October 1, 1998 |
What's long, narrow, surrounded by water, located in Manayunk, and has only one - count it, o-n-e - restaurant? Venice Island. But maybe not for long. The 300-acre slip of land between the Schuylkill and the Manayunk Canal is turning into the latest battleground between the flatlanders who run Main Street's playground of eateries, clothing stores and art galleries, and the locals living on the hills behind them. Right now, the island is home to a couple of factories, a recreation center, some parking lots and that single restaurant, the Arroyo Grille.
May 27, 1998 |
Right near Locks 69 and 70 of the Manayunk Canal, where the water comes tumbling down in a gush of white, four men are pulling up bass so effortlessly that you would think the fish were holding a convention at their feet. Gracefully, the men cast their lines, watch as the lines become taut, and bring in fish in a scene nearly as timeless as the river. "I was born right across the street," Mike Kuneck, 67, confides quietly as he takes a break from fishing. "I was here when they built the town up. " The town he is referring to, the Manayunk of arty boutiques and intriguing restaurants, is nearby, but you would hardly know it. That Manayunk still turns its back on the river.
June 11, 1997 |
It's a problem hidden from view, except the one the canoe club members have when they're paddling on the Schuylkill. The trash lurking along the riverbank in Manayunk is camouflaged by foliage this time of year, and it can't be seen any time of year from Main Street. What's out of sight is out of mind for the businesses along Main Street, say members of the Philadelphia Canoe Club. But take a little canoe or kayak ride on the river when the trees on the bank aren't providing cover, and the mess is in plain view: derelict cars, couches, window frames, roofing material, tires and other disgusting stuff.
February 28, 1997 |
Still smarting from a three-year, traffic-snarling restaurant invasion, Manayunk residents are seeking to expand a proposed moratorium on new eateries. The once-quiet neighborhood that became too trendy for its own good had sought help from its City Council representative, Michael A. Nutter. "Enough already!" Nutter said he heard from residents wincing from the sting of success. Nutter responded by proposing a five-year moratorium on new restaurants along the most densely developed stretch of Main Street, from Shurs Lane north to Leverington Avenue.
February 24, 1997 |
Your editorials Dec. 9 and Feb. 14 addressed my proposed zoning legislation for Manayunk. In December, you viewed this measure as an important tool to "control commercial and residential density and foster economic growth. " Two months later, you suggest I "take a more sober look at how to balance competing needs in the areas. " The change of heart sends a confusing message. The bill, as written, prohibits new restaurants between Shurs Lane and Leverington Avenue. This approximate eight-block stretch already has 32 restaurants.
August 26, 1995 |
Coming soon, a theater near you - maybe. The developers who brought you the United Artists Riverview Plaza movie theater on Columbus Boulevard now have plans for a six-screen theater complex on Main Street near Ridge Avenue in Manayunk. In industry lingo: a six-plex. Tower Industries, a partnership of Bart Blatstein and Mark Haber, wants to erect a restaurant, retail shop and theater complex that would seat 1,200 people and park 400 cars. It would be one-seventh the size of the Riverview complex, at Columbus Boulevard and Reed Streets, which has 11 screens, 3,600 seats and seven restaurants.
May 22, 1995 |
Former Philadelphia Mayor William J. Green 3d and Manayunk developer Daniel R. Neducsin have teamed up to build a restaurant on the former site of the Mrs. Paul's frozen-fish products factory in Manayunk. Construction begins this week on the five-acre parcel of Venice Island, a skinny slip of land bounded by the Schuylkill on one side and the Manayunk canal on the other. "It excites me because I see a vacant, trash-strewn lot that no one appreciates, and I feel we'll maximize that piece of ground," said Neducsin, who, with his partners, owns Sonoma and Kansas City Prime, two popular Manayunk dining spots.
December 24, 1994 |
Just as important to a new neighborhood shopping center as a drugstore or a video rental outlet is a bike path - if the center is located along the Schuylkill. That's what developer Bart Blatstein, president of Tower Investments, has found out. Starting in the spring, Blatstein wants to build a 52,000-square-foot shopping center on vacant property at 3720-40 Main St. on the southeastern edge of Manayunk. The property has been unused for more than 20 years, he said. The "neighborhood service center," as he calls it, will have a half-dozen merchants with more than 100 new jobs.
November 4, 1994 |
The explosion of restaurants and retail shops along Main Street in Manayunk has created one of the city's most vibrant places to be. But there's been a cost: Try finding a parking spot. The development boom has created tensions between the largely working-class neighborhoods and the business community along the glitzy strip. "Obviously, parking becomes a very intense issue if you come home from work and can't find a place to park," said Kay Smith, executive director of the Manayunk Development Corp.
June 17, 1994 |
As much as the rowers of Boathouse Row, or Philadelphia's Art Museum and Waterworks, or the Manayunk Canal, or the trails of Valley Forge, industry is an emblem of the Schuylkill. Artist David Brewster celebrates the "industrial landscapes" every time he clambers along the river's banks, maneuvers to "climb over fences or squeeze through this and that" for a new vantage of the river's factory heritage. From a meat plant's second-floor window, he painted Slaughterhouse View - on an old bed's headboard he found there, because the split panel evoked the Grays Ferry Bridge in the Philadelphia foreground.