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The New York Times tackles Oxford Mills, housing for teachers

Like Flying Kite, the New York Times was intrigued by the concept behind Oxford Mills, a mixed-used development dedicated to organizations and people who work in education.

Two redbrick buildings in the up-and-coming but still gritty South Kensington section of Philadelphia are being converted into apartments and offices intended to house teachers and nonprofit educational organizations in what the developers hope will become a cohesive community.

When the renovation is complete, 60 percent of the buildings’ 114 apartments will be reserved for teachers, who will be offered a 25 percent discount on market rent — paying about $1,000 a month for a one-bedroom unit in a neighborhood where they typically rent for $1,300.


Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.

PA among states that must pony up for Amtrak routes

As federal subsidies dry up, Amtrak looks to states to pick up the slack. Pennsylvania must pay to maintain its more rural routes.

But after years of financial losses on the route for Amtrak, Pennsylvania was faced with either picking up the tab or losing it altogether by Oct. 1. Under pressure from Congress to reduce its dependence on federal subsidies, Amtrak is looking at either closing 28 short-haul routes or getting 19 states to cover the costs. Most of the states have already agreed to pick up the costs...

Pennsylvania and Virginia are among the states that have already agreed to pay for service, citing the need to ease road congestion, spur economic development and remain connected to the Northeast line. But other states, like Indiana, are still debating what to do. In most cases, the routes run at a loss, say state officials, who view them more as an infrastructure investment like a highway.

 
Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here

Hacktory profiled as part of nationwide rise of 'hacker spaces'

The New York Times investigates the rise of membership-driven hacker spaces, including the the Hacktory in Philadelphia.

Hacker spaces like MakerBar — where people gather to build or take things apart, from rockets to circuit boards to LED displays — are hives of innovation, real-world communities made possible by the emergence of virtual communities...
 
But there are reasons beyond additional space that it might be better not to build or tear things apart at home. Laser cutters are prized within the maker community, but they run the risk of catching on fire, said Georgia Guthrie, who belongs to the Hacktory, a hacker space in Philadelphia. “You have to have a fire extinguisher near them at all times,” she said.

Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.
 

Delaware River Waterfront Corporation launches new website

Thank to the team at P'unk Ave, Delaware River Waterfront Corporation finally has a top-shelf web presence. 

Normally, a new website wouldn’t be cause for much fuss, but this is actually important. The riverfront is increasingly a locus of activity and economic development in Philly; in fact, it’s probably the section of the city that’s undergoing the most dramatic transformation. When complete, it’ll be a change as comprehensive as the Navy Yard or Northern Liberties.

Original source: Philadelphia Magazine
Read the complete story here, and check out DRWC's new website here

 


Jose Garces' Distrito named one of the best Mexican spots in U.S.

Travel & Leisure names Jose Garces' Distrito, the West Philly taco-and-margarita mecca, one of the best Mexican restaurants in the country.

Television celebrity chefs and quality Mexican food aren’t necessarily a match made en el cielo, but in the case of Food Network’s Chicago-born Ecuadorian Iron Chef Jose Garces’ Distrito, the connection pays off. The somewhat gaudy, pink, loud, huge restaurant is dedicated to the cuisine of Mexico City and serves nachos, ceviches,huaraches, tamales, enchiladas, and moles that Philadelphians recognize as not necessarily authentic, but some of the most satisfying versions on the East Coast regardless.

Original source: Travel & Leisure 
Read the complete list here.

Philly named one of the happiest cities for young professionals

The City of Brotherly Love is also a place for happiness, at least among young professionals. Our city comes in at No. 7 on the list.

That’s according to CareerBliss.com, an online career site that just released its list of the 10 happiest cities for young professionals, based on analysis from more than 45,000 employee generated reviews between April 2012 and March 2013. Young professionals, defined by CareerBliss as employees with less than 10 years’ experience in a full-time position, were asked to evaluate ten factors that affect workplace happiness. Those include one’s relationship with the boss and co-workers, work environment, job resources, compensation, growth opportunities, company culture, company reputation, daily tasks, and control over the work one does on a daily basis.

Original source: Forbes.com
Read the complete story here.

'Rocky' musical headed to Broadway

A legendary Philadelphia boxer sings his way to the big time -- The Rocky musical is heading to Broadway.

The show -- conceived by Sylvester Stallone, who wrote and starred in the original “Rocky” -- had its world premiere opening in Hamburg in November and received positive reviews from German theater critics for its gritty realism and inventively staged boxing sequences...

"The title has very high recognition, so I’m sure tourists will want to see it, but we wouldn’t bring it to New York if we didn’t think it would appeal to traditional theatergoers,” said Mr. Taylor, chief executive officer and producer of Stage Entertainment USA. “I’m aware that ‘Rocky’ might be perceived as an odd choice for a musical, and there will be some raised eyebrows, but I think what people see will not be what they are expecting."


Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.
 
 

AP hypes Reading Terminal's Festival of Forgotten Foods

The Reading Terminal Market's third Festival of Forgotten Foods draws praise for its unusual delights.

"Some of the foods are old-fashioned kinds of foods that are part of Philadelphia’s culinary history," Levitsky said Friday, "and some we sell every day in the market ... like snapper soup and raw milk."

