• Professional tour guide and historian Bob Skiba publishes two excellent blogs documenting Philadelphia history. Philadelphia Dance History Journal provides engaging commentary as well as compelling photos and other documentation to explore the city’s remarkable performing arts heritage. “From the minuet to hip-hop, from colonial assemblies to flash mobs; it’s all here,” he says.
The Gayborhood Guru explores the colorful history and haunts of one of Philly’s most dynamic Center City Neighborhoods. Archivist at the William Way Center‘s John J. Wilcox Jr. LGBT Archives, Skiba often gives lectures and tours, and produces exhibits and discussions about Philly’s gay history.
• Hidden City Daily fosters public dialogue about the city’s neighborhoods, buildings, parks, businesses, personalities, and other topics. The blog is one of four programs hosted by Hidden City Philadelphia, which will launch its second arts and heritage festival in 2013.
• Philly Sports History covers men’s sports in the decades from 1870s to the 1990s. The dedicated three-man team that produces the blog includes Johnny Goodtimes, Michael Lalli and Arthur Etchells. Lots of great sports writing and wonderful vintage photos of nearly forgotten baseball teams, pro boxing fights, and lots more. Also covered: basketball, hockey, football and, occasionally, golf.
Former Phillies’ manager Arthur Irwin (right) led double life off the field, c. 1894.
Philadelphia continues to hold onto its legacy as a “green country town” and the inheritors of the land of Bartram, Buist, M’Mahan, Landreth, and Ball showcase their best every year at the annual Pennsylvania Flower Show, still going strong after 183 years (really, since 1829!). Contributors to this green scene include a number of eco-conscious blogs like these:
• Some Little Crum Creek. Scott’s intimate nature photos and thoughtful prose graciously document the plants and animals, birds and insects, thriving in a suburban Delaware County community located southeast of the city.
• Growing History, authored by botanist David Hewitt and the Wagner Science Institute’s Abby Sullivan, the blog is the voice of the Philadelphia Historic Plants Consortium.
• Philly Trees. Above all, pay attention to the trees, blogger Jon Spruce asks, as he leaps from one park to another, and street to street, revealing the secrets and names of our City’s trees.
• Phigblog. For Phil Forsythe, it’s about creating an edible landscape, with urban farming and keeping food growing local. A professional landscape designer, he’s the quiet force behind the Philadelphia Orchard Project.
• Fading Beauty. Not a faded blossom among Nicole Juday’s vibrant photos. The rosarian lectures frequently at garden clubs and plant societies, and she also writes the blog Ground Level for WHYY’s NewsWorks website.