August 7, 2016 |
A year after Philadelphia officials announced widespread street closures in advance of Pope Francis' visit - provoking, at first, widespread consternation - the city on Friday released plans to open a seven-mile stretch of roadways to pedestrians for an open streets festival next month. Last August, with preparations for the papal visit reaching a fever pitch, residents had panicked over a planned "traffic box" in Center City that would close most of the downtown area to cars. But by the weekend of the papal visit, the traffic box was a hit. Residents wandered, wonder-struck, through empty streets and took selfies in the middle of the Ben Franklin Bridge.
July 16, 2016 |
A big reason for the boom in fast-casual chains has been the renewed embrace of that old axiom "you are what you eat. " Their salad and stir-fry options are fresher than meals you get at your typical burger joint, with more vegetables and fewer mystery ingredients. It's still fast food, of course, just better for you. Honeygrow , a Philadelphia-bred fast-casual chain that has been planting its all-natural flag up and down the Eastern Seaboard , has taken that healthy lifestyle philosophy in an architectural direction with its new Fishtown headquarters on Front Street.
May 2, 2016 |
Since I announced last month in a column that I changed my voter registration to Republican so I could vote in the Donald Trump referendum, a.k.a. the Pennsylvania primary election, my friends and family have been treating me like Kramer on Seinfeld . You know, the kook who lives next door and who comes and goes as he pleases and who leaves the toilet seat up, no matter how many times he's been told, nicely, not to. My liberal progressive Democratic...
February 21, 2016 |
In less than a decade, Hunting Park Avenue's industrial warehouses have been revived by bustling businesses and social service centers. A gym, a center for crime victims, schools, and doctors' offices now hug the four-lane artery east of Broad Street. Developers say the area is one of the few in the city that still offers lots of big parcels with parking. Without a car, though, getting to the growing commercial hub has been a hassle. That will change Sunday. SEPTA is adding 21/2 miles and 22 stops to the Route 53 bus, mostly along Hunting Park from Ninth to G Streets.
January 3, 2016 |
It's a new year, and for the 116th Mummers Parade, perhaps a new era. The iconic Philadelphia celebration Friday featured three new brigades, including two Hispanic performance groups and an African American drill team. One costumed member of the Pirates Wench Brigade, who wouldn't give his name, said he welcomes the new groups and diversity. But he hoped they would adopt the Mummers' history rather than bringing their own. "They're creating a tradition that's not really our tradition," said the man, a veteran of the brigade.
December 28, 2015 |
Two men, an 18-year-old and a 22-year-old, were shot on Allegheny Avenue near Front Street about 8:45 p.m. Saturday, according to Philadelphia police. Both were rushed to Temple University Hospital. The 18-year-old was listed in critical condition Saturday night, while the 22-year-old was in stable condition. Police had no information on who committed the shooting.
November 9, 2015 |
Robert E. Gladden, who has played the organ at St. Rose of Lima Church in Haddon Heights since 1965, is a low-key fellow with a quiet voice. But the mighty instrument he custom-built - and fluently commands - can speak volumes in pretty much any musical language. "It's a big sound," Gladden, 63, says from the console in the choir loft, where he makes music for Saturday and Sunday Masses, as well as weddings, funerals, and other occasions. "This organ has the quietest things like chimes, harp, celesta, a little glockenspiel . . . to the biggest sounds, like the 32-foot pipes you can feel in your chest," the Merchantville resident says, giving me a dazzling demonstration.
October 23, 2015 |
The latest branch of Tandoor India, beneath the El tracks along Front Street, seems to be in the middle of nowhere and in the middle of it all. Just a few years ago, this industrial landscape at the northern edge of Fishtown was relatively obscure. Today, it's on the cusp of major gentrification, and, just a half-block from the Berks station on the Market-Frankford line, it's almost convenient for a midday kebab run from Center City (there's also a parking lot). It may be worth it. Shafi Gaffar and his partner, Ray Ibrahim, who last year bought and rehabbed University City's somewhat tired Tandoor India, have given a smart makeover to the lofty warehouse space of this seven-month-old Fishtown location.
October 15, 2015 |
The pizza man prays early. Each morning, Joey Mack, owner of Joey Mack's Boardwalk Pizza at 10th and Oregon, awakens before dawn in the apartment where he lives alone, above the shop. After a small breakfast, he heads downstairs into his small pizza parlor, switches the TV he keeps atop an old file cabinet to the religious channel, and begins to pray. He says his rosary. He says the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy. He prays to his mother and father. I didn't know Joey until this week.
September 29, 2015 |
ON A WEEKEND when Pope Francis called for peace and forgiveness, shootings in Philadelphia sent nine people to hospitals and claimed the life of at least one more, police said. * Shortly before 11:30 p.m. Friday, police responding to reports of a shooting found a man lying on Front Street near Somerset, in Kensington, with a gunshot wound in his chest. The man, 34, was taken to Temple University Hospital, where he died about an hour later. Officers later learned that the man was shot by another man on Cambria Street near Front.