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South Philadelphia : In The News

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ABC News praises developments at the Navy Yard

The Navy Yard earns some national attention from ABC News for its exciting work fostering business, entrepreneurship and green technology.

"There was a lot of uncertainty early on," said John Grady, president of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. "People weren't sure what we were going to do to replace this engine of activity that was there."

Last week, The Navy Yard marked its 10,000-employee milestone and unveiled an update to its 2004 master plan that is forecasting 1,000 apartments, more parks and open space, more new construction and continued adaptive reuse of Navy-era industrial buildings.

Original source: ABC News
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New Eagles tickets score with augmented reality features

Mashable reports on the Philadelphia Eagles' new season tickets, which provide a high-tech perk via augmented reality.
The Philadelphia Eagles unveiled this week a new addition to their team app that will add a host of supplementary content for season ticket holders who hover their smartphones over game passes. Each game will feature a different combination of highlights, previews, messages from players and analysis, according to the team. Videos will be able to be played with the tickets in the actual background for an augmented reality effect, or fans can opt to simply watch on fullscreen.
Original source: Mashable
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City's latest restaurant openings in South Philly, Center City

Zagat touches on the recent debut of three Philadelphia restaurants, including Miss Rachel's Pantry, The Industry and Honeygrow.
On Fridays and Saturdays, guests can reserve a spot at the dozen-seat farmhouse table in Miss Rachel’s Dining Room, where a $45 prix fixe tasting menu of homestyle veg-friendly fare will be served at 7 PM each weekend night (1732 W. Passyunk Ave.; 215-798-0053).
Original source: Zagat
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Navy Yard transition keeps 793-acre site bustling

It has been 40 years since new ship construction at Navy shipyards ended, and Area Development delves into redevelopment at a few, including the transformation in South Philly's Philadelphia Navy Yard.

The 167-acre historic core of the Navy Yard, with more than 2.5 acres of waterfront, is actually on the National Register of Historic Places. The core offers opportunities for renovation of existing buildings for commercial use, and for the conversion of older loft space to residential use.

Original source: Area Development
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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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Shaping our city: Philly's open spaces becoming a model

Philadelphia's rich landscape heritage makes for a city painted in shades of green, according to The Huffington Post.

The transformation of the urban core, as I've written before, is hot, hot, hot. Currently, there's a great deal of attention focused (justifiably) on the much-talked-about opening of the second phase of the much-talked-about High Line in New York, which has put yet more vim into that city's vigor. But if you want to see some serious va-va-voom, set your sites on Philadelphia (and don't get all snarky quoting W. C. Fields now). Philadelphia's exceptional array of parks and open spaces, and the visionary, entrepreneurial and civic-minded people behind them, is where to really see a city center in high gear (and the BYOB restaurant scene is taste bud nirvana).

For more than three centuries, city planning, landscape architecture and a unique civic ambition that emphasizes horticulture as much as the pedestrian experience in its public spaces and streetscapes, have made Philadelphia a fascinating city. From the five squares that were at the core of William Penn's 1683 plan to Dan Kiley's mid-20th-century design for Independence Mall, which connected Franklin Square to the north and Washington Square to the south, the city has a landscape heritage that few others can boast.

Source: The Huffington Post
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Philly dancer's movements help in stroke recovery, return to stage next month

After suffering a stroke, a classically trained Philadelphia-based Indian dancer uses movement to rehabilitate and returns to the stage next month in South Philly, according to The Dance Journal.

A young artist, Aarthi Muthukumaran, who has been in rehabilitation since she suffered a massive stroke in December 2005, has chosen to return to her passion—classical South Indian Bharatanatyam dance—to help her in her extensive recovery process. After several years of dedicated and intensive dance training with noted dance/movement therapist and accomplished Bharatanatyam teacher Nalini Prakash, Aarthi returns to the stage in a recital that will be presented on October 2, 2011 at Chi Movement Arts Center in South Philadelphia at 4:30pm. The performance seeks to show the therapeutic qualities of dance/movement, and the innate healing powers of the classical Indian art forms, which tend to be spiritual and religious.

Source: The Dance Journal
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Sustainability-minded Simon Hauger's next class opens at Navy Yard

Newsweek's The Daily Beast writes about Simon Hauger, the teacher who brought together West Philly students to win a hybrid electric car competition and recently started a new sustainability workshop at the Navy Yard.

The boutique school follows the “project-based learning” model made popular by San Diego’s High Tech High and others around the country, where conventional classes are replaced with long, interdisciplinary exercises to solve real-world problems, like designing a solar charging station or writing energy-efficiency legislation. More engaged students, the thinking goes, learn deeply and retain knowledge longer. And the teens can supplement their project learning with classes at nearby Drexel University.

