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A trip down memory lane to Philly's historic sports stadiums

Curbed takes a look at stadiums from Philly's sports past. Check them out.

South Philly may be home to all of the city's stadiums today, but you might be surprised to know that North Philly was where all the magic began. Take Baker Bowl, for instance, which stood at Broad Street and Lehigh Avenue and was the first home of the Phillies. And just a few blocks away was Shibe Park, which was once described as, "the greatest place of its character in the world." And that's just the start of it. Here are six football and baseball stadiums that once stood in Philadelphia. Just in time for the Super Bowl, let's take a trip down memory lane, when these behemoths only cost $100,000 to build and tickets to see a Jimi Hendrix concert in them set folks back $6.50.?

Original source: Curbed
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UberPool coming to Philadelphia

Uber's carpooling option is coming to Philadelphia, allowing budget-minded ridesharers to save even more dough.

UberPOOL, a new feature from the San Francisco-based ride-sharing company that allows customers to share trips with people heading in the same direction, will launch in Philadelphia, according to multiple sources familiar with the development.
UberPOOL is usually 50 percent cheaper than UberX. In Philadelphia, riders could save $0.55 per mile, which should make it appealing for solo riders or a pair. The option doesn't work for three or more riders summoning an Uber together...

UberPOOL launched its private beta with Google in August 2014. It's already available in at least eight markets including Washington, D.C., New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, and Austin, Texas, along with Paris and Bangalore, India.

The addition of UberPOOL to the Philadelphia market comes at a strange time between the city and app. Uber has an office and a huge fleet in Philadelphia, although it is operating illegally in the city since its UberX service is not regulated by the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

Uber lashed out at the PPA late last week after a
Philadelphia Daily News article revealed the extent of the PPA's sting operations against Uber drivers. UberPOOL is its first real commitment toward expanding its services in Philadelphia beyond UberX. The company declined to establish UberEATS in Philadelphia.

Original source: Philadelphia Business Journal
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Philly photog shares local hidden gems with HuffPo

A partnership between Global Yodel and Huffington Post results in this local guide from photographer Darren Burton.

What is the best thing about Philadelphia? Hands down, the food and the art. Last year Philadelphia was ranked #6 for the best food cities in America by the Washington Post. Most tourists only know of us for our cheesesteaks, which ironically we don't eat often. There are MANY amazing restaurants that will leave your stomach satisfied to say the least. In addition to tons of restaurants, you can also find many murals, museums and art galleries throughout the city...

Describe a perfect day in Philadelphia: If my friend was at the The Logan Philadelphia Hotel for 24 hours, for starters, I would have them get breakfast at the Urban Farmer Restaurant on the 1st floor. (I'd suggest the Honey Biscuit with Country Sausage and Chicken.) After they eat I'd urge them to spend their afternoon on the parkway checking out the Philadelphia Museum of ArtAcademy of Natural Sciences, and The Franklin Institute. Of course, after all the walking they'd be hungry, so, I'd suggest going to Tela's Market on 19th and Fairmount and eating their Softshell Crab Sandwich followed by a Strawberry Banana Gelato from Philly Flavors which is only one block away. By this time, I'm sure they'd be tired so I'd suggest to go to The Logan Spa back at the hotel for a nice massage and then a nap. When they awake during the evening I'd urge them to put on a casual outfit and head over to Silk City in the Northern Liberties neighborhood and grab a bite to eat. (I'd suggest getting the Shrimp & Grits.) After dinner, the grand finale would be to head on over to The Fillmore for a dope concert. When the concert is over, if they still wanted to party, I'd suggest dancing their little hearts out at The Barbary right down the street.


Original source: Huffington Post; Global Yodel
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Local startup Curalate raises $27.5 million in Series C funding; will hire 115

A shining star in the local startup scene, Curalate has impressed again with a huge funding round. Philly.com's PhillyDeals blog has the scoop.

Curalate, the "visual commerce" software maker that helps Urban Outfitters and Forever21 sell clothes via partners Instagram, Pinterest and other social media, has raised $27.5 million from its past investors New Enterprise Associates (the largest U.S. venture capital outfit), Josh Kopelman's Philadelphia-based FirstRound Capital (biggest VC based on the East Coast), and MentorTech Ventures (a Phila-based group, includes Pa. state venture capital, which backs firms run by Penn people like Curalate CEO Apu Gupta, a Wharton MBA). "They believe," Gupta told me...

