malvern borough have you learned nothing since eastside flats?

Development is a funny thing. I see all of these amazing adaptive reuse and other projects everywhere but in the area we call home. Chester County is overrun with bad and/or inappropriate plans. And yes there is one that concerns me in Malvern Borough. But first we need to talk about the last development which caused me concern there before due to it’s hulking nature: Eastside Flats.

And at the end of the day one of the biggest problems STILL with Eastside Flats is lack of human scale and inappropriate design for the area.  They tower over everything and citify a small town in a way that is architecturally inappropriate. And I would still like to know how fire trucks can navigate this site completely in the event of fire? 

Eastside Flats still is in my opinion, architecturally unimaginative and looks like hulky, looming Lego buildings that created a canyon effect in tiny Malvern. That is NOT a reflection on the businesses there which I love and patronize. Nothing about these buildings ties into the quaint Borough of Malvern or it’s history. I said this in 2013 and I still think that.

Empty lot that used to be old store fronts

And again, this has NOTHING to do with the businesses. It’s the aesthetics, lack of human scale and even the crappy scored-to-look-like-brick-concrete-sidewalks which are a slip and fall and trip hazard. And the fact there is STILL no curb cut from the public parking lot so you don’t have to walk over MULCH. I mean how many years will it take to correct that? And there is little room for delivery trucks, so it’s not uncommon to find UPS and other trucks blocking a pedestrian’s path from parking lot to sidewalk. The finishes on the facade of the buildings are also already showing wear.

Eastside flats being built.

The consequences of Eastside Flats caused an election upheaval in 2013. Yet, Malvern Borough is still facing inappropriate development that will be completely out of scale again, in my opinion, if built. And no, I don’t have a horse in this race. I will merely be around to say I told you so if it gets built the way it looks now in the plans.

Here are the documents you can peruse that were sent to me by concerned residents in Malvern Borough (screenshots below are from these documents – it shows the evolution of proposed plans and note it doesn’t look like it’s Malvern at all):

What the resident said to me (in part):

So much local development that happens before people are aware of it, and then the only thing people can do it complain after the fact. It would be great to get public input on this before it’s an inevitability.

The residents who attended the last PC meeting raising the several concerns about this project are:
* Height – it will be out of scale and character with the surrounding buildings and neighborhood behind. They are requesting a variance for height.
* Traffic – The proposed design will have people entering leaving at the intersection of King and Bridge, adding to our current rush hour traffic woes.
* Construction – How are they going to stage this kind of construction on our overcrowded streets. They are refusing to consider another entrance off of Woodland, which would make this easier. To get the Woodland entrance they would need to purchase 2 parking spaces from the current owner.
* Aesthetics – This is a gateway to Malvern. Do we really want a corporate monolith looming above the street as our welcome to Malvern?

Another resident said:

“I think the applicant should turn his building 90 degrees on its eastern axis nearest Woodland. The short side of the structure takes up only half the King St. frontage of the current proposal. Run the remainder of the building back to the property’s 160′ depth, ending up with the same size building. Plenty of window light all around because the Woodland and King neighbor is small and not deep anyway (which the applicant should buy if possible, anyway). A now 65′ wide frontage (by 43′ high) is far more compatible with the current scale on King.
Now, what do you do with the remaining half of the lot to the west? You put in a beautiful hardscape (cobblestones, bricks, maybe even pervious, etc) all the way to the property depth, studded with lots of trees (diminishing a couple or three parking spaces, for sure, but that’s all, and don’t forget, trees reduce bare ground temperature by 30%). Maybe the drive comes in from Bridge or maybe it goes in from Woodland, but that doesn’t matter to the concept. (Woodland is clearly better for traffic, though.)
Office parking on the hardscape during business hours. The Borough gets the parking in the evening, without security concerns because no one has to go through the off-limits parking under building.On special occasions we would have a new park-like hardscape area for public events. And most critically, we all enjoy the view from Bridge, seeing lots of trees and openness at Our Town’s last main entrance.”
It’s a creative solution instead of a box building that checks all of the bureaucratic boxes. In Malvern it seems we use our ordinances to justify buildings that no one wants. “

I am told that developer folks are asking for like 4 variances: height relief, parking relief, buffer relief (going from 20 ft. to 5 ft.), relief from having to install some kind of parking island? So, if these variances are granted without conditions, such as making them subject to PC recommendations based on SALDO issues, there will be very little the Borough can do to require changes to the plan, right?