Original source: The Daily Beast
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Narrowing the digital divide in Philadelphia

Voice of America reports on Philadelphia plans to open 48 computer centers in homeless shelters, recreation centers and libraries in order to give more people access to the Internet.

The United Nations recently declared Internet access to be a human right. But in the United States, as in many other countries, millions of people do not have access to the wealth of information found online. In Philadelphia, communities are responding to narrow the digital divide.

Source: Voice of America
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Gay plays take over Shubin Theater this month

This month, Philadelphia GayFest! presents four GLBT-themed plays and a reading at the Shubin Theater, according to Passport Magazine.

August gets very gay in Philadelphia with the debut of GayFest!, a new GLBT theater festival presented by Quince Productions. With four plays running in repertory and a staged reading of a new gay play, the event promises to make the tiny Shubin Theatre a hotbed of gayness.

Source: Passport Magazine
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Two tankers to be built at Philly shipyard

Aker Philadelphia Shipyard will build two massive oil tankers for an ExxonMobil affiliate, according to World Maritime News.

Aker Philadelphia Shipyard ASA announced today that its sole operating subsidiary, Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. (APSI), has signed a Letter of Intent with SeaRiver Maritime, Inc. (SeaRiver), Exxon Mobil Corporation's U.S. marine affiliate, for the construction of two aframax tankers. The 820 foot long, 115,000 deadweight ton tankers are intended to be used to transport Alaskan North Slope crude oil from Prince William Sound to the U.S. West Coast.

Project planning work is currently underway in conjunction with APSI's technical partner, Samsung Heavy Industries. Construction of the first vessel is expected to begin by mid-2012 and both vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2014. The vessels will be equipped with double hull protection, the latest navigation and communications equipment, and energy efficient engines.

Source: World Maritime News
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Philly Youth Poetry Movement competes for national title

Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement has fast become a model for uplifting urban teens and will compete in a national competition this month, according to CNN.

Alana Gooden never thought she would live to see her 18th birthday.

Her brother died in a car accident when she was 12 years old and the emotional impact lingered in the family for years.

By the time Gooden had reached her junior year in high school, her world came crashing down. After a falling out with her mother, she moved in with a friend and her family in poverty-stricken North Philly.

After relentless urging by her creative writing teacher, Cait Minor, she joined the Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement (PYPM) near the end of her junior year in 2010.

Source: CNN
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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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Viridity, on the fast track to green transit, partners up for SEPTA project

Viridity Energy partners with Saft and Envitech on the first trackside energy storage system in North America, recycling energy from braking SEPTA trains and trolleys, according to the New York Times.

Subway trains need a lot of electricity to get going, turning electricity into kinetic energy, the energy of movement. When they pull into a station, many of them can do the opposite: generate electricity from their momentum. They turn their motors into generators to slow the train, producing current.

But in many systems, some of that energy goes to waste because of a bottleneck: the third rail, which carries current to the train, cannot handle as much energy as the train is generating during deceleration. Too much current pushes up the voltage, and when the voltage gets too high, the electricity is dissipated by running it through a piece of metal that converts it into heat.

But in Philadelphia, on the Market-Frankford line of the Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority, a new company called Viridity Energy will install batteries to capture a lot of that electricity and hold it while the train is in the station. Then it can deliver the power when the train starts up again or store it for a time of day when it is needed more.

Source: The New York Times
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NYT picks Philly's top coffee shops

Oliver Strand names six Philly coffee spots he loves as much as our sports, art and culture, according to the New York Times.

Philadelphia has plenty going for it: the best four-man rotation in baseball, art worth fighting over, a ruin so elegant and haunting it feels like Berlin. It also has superb coffee. Recently, I went on a coffee crawl that took me to a handful of shops where the baristas aren't just tremendously skilled, they're disarmingly sweet-natured. I found an energetic scene thriving outside the gravitational pull of the hometown giant La Colombe Torrefaction.

I was in Philadelphia to check out the local Thursday Night Throwdown --TNT to insiders -- a monthly cappuccino-off where 32 baristas compete for glory (the winner gets his or her initials embroidered on a strip of denim) and a decent-sized kitty (from the entrance fees). The evening was three hours of steaming milk in front of a crowd plied with pizza and beer. A news crew taped the throw-down, maybe because one of the judges was Winston Justice, offensive tackle for the Eagles and co-owner of Elixr Coffee, the host of the contest. Later, a good number of the competitors and spectators adjourned to a dive bar with a drag show -- the $7 cover included a can of beer and a shot of Jim Beam. Fun town.

Source: The New York Times
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