January 15, 2009


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Flourtowner, 98, reflects on career as ballet star

Yvonne Patterson, seen today at her Flourtown home with her constant companion, Mitzi. Ms. Patterson is still in good health at the age of 98. (Photo by Erin Vertreace)

When I had a recent opportunity to speak to Yvonne Patterson, an original member of George Balanchine’s American Ballet, who also danced with the Grand Ballet de Monte Carlo, and occasionally with the Rockettes, I dropped my apron and oven mitts and jumped into my car. Those who can’t dance can interview.

Imagine my surprise when a 98-year-old woman, who doesn’t need glasses, drove up in a red car.

I introduced myself, and we went indoors to her home in Flourtown.

I can barely speak to dancers without stammering, especially world-class ones like Miss Patterson. I have tried to do what they do, and I know it’s impossible.

The true, shocking results of Local readers’ survey

This group of Chestnut Hill residents clearly had a shocked response to the reader survey results reported in the Local last week. These residents had indicated in their own survey forms that they would like to see much more coverage of smurfs, goblins and munchkins. This coverage, they say, is “woefully lacking in the Local.”

The results of the Chestnut Hill Local readers’ survey were reported on page 3 of the paper last week, but don’t believe everything you read in the papers. I have my own personal spin on the results, based upon my patented data-processing formula.

First, I parse the information into syntactic components in order to determine its compatibility with logical morphology. Then I bake it in a shallow pan for three hours at 500 degrees. This causes the truth to rise to the top, which I then skim off and serve with seasoned candor. Forthwith are my conclusions, which I stand behind completely, unless I decide to sit down.

In terms of circulation, it appears that more than 100 people read the Local. That number includes some of the people who work for the paper. The average Local reader is 98 years old, but in fact, most are much older.

Chestnut Hill conductor and Mozart: perfect together

Chestnut Hill’s Ignat Solzhenitsyn conducted the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia in an all-Mozart program Sunday afternoon. The program marked the continuation of a return to its core repertoire by the ensemble the young maestro and pianist has led for the past five seasons. It also displayed the exceptionally high level of playing now characteristic of the group as well as Solzhenitsyn’s affinity for Mozart’s music.


Economy forces one ‘Coyote’ to change his species

Tara Cleveland is a terrific server at C.J.’s, the sports bar that was a Coyote Crossing until late last year.

The restaurant business is always a crapshoot, but there has definitely never been a time in my lifetime that has been so devastating to the industry as there is now. One industry expert was quoted recently on the Nightline TV show, stating that nationwide restaurant business is down about 50 percent over the same time period last year.

According to Carlos Melendez, owner of Coyote Crossing in Conshohocken and the former Coyote Crossing in West Chester, “This is not a recession in our business. It is a depression. Since this financial crisis started, my business is down 35 percent in Conshohocken and 60 percent in West Chester. If things don’t turn around, I may lose both restaurants.”

Melendez, 41, a native of Mexico City, opened his Conshohocken restaurant 13 years ago. Eventually it became the most successful Mexican restaurant in the Delaware Valley. It was not unusual to wait for an hour for a table on a weekend night.