NoLibs: One of 26 “Most Hipster” Hoods in the World

According to Business Insider, Northern Liberties isn’t just one of the “most hipster” neighborhoods in Philadelphia; it’s one of the most hipster neighborhoods in the world. Lauren Browning explains the criteria:

The hipster population is spreading nationally and internationally. Skinny jeans-wearing, beard-toting 20- and 30-somethings are flocking to areas in which they feel right at home.

I swear this was written this year. Here’s how and why Philly made the list:

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VIDEO: The Rebirth of the Navy Yard

Rendering of the Navy Yard Master Plan. By PIDC via Technically Philly.

Rendering of the Navy Yard Master Plan. By PIDC via Technically Philly.

Mayoral would-be Terry Gillen gave a TEDxPhiladelphia lecture earlier this year in which she discussed the revival and ever-evolving transformation of what was once an abandoned military base in South Philadelphia: the Navy Yard, now a “vibrant urban business park” that is only just getting started on its new life.

Check it out:

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Morning Headlines: Kensington Blight To Be Rehabbed Into Mixed-Use Civic House

Photo via Google Street View

Less than a block from the El’s Somerset Station in Kensington is a former textile building that’s been falling apart for ages. It’s not the only property with a similar history in the area, but unlike most of those dilapidated structures, this one will cease to be an eyesore very soon.

PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports the zoning board has voted to approve the proposed Orinoka Mills Civic House redevelopment project at East Somerset and Ruth Streets. This project, which is being developed by the New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCD), involves rehabbing the site into a mixed-use property with 51 apartment units, 26 car spaces, “community space for NKDC” and a coffee shop.

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Abandoned Railroad in Fox Chase Could Soon Be a Park Trail

Photo credit: Google Street View.

Photo credit: Google Street View.

If you’ve ever walked by the Fox Chase Regional Rail Station in Northeast Philly, you may have noticed a long-abandoned railroad bed taking up precious space across from it. That site, we are now happy to report, might in due time breathe new life as a park trail.

The tracks, which were once a continuation of the Fox Chase-Newtown Line, stopped being used by SEPTA in the early ’80s. William Kenney at the Northeast Times now reports the Planning Commission has succeeded in acquiring grant funds to “study the conversion of SEPTA’s abandoned Fox Chase-Newtown Line into a park trail,” a part of which has already been repurposed as Lorimer Trail on the Montgomery County side.

The news, which included the Commission getting a second grant for another study that would look into putting sidewalks on the Rockwell-Hasbrook section of Oxford Avenue, was announced by local resident Chuck Tucker earlier this month during a Fox Chase Homeowners Association and Town Watch meeting,

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ThinkFest Videos: On Philly Street Art, the New Comcast Tower, and Drexel’s Neighborhood Vision

ThinkFest was filled with innovative voices discussing Philadelphia’s evolving landscape. Below are just a few video selections from speakers who were at the event: urban explorer and photographer Conrad Benner, Senior Comcast Vice President Karen Buchholz and Drexel President John Fry.

(Pssst! And you can watch more videos here!)

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Property’s Weekend Agenda: The Skyspace in Chestnut Hill

Photo credit: Flickr user camera_obscura [busy].

Photo credit: Flickr user camera_obscura [busy].

Last November, we reported the new meetinghouse for Chestnut Hill Friends was a total success. Light artist James Turrell’s addition to the structure–one of his signature skyspace light installations that are well-known throughout the country–made the building even better.

Uwishunu’s Kristina Jenkins reports many visitors have flocked to see the Skyspace since then (our own Liz Spikol did so, see the above link if you didn’t already!), with spectacular dawn and dusk viewings occurring throughout the year. This weekend, the mini event will be on Sunday. We suggest you go!

And don’t worry about the event time, either. The registration (yes, you must reserve your spot, but it’s still free!) lists the viewing as 4:39pm, so aim for a 4:20-4:30 arrival if you don’t want to miss the show!

Details below.

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ThinkFest Recap: Why the New Comcast Skyscraper Will Be Great for Philly

Missed Thinkfest? Not to worry, we have a social media roundup of the highlights. Here’s one of Comcast Senior Vice President Karen Buchholz telling us why the upcoming Comcast Innovation and Technolgy Center will be great for the city:

Karen Buchholz, senior vp, Comcast, makes a case for the new Comcast building in 15 seconds. #ThinkFest

A video posted by Philadelphia Magazine (@phillymag) on

Morning Headlines: Neighbors Say Dranoff’s One Ardmore Place Is Too Tall

One-Ardmore-Place-Logo

Dranoff Properties’ One Ardmore Place was off to a rocky start and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. According to Cheryl Allison at the Main Line Times, residents recently banded together at a meeting to express their disapproval for the redevelopment project’s height.

During a forum with the Lower Merion Township Board of Commissioners this past Wednesday, neighbors wore t-shirts with the words “Save Cricket Lot 4 Ardmore” and argued that the sections of the planned mixed-use building that rise up eight stories do not adhere to the neighborhood’s character. They then reiterated past complaints, as well. From the Main Line Times: Read more »

$1.1 Million State Grant to Aid Northwest Philly’s Wayfinding Project

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill and other neighborhoods in Northwest Philadelphia are about to see a massive makeover thanks to Mt. Airy USA, a community development group heavily involved, PlanPhilly’s Daniel Pasquarello says, in neighborhood revitalization projects.

In this instance, the group is spearheading the Connecting & Building Philadelphia’s Safest Corridors project, which involves creating a “much-needed regional wayfinding system of signs” and “the installation of 10 shelters along some of the area’s busiest bus routes.”

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Morning Headlines: The Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk Makes Philadelphia Better

Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk | Photograph by Laura Kicey

Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk | Photograph by Laura Kicey

What raises the quality of a city? According to Better! Cities & Towns editor Robert Steuteville, there are four things that are key creating a “strong sense of place” within any given town: walkability, the presence of culture and arts, history and its preservation and, finally, a “connection to nature.”

Does that sound like any place you know?

Philadelphia may meet the first three, but it’s only in the last few years that the last element has started to move toward reaching its full potential. Steuteville points to New York’s High Line as a dramatic example of this city-nature relationship, but says Philly now has a similar thing going on with its Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk:
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