It was such heartbreak for the Cedar Park neighborhood of University City when Elena’s Soul, a restaurant, bar and community gathering spot at 49th and Baltimore, burned down on Christmas Eve last year.
Compounding the tragedy, the Cedar Park Cafe and Gary’s Nails, two adjoining businesses, suffered damage as well and had to close indefinitely.
Photo: Bradley Maule
In Next City, Patrick Kerkstra makes Philly negative exceptionalists feel better by pointing out that while Philadelphia demolition regulations are, indeed, lax, it’s far from alone. His lede is priceless:
“In Philadelphia, a city with a rich history of municipal incompetence, there’s a natural impulse to assume the worst about city government when tragedy strikes…”
But that wouldn’t be fair, he says. In fact, Kerkstra analyzed 12 cities and found that Philadelphia’s inadequate supervision of demolition is typical of many large cities. So much so that this could, Kerkstra points out, happen anywhere.
Little Baby's famous carts from whence the treats come. Photo by Mike Persico.
Cedar Park in University City is undergoing more transformation. Now old bowling shoes depart and non-dairy milkshakes move in.