Defining the Main Line is a Risky (But Fun) Business

Take a stab at our cover letter contest!

Take a shot at our cover contest here!

Our editorial department was consumed by a unique strain of March Madness as we knocked heads to come up with the content for our unprecedented cover story, “Sense of Place”. Unprecedented insomuch as we’ve never been bold enough (or stupid enough?) to address the topic of our area’s geographically focused branding in such an in-depth way—or with such a snarky sense of humor.

Senior writer J.F. Pirro initially pitched the idea as a business story more than a year ago. And fittingly, his piece on the marketing heft of the Main Line moniker is a focal point of a package that also includes a stellar historical time line assembled by longtime contributor Jim Waltzer, plus our to-be-taken-with-a-grain-of-salt “Main Line Reimagined” map. We rounded out the piece with a collection of quotes from readers and other current and former Main Liners.

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We’re particularly proud of the cover, an idea that came from our creative director, Ingrid Lynch, who executed it to perfection with the help of staff photographer Jared Castaldi. He was tasked with driving all over the area—in record time, I might add—to snap shots of the area’s most iconic signs and marquees. (I can’t wait to see the mileage report.) 

Lynch then chose letters from those photos to spell out the “Main Line” you see on the cover. In keeping with the meaty-but-fun nature of the story, we’ve launched a special contest to coincide with the publication of this keepsake issue. Starting at 9 a.m. on March 1, visit and be the first to guess where all the letters in “Main Line” originated. The winner will receive $200 in gift certificates to a great local restaurant. You’ll also find an online gallery that features the signs and marquees Castaldi photographed that didn’t make the cut—simply put, we ran out of letters.

Ultimately, we hope the issue generates a few laughs and ignites some friendly debate. We sure had a blast putting it together, and we eagerly await your comments via Facebook, email and snail mail.


ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: It may be a common predicament at our local universities, but are college administrators doing enough to minimize the collateral damage caused by student drinking? As assistant editor Melissa Jacobs reports in “Taming Wildcats” Lower Merion Township officials and business owners aren’t so sure—and a few are stepping up to try to remedy the problem. 

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Until next month.

Hobart Rowland Ingrid Lynch J.F. Pirro

Our Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs Party is July 25!