Celebrity Chef Brian Duffy Opens Restaurant In Philly

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Chef Brian Duffy of Spike TV’s Bar Rescue, partnered with local brewing company, Flying Fish Brewing Co opens Flying Fish Crafthouse in the Brewerytown neighborhood in Philadelphia.  Formerly the Acme Markets warehouse, the new eatery is located on the first floor of the newly opened luxurious apartments The Fairmount at Brewerytown developed by McSpain Properties (Dana Spain and Sean McGovern.)  On Sunday night there was a VIP celebration to mark the opening. Guests enjoyed delicious selections from the menu which compromises of comfort food like handcrafted burgers, mac & cheese, specialty fries and sandwiches;  a curated menu of only the best American craft beers, and top-shelf liquors and wines.  The restaurant serves dinner and a late night menu, and eventually will serve lunch and brunch. Chef Duffy is also a big military supporter, so active military, reserve and veterans, as well as first responders with ID will receive a 15% discount every day at The Flying Fish Crafthouse. At the VIP party donations were collected which were going directly to Philadelphia Veteran’s Comfort House, a local non-profit.

Photos after the jump »

Yo, Philly: Remember The 1966-67 Sixers?

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The 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers didn’t have multimillion-dollar contracts, or limos to ferry them to airports, or personal assistants to tend to their every whim. But they did have each other, and if you think that reads like the beginning of a blurb on the back of a Disney movie — or worse yet, alternate lyrics to a Bon Jovi song — hang on for a minute.

The NBA, and the sports world as a whole, was a vastly different place back then. The league had a mere 10 teams. Three-point shots wouldn’t be added to the action for another 13 years. Most players had to find work in the offseason to make ends meet. ESPN wasn’t around to show off highlights from every game, and no one was yelling about trading a slumping player on sports-talk radio.

“You basically just had the one coach and a trainer, and 10 or 11 players,” says Matt Guokas, 72, the Mayfair native who starred as shooting guard and small forward on his hometown team. And that close-knit group of guys made history, ending the Boston Celtics’ hated dynasty en route to winning the Sixers’ first NBA title since the franchise relocated to Philly from Syracuse in 1964. The NBA would later name that Sixers squad the greatest of all time during the league’s 35th anniversary in 1980. (Cue loud arguments about other teams that deserve that recognition.)

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Is This Bizarre Video Featuring Kurt Vile and Connor Barwin … Art?

I just watched this video, in which Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Connor Barwin and Philadelphia guitar-rock master Kurt Vile advertise Vile’s New Year’s Eve show at the Fillmore in Fishtown as well as some new tour dates and the New Year’s Day football game between the Eagles and the Cowboys. I have to say: This might be art. Read more »

Council Members Push to Protect More of Philly’s Historic Architecture

The three buildings at left in this photo are the ones Toll Brothers has acquired in connection with its plan to build a mixed-use residential-retail structure in the heart of Jewelers’ Row. | Photo: Oscar Beisert

The three buildings at left in this photo are the ones Toll Brothers has acquired in connection with its plan to build a mixed-use residential-retail structure in the heart of Jewelers’ Row. | Photo: Oscar Beisert

A bill introduced in City Council on Thursday morning could end up nearly doubling the budget of the Philadelphia Historical Commission, a small department charged with protecting the city’s historic architecture that preservationists say has barely enough resources to do its most basic jobs.

The bill, introduced by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown and co-sponsored by Mark Squilla and Al Taubenberger, and supported by the Kenney administration, would enact fees for permits that need to be reviewed by the Historical Commission. Commission staff currently must sign off on building, alteration, and demolition permits that affect historic properties and districts. That work takes up the vast majority of staff time, leaving little time left over to identify and designate historic properties, as the commission’s director, Jon Farnham, has acknowledged. Read more »

How to Be a True Ally in Trump’s America

Photo by Ernest Owens

Photo by Ernest Owens

Who would have ever imagined living in a world where images of safety pins would be tacked onto buildings? Walking past Metropolitan Cafe in University City over the weekend, I noticed a bold laminated photo of a safety pin posted on the front door. Just when I thought this new crazed obsession with showcasing visible pseudo-allyship for people of color, immigrants, Muslims, and other diverse communities that Donald Trump had bashed was winding down, others have clearly taken it to the next level. Read more »

Could the 2016 SEPTA Strike Be the Last One Ever?

