Chester, Montgomery Counties Are Hotbeds for Texting and Driving

texting2

The above chart comes from The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a “legislative agency” of the Pennsylvania General Assembly that produces publications and reports for lawmakers. It recently published this map of texting-while-driving citations in 2013, showing that the 8th and 10th counties with the most texting-while-driving citations in Pennsylvania are Chester and Montgomery, respectively.

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Remarkable Erwinna Estate Once Owned by Famed Humorist S.J. Perelman

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It is hard to pick out a single remarkable detail from this home. In addition to the stunning 83-acre lot and the solarium with a living wall of ivy, the estate was once owned by noted humorist and writer, S.J. Perelman. Sidney Joseph Perelman, of course, was the co-writer for Marx Brothers screenplays including Monkey Business and Horse Feathers. He also co-wrote Around the World in Eighty Days, for which he earned an Oscar. His surrealist writing in The New Yorker made him a household name in the 1930s and 1940s.

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Weekend Open Houses: Counties Edition

1320 Lafayette Road, Gladwyne, PA.

1320 Lafayette Road, Gladwyne, PA.

This weekend we decided to spotlight homes from each of the four counties surrounding Philadelphia. For Delco, we chose a recently renovated house that has a fireplace with a raised hearth and a cute wood stove insert. And with warmer days soon to come, we thought its salt water swimming pool was worth a mention too.

Our Chester County choice might seem familiar, and that’s because it is. We featured Strawberry Hollow Farm a little over a week ago, but now you can go see the farmhouse’s cathedral ceilings in person. The brick Colonial in Montco has a cherry-paneled den, vaulted ceilings and hardwood floors, and in the family room there’s a wood stove insert. Outside, a swimming pool.

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Morning Headlines: Bucks County Is in Development Slump

Bucks County Courthouse. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Bucks County Courthouse.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Yesterday’s headline in the Bucks County Courier-Times was not encouraging: “Bucks report shows sluggish development.” James McGinnis’ list of superlatives was no less damning:

Applications for new housing and industry remain at some of the lowest levels recorded in more than a generation.

Proposals for new commercial development are at the lowest levels recorded in 32 years.

The Bucks County Planning Commission estimates builders would “impact” just 368 acres. That’s the lowest amount ever recorded by the county.

There were several communities that had zero development — zilch — including Langhorne, Upper Southampton and Yardley. There is some good news, though.

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Meet the Olympic Bronze Medalist from Bucks County

Jamie Greubel and Aja Evans (USA) celebrate winning bronze in women's bobsleigh during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Sanki Sliding Center. Photo | Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports

Jamie Greubel (left) and Aja Evans celebrate winning bronze in women’s bobsleigh during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Sanki Sliding Center. Photo | Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports

There are two native Philly-area athletes competing in the winter Olympics, by my count. One, Chris Creveling, of Easton, is a speed skater. You haven’t heard of him because he finished 10th and 21st in his two events so far.

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Day In The Life: Vault Brewing Co.’s John Cain

Yardley Vault Brewing Co John Cain

Photography by Courtney Apple

Coffee is the most important part of my morning. I roast my own and hand-grind it. The whole process takes about 25 minutes. It’s the least efficient way to get a cup of coffee. Rojo’s Roastery in Lambertville is the only place outside of Philly where you can get a good cup. // I’m normally in the [1] brewery, which is in an old bank, by 9 or 10 a.m. We only schedule our brewing four weeks out, but we always try to have certain styles: [2] a stout or porter, an IPA, an approachable beer like Belgian blond, and a special seasonal beer like a hefeweizen. // I wear [3] &Work Vocation shirts—you can wear them to nice restaurants, or to move 50-pound bags of grain. There’s always a penholder in the most ridiculous places. // [4] Charcoal in Yardley is the best fine dining in Bucks County. They’re always rotating their menu. It’s more like a local diner for breakfast. I love the blueberry-pistachio pancakes. They’re decadent. // [5] James Lasdun’s The Horned Man; I think he’s an exceptionally talented writer. Not for the faint of heart. // John’s Barber Shop in Newtown is the best place to get a haircut in Bucks. It’s old-school, and you can get a beer during your cut. // We have [6] live jazz at the Vault every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. But in the city, Ortlieb’s Lounge is an old and funky jazz spot. // Everything that Ardmore’s Tired Hands Brewing Company puts out is fantastic. Inventive beers in a comfy atmosphere. // Finch’s Beer Co.’s Secret Stache Stout is full-bodied, chocolaty and inky black. A perfect winter beer.

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First appeared in the February, 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

Modern Bucks Retreat With Stream (and Bidet) of One’s Own

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New Hope is itself a great respite from the city and some of its more densely populated suburbs. This beautiful modern home is a respite even from New Hope. The three-bedroom home is situated on 12 acres at the end of a winding driveway that spans your very own stream. Lush landscaping conveys the sense of a private escape even though New Hope’s bars and restaurants are a five-minute drive away.

The home’s architecture is spare enough to be modern but still retains warmth – both figurative and literal. A stone fireplace on the first floor towers into the lofted second story before hitting the roof. The master suite is on the ground floor and two additional bedrooms are upstairs. Bonus: the master bath features a bidet, if you’re into that kind of thing. The kitchen has been updated with a Viking stove and a Sub Zero refrigerator.

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Luxury Log Home Designed by Michael Ryan

michael ryan log home

Detail of photo of image of log home designed by Michael Ryan Architects from the firm’s website.

This unique log home — with more than 6,000 square feet, it really can’t be called a cabin — was built out of Montana Lodge Pole pines

Built from pine wood from Lodge Pole, Montana, this four-bedroom was designed by Michael Ryan Architects in 1996 as a central gathering place for an extended family. The firm tried to keep it local for materials like blue stone and limestone flooring, and chose a building style meant to complement the rural 8 acre landscape.

The structure has what’s called an upside-down floorplan, which is not nearly as delicious as upside-down cake, but can be a nice change of pace. Here, the first floor includes not only the kitchen, dining room and living room, as expected, but also the master bedroom, which includes a two-person shower (romantic) and a sauna. There are all kinds of other amenities — tropical hardwood deck, radiant heat, hot tub, even a stocked pond — but there’s no question it’s the logs that make the home so unusual.

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