Sunday Spotlight: Spotlight is on YOU!

If you’ve seen our Sunday Spotlight you already know that we try each week to shine a light on different artists, bands, venues, events, and more. Our ideas often come from friends, suggestions of readers, our own encounters with cool people and stuff, local and national news stories, social media and more.
We know that we have the best, brightest, most knowledgeable readers in the entire world, and so we want to ask you to help us steer the course of future spotlights and features. Click here and take a quick poll for us. What would YOU like to see us feature in the future? Noelle


‘Reader’s Best of Philly’ 2015 Edition

bestofpollHey friends! Whether local or reading from afar, we trust that some of you are probably familiar with Philadelphia Magazine. Every year, Philadelphia Magazine does its Best of Philly issue. Packed with the top choices in categories ranging from Best Playground to Best Beer Selection, it has become a go to guide for visitors and locals, and a coveted prize among local businesses and business owners.
This week One Unified will be doing our very own version of Best of Philly 2015! Yes, we were Inspired by Philadelphia Magazine’s annual rankings, but most of all we were inspired by you! We love you. We trust you. And we want to hear what you have to say. So, we’re giving One Unified readers a chance to have your voices (and choices) heard. Tomorrow (Tuesday August 18th, 2015) we’ll roll out 2 ballots where you can make your selections from a list of potential winners, or you can add in your own favorite, should we neglect to mention it (we’re ever so sorry!)
You’ll get to cast your votes all week long as we prepare to crown our Philly faves, in everything from museums to munchies. Don’t miss the opportunity to tell us where we can score the best cheesesteak in town (Everyone knows it’s Pats. No, it’s Gino’s! No way, it’s Jim’s….)
So be on the lookout for those links to vote starting tomorrow! You can find them here on our home page or on our Facebook page. Don’t let us make our list without you. Be a part of the first annual One Unified reader’s Best of Philly!

No Turning Back? Would You Undo a Past Decision if You Had the Chance?

Last week we had readers vote on different questions they’d like us to ask people. We wanted to know what people would most want to know about others, but might be willing to ask. All week we’re asking those questions and having those conversations. Today we’re talking about the past and here’s what we asked:


“I would. I know they say that changing the past has a ripple effect, that if you change one thing, you change everything, but I don’t know. There’s one choice, one decision I made that cost me so much that I might almost risk it changing everything else, even though I am happy with my life overall. It’s like that nagging what-if. It’s one of the few things I every really doubted and I feel like I would have to take the chance and find out if I did it right or did it wrong. And no, I am not going to share specifics. Sorry.”

“This might sound ridiculous, but if I could just go back in time to some time in late 1998 and carry with me the knowledge I have now, I’d go back to when I first realized I was gaining more than the typical, occasional up or down 5 lbs., and just absolutely refuse to eat anything that wasn’t on some really really really stoic diet. Pretty much indefinitely. Is that legit? Because once the weight went up, it has gotten a lot harder to lose. But, if I just never ate anything in the first place, I would not have gained it, right? That sounded ridiculous. But it’s the truth. Because it’s the most horrible thing I’ve ever let happen to me that I should have had more self-control to prevent. I don’t know why I let it happen …and God knows I fought it, tooth and nail, every year, month, pretty much every week since, and there hasn’t been a day since late 1998 or early 1999 that has gone by without me feeling horrible about my weight. I know it’s messed up a lot of things that could have been much easier for me, and ruined some opportunities, probably. I see it now more than ever.”

“I would have finished school and got my degree.”

“There is always something you would want to change if you could. However, without sounding overly nerdy, everything I’ve done good bad or indifferent, has brought me to this moment with this family and friends and I’m happy where I’m at. So no, I wouldn’t change a thing.”

“If I could undo any decisions in the past, I would probably brush my teeth more. Root canals suck!”

“YES. Well, there are a few. Dropping out of high school is at the top of that list. But the decision to not do EVERYTHING necessary to save the relationship with my one and only true love, not taking all the blame, but looking back, me doing a few simple things and making some “Life adjustments” would have saved us. At least I’d like to think so and wish I would have tried just a little harder. I have not been “truly” happy since then.”

“Like the great prophet Sinatra once said, “Regrets, I’ve had a few”, but I have always viewed mistakes as life lessons. That said, I wouldn’t change a thing and genuinely hope that I have learned from my mistakes.”

