Philadelphia Magazine

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The Incredible Shrinking Institute

A Versailles of psychiatry for 150 years, the institute of Pennsylvania hospital in west Philadelphia is a gilt-framed mirror for the problems facing mental health care.

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War of Remembrance

How the problems of one Philadelphia family created the False Memory Syndrome Foundation and triggered the most controversial debate in modern mental health.

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Excitable Boy

When ex-honor student Eric Motis confessed to murdering the family across the street there were only questions, not answers. Now, Motis talks about that night, and the strange relationships that led up to it.

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Phillysomething

Searching for the soul of a generation in the heart of Philadelphia on the thirtysomething set in Hollywood.

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Family Business

The family that started Rite Aid made one of the most successful generational handoffs in Wall Street history. So why are they all so unhappy with each other?

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Nightmare on Chestnut Street

If you walk alone in the city, you know it could happen to you. It did happen to David Smith.

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John Paulos’ Days Are Numbered

How a temple professor defied the odds and wrote a best-seller about mathematics.

The Three Mrs. Lymons

In 1956, “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” catapulted Frankie Lymon to stardom. Twelve years later, he died penniless. Now three would-be widows and a gaggle of businessmen and lawyers are battling over the huge royalties Frankie never knew he earned.

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The Just-Say-Nightmare of Henry G. Barr, et al.

A Kafkaesque tale of friends ratting out friends in the state capital, the story of the highest-ranking federal official ever to be convicted of a drug offense is either the most impressive example of what our drug policies can accomplish, or the most troubling. Or both.

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Sweetness and Life

In the world of a juvenile diabetic there is much of both. But there are tears, too.

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Facing Up to Retin-A

As the long-awaited wrinkle remedy hits the market—and its controversial inventor turns 80—what are we to make of the zit cream’s beauty marks and blemishes?

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A Matter of Faith

The members of the Faith Tabernacle Congregation in North Philadelphia believe in a lot of things, but they don’t believe in medical care. That’s just fine, until their children start to die.

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Coming Unstrung at the Curtis

The boardroom drama at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music had all the angst of a Wagner opera. Unfortunately, there were no heroes.

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The Trials of Guinea Pig Zero

In which the country’s most famous test subject has to swallow a really bitter pill.

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Whole Lotta Latke

My grandparents’ potato pancakes had a secret ingredient: my grandparents.

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Fear Itself

It’s easy to say the people living near Three Mile Island have nothing to fear. Unless you happen to be one of them.

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Just Visiting

In the nursing home, my grandparents try to recall the past, while my parents and I begin to see the future.

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Boy Crazy

Former state trooper Jim O’Boyle was on his way to becoming a police chief—until his secret life become public.

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Larry Magid Finally Sings

In his first-ever extensive interview, the famed concert promoter talks about the original Electric Factory, Woodstock, Live Aid, the fatal Who concert, his current legal problems, how Frank Rizzo tried to shut down The Doors and the night Bruce Springsteen got booed off stage.

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The Music Mann at 80

In which fearless Freddy, Philadelphia’s wealthy, ardent champion of the classics, has a few candid observations on “rich bitches,” orchestral prima donnas, hobnobbing with Einstein, lunch with Picasso and hot dogs with Chagall.

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Reeling in the Years

Three sons come together on a grand Canadian river to cast about for new memories—and make a father’s day.

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Over the Edge

When two Bucks County teen-agers leaped to their deaths from a quarry cliff, they left a quiet suburban community in shock. “That kind of thing doesn’t happen here,” people thought. Then it happened again.

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Shooting a Few Frames with Kevin Bacon

The talented son of Philadelphia’s superstar city planner is about to become a, well, superstar.

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“Less Than One Percent”

After one pill of a trendy antibiotic sent my wife into a neurological nightmare, I set out to discover if she was the victim of a pharmacological foul-up, or just a statistically acceptable casualty.