| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter RSS Feed

In The News

981 Articles | Page: | Show All

The Atlantic spotlights Philly's criminal justice revolution

A story in The Atlantic focuses on the Kenney administration's efforts to revolutionize criminal justice in the city -- and undo decades of harm.

But Philadelphia may have reached a tipping point. The city is in the midst of what could be a pivotal phase of reform, now helmed by newly-minted mayor Jim Kenney. The magazine Philadelphia has called Kenney, “Mr. Criminal Justice Reform,” citing his record as councilman, which included championing the decriminalization of marijuana in Philadelphia, which he called a civil-rights issue, and campaign promises to eliminate cash bail for some low-level defendants and to give convicted felons a second chance. Kenney’s candidacy was compared to that of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio: Both are white, but ran on a populist platform preaching racial, economic, and criminal justice reform. On his first night as mayor in January, rather than celebrate with an inaugural ball, Kenney took the festivities to the streets with a block party. He aims to be a mayor of the people, addressing issues that have plagued the city for decades, including overcrowded jails and tense relations between police and residents...

Before even being sworn into office, Kenney promised to reduce the city’s jail population by one third in the next three years...

The city has a grant application for up to $4 million pending with the MacArthur Foundation. Elected officials have been tight lipped about the proposal’s specifics, but have indicated that it generally focuses on decreasing reliance on cash bail, bolstering diversion programs to decrease pretrial detainment, and enhancing mental-health services for defendants awaiting trial. The grant recipients are expected to be announced mid-March. Regardless of whether the money is granted, both Kenney and Clarke agree that the reforms are necessary and will continue—though perhaps on a slower timeline. “It’s all about priorities,” Clarke said. “If these are the things that we need to change, we’re going to change them.”


Original source: The Atlantic
Read the complete story here.
 

Toronto Star asks, Is Philly cooler than New York? (Yes!)

The Canadian paper reassesses the City of Brotherly Love, and likes what they see.
 
When you think of the city of Philadelphia, what pops into your head?

My impression used to be a mishmash of gooey meat-and-cheese sandwiches, Rocky Balboa running up some stone steps, a cracked bronze bell, and the intro song to Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But then I went to Philly for a few days, and that all changed.

What I discovered is an understated, historically rich city quietly going through a youth-driven cultural revolution that could propel it to the top of hip, urban U.S.-destination lists. Yes, I’m going to say it: Philadelphia might just turn out to be cooler than New York City...

Original source: Toronto Star
Read the complete story here

Will patience pay off for the Phillies?

The New York Times takes a look at our upstart squad -- and makes the argument for some tentative hope after an abysmal 2015 season.

The Philadelphia Phillies hold the first overall pick in the draft this June. The last time they had it, in 1998, they chose outfielder Pat Burrell. Ten years later, Burrell doubled to start the go-ahead rally on the night the Phillies won the World Series.

Success in baseball is rarely so orderly. Today’s losing does not guarantee tomorrow’s parade. But as the Phillies rebuild a roster that staggered to 99 losses last season, they believe an upswing is inevitable.

“The teams that get themselves in the most trouble are the ones that try something for two years, it doesn’t work, so let’s try something different,” said Andy MacPhail, who will begin his first full season as the Phillies’ president for baseball operations.

If ever there was a time to ask for patience in Philadelphia, this is it. The city has been bruised by the failures of its professional sports teams, but smart fans accept that the Phillies’ previous strategy — clinging to highly paid, fading veterans — was failing. A full-scale renovation is underway, run by MacPhail — who has helped turn around the Minnesota Twins, the Chicago Cubs and the Orioles — and the new general manager, Matt Klentak.

“To understand where we want to end up, we need to understand where we are today and build the foundation appropriately,” Klentak said. “But a lot of pieces of the foundation are already here.”


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

Travel + Leisure offers film-centric guide to touring Philly

With all the attention around Creed, this national travel mag tells tourists how to enjoy Philly like a movie star.