Pepper pot soup — a thick stew of tripe, vegetables, lots of black pepper and other spices — is sometimes called "the soup that won the Revolutionary War." According to legend, it’s credited with restoring the strength and fighting spirit to Gen. George Washington’s troops during the harsh 1777-1778 winter at Valley Forge.


Original source: Associated Press
Read the complete story here at the Washington Post.

Inga Saffron chides lack of retail at Soko Lofts

The Inquirer's architecture critic Inga Saffron has a powerful reaction to the lack of retail at the upcoming Soko Lofts project in South Kensington.

For all its effort to replicate the Piazza's first-rate urbanism, Soko Lofts misses the crucial lesson of that project. The Piazza packed its ground floor with shops, galleries, and eateries, especially along its primary frontage on Second Street. Though not all have succeeded, their presence tied the Piazza into the neighborhood. They made what was just another behemoth residential development into a real urban place
 
At Soko, the buildings - bounded by Second, Thompson, Master, and American Streets - would be punctuated by a few token retail spaces. The rest would be long stretches of dullness. And American Street, which should be Soko's front door, would be the dullest.

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


Two Philly bars make national "Bucket List"

A compilation of the bars you gotta visit before you die features two local legends: City Tavern and McGillin's Olde Ale House:

Their motto--and we'll admit it's a good one--is that they opened their doors the year Lincoln was elected. If you're not sure of the date it's 1860.

Opened by Irish immigrant William McGillin and originally called the Bell in Hand, this place has a legacy all unto itself. Not only has it survived 150 years, it is still one of the most popular watering holes in Philly.


Original source: Bucket List Bars
Read the complete list here; read the McGillin's entry here.



Groundbreaking Chestnut Hill house to be featured in PBS doc

The Vanna Venturi House in Chestnut Hill will be featured in the upcoming PBS documentary "Ten Buildings That Changed America." Newsworks chatted with the current resident.

"I've asked myself, 'Why is the light so wonderful?'," said Agatha Hughes, the current resident of the Vanna Venturi House, aka Mother House. "I think it's because it comes from so many places. Up above you and down below -- it has so many angles and planes to play off of."
 
Hughes has been living here for four years, having inherited the house from her parents who resided in the house for 40 years. The house is a jangle of odd angles, curved planes, and windows layered against shortened walls.


Original source: Newsworks
Read the full story here.

Local funding consultant offers advice in the New York Times

Ami Kassar of MultiFunding, a company based in suburban Philadelphia, penned a piece in the New York Times offering advice for business owners looking for capital.

The best advice that I think I can give anyone in the hunt for money is to get organized early, do your research, identify your targets for financing, and pursue them in a focused and methodical way. As small-business owners and entrepreneurs, we often try throwing as much as we can against the wall to see what sticks. But when it comes to looking for money, this approach can consume time and is unlikely to end happily. Still, I see it all of the time.

Original source: The New York Times
Read the full story here.

Metropolis profiles Philly's 'Doctor of Green'

Local sustainability expert Max Zahniser gets some love in Metropolis Magazine.

To give you a better idea of his philosophy, Zahniser will tell you that systems thinking is his foundation for understanding the world. He rejects a fragmented, specialized worldview and ascribes to the dawning “Age of Integration,” anticipated decades ago by Buckminster Fuller and Lewis Mumford. In contrast to healthy interdependence, Zahniser sees Philadelphia as an example of “dispersed environmental initiatives.” His new Sustainability Nexus enterprise aims to pull that all together.

Original source: Metropolis Magazine
Read the full story here.

 

New York Times lauds Art Museum's outsider exhibit

The New York Times shines a light on an exhibition of outsider art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Great and Mighty Things: Outsider Art From the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection," celebrates the impending donation of the collection to the museum.

To a man, and a woman, the artists in the Bonovitz collection all made some form of magic whose power and urgency throw down a gauntlet, especially considering much of what passes for contemporary art these days. Sometimes they responded to their everyday surroundings. That’s the case with the shadowy drawings and angular constructions fashioned from soot, spit, string and cardboard with which Castle, who could neither hear nor speak, recorded the rough life on his family’s farm in rural Idaho. It’s also true of the sharp, prancing silhouettes with which Traylor expressed his amusement at the human comedy of African-American life in the South.

The show runs through June 9.

Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here

Monster NFL head injury case begins in Philadelphia court

Over 4,000 retired players are suing the NFL for failing to protect them from the risks of chronic head injuries. Both sides appeared before District Judge Anita Brody in Philadelphia this week.

Brody could throw out the entire case, or let parts of it proceed, though appeals are likely to slow the pace. Even without appeals, the discovery process could take years. The judge could also ask the plaintiffs to pick several cases to be tried as tests.

In the fast-moving, 45-minute hearing, Brody gave no strong hint how she would rule, although she repeatedly prodded Paul Clement, the N.F.L.’s lawyer, to provide specific reasons the league’s motion should be granted.

At one point Clement admitted that the league’s argument that player safety was governed by labor contracts would be harder to make for players who never signed a collective bargaining agreement.


Original source: The New York Times
Read the full story here.
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