Ok so I wrote about the site in 2015 when the original buildings were coming down. I felt back then that although I understood there probably there was no way to save the 19th century storefront and other structures given the decrepit buildings they was attached to. But this is the kind of waste that makes me crazy because someone had seemingly sat on this land for the better part of what? A decade or better?

Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
History Quarterly Digital Archives October 1961 Volume 11 Number 4, Pages 88–93 . The history of Malvern by Cherri Quann

From the UpHome Facebook page years ago.

Still lost? Remember where the lovely store UpHome had their first home? Across King from The Flying Pig? What was reported to have been Malvern’s last 19th century store front? There.

So Malvern Borough, you got rid of Malvern Victorian Christmas for something not quite as memorable, although nice. Are you slowly going to be overtaken by things too large and hulking for a small Main Street oriented town? Please consider better.

And Malvern Borough residents? Some of you will send me nasty comments or post them because I am expressing concern here. That’s on you. You can be ostriches or you can get involved with your borough again.

Your choice.

If I lived and paid taxes in the Borough of Malvern I would want better for my community. I would want new construction to fit and reflected the character of the borough. So ask your borough folks when meeting will occur for this plan. Or not. Again, it’s up to you. I am merely expressing my opinion and concern.

maybe we need the equal rights amendment (era) now?

Starting this post with Shepherd Fairey’s political poster art because I think they’re gorgeous images. Think it speaks to the nature of diversity of women in this country.

I have never considered myself to be a feminist. But I think there is a middle ground and the Equal Rights Amendment should be ratified.

What got me thinking about the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was the FX/Hulu series “Mrs. America”. It tells the story of the movement to ratify the ERA. As a kid born in 1964 I was aware of a lot of this going on in the background of my childhood but I didn’t have a mother who took part in either the conservative woman movement or the feminist movement. It’s just some thing I remember is like background music of growing up years. Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug and Jill Ruckelshaus were names on the news and in magazines. I never actually remembered hearing the name Phyllis Schlafly until the late 1970s. I remember seeing her newsletters somewhere when I was in high school and thinking she was a nut job. Sadly her Eagle Forum is still alive. I actually have never met anybody who belonged to it. I also never heard of her group before the “Mrs. America” series- just her.

So I am not a “bra burner” feminist as it were, but I was fascinated with this series. Why? Because of all of the names from the 70s and 80s that have peppered American politics through to the Trump presidency today. Not the feminist names…the men. Gary Hart, Jesse Helms, Dick Cheney, Paul Manafort, Donald Rumsfeld, etc. You don’t see all of them as characters, but the series is peppered with their names. And it really just makes you stop and think.

And me after watching the series? Well why ISN’T the ERA ratified yet? Given what we are dealing with today in this country, don’t you have to wonder all that might be different if the ERA was finally ratified?

I look as a woman some days at this country we live in with dismay as the future of our rights hang in the balance. There is still sexism, racism, and more in the workplace and world in general. NOW doesn’t seem so radical to me anymore. I understand why it was considered radical when it was founded, but now? Not so much.

To an extent the #MeToo movement has reinvigorated the ERA movement. But I also think 2020 may play a part as well. Mother Jones has a fabulous piece about it, written in 2018.

Now I read an article in the L.A. Times where Gloria Steinem herself takes issue with the Mrs. America series. I get she lived it, but for me as a viewer, I had a hard time keeping up with all the intersecting politics of the era the series represented. And maybe it of course had Hollywood poetic license, but it was fascinating and made me pause to think about it, like the suffragettes who came decades before these women.