Yo Adrian! The city memorialized in the Rocky series and now the award-winning Creed has been home to a wide variety of movie plots and filming locations, including Philadelphia (which opens with a montage of famous sites), Mannequin, Trading Places, Twelve Monkeys, and In Her Shoes. Remember, “I see dead people”? The Sixth Sense was set and filmed in the City of Brotherly Love. The scene in Silver Linings Playbook where Pat and Tiffany kiss in the street under twinkling holiday lights? That’s Jewelers’ Row. Just in time for the Academy Awards, here is our guide to visiting Philadelphia like a movie star. 

Original source: Travel + Leisure
Read the complete story here

Shark Tank sends PiperWai sales soaring

This Philly startup got a big boost from their appearance on the ABC hit. You might remember PiperWai from this story in Flying Kite detailing the development of their all-natural deodorant.

Sales of a Philadelphia company's all-natural deodorant skyrocketed since the co-founders appeared on ABC's Shark Tank in December, a reality TV boost that caused the entrepreneurs to wake up in a cold sweat as they quickly scaled up and worked to fill tens of thousands of orders.

"We'd wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, worrying about a millimeter difference on a corrugated box," said Jess Edelstein, who created PiperWai with business partner and childhood friend, Sarah Ribner.

The pair will return to Shark Tank this Friday to give an update on their business. The co-founders pitted two "Sharks" against each other during their initial mid-December appearance on the show, eventually securing a $50,000 investment from Barbara Corcoran in PiperWai...

"Nobody could have predicted the demand we received," said Edelstein. "We were the third fastest company in Shark Tank history to reach a million dollars and our product is only $12."

Hitting the million dollar mark 10 days after the original show aired, PiperWai had more than $1.3 million in sales in the two months that followed their reality TV debut, the co-founders said.

"Before we went on Shark Tank, our lifetime sales were $130,000," Edelstein added.
 
Original source: Philadelphia Business Journal
Read the complete story here

International Pop comes to the Philadelphia Museum of Art

An exciting new exhibition exploring Pop art has opened in Philly. 

At the new exhibit on International Pop at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, visitors are invited to kneel at a shrine to Roberto Carlos, the massively popular Brazilian musician.

"Adoração: Altar de Roberto Carlos" (Adoration: Altar for Roberto Carlos) by Nelson Leirner is a curtained niche, housing a neon bust of Carlos surrounded by illuminated religious icons.

Inside the darkened shrine, Carlos is blinding. The series of weakly lit sacred icons is completely overwhelmed by the flashing pop singer. Pop art, it seems to say, will have an irreverent ego.

"International Pop," opening at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Wednesday, includes works by many of the touchstone artists of that midcentury art movement: Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg. The main thrust are the dozens of lesser-known artists from around the world who added their light to the movement...

In some countries, Pop art was one of the only ways artists could comment on violence and censorship. While recovering from World War II or navigating military dictatorships, artists could still make cut-out collages from pictures in American magazines when they had few other resources.


Original source: Newsworks
Read the complete story here

Inga Saffron lauds latest section of Schuylkill River Trail

The beloved greenway will extend to Southwest Philadelphia with the completion of the next section. Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron lauds the project, which started with just a short stretch of riverside concrete.

Any day now, the Schuylkill River Development Corp. will start formal construction on the fourth installment of the now wildly popular waterfront trail. Called Bartram's Mile, the $6 million addition is the first segment to make the leap across the river and extend the recreation path into the neighborhoods of Southwest Philadelphia. This time, it will be lushly landscaped, with groves of trees, gentle hills, and grassy meadows.

With the opening of Bartram's Mile expected in late fall, the dream of a continuous waterfront path stretching from the city's northwest corner to its southern tip is starting to look like a reality. Though there is still years of work ahead, the progress over the last decade suggests a steady, incremental approach is an effective way to reclaim our once-industrialized waterfronts for the public's enjoyment.

Bartram's Mile also represents another kind of leap. Bringing the park to the underserved Kingsessing neighborhood will demonstrate that waterfront trails aren't for just the city's elites. Surrounded by a tangle of rail lines and the Schuylkill Expressway, Southwest Philadelphia has felt cut off from Center City and the universities. The trail, which stretches from 58th Street to the Gray's Ferry Bridge, will eventually make it possible to bike downtown in under 20 minutes.


