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Philly team wins International Youth Poetry Slam

A local team triumphed at the International Youth Poetry Slam.

Philly Youth Poetry Movement (PYPM) won the finals of the Brave New Voices (BVN) competition in Atlanta, last week.
It’s the third time the group has brought the title to Philadelphia since it started in 2006.

“I started it because there were no safe spaces for young people to create and write and produce and advocate for themselves,” says executive director Greg Corbin. “When a young person finds the value of their voice, they find the value of themselves. They understand that their story actually means something.”

From a modest poetry night, the program now how twice-weekly writing workshops, monthly slams, an annual city-wide high school slam– and three national titles.


Original source: CBS News
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Philadelphia Magazine lists 2015's 'Best Philadelphians'

Philadelphia Magazine picks 35 locals worth noticing including Mayor Nutter, Mo'Ne Davis, Maria Quiñones-Sánchez and the Ludemans of Postgreen Homes.

This group of Best Philadelphians should have so many more people on it — several million more — because every Philadelphian is a Best Philadelphian. Every single one of us should get a gold star, dammit, especially when it’s snowing outside and the buses aren’t running and the ramp to 95 is closed. But all yearbooks must have superlatives, so we do want to highlight some people who have made this a banner year — starting with the guy who kind of runs things in this town.

Original source: Philadelphia Magazine
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Looking for housing for the Pope's visit? The floor might be your best bet

Housing all the anticipated visitors coming to town for the Pope's visit in September continues to be a favorite topic of discussion.

There aren't enough beds for the more than 1 million visitors expected to flood Philadelphia when Pope Francis visits in September, particularly for those trying to be frugal. So Belinda Lewis Held had to be creative when it came to sheltering the more than 1,000 young people she's guiding that weekend: They'll be bunking down in museums, classrooms and churches.

"They're young and they don't mind the floors. They'll bring sleeping bags or yoga mats and pillows," said Lewis Held, director of group travel for APilgrimsJourney.com, a Pittsburgh company that organizes worldwide Catholic tours. "They're willing to rough it for Pope Francis."

With the papal visit imminent and the city's 11,500 hotel rooms filling up quickly, wannabe visitors are thinking outside the box(spring) when it comes to lodgings, particularly when they want to keep costs down.

Philadelphia officials may permit camping in some public parks, and untraditional offerings have appeared online. On Airbnb, a Delaware River houseboat was booked but a converted dance studio was still available late this week. Craigslist had a listing for an empty warehouse and multiple couch surfing options.


Original source: The Associated Press via The New York Times
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American Idol to hold auditions for final season in Philadelphia

As the reality TV juggernaut nears retirement, it's coming to Philadelphia to search for singers.

If you’ve been waiting to audition for the hit Fox-TV show “American Idol, “ your last chance may be upon you – and luckily an audition opportunity is coming nearby for the show’s final season.

“American Idol” 15 auditions will be held Aug. 2 at Temple University’s Liacouras Center, 1776 N. Broad St., Philadelphia.

The stop is among  five scheduled stops auditions that started July 10 at Denver Coliseum in Colorado. The next is scheduled for Wednesday at Martin Luther King, Jr. Arena in Savannah, Ga. Other scheduled stops are Aug. 8 at Verizon Arena in Little Rock, Ark., and Sept. 15 at Cow Palace in San Francisco, Calif.

Those who wish to audition will line up the morning of Aug. 2 at The Liacouras Center to register. If you wait until late in the day on audition day to register, the auditions may run out of space and time.


Original source: Allentown Morning Call
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The Inquirer checks in with Oxford Mills, the teacher-targeted development

We told you about Oxford Mills back in 2013. This teacher-centric development in Kensington draws a community of like-minded young people.
 
Oxford Mills is the first development of its kind in the city, billing itself as an "urban oasis for teachers and nonprofits." It features 114 apartments, most of which are rented to teachers at a discount, and just under 40,000 square feet of office space, most of which is leased by education-related companies.

The project originated when Philadelphia developers Greg Hill and Gabe Canuso joined with Baltimore-based Seawall Development, the outfit that in 2009 pioneered teacher housing complexes in that city. Hill and Canuso, who turned their attention from luxury projects to more socially conscious work, loved the idea of a space for educators, they said.

"We've heard so many stories about newer teachers, younger teachers that really struggle," Hill said. "Landing in tough schools without a lot of resources - it's a challenge. But to come home and have colleagues to communicate and share ideas with, they're more energized and supported."

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer
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Putting the city's youth to work over the summer

Fewer American teenagers are holding down summer jobs. Some organizations are working hard to combat the problem.

The absence of work means more than having no money for a mobile phone or a night out with friends. A summer job can provide essential experience that is crucial to snagging better jobs later, experts say. Research shows that for every year teenagers work while in high school, income rises an average of 15 percent when they are in their 20s.

If that’s true for Nasir Mack, he may be wealthy by the time he turns 30. The 16-year-old is starting his third summer in the Philadelphia Youth Network’s WorkReady program. In the past, he was employed by an engineering company and a community college. This summer, he will work at the city’s Office of Housing and Community Development.