Steinem said in the article: Mrs America” is hopelessly wrong. I don’t think it’s necessarily on purpose, but it is just factually, historically wrong, because the Equal Rights Amendment was defeated by the insurance industry and other people who were profiting off women’s cheap labor. Phyllis Schlafly never changed one vote. I’m very disturbed that people may look at “Mrs. America” and feel that women are our own worst enemies. Because even when we disagree, we don’t have the power to be our own worst enemies.

I disagree with her there because women are their own worst enemies at times, and the worst enemies of each other. Women spend way too much time fighting with each other, and women in politics can be some of the worst offenders, followed closely by women on social media, for example. We are part of a somewhat barbaric and tyrannical sisterhood at times. We hurt each other as much as we help each other.

There is an interesting op-ed in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle this weekend titled Pandemic accents need for Equal Rights Amendment
By Rosanne Nash Guest columnist
. Give it a read. After all the ERA has been in the works for what? About a century? Why not now?

Food for thought and check out the series.

I think regardless of our political persuasion, ratifying the ERA is long overdue.

did you hear the one about a meeting in a municipal garage, a porta potty and no air conditioning? ask westtown…

I am going to let Mindy’s words stand on their own. Yes, Westtown is trying to hold the FINAL planning commission meeting for Crebilly and Troll Brothers in a public works garage.

No air-conditioning, July.

No plumbing, July.

Porta potty in the time of coronavirus, July.

With all residents have been through with this AND coronavirus, this is the plan? Wow. One would think that with all the money the developer and family selling would stand to make one would think they could rent a ballroom in a hotel like the Desmond, right? Or hold it when all could gather safely, right?

But nooooo, it’s a saddle up occasion and here is whom to contact ASAP:

Westtown Township Main Number: 610-692-1930Rob Pingar, Township Manager: rpingar@westtown.orgWill Ethridge, Secretary Planning Commission: wethridge@westtown.orgBoard of Supervisors: supervisors@westtown.org

As Mindy says with every post, IF NOT YOU THEN WHO?

call to action: west whiteland weston OVERdevelopment plan being heard at virtual planning commission TONIGHT 6/16/2020

Picture 104 house here on West King Road in West Whiteland just a short hop from East Whiteland

West Whiteland is perhaps the worst offender overall in the development cram plans game. And it only keeps getting worse IMHO. Their township manager used to be the township manager of Tredyffrin. When she was “retiring” from Tredyffrin she was quoted as saying “a job is not a life”.

Oh OK, and we believed this? (To be honest I did not.)

So she has been the manager of West Whiteland since what? 2014? Has anyone ever tracked the development from when she became manager? Seems like every year the pace of development becomes more frantic in West Whiteland doesn’t it? (I ask this as a question because I do not know for certain.)

So tonight there is a VERY important planning commission meeting at 7 PM (and you can register to zoom it):

There is virtual meeting etiquette so I guess I can’t use the word fakakta sadly.

I wrote the Planning Commission in West Whiteland a letter (questions@westwhiteland.org):

I will start with saying I am appalled by the staggering amount of development overall in West Whiteland.   


I find your virtual planning commission agenda for June 16, 2020 alarming and deeply troubling.


You will be affecting not only your residents but those of us in other municipalities like East Whiteland.  I live in East Whiteland.  


I live fairly close to the Weston Tract proposed development off of West King.  It is hard enough now to safely get out of our street onto King by car.  Many also walk at Immaculata, so they walk across King.  The proposal for 104 crammed in houses will add 208 cars or other vehicles at a MINIMUM. I say at a minimum because very few families have ONE car.  That doesn’t count for additional service providers, etc. Also to be considered is the giant pipeline right of way smack dab in the center of this proposed development.  I realize that probably doesn’t faze you but it should because if you approve all of this density you are creating another ticking time bomb.  Can you say another Lisa Drive sinkhole situation would NOT occur? No you can’t because of where we are situated and the geology of the area. Also such density when those pipelines will be carrying such volatile products?  And the land there is densely wooded and we will be losing nature and point of fact you will drive all of the deer from there to our properties. Thanks, but no. The environmental impact will be devastating, do you care? 


