Friday, January 27, 2012
Tahrir Square, heavy metal and 'At Last': The best of iReport this week

From a community in mourning to a cruise full of heavy-metal rockers, this week's iReports were heartfelt, compelling and quirky. Here are some of the best:


Tahrir Square, one year later



Hayden Pirkle, an American student and journalist in Cairo, Egypt, joined the Egyptians gathered en masse in Tahrir Square on Wednesday to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the uprising that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak from power. They also demonstrated against the military council that has led the country since Mubarak resigned February 11. While Pirkle said there was a "festive vibe" – merchants sold popcorn and smoked yams, while children waved Egyptian flags -- the revelry was tempered by frustrations about the slow pace of change. "Egypt has a long way to go until it has a legitimate democratic system in place," he said. "It is naive to say that the ousting of Hosni Mubarak and the election of a parliament has led to 'freedom'."


Penn State community mourns



Legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was buried Wednesday in State College, Pennsylvania, and this week, the community mourned the loss of a local icon, despite the scar that ended his career. Photographer Matt Spingola and writer Emily Granville grew up in the State College area and documented some of the public displays of grief. "With the Jerry Sandusky scandal firmly rooted in our hearts and minds, how do we come to terms with the layers of grief?" Granville wrote. "I feel shock, abhorrence, and sadness for the victims. It feels natural to want to scream and tear apart anyone who would let such depravities occur. Then again, my emotions are somehow tempered with memories of the decades of Joe Paterno's innumerable good deeds."


Baby over Chicago



Scott Pitocco’s charming shot of his 10-month-old son, Chase, observing Chicago at dusk from the Skywalk, was's Travel photo of the day on Friday. Pitocco, who lives in Annapolis, Maryland, says the family waited in line for an hour before they finally made it to the top. "After getting out of the elevator we put Chase down to stretch his little arms and legs," Pitocco wrote. "He crawled over to check out the view for himself."


Metalheads for Wolf Blitzer


Aboard the annual "70,000 Tons of Metal" Caribbean cruise, iReport globetrotter Percy von Lipinski delivered a colorful video tour of the floating rock music festival, along with some of its quirkier characters. Ear plugs were "in high demand," but the crew was pleasantly surprised at how well behaved the rockers were. Turns out, they also watch CNN. Who knew that “metalheads” are among Wolf Blitzer’s legion of fans?


'At Last' was 'our song'



When singer Etta James died on Friday, couples everywhere mourned the woman who described their relationships like no one else could. We heard from tons of folks who danced to her recording of "At Last" at their weddings, including one husband whose new wife surprised him with a personal rendition. "I knew she was planning something, but I had no idea what it was," says John Villecco, who married Katie on July 23 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. "I knew she was a good singer, but I didn't know she was that great! I was tearing up by the end of it."


Finally, it wouldn't be a best of the week without a special shout-out to our community of 1 million (and growing). We celebrated the milestone on Monday with this video portrait of some of our contributors.


Do you have a story you want to share? Check out our assignment desk, or submit your own view of the news.

1 Comment
January 28, 2012
Click to view larena's profile

great iReports thanks Daphne

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