Saturday, April 10, 2021

Motionless journey to Philadelphia, the soul of the East Coast of the United States

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Read a pioneering work of sociology

A forgotten classic, a long-despised founding text, The Blacks of Philadelphia would have had, according to some, another destiny if its author had been white. In 1896, the University of Pennsylvania asked researcher William Edward Burghardt Du Bois to study the African-American population of the 7e district. Unlike those he calls the “Windshield sociologists” Refugees behind the windows of their cars, he walks through all the streets of the ghetto and conducts thousands of door-to-door interviews. With force and scientific rigor, he dismantles all the racial prejudices of a segregationist America in a visionary work, translated into French in 2019 (Blacks of Philadelphia. A social study, by WE B. Du Bois, La Découverte, 582 p., € 27.), or 120 years after its first publication.

Stroll through an urban museum

First capital of the United States, Philly (diminutive of Philadelphia) is also that of street art. Surprising passers-by on every street corner, 4,000 gigantic frescoes adorn abandoned factories, car parks or office towers. Created in 1984 to fight against the invasion of tags, the Mural Arts Program invites an entire neighborhood, convicts, drug addicts or students, to reclaim the walls of the neighborhood around a common work. Some facades pay homage to local heroes (boxer Joe Frazier or the group The Roots), others broadcast messages of peace in areas that have experienced tensions. On the Mural Arts Philadelphia website, short videos commented by local guides allow you to discover the city and its atmosphere.

Sip a “boy’s cocktail”

A Clover Club cocktail.

Before the men’s magazine Esquire do not qualify it as “Cocktail of femmelettes” in the 1930s, the Clover Club was a drink designed for gentlemen. More exactly for the lawyers, journalists and judges who met in the wooded lounges of the Bellevue-Stratford hotel at the beginning of the 20th centurye century, to discuss literature while sipping this beverage, which fell out of favor after Prohibition. Having become a mixology classic, it requires mixing 4 cl of white rum, 1.5 cl of raspberry syrup and as much fresh lemon juice. Add an egg white, mix everything in a shaker, slide in a few ice cubes and shake again. Serve in an iced glass with a fresh raspberry.

Keep in shape with “Rocky”

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