October 30, 2015
DOUGLAS McKAY got the call from God while sitting on a bar stool at Sam's Bar, 30th and Wharton, Grays Ferry, USA. It wasn't the first call he heard, but it was the final one. After a fight at Sam's that night (he won, he says) he got lost in thought. He wasn't destined to spend his life on a bar stool at Sam's. The next day McKay presented himself to his parish priest at St. Gabriel's, the massive stone Catholic church dominating his Irish, working-class neighborhood. He said he wanted to become a priest.
July 17, 2015 |
The City Council race between incumbent Kenyatta Johnson and Ori Feibush delivered fireworks. But you wouldn't know that from the results of Philadelphia's May 19 Democratic primary. In the end, the freshman councilman outpaced Feibush by nearly 2-1. The Inquirer sat down last week with Feibush, who made headlines long before his self-funded foray into politics as a brash businessman and a staunch critic of Johnson. Feibush, 31, who owns a real estate business and a chain of coffee shops that bear his initials, OCF, is best known as a developer, having helped build hundreds of homes in the rapidly changing Second District, which includes Grays Ferry, Point Breeze, and part of South Philadelphia.
June 7, 2015 |
Doris Polsky, 90, a precocious mathematician who helped integrate Mount Airy, died Wednesday, June 3, in her home at Cresheimbrook Condominium. Along with her twin sister, she was recruited out of the Philadelphia High School for Girls to work on Army ballistics research during World War II. Together, they also helped found the Allens Lane Art Center and West Mount Airy Neighbors. As owners of Twin Realty, they helped stanch white flight in Northwest Philadelphia during the 1960s, thwarting banks' redlining practices and selling to people of all colors, creeds, and sexual orientations.
May 14, 2015 |
Tyrique Glasgow stood on the corner of Taney and Tasker Streets, a few squares of South Philadelphia pavement outside the May Flower Chinese restaurant - a 15-foot stretch of concrete and asphalt that was once his world. A world he had been willing to die for. A world he had been willing to kill for. A world he had gone to war for. From that vantage point, Glasgow scanned the surrounding corners of Grays Ferry and counted off six others like the one where he stood: Six corners in a space not quite the size of a football field, ruled by crews of young men who see little for themselves but the lure of easy money and the threat of early death.
May 1, 2015 |
Recent census figures indicate that the influx of young adults, immigrants, and empty nesters to Philadelphia could be ebbing. The growth they have brought, especially to areas surrounding Center City, could recede, and neighborhoods that aren't ready for development could miss out on what's left of the trend. Philadelphia's Second Councilmanic District - encompassing parts of Center City, South Philadelphia, and Southwest Philadelphia - is especially vulnerable. With deep poverty as well as significant wealth, it has seen rapid change in areas like Point Breeze and Grays Ferry.
March 16, 2015 |
Ask Father Doug McKay to explain what's at the heart of his ministry in Grays Ferry, and he may tell you a story about two brothers. It's an afternoon 10 years ago, and he's sitting on the porch of his ministry house across from St. Gabe's Church. These two brothers from the neighborhood come running down the street, one chasing the other with a butcher knife. When they pass St. Gabe's, the brother with the knife doesn't miss a beat: He switches the knife into his left hand, makes the sign of the cross with his right, and keeps on running after his brother.
March 13, 2015 |
Edward A. Wiggins, 81, a former Pennsylvania legislator who represented a district in South Philadelphia during the 1970s and 1980s, died Sunday, March 8, of heart failure at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He was pronounced dead at the hospital after being rushed from his home in the King Village section of South Philadelphia, said his granddaughter Laurena Tolson. Mr. Wiggins was elected to the state House in 1976, was unseated in 1978, and won again in 1980.
February 6, 2015 |
As corrupt police officers go, Jonathan Garcia was more brazen than most. Less than two years after joining the force, he was making illegal traffic stops and stealing cash seized from drug dealers. He sold heroin, often in uniform and in broad daylight, across the street from the 17th District station in South Philadelphia. And, as he explained to a federal Judge Wednesday, he did all of this thinking that was just the way the system worked in a city with a history of dirty cops.
December 24, 2014 |
"IT'S NOT ME!" William Pugh kept telling the stranger who approached him about 11:30 a.m. on the sidewalk outside his home in Grays Ferry that he had the wrong guy, his family told the Daily News . "It's not me," he repeated, before the unknown man, maybe out of frustration, maybe out of spite, pulled out a handgun and fired a round into Pugh's right leg. Not satisfied, the punk then walked onto the porch of the adjacent home, pried...