When Nasir first heard about the program through friends, he jumped at the chance, given the alternative. “I’m not going to be doing anything but sitting in the house,” he said. “Why would I want to do that when there are so many things out there you can be doing?”


Original source: The New York Times
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Philly rapper has number one album in the country

Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill has the number one album in the country.

Meek Mill is the new top musical act in the U.S., vaulting to No. 1 on the Billboard Artist 100 (dated July 18), as the arrival of his new album fuels his vault to the top. The rapper dethrones Taylor Swift, who drops to No. 2 after spending a record 31st nonconsecutive week at No. 1.

Original source: Billboard
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The New York Times highlights SoNo development, office space for millenials

This ambitious project between Chinatown and Northern Liberties looks to attract young workers.

The 250,000-square-foot building, now occupied by a distributor of maternity clothing, will be remade into a center for media, advertising and technology companies, under plans recently announced by the developer, Alliance Partners HSP.

The building, in an industrial zone between Philadelphia’s Chinatown and the rapidly developing Northern Liberties neighborhood, will be reconfigured at a cost of about $50 million into space expected to accommodate up to eight tenants employing a total of 1,000 to 1,500 workers in an open-plan arrangement, the developer said...

The project aims to tap into an influx of millennials — those born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s — who are being drawn to Philadelphia by growing job opportunities and housing that, for now, is more affordable than that in Washington or New York.

The city is also retaining more local university students who are staying after graduation in response to the growing job market, greater availability of housing, improved amenities such as public parks, and a vibrant downtown restaurant scene.

By creating the new space on the southern edge of the already millennial-rich Northern Liberties and within a 20-minute walk of City Hall, Alliance believes it will be well positioned to attract tenants that employ the targeted work force...

Mr. Previdi said the new space — named SoNo, for south of Northern Liberties — will be designed to encourage the collaboration that is highly valued by tenants like software companies. “They want everybody talking; they want everybody sharing ideas,” he said.

The redesign will minimize the amount of individual employee space while allowing more for common areas like a cafeteria, a gym and parking space for 70 bicycles. Alliance plans to begin construction by the end of this year, and to complete the project within 24 months.


Original source: The New York Times
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Philly could become U.S.'s first UNESCO World Heritage City

The City of Brotherly Love is set to become the country's first city to earn this prestigious designation.

Philadelphia is on track to receive a World Heritage City designation this year, which would make it the only U.S. city to have such a distinction.

There are about 270 cities on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's World Heritage Cities program, but none are in the United States...

"Some have said it's almost like a Sister Cities program on steroids," said Zabeth Teelucksingh, executive director of the Global Philadelphia Association, who added it appears likely Philly will make the list.

"We're told that it's 95 percent," said Teelucksingh, who explained more sites are added each year during the annual meeting...

The designation would be a boon for Philadelphia, likely increasing travel and business in the city, Teelucksingh said.
"It's a global thing; it's automatically international," she said. "It's like being part of a brand that's automatically global."


Original source: Philadelphia Business Journal
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Is the country's best pizza made in Philadelphia?

Bon Appetit thinks so, shining a light on Pizzeria Beddia in Philly's Fishtown neighborhood.

When I visited Pizzeria Beddia a few months after its March 2013 opening, I didn’t know what to expect. Solid neighborhood pizza made by an owner who cared? I figured I’d order a pie, congratulate Beddia on realizing his dream, and head to my next meal—the real reason I was in town. Beddia’s food would likely be a solid addition to the Philly scene, perhaps even the East Coast. As it turned out, Pizzeria Beddia was one of those beautiful eating experiences that still haunts me. I wasn’t on vacation, and there wasn’t some well-designed setting distorting my senses. It was just me and that pizza in a forgettable space. But it changed everything.

Original source: Bon Appetit
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Financial Times spotlights Elixr Coffee Roasters in Center City

Financial Times shows some love for Elixr Coffee Roasters in its Business Travel section.

Stumbling in by accident is practically impossible, as the café is located on a side street with little foot traffic and has just a nondescript sign on the front door.

The lucky few who find the place are rewarded with a lively ambience and decor, premium low-roast coffee sourced from Central and South America and vegan doughnuts baked fresh each morning.

Despite the minimal branding, Elixr has become a popular haunt in the Center City district -- for business people, students, entrepreneurs and start-ups looking to collaborate or share ideas. Private and communal seating is plentiful, with two-seater tables as well as a lounge area and community tables.


Original source: Financial Times
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Fette Sau's chef pens barbecue cookbook

Joe Carroll, the man behind Fette Sau -- the one in Brooklyn and the one in Philadelphia's Fishtown neighborhood -- has some tips on 'cue.

You just want to grill a better steak than the one you grilled last summer, or smoke a better brisket, or fire up a basket of vegetables that will leave your guests swooning. You don’t want to feel as if doing any of that is going to be a campaign. You’re not looking to go pro.