We in East Whiteland are also facing way too much development and with development close to where I live going up on Morstein and down off 352, plus the OTHER development your township seems hip to get on Route 30?   Lincoln Highway at Ship, across on Ship behind Philip and James and the thing also on tonight between Locheil Farm and Church Farms School absurdly called Exton Knoll? 319 densely packed in living units?  And lest you forget, lots of residential planned in East Whiteland on Route 30 too (old Frazer Lanes).  Plus all of the development currently built off Planebrook, at Linden Hall (352 and 30 which was supposed to get a left turn arrow and did not so the residents can barely get out of the development) and more (cruise on down to 29 and beyond.)  Further east of us you have the development planned for Easttown and I am sure Tredyffrin.  West of you is already density overload.  Go to other neighboring municipalities like West Goshen and that is bad too and even East Goshen is getting in on development overload.  When is enough actually enough? When there is not any real open space left?  And don’t say developers care about open space because the open space they give back is mostly stuff they can’t build on.


NO ONE needs all of this development and once you get past the municipal short term high of ratables, all of these developments are not sustainable long term.  The economy is questionable as it is, and we are trying to emerge from the first global pandemic since when? 1918? So why for THAT reason do we want so much density?  Social distancing is hard enough as it is.  I also think you seriously overestimate the appeal of so many apartment buildings.  We are not King of Prussia or Center City Philadelphia.  We don’t live out here in Chester County to experience uber urbanism. We live in Chester County because it used to be quite literally one of the most beautiful places on earth. But I use the past tense because every development destroys more of the beauty.

  
I will close by saying that although I appear to be 100% anti-development I actually am not.  If development is responsible and thoughtful I actually shut my mouth.  Only no one has seen plans like those in years and years. They don’t even have a decent design aesthetic, human scale or good setbacks, or even roads that are wide enough in these new developments,  it’s just build, build, build.  Neither of the plans before you this evening ( Weston Tract, Exton Knoll) are responsible or thoughtful or give a rat’s fanny for those of us who live in adjacent townships, let alone West Whiteland Township. NONE of your current plans meet that criteria, truthfully. And let us not forget the impact all of the development in all of these municipalities has on the various school districts. And basics like first responders, the infrastructure. 


I hope you do not find me rude, that is not my intent.  But your Weston Tract proposal especially affects me and my neighbors and that is not ok.  We would like to be able to safely get out of our driveways and streets. We don’t want more stormwater issues. You have zero idea what flows down King Road now in an average thunderstorm.  We don’t want to lose all of those trees and you also need to consider the little league fields. The Weston Tract will affect them too.


Please say no. Or find a way to say no. Enough new urbanism fairy tales.  


Now in all fairness someone told me they did not think West Whiteland likes the Weston development proposal. But I trust no townships much anymore when it comes to development. That is my opinion and my right. I think if you have an interest in either of these plans to take the time to zoom this evening. You don’t have to drive anywhere and you might make a difference.

new penn med at radnor is spectacular!

Inside looking out to the courtyard and newly planted gardens

Today I had my second Mohs surgery for skin cancer. I had another one two years ago. Today my procedure was in the brand new Penn Medicine at Radnor At 145 King of Prussia Road in Radnor.

Reception in the front.

It was a little dicey getting into the new complex because the brand new PennDOT installed left turn arrow light was broken. And there is road work going on. But then you see the new building and a big parking garage. If you have gone to Penn Medicine in Radnor over the years at the old location you know one of the biggest problems has always been parking, so this is welcome.

It’s a giant building. It’s pristine and amazing. I did get lost but I think that is because I was so used to the old building.

Central registration

The two wings of the new building have an amazing courtyard in the middle complete with a garden. The garden in the center of Chester County Hospital is one of my favorite things about the hospital so I’m really glad they did this year as well. it has little tables and benches and once things are more opened up I’m sure people will be able to sit outside.

When you go in you are greeted by reception and they take your temperature. They then direct you to where you were going when I got upstairs to where I was going which was on the third floor, the first thing I saw getting off the elevator was central registration where I checked in.

