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.
July 28, 2013 |
ALBANY, N.Y. - New York is banning trade in shark fins starting next summer in an effort to protect the marine predators. The fins are used in soup popular in Chinese cuisine, and New York is home to one of the nation's largest Chinatowns. An estimated 73 million sharks are killed worldwide to meet the market demand, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who signed the law Friday. So-called finning of sharks - catching them, cutting off their fins, and returning them to the water to die - is already illegal in U.S. and New York coastal waters.
June 11, 2013 |
Chinatown has little room to grow. The Center City neighborhood is boxed in by the Gallery to the south and the Convention Center to the west. Most construction is happening to the north of Vine Street, and most of that is for high-end housing. But in a narrow elbow of vacant land, near the delivery entrance to the Gallery on Arch Street near Eighth Street, two nonprofit developers are moving ahead with plans for a nine-story, 94-unit apartment house. It's a unique collaboration between the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corp.
May 11, 2013 |
Gambling foes filled the audience at Wednesday's hearing before the state Gaming Control Board, silently standing to strongly protest the building of another casino in Philadelphia. About 75 people, mostly from Chinatown, held anti-casino signs during back-to-back testimony from gaming opponents at the end of the fourth and last day of public input on a second license . The protesters represented a coalition of community groups called No Casino in Our City. While most of the earlier speakers were endorsing one project or another, the 11 people to testify at the end of the hearing denounced gambling as bad public policy that was promoting addiction.
April 25, 2013
With taquerías and other conspicuously non-Italian businesses proliferating in South Philadelphia's Italian Market, should the neighborhood be renamed for the sake of anthropological accuracy? The answer is the same whether you're a Sicilian or a Sinaloan: No . The Daily News' Helen Ubiñas raised the question in a recent column, arguing that these days, the neighborhood's name "just doesn't reflect the reality of the street. " As she pointed out, the collection of businesses occupying the historic curb market along South Ninth Street has steadily become less Italian and more Asian and Latino, particularly Mexican.
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.