Daily Archives: July 8, 2009

Pool sends kids with the wrong complexion home

"Nope, get outta da pool, kids!"

"Nope, get outta da pool, kids!"

You’ve got to be kidding me! Check out this article that my Twitter pal @rbender posted:

More than 60 campers from Northeast Philadelphia were turned away from a private swim club and left to wonder if their race was the reason.

“I heard this lady, she was like, ‘Uh, what are all these black kids doing here?’ She’s like, ‘I’m scared they might do something to my child,'” said camper Dymire Baylor.

The Creative Steps Day Camp paid more than $1900 to The Valley Swim Club. The Valley Swim Club is a private club that advertises open membership. But the campers’ first visit to the pool suggested otherwise.

“When the minority children got in the pool all of the Caucasian children immediately exited the pool,” Horace Gibson, parent of a day camp child, wrote in an email. “The pool attendants came and told the black children that they did not allow minorities in the club and needed the children to leave immediately.”

*Splutters. It’s bad enough that many of Philly’s public pools have closed down. Now they’re keeping urban kids (whose parents have paid for the privilege of using this pool)  out of suburban pools as well? Ridiculous.

And the response from the club? Mind-boggling.

“There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion … and the atmosphere of the club,” John Duesler, President of The Valley Swim Club said in a statement.

Hmm, guess the prez has to stay out of that pool.

Check out the statement on the pool’s website:

“we are sure that you’ll enjoy the fantastic property and welcoming community of the club…”

Oh, okay. So this welcoming community’s way of welcoming people  is to make little kids cry? Classy. Very classy.

And check out the ‘Membership‘ page.

“We combine a casual, friendly atmosphere with an emphasis on family.”

They should perhaps stress that this doesn’t necessarily include an emphasis on black families.

Yup, double-checked the ‘Rules of operation.’ Nothing in there about running out of the pool screaming if a colored kid touches water.

Okay, you guys know what to do. Give ’em hell.

Here’s their contact information.

In defense of Twitter


I will always be grateful for my friend Phillybits for urging me to join Twitter. The response from my non-Twitter friends has been interesting, however.  For the most part, they hate the idea of Twitter. They envision it as a humdrum version of Facebook where everyone elaborates on their breakfast/boring lives/etc. Well, it can be that too, but it can also be a fantastic conversation between fascinating people you would have never met in real life. Continue reading

Men + skinny jeans = yuck

skinny jeans

I came across this Wall Street article on men who wear skinny jeans. Reminded me of last week, when I found myself in a room full of skinny-jean men, half of whom were hobbling around. It make me wince. Yes, indeed:

Doug Black has found himself in a tight squeeze more times than he cares to remember. One day, he got caught in the rain without an umbrella and was unable to run. When his colleagues sat in a circle, the 23-year-old English teacher from Portland, Ore., couldn’t cross his legs. And when he tried to jaywalk, while in Beijing for work, he couldn’t hop the median divider with his friends.

“I had to walk half a mile down the street on my own to use the crosswalk,” he says.

His jeans were too tight. But he has no plans to buy a looser style. “Discomfort comes with the territory,” he says.

Yeah, so I fathomed as much. My little brother weighs some 20-odd pounds less than me. He wears skinny jeans. Jeans so tight and lean he has to buy them from the women’s section of a department store. Jeans that make me envious, because they’re a women’s size 00 and I can hardly get an ankle in one. But I can’t say skinny jeans on men do it for me. Continue reading

Zahra Saeed the fashion designer

zahra saeed

The story of Zahra Saeed is intriguing. Former mortgage banker. Single mom. New Jersey resident. Pakistani American. Fashion designer. And now entrepreneur.

Amuses me how obsessed people are with her arranged marriage (or is it just me). Arranged marriage stories make for good marketing material. Especially when you’re selling exotic clothing. Okay, stop being so cynical.

“The only daughter of a wealthy Pakistani landowner, Saeed had three brothers and was treated like a princess. In her world, women didn’t work. As a child she traveled throughout Europe. Tailors came to the house to make the family’s clothing.

At 18, Saeed entered into an arranged marriage. After the birth of her first daughter, the family moved to Canada. Her second daughter was born, and they settled in Cherry Hill. Saeed’s husband bought her a BMW. She wanted for nothing.

“I was a true housewife,” Saeed said. “I cooked. I cleaned. I was quiet. I never worked. I didn’t drive on the highway at night.”

Then she and her husband split up when she was 25. She and her two children were on their own. Her family, including her ex-husband, doubted her ability to get a job, questioning why she would want to.”

Read the bio on her website.  Geez, somebody put her on Oprah already.

Check out the video of her.

Let’s not forget about domestic violence

Okay, so I’m in the middle of cementing my schedule at the WAA shelter. In honor of that, I thought I’d share my favorite song about domestic violence. (And it happens to be country, which is good, because I love country.) I always get a little teary around 1:25.

Credit Card Debt is NOT Sexy

I had the opportunity to watch Confessions of a Shopaholic with my cousins during the Fourth of July weekend. (Note: it is the worst movie ever made. Do go not go out and rent it. ) In a nutshell, Rebecca Bloomwood is a woman with a spending problem that catches up with her.  Now I read the book by Sophie Kinsella that the movie was based on quite some years ago.  I’ve always hated the heroine. Rebecca has never resembled anything close to what me and my female peers aspire to be. In the movie, she’s the bumbling caricature of a writer. Think the loser version of Carrie Bradshaw. Her character is just as inane in the books. Still, the books are addictive, if only for the horror with which the reader must watch this accident-in-progress. (In later versions of the Shopaholic books, Rebecca marries a rich venture capitalist. Convenient.) The books are also compelling because they empathize with every twenty-something girl who has to make the choice between fiscally fiscal responsibility and fashion. The two are not always incompatible. But it’s easier to shop at Barneys, get highlights, etc  if you have the money. (And how can one find a boyfriend without spending a little money? Don’t even get me started.) Continue reading