Archive for the ‘Neighborhoods’ Category

Footage of the Kensington fire

Fire in Kensington early Wednesday morning

You may have heard that a fire broke out in an abandoned warehouse in the Kensington neighborhood early Wednesday morning. It was a space that used by some of the city’s homeless as shelter, and was across the street from the Simple Way Community Center. The Center was destroyed, along with eight other homes on the block. They say that more than 100 people are now homeless and many lost their vehicles as well. The Simple Way folks report that the neighborhood is pulling together, but that there is still much rebuilding and healing to do.

One of our neighbors, the Mahaias Family, lost their three cars as well as the equipment one family member uses for her massage therapy business. Teenager Brian Mahaias is devastated not because he has lost his belongings, but because he fears that this fire will force him to move away from this neighborhood that is his family as well as his home.

If you are interested in making a donation in order to help this Kensington Community recover, please click here.

Saturday Street Cleaning

Street Cleaning

I spotted this sign on Friday night as I was walking in the Graduate Hospital area with some of the Metrobloggers, after drinks and dinner at the Sidecar Bar. I especially liked the timeless quality that it has, as if someone had a couple hundred gross made up sometime in 1947 and they just haven’t run out yet.

Break my what?

Have you seen this yet? It’s called Break My Routine and is a new website/campaign that is designed to promote University City. It’s part-blog, part-listing and is sort of cool (although there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot on there yet). The name smacks of a consulting service and does nothing to capture the funky, independent vibe that hovers over the area. It seems, instead, to be targeted to the folks who live in Center City, an attempt to lure us to University City to experience more of the same that we see in our own neighborhoods. I’m not loving that so much, in part because I cross the Schuylkill to get something different than what I see when I walk out my own front door.

What do you guys think of the campaign? Brilliant strategy? Or something slightly less inspired?

Philadelphians Say NO! to Casinos – Again

So why doesn’t city government take the voices of the people they represent seriously? To drive home the point that a majority of Philadelphians DO NOT want casinos in and around their neighborhood, Casino-Free Philadelphia held a ballot box vote in select locations around the city. 95% of the residents voted “Yes” to a referendum requiring casinos to maintain a distance of at least 1500 feet from homes, schools and places of worship.

This referendum SHOULD HAVE BEEN on the ballot in the first place. Not even City Council’s unanimous approval and 27,000 signatures collected from the residents were enough to keep the referendum. Big money won out – lawyers representing the casinos took away our vote.

I have a few choice words for the MASSIVE TOOLBOXES who initiated the idea of bringing casinos to Philadelphia….choice words that would not be appropriate for this article.

Fishtown Represent!


In the world’s ugliest dog contest, that is. You too can vote for Philly’s own Pee Wee Martini to win the Sonoma-Marin Fair. Just click on over here and scroll down until you see Pee Wee’s ugly mug and vote for him!

You may be wondering how it is I know that he’s from Fishtown since it doesn’t say so in the profile. I’m going strictly on Becky’s tweet, but I trust her (and she lives in Fishtown, so I figure she must have an inside scoop).

Pride Street?


Often a street has an alternate name or designation—there are several street signs around the city that have smaller, more descriptive street signs below them; e.g. 4th Street below South Street is also known as “Fabric Row”.

This morning I noticed a new sign attached to 13th Street, at Walnut: the smaller sign didn’t have another street name, but a rainbow! (It kinda looks like the image to the right.)

I was on the bus when I saw this, so I’m not sure if there are other signs like this one around the “gayborhood”. Has anyone else seen these?

20th Century Cool – Retro Finds in East Passyunk

20th Century Cool is perhaps the most interesting new shop to hit East Passyunk this year. If you are looking for one of a kind vintage or retro pieces, this is the place to go. Located at 1609 East Passyunk Avenue, the store is tucked away neatly on the same block as Cantina Los Caballitos. What it lacks in size, it more then makes up for in unique, ever-changing inventory.

Ex Libris

After years of frequently saying I should go, I finally did go. To the library, that is. I have an insatiable appetite for books and just finished the one my family left on their last visit. I also polished off all of the holiday gift books that would fit in my daily backpack. Purchasing is not an option as we’re saving our pennies for our upcoming travel, wedding and honeymoon. With all of this in mind, I took my brand new library card to the Chestnut Hill branch yesterday.

Philadelphia Speaks: Say NO! to Casinos

About five minutes ago, I went to the Hallwatch site and was pleasantly surprised by the latest news on the impending casino plans for the city of Philadelphia. In a nutshell, City Council unanimously approved a ballot question which will effectively let the people decide whether or not casinos should come to their neighborhoods. Mayor Street has until March 29th to give his approval. While Mayor Street, Foxwoods and Sugarhouse contest that casinos would bring much needed revenue and employment for the city and it’s residents, many people believe that the good does not outweigh the negative impact of such a plan. The domino effect – Casinos bring traffic, crime, prostitution, gambling addiction and ultimately cause home values to decline.

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