One thing I did not care for as I was charged a co-pay and I was not supposed to be charged a co-pay today because I was there for a day surgical procedure. But I think those are kinks they will work out in this new registration process. That step did occur at the old building.

The exam rooms are bright and spacious and so are the waiting room areas. What I am missing however, is all the art from the Delaware Valley Art League they hung on the walls of the old building. My exam room had a view of the natural pond being built. It had a couple families of Canadian geese complete with goslings so it was really kind of fun to see.

This is an amazing building that one commissioner in Radnor Township in particular fought and still is. Commissioner Booker, please give it up. It is an amazing and necessary facility and you’re lucky they didn’t leave Radnor Township…because they could have.

Well my face literally hurts so that is all from me today.

Thanks for stopping by.

historic preservation is inspiring and infectious

This was something the greeted me this morning when I popped open my tablet. An update from Meg at Life’s Patina about the restoration in progress of the Jenny Lind house in Historic Yellow Springs Village. this morning she was talking about antique fire backs and it triggered a memory in me, reminding me of my late father upon seeing these fire backs.

When I was very young, as I have written before, my parents bought a wreck of a house from the redevelopment authority in Philadelphia. Literally a wreck.

An 1811 double front townhouse turned into bad apartments in the depression (if memory serves.) This was the early 60s and most of Society Hill was a slum. I remember my father hunting for fire backs for all the fireplaces (and almost every room had one except for the back building.)

This was the original “sale sign” on the house my parents bought in the ‘60s in Society Hill

Yes above you see the actual sale sign that was hanging on the house my parents bought from the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority in the early 1960s. I will note that in today’s world, realtors and others get the actual date of this house I was born in wrong. Sometimes it’s just buy a couple of years, other times it’s been by decades. I don’t know how they can’t do their research.

I have distinct memories of Society Hill when I was really little and it was like a giant construction site. There were so many houses that were beyond repair being torn down, other houses being restored, and in some cases entire blocks being leveled for new construction. Including next door to our house.

From Philadelphia government archives. Photo dates to 1957

From Philadelphia government archives. Photo dates to 1930s

If you look at those photos, the one immediately above the one that was taken in the 1930s when the house was part of an entire row of homes built in the same early 19th century. The photo above that is from 1957 and a bunch of the houses had already been demolished. I will further note that the house at the end of the row in the 1957 photo (269 S. 4th) was torn down by the time my parents bought their house (271 S. 4th.)

When I was a little girl until they started building, right next-door to us was a big old empty lot with a giant sycamore tree in the back corner.

The two screen shots above are from the PhillyHistory.org amazing photo archives. This next screenshot is from Philadelphia Architects and Buildings and was taken in the 1980s:

When I look at that photo I get wistful because the little street tree is a pin oak tree my father planted when I was a little girl. I also have that memory of him planting the street tree and taking care of it throughout the years. Just like I have memories of my mother scrubbing down by hand the white marble steps.

The next screenshot is a Google shot my parents’ house today. I have no idea who owns it I know it’s sold a couple of years ago. I presume it is still single-family. It would kill me if it was put back to apartments after all these years.

And look to the left of my parents home townhouses built in the early 1970s. I don’t think it was late 1960s, but maybe they were at least in planning. Look at the difference between what you see being built today and what was built then. It has a better size and scale to fit into the existing neighborhood and the design while modern nods to the past. It is a shame we can’t get that today with new construction, isn’t it?

Society hill in the 1960s was a very different place than a place you see being gentrified today. It was like this unspoken word-of-mouth saying that when houses were being either taken down or strip to the studs, people from the neighborhood that were in the middle of restoration projects always got a pick at salvage basically.

Meg’s photo of her firebacks took me back to when my father was restoring the fireplaces in our house back then. I have no idea if the fireplaces are still wood-burning, but they were when I was a child. And I remember my father going in and out of houses being torn down or houses that had been torn down and all were left were piles of rubble looking for hardware and firebacks and even some mantlepieces. The mantlepieces in this house I was born in were predominantly marble. A lot of them were black marble with beautiful veining.

