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Suburban Chinatowns on the rise, including one in Exton

Chinese immigrants are increasingly gravitating towards suburban communities. This is both a result of urban core gentrification and shifting tastes. In the Philadelphia region, Exton has a booming Chinese population. 
Leong says Chinatowns on the East Coast are becoming a lot less Chinese. He and a group of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania recently studied the Chinatowns of New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, and found that gentrification and rising housing costs were making it hard for blue-collar immigrants to live there. Their study found that in 1990, Asian residents comprised 45 to 75 percent of the three Chinatown neighborhoods. Twenty years later, they made up 42 to 46 percent. During that time, the white population doubled in Philadelphia and Boston’s Chinatown neighborhoods...

America’s new Chinatowns are basically strip malls in the suburbs, says Leong. The town of  Exton, an affluent suburb of Philadelphia where the average home value is about $340,000, is a good example of one. During a recent visit, I noticed a handful of Chinese restaurants and grocery stores scattered among big-box retailers like Walmart and Toys “R” Us. In 2000, only six percent of Exton’s residents were Asian. Now, about 20 percent are. Many Indian and Chinese immigrants who live there work for big financial and pharmaceutical companies in the area.

Cheryl Wang, a risk analyst for a large U.S. bank, lives in Exton with her husband and their two children. She says about half of her neighbors are Asian and the other half are white. Wang, 42, is representative of many of the new Chinese immigrants: She has two master’s degrees, one in information sciences and the other in business administration, and has spent most of adult life in the Philadelphia suburbs. She avoids Chinatown at all costs. “Our backgrounds are very different—we speak different languages,” says Wang, who speaks Mandarin. “I really dislike [Chinatown]. It's not as clean as the suburbs and there are a lot of crowds.” Wang says she prefers the peacefulness of the suburbs, where, unlike in China, she doesn’t need connections to get her children into good schools.
Original source: The Atlantic
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Kenney cancels city-funded travel to North Carolina and Mississippi

In response to anti-LGBT laws passed in those southern states, the mayor will halt official visits.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has issued a ban on all publicly funded and non-essential travel for city employees to Mississippi and North Carolina. A spokeswoman for the Mayor’s Office confirmed with NBC10 the travel ban is in response to controversial laws from the two states which limit anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people.

The North Carolina law directs transgender people to use public toilets corresponding to the sex listed on their birth certificate. The law also excludes LGBT people from state anti-discrimination protections, blocks local governments from expanding LGBT protections, and bars all types of workplace discrimination lawsuits from state courts. In Mississippi, legislation taking effect this summer will allow certain workers, including some in private businesses, to cite religious beliefs in denying services to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Original source: Philadelphia Business Journal
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Philadelphia apologizes to Jackie Robinson

Sixty-nine years later, the City of Brotherly Love issues a mea culpa for its behavior towards the barrier-breaking ballplayer. 

Last summer, the Anderson Monarchs, a Philadelphia baseball team that featured the Little League World Series star Mo’ne Davis, barnstormed through the South. They played baseball, and they also toured sites significant to the civil rights movement as a nod to the team’s heritage — it is named, after all, for the Kansas City Monarchs, the Negro leagues club for which Jackie Robinson once played...

Nearly a year later, the team’s trip has helped inspire an apology being extended by Philadelphia to Robinson, who broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier when he made his debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers at the start of the 1947 season.

The apology comes as Major League Baseball, on Friday, celebrates the 69th anniversary of Robinson’s first game with the Dodgers with its Jackie Robinson Day, initiated in 2004. Every major league player wears Robinson’s No. 42, an annual sight in baseball. What is different this year is the apology from the City of Philadelphia for the manner in which the Phillies treated Robinson when he began his career.

Original source: The New York Times
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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
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Philly is once again a Sanctuary City

New mayor Jim Kenney has reinstated Philly's status as a "sanctuary city."

Mayor Kenney on Monday barred almost all cooperation between city law enforcement and federal immigration agents, reverting to a policy that made Philadelphia one of the nation's "sanctuary cities."

"The only way that people buy into [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] is when they . . . have input into the process," Kenney - who had promised to rescind his predecessor's eleventh-hour order on his first day in office - said at a signing ceremony where immigrant-rights activists cheered.

Kenney said he had spoken with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who is promoting "Priority Enforcement," a replacement for "Secure Communities," an ICE program that has been rejected by immigrant groups and dozens of municipalities, including Philadelphia, as overly aggressive.

Kenney said Johnson will send ICE representatives to Philadelphia to brief immigration stakeholders on the new program and try to explain why it does not have the shortcomings of Secure Communities.

"But until that happens," he said, "we are going back to our old situation," which, between April 2014 and late last month, barred police and prison officials from telling ICE agents about an undocumented prisoner's pending release unless the person was convicted of a violent felony and ICE's request was supported by a warrant.

Original source: Philly.com
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Mummers open up parade to ethnic organizations

The Mummers have long faced criticism for their insularity, but now they're opening up the parade to a more diverse stable of troupes.

The Mummers Parade, a long-running and extravagant Philadelphia New Year's celebration that has faced criticism for its lack of diversity and racial insensitivity, will welcome performances by ethnic groups for the first time this year, organizers said.

The change will help ensure the 115-year-old tradition — often called the city's version of Mardi Gras — continues and thrives, Mummers spokesman George Badey said.

Among the new participants is the San Mateo Carnavalero, a Mexican heritage organization.

"The Mummers aren't being dragged kicking and screaming into this," Badey said Tuesday. "The Mummers are full partners in this quest to make the parade more diverse."

Original source: The Associated Press via The New York Times
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New high school program teaches modern manufacturing skills

A new program at Benjamin Franklin High School looks to prepare students for careers in advanced manufacturing.

Manufacturing isn’t dead. It’s just gone high-tech and a new center opening next month at Ben Franklin High School aims to teach modern manufacturing skills to students.

Workers are finishing construction on the Center for Advanced Manufacturing, on the lower level of Ben Franklin High. Classrooms for four disciplines: computer aided design, welding, precision machining and mechatronics to open this fall. Four more open next year.

David Kipphut, who heads the district’s Office of Career and Technical Education, uses Tastykake as an example of the assembly line technology being taught.

“They only have bakers in their research and quality assurance labs. Everyone working out on the field is not a baker. They’re all technicians.”