Gupta says the latest cash infusion, which follows $12.5 million in fundraising since 2012, will pay to double Curalate's staff -- currently 115 at its Center City HQ, New York and Seattle offices -- to 230 by year's end. "We're trying to disrupt a $1.6 trillion (ecommerce) market. It's gonna take some money," Gupta told me. "There's a lot of hiring to be done."

"Curalate is transforming ecommerce," NEA general partner Harry Weller said in a statement. He called it "one of those rare companies," combining: a "disruptive vision" for ecommerce, also capable of building rugged software that speeds consumers to buy stuff. 


Original source: Philly.com
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New York Times Magazine takes a close look at Amtrak 188

The New York Times Magazine examines the crash of Amtrak 188, one of the worst rail disasters in U.S. history. The incident occurred in North Philadelphia and impacted many lives locally.

From 30th Street Station, the train glided northwest out of Philadelphia, tracing the arc of the freeway. Near the old Schuylkill River Bridge, it jogged right, gathering speed, bound for the New Jersey border. Had you been standing anywhere near the tracks, you would have heard Amtrak 188 before you saw it, in the hum of the rail bed and the metallic shiver of the electricity in the overhead catenary wires. And then you would have felt it, in the vibration of the earth: the combined weight of a 98-ton locomotive and seven 50-ton cars, carrying a total of 258 people, eight of them employees...

In the days and weeks and months to come, every part of his northbound journey would be dissected by law enforcement, by the news media, by the public. It would be said, correctly, that the wreck of Amtrak 188 was the worst kind of anomaly — that train travel was safer than many other forms of travel, cars included, and that Amtrak’s safety record was sterling. (This, too, is accurate: From 2000 to 2014, accidents on Amtrak routes dropped to 1.7 accidents per million passenger-miles from 4.1.) Bostian’s personal life would be picked apart, his state of mind questioned. Theories would be floated and discredited: that there was some sort of mechanical problem with the locomotive, or the track, or the signals (none of the above). That Bostian was on his phone at the time of the accident (he was not). That he was using drugs or drinking (his blood was clean).
Finally, investigators would turn their focus on the section of track between North Philadelphia Station and Frankford Junction. Three miles of train travel: the distance it took for an otherwise unremarkable trip, overseen by an engineer known for his prudence, to go violently, impossibly wrong.

Original source: New York Times Magazine
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Growing local company Invisible Sentinel tackles food safety concerns

This Philadelphia startup gets a big spotlight in The New York Times. Their food-testing technology could help solve headaches for big companies like Chipotle who struggle with outbreaks of bacteria including E. coli or listeria that sicken customers. 

Troubles for one business can mean opportunities for others. And the competitive field of food testing is one. Companies big and small are looking for ways to make food testing faster, more accurate and less expensive. It requires sophisticated scientific and technological skills and is far from the easiest point of entry for a small start-up. But one Philadelphia biotech company led by a pair of entrepreneurs is hoping it has found a niche.

The company, Invisible Sentinel, has developed a patented technology called Veriflow that uses a hand-held device to detect the DNA of micro-organisms like E. coli, salmonella and listeria quickly and at a relatively affordable price. The technology has been approved by AOAC International, an association that sets standards for microbial food testing.

“It’s like a pregnancy test — one line negative and two lines positive — except that it’s amplified DNA that you’re reading,” said Benjamin Pascal, a co-founder of Invisible Sentinel.

Today, according to Invisible Sentinel, 114 companies in the United States and more than 50 internationally use the technology at more than 250 different sites in 18 countries.

Wawa Inc., which owns dairy and beverage manufacturing plants as well as 715 convenience stores in six states, tested Veriflow for about six months before signing on in March 2013. “Invisible Sentinel’s technology was two to three times faster than others,” said Chris Gheysens, the company’s chief executive.


Original source: The New York Times
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Hope and fear in Atlantic City

Reuters takes a look at the changing face of Atlantic City -- a seaside city facing enormous challenges and working to embrace exciting opportunities.

