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Essays

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Katie Samson, a white woman, is outdoors with a group of about 6 smiling people. She uses a wheelchair & wears a blue hat
Katie Samson (center) at the 2021 Philadelphia Flower Show for Art-Reach's first in-person Encore program since the pandemic, with audio describer Nicole Sardella, Art-Reach colleagues, and flower/plant lovers from the blind/low-vision community. Photo by Ashley Smith/Wide Eyed Studios.

Witnessing the Impact: What will post-pandemic life be like for disabled people?

A world not built for me—until now?

BSR is partnering with the Witnessing the Impact of COVID-19 in Disabled People’s Lives archive project. Writer, educator, and disability self-advocate Katie Samson asks whether we’ll keep considering accessibility when the pandemic wanes.
Katie Samson

Katie Samson

Essays 6 minute read
The dancers of the Pennsylvania Ballet onstage at the Performance Garage in spring 2021. (Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.)
The dancers of the Pennsylvania Ballet onstage at the Performance Garage in spring 2021. (Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.)

Dance lovers ask why the Pennsylvania Ballet is now the Philadelphia Ballet

Dance of the rebrand

As arts producers across town return to in-person performance, the former Pennsylvania Ballet announced a surprising rebrand. Camille Bacon-Smith asks whether it’s moving the company forward.
Camille Bacon-Smith

Camille Bacon-Smith

Essays 4 minute read
What could we change if we applied our intention to it? Kyle Allen and Kathryn Newton in ‘The Map of Tiny Perfect Things.’ (Image courtesy of Amazon Studios.)
What could we change if we applied our intention to it? Kyle Allen and Kathryn Newton in ‘The Map of Tiny Perfect Things.’ (Image courtesy of Amazon Studios.)

What can ‘Naked’ and ‘Map of Tiny Perfect Things’ teach us about unsticking our lives?

Time to deconstruct determinism

When Michelle Chikaonda continued her very own pandemic festival of time-loop movies, she found out that the phrase “it’s time” has more than one meaning.
Michelle Chikaonda

Michelle Chikaonda

Essays 5 minute read
A way out of the basement. (Photo via Shutterstock, by Igor Normann.)
A way out of the basement. (Photo via Shutterstock, by Igor Normann.)

The mixologist’s daughter: raising a glass to reinvention, again

Happy hours, then and now

Over the course of almost 30 years, some things change and some don’t—and Anndee Hochman, from writing to bartending and back again, learns that personal reinventions don’t have to shake the foundations of family.
Anndee Hochman

Anndee Hochman

Essays 5 minute read
Six feet apart…in the station, that is. (Photo by Roz Warren.)
Six feet apart…in the station, that is. (Photo by Roz Warren.)

Does an Amtrak trip between Philly and New York feel Covid-safe?

The almost post-pandemic rails

Roz Warren was vaccinated and ready to take her first jaunt to New York City in over a year. Does she recommend Amtrak?
Roz Warren

Roz Warren

Essays 6 minute read
This summertime destination has all the trappings of modern civilization. (Photo by Tomwsulcer, via Wikimedia Commons.)
This summertime destination has all the trappings of modern civilization. (Photo by Tomwsulcer, via Wikimedia Commons.)

Heading to the Jersey shore this summer? Here’s what locals want Philadelphians to know

Coexisting down the shore

Jersey shore native Rob Laymon has some tips for migrating Pennsylvanians hitting the beach this summer.
Rob Laymon

Rob Laymon

Essays 4 minute read
Enjoying family routines that didn’t change much with the pandemic: the writer and her son, George. (Photo by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer.)
Enjoying family routines that didn’t change much with the pandemic: the writer and her son, George. (Photo by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer.)

One year later, I’m still speaking up about pandemic narratives that ignore disability

What I’m learning about parenting, disability rights, and myself

One year after Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer noticed that family life with autism made for an easier transition to pandemic life, she’s learned a lot about herself and how society views disability.
Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer

Essays 4 minute read
More than a sartorial survey: these gardening gloves got Drexel staffer Rosalind Sutkowski through the pandemic. (Image courtesy of the Fox Historic Costume Collection, Drexel University.)
More than a sartorial survey: these gardening gloves got Drexel staffer Rosalind Sutkowski through the pandemic. (Image courtesy of the Fox Historic Costume Collection, Drexel University.)

Drexel University presents ‘The Clothes We Wore and the Stories They Tell’

Our pandemic wardrobe

A new online exhibition from Drexel’s Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection explores what we wore in the pandemic. Pamela Forsythe reviews.

Pamela J. Forsythe

Essays 4 minute read
For the past year, some of our most high-stress encounters have been at the grocery store. (Photo by Alaina Johns.)
For the past year, some of our most high-stress encounters have been at the grocery store. (Photo by Alaina Johns.)

Good afternoon, shoppers: The pandemic is no excuse to be rude

Gimme some space (please)

We’re all navigating a weird and troubled pandemic world. Roz Warren says we don’t have to be rude on top of everything else.
Roz Warren

Roz Warren

Essays 3 minute read
Disclosing disabilities is personal and vulnerable. For many, it's never a positive experience. (Photo by Madison Thibodeau.)
Disclosing disabilities is personal and vulnerable. For many, it's never a positive experience. (Photo by Madison Thibodeau.)

Witnessing the Impact: Disclosing and accommodating disabled students in the classroom

I can't recognize that

BSR is partnering with the Witnessing the Impact of Covid-19 in Disabled People’s Lives archive project. Here, Madison Thibodeau spotlights how schools and universities aren't doing enough to accommodate their disabled students, especially during a pandemic.
Madison Thibodeau

Madison Thibodeau

Essays 5 minute read