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AP hypes Reading Terminal's Festival of Forgotten Foods

The Reading Terminal Market's third Festival of Forgotten Foods draws praise for its unusual delights.

"Some of the foods are old-fashioned kinds of foods that are part of Philadelphia’s culinary history," Levitsky said Friday, "and some we sell every day in the market ... like snapper soup and raw milk."

Pepper pot soup — a thick stew of tripe, vegetables, lots of black pepper and other spices — is sometimes called "the soup that won the Revolutionary War." According to legend, it’s credited with restoring the strength and fighting spirit to Gen. George Washington’s troops during the harsh 1777-1778 winter at Valley Forge.


Original source: Associated Press
Read the complete story here at the Washington Post.

Inga Saffron chides lack of retail at Soko Lofts

The Inquirer's architecture critic Inga Saffron has a powerful reaction to the lack of retail at the upcoming Soko Lofts project in South Kensington.

For all its effort to replicate the Piazza's first-rate urbanism, Soko Lofts misses the crucial lesson of that project. The Piazza packed its ground floor with shops, galleries, and eateries, especially along its primary frontage on Second Street. Though not all have succeeded, their presence tied the Piazza into the neighborhood. They made what was just another behemoth residential development into a real urban place
 
At Soko, the buildings - bounded by Second, Thompson, Master, and American Streets - would be punctuated by a few token retail spaces. The rest would be long stretches of dullness. And American Street, which should be Soko's front door, would be the dullest.

Original source: The Philadelphia Inquirer
Read the complete story here.


Two Philly bars make national "Bucket List"

A compilation of the bars you gotta visit before you die features two local legends: City Tavern and McGillin's Olde Ale House:

Their motto--and we'll admit it's a good one--is that they opened their doors the year Lincoln was elected. If you're not sure of the date it's 1860.

Opened by Irish immigrant William McGillin and originally called the Bell in Hand, this place has a legacy all unto itself. Not only has it survived 150 years, it is still one of the most popular watering holes in Philly.


Original source: Bucket List Bars
Read the complete list here; read the McGillin's entry here.



Groundbreaking Chestnut Hill house to be featured in PBS doc

The Vanna Venturi House in Chestnut Hill will be featured in the upcoming PBS documentary "Ten Buildings That Changed America." Newsworks chatted with the current resident.

"I've asked myself, 'Why is the light so wonderful?'," said Agatha Hughes, the current resident of the Vanna Venturi House, aka Mother House. "I think it's because it comes from so many places. Up above you and down below -- it has so many angles and planes to play off of."
 
Hughes has been living here for four years, having inherited the house from her parents who resided in the house for 40 years. The house is a jangle of odd angles, curved planes, and windows layered against shortened walls.


Original source: Newsworks
Read the full story here.

Local funding consultant offers advice in the New York Times

Ami Kassar of MultiFunding, a company based in suburban Philadelphia, penned a piece in the New York Times offering advice for business owners looking for capital.

The best advice that I think I can give anyone in the hunt for money is to get organized early, do your research, identify your targets for financing, and pursue them in a focused and methodical way. As small-business owners and entrepreneurs, we often try throwing as much as we can against the wall to see what sticks. But when it comes to looking for money, this approach can consume time and is unlikely to end happily. Still, I see it all of the time.

Original source: The New York Times
Read the full story here.

Metropolis profiles Philly's 'Doctor of Green'

Local sustainability expert Max Zahniser gets some love in Metropolis Magazine.

To give you a better idea of his philosophy, Zahniser will tell you that systems thinking is his foundation for understanding the world. He rejects a fragmented, specialized worldview and ascribes to the dawning “Age of Integration,” anticipated decades ago by Buckminster Fuller and Lewis Mumford. In contrast to healthy interdependence, Zahniser sees Philadelphia as an example of “dispersed environmental initiatives.” His new Sustainability Nexus enterprise aims to pull that all together.

Original source: Metropolis Magazine
Read the full story here.

 

New York Times lauds Art Museum's outsider exhibit

The New York Times shines a light on an exhibition of outsider art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Great and Mighty Things: Outsider Art From the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection," celebrates the impending donation of the collection to the museum.

To a man, and a woman, the artists in the Bonovitz collection all made some form of magic whose power and urgency throw down a gauntlet, especially considering much of what passes for contemporary art these days. Sometimes they responded to their everyday surroundings. That’s the case with the shadowy drawings and angular constructions fashioned from soot, spit, string and cardboard with which Castle, who could neither hear nor speak, recorded the rough life on his family’s farm in rural Idaho. It’s also true of the sharp, prancing silhouettes with which Traylor expressed his amusement at the human comedy of African-American life in the South.

The show runs through June 9.

Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here

Monster NFL head injury case begins in Philadelphia court

Over 4,000 retired players are suing the NFL for failing to protect them from the risks of chronic head injuries. Both sides appeared before District Judge Anita Brody in Philadelphia this week.

Brody could throw out the entire case, or let parts of it proceed, though appeals are likely to slow the pace. Even without appeals, the discovery process could take years. The judge could also ask the plaintiffs to pick several cases to be tried as tests.

