He wanted to take back the street and challenge, for a day at least, the notion that cars ruled the road.
So, Reed, along with fellow Northern Liberties business owners Owen Kamihira of Bar Ferdinand and Oron Daskal of North Bowl, started the 2nd Street Festival, in part to do just that. They also wanted to celebrate their growing community.
The festival, now in its fourth year, has grown along with the community. It has seen its attendance double each year, from a modest 4,000 when it began in 2009 to last year's 16,000. Organizers predict that this year's festival, from noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday, will see attendance double again.
"It takes a village to put this on," says festival coordinator Nicky Devine, who began her various logistical duties for this year's party - securing city permits, street closures, and police - in March. In May, she began signing up vendors, and this year 150 of them will set up shop along Second between Germantown Avenue and Green Street.
The vendors reflect the festival's neighborhood - around 80 percent of them are from Northern Liberties. Devine says she has turned down bigger, national vendors with no ties to the neighborhood in favor of those in the backyard.
At the festival, you'll be able to buy jewelry from local jewelry makers, paintings from local artists, and merchandise from local shops, and support local nonprofits. Helping foster local business is the priority. This year, running a close second, Devine says, is an emphasis on green, sustainable vendors and sponsors.
"Most festivals leave a lot of trash in their wake," she says. "We didn't want to do that." So there will be lots of recycling bins at the festival, which this year has partnered with Pennsylvania-based renewable energy supplier Community Energy Inc. to power the entire festival grid with wind power.
"Everything except the music stages," says Devine.
Those stages, four in all, will have 20 bands performing an eclectic mix, from the cacophony of main-stage headliner Man Man to the soft refrains of acoustic duo the Spinning Leaves. Most of the artists are booked by the Philadelphia Folksong Society, which partnered with 2nd Street for the first time last year when the society's executive director, Levi Landis, realized the festival fit with the society's mission, to bring music to the city and foster community.
"We're thrilled to be a part of the festival again," Landis says. "Everything about it stresses community, and our programming is no exception." Most of the 20 bands performing are from Philadelphia, and many have made a name for themselves nationally.
"It's a lot of chiefs," Reed says, laughing, about the strong personalities it takes to pull off a festival like this. "But we all share the same goal - to put on a great, free festival that brings the community together and brings the street to life."
The festival will offer gourmet food and beer gardens, too, many provided by the most prominent restaurants along Second Street, including Bar Ferdinand, El Camino Real, Gunner's Run, Cantina Dos Segundos, and North Bowl.
"Right now there's a critical mass in the neighborhood of high-quality, successful restaurants and owner-occupied businesses. Even five years ago we couldn't have pulled this festival off," Reed says. "Its health reflects the health of the neighborhood. It gets bigger and bigger every year, and I look more and more forward to it every year. Music, beer, food from a grill - in my book, that's all the ingredients for a perfect summer day. It's a lot of work, but well worth it."
There's no sense taking the street back, after all, if you can't have some fun doing it.
2nd Street Festival
When: Noon-10 p.m. Sunday
Where: Second Street in Northern Liberties, between Germantown Avenue and Green Street