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Editor's Notebook: Reflecting on an Eventful First Month in Ardmore

A look back at the big news stories during my first month as the Ardmore Patch editor, and what it was like to cover them.

Today marks my one month anniversary as editor of the Ardmore Patch. First off, thank you to all the readers who have congratulated me, sent me news tips, or introduced yourselves at events like or the this month.

It's been great hearing some positive feedback about the site, and I welcome any and all input about what you'd like to see featured here on Ardmore Patch—so if you have a thought, don't hesitate to share it. 

An Eventful First Month

We had some big news stories around town in May. Here's a round-up of a few of the biggest, or most fun, stories I've covered in the past few weeks.

HAZMAT Events And Texting Practice:

The , which shut down traffic in the middle of Ardmore for hours on May 3, was the first big story I covered as editor.

I was leaving when I heard about five sirens go by—so I hopped in my car,  and got to the site of the acid spill right before traffic got insane.

No alerts went out from the township for another 20 minutes, so we had a story up and running before anybody else did, thanks to the help of Eric Campbell and Danielle Vickery.

That was a proud moment, but the next four hours of waiting for HAZMAT teams to assemble, check out the spill and release the results were, well, less than thrilling.

...it did, however, give me a chance to learn how to use the keyboard on my new Patch iPhone. Fun fact: my first tweet from the spill took about 10 minutes to type. Don't worry: I've since greatly improved.

Barnes Controversies and Press Privileges:

I jumped at the chance to attend the of the collection's new home on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway before its official May 19 opening. 

While there, I spoke with Friends of the Barnes members who were protesting outside the building, then toured the building and interviewed Barnes Foundation Board of Trustees president Derek Gillman.

The Barnes in its new building is certainly far less intimate than it was in its beautiful Merion home, which I visited twice last year; the gigantic new building feels very institutional to me.

I was surprised, though, that when I stepped into the gallery rooms themselves, there were moments when they did have the cozy, private feel of the Merion galleries—a spell that was broken while passing in the hallways between the rooms, or when happening upon enormous groups of press members on narrated tours.

afterwards, a little over three-quarters of respondents felt the Barnes should have stayed in Merion, while the rest think the Parkway is a better home for the collection.

Friendly Faces:

One of my favorite stories I wrote this month was my profile throughout the Main Line, including the one on Lancaster Ave. and Ardmore Ave. Ed is extremely friendly, and I enjoyed getting the chance to hear about why he makes the art he does.

I originally contacted Ed through his blog, but was a little worried he wouldn't find my message. My back-up plan was going to be leaving a note on one of his sculptures telling him to email me—I wonder if anyone's ever tried that.

This month, I also had the opportunity to meet Joyce Goldhahn, the founder of in Ardmore, and her daughter Kathy DiMario. I profiled the pair in . Mom and daughter worked together for 29 years before Joyce's retirement, and it's clear the women care deeply for each other. They are just as, if not more, lovely in person as they sound in the article.

Dancing, Shopping And Parades:

In terms of community events, I had fun watching the dancers at this month, hanging out at , watching the and experiencing my first . So many great vintage and homemade goods—I'll definitely be back when the market reopens in fall. (Sadly, I'll be out of town for First Friday's car show on June 1 and .)

Other Big News In May:

  • (May 4, 2012): The shop-meets-restaurant offers domestics, imported, craft and specialty beers—along with cigars, Di Bruno Bros. meats, and Chicago-style hot dogs.
  • (May 4, 2012): The restaurant had been "coming soon" for about two years, according to Raymond Ding, son of the owners.
  • (May 9, 2012): The Italian restaurant had been closed since March for water damage and code violations.
  • (May 15, 2012): The Friends' Central School basketball star announced his college decision after months of anticipation at a press conference on May 15.
  • (May 18, 2012): Wally Smerconish, the contract buyer of Ardmore's First Baptist Church, presented his plans to the Zoning Hearing Board on May 17.
  • (May 23, 2012): The Ardmore pub was in the Gillane family for 45 years. It will remain "Gillane's," according to Hymie's owner Lou Barson.

What Do You Want To Read About?

Now that I've got my sea legs under me, I want to hear about what you want to see on Ardmore Patch. More news about area businesses? Profiles of veterans, volunteers, local artists?

Give me your thoughts in the comment section below, and if you have a specific news tip or idea for a profile on a person or business, please shoot me an email at amanda.mahnke@patch.com.

And as always, thanks for reading!

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