“I don’t think I have any regrets that would warrant a “re-do”. I think we all wish at times we did this instead of that or said yes instead of no, but I can’t think of anything “big” enough to wish for a second chance.”

“Just 1. I really wish I would have run the bases at the ballpark and got thrown out. I could’ve done it and I didn’t. There was a blood drive at Citizens Bank Park. The reward was, you got to try on the World Series ring and tour the dugout. We were not allowed on the field. But I know I could’ve made it to third. Especially after blood donors started passing out from the heat.”

“Not sure if I would undo a past decision. Our decisions are what we are made of. Might throw my whole world out of whack.”

How Close Did You Come to Being What You Thought You’d Be as a Kid?

As children, we all have dreams, aspirations as to who we want to be and what we want to do. Sometimes, those things come to fruition. More often than not, we change our minds year in and year out. And though there are a few who stay the course, most of us ultimately wind up painting a picture of our lives that looks nothing like what we saw on the canvas as children. So today we asked this:

“I had all the “typical” boy ideas about what to be. I wanted to be a fireman, a cop, an astronaut. When I was really little I wanted to be Superman. I wanted to be a carpenter. I mean, I had the “man jobs” nailed down. Imagine my family’s shock when I went away to school at 18 and returned a year later for the first time and proclaimed that I was becoming a dancer. They were pretty freaked out. But I majored in fine arts and minored in dance and I never looked back. So, I did not, for sure, become what I thought I’d be when I was a kid. But I definitely became what I was meant to be, so that’s all that matters.”

“I honestly do not have a clue what I wanted to be when I was little. I mean, what do all little girls want to be. A ballerina? I really don’t know. I think I wanted to be Wonder Woman at one point. Nothing realistic. I’m a stay at home mom. I don’t recall ever having the kind of career or life aspirations that kids today have. I never thought about where I’d go to college when I was 9. Kids do that now. My daughter, at 10, told me she wanted to go to Harvard. I told her to go get a job.”

“I wanted to be in the FBI. I work in a grocery store. So, uh, yeah.”

“I think I wanted to be a teacher for the most part. I think it changed from time to time. I think at one point I wanted to be a lawyer. Ultimately, and I’m not kidding, I decided that I wanted to do whatever job had a major that required the fewest amount of math courses. I became a social worker.”

“I always wanted to be famous. I never pictured myself any other way. I didn’t know how. Acting? Songwriting? Producing? Writing? I just always saw myself in the spotlight. I’d lie awake at night and imagine myself as a guest on The Tonight Show or accepting some kind of an award, an Emmy or an Oscar or something. I am definitely creative, definitely artistic. I don’t know that I have that raw talent to be famous though. Then again look at reality tv and all the idiots who are famous for nothing. I’m not an actress or a producer. I have no Emmy. So, I guess I did not become what I said I would, but I am happy doing what I do. I own my own business and I am still creative in a variety of ways.”

“I wanted to be a teacher. My mom and dad were both teachers. I am an education major now. I’m in my third year, so it looks like I will actually become what I always expected I would be.”

“I wanted to be a firefighter. I went into the family business instead.”

“I wanted to be a cop. I applied, went to the academy and was one for 2 1/2 years.”

“For the most part, I always wanted to be a commercial artist. I wanted to design album covers and things like that. I took all kinds of art classes in high school and was going to go to college for it, but in my senior year (1988) computers were starting to become popular for drawing and I wanted to draw them for myself not have a computer do it. So that ended that.”

“I don’t recall ever having a fantasy job when I was younger except maybe a professional soccer player. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Albert Einstein once said the most interesting people that he’s met that are in their fifties, still don’t know what they want to do when they grow up. I would hope that Albert Einstein would find me interesting. It would be an honor. I do believe that I will achieve my goal of becoming a successful fitness dude. In fact I may already be there.”

“A musician…that is pretty close, I guess.”

“As a kid, I was always fascinated by television news and always wanted to be a part of the excitement, of putting together a nightly newscast. I went to school for radio, television and film and actually got to work on a nightly news program. I was lucky that I got to experience my dream, but quickly realized that it wasn’t for me so I changed careers.”

“Sadly I had no aspirations to be anything in particular when I was young. Still don’t know what I wanna be when I grow up.”