The PhillyHistory.org is a treasure trove of photos. You can see how bad a lot of the houses were on the inside, let alone the outside. I haven’t been able to find archival photos of my parents house from before they bought it but here’s a screenshot I took from one of the neighborhood homes of these archives that will give you an idea of the restoration that was necessary:

It’s crazy when I think about the way it was to what it has become as an area today. One thing no one ever talks about is how Society Hill got the name Society Hill.  Cue USHistory.org :

Named after the long defunct Free Society of Traders, this area of Philadelphia extends from Walnut to Lombard Streets, from Front to 8th Street.

The Society for which Society Hill is named is now defunct. The Free Society of Traders, a stock company to whom William Penn made liberal concessions of land and privileges, encountered virgin territory and woodlands stretching westward to the Schuylkill. They found some Dutch and Swedes living here as well. Though by 1683 the Society’s assets already included a sawmill, a glasshouse, and a tannery in Philadelphia, but two score years later they were bankrupt. The Assembly put the property of the Society in the hand of trustees in order to pay its debts.

Home to many members of the federal government when Philadelphia served as the nation’s capital, the area also attracted the locally wealthy and international nabobs as well. As the land juxtaposed the river and the seat of government, it was the most valuable in the city. From greed and speculation, lots were divided and divided again. The result: the serpentine walkways, abrupt angles, and tiny alleys that today make the area so appealingly intimate.

Over decades the area lost its cachet and ultimately became a dilapidated slum with a massive food distribution center located on Dock Street

a beautiful day for a covid-19 test….

Today I got a COVID-19 test. No, I am not sick, but this is the new normal if you are having any surgical procedures. I have one coming up, so COVID-19 test day it was.

My hospital system is Penn, so I went to Penn Medicine in Radnor and lined up for my test. This is a drive thru test site, BUT it is by appointment. You have to register ahead of time. I will admit that people showing up without appointments gummed up the works a bit. Different testing sites have different rules, so make sure you know the rules when you chose your site.

My test was a throat swab. Yes, you can get an alternative to brain excavation via your nostrils IF the location has the other kits to do so. Penn offered it to me when I called to schedule because I get nose bleeds. I get them a fair amount. I have since I was a kid. I get that from my mother. I knew going there today that IF they had the other test I could get it, but otherwise it was up the nose and I got tissues. I was lucky. So I did gag because they go deep into your throat but I did not get a nose bleed.

When you get there and they check us in and check I.D. Then you just move up the line until it is your turn. Penn made it very simple. I have not received the results back yet, but should have them shortly because I have a surgical procedure coming up, so it gets categorized differently and processed accordingly. My nurse was Candace and she was awesome!

What amazes me however, is an article I saw this afternoon. Much to my amazement, Pennsylvania is lagging in testing and does less than almost every other state. I mean talk about WTF right?

Philadelphia Inquirer: Pennsylvania does less coronavirus testing than almost every other state
by Tom Avril, Posted: 28 minutes ago

Testing for the coronravirus is seen as a key strategy for preventing a surge in new cases, yet as with so many other aspects of the response to COVID-19, some states are doing a lot, others not.

Pennsylvania falls into the latter category, based on the number of tests performed per capita, according to an analysis by Johns Hopkins University. Through Tuesday, labs in the state had done 5,215 tests per 100,000 people — fewer than all but seven states, counting Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

New Jersey was third-best, at 14,227 tests per 100,000, after Rhode Island and New York, while Delaware was not far behind, at 11th.

If not for Philadelphia, where testing is relatively widespread, Pennsylvania’s rate would be even lower — roughly 4,800 tests per 100,000 people, ahead of only Wyoming, Idaho, and Puerto Rico.

So. Yeah. And our Embarrassment In Chief who made some typically stupid comments about Coronavirus at his Oklahoma campaign rally. We’ll start with the derogatory racist nicknames for the virus. (He has this really disturbing way of moving his mouth while he is attempting enunciation. It almost can make your skin crawl.)