Original source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Read the complete story here

Statewide Spotlight: Philly company invests in huge Downtown Pittsburgh reuse project

A 12-story landmark building and former Macy's location in Downtown Pittsburgh will be transformed into a high-end mixed use project, signaling continued confidence in that city's rebirth.

Core Realty, based in Philadelphia, in July paid $15 million for the property just months before Macy’s closed. The building, on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Smithfield Street, dates to the late 1800s and for years was the flagship of the Kaufmann’s department store chain. It went through several expansions and renovations, including a heralded Art Deco interior makeover of the first floor in 1930.

Randy Mineo, executive vice president of Core Realty and a Pittsburgh native, envisions a mix of retailers, restaurants and entertainment spots to complement a 155-room Even Hotel and 312 luxury apartments. Named the Grand at Fifth Avenue, the estimated $100 million project will feature an open-air atrium beginning on the fifth floor and 600 parking spaces, a sparse commodity downtown.

“I’ve always looked at Pittsburgh as a hidden gem; it’s a city that has been kind of ignored,” said Mr. Mineo, who with the owner of Core Realty, Michael Samschick, began hunting for properties in the city three years ago. “But you could tell that underneath the surface, Pittsburgh was bubbling...”


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

Should mobster's home become a historic landmark?

The home of a late Philadelphia mob boss has been nominated as a historical landmark and begs the question, 'What makes something historic?'

Angelo Bruno, who was known as the "Gentle Don" when he ran the city's Italian mob in the 1960s and 1970s, was gunned down outside the home in 1980.

The Philadelphia Daily News reports that Bruno's biographer sent the city's Historical Commission a landmark nomination for the rowhome.

The writer, Celeste Morello, said she nominated the three-bedroom home due to its significance in law enforcement history, saying Bruno's criminal activity helped shape federal laws and strategies for fighting organized crime.

"If Bruno didn't do things to make law enforcement notice him, I doubt that Philadelphia would have been one of the first organized-crime law enforcement units with a 'strike force' in the country," Morello told the
Daily News.

The commission is expected to take up the nomination next month.

"I assume it is our first historical property nomination related to Mafia history in Philadelphia. I can't think that there is another one," said Kim Broadbent, historic preservation planner on the staff of the Historical Commission. "It's certainly a unique story about Philadelphia's history that we don't typically come across at the office."


Original source: Associated Press
Read the complete story here

Solomonov doc gets Philly premiere

A documentary detailing Philly chef Michael Solomonov's journey through Israeli cuisine will make its local premiere next month at the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival. The film will be shown Monday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Gershman Y cultural center. Solomonov will be on hand for a post-film conversation and reception, as well as a book signing for his best-selling Zahav cookbook. From Philly.com:

Directed by Oscar-nominated documentarian Roger Sherman, In Search of Israeli Cuisine follows Solomonov on an adventure through Israel’s vibrant food culture. The result: An intimate, behind-the-scenes look into the culinary heritages that have helped inspire beloved Phildelphia restaurants like Dizengoff, Abe Fisher, and Zahav.

"It’s important for Americans to realize that regardless of what you see on TV, regardless of your political stance, Israeli cuisine reflects humanity at its best," Solomonov said of the doc via a release. "Sometimes the easiest way for people to relate to a country is through its food and culture."


Tickets: $15 film only; $30 film and reception; $60 for film and reception along with a copy of Zahav.

Original source: Philly.com
Read the complete story here

Lonely Planet puts Philly at the top of its U.S. destinations list

The famous travel guide put the City of Brotherly Love at the top of its list of places to visit in the United States.

Visited by Pope Francis, hosting the Democratic National Convention in July, and freshly crowned as the US’s first and only World Heritage City (joining the ranks of Cairo, Paris and Jerusalem), Philly’s on a roll. NYC’s more neighborly neighbor is experiencing a transformation to its urban core, as many US cities are right now. Craft breweries? Check. Hot new locavore restaurants? Big check. But Philadelphia is steadfastly managing to retain its historic roots and gritty flavor, as well as its affordability – a pleasant surprise for a city so cosmopolitan and accessible. Hands up to the sky, Rocky fans: celebrate the film’s 40th anniversary in 2016 with a sprint up the 72 steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.?