400 students will begin this fall. Students in the Ben Franklin catchment get first dibs, the other slots doled out by lottery.

Original source: CBS Philly
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The Inquirer checks in with Oxford Mills, the teacher-targeted development

We told you about Oxford Mills back in 2013. This teacher-centric development in Kensington draws a community of like-minded young people.
Oxford Mills is the first development of its kind in the city, billing itself as an "urban oasis for teachers and nonprofits." It features 114 apartments, most of which are rented to teachers at a discount, and just under 40,000 square feet of office space, most of which is leased by education-related companies.

The project originated when Philadelphia developers Greg Hill and Gabe Canuso joined with Baltimore-based Seawall Development, the outfit that in 2009 pioneered teacher housing complexes in that city. Hill and Canuso, who turned their attention from luxury projects to more socially conscious work, loved the idea of a space for educators, they said.

"We've heard so many stories about newer teachers, younger teachers that really struggle," Hill said. "Landing in tough schools without a lot of resources - it's a challenge. But to come home and have colleagues to communicate and share ideas with, they're more energized and supported."

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer
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Philly crosswalks get colorful to celebrate LGBT rights

The Gayborhood's crosswalks were recently repainted in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet.

The crosswalks appeared Thursday morning. Backers say they were planned for some time.

Philly Pride Presents senior adviser Chuck Volz says the crosswalks were completed at a cost far less than the initial $26,000 estimate.

Independence Visitor Center employee Albert Lee says the crosswalks show tourists that Philadelphia is a gay-friendly city.

The rainbow crosswalks will be dedicated at the Annual Reminders Block Party on July 5 honoring the 50th anniversary of the first wave of U.S. LGBT rights group demonstrations.

Source: Associated Press via Time
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Philly Little Leaguers head south for a trip through history

The New York Times' Frank Bruni writes about the confluence of baseball and black history through the lens of the Anderson Monarchs and their star Mo'ne Davis. 

Last summer, a 13-year-old named Mo’ne Davis landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated, a national sensation after she pitched a shutout in the Little League World Series, where almost all of the other players are boys. She’s believed to be the only black girl ever to participate in the competition.

This summer, she plans to do something else surprising: Visit the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., where four black girls were killed in a 1963 bombing. Three of them were 14. Mo’ne will turn that age on the day she shows up at the landmark...

But over three weeks in late June and early July, she and 13 other kids on her team here — the rest of them boys, most of them black, all roughly her age — have a schedule of exhibition games across the country that mixes exhilarating notes with somber ones.

They’re not just hitting the road. They’re taking it south, into history: the church in Birmingham, the bridge in Selma. They’ll play ball, then visit Little Rock Central High School, a battleground in the fight to integrate schools. They’ll swing for the fences, then bow their heads at the house in Jackson, Miss., where Medgar Evers lived...

Throughout the year, the team has been meeting weekly to watch movies and discuss reading assignments about the African-American experience and civil rights. In advance of a summer tour in 2012 of cities and stadiums that were important in the Negro Leagues, Bandura required that they study up on the history of baseball and its integration.

Original source: The New York Times
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A 'Cambodia Town' in South Philly?

An influx of Cambodian immigrants changes the face of South Philly -- should the designation become official?

On sunny weekend afternoons, in the shadow of an ornate, golden Buddhist temple, Mifflin Square in South Philadelphia is dotted with charcoal grills, chile-lacquered chicken wings, and thin-sliced fatty beef heavily seasoned with lemongrass sputtering over the coals. Women pound chilies, garlic, and dried shrimp to a paste to season the snappy unripe papaya for the lime-drenched salads they sell to passersby.

This is what some people call Cambodia Town, where these authentic street foods sell for $1, and where there's an effort afoot to make the title official. Though there are other places throughout the city that are rich in Cambodian culture - similar vendors sell snacks in Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park, and there's a new temple under construction in Southwest Philadelphia - the area around Mifflin Square is the heart of this community. Business owners, city officials, and Cambodian Americans think it's time to raise the profile of their culture - especially its bold, bright, and balanced cuisine.

Original source: Philadelphia Inquirer
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Philadelphia continues to gain population after decades of decline

The city continues to gain population, a promising reversal after years of decline -- but there are still big concerns. 

Philadelphia's population grew for the eighth year in a row in 2014, and surrounding counties were mostly stable, according to new census data, but the picture was not quite as rosy at it may have seemed in the nation's fifth-largest city...

While Philadelphia's increase was undeniably good news, the uptick was fueled by an increase in births, rather than an influx of residents, which raised demographers' concerns.

More people left Philadelphia for elsewhere in the country than moved in last year. Had it not been for a high number of births, and an influx of immigrants, the city's population would have fallen, the data showed.

And given people's tendency to flee the city once their children reach school age, Thursday's numbers were all the more sobering, especially in light of ongoing turmoil surrounding the chronically underfunded School District.

"We still have more people leaving the city," said Temple University demographer David Elesh. "It suggests that as people have children, they may be likely to consider a suburban home instead of a city home."

The data underscore the need to repair Philadelphia's public schools. Failure to do so could counteract what has become, in recent years, a younger population.

Original source: The Philadelphia Inquirer
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Governor Tom Wolf appoints transgender woman physician general

The state's new governor has already demonstrated a commitment to diversity, appointing a transgender woman as physician general.

Dr. [Rachel] Levine, a resident of Middletown, Pennsylvania, is currently a professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, where she also serves as chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Eating Disorders, a program she created on her own. She has also worked actively with the school’s Office of Diversity, mentoring LGBT students, faculty and staff, and she sits on the board of Equality PA.

...In a press release sent out this weekend, Wolf explains why he chose her for this position:

“Dr. Rachel Levine is well-respected in the fields of pediatrics, psychiatry, and behavioral health, where she has practiced for close to three decades. She has been a leading voice in efforts to treat teens with medical and psychological problems, as well as adults and children with eating disorders. It is important to me that we place equal emphasis on behavioral and physical health issues. Dr. Levine will bring expertise and wide-ranging knowledge to this important role advising the secretary of Health and me on medical and public health matters."

Original source: Philadelphia Magazine
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Philadelphia provides model for LGBT-friendly senior housing

The recently-opened John C. Anderson apartments could provide a national model for housing LGBT seniors.

