Jefe's House

The Sixth Boro

Eulogy for Radio Shack

by on Aug.12, 2017, under Pophood, The Sixth Boro

trs80-iI confess. I’m one of the five remaining nerds who’ve been keeping Radio Shack hanging on by a rapidly fraying thread these past few years and have been heartbroken watching them pop like bubbles in NYC and Philadelphia. This unique electronics chain brings back childhood memories in Virginia.I first saw and used a computer, the TRS-80, there, and my poor mouth watered. I knew I would never be able to own one.

It has been a mainstay these days for components my young son and I use in our electrical crafting projects.  Sure, you can get that stuff online but it’s so much fun going through all the little drawers  at Radio Shack, browsing for various colored LEDs,  different sized toggle switches and numerous knobs.

The lone holdout in Philly, to my knowledge, was the one at 1616 Chestnut in bustling Center City. Imagine my shock when I finally went there again last week after months of carrying a tattered Post-It shopping list around in my wallet that read “Blick” and “wire” in my nearly illegible lefty scrawl, to find that yet another Radio Shack had met its maker. Blick is Dick Blick art supplies just a few blocks away at 13th and Chestnut. At least I’d be able to stop in there soon and cross that one off my shopping list.

A few days later I had wheels for the day to go fishing in southern Jersey on Long Beach Island about 90 minutes away.  I swung by the sad, abandoned Radio Shack again on my way out of town, hoping maybe there’d be some info in the window along the lines of, Please visit our nearest location at… but the bereaved staff hadn’t even tried. Here’s all I found:

radioshack

That left me with two choices; spend my day, and my car rental, tracking down Radio Shacks, or spend my day fishing.  According the web, the nearest Radio Shack was way off in northeast Philly on Aramingo Avenue. It was listed online as open, but then again so had this one been.

I didn’t bother calling to check but opted for a compromise instead, reaching for my phone. Perfect, there was a Radio Shack listed as open on Route 70 in Marleton, New Jersey, directly en route to LBI.  I kept my eyes peeled as I cruised past and, sadly, it was covered in SPACE AVAILABLE signs from a realty company.  I didn’t even need to slow down. In the end, I came up empty-handed on both the Radio Shacks and the fish, but nonetheless what a lovely summer day to have tried both.

20170813_083458   My son’s latest crafting project:  an electrical birthday card for a friend complete with on-off toggle switch and an LED bindi (or teep as we say in Bengali). Components: two CR2016 button batteries in a holder, a two-position toggle switch, red LED and small gauge single strand wire.

20170813_083537
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Comments Off :, , more...

Bidisha Dasgupta in Philly

by on Mar.03, 2016, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

Thrilled that Bidisha Dasgupta will be performing newly choreographed Indian Classical Dance (bharatanatyam) pieces in the Dance Diversity Tour on Saturday, April 16th in Philly. Two shows. Tix are $10 until April 2nd and $15 afterwards. You haven’t bought yours yet?

phillydanceshowcase

Comments Off :, , , , , , , , more...

A Hindu-Appalachian Christmas in the City of Brotherly Love

by on Dec.23, 2015, under Pophood, Shaheb Cafe, The Sixth Boro

shahebcafe

 

 

 

 

A Shaheb’s Guide to India

line

How a simple father-son craft project became a global, epic diorama

full shot2-001

Five years ago this month my wife Bidisha and I got married a full Hindu wedding in India. Four years ago our son was born.

This past Thanksgiving while carving the turkey at our Philadelphia home I got to the bone that my granny from rural southwestern Virginia used to save and make into a turkey bone Santa sled decoration at Christmastime every so often. It’s a morbid Appalachian thing, you wouldn’t understand. In a fit of nostalgia I decided I’d give it a whirl and introduce my young son to a part of his cultural history.

To make sure I was really remembering correctly I Googled “turkey bone sled” and one of the first things that came up was someone’s Pinterest page about turkey bone sleds with the header, “My granny made these.” Yep, I was on the right track.

The schematic.

The schematic.

My son and I often do multi-stage, multi-day art projects so I told him we were going to embark on this “small” project. I’m thinking the whole thing will be five or six inches long with a couple of ceremonial reindeer pulling it but he insists that it be the full 9 reindeer, and that there be a full moon, and a Pleiades star cluster (the Seven Sisters), Aldebaran (the brightest star in the constellation Taurus and one of the bull’s eyes), a small pine tree like the one we have in a planter outside our house, and our street sign, and snow on the ground, and hovering in the sky above Santa there should be Kartik. Without missing a beat I told him fine but that he’d need to design it on paper first so we’d know exactly what we were making and not leave anything out.

