VIDEO: How to Make The Neighborhood You Want

We have another video from TEDxPhiladelphia (see the one we posted last week here), this one from Chris Bartlett, executive director of the William Way LGBT Community Center.

PlanPhilly shared the video in which Bartlett talks about what Chinatown has taught the Gayborhood…and how all of us can contribute to creating the neighborhoods we want.  

Check it out:

Read more »

Morning Headlines: Proposed Chinatown Community Center Will Get $3.7 Million State Grant

Photo credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo credit: Jeff Fusco

The Eastern Tower Community Center, a proposed 23-story tower for the northwest corner of 10th and Vine has just acquired another benefactor. The Daily News’ Julie Shaw reports that in addition to backing from foreign investors and a bank loan, the $75 million project is set to receive a $3.7 million Economic Growth Initiative grant from the state.

According to Shaw, the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corp. spearheaded the project, which is currently the site of a parking lot. The high-rise, anticipated to bridge the gap between Chinatown North and Chinatown, will hold Chinatown’s first community center, as well as other facilities:

The tower will house Chinatown’s first community center, a preschool and after-school programming run by the Chinatown Learning Center, a bilingual health center, a gym, offices, retail shops and 143 apartments – 31 of which will be subsidized by PCDC for poor and low-income residents.

Read more »

Nan Yang Opening in Chinatown

nan-yang-asian-cuisine-940

Photo via Lê, @Merchandise7X

The former Lucky Fortune at 932 Race Street is becoming Nan Yang and will open this Saturday. Last night, the above sign was being installed. The new restaurant will serve Singaporean and Thai food and will be open till 4 a.m. on weekends.

In fact, in a random email we received the following images:

Read more »

Bon Chon Korean Fried Chicken is Coming to Philly

bonchonKorean. Fried. Chicken. I’ll give you a minute.

Bonchon, which means “my hometown” in Korean, already has multiple locations around the world – California, Massachusetts, Korea and Thailand to name a few – but the restaurant is finally bringing its specialities to Philadelphia. Chinatown, to be specific. And the most popular dish? Korean Fried Chicken. Customers choose what type of chicken they want – wings, drumsticks or strips – and what sauce they want it to be slathered in – soy garlic or hot. Then they are free to devour the dish in either a small, medium, large or extra-large size. Bonchon also serves appetizers, salad and platters, like Chicken Katsu.

Look for Bonchon to be turning out its Korean fried chicken this fall. The restaurant will be located at 1020 Cherry Street.

Bonchon [Foobooz]

“Asian Fondue” in Chinatown

simply-shabu-surf-turf-square

Craig LaBan reviews Simply Shabu in Chinatown and finds that the Asian version of fondue is a hit.

The Chinese woman beside us said the meat portions seemed skimpy compared to her nearby favorites. And no doubt the heap of shaved meat at Happy Noodle Bar dwarfed the eight perfectly rolled curls of sliced beef at Simply Shabu. But there’s a major quality difference: the beef at Happy Noodle was so shabby that it instantly shriveled into wads of yellow fat, while Shabu’s nicely marbled USDA choice rib eye (Pennsylvania-raised like all of Shabu’s meats, and not unlike what goes into a good cheesesteak) remained beefy and superbly tender.

Two Bells – Very Good

Authentic hot pots heat up Chinatown [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Simply Shabu [Official]

Where We’re Eating: Vietnam

barbecue-vietnam-940

On a recent visit to one of the many hole-in-the-wall pho joints on Washington Avenue, I saw a table of large white construction workers slurping up noodles. And while there might not be anything strange about that today, things weren’t always that way. Twenty-five years ago, when Benny Lai took over Vietnam on 11th Street from his family, no one in this town who didn’t grow up on home-cooked Asian food knew a pho from a bun. Lai opened the door, making the food more accessible while getting lots of us drunk on Flaming Volcanos and other tiki concoctions. These days, there are plenty of Vietnamese restaurants in town. But Lai’s Vietnam (and the mirror-image Vietnam Cafe in West Philadelphia) remains the place for Vietnamese dinner with out-of-towners, the in-laws, etc. Order the barbecue platter (Lai’s version of the pu pu platter), salt-and-pepper fried shrimp and some of those flaming drinks, and you’re good to go. 

Vietnam [Official]

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

Morning Headlines: Building Artwork Collapses in Chinatown

Screenshot of the artwork at 9th and Race via Google Street View

Screenshot of the artwork at 9th and Race via Google Street View

Tenants living on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors of a building on the corner of 9th and Race must have had a rude awakening this morning. At about 4:30am, a piece of artwork attached to the side of the building collapsed and shattered on the sidewalk.

Although there were no injuries, occupants were evacuated as a precaution. L&I was also on the scene, assessing damage to the structure and making sure it was safe.

Read more »

« Older Posts