April 6, 2013 |
A quick-acting Philadelphia detective caught two suspects who allegedly pistol-whipped and robbed a 58-year-old man late Friday afternoon in Chinatown, police said. Around 5:30 p.m., the man was attacked inside a rental property he owns in the 1200 block of Vine Street, said Lt. John Walker of Southwest Detectives. The victim was forced into the basement, where he was beaten with a .357 caliber pistol and forced to strip to his underwear. Detective Rob Conway was driving down Vine Street returning from an investigation when he spotted the victim, who was outside and screaming for help.
March 12, 2013 |
THIRTY-FOUR years ago, Sarah McEneaney was a young art-school graduate who bought an old building on a gritty industrial stretch of Callowhill Street, because the price was right and she wanted a home with studio space for her artwork. Back then, "it would be busy during the day and, at night, it would be desolate and kind of scary," she said. But the neighborhood slowly grew busier as Chinatown inched northward and developers built condos, she added. City officials now plan to chart that change.
February 5, 2013 |
Lai Lun Mark's smile is as beautiful today as the day she won the title - Miss Chinatown, 1964. "A lifetime ago," she said and laughed during an interview. Flashbulbs popped as she accepted the winner's trophy in the Grand Court of Wanamaker's department store, crowned by no less than Richard M. Nixon, then planning a comeback campaign for the presidency. A week later, Mark, 20, became the white-caped centerpiece of a boisterous Chinese New Year parade, chauffeured through Chinatown in a red Ford Galaxie convertible, waving to crowds that stood five deep on the sidewalks.
February 4, 2013 |
Robert Moy was a king of Chinatown ticket-fixers, according to federal authorities, even advertising his surefire services in the newspaper. "Tackles the traffic ticket," said an ad in the local China News Weekend, "and guarantees no points or fewer points. " The day after being indicted on charges that could send him to prison for years, Moy was open for business on Friday, running Number One Translations on the second floor of a building at 926 Winter St. Two giant stone Foo Dogs stood out front.
December 28, 2012 |
THE ASIAN Arts Initiative, a community-based arts center in Chinatown, has always encouraged local residents' involvement. AAI's latest project, the Social Practice Lab, continued that practice by inviting artists to solicit input for neighborhood art projects from local residents. There's plenty of challenge in the stark, industrial areas on Chinatown's northern edges. Artist Ben Volta and Gayle Isa, executive director of Asian Arts Initiative, recently met with PECO, for instance, about the huge electrical substation between 11th and 12th streets near the old viaduct.
December 21, 2012
THERE'S SOME truth to the joke that Jews like to take in Chinese food and a Woody Allen movie on Christmas Eve, to get away from all that. This year, Allen has denied his tribe a new opus. But look-alike comedian Ross Bennett is ready to make Christmas Eve escapees laugh while you nosh, as star of the Moo Shu Jew Show, sponsored by the Gershman Y. Actually returning for the fifth year, this multicourse Chinese feast plus comedy show will be landing at a new Chinatown location, Ocean Harbor Restaurant, 1023 Race St. Also serving up the yuks are Lenny Marcus - a funny bunny who recently debuted on "The Late Show with David Letterman" plus standup comic/author Joel Chasnoff, whose material (and book The 188th Crybaby Brigade)
December 2, 2012 |
I recently revisited the site of my first great travel adventure - after a half-century, almost to the day. The destination of this foray into nostalgia and rediscovery was San Francisco. Why I had allowed a full 50 years to go by without returning to one of America's most beautiful and appealing cities is not easily explained. I had lived outside of the United States for several decades, and once back on the East Coast I was busy with other concerns. Still, San Francisco had always remained in my memory as a fabulous place.
October 26, 2012
Ramen Boy lasted, oh, about as long as one slurp. Or so it seemed for this sleek Chinatown entry from the owners of Yakitori Boy into the city's suddenly piping hot ramen scene. After a steady thrum of (justified) bad buzz on the "Yokohama-style" bowls, it closed after just five months while the owners regrouped. What a remarkable turnaround they've made in forming a new partnership with the Terakawa ramen restaurants from New York, which brought new recipes and a new chef. The cozy wood counter decor is the same, but the soups, focusing on richer tonkotsu, the cloudy broth steeped from Berkshire pork bones in the Kyushu style, are entirely more satisfying, and definitely worth another visit.
October 13, 2012 |
If you look at the whole of Philadelphia's architectural output over the last two decades, it becomes clear that much of the effort was about repair and recovery. Neglected neighborhoods were rediscovered, dilapidated houses were renovated, empty lots filled in. The most intensive repair has already occurred in Center City's neighborhoods. Downtown is now in such good physical shape, and has so few vacant building sites left, that the reclamation has shifted to the ring of neighborhoods beyond Philadelphia's traditional core, to places such as Graduate Hospital and Northern Liberties.