What are you reading these days? I was scanning news items for the Weekly Roundup, when I came across this really interesting profile of an anonymous West Chester street artist. It wasn’t really a good fit for the Roundup but it was too good not to share. Turns out it wasn’t the only one. So it’s a new thing. Good feature length reads with a borough connection. Tell me what you think.

If you have a few minutes here are some local reads worth the time:

street art
Street artist Cassius King has been challenging the mundane on street signs and street corners all around town. Photo Cassius King Instagram

If you have 3 minutes: Art

Read this profile in the Daily Local of West Chester’s very own incognito street artist. He’s been grabbing attention and making people think with his unique interpretation of the everyday. His medium, stickertaffiti (sticker-graffiti).

“I like the ephemeral nature of the medium. The way I set it up, I can execute it in a short amount of time. [It] is not destroying anything and I figure a worst case scenario, I would just.take it down if stopped by a police officer.”

Want more? Follow Cassius King on Instagram to catch all his latest works.

After reading this article from the West Chester Press you’ll be able to identify the buildings above that contribute to the town’s rich architectural history.

If you have 8 minutes: History

Brush up on your local history with this engaging read from the Development Issue of the West Chester Press. Not only did I learn a thing or two – West Chester is known as the Athens of Pennsylvania? – I have a new respect for all those developers working to preserve the borough’s rich history.

“On April 9, 1784, the future of West Chester was conceived when the first map of what was then simply a village was laid out into four square blocks divided by Gay and High Streets and bounded by Chestnut, Walnut, Market and Church.”

Anyway, I’ll let the West Chester Press take it from here.

If you have 6 minutes: Sport

Take a step back in time and get acquainted with Chester County’s rich fox hunting traditions, with this profile of Nancy Penn Smith Hannum. Hannum, perhaps the world’s most famous Master of the Hounds, is now the subject of an award-winning documentary.

“Small in stature as she might have been, she was the driving force which ultimately led to the preservation of the land where signs reading “Hounds and Horses Ahead” line the streets, where post and rail fences track the countryside, and where the lyrical cries of Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds still ring loud and clear.”

Want more of the Hannum family? Granddaughter Christina will be discussing her film Goodnight Ladies, The Film: a Portrait of Nancy Penn Smith Hannum as part of the Uptown Speaker series on January 15.

Whether you choose to embrace the entire radical homemaker philosophy or not, there is something we can all learn about being more conscious of our surroundings.

If you have a long flight: Nature

Learn how to be a radical homemaker. Shannon Hayes is a naturalist that made a name for herself advocating that we do things a different way. Hayes is committed to:

“A life of self-reliance, economic independence and community interdependence; free from corporate domination, grueling work schedules, and endless hours in the car driving to soccer games and ballet lessons.”

(Wouldn’t that be nice.) Turns out her way isn’t easy. In this collection of essays she shares the struggles and lessons of the radical homemaker but also its beauty while she encourages those to continue on their merry-maker way.

The best part? If any of this raises a question –  for example, she did what?? You can ask her yourself, Shannon will be hosting a book signing at the Library in February.

Want more? Here’s a link to the book that started the revolution.

If you have 2 minutes: Science

Get to know, Karen Schwarz, astronomer, associate professor, avid runner, and director of the Sandra F. Pritchard Mather Planetarium in this profile by Fig West Chester.  

“I really want to encourage girls with promise who might be afraid to pursue science.”

Astronomy fan? Here are some ideas from the Pennsylvania Outdoor Lighting Council on how to protect the night skies.

If you have 2 minutes: Wellness

Check out this advice column from West Chester Press. It is chock full of tips on how to survive the winter and slew of local suggestions to help you do so. Like,

Purchase a Himalayan salt lamp – Having a salt lamp in your bedroom reduces stress, allergies, and produces cleaner air. It’s also said to be good for your skin, helping with hydration in dry weather.”

Also, love this tip for recycling old trophies and of course, Everhart Park is one of our favorites, too!

Where should I look next? Any local authors or publications you are fans of?

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