If so, Joe Carroll’s “Feeding the Fire” (Artisan, $29.95), written with Nick Fauchald, may be the most useful book of the current season. A collection of strategies and lessons as much as one of recipes and pronouncements, the book offers a helpful primer to those seeking guidance on an elementary question that bedevils many: how to use a grill or a smoker to their best effect under varying circumstances, all summer long.

Mr. Carroll is hardly barbecue royalty. He’s a home cook from New Jersey with no formal culinary training who runs a small kingdom of bars and restaurants in Brooklyn and Philadelphia devoted to the pleasures of live-fire cooking, most notably Fette Sau and St. Anselm. His kitchens celebrate no native barbecue tradition beyond Brooklyn’s own, which is to say: Mr. Carroll puts char on the food, and accompanies it with flavors that are of interest to his palate, wherever they come from.


Original source: The New York Times
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The Wells Fargo Center is no more (at least according to the Sixers)

The bank declined to become partners with the franchise, so the Sixers are now referring to their home as simply "The Center."

The Philadelphia 76ers have 86ed the corporate name to their home arena.

The Sixers have decided to stop referring to the Wells Fargo Center by name in all news releases and on the team website because the financial institution chose not to become a business partner with the basketball franchise.

This season, the 76ers started referring to the 20,000-seat arena simply as The Center.

Some fans thought that was just a marketing idea to develop a catchy nickname for the arena instead of referring to the corporate title.

But the Sixers started sending press releases stating events would be held "at the Sixers' home arena."

A June 9 release touting auditions for a Sixers dance team gives the full address for the arena but omits the name.

Chris Heck, chief revenue officer of the 76ers, said the team values its partners and tries to maximize its relationships.

"We also continue to enjoy our relationship with Comcast Spectacor as tenants at a world-class arena, but that particular bank is currently not a sponsor of the Philadelphia 76ers," Heck said.


Wells Fargo, which has a naming rights deal on the arena through 2024, declined comment.


Original source: The New York Times
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Stereogum heaps praise on Philly's music scene

The indie site took a broad look at the City of Brotherly Love's hot local scene.

Cayetana have agreed to spend the afternoon showing me around Philadelphia, a city that has quietly become the unexpected capital of American rock music. We’ve just exited Long In The Tooth, the band’s favorite record store. While the store’s clerk went on about some group who sounded like “a British Marked Men,” Cayetana’s singer and guitarist, Augusta Koch — her hair bluer than her jean jacket — eyed a vinyl copy of Bob Mould’s The District Line. She picked it up, and then decided she should probably not spend too much this week. Before we left, she grabbed a copy of the new Mountain Goats album, and drummer Kelly Olsen — wearing a vintage but, I’m told, not ironic New York Mets T-shirt — bought a copy of the Muffs’ Whoop Dee Do, even though she’s moving soon and it’s going to be just one more thing to pack...

“I can usually tell when something’s happening, more than not, by the increase of phone calls I get from A&R guys,” says Bruce Warren, assistant station manager for WXPN, Philadelphia’s listener-supported radio station. “Last year, every week I got a phone call from someone, indie and major, asking, ‘Who’s the band that I need to see?’ They’re smelling blood.”

One of the first things Warren impresses upon me is that the Philadelphia music scene has always been great, and he’s correct. This town has given the world the Roots, Jill Scott, Will Smith, Todd Rundgren, Diplo, Gamble & Huff, and the Philadelphia Sound; Warren even has nice things to say about the Hooters. But six years ago, Warren began to notice a proliferation of new bands, venues, and recording studios in his hometown. The rising buzz inspired him to help create the Key, a section of the WXPN website designed to highlight local talent. It launched in 2010, and nearly every significant band in Philadelphia was featured on the site — and there’s no small amount of significant bands in town these days.


Original source: Stereogum
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Philly Little Leaguers head south for a trip through history

The New York Times' Frank Bruni writes about the confluence of baseball and black history through the lens of the Anderson Monarchs and their star Mo'ne Davis. 

Last summer, a 13-year-old named Mo’ne Davis landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated, a national sensation after she pitched a shutout in the Little League World Series, where almost all of the other players are boys. She’s believed to be the only black girl ever to participate in the competition.

This summer, she plans to do something else surprising: Visit the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., where four black girls were killed in a 1963 bombing. Three of them were 14. Mo’ne will turn that age on the day she shows up at the landmark...

But over three weeks in late June and early July, she and 13 other kids on her team here — the rest of them boys, most of them black, all roughly her age — have a schedule of exhibition games across the country that mixes exhilarating notes with somber ones.

They’re not just hitting the road. They’re taking it south, into history: the church in Birmingham, the bridge in Selma. They’ll play ball, then visit Little Rock Central High School, a battleground in the fight to integrate schools. They’ll swing for the fences, then bow their heads at the house in Jackson, Miss., where Medgar Evers lived...

Throughout the year, the team has been meeting weekly to watch movies and discuss reading assignments about the African-American experience and civil rights. In advance of a summer tour in 2012 of cities and stadiums that were important in the Negro Leagues, Bandura required that they study up on the history of baseball and its integration.


Original source: The New York Times
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251 Media Articles | Page: | Show All
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