The project, affectionately called “the gay-dy shady acres” by residents, is being hailed as a model for similar federally backed housing projects in the District and more than a dozen other cities across the country.
This initiative is part of a broader campaign by the federal government to address what officials say is growing housing discrimination based on sexual orientation. The trend is due in part to more gay Americans being out of the closet, officially married and more aware of their rights than ever before, said Gustavo Velasquez, assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at Housing and Urban Development...

The Anderson apartments already have a 100-person waiting list. And that number is likely to grow. About 1.5 million Americans who are 65 or older identify as LGBT, with that number expected to double by 2030, according to the Institute for Multi­generational Health...

Every floor is decorated with framed black-and-white photographs of the 1969 Stonewall riots — demonstrations following a police raid on a gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village that helped launch the gay rights movement — and other protests with activists bearing signs that read, “Homosexuality is not a sin” and “Gay Power!”

Susan Silverman said that even though she’s 65 and walks with a cane, she’ll always be the “radical lesbian feminist” who protested against the Miss America pageant and worked alongside Segal with the Gay Liberation Front.
She moved here from a walk-up studio apartment in Brooklyn that she had rented for 40 years, attracted by the lesbian-friendly atmosphere and affordable rent — not to mention the elevators and on-site laundry.

Original source: The Washington Post
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The success of urban baseball teams at the LLWS starts a conversation

Teams from Chicago and Philadelphia have brought exciting energy to this year's Little League World Series.

Along with a team from Philadelphia led by a phenomenal young pitcher, Mo’Ne Davis, Jackie Robinson West became an early World Series story line. A similar sentiment surrounded a team from Harlem in 2002...

Even as baseball preaches diversity, the game continues to spiral economically out of the reach of an increasingly larger pool of potential players after Little League. The cost of participation, especially with travel teams becoming the norm before players reach high school, can reach thousands of dollars a year.

To reverse the decline in black participation, Granderson said, Major League Baseball could copy the Amateur Athletic Union model in basketball, in which major shoe companies provide financial support that allows talented teams to travel to tournaments. Baseball also needs to do a better job of putting black players in front of young people, he said.

Original source: The New York Times
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'America's first queer jazz festival' coming to the City of Brotherly Love

Philadelphia will host Outbeat, the country's first "queer jazz festival."

OutBeat, a four-day event that organizers are describing as the first jazz festival with a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender focus (its subtitle is America’s First Queer Jazz Festival), will be staged in Philadelphia from Sept. 18 to 21. The festival, which was announced by its sponsor, the William Way LGBT Community Center, at a news conference in Philadelphia on Wednesday, will include panel discussions and receptions as well as performances at several clubs and halls around the city.

Original source: The New York Times
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Chinatowns gentrifying across the nation, and Philadelphia is no exception

Chinatowns are experiencing radical gentrification, speaking to wider trends in cities. Check out the infographics.

Restaurants are a good indicator of Chinatowns' ability to "serve local and regional Asian immigrants," the report says. Right now, just under half of the restaurants in New York's Chinatown are Asian; more than half are Asian in Boston and Philadelphia. But that's changing quickly, as these neighborhoods get gutted by gentrification.

The findings are based on a year of gathering data, block by block, on how space in the communities is being used, and by whom. Researchers say the neighborhoods are rapidly getting more expensive and less useful to the people who need them most. From 2000 to 2010, the share of the Asian population fell in all three Chinatowns. In Boston, it dropped from 57 percent of the population in 2000 to 46 percent in 2010; in New York, it shifted from 48 percent to 45 percent. In Philadelphia is fell from 49 percent to 42 percent.

Housing values and rents have soared; the average apartment in New York and Boston Chinatowns is now much more expensive than in the cities overall. High-end condos, businesses, and hotels have encroached heavily on places traditionally occupied by affordable housing, small businesses, and immigrant services.

Original source: The Atlantic Cities
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Philadelphia launches new campaign to lure LGBT travelers

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) is making a pitch to LGBT tourists using a saucy new commercial.

The new video builds on the city’s memorable 2003 “Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay” campaign by showing the flamboyant female impersonator Miss Richfield 1981 touring some of Philadelphia’s best-known sites, including Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Dressed in a red-and-white striped skirt and a tight blue bodice, Miss Richfield poses with Betsy Ross — the Betsy Ross House is in the city — and runs the “Rocky Steps” at the art museum but is distracted by the muscular torsos of a quartet of young male joggers on the banks of the Schuylkill.

Original source: The New York Times
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Penn doctors examine the black-white divide in breast cancer outcomes

For years, scientists and doctors have puzzled over the disparity in outcomes between white and black breast cancer sufferers. A team at the University of Pennsylvania recently published a report on the subject.

The findings were striking. Over all, white women with breast cancer lived three years longer than black women. Of the women studied, nearly 70 percent of white women lived at least five years after diagnosis, while 56 percent of black women were still alive five years later. The difference is not explained by more aggressive cancers among black women. Instead, the researchers found a troubling pattern in which black women were less likely to receive a diagnosis when their cancer was at an early stage and most curable. In addition, a significant number of black women also receive lower-quality cancer care after diagnosis, although those differences do not explain the survival gap.

Original source: The New York Times
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LGBT senior housing rises in the Gayborhood

The John C. Anderson Apartments are under construction in the Gayborhood. Housing developments for LGBT seniors were pioneered in Los Angeles and Chicago, now Philadelphia is onboard.

With LGBT seniors facing increased risks of poverty and poor health as well as a higher likelihood of living alone, the need for housing designed to their needs is dire. Cities including Los Angeles and Chicago are responding by building developments specifically geared to LGBT seniors, and now Philadelphia is joining the party, reaching out to several different entities to get its project built.

The six-story, 56-unit John C. Anderson Apartments is now rising in the heart of Philly’s gay village, with hopes of opening at the end of the year. Mayor Michael Nutter, along with Mark Segal — the publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News and founder of Gay Youth, one of the nation’s first organizations for LGBT teens — championed the $19.5 million project.

Original source: The Advocate
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The Atlantic Cities examines Philly's class divide

The Atlantic Cities is taking a look at how class and geography intersect in American Cities using data from the U.S. Census American Community Survey. This week, they tackled Philadelphia, finding a creative class concentration in Center City, huge swaths of service class-dominated space and a shrinking working class population. Check out the interactive map for an eye-opening look at our city.

