Amoeblog

Grand Tour of the Northeast and Quebec -- a snapshot of Philadelphia

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 2, 2014 09:11pm | Post a Comment
Eric Brightwell in Elfreth's Alley
The author in Philadelphia (image courtesy Una Zipagan)

I recently visited Philadelphia for the first time as a stop on a sort of Grand Tour of the Northeast and Quebec, which I undertook following my sister's graduation from Princeton. To date, the only states that I haven't visited in the lower 48 are located along the East Coast... except for North Dakota. Even those East Coast states that I had previously visited are not states in which I've spent much time. I'd been to New Jersey just once, New York just once, and Miami a few times. I've also been informed by several Northeasterners that Miami does "not count." I respond with a quote from Posdnuous, “Characters have the tendency to con themselves/ To think the East Coast is only New York and Philadelph.”

Man Ray

Posted by Whitmore, August 27, 2008 11:55am | Post a Comment


Often cited as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Man Ray, was born Emmanuel Radnitzky on this day, August 27, 1890 in Philadelphia. He significantly contributed to the Dada, Surrealist and Avant-Garde movements of the 20th century and was a significant voice in the Parisian art world after The Great War. Though he mostly considered himself a painter, it’s as a photographer and film maker he is best remembered, not only for his experimental photography and films of the 1920’s and 30’s but for his fashion and portraiture work also.

A side note, during the Second World War, Man Ray returned to America, settling in Hollywood from about 1940 until 1951 at 1245 Vine Street-- the Villa Elaine apartments, across the street from the old Hollywood Ranch Market, right around the corner from present day Amoeba Records in Hollywood.




The Grandaddy of all Conspiracy Theories

Posted by Whitmore, October 27, 2007 10:07pm | Post a Comment

I do love conspiracy theories and here is one of the best. On this date, October 28 in 1943, at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, a naval military experiment often called the Philadelphia Experiment took place … allegedly. According to published reports the USS Eldridge turned invisible to eye witnesses for a brief moment, dematerialized, teleported to Norfolk, Virginia, and then reappeared in Philadelphia. The experiment supposedly had some horrific side effects on the sailors who either became extremely sick, insane or among other things, became engulfed in flames; many of the crew never led normal lives again. Since this had a few negative consequences on overall morale, the Navy halted the experiment and silenced the whole affair … allegedly.

The U.S. Navy of course has always stated that the experiment never occurred and many refer to the entire narrative as a misguided and absurd hoax. It doesn’t matter that many details of the Philadelphia Experiment contradict some of the facts about the Eldridge. (The USS Eldridge was not commissioned until late August 1943 and remained in port in New York City until September, 1943. During the month of October the ship was undergoing training exercises in the Bahamas -or was it the Bermuda triangle! - and never made it to Philadelphia that year. But who cares!) Conspiracy theories don’t get much more fun than this. Take this gem and sprint with it baby, because this where it all starts, this is the granddaddy of them all, from here countless Conspiracies can be traced, directly tripping into other conspiratorial ideologues of covert governments, secret organizations, murder corporations and agendas for world domination.  

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