“Growing up poor, I had no real dreams of any future. When I was a pre-teen, I had some futile aspirations of being a scientist (space, biology, archeology, etc.) but those dreams were overshadowed by the abyss of poverty.”

“Didn’t know then and don’t know now. Although I love my job, it’s nothing I aspired to.”

“I wanted to be the camera guy under the basket or in the end zone. I never came close to achieving that early goal. I have a small blind spot on my dominant camera eye. I felt like I could not be at the top of that field with such a specific eye problem.”

Who Inspires You? Role Models Revealed by our Readers.

Last week we had a contest. And in that contest there was a poll. And in that poll there were questions. And in that… okay, okay, you get the idea. We asked, you answered. And this was the question we asked for today:


“My Godmother. As a child she was the only woman I knew that had a Masters Degree and never married. She was strong and generous. I try to be generous also and I feel like I’m teaching my daughter the importance of an education.”

“My parents were and still are. They may have their quirks and such, but I’ve always admired them and tried to take their positive aspects/traits and try to mimic that in my own life.”

“My role models were naturally, my parents. So everything I’ve become and have done, are partially due to their influence. Whether that is good or bad is yet to be determined. I think I’m on the right track.”

“My mother, sisters, cousins are all the ones who I learned everything from. Following my sisters and older cousins around molded me, especially influenced my extreme love of music!”

“It’s funny, working in education I have always felt that it is my job to always try to be a positive role model. A professor told me something that stuck with me and has profoundly influenced who I am as an educator: He said you can take anyone on the planet and they will be able to tell you who their best teacher was and who their worst teacher was so if you want to succeed, do everything you can to harness the best qualities of your favorite teacher and no matter how bad things get, never act like your worst teacher. So my role models have always been people working in my profession that managed to be successful, stay true to their personality, and didn’t take things out on the people around them when the going got tough. The effect that they had on my life was profound because they showed me the right way to be a leader and how to set an example.”

“Growing up, my mother & my older brother Bill. Both taught me how to lead a life governed by morals, ethics & manners.”

“My mom was, and still is, a model of patience and perseverance. Not just cause she put up with me. She had a brain aneurysm when I was 7. She nearly died. They brought her back. She saw the light, and God told her she had to come back to raise her girls. She had to learn to walk and talk again. And raise me, she did.”

“All I can think about is Charles Barkley telling the world he is not a role model. From that point on I have questioned what really defines a role model. Too often we put people that we idolize on a pedestal. I have always been rather grounded. Other than my Father, I would be hard pressed to define a person as a role model. I generally have taken situations that were learning experiences and used them to mold the person that I am. No one person took the lead in that department.”

It’s good to see that in an age of overpaid athletes and a culture of reality tv and celebrity worship that the majority of people still seem to hold the real-life, up close and personal people in their lives as their role models. It gives a little hope for the future. Maybe we haven’t been Kardashianed beyond repair after all.

You Asked For It: This Week We’re Featuring The Questions you Voted on. But First, You Get to Be the Interviewer!

Last week we had an awesome time introducing people to the new site. We gave away some great prizes. We heard some great feedback. And… we voted! Not for President or for what to have for dinner, or for who gets into the hall of fame. We voted on what you’d like us to talk to people about in the upcoming days. We wanted to hear, well, what you wanted to hear. And so you voted. And we thanked you. And we listened. So this week we asked people to answer those most popular questions voted on by you.

askusBut before we spend the rest of the week delving into the answers to those questions, we’re turning the tables. We’re opening up a dialogue.
We’ve spent the last 6 months asking people questions every day.
We’ve been trying to build a bridge. A bridge between the people we talk to, interview and photograph and the people who are reading what they tell us, and getting invested in their answers and their stories. We’ve asked them about their work, their taste in music, their voting habits, and the people they love to name a few. And one thing that inevitably happens from time to time is that we, the two of us, identify with their answers. We find ourselves thinking, “I could have given that answer myself.”

And so just for today, the interviewer becomes the interviewee so to speak. The comments section is officially open for you. Ask us anything. Maybe it was something we asked in a previous interview. Or perhaps something you’re just curious about. You ask, we’ll answer. Fire away. Be kind. And yes, questions can be asked anonymously or with a pseudonym.