Gravy, “Hands that Feed Us” a photo exploration and celebration of those working across the region in agriculture and produce. There are many ‘behind the scene’ looks at crisis and issues related to food production, it was uplifting to see organizations and people working towards the humane treatment of animals and sustainable agriculture.
Yee has been working for Fair Food Farmstand for more than three years, and along with his wife, Kate Donnelly, writes a popular Philly food blog, “Messy and Picky.”
His passions are set to collide this weekend, with the opening of his photography show, “Hands That Feed Us,” at Gravy Gallery in Fishtown.
The series of 13 prints represents Yee’s travels to alternative small-scale farms in the Philadelphia region. The show is intended to be a celebration of these producers, upholding them as a model for humane treatment of animals and sustainable agriculture.
“The exposé of huge corporate farms has been done many times over. And I think people are horrified, but they’re desensitized. They don’t need to see piles of dead carcasses,” says Yee. “This is the other side: It’s happy animals and happy farmers working the land. That’s a possibility that’s out there.”
I commented on how I could see a children’s book inspired by this. I’d definitely read it with my daughter because as the description of the essay put it, “Knowing the people who cultivate the raw ingredients you eat can and will make a difference in your life.”
The Gravy Studio has a blog for more information about it.
The show runs all month so if you didn’t make the opening, get on over there.
About the custom motorcycles I mentioned in the headline…
Gravy runs in a space provided by Adam Cramer’s garage in Fishtown. Adam Cramer restores vintage motorcycles and I had the chance to talk with him for a few minutes about his work. I’ve been thinking of getting a motorcycle and if I do, I think I’d be very happy to purchase one from him.