August 22, 2014 |
The hegemony of the Blanc has been broken! The third annual Dîner en Blanc - a visually dazzling outdoor dinner at a yet-to-be-disclosed Center City landmark attended by 3,500 people dressed head to toe in white - won't be the only game in town Thursday night, at least when it comes to themed al fresco dinners. First held 26 years ago in Paris, Dîner en Blanc has become an institution in nearly 50 cities around the world. But last month, a splinter group of former Philly Blanc-ers (Blanc-ies?
August 7, 2014 |
Janet Monge knew for years that the Penn Museum had quite the skeleton in its closet, a box of bones supinely displayed, carefully encased in wax, wrapped in burlap, and positioned on a board. "Somebody took great pains to take a very fragmentary skeleton and bring it here," said Monge, the curator who oversees the physical anthropology section of the museum in University City. "Therefore, it must be important. " There was no catalog card or identifying information. So the skeleton sat obscurely for years in a ground-floor storage room at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
July 25, 2014
D R. CHRIS ANASTASIOU, 56, of South Philadelphia, is an optometrist who owns the Modern Eye optical shops/optometrist offices in University City, on Walnut Street near 34th, and in Center City, 13th and Walnut. A magazine for eye-care professionals recently named Modern Eye one of the top three independent optical retailers. Q: How'd you come up with the idea for Modern Eye? A: I was working as a hired optometrist for a small chain of eyeglass shops. I went in with the owner as a franchise partner and the store was originally called Eyeglass Encounters in University City.
July 18, 2014
NICOLE MARIE CAPP, 26, and Justin Matt Sapolsky, 28, both of Center City, are co-founders of Matt & Marie's Italian Sandwiches on 18th Street near Arch. The two are Wharton MBA graduates and were finalists in the 2013-14 Wharton Business Plan Competition. In 2013, Matt & Marie's began as a catering business but this year shifted to a brick-and-mortar store that opened on June 30. I spoke with Capp. Q: How'd you come up with the idea for Matt & Marie's? A: Matt and I both wanted to open up a place in the fast-casual space with Italian sandwiches.
June 18, 2014 |
DREXEL University closed on the purchase of University City High School yesterday, netting the school district $21.1 million after closing costs and after paying off a few outstanding loans. Drexel's plans for development of the 14-acre parcel, however, are contingent on the passage of Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell's zoning bill this week, which would lift restrictions clearing the way for the university's latest venture. In an interview yesterday, Blackwell said she is confident her bill will pass Thursday, City Council's last session before summer break.
June 10, 2014 |
In a University City laboratory, Mike Patterson recently shared his thoughts on the potential impact of the business he has helped launch. In doing so, the CEO of Graphene Frontiers demonstrated an unapologetic inability to understate. "This is changing-the-world stuff," Patterson said. At the core of the business: the guts of a pencil. Graphite, the writing part of a pencil, is stacked and bonded layers of graphene. While the mission of Graphene Frontiers has nothing to do with writing in the literal sense, it does involve rewriting the book on medical diagnostics.
May 25, 2014 |
Research by a pair of professors at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business has found that "shabby urban neighborhoods are the wisest choice" for real estate investors. Savvy investors, study authors Veronica Guerrieri and Eric Hurst say, "are looking for a place to park their money in preparation for the next boom. " The most promising urban real estate can be found in rundown neighborhoods bordering upper-class areas, they say. From my observations in Philadelphia (and Chicago, New York and San Francisco)
May 12, 2014 |
FMC Corp. has been one of the region's quiet giants. With $3.9 billion in sales in 2013, the specialty-chemical company is one of Philadelphia's most significant corporate residents. But in terms of household names, it's no Comcast. That might change a bit now that FMC has decided to move to its own trophy tower at 30th and Walnut Streets. The edifice - to be topped with FMC's brand - will certainly make the firm more visible. Groundbreaking for the 49-story, $385 million tower is set for Wednesday.
May 10, 2014 |
The Philadelphia sanitation division has tried to spread the word about not spreading bedbugs. In December, the city began requiring that mattresses put out for trash pickup be sealed in plastic, to deter dissemination of the resurgent bloodsuckers. Sanitation officials have publicized the rule through water bills, block captains, the transit system, the media, City Council, and at a rally where disposal bags (about $5 apiece at home improvement stores and U-Haul agencies) were given away.