Strikingly absent from the map (with the one exception of Juniata Park) are significant working class concentrations, identified on the map in blue. This is startling in a city that was an early manufacturing powerhouse, a center for ship-building, railroad manufacturing and pharmaceuticals, not to mention manufacturing capabilities in beer, candy, and even brooms. One historically blue collar enclave is Fishtown, to the northeast of Center City. The area is rapidly gentrifying, as the economist and blogger Adam Ozimek reminded me, but it still retains much of the Irish working class character that led Charles Murray to use it as the blue collar foil for creative class Belmont, Massachusetts, in his book Coming Apart.

Original source: The Atlantic Cities
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The New York Times notes a lack of diversity in school lit

Many young latino readers are noticing a dearth of diverse protagonists in available books. The New York Times visits a Philadelphia-area school to examine this issue.

At Bayard Taylor Elementary in Philadelphia, a school where three-quarters of the students are Latino, Kimberly Blake, a third-grade bilingual teacher, said she struggles to find books about Latino children that are “about normal, everyday people.” The few that are available tend to focus on stereotypes of migrant workers or on special holidays. “Our students look the way they look every single day of the year,” Ms. Blake said, “not just on Cinco de Mayo or Puerto Rican Day.”

Original source: The New York Times
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Philadelphia leaders take to Toronto to share and 'steal'

Greater Philadelphia Economy League Executive Director Steve Wray talkes to Flying Kite sister publication Yonge Street about his organization's Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange, which visits Toronto this week.
One the focuses of the Economy League is what it means to be a world-class region and what it would take for Greater Philadelphia to attain status as a world-class region. As we select places to go, we look for regions that are world class or striving to be world class. Clearly Toronto has attained the status in the global community as a city and region on the rise, as a global financial capital and as an international city. We thought there were a lot of lessons we could bring back to Philadelphia from Toronto that would serve us well.
Original source: Yonge Street
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Comcast renews investment in DreamIt Ventures minority-focused entrepreneur program

Comcast Ventures renewed its investment in startup accelerator DreamIt Ventures' minority-focused entrepreneur program in Philadelphia and New York, DreamIt Access, reports TechCrunch.
DreamIt and Comcast Ventures, the venture capital arm of Comcast Corporation, first partnered on DreamIt Access in May 2011, announcing at the time a $350,000 fund to give five startups in the Philly 2011 program an extra infusion of capital (These included ElectNext, Kwelia, MetaLayer, ThaTrunk and Qwite, whose founders are African-American, Asian, Hispanic and Indian.) Later, the investment was formalized into a year-long minority accelerator program called DreamIt Access.
Original source: Tech Crunch
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Women draft their way to the front of craft brewing

The Washington Post profiles prominent ladies of the craft brew scene, including Rosemarie Certo of Dock Street Brewing Co. iN West Philadelphia.
Certo’s interest in beer started when she began making beer at home because she wasn’t happy with what was available domestically at the time. She started Dock Street in 1985 and remembers in the early days going to make a sales pitch to a distributor and being the only woman in a room of more than 50. “I remember not being bothered by it,” she recalls.
Original source: Washington Post
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Soup's on: PhilaSoup promotes innovative education projects

Philadelphia sisters Claire and Nikka Landau and friend Jason Tucker have established PhilaSoup as a monthly dinner bringing together dynamic educators to fund the most ambitious and innovative projects, reports NPR.

On a recent Sunday night, the trio of friends welcomed about 45 teachers and other members of the local education community to a cozy gathering at the University Barge Club, a 19th-century boathouse on the banks of the Schuylkill River. As folks walked in, they were asked to fill out name tags -- with their names and the names of their favorite children's books.

"Teachers all over Philadelphia are doing terrific projects," Claire said. "It's really exciting to gather and break bread with teachers from across the city doing exciting things."

Original source: NPR
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Philly attracts more singles than most

The rise of college-educated residents and predominance of unmarried households put Philadelphia sixth on Kiplinger's 10 Best Cities for Singles list. Do you agree?

Now, one in two Philadelphians is unmarried, one in five is between 20 and 34, and one in three holds at least a bachelor's degree. Young people congregate in Northern Liberties, Fishtown and Fairmount, where rent for a two-bedroom apartment averages about $1,000.

Original source: Kiplingers
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Entrepreneur, Philly native has plan for more STEM opportunities in city schools

Technically Philly sits down with Dr. Chad Womack, a nanobiomolecular entrepreneur who is trying to increase opportunities  in science, technology, education and mathematics (STEM) for city children.

Womack’s America21 Project is focused on empowering urban centers and communities through STEM education and workforce development, high-growth entrepreneurship and access to capital. With his new venture, he’s still actively engaging the District around STEM priorities.

Original source: Technically Philly
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Philly startup eyes 51 million Hispanics for free, instant mobile-money transfers to family abroad

A Wharton School MBA is working with a University of Pennsylvania team on a local startup that aims to make transferring money overseas more efficient, reports el-emergente.com

Edrizio De La Cruz, a recent MBA graduate from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, founded Regalii and leads the UPenn team working on it. For Edrizio, It’s a personal mission. "I grew up in the Dominican Republic," Says Edrizio, "and immigrated to New York's Washington Heights neighborhood, which was probably 110 percent Dominican. But I went to high school in Queens, where I used to play basketball with Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Colombians and Salvadorians. I quickly assimilated to each subculture. But my social circle was pretty homogeneous. Almost everyone around me was an immigrant. So I assumed that only immigrants sent money or remained connected to family in Latin America."

Original source: el-emergente.com
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An interview with Germantown native Rel Dowdell, writer/director of 'Changing the Game'

The Hollywood Official sits down at Sabrina's Cafe with Germantown native Rel Dowdell, a writer/director whose latest film "Changing the Game" looks at a young man emerging from 1980s North Philly and will premiere at the Hollywood Black Film Festival on Oct. 29.

DOWDELL:  'Changing the Game’' is a film about a young man who came out of Philadelphia in the 80's. The worst part of the 80's. 8th & Butler in North Philadelphia was one of the most notorious streets in the United States at the time.  All types of heinous activity was going on there. It was an area where you never heard about anyone getting out and doing well in their life. I wanted to make a film about a young man in that tumultuous environment who saw all the demons around him and somehow managed to get out. He was a genius and intelligent enough to make himself successful on Wall Street. He was also guided by his grandmother. It was the spiritual aspect of his life that helped him to somehow avoid the pitfalls and other things that would've been his demise.