In the fast-moving, 45-minute hearing, Brody gave no strong hint how she would rule, although she repeatedly prodded Paul Clement, the N.F.L.’s lawyer, to provide specific reasons the league’s motion should be granted.

At one point Clement admitted that the league’s argument that player safety was governed by labor contracts would be harder to make for players who never signed a collective bargaining agreement.


Original source: The New York Times
Read the full story here.

East Passyunk named one of nation's best foodie streets

Food & Wine magazine has named East Passyunk Avenue one of the country's best streets for foodies. Local writer Joy Manning has praise for Fond, Marra's and Will, among others. We'd add Cantina, Le Virtu and Stateside.

Original source: Food & Wine
Read the full list here.

The Atlantic Cities traces slippery trajectory of the Philly accent

The Atlantic Cities examines the ever-shifting Philadelphia accent. 

We often talk about regional dialects as if they were disappearing in the face of national TV. But, in fact, while classic southern patterns of speech have been receding in large urban centers in the south, northern dialects have continued to grow stronger. And these trends are best observed in large cities, or, more specifically, in neighborhoods like South Philadelphia where densely clustered row houses can mean that language change moves as quickly between neighbors as gossip.

Original source: The Atlantic Cities
Read the complete story here.
 

New York Times lauds First Round Capital's Dorm Room Fund

First Round Capital's Dorm Room Fund, an investment fund helmed by Philadelphia college students, earns praise in the New York Times. Starting this spring, the Fund is going nationwide -- starting in New York.

New York City’s Dorm Room Fund will follow the model established in Philadelphia, Mr. Barnes said. Student investors will seek out promising ventures among their peers and present the most exciting projects to the investment team. Though partners from First Round Capital will offer advice, students will lead the decision-making process. First Round does retain a veto right, Mr. Barnes said, but “we would not use it unless we were legally or ethically required to do so.”
 
For more on the Dorm Room Fund, check out this story in Flying Kite.

Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.

'Saturday Night Live' ribs Philly Traffic Mimes

On this week's Saturday Night Live, Weekend Update anchor Scott Meyers mentioned the Philly Streets Department's recent April Fools joke -- they enlisted mimes and clowns to direct traffic. Check out the joke here, and then stay tuned for the awesome Peter Dinklage cameo.

Original source: Saturday Night Live

What happens to the buildings when schools close?

The Atlantic Cities asks one of the big questions about the scheduled school closings: What happens to the buildings? Philadelphia is closing 23 schools.

One of the thorniest issues (in what is a veritable forest of mess) is what to do with those school buildings once they're empty. Often, the facilities are in poor shape, with promised renovations put off quasi-indefinitely. Many are located in depressed neighborhoods. And there are only so many developers with the know-how and resources to convert classrooms into condos or a community center.

Then, there are often complex laws that limit who may or may not take over city-owned property. Some cities ban charter schools from moving into empty traditional schools (officials know that moving a new school into an old school can foment frustration with the district); others require time-consuming input from the community. Laws like these can tie school districts' hands and slow re-development.


Original source: The Atlantic Cities
Read the complete story here.

Cira Centre's 'Pong' transformation garners national attention

As part of Philly Tech Week, the north-facing wall of the Cira Centre will be transformed into a massive, functional version of the classic arcade game Pong. MTV has the scoop.

Dr. Frank Lee, a teaching professor in Drexel University's College of Engineering and co-founder of the Drexel Game Design Program, is the man behind the event. He'll be turning the building into his own personal game console thanks 1,514 LEDs lights that were installed on the building during its construction in 2005. He's also getting some help from Technically Philly (who founded Philly Tech Week), Brandywine Realty Trust, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Knight Foundation.

"This is something I’ve been envisioning for quite a while," Lee said. "Not only is this something that’s just fun for anyone who’s ever played a video game, but it’s also a uniquely interactive art installation. One of the main goals of this event is to inspire wonder and creativity in anyone who sees it, especially kids."


Original source: MTV
Read the complete story here, and stay tuned for more Philly Tech Week coverage from Flying Kite.


Yahoo! showcases five Philly properties made famous in film

Inspired by the recent news that the rowhome featured in Rocky II is for sale, Yahoo! put together a list of five local properties made famous in film. My personal favorite is the Graduate Hospital house featured in The Sixth Sense.

In the 1999 movie "The Sixth Sense," Haley Joel Osment's character, Cole Sear, saw dead people in his house on the of 2300 block of St. Albans Place in Philadelphia. But this haunted movie house and its surroundings also shined a new light on the City of Brotherly Love. The movie's colorful shots of Logan Circle, Rittenhouse Row, and the St. Albans Place garden block made filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan a hometown hero, who, according to Philly.com, later donated $1.5 million to improve the South Philly area that played such a big role in "The Sixth Sense." Shyamalan recounted his first sight of the red brick block, saying, "It could have been anywhere … It looked like it had been built by immigrant hands. For some reason, I was meant to be here, and we were meant to do this."

Original source: Yahoo!
Read the complete list here.
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