Brimming with promise but ground down by poverty, Atlantic City is trying to reinvent itself even as it teeters on the edge of fiscal ruin. Its perception as a seedy locale is just one of several hurdles.

The city has been devastated by the quick collapse of its one-time monopoly on East Coast casino gambling and could see its cash flow run dry by April. The ravaged local economy laid bare the city's bloated budget and over dependence on a single industry.

Now, even as local elected officials are faced with the potential of a state takeover, they hope some seeds they planted to clean up crime-ridden areas and diversify the economy could begin bearing fruit before long.


The city has added new recreation and entertainment venues from Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein, for example. Stockton University, which is nearby and has about 8,600 students, unveiled plans to expand there, and the city played host to a summer of successful beach concerts.

Clean-up efforts at a Texas Avenue playground and other parks have also worked. Overall, crime in Atlantic City fell by 9.3 percent in 2015 through November, compared to the same period the previous year, and has been declining for most of the last decade, according to state police data compiled by Reuters.?

Original source: Reuters
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Travel + Leisure counts down Philly's top spots to watch the Super Bowl

Travel + Leisure picks their top five spots to catch the big game (February 7). You can root for the Panthers or the Broncos will sipping beer and noshing snacks. Here are our two favorites from the list.

2. McGillin's Olde Ale House
Established in the late 19th-century, McGillin's is the oldest continuously operating tavern in town. If you don't believe them, every single liquor license this modern speakeasy has acquired since 1871 hangs on a wall, alongside other signage of the ghosts of the city's past, like Wanamaker's and Woolworth. Shimmy up to the bar and order the SuperMug for $5, which gets you refills of Bud Light throughout the entire game for a buck a pop...

5. Brauhaus Schmitz
While this South Street German beer hall is normally your go-to venue to catch that other brand of football (along with Fado, a few blocks to the west), this year you can join the ranks of like-minded fans who believe that football—even the American kind—is best paired with lederhosen and giant draughts of bier. The game will be broadcast on the big screen in their Brauer Bund Beer Hall. Their $50 Super Bowl special includes pork rinds, roast beef, meatballs, wings, and more, all you can drink beer, and tax and gratuity. Make reservations by visiting their website.


Original source: Travel + Leisure
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The vision for Bok comes into focus with new tenants

The former Bok Technical High School is being transformed into a hive for local businesses, innovation and community engagement. As more tenants are announced, it becomes clear that the space will serve diverse masters.

Having already signed on makerspace Hive76 and Fringe hair salon, newish owner Lindsey Scannapieco and her development company, Scout Ltd., has signed Project P.L.A.Y., a private nonprofit preschool based in Elkins Park, to open a second location inside the hulking school building at Ninth and Mifflin in September 2016.
 
"The community was kind of seeking more day-care options," Scannapieco told Property. "I think it’ll be great." 
In an effort to subsidize building overhead and support the local business within the space, Scannapieco said they have applied for a liquor license for a permanent rooftop cafe...

In March, Scout Ltd. was awarded an endowment of $146,960 through the Knight Foundation's Knight Cities Challenge to reimagine Bok's outdoor spaces as a community engagement area called the "South Philly Stoop." The school will be located on the first floor and have direct access to a new outdoor play space on South Ninth Street, which is currently being designed. Scannapieco said that it would be open for community use after school hours...

 
Scannapieco said that Bok currently has filled out the first floor space with over 15 tenants, and a press release states that 75 percent are residents of South Philly and over 45 percent live in the 19148 ZIP code. Over the next year, an additional 35,000-square-feet of leasable space will be opened up, "and the process has begun for zoning of the historic auditorium and gymnasium for community events such as local sports leagues, fundraisers and private events," reads the release.

Original source: Philadelphia Magazine (Property)
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Fresh modern housing comes to college neighborhoods, but not for students

The New York Times takes a look at new residential development near colleges -- and notes that many of them have no interest in undergrad renters. University City features prominently in the piece.

A block from Drexel University, a glassy new rental building offers residents a roof deck with a heated saltwater pool, a fire pit and outdoor televisions — amenities that would make for a raucous college party, if college students could live there.