Original source: The Hollywood Official
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Mural Arts Month, of course, means rooftop dancing

October is Mural Arts Month, with 31 days of art activities and celebrations, as told by the Los Angeles Times.

Art is in the air in October as Philadelphia celebrates many of its more than 3,500 murals during Mural Arts Month.

What began in 1984 as part of the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network has blossomed into the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.  Muralist and founder Jane Golden redirected the energy and creativity of graffiti artists from marring neighborhood walls into murals, and the program now gives birth to about 150 murals a year. 

Highlights of "31 Days, 31 Ways: Art Ignites Change" include mural dedications, outdoor celebrations and free tours.

Source: Los Angeles Times
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Flourtown man's startup online bookstore creates jobs, scholarships

A Huntingdon Valley online bookseller with a socially conscious focus, Education By Inclusion recently gave a $40,000 scholarship to a Camden, NJ resident, according to The Chestnut Hill Local.

Who would have thought that reselling books and electronics could be such a lucrative business and result in scholarship money for needy students?  Flourtown resident Chetan Bagga, a Columbia University graduate, ran the numbers and started Education by Inclusion (EBI) about a year ago.

The home page of their web site offers this comment to customers. "We are a socially conscious online bookstore with a simple promise -- everything you buy contributes to a deserving student’s education. This year, you’ve made over 100,000 purchases toward scholarships. We sincerely thank you! Let’s keep the momentum going."

Source: The Chestnut Hill Local
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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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Where did the soul of Philly go?

The grassroots soul music movement of Philadelphia that created The Roots and Musiq Soulchild hasn't disappeared, and its latest practitioners are worth seeking out, according to Urban Cusp.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Philadelphia had one of the most diverse and respected cultural scenes on the East Coast. One could walk down South Street and hear poets on the corner, see Rasta street vendors selling patchouli and flags, and not make it too far down the block without receiving at least two hand-bills advertising upcoming events. You could walk on UPenn and Temple's campuses and see a range from tattooed Rockers with spiked hair to B-Boy wannabes in full Adidas gear. The culture was so bountiful that it made you stop and ask, "Are we still in Philly or is this Brooklyn?" But, now it almost seems like the diversity has disappeared or at least gone into hiding. Where did all of the culture go? Have all of the true artists been pushed out? Have they sold out or have they all given up and relocated to New York and DC?

Source: Urban Cusp
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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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TechGirlz creates next-gen technology workers

Where will your future tech workers come from? A Philadelphia non-profit encourages math and science training for future careers in technology, according to CIO.com.

In the Philadelphia metro area, there's TechGirlz, a two-year-old non-profit group that works with young girls, encouraging them to study math and science in school so they can pursue careers in technology. The problem, according to TechGirlz, is that girls are often choosing to opt out of technology at a relatively young age because they're not being encouraged and mentored.

Source: CIO.com

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'Jazzy everywoman' Jill Scott releases fourth studio album

Three time Grammy winning Philadelphia native Jill Scott's new album The Light of The Sun carries a powerful feminine message, according to the New York Times.

"Womanifesto," the title of a song-poem on Jill Scott's fourth studio album, "The Light of the Sun," could apply to her entire catalog. Ms. Scott's songs are proudly and forthrightly feminine, and they set out to persuade and motivate. "Grown woman, making decisions and choices," she calls herself, "Utilizing everything inside of me -- my soul, my heart, my mind, my voices."

The intimate and the instructive are never far apart for Ms. Scott; neither are lyrics and prose, melody and recitation. Although she started her career as a spoken-word performer, she's a flexible, blithely swinging singer. With her 2000 debut album, "Who is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1," she settled into neo-soul that harked back to the early-1970s sound of glimmering electric piano chords and trickling electric-guitar lines, steeped in Marvin Gaye and Al Green.

Source: The New York Times

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Philadelphia residents speak up about politics, economy, education in CNN's Listening Tour

Philadelphia residents speak up about politics, budget cuts and jobs for CNN's The Listening Tour.

Philadelphia is the nation's fifth-largest city, and just like most other places in the United States, it's struggling with budget cuts, layoffs and crime.

As the 2012 election nears, Philly residents say their top concerns include political nepotism, joblessness and a struggling public education system:

"With government, it's like you keep moving up, and you stay and you stay with your old ideas that don't make sense, and they don't work," said AinÚ Ardron-Doley, 34, a Philadelphia marketing manager.

Source: CNN
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NYT goes off beaten path to Germantown for history, trolley and veggie burgers

The New York Times takes a tourist's road less traveled into Northwest Philly, where visitors get a heaping helping of Philly's quirks and charms in Germantown.

The No. 23 city bus running along the cobblestones is still known as the "trolley,"and you can take it to visit the house where a young Benjamin Franklin stopped for advice on books or to other homes where Revolutionary War battles left powder marks and bloodstains. George Washington slept here, a lot, and decades later so did runaway slaves at a well-preserved stop on the Underground Railroad. There's also a homey lunch spot known for its veggie burger.

Historic sites in Philadelphia (and restaurants that serve veggie burgers) may not seem so notable, but visitors don't often make it to Germantown Avenue, where the trolley runs, preferring instead to brave the crowds at Independence Hall and the National Constitution Center in Center City.

Source: The New York Times
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Young, involved Philly: City has second-largest rise in young professionals nationally

The USA Today reports the young professional population is on the rise in urban centers, especially in Philadelphia, which saw a 57 percent increase among college-educated 20- and 30-somethings.

In more than two-thirds of the nation's 51 largest cities, the young, college-educated population in the past decade grew twice as fast within 3 miles of the urban center as in the rest of the metropolitan area - up an average 26 percent compared with 13 percent in other parts.

"This is a real glimmer of hope," says Carol Coletta, head of CEOs for Cities, a non-profit consortium of city leaders that commissioned the research. "Clearly, the next generation of Americans is looking for different kinds of lifestyles - walkable, art, culture, entertainment."

Source: USA Today
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Philly schools battle against bad eating habits, in classroom and at home

The School District of Philadelphia puts new programs in place to help kids eat more healthfully, according to The New York Times.

Tatyana Gray bolted from her house and headed toward her elementary school. But when she reached the corner store where she usually gets her morning snack of chips or a sweet drink, she encountered a protective phalanx of parents with bright-colored safety vests and walkie-talkies.