Kartik? That would be the Hindu god Kartik, less famous brother of Ganesh. Kartik is the Pete Best of major goddess Durga’s children. I later learned it’s impossible to find an altar figurine of just Kartik alone, so I convinced him instead to  CONT’D at medium.com>>

Comments Off :, , , , , , , , , , , , , , more...

Finding Francis

by on Sep.26, 2015, under Politics, The Sixth Boro

Looking for the Pope in Philadelphia

20150926_100357On this overcast, blustery fall day I made a lone pilgrimage on foot two miles from my South Philly home to Center City for a chance at glimpsing Pope Francis, “the people’s Pope,” in person.  All the way up Broad Street, Army or National Guard soldiers — I’m not sure which — in green fatigues hung out casually in pairs on every other street corner. They’d been there since last night but I’m not sure why as no Papal events are planned this far south and barely a soul was out. The city seems apocalyptically deserted.

20150926_100949

Click to enlarge photos.

Eventually I came to barricades personed by police and military at every intersection to keep out vehicles but as a pedestrian I could pass freely. Finally, just south of City Hall, I reached one of the security entrances to the main event.  The lines were much shorter than I anticipated, and much friendlier.  Soon I was inside the secure zone.

*

*

*
20150926_101707Although I’m not Catholic and have serious disagreements with the Catholic Church and its checkered history, the Pope is a major historical figure and he’s right here in my town so naturally I wanted to be a part of the event.  Like all these visitors from around the world I was one more gawking pilgrim eager to see “the people’s Pope” in the flesh.

Crossing Love Park I got my first glimpse of one of the Jumbotrons, on which the Pope was just starting (continue reading…)

Comments Off :, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , more...

FINAL BONEYARDS THIS WEEKEND!

by on Jun.14, 2015, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

Cara Blouin and the Art Church of West Philadelphia

present
The Body Horror Mini-Fest

as part of the

2015 Philadelphia SoLow Performance Art FestivalAs long as you’re coming to see Jeffrey Stanley’s BONEYARDS (6/27, 6/28) why not make a night of it and also check out the rest of the exciting triple bill featuring work by Philadelphia performance artists Joseph Ahmed and Joy Cutler?

at
The Art Church of West Philadelphia
5219 Webster Street (MAP)
Philadelphia, PA

All shows are pay-what-you-can but individual reservations are required for each show, as follows: (continue reading…)

Comments Off :, , , , , , , , , , , more...

Murders. Suicides. Embalmings. Divorces. Hauntings. Hilarity ensues.

by on Jun.02, 2015, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

Don’t miss my autobiographical stand-up tragedy Jeffrey Stanley’s BONEYARDS while it’s at the Art Church of West Philadelphia as part of the 2015 SoLow Fest.

Friday 6/19 @9pm
Saturday 6/27 @9pm
Sunday 6/28 @7pm

Book now.

Comments Off :, , , , , , , , , , , more...


Jeffrey Stanley’s BONEYARDS Reincarnates in June

by on May.20, 2015, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

solowBONEYARDS will return in 4 weeks in Philly at The Art Church of West Philadelphia as part of the 2015 SoLow Festival. 3 shows –

Friday 6/19 at 9pm

Saturday 6/27 at 9pm

Sunday 6/28 at 7pm.

All seats $10. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for reservation details.

These performances will be part of the Body Horror Mini-Fest including solo shows by Joy Cutler and Joseph Ahmed, produced by Cara Blouin.

 In the meantime if you missed my two-hour Coast to Coast AM With George Noory appearance last month you can check it out here.

Many thanks for your continued passion and support,

Jeffrey Stanley

Comments Off :, , , , , , , , , , , more...

Blast From the Timeline

by on Apr.12, 2015, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

According to an automated Facebook message I received this morning I posted this picture 4 years ago today on 4/12/11. I decided to check my blog for that date as well and yep, this was about to happen:

beautifulzion

Comments Off :, , , , , , , , , , more...

The Ghost of August Wilson

by on Mar.25, 2015, under On the Road, The Sixth Boro, Theatre

20150323_220621Amtrak Residency
Day 12
3/24/15

This morning while hurtling across western Pennsylvania I enjoyed my final Amtrak breakfast.  I sat next to a uniformed Amtrak police officer en route to a meeting at our final stop on the Capitol Limited, Washington, DC. From there I’ll take a two-hour ride  to Philadelphia on the Amtrak Acela Express and be home in time for dinner.

Across from us sat two elderly women from Pittsburgh and Baltimore. The officer had spent 26 years on the Chicago police force before retiring into a much less stressful “second career” working for Amtrak.

20150324_111119

Old round house; Martinsburg, WV station

After a few minutes of instinctively probing their names, destinations, life stories, I sprung it on them that I’m a (continue reading…)

Comments Off :, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , more...