Original source: Lonely Planet
Read the complete list here

Mayor welcomes skaters back to LOVE Park, sorta

As LOVE Park undergoes a renovation, the skateboarders are allowed to return -- temporarily.

Skateboarders in Philadelphia are feeling the love from Love Park now that the mayor has temporarily lifted a ban on skating there until it closes for renovations.

Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney made the announcement Wednesday during a groundbreaking ceremony for the park and welcome center's $20 million facelift.


The park is a skateboarding haven. Kenney urges skaters to take advantage of it until it closes Feb. 15. He tells skaters they're "part of the fabric" of Love Park. He says granite removed during the overhaul will be used in skate parks across the city.

Original source: Associated Press (via The New York Times)
Read the complete story here

Market East feeding frenzy continues: Gallery developers scoop up three buildings

The developers behind the renovation of The Gallery have scooped up three more properties in Market East, signaling continued rebirth in the neighborhood. 

Moves to remake the dilapidated Gallery at Market East into a high-end outlet mall are expected to give area property values a lift.
 
Among the beneficiaries of that boost: the developers behind the Gallery's redevelopment effort.

As their proposal for the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia was coming together, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT) and Macerich Co. were quietly buying up property across the street.

The acquisition of three buildings on the 1000 block of Market Street shows the developers' bullishness on the area's resurgence, which the $325 million Gallery project aims to fuel...

PREIT and Santa Monica, Calif.-based Macerich plan to find new tenants for the properties after the redeveloped mall's occupants are selected, Coradino said.

Likely candidates are retailers that want to be in the area but are not a good match for the mall, which hopes to feature discount versions of designer-label stores and crowd-drawing restaurants.

The developers may want to use the properties to coax current Gallery tenants that are inconsistent with the Fashion Outlets concept but have long-term leases for their space, said Tom Londres, president of retail brokerage Metro Commercial Real Estate Inc.


Original source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Read the complete story here

Next City asks if Kenney is Philly's first mayor for millennials

Next City argues that our new mayor is uniquely qualified to appeal to the next generation of Philadelphians.

When former Mayor Michael Nutter, a bookish reform candidate, took office in 2008, he arranged for 2,000 guests to board a cruise ship docked in the city’s defunct Navy Yard, which was being slowly transformed into a tax-free business park. The $50-a-head fete was billed as a salute to the city’s neighborhoods, but the real message was clear: Philadelphia was open for business again.

When Nutter’s successor, former Councilman Jim Kenney, was sworn in last month, he threw a block party, the ultimate community tradition in a city of narrow streets and tightly packed rowhomes. The son of a working-class Irish family from the dockside neighborhoods in South Philly, Kenney was hailed as the “anti-Nutter,” a folksy, relatable mayor who would shift the city’s political focus away from downtown business interests and back to taxpayers feeling alternately thrilled and threatened by their hometown’s recent resurgence...

As the incoming mayor was taking pains to demonstrate, he is an old-school rowhouse guy, but one that supports a new breed of Philly urbanity that involves more food trucks and fewer cars, taller buildings and the possibility that Philly could stand to tamp down its we-are-not-New-York rhetoric and learn from its neighbor to the north’s walkable streets.

Perhaps more importantly in a city where a Pew study found that 29 percent of millennials said they planned to leave the city because of failing schools, Kenney positioned himself as the education candidate. He pushed a model for “community schools” pioneered in Cincinnati, another rebounding city pushing itself to retain a growing population of educated young adults...

“I have taken positions in my career that have not made a lot of those folks happy. LGBT rights, immigration rights, marijuana decriminalization. These are issues a lot of my core constituency and people that are friendly with me do not understand,” he says. “But ultimately, hopefully, they do understand. When you do the right thing, and not just the popular thing, you’re hoping that the right thing becomes popular.”

Original source: Next City
Read the complete story here.

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
Read the complete story here
981 Articles | Page: | Show All
Signup for Email Alerts