January 31, 2001 |
It sounds like the beginning of a cliched joke: "A minister walks into a bar . . . " But the punch line - where the preacher buys the joint with $67,500 from the church building fund - is anything but old hat. Such is the lesson of the buying Baptists of the West Ward, the fed-up church folk in this working-class neighborhood who purchased a noisome bar just to shut it down. When you fight sin in the inner city, bring your Bible. But don't forget your checkbook. "I don't want to buy up all of Trenton," says the Rev. Simeon Spencer, pastor of Union Baptist Church, which finalized the deal in November.
October 20, 2000 |
Nat Potamkin may or may not watch the 14th Subway Series when it opens this weekend at Yankee Stadium. If he can find time between his massages and his sessions pounding a heavy bag at a Miami gym, then, yeah, maybe he'll watch a game or two. You'll have to excuse Potamkin, a South Philadelphia native, if he can't work up too much excitement. He is, after all, 95. The first Subway Series in 44 years means little to a man who watched the first Subway Series ever, in person, back in 1921.
August 6, 2000 |
If Old City is our SoHo - a charming yet overpriced restaurant-gallery district clinging to its fading patina of bohemia - then Northern Liberties is our Greenwich Village, friendly to artists and creative types, with just enough Old World charm to justify a concerted restoration effort. Though vast stretches of Northern Liberties still resemble East Berlin the day the Wall came down, slowly but surely that is changing, and economic anchors and people magnets are already in place on the Northern Liberties stretch of Second Street.
January 23, 2000 |
In neighborhood bars, it's a small world after all, where life is measured in shots and beers. Take it from Frank LaMassa, the 68-year-old owner of Smockey's Bar, at Seventh and Passyunk, who bears more than a passing resemblance to 60 Minutes' Mike Wallace. Regulars call him "Smockey," a nickname passed on to him by the old man, who opened the Bella Vista taproom 70 years ago. Literally born in the bar, LaMassa has never really known any other life. "I never been no place," he says.
June 9, 1999 |
Taras W. Sawchyn, 34, manager of a family-owned corner bar in Kensington, died Friday of injuries he suffered in a one-car accident on Aramingo Avenue. Police said Mr. Sawchyn was alone and heading south on the Aramingo Avenue ramp that connects to Delaware Avenue about 11:30 p.m. when the 1981 Oldsmobile Cutlass he was driving mounted the concrete median, then slammed into an Interstate 95 abutment. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The results of an autopsy were pending, authorities said.
January 9, 1999 |
What people say in bars never ceases to amaze me. I think I'm hard to shock, having spent an unusual amount of time in taprooms even before I hit the legal drinking age. At 18, I started cocktail waitressing at The Barn in Finch Hill, Pa. The Barn - a name that said it all. I then proceeded to bartend my way through college at the Scarlet D, a sometimes rough-and-tumble tavern in Mifflinburg, the heart of central Pennsylvania's cow country....
December 24, 1998 |
They tried to hide in plain sight - surrounded by the bright lights, sounds and smells of the holiday season. But the final two teen-age suspects in the Monday-night robbery that left a retired cop bleeding to death inside a Northeast taproom were captured yesterday. Police said the pair, who netted $500 in the fatal heist, were collared yesterday afternoon in the food court at the Franklin Mills mall. Alito Collantes, 19, and Robert Ramirez, 17, were arrested without incident after a shopper or employee spotted them and alerted police.
April 10, 1998 |
"If I were just a private citizen, Joe Sixpack, I would have mixed feelings about not getting a chance to disprove these allegations in court. " - President Clinton, speaking this week about the dismissal of the Paula Jones sexual harassment case. Dear Mr. President, I feel your pain. You've spent five years in the White House, wining and dining fat cats at state dinners, toasting heads of state with half-empty champagne glasses, glad-handing gin-sipping lobbyists and fending off tattletale interns who can't handle their liquor.
April 15, 1997 |
A weeklong spree of bar robberies came to a blazing end Sunday night when two stickup men opened fire on Kensington taproom patrons, police said. The bloodbath killed three and wounded two. One patron of the Pier One bar, at G and Tioga streets, drew his .380-caliber pistol and traded about a dozen shots with the robbers. He killed one stickup man, police said, but was shot to death in the battle. The second stickup man was caught. The gunbattle capped a stickup spree that began six days earlier and victimized nine other River Ward bars, detectives said.
April 15, 1997 |
Two robbers who started a blazing gun battle in a Kensington bar that left two patrons and a holdup man dead on Sunday may be the same pair responsible for at least six other taproom robberies in the area, police said yesterday. But the holdup inside Pier One Bar & Grill at G and Tioga Streets shortly before 11 on a chilly Sunday night was the most violent in a string of similar crimes that began Thursday. In addition to the three dead, two patrons were wounded in Sunday's shooting, one critically.