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For Your “Me” Time

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Kat Zagaria has long been one of the most active members of the Philly arts community I know. A founding member of Paperclips215, Kat acted for a long time as their writer, which made sense, since she made it a point to be out and about, attending gallery openings in Kensington, Fishtown, North Philly, and Old City. Kat took me to my very first First Friday, where I made connections with theartblog, Little Berlin—where I’ve since performed—and Curate This co-founder Amanda V. Wagner.

Kat is leaving Philadelphia for at least a while, stepping away from her job at the Barnes Foundation to pursue an advanced degree in Modern and Contemporary Art History at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. We wanted to make sure to get her perspective on Philadelphia, as someone who knows and has seen more artists and art than most in her relatively brief tenure here.

-Julius Ferraro, co-founder

My confession is that I am a podcast and long-form journalism junkie. If I have down time, I am hooking up to one of those things. Below is a list of some of the most fascinating things I’ve read and listened to. Some of these articles are old, some are new, but all have kept me breathlessly entranced, and all have been reread and enjoyed by me time after time. All of them are enlightening and feature wonderful production and storytelling. I find myself telling friends about these stories, breathlessly recounting them at parties, on bike rides, at work – they all have struck a chord deep in me and I feel privileged to be able to share them with a wider audience.

To Read

Everything was fake but her wealth. This story has everything. Diamonds in a cereal box! Carriage rides in the evening in Central Park! Gambling! And a mystery identity?

How Not to Get Away with Murder. Take someone normal, now he’s having an affair, but feels like he can’t leave his wife, so what does he do? He hires a hit man. But the hit man has no intention of carrying out the job, so he strings him along . . . millions of dollars later . . . so crazy, you will talk about this for years to come.

New Yorker Article on Peter Paul Biro. Science meets art! How great that science can revolutionize the authentication process! But wait, something is lurking…wait…

What would happen if you drank water from the Gowanus Canal? The story of how one of the country’s most polluted waterways came to be located in one of the country’s most expensive neighborhoods. Also: dysentery, cancer, and arsenic poisoning.

I have sent this article to most, if not all, of my friends. It’s filled with fascinating science history, and is generally just a wonderful piece of journalism.

To Listen

The Allusionist – Mountweazel. Everything you thought you knew about dictionaries is WRONG.

Love + Radio –  The Living Room. This episode will make you laugh, and cry, and leave you absolutely stunned at a story that seems simple on its surface. It’s an emotional rollercoaster that makes the listener realize the subtle stereotypes that lurk within us all, and the ability to be pulled in by a story as a voyeur.

The Urbanist – Museums. Can a museum exist without a centralized space? Can it be a loosely connected network of cities? What happens when a museum sounds like a terrible idea to everyone but the citizens that it serves? These are all important questions, and this podcast should be sufficiently fascinating to even those outside of the museum world.

Criminal – Dropping Like Flies. This was a difficult choice, because Criminal is such an well-researched and impeccably produced podcast that I highly recommend all of its episodes. This one is about a crime ring in North Carolina that steals venus fly traps. Who knew! These things are in such high demand that people run into the woods with spoons to dig ’em up. Why? You’ll have to listen to learn more.

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