June 11, 2009


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These hot dogs can cut the mustard
In this ‘hot dog economy,’ paws-itively great ‘dogs’ at new Wyndmoor eatery

Chestnut Hill resident Joanna Hoffman prepares a milk shake in her brand new business at 1014 E. Willow Grove Ave. in Wyndmoor. (Photos by Len Lear)

Some pundits have referred to the current deep recession in the U.S. as a “hot dog economy,” with millions of hard-hit families scaling down their lifestyle — from SUVs to compact cars, from downtown restaurants to neighborhood BYOBs, from steaks to hot dogs.

So you might say that Chestnut Hill resident Joanna Hoffman’s new business, “Yo Dogs,” which opened April 23 at 1014 E. Willow Grove Ave. in Wyndmoor (next to Groomingdale’s dog groomers, appropriately enough), is perfectly positioned to meet the needs of diners trying to make do with less.

“The reaction from the community has really exceeded our expectations,” said Hoffman, 36, a lifelong area resident.  (There was a steady stream of customers during our recent Thursday night visit.) “You can’t beat a lunch for about $5 with high-quality ingredients or a dinner under $10. We have some customers coming in for two meals in the same day and four times a week.”

‘Gardens’ is fascinating and imaginative but hard to like

Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale were not the most appealing people. They were really strange socialites whose lives tumbled from the top of the social heap to the squalor that made them so famous in the early 1970s.

As Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ aunt and cousin, they made nationwide headlines when it was discovered that their lives at “Grey Gardens,” the family mansion in East Hampton, Long Island, had become pathetic. That once proud estate became home to dozens of cats, several presumably rabid raccoons and Edith and Little Edie. Both had aspirations to be performers, Edith as a singer and her daughter as an actress.

‘Rose Tattoo’ leaves indelible imprint on audience

Worlds collide at East Falls’ Old Academy Players in The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams. Set in a small town on the Gulf Coast, immigrant Sicilians find themselves at odds with Southern Whites.

But the play is all about Serafina, a widow now committed to her daughter, Rosa, and the memory of her late husband. All she asks for is a “sign” from the Virgin Mary. But she never gets it, and Serafina’s world falls to pieces when she finally learns her husband had been unfaithful.

Hapless husbands along for the ride
Cezanne exhibit boring, despite seeing 97 breasts

A few days before the “Cézanne and Beyond” exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art closed, my wife finally persuaded me to accompany her to the show.

For you guys who’ve never been there, the museum is like a zoo for art. There are tons of paintings, but you can’t touch any of them. There are guards everywhere. They don’t even let you get close, just in case you might sneeze or otherwise involuntarily expel something deleterious to the art. You’re not even allowed to speak above a whisper. It’s totally weird.