What You’ll Be Eating at Pope Fest

pope-stage-1-940x540Our intrepid reporter HughE Dillon was on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway while preparations continue to be made for the Pope’s visit this weekend. Along the way, HughE snapped this shot of the food and drink menu for the weekend at 20th and the Parkway.

There aren’t any cheesesteaks on the menu but there is a Philly flair with Federal Street Soft Pretzels ($3), Italian hoagies ($9) and Italian sausages ($7). Not bad prices, especially when compared to the $5, 20-ounce bottles of Coca-Cola. As HughE points out, that’s a dollar more than Made in America. Also worth noting, no alcohol for sale.

Read more »

Beyoncé to Headline Made in America Festival



Beyoncé will headline one night of the fourth-annual Made in America Festival. R&B artist The Weeknd will headline the other. It is Beyoncé’s second time headlining a night at the festival; she previously closed out the first night in 2013.

Other artists on the bill include De La Soul, Axwell & Ingrosso, J. Cole, Bassnectar, Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, Banks, Meek Mill, Big Sean, Future, Santigold, Nick Jonas, Matric, A-Trak and DJ Mustard. Philly’s own Creepoid is also playing the show. Read more »

Glowing Pedicab Sculptures to Hit the Parkway in 2016

Digital rendering of “Fireflies” on the Parkway, courtesy of Cai Studio.

Digital rendering of “Fireflies” on the Parkway, courtesy of Cai Studio.

It was announced this week that 50 local artists and cultural organizations will receive a total of $9.6 million in grants from the Pew Center for the Arts and Heritage, which means several projects that have been living in the heads of local artists will finally have a chance to see the light of day. Keep your eyes out for announcements from local organizations, including this cool idea from the Association of Public Art (aPA).

Read more »

Heller: “If You’re Going to Hire Gehry, Let’s Do Gehry”

art museum plan

East Terrace Aerial Mockup. Image via the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Greg Heller, author of Ed Bacon: Planning, Politics and the Building of Modern Philadelphia, knows something about the planning and evolution of Philadelphia’s Parkway. Aside from Inga Saffron, there are few people I can think of more qualified to offer an opinion on Frank Gehry’s plans for the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA), now on view there in “Making a Classic Modern: Frank Gehry’s Master Plan for the Philadelphia Museum of Art.”

While other critics have basically said, “Thank god Gehry’s plans for the museum don’t seem very Gehry-ish” — in other words, he’s kept himself in check in our rather conservative, Quaker city — Heller finds himself disappointed by the absence of Gehry’s flamboyance:

The exhibit showcases the results of a design process that has been going on since 2006—seriously, that’s eight years of planning by one of the top architects of our time, famous for massive, ambitious, bizarrely shaped, twisted sculptures of metal that (like them or not) become a permanent and recognizable fixture in their cities’ urban landscapes. Even if I didn’t like the proposed renovation design, I figured at least it would be ambitious and interesting. It was neither.

Heller knew it wasn’t going to be Bilbao — after all, the design is primarily underground, as he notes — but he thought we might get something “iconic and visionary—perhaps our own version of I.M. Pei’s pyramid at the Louvre, but Gehryesque.” Instead, he says, Gehry has offered a pallid plan for an “amazingly boring” museum expansion.

Read more »

Morning Headlines: Inga Saffron’s Take on Building Plan Behind Rodin

Photo by jcapaldi</a" via Flickr.

Photo by jcapaldi via Flickr.

An apartment building has been proposed for the narrow space behind the Rodin Museum, and you can bet the Inquirer’s Inga Saffron has feelings about it (and her usual well-reasoned, bigger-picture analysis).

At issue is not just the aesthetics of the grounds ringing the well-loved museum. There’s also the city’s “low line” rail park to consider. The “low line,” of course, is the underground equivalent to the city’s other dreamed-of rail park. Should the Cross Properties (owned by David Blumenfeld — not that Blumenfeld, but his brother) plan move forward as proposed, the nascent park idea would be kaput.

Saffron explains:

Read more »

Financing Secured for Rodin Square Apartments

A rendering of Rodin Square, courtesy of the project's developers

A rendering of Rodin Square, courtesy of the project’s developers

The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that the 293-unit apartment building to be part of the planned Rodin Square complex has received a $20 million loan to finance its groundbreaking. The complex, which was approved in the fall, will face the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and take up much of the block bounded by 21st, 22nd, Spring Garden, and Hamilton streets. In addition to the residences, it will include a 55,000-square-foot Whole Foods with underground parking, a “sky park” with an outdoor pool for residents, several commercial spaces, and a parking garage for residents.

Read more »

Rita’s Ices Available in Center City Parks

Sister Cities Park |Photo via Center City District

Sister Cities Park |Photo via Center City District

Rita’s Italian Ices are now available at Sister Cities Park (18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway) and John F. Collins Park (1707 Chestnut Street). Cool off while enjoying the Sister Cities boat pond or while relaxing in the shade on Chestnut Street. Both stands are open daily from noon to 7 pm.

Rita’s Italian Ices [Official]

Farm Fest Comes to the Parkway


The Oval returns to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with Farm Fest. This Thursday, April 17th through Saturday, April 19, the Parkway will once again a gathering place for people looking for games, music, food and some Victory Brewing Company beers.

Thursday’s event takes place from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. with food trucks and Victory Brewing Company’s brewpub on wheels showing up at 5 p.m. Farm Truck, Street Food Philly, Reuben on Rye, Little Baby’s Ice Cream and Calling Card Confections from the Greensgrow Commissary will all be on hand. TJ Kong & the Atomic Bomb will be performing.

More Farm Fest at the Oval events » 

« Older Posts