The scourge the parents were combating was neither the drugs nor the violence that plagues this North Philadelphia neighborhood. It was bad eating habits.

The parents standing guard outside the Oxford Food Shop are foot soldiers in a national battle over the diets of children that has taken on new fervor. With 20 percent of the nation's children obese, the United States Department of Agriculture has proposed new standards for federally subsidized school meals that call for more balanced meals and, for the first time, a limit on calories. The current standard specifies only a minimum calorie count, which some schools meet by adding sweet foods.

Source: The New York Times
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One Philly rapper's 'Freeway' to Islam, art

Philly rapper Freeway talks about how Islam shaped his life and career, according to CNN.

It's noon on a Friday, and the parking lot at Al-Aqsa Islamic Society in North Philadelphia is quickly filling up.

One of Philadelphia's best-known rap artists, Freeway, jumps out of a black sport utility vehicle and dashes through the pouring rain to the prayer hall inside.

Islam has been a part of his life since he was a teenager. Yet it wasn't until adulthood that his faith changed who he was an artist.

Source: CNN
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Steuer: Creative economy can lift Philly's poorest neighborhoods

Philadelphia's Office of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy boss says underserved neighborhoods will improve with cultural infusion, in an essay Steuer writes in The Huffington Post.

The new Census numbers for Philadelphia are in, and the city managed to actually record a population increase, the first in 50 years. And while the increase was tiny -- 8,456 residents, which represents a .6% increase to 1,536,006 - the reversal of the decades-long decline is huge.

Virtually all the neighborhoods that have seen huge population increases during this ten-year period have also seen large increases in the number of arts organizations and artists living and operating in them.

Source: The Huffington Post
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Big Willie Style: Smith saves the day with donation of computers for West Philly HS

Actor and rapper Will Smith provided 30 computers to West Philly High School, according to ABC News.

Will Smith is donating replacements for 30 stolen computers to a high school in West Philadelphia, where he was born and raised.

The Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation and the Charlie Mack Cares philanthropic organizations are giving 29 Apple laptops and one desktop to West Philadelphia High School.

Source: ABC News
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Tek Lado Magazine goes all digital

After just two paper issues, the bilingual tech and culture magazine Tek Lado is going to an online only format, according to Technically Philly.

Editor Liz Spikol, with whom we spoke last fall about the new gig, and former publisher Mel Gomez have struck out on their own, aiming to build Tek Lado as an online-only brand, grabbing the naming rights and the tek-lado.com domain.

The Tek Lado blog will still feature English and Spanish writing on geek culture, gaming, gadgets, social media and the like, the same as the magazine, but won't have to remain tied to this region exclusively.

Source: Technically Philly
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What Philly Has That Pittsburgh Wants

Pop City takes a look across the state at assets in Philly that Pittsburgh would love to make its own.

Making the most of Philadelphia's identity as the cradle of liberty is a single-subject museum that speaks to the city past and present. The National Constitution Center opened its doors in 2003 and shines a light on the four-page document from every conceivable angle.

In a city fueled by immigrants, food is on everyone's lips. Restaurateur Stephen Starr has leveraged that in recent years, opening a slew of stylish concept eateries in and around Center City. Eating his lunch of late are chef-driven restaurant groups helmed by Iron Chef and James Beard Award winner Jose Garces and fellow Beard award recipient Marc Vetri.

Original source: Pop City
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Open less than a month, President's House continues to draw comparisons, ire

New York Times critic Edward Rothstein unceremoniously lumps Philly's recently opened President's House into a growing group of identity museums that frame history to tell a neglected story.

Then there are the two most recent examples. The President's House site is where the nation's executive mansion stood from 1790 to 1800. And a display there could have provided some unusual insight into the American past, because not only did George Washington, as he shaped the institution of the presidency, sleep there, so did nine of his slaves. On Independence Mall in Philadelphia, which is devoted to ideas of American liberty, it would have made sense for this site to explore the conjunction of these two incompatible ideas--slavery and liberty--particularly as both were knit into the nation's founding.

Instead, during eight years of controversy, protests and confrontations, the project (costing nearly $12 million) was turned into something else. Black advocacy groups pressed the National Park Service and the city to create an exhibition that focused on enslavement. Rosalyn McPherson, the site's project manager, emphasized in an interview that the goal was to give voice to the enslaved. Community meetings stressed that slaves had to be portrayed as having "agency" and "dignity." A memorial to all slaves was erected, inscribed with a roster of African tribes from which they were taken--a list that has no clear connection to either the site or the city.

Original source: The New York Times
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NPR catches up with Philly's Hamilton and Night Catches Us

Acclaimed Philly filmmaker Tanya Hamilton talks with NPR about her new film Night Catches Us, which tells the story of ex-Black Panthers looking back on their radicalism in the 1970s.

"I often try to say that there's something both tragic and very romantic in that period, during the civil rights [struggles] and the transition into black power," Hamilton says. "I felt like the film not only needed to talk about the waning days [of the Black Panthers], but also about what ultimately destroyed the Panthers and the complexity of that destruction."

Hamilton, who wrote and directed the film, explains that she titled the film after a common saying in Jamaica: "Don't let night catch you."

Original source: NPR
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Egypt's last queen takes over The Franklin, sheds light on her life and times

Voice of America gives us a multi-media look inside the Cleopatra exhibit, which features more than 150 artifacts of ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman cultures, at The Franklin Institute.

University of Pennsylvania Egyptologist and the head of the Penn Museum's Egyptology section - David Silverman - is curator of the exhibit. He said he hopes it dispels some of the misconceptions about Cleopatra and gives visitors a glimpse of her time.

"People know the name Cleopatra, but what about the history? And they're learning that we don't know all the answers, but they are also learning how we can find out some of the answers," said Silverman.

An accompanying audio tour attempts to provide some answers through an actress portrayal of Cleopatra. Visitors hear the queen describe the artifacts, as well as something of their history and purpose, including those dating from her torrid romance with Mark Antony - a relationship that ended with both of them committing suicide.

Original source: Voice of America
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Bienvenidos Tek Lado: Latino techies get a voice

Tek Lado, the new (and free) Philadelphia magazine catering to tech-savvy Latinos, launched last week with a print run of 20,000, reports the Associated Press.

Mel Gomez, director of niche publishing for Bartash Media Group, self-described geek and Tek Lado publisher, said it fills a void in the marketplace of publications for tech-savvy Latinos.

