July 22, 2016 |
Iron Man wants your attention: Chinatown is changing fast! In case you haven't yet noticed the wok-fired pace of new and suddenly stylish restaurants opening in the old neighborhood, the huge red "Hulkbuster" suit set behind glass at the entrance to Yamitsuki, Chinatown's sleek new ramen hall, should do the trick. "That's an actual costume we displayed because it attracts our client base, which is in their mid-20s," said partner and chef Alan Su. "Competition is driving the market now in Chinatown.
July 22, 2016 |
Philadelphia's Chinatown has long been a destination for certain things: implausibly cheap fruits and vegetables, an endless supply of beckoning-cat statues, and banquets of spicy delicacies spinning on tabletop lazy susans. But, fortune cookies aside, it was not really where you'd go for dessert. In the last year or so, that's changed. At least eight new dessert spots have opened (or will soon) within the few blocks framed by Ninth and 11th Streets, Filbert to Vine, bringing whole genres of sweets you didn't know you were craving.
July 21, 2016
Since our last guide to Chinatown in early 2014, more attention than ever has been paid to restaurant health inspections across Philadelphia – sparked in large part by a banquet that sickened more than 100 lawyers at Joy Tsin Lau in early 2015. With the city Health Department gaining more power to enforce recommended closures, and the Inquirer's Sam Wood noting the worst offenders in his regular "Clean Plates" column (which includes a database to search recent reports), a number of notable Chinatown spots have been forced into closing temporarily.
July 1, 2016 |
Best Western Hotels & Resorts will operate its second Philadelphia hotel in an Art Moderne building that previously served as a film-storage facility on the northern edge of Chinatown near 13th and Vine Streets. Ed Grose, executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, said Wednesday that owners of the property at 1225 Vine St. told him of the plans. An existing Best Western operates at 255 Chestnut St. Zoning approvals were granted for a 120-room hotel at the Vine Street property in March 2015, according to city records.
June 6, 2016 |
AS THE hushed sounds of a choir singing Chinese folk songs drifted in from an adjacent space, Yao Huang sat on a hard chair, lifting and stamping his feet at a senior center in Chinatown. Julia Wood, an occupational therapist, sat facing her audience of about 12 elderly Asian Americans with Parkinson's disease. "We're going to be using seated exercises taken from Tai Chi and yoga," Wood said. An interpreter, David Lee, translated her English words into Cantonese. When prompted, Huang, 75, chanted "om" along with others in the Parkinson's support group that meets at the On Lok Senior Services Center, on 10th Street near Race.
May 27, 2016
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat of May 24, 2016: Craig LaBan: Last weekend I hosted a crawfish boil for my block for the first time in a few years. We flew in 100 pounds of fresh crawfish from Lafayette ( www.CajunGrocer.com is a fantastic, affordable, reliable source for next-day UPS deliveries), some real andouille, boiled links of porky boudin, and spice-crusted cracklins from my favorite Louisiana butcher shop (the Best Stop in Scott). I fired-up my old 60-quart boiling rig, dusted off my trusty golf driver (a secret weapon for stirring the pot; golfing, less so)
May 21, 2016 |
Chinatown businessman Yong Quan Zheng, who operated construction and money services businesses, has been charged with dodging state and federal taxes by filing false documents and paying employees - some of them illegal immigrants - in cash. Zheng's attorney, Greg Pagano, could not be immediately reached for comment. The U.S. Attorney said that Zheng, 61, who owned Hong Fai General Contractors, later known as Yong General Contractors, hired employees and paid them in cash from October 2010 through June 30, 2012.
May 16, 2016 |
With the recent 100th anniversary of the birth of preservationist Jane Jacobs, consider the history of one of the city's most iconic neighborhoods: Chinatown. Philadelphia is connected to one of the earliest instances of Sino-American relations. The 1784 journey of the ginseng-laden Empress of China to Canton (present-day Guangzhou) - the United States' first successful voyage to insular imperial China - was financed primarily by Philadelphian Robert Morris. The beginning of the city's Chinatown is often traced to the early 1870s, with the opening of Lee Fong's laundry on Race Street's 900 block.
April 23, 2016 |
Starting this weekend, thousands of LED lights and 28 colorful Chinese lantern displays - larger-than-life dragons, pandas, lotus flowers, and pagodas that are illuminated from within, and in some cases, automated - will set Franklin Square aglow as the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival opens its seven-week engagement. The traveling light show, which originates in China and has touched down previously in a few other U.S. cities, is one of several red-letter events marking the 10th anniversary of the once-blighted park's rebirth as a thriving hub of city life.
March 11, 2016
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat of March 8, 2016. Craig LaBan: I'm curious to hear updates from the Philly Chefs Conference at Drexel, for which Joy Manning wrote an excellent preview. A lot of big names this year, from Glenn Roberts (of Anson Mills) to pioneering food science author Harold McGee, not to mention Philly's own stars. Highlights? Reader: The conference was a great event for anybody that would like to open a restaurant. It gives you some great insight on what pitfalls to avoid when starting out. But I must say the best part were the lunch spreads: tacos from South Philly Barbacoa, burgers, ramen, I believe, from Kensington Quarters, and the wine, liquor, and beer tastings in the afternoon.