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Philly's finest farm-to-table offerings

Local restaurants are getting a reputation for farm fresh ingredients, according to OffManhattan.

To taste the freshest produce in the region, you can shop one of the city’s many farmers market, haul your selections back home, and crack open a cookbook. Or you can take the effortless route, and settle into one of the top farm-to-table restaurants in Philadelphia.

Uniquely positioned between ‘Jersey Fresh’ territory and Amish Country, Philly offers its chefs an impressive variety of local, seasonal ingredients from which to craft their award-winning menus. And diners will be excited to know that much of this produce makes its way from farm to plate just one day after harvesting. Yes, the peppery radishes and buttery greens in your appetizer salad may have been plucked from the dirt just hours ago.


Source: OffManhattan
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Is small town America really metropolitan America?

Last week we told you about the four suburban Philadelphia communities named to Money magazine's 100 Best Places to Live in America list. The New Republic looks at those same four hotspots as evidence of a shift in the way we live in post-recession America.

But Money is still wedded to the notion that our best places are “small towns,” without acknowledging the regional metropolitan economies--with distinctive economic clusters and amenities, unified housing and labor markets, and modern transportation networks--that determine their economic prosperity and popular appeal.

The magazine does implicitly recognize these metropolitan connections. Take the four new communities in this year’s list within in the resilient Philadelphia metro: West Goshen “gives residents a rural feel, yet good access to jobs,” given its proximity to Philadelphia; Horsham “lies with easy commuting distance of Philadelphia,” Ardmore is “just a few minutes from the city by rail,” and commuters from West Norriton “appreciate that it is 25 miles southwest of Philadelphia.”

It is time to acknowledge that these “small towns,” really suburbs and exurbs, are part of highly-connected and seamlessly-integrated metropolitan economies. The notion promoted by these kinds of “best places” lists--that “small towns” or “small cities” are self-sufficient islands--is fundamentally misguided. Families and firms choose these communities precisely because they benefit from the assets, attributes, and advantages of their broader metros.


Original source: The New Republic
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Da murals: Chicago digs our outdoor art

The Chicago Tribune marvels at Philly's outdoor art scene through a pair of tours showcasing the groundbreaking work of the Mural Arts program..

On my latest trip there, Philadelphia again stole my heart. But this time, instead of falling for Philly's red-bricked history, I fell for its outside art. Nicknamed the City of Murals, Philadelphia has more than 3,000 outdoor murals. The nonprofit City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (MAP) collection includes 1,700 painted walls.

Although founded to help eradicate graffiti in 1984, under Executive Director Jane Golden, MAP now connects artists with communities by creating art in public spaces. When travelers pay for a guided tour from MAP, it helps support Mural Arts' education and youth development, including the Restorative Justice Program, which teaches inmates, ex-offenders and juvenile delinquents how to paint murals.


Source: The Chicago Tribune
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Irish travelers: Philadelphia, here we come

The travel section at Ireland's Herald.ie is high on Philadelphia for a variety of reasons, imploring the Irish to visit for our safe downtown, good eats and arts and culture.

It's puzzling why Philly isn't on most Irish people's radar. It's more historic than Boston, as Irish as Chicago, 30pc cheaper to live in than New York and has a food culture to match San Francisco.

The city centre proper, (known as Center City) is thriving, unlike many US urban areas. Sections of 15th Street are hubs of restaurants and nightlife, while the area's aptly titled Avenue of the Arts is the local equivalent of London's West End or New York's Broadway theatre districts. The best bit? It feels perfectly safe to walk around, by day or night (don't try this at home, kids).

Original source: Herald.ie
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Pew: More people moving to Philly than moving out

A new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts indicates an encouraging trend of more people moving into Philadelphia since 1993, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

According to the Pew report, the number of people moving into the city has increased steadily, up from 31,837 in 1993 to 42,250 in 2008.

Overall, the number of people moving out of the city is growing less rapidly, increasing slightly from 47,291 in 1993 to 52,096 in 2008.


"I would say the trend is looking as if we may be seeing a reversal of long-term decline in city population," said David Elesh, sociologist and demography expert with the Metropolitan Philadelphia Indicators Project at Temple University.

Original source: The Philadelphia Inquirer
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St. Louis loves Philly for what it really is

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch travel section mentions booing Santa Claus but quickly moves on, digging deeper than most national media last week to reveal the insider's view of Philadelphia.

Once you get beyond the fighting fašade, Philadelphia is a city of tiny secret gardens, a diverse art and theater scene, a crazy diverse food/pub scene and a thousand walkable historical monuments and museums. Also, it's cheap as can be. You've got to work to spend $15 on a martini.

I moved here six years ago from St. Louis. The things I loved about St. Louis are the same things I love about Philadelphia--people are friendly, the streets have the same names (you copycats!) and there's no need to go to any chain restaurant ever.

Original source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Jassi Chadha enriches entrepreneurial ecosystem with TiE-NJ/Philadelphia

Wildly successful entrepreneur Jassi Chadha has brought his expertise to TiE-NJ/Philadelphia, a newer chapter of the global entrepreneurship organization, reports SiliconIndia.

TiE NJ-Philly is an offshoot of TiE Tristate. New Jersey and Philadephia had quite a lot of entrepreneurs who would often find it difficult to make it to New York for various events of the Tristate. Hence the need for a chapter in this geographic area became a necessity. Today under the leadership of Chadha, the TiE-NJ-Philly Chapter is helping the budding entrepreneurs in this geography to realize their goals and dreams by conducting various events, providing mentoring, and networking opportunities.


"There are aspects of entrepreneurship like optimism, excitement, energy, and a sense of adventure that is inspiring to read and get excited. It also drives people to do more and pursue big dreams. However, the path of entrepreneurship is often lonely, hard, and the journey hectic with challenges of different sorts. That's why entrepreneurs need to be supported and find the right support in programs that TiE offers," says Chadha.

Original source: SiliconIndia.
Read the full story here.


Connecticut arts panel looks at Philadelphia murals for inspiration

Members of the Norfolk Arts Commission visited Philadelphia last week to get a close-up look at some of the thousands of works of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Programs, reports The Hour.

"I was blown away by how these community murals in Philadelphia brightened the neighborhoods. It's inspiring to hear the stories of how these murals got made, and how it brought the community together," Becker said. "This is how to revitalize neighborhoods and instill a sense of pride, something I see Norwalk needs help with."

Launched in 1984 to combat graffiti, the city of Philadelphia Mural Arts Programs now bills itself as the largest public art program in the United States.

Original source: The Hour
Read the full story here.

Flying Kite among new online operations tackling local news

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on two online news publications that have launched recently, including yours truly.

As the market for news fragments, new models for journalism are emerging. Two of those experiments, Flying Kite and Patch, launched in Philadelphia last month.

"This is a fresh way to get fresh content about all the innovative things happening in our city," said Danielle Cohn, (Philadelphia Convention and Visitors) bureau spokeswoman.

Original source
: The Philadelphia Inquirer
Read the full story here.

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