"I love technology, gadgets, smart phones, gaming, graphic novels. I watch Star Trek," he said with a laugh. "Typical Latino publications are often tabloids, either general publications or some sort of (gossip) rag -- nothing that speaks to geeks and their different subcultures we have in the U.S."

Gomez, Tek Lado editor-in-chief Liz Spikol, two staff photographers and eight bilingual freelance writers are based for now at Bartash's offices in southwest Philadelphia. Tek Lado is the first venture in magazine publishing for Bartash, a 58-year-old printer of catalogs, magazines, newspapers and niche publications for hundreds of companies from Maine to Alabama.

Original source: Associated Press
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This look at Philadelphia Freedom worth an overnight stay

The Washington Post travel section puts together a respectable Philadelphia Freedom package that gives a refined look at U.S. history and the city's ability to share it, including the newly opened National Museum of American Jewish History.

Independence Hall is where the founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, and ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1787. The Liberty Bell, cracks and all, became a symbol of the abolitionist movement and of efforts to attain freedom around the globe.

In the past decade, the historical events embodied by these icons have gained new context as the Liberty Bell moved to its own interpretive center and a museum dedicated to explaining the Constitution opened at the northern end of the mall. Now several new attractions on or adjacent to the mall are adding their own chapters, some with unexpected twists, to the traditional understanding of American freedoms and how they came to be.

The National Museum of American Jewish History, affiliated with the Smithsonian, opens its dazzling new home on the mall to the public today. The President's House commemorative site, on the spot where presidents George Washington and John Adams, as well as nine enslaved African Americans, lived before the nation's capital was moved to Washington, is set to open Dec. 15. A 15-minute 3-D film, "Liberty 360," premiered this fall in a theater across from Independence Hall and offers yet another perspective on the goings-on that led to the nation's founding.

Original source: Washington Post
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Alessi: Ethical and Radical opens at Phila. Museum of Art

The world-renowned Italian manufacturer of designer household objects has long collaborated with top architects and designers, and the resulting artistic innovation is the subject of of a new exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, reports ArtNow Magazine.

On November 20, 2010, Alberto Alessi, President of the company and grandson of its founder Giovanni Alessi, will be honored at the Philadelphia Museum of Art with Collab's distinguished Design Excellence Award.

"The objects in this exhibition demonstrate the results of Alessi's unique, risk-taking approach to design and, consequently, how they blur the boundaries between industrial manufacturing and art," said Kathryn Hiesinger, Curator of Decorative Arts After 1700.

The exhibition is organized into two sections: family and factory history and a survey of past, present and future Alessi objects by collaborating designers, including the radical experimental projects Tea and Coffee Piazza of 1983 and Tea and Coffee Towers of 2003. The introductory section includes a map of the exhibition plan designed by Alessandro Mendini.

Original source: ArtNow Magazine
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Drexel's cross-genre duo Chiddy Bang gets hip hop love

South Philly bred Noah Beresin and Chidera Anamege, who met as Drexel University freshmen last year, get solid grades on their latest EP The Preview from HipHopDX.

Like many cross-genre duos, pinpointing your sound can be a daunting task, one that DXnext alumni Chiddy Bang seemed quite capable of pinning. When producer Noah "Xaphoon Jones" Beresin and rapper Chidera "Chiddy" Anemage joined forces at Drexel University and recorded their first mixtape The Swelly Express at school, it was a mishmash of sounds that somehow collectively fit. Rarely can anyone take MGMT and Tom Waits samples and still call it "Hip Hop" and mean it, but they did. After the mixtape sparked 100,000 in downloads and the group inked a world record deal with EMI, their recording budget clearly went up, but sadly their uniqueness went down. The Preview, an eight-track EP reflects the transition from using pots and pans to drum samples, pulling the raw talent that these two offered just a year ago.

That isn't to say this short EP is bad. It's actually quite good, with the introductory "The Good Life" serving as an excellent entrance into the project. Pharrell co-produced it with signature Neptunes swooshes and synths that fit the band so well that they could join the ranks of Star Trak (then again if they did that their album would never drop).

Original source: HipHopDX
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Philly's championship 100 mpg hybrid goes to Poptech

Sixteen year-old Azeem Hill, part of the after-school team that beat out top competitors for the Automotive X-Prize by building a sporty hybrid car that can get 100 mpg in the city, is profiled by Treehugger at annual big-idea conference Poptech.

They entered the car in the Automotive X-Prize, and beat out numerous top competitors--MIT and multimillion dollar tech firms among them. Hill and Hauger brought the car to this year's Poptech, and I caught up with them to get the story.

And yes, he and his classmates had to learn everything that goes into making a hybrid car--from the relevant physics to the design applications to the under-the-hood mechanics. How else could they build this. Azeem's instructor, Simon Hauger, created the after-school hands-on hybrid car program 13 years ago, and decided a couple years ago to aim for the X Prize.

Original source: Treehugger
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Sixth borough my foot; Philly stands alone

Beauty and style editor Ysolt Usigan goes on a whirlwind tour of our city, dispelling the New York elitist notion that we're its "sixth borough," reports The Huffington Post.

When it came to partying, two speakeasies, and I was had! Once defined as "an establishment that illegally sells alcoholic beverages" in the '20s and '30s, I discovered two venues with that feel nestled in Philadelphia's Penn Center neighborhood. First stop: the sexy Ranstead Room. With entrances through El Rey's kitchen and outside on the street (just look for the door marked with double Rs), I had cocktails with names so complicated I can't even remember them. Even though it was quite dim inside, the naked ladies gracing the walls were hard to miss. The venue is hot, to say the least.

From vintage shops to lux salons, even vast department stores with plenty of preppy and chic options to boot, there's no question--Philly knows style. I picked the best time to visit the city, too, with the Philadelphia Collection 2010 series underway. From September 23 to October 2, the city's many boutiques, stylists, designers and modeling agencies were hosting various independently produced events.

Original source: The Huffington Post
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The Roots' rapper launches new music venture

Philadelphia-based rapper/producer Dice Raw, a member of The Roots, has launched a new music company called R&S Music Group, reports All Hip Hop.

"We are all about the preservation of good music and culture while also trying to be innovative with technology and the web," Dice Raw told AllHipHop.com. "We want to open the doors to up and coming artists and provide a credible platform of digital distribution without them having to sell their life to a record company."