And as a lot of states are seeing surges in cases of Coronavirus, today it was announced that our lovely Trumperal Government will end federal funding to community testing sites, mostly in Texas.

This global pandemic by the numbers as per the Inquirer:

There have been about 9.32 million confirmed cases and 479,300 deaths globally. In the United States, there have been about 2.36 million confirmed cases and 121,700 deaths.

Alrighty then. That is reality. We need to pay attention. I see people bitching back and forth on social media about having to wear masks. I saw someone today whom I know to be immunocompromised and who also has a child who definitely is. To them I say you’re a long time dead.

I will close with an excerpt from an Op Ed column from the New York Times and a photo at the very end of my awesome Penn nurse today.

Opinion
The Pandemic Is Still Raging. The President Pretends Otherwise.

Downplaying the seriousness of the coronavirus has not stopped it from spreading in parts of the U.S.

By The Editorial Board
The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values. It is separate from the newsroom.

June 23, 2020

News Update: On Tuesday, the United States recorded the highest single-day total of new coronavirus cases since April, according to a New York Times database.

More than 100 days into the coronavirus pandemic, here’s where things stand in the United States: 2.3 million people have been infected, and some 120,000 people — more than in any other country — have died. Early epicenters like New York and New Jersey appear to have gotten their outbreaks under control, but several new hot spots have emerged, including in Florida, Texas and Arizona, where daily case counts are higher than ever. Over all, the number of new cases a day is rising, and the rest of the world is taking note: The European Union is mulling travel restrictions that would prohibit Americans from entering any nation in the bloc because the United States has failed to contain the pandemic.

None of these developments have put an end to the denialism that has prevailed at the White House from the start. In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal last week, Vice President Mike Pence argued that reports of a coming second wave of infections were exaggerated. That argument was seconded by Larry Kudlow, the administration’s top economic adviser. Scientists do not agree: On Tuesday Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, told a House panel that the country has yet to clear the first wave of the pandemic and that a second wave of outbreaks is possible. “We’re still in the middle of a serious outbreak,” he said. “There is no doubt about that.”….President Trump noted at a rally in Tulsa, Okla., that the nation’s case counts would not rise quite so egregiously if the U.S. stopped testing so many people for the virus. “When you do testing to that extent, you’re gonna find more people, you’re gonna find more cases,” he told the crowd. “So I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please.’” …But it would still be better if the nation’s leaders worked to prevent as many people as possible from contracting the virus in the first place — and to do that, they’ll have to start by acknowledging that the threat is real. On Tuesday, Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called the pandemic “the greatest public health crisis our nation and world have confronted in a century.” It’s past time for the rest of the administration to start taking it that seriously.

My awesome Penn Medicine nurse Candace. Thank you Candace, for taking care of me!

bbq season is here! get the best at farm boy fresh in malvern!

Let me start by saying Farm Boy Fresh is on Toast Tab now. And in our COVID19 world you can order BBQ ahead for pick-up the next day. Yes next day. BBQ like this is an art form, trust me. They are weekends right now until Pennsylvania truly opens up.

Chef Paul Marshall

Back to the beginning.

Farm Boy Fresh photo – loading up the smoker for all of their happy customers

You all know I love the food from Farm Boy Fresh. And I had just started going there when stay at home orders and COVID19 hit. So I have been waiting. Last week I found out that Chef Paul Marshall was taking barbecue orders and I thought it would make a perfect Father’s Day treat for my husband. So I placed an order for brisket, ribs, chicken, sides and they should be illegal little key lime pies.

I went at my pick up time with my husband and our food was ready and waiting for us. We had a chance to visit with Paul and his lovely wife Julie, and oh my there is no barbecue in this area like his.

My husband was barely in the house sampling it and declared it “superior“ to anything else around here. I love barbecue when it’s good but we haven’t had any really good barbecue in years in this area right or wrong. Farm Boy Fresh has just elevated BBQ to the next level. (Guy Fieri are you listening? You might want to visit in your shiny red car.)