SEPTA 15th Street Station closed - locked gate

Two laws offer the possibility of making scenes like this a thing of the past. | Photo: Dan McQuade

Now that Transport Workers Union Local 234 has ratified a new, five-year contract that was pretty much what SEPTA had offered it on the eve of this latest transit strike — and which completely fails to address any of the valid scheduling matters the union raised during the run-up to the strike — it may be time to ask once again: Isn’t there some way we can get SEPTA and the TWU to end this recurring brinksmanship?

The answer to that question might be “yes,” but remember, this is Philadelphia, where old habits don’t die without a fight and contentious labor relations have a long and storied history. The union that has represented the bulk of SEPTA’s workforce since 1944 has a history of militancy, and it’s managed to maintain that reputation by walking more often than not when contract renewal time comes. Read more »

Want To Shop And Help Some Local Non-profits?

emma fried cassorla papercutMaybe you made a huge dent in your holiday shopping on Black Friday. Or maybe you didn’t even scratch the surface, and just spent the day whispering sweet nothings to your precious leftovers. (We’re not judging.)

Either way, you can scratch a few people off your gift list right now and help a bunch of local non-profits in the process — and it won’t require more than just lifting a finger or two. Emma Fried-Cassorla, the founder of Philly Love Notes and former promoter of good vibes at waterfront attractions like Spruce Street Harbor Park and Winterfest, is donating all of the profits from sales of her custom wood and glass map creations from now until Tuesday night to seven organizations: The Sunday Breakfast Mission, the Fairmount Park Conservancy, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, the Black Star Film Festival, the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia, the People’s Emergency Center, and the Asian Arts Initiative.

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Enough With the Free Turkeys, Politicians — Get Serious About Reducing Poverty

Whole Homemade Thanksgiving Turkey

The older I get, the more I realize that for all of the progress Philadelphia prides itself on, there is still so much that needs to be done.

As I look around my West Philly neighborhood, not enough has changed in recent years to end the harsh realities facing inner-city Philadelphians each day. Every morning when I catch the Market-Frankford SEPTA line down 52nd Street, I pass by the same guys on the corner who are selling drugs as a way to survive. They’re young, black and unemployed — they’re partaking in a hustle that I’ve learned to not judge given that they’re not afforded many other alternatives. When entering the station, I also encounter similar traumatic images of homeless individuals sleeping near the stairwell.

And yet, each year our local elected officials give out turkeys instead of legislation to address the poverty that’s been plaguing our city for decades now. There’s something symbolic about this well-meaning tradition: It’s a Band-Aid on an epidemic, an action meant to look good (and make elected officials feel good), but that actually does very little. We’re still the poorest major city in the nation, and almost nothing has changed since officials announced an anti-poverty plan in 2013.  Read more »

This All Seems Very Familiar, Say Philly Holocaust Survivors

George Sakheim, a Philadelphia-area Holocaust survivor, places a message into a time capsule at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s "What You Do Matters" dinner on Wednesday evening. Photo courtesy of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

George Sakheim, a Philadelphia-area Holocaust survivor, places a message into a time capsule at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s “What You Do Matters” dinner on Wednesday evening. Photo courtesy of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

He is 93 now, old enough to remember gleefully casting a vote for Franklin Roosevelt in the fall of 1944. But George Sakheim has no trouble calling upon memories from even earlier in life, revisiting his childhood with the ease of a man flipping through a photo album.

This one is from 1933. He and his mother were living in Berlin then, the two of them still wading through the grief of his father’s sudden death from a ruptured appendix a few years earlier. Sakheim was in the fourth grade, and on this particular day, he and his classmates were herded to an auditorium for an assembly. A special guest wanted to speak to the children.

And once Adolf Hitler opened his mouth and started discussing his vision for revitalizing Germany — and grousing about the things he believed were holding it back —  Sakheim knew something was terribly wrong. Read more »

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