October 24, 2014 |
Lo Spiedo opening Monday As you drive through the iron gates of the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia, look to your left at the gatehouse. On Monday, the Vetri crew - Marc Vetri, Jeff Benjamin, Brad Spence, and Jeff Michaud - plans to open Lo Spiedo (4501 S. Broad St., 215-282-3184). "Lo spee-YAY-doh" translates to "the spit," as in rotisserie, and just about the entire menu - executed by Osteria alum Scott Calhoun - is prepared over wood-burning flame: pork ribs, pork shoulder, half-chicken, brisket, octopus.
August 28, 2014 |
More than 675 people have registered their security cameras with the Philadelphia Police Department's SafeCam program since it began in 2011, and law enforcement officials are encouraging more to sign up. The program allows residents and business owners to register their security cameras with the department so officers know where to look for security footage that might aid in a criminal investigation. Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey at a Tuesday news conference highlighted a city Commerce Department initiative that reimburses business owners 50 percent of installation costs up to $3,000 for putting in the cameras.
July 2, 2014 |
SPEAKING IN their native Mandarin, two government witnesses testified through an interpreter that by paying a visit to a Chinatown translation-aid business, their pesky traffic tickets were downgraded in nearly seamless fashion. In the 18th day of the federal corruption trial of six former Traffic Court judges and a businessman, federal prosecutors yesterday tried to show "the fix behind the scenes," as described by Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise Wolf. All seven defendants face conspiracy and fraud charges.
May 1, 2014 |
King Kai Chin, 82, an entrepreneur and expert in Chinese herbs and medicines who came to Chinatown 57 years ago and helped to build the community there, died Friday, April 11, of cancer at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Mr. Chin had only the clothes on his back and $50 in his pocket when he and his brother, Jong Kai Chin, arrived in this country in 1957, seeking a new life. He left behind his wife, Chiu Fong, and sons Ken and Keith, as well as a career as a teacher, and a bookstore he had founded.
February 21, 2014 |
THE PHILADELPHIA Chinatown Development Corp. announced a new partnership yesterday to help it finance a towering community center and apartment building that would change the landscape of Chinatown North. The partnership with the Global City Regional Center, an entity created last year, is seeking foreign investors - from China, India, Bangladesh and other countries - to invest nearly half of the $75 million project. Project leaders said yesterday that they plan to raise $33 million of the total cost through the federal EB-5 immigrant-visa program, which would allow qualified foreign investors to come to the U.S. With the funding, PCDC aims to build its flagship Eastern Tower Community Center at the northwest corner of 10th and Vine streets, now the site of a parking lot. The 23-story building would house retail stores, a community center, a gymnasium, a health center, a preschool, offices and 143 apartments - 31 of which will be subsidized by PCDC.
February 21, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA The long-planned Eastern Tower community center and apartments in Chinatown may finally move off the drawing board if developers can raise $33 million from affluent immigrants in search of green cards. The nonprofit Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corp. (PCDC) said Wednesday that it hoped to generate most of the money from Chinese investors who would each agree to pony up a half-million dollars in return for visas for their families. The federal government's "EB-5 program" for business visas was started 22 years ago. It works like this: An investor, say, in Shanghai would agree to lend the Eastern Tower project $500,000.
February 4, 2014 |
The lion dancers were the smart ones: They brought earplugs. Everyone else stood with their fingers in their ears - and smiles on their faces - as the din from thousands of exploding firecrackers helped welcome the Year of the Horse to Philadelphia during Sunday's Lunar New Year parade. "It was too loud!" said 5-year-old Oona, who stood on a wet Chinatown sidewalk with her parents, Steven Schmelz and Madeleine Darling. "It smelled like ashes. " The acrid scent wafted through the neighborhood as the Philadelphia Suns led a cymbal-clanging, drum-banging procession through the region's Asian center.
January 13, 2014 |
The original Dim Sum Garden was a definitive Chinatown dumpling dive, a no-frills storefront under the 11th Street tunnel where devotees braved bus fumes and panhandlers for xiao long bao, the broth-filled Shanghai wonders also known as "soup dumplings. "By comparison, the new Dim Sum Garden, which opened on Race Street in September, is a veritable palace, all curvy lines with layered stone walls and a bright, open kitchen. The airy room, with triple the seating of the old location and a dumpling factory in the basement, is the vision of Dajuan "Sally" Song, 29, a former fashion designer and business student who persuaded her mother and partner, chef Shizhou Da, to overcome her reluctance to make the leap.
November 12, 2013 |
People who stroll through Chinatown on Saturday nights bathe in the lights of intriguing new restaurants, hip tea shops, and stylish lounges. But moving beneath that shiny exterior, as strong and powerful as an underground river, is a torrent of forces that threaten the neighborhood's very existence. An influx of luxury housing, rising rents and land values, a soaring white population, and slipping Asian population could mean the end of Chinatown's 140-year role as a gateway for immigrants and a regional hub for culture and family.
September 4, 2013 |
It's a sales battle that's being fought cup by cup, not for all the tea in China, but for tea in Chinatown. It began when Tea Talk opened on 10th Street, its glowing rainbow lights drawing a young crowd thirsty for exotic mixes of bubble tea, the cold summer drink that, despite its name, may contain neither bubbles nor tea. Within a year, Tea Talk had a competitor, Tea Do, which opened two blocks south on 10th. Now a third shop, Tea Magic, has set up not fifty paces from Tea Do, commencing a three-way competition for customers seeking to sip the hip, Taiwan-born brew.