| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter RSS Feed

In The News

973 Articles | Page: | Show All

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

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
Read the complete story here

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
Read the complete story here.

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
Read the complete story here

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
Read the complete story here

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
Read the complete story here

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
Read the complete story here

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
Read the complete list here.

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