But the 28-story tower at 3601 Market Street was not built to house any of Drexel’s 16,900 undergraduates. Nor is it intended for the 10,400 undergraduates studying at nearby University of Pennsylvania.

Instead, it aims to attract young professionals — junior faculty, office workers and young doctors — to live in University City, a West Philadelphia neighborhood that is also home to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.

The Market Street apartments are among roughly 2,000 residential units that are planned or have recently opened in University City and are aimed at young professionals and graduate students. A local developer has also acquired eight rental buildings in the neighborhood since the summer, with plans to renovate those 600 units to attract more young professionals...

Near college campuses around the country, developers have begun building luxury housing for the staff, not the students. Tapping into a desire among some younger workers to live in walkable, urban communities, these developers have discovered that a college neighborhood can fit that bill, as students are no longer the only ones who want to live near campus...

Developers use various strategies to keep undergraduates away from these new projects, including high rents that most students can’t afford. They time leasing to miss the start of the academic year, reject applicants who will rely on a guarantor to pay the rent and design spaces that are not ideal for young students. “The undergraduates get the message,” Mr. Downey said.


Original source: The New York Times
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For Sale: Fiat used by Pope on his visit to Philly

Remember that adorable Fiat Pope Francis used to cruise around Philadelphia in September? It's going up on the auction block.

A tiny black Fiat 500L that ferried Pope Francis through Philadelphia during his historic first visit to the United States will be auctioned next week, officials said on Wednesday.

The car, which the 79-year-old Pontiff chose as a symbol of his concern for the environment and desire to put aside some of the rich trappings long associated with his office, will be auctioned on Jan. 29, said organizers of last year's World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, they said. The car will then go on display at the Philadelphia Auto Show, officials said.


Original source: Reuters
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Examining the work of controversial sociologist Alice Goffman, chronicler of life in West Philly

New York Times Magazine takes a deep dive into the work and life of Alice Goffman, writer of 'On the Run,' a book based on her field work in West Philadelphia. The story is a nuanced look at a complex topic:

The object of dispute was Goffman’s debut book, ‘‘On the Run,’’ which chronicles the social world of a group of young black men in a mixed-­income neighborhood in West Philadelphia, some of them low-­level drug dealers who live under constant threat of arrest and cycle in and out of prison. She began the project as a 20-year-old undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania; eventually she moved to be closer to the neighborhood, which in the book she calls ‘‘Sixth Street,’’ and even took in two of her subjects as roommates. While most ethnographic projects are completed over a year and a half, Goffman spent more than six years working in the neighborhood, which evolved from a field site into what she still basically considers her home. Her field notes, which she kept with obsessive fidelity — often transcribing hourslong conversations as they happened in real time — ran to thousands of pages. She had to spend more than a year chopping up and organizing these notes by theme for her book: the rituals of court dates and bail hearings; relationships with women and children; experiences of betrayal and abandonment. All those records had now been burned: Even before the controversy began, Goffman felt as though their ritual incineration was the only way she could protect her friend-­informers from police scrutiny after her book was published...

Within her discipline, attitudes toward Goffman’s work were conflicted from the beginning. The American Sociological Association gave ‘‘On the Run’’ its Dissertation Award, and many of Goffman’s peers came to feel as though she had been specially anointed by the discipline’s power elite — that she had been allowed, as the future public face of sociology, to operate by her own set of rules. As a qualitative researcher, Goffman paid relatively scant attention to the dominant mode of her data-­preoccupied field, instead opting to work in a hybrid fashion, as something between a reporter and an academic. She has also mostly refused to play the kinds of political games that can constitute a large part of academic life, eschewing disciplinary jargon and citing the work of other scholars only when she felt like it.

Worse, perhaps, was Goffman’s fondness in her writing for what could seem like lurid detail. Some of the flourishes in ‘‘On the Run’’ were harmless or even felicitous — one character’s ‘‘morning routine of clothes ironing, hair care, body lotion and sneaker buffing’’ — but others seemed to play up her own peril or pander to audience expectations. In one scene, two white officers in SWAT gear break down a house door, ‘‘with guns strapped to the sides of their legs.’’ She continues, ‘‘The first officer in pointed a gun at me and asked who was in the house; he continued to point the gun toward me as he went up the stairs.’’ In another, Goffman writes that the house of a family ‘‘smelled of piss and vomit and stale cigarettes, and cockroaches roamed freely across the countertops and soiled living-­room furniture.’’