I am just sharing about Farm Boy Fresh again because I love their food. I want everyone to know that because a lot bloggers are compensated and I am not. I am just a happy customer of Farm Boy Fresh.

I will close with saying now I understand why people say good barbecue brisket is like a religious experience.

I hope you will place an order and enjoy the old-fashioned but never out of style tastes of summer. And let Chef Paul know that you read about Farm Boy Fresh on this blog!

Farm Boy Fresh. Located at the Sunoco at 7 Lancaster Avenue, Malvern PA19355.

Please note that for now until everything opens up in Pennsylvania, Farm Boy Fresh is open weekends 9 AM to 2 PM. And yes proper social distancing is being observed in my opinion. Find them on Facebook if you have questions.

a juneteenth visit to ebenezer on bacton hill road in east whiteland

Ebenezer on Bacton Hill Road in Frazer (East Whiteland) is a sacred and historic place. It’s no secret I have written about this place for years.

The AME Church grew out of the Free African Society in the late 1700s, but the church became it’s own entity founded in Philadelphia around 1816.  So you can see given the age of Ebenezer AME in East Whiteland, Chester County, PA that it is truly part of the early days of a church and religion founded in Philadelphia.  Bishop Richard Allen died in 1831, just months before Ebenezer came to be after Joseph Malin deeded the land.

Hiram Woodyard was a Township resident and former slave who served in the Union Army as a teamster. He was a leader in the African American community and is buried at the Ebenezer AME Church. His home still stands on Congestoga Road. Other homes he built still stand. He was an inhabitant of Bacton Hill.

Without active preservation there will come a time that all which will be left of the area will be my blog posts including this one from 2017 which is an oral history complete with some really cool photos courtesy of Claude Bernadin, or this one from 2015, this one from 2016, this one from 2017, the ceremony November 2016, a post from October 2016, another one from October 2016, when for brief moment people stopped to visit the old souls now covered by weeds and brush once more, 2015 post which had links to earlier posts. Also what will survive will be the occasional newspaper article from every newspaper reporter who tried to raise awareness to this area and to Ebenezer.

Once upon a time people tried to get a Bacton Hill Historic District or something like that. It’s a shame it never happened. Because at least then there would have been a more organized history of the place.

So this Juneteenth, I was thinking of Ebenezer again and here are a few new photos scattered throughout this post. I remember the black civil war soldiers here and elsewhere throughout Chester County. I share again the oral history of one resident (CLICK HERE). I think of all of the people who have shared what they have discovered about Ebenezer over the years.

Juneteenth (on June 19) is know as Emancipation Day and also as Freedom Day, Jubilation Day, and Liberation Day. I never learned about this important day in any history class I took in school. Which is something I think needs to be rectified because it’s part of our history of this country.

Although Juneteenth is celebrating the end of slavery in the United States, it was still legal and practiced in two states – Delaware and Kentucky – until December 6, 1865, when ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution abolished non-penal slavery nationwide.

We don’t know when exactly Hiram Woodyard was emancipated or freed, do we? His house is supposed to be a historic resource too isn’t it?

On Fold3, there exist some records of Hiram, including voluntary army enlistment. These photos aren’t the best but here they are:

Someone has been cutting the grass again at Ebenezer. I don’t know if it is the developer who will be building houses all around it or someone else. It’s not the AME church. They need to become involved as we believe that this is STILL their land, but will they?

I am but a middle-aged white woman. I am not black and won’t pretend I understand the black experience. I try to learn and respect it. But given the state of racism in this country and the need for all Americans to learn more of this country’s history good and bad, to me, this also means we need to SAVE sites like Ebenezer and preserve their history.

So I am calling on officials state, local, county, federal, and from the AME church to save Ebenezer. The church is too far gone to save BUT capping and preservation of the church ruin is possible. We need a study including with that sonar stuff like they use for Duffy’s Cut to map out where all of the graves are and what stones may lie beneath the dirt.

Officials also need to remember and properly notate the Bacton Hill area because it was a well settled free black community once upon a time. This needs to be done because otherwise this will all sink as a footnote to history that will be forgotten.

Thanks for stopping by.