Morning Headlines: Delco Residents Protest Strip Mall Proposal

 

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With clumps of vacant commercial properties already taking up room in parts of Brookhaven, it’s no wonder the borough’s council members are keeping mum on a proposal the Inquirer’s Laura McCrystal calls “one of the borough’s only large parcels of open space.” Currently, the space is a baseball field and wooded lot.

The plan involves developing 26 acres of the 56-acre lot on the corner of Edgmont Avenue and Coeburn Boulevard, which the Chester Water Authority owns. Developers interested in the space plan to build a Giant Supermarket (the Giant currently across from the space would relocate to the new development), LA Fitness, restaurant, and retail space. Preliminary plans from developer Robert Hill included 770 parking spaces.

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Morning Headlines: NIMBY Drama Stirs Up Between Residents and Swarthmore College

Photo credit: Fritz Ward via Flickr.

Photo credit: Fritz Ward via Flickr.

Three things are set to happen once construction ends on the new development Swarthmore College has commissioned: First, more books will be available; second, the borough will get its first liquor license; third, Route 320 (Chester Road) will see a shift in traffic flow. Two of these are unwelcome changes for some Swarthmore residents.

As the Inquirer’s Laura McCrystal reports, an inn, bookstore, and roundabout are going to to be constructed in the area, the latter development starting this week. Hopes for the roundabout, which is planned for the intersection of Chester Road and Rutgers Avenue, include it “improv[ing] a dangerous intersection and connect[ing] the college to its community.”

However, opponents of the roundabout see it a different way: Read more »

Restaurant Review: Junto

September_Junto_ Credit Courtney Apple

Junto | Photos by Courtney Apple

“Do you know of any deserving young beginner lately set up,” members of Ben Franklin’s mutual aid society would ask one another, “whom it lies in the power of the Junto any way to encourage?”

They’d ask the same thing about “deserving stranger[s] arrived in town since last meeting.” And while neither description exactly matches MacGregor Mann, who’s cooked in Philadelphia for more than a decade, they’re close enough. Before naming his solo debut after Franklin’s eclectic club, the Garces vet went on a culinary walkabout ranging from an Idaho fly-fishing lodge to a stage at Denmark’s Noma­—often named as the best restaurant in the world. And when he returned, he was bent on digging deeper into his home turf.

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Morning Headlines: Flagship Wawa Closes; Locals Mourn

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Okay, that’s not true. Though the Greater Philadelphia area is taking this harder than James Garner’s death (RIP, Rockford), I doubt there’ll be a candlelight vigil — but note my use of the word “doubt,” because the region’s love for Wawa is (some would say irrationally) fierce.

deco daily times coverIt’s the front page of the Delaware County Daily Times, headline blaring: “1…and Done” and “End of the line for historic Wawa store.” To which I reply: WHERE WAS THE PRESERVATION ALLIANCE ON THIS? Working on the Boyd and the Blue Horizon? Priorities, people!

Barbara Ormsby, reporting for the Delco Daily Times, strikes a wistful note: “The Wawa on MacDade Boulevard and Swarthmore Avenue — the company’s very first convenience store that opened 50 years ago — will soon be gone, but won’t be forgotten.”

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On the Market: Painter’s Folly, Former Home of Howard Pyle

1421 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, PA.

1421 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, PA.

Vincent van Gogh once wrote to his brother that he was struck “dumb with admiration” by Howard Pyle’s illustrations in Harper’s Monthly. Unsurprisingly, Pyle rose to celebrity-status for his work, and illustrated numerous magazines and books, most notably the The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood.

He also did images for works by Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, William Dean Howells, and Woodrow Wilson, and was a mentor to notable painter and illustrator N.C. Wyeth. Upon his death, the New York Times bestowed Pyle the title of “”father of American magazine illustration as it is known to-day.” More on Pyle’s legacy can be found here.

As it stands, this Chadds Ford house –called Painter’s Folly–once belonged to the artist, and even served as inspiration for works by celebrated realist painter Andrew Wyeth, son of N.C.

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A Couple of Closures to Bum You Out

A Twitter follower had tipped us off that the postage stamp-sized Cafe Nhu Y had closed its doors at 8th and Christian. And after a lot of denial, we’re willing to admit that our favorite bargain banh mi spot is indeed gone for good. A similarly distressed Naked Philly confirms the closure.

And in the Italian Market, there’s the odd story about the closing of five-month old Torero Tapas Bar. The Torero web site has the paella and tapas bar moving/merging with Tabblon in Drexel Hill. The Passyunk Post reports that a neighbor says it was a landlord dispute that led to the closing.

How 13-Pound Philly Baby Waldo James Mysterious Dwyer Conquered the World

waldo-james-mysterious-dwyerJust eight days into his life, Waldo James Mysterious Dwyer has already touched down on three continents, and no one will be surprised if the baby checks off the other four by week’s end. The Internet-aided spread of the suddenly mythic newborn, born here in Delaware County to Philly parents, is an odd and impressive testament to both the porous copycat nature of the Internet and humanity’s unending fascination with anything, or anyone, awesomely large.

How 13-Pound Philly Baby Waldo James Mysterious Dwyer Conquered the World »

Chester, Montgomery Counties Are Hotbeds for Texting and Driving

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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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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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