Above all, what frustrated her critics was the fact that she was a well-off, expensively educated white woman who wrote about the lives of poor black men without expending a lot of time or energy on what the field refers to as ‘‘positionality’’ — in this case, on an accounting of her own privilege. Goffman identifies strongly and explicitly with the confident social scientists of previous generations, and if none of those figures felt as though they had to apologize for doing straightforward, readable work on marginalized or discredited populations, she didn’t see why she should have to. As another young professor told me, with the air of reverent exasperation that people use to talk about her, ‘‘Alice used a writing style that today you can’t really use in the social sciences.’’ He sighed and began to trail off. ‘‘In the past,’’ he said with some astonishment, ‘‘they really did write that way.’’ The book smacked, some sociologists argued, of a kind of swaggering adventurism that the discipline had long gotten over. Goffman became a proxy for old and unsettled arguments about ethnography that extended far beyond her own particular case. What is the continuing role of the qualitative in an era devoted to data? When the politics of representation have become so fraught, who gets to write about whom?

Original source: New York Times Magazine
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Philly-flavored emojis are coming to a smart phone near you

Visit Philadelphia has commissioned an emoji keyboard bursting with Philly pride. In no time you'll be texting soft pretzels and Rocky statues to fellow fans of the City of Brotherly Love.

The agency hopes the application, released Wednesday, will amplify the increasing buzz around Philadelphia as a tourism destination, said president and chief executive officer Meryl Levitz.

"Word of mouth is the most trusted source of advice for travelers and trip-takers," Levitz said. "This is another fun way for that word of mouth to travel."

The keyboard can be downloaded from the Google Play store and Apple Inc.'s App Store and activated while using messaging applications such as iMessenger, Android MMS and Facebook Messenger.

Users can then select from more than 40 Philadelphia-related images to insert into their messages, ranging from pretzels and cheesesteaks to caricatures of Benjamin Franklin and Betsy Ross.


Original source: Philadelphia Inquirer
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Media News: Philly's major media outlets donated to nonprofit

The Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com have been donated to a new media institute.

"What would the city be without the Inquirer and the Daily News?" asked H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, who until his gift was the sole owner of The Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com website. No TV, radio or internet portal can match the news agencies in-depth coverage, he said.

On Tuesday, in a meeting with employees and then at a news conference at the Constitution Center, Lenfest formally announced the details of a complicated transaction designed to ensure that quality journalism endures in Philadelphia for generations.

The move places the region's dominant news-gatherers under the auspices of the nonprofit Philadelphia Foundation.

"In a democracy," foundation President and CEO Pedro Ramos said at the Constitution Center, "great cities need and depend on quality journalism."

Lenfest's gift will support and enhance "nothing less than an essential element of our democracy," Ramos said...

Subscribers and readers will see no immediate changes. Nor will PMN employees. The company's contracts with its labor unions remain in force. Bill Ross, executive editor of the Newspaper Guild, which represents journalists and other workers at PMN, said he was "somewhat optimistic" about the new structure.


Original source: Philly.com
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Frontier Airlines adds a bunch of cheap new routes from Philly

The budget airline has announced a slate of new destinations from Philadelphia, including Portland, Austin, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Atlanta, Detroit, Seattle and Nashville.

Most flights start in mid-April, but at least a half dozen won’t roll out until May or June to accommodate delivery dates for some of the 18 new aircraft the carrier has on order.

None of these new flights will begin as daily service. Depending on the route, schedules are either Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday or Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

“The day of week schedule helps capacity meet initial demand as we enter these new markets,” said Frontier spokesman  Jim Faulkner .

The new routes are being introduced with fares as low as $39 one-way and target markets the Denver-based carrier considers “historically overpriced and underserved.” In in most cases the new routes put Frontier up against service offered by Delta, United, American or Southwest.


Original source: USA Today
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318 Media Articles | Page: | Show All
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