R&S is currently working with local producers Khari Mateen and Rick Friedrich, who have produced tracks for a variety of local artists, including The Roots and Jill Scott.

Dice Raw will be performing new material next weekend near the campus of the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware, when he hits the Mojo On Main for an exclusive performance on Thursday (October 28th).

Original source: All Hip Hop
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New Jewish museum to remain open on Sabbath day

Leadership of the National Museum of American Jewish History earned CNN's attention with its decision to remain open on Saturdays, the Jewish Sabbath, but do its best to avoid financial transactions, which are among those things the religion forbids on that day.

"We chose to embrace this as a teachable moment that reflects not only the tradition itself but also the tensions that are at the core of the American Jewish experience," Rosenzweig told CNN Sunday night.

"We're a Jewish institution, but we're not a religious institution," (Museum president Michael) Rosenzweig said. "We want to be sensitive to Jewish tradition but we also recognized that a significant number of visitors will be non-Jewish."

Though the museum will open on Saturdays, tickets will be available only online and at sites outside the museum, which are yet to be determined, Rosenzweig said.

Original source: CNN
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Nutter raises spirits by raising rainbow flag at City Hall

Edge Boston, part of a network of LGBT news/entertainment online publications, gives Mayor Michael Nutter and Philadelphia big props for being one of the largest cities in the country to fly the rainbow flag at a government building, City Hall.

And when mayoral LGBT liaison Gloria Casarez approached Nutter with the idea, he was more than eager to make it a reality. She added the event became especially symbolic after the recent number of LGBT teen suicides.

"There's been a lot of conversation around the five or six young men who have taken their lives as a result of harassment and bullying," Casarez told EDGE. "We in Philadelphia have violence and bullying as well, but I don't want the message to get lost that we're especially concerned about violence against trans people. We've seen some recent cases of violence right on the streets of Philadelphia. As much as we're celebrating LGBT History Month, we have to be focus on the business of assuring that people report crime and that when they report it we're funneling them through the proper channels."

Original source: Edge Boston
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Irish travelers: Philadelphia, here we come

The travel section at Ireland's Herald.ie is high on Philadelphia for a variety of reasons, imploring the Irish to visit for our safe downtown, good eats and arts and culture.

It's puzzling why Philly isn't on most Irish people's radar. It's more historic than Boston, as Irish as Chicago, 30pc cheaper to live in than New York and has a food culture to match San Francisco.

The city centre proper, (known as Center City) is thriving, unlike many US urban areas. Sections of 15th Street are hubs of restaurants and nightlife, while the area's aptly titled Avenue of the Arts is the local equivalent of London's West End or New York's Broadway theatre districts. The best bit? It feels perfectly safe to walk around, by day or night (don't try this at home, kids).

Original source: Herald.ie
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St. Louis loves Philly for what it really is

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch travel section mentions booing Santa Claus but quickly moves on, digging deeper than most national media last week to reveal the insider's view of Philadelphia.

Once you get beyond the fighting fašade, Philadelphia is a city of tiny secret gardens, a diverse art and theater scene, a crazy diverse food/pub scene and a thousand walkable historical monuments and museums. Also, it's cheap as can be. You've got to work to spend $15 on a martini.

I moved here six years ago from St. Louis. The things I loved about St. Louis are the same things I love about Philadelphia--people are friendly, the streets have the same names (you copycats!) and there's no need to go to any chain restaurant ever.

Original source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Jassi Chadha enriches entrepreneurial ecosystem with TiE-NJ/Philadelphia

Wildly successful entrepreneur Jassi Chadha has brought his expertise to TiE-NJ/Philadelphia, a newer chapter of the global entrepreneurship organization, reports SiliconIndia.

TiE NJ-Philly is an offshoot of TiE Tristate. New Jersey and Philadephia had quite a lot of entrepreneurs who would often find it difficult to make it to New York for various events of the Tristate. Hence the need for a chapter in this geographic area became a necessity. Today under the leadership of Chadha, the TiE-NJ-Philly Chapter is helping the budding entrepreneurs in this geography to realize their goals and dreams by conducting various events, providing mentoring, and networking opportunities.

"There are aspects of entrepreneurship like optimism, excitement, energy, and a sense of adventure that is inspiring to read and get excited. It also drives people to do more and pursue big dreams. However, the path of entrepreneurship is often lonely, hard, and the journey hectic with challenges of different sorts. That's why entrepreneurs need to be supported and find the right support in programs that TiE offers," says Chadha.

Original source: SiliconIndia.
Read the full story here.

Flying Kite among new online operations tackling local news

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on two online news publications that have launched recently, including yours truly.

As the market for news fragments, new models for journalism are emerging. Two of those experiments, Flying Kite and Patch, launched in Philadelphia last month.

"This is a fresh way to get fresh content about all the innovative things happening in our city," said Danielle Cohn, (Philadelphia Convention and Visitors) bureau spokeswoman.

Original source
: The Philadelphia Inquirer
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Urban Creators bring New Orleans back home to North Philly

A group of Temple University students dubbed the Philadelphia Urban Creators are taking lessons from rebuilding New Orleans and applying them to their work, which includes establishing community gardens, reports Temple News.

Our School at Blair Grocery and Epstein's Philadelphia Urban Creators were both recently featured in a Time magazine article about urban farming in the Lower 9th Ward. Together, the groups represent some good to be found in the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, five years after the storm ripped through New Orleans.

The Philadelphia Urban Creators are focusing on creating a youth-led movement that will teach people how to help themselves.

Source: Temple News
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Jewish History museum new home for historic Irving Berlin piano from NYC

The New York Times tracks the move of an Irving Berlin upright piano moved from New York's Lincoln Center to near Independence Mall, where the $150 million National Museum of American Jewish History will open in November.

"This is one of those artifacts that was in our dreams when we started our planning: 'Wouldn't it be amazing if we were able to bring Irving Berlin's piano to the public,' " (museum deputy director Josh Perelman) said. "You can talk about him, you can show a movie about him, but to see the piano, to see the mechanism, to feel, as I did, that you're really in Irving Berlin's shoes--that's something."

Berlin bought the piano for $100, big money for a former singing waiter in a Chinatown restaurant, in 1909. He had other pianos later on, but that one was the one he had when he wrote "Alexander's Ragtime Band" in 1911.

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

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