Forget Whole Foods. Who wants to pay $75 for a bunch of bantamweight transcontinental bananas that are going to rot before you even get them home? The city has a wealth of excellent farmers’ markets, and while the glorious excesses of summer may be past (and some markets might be looking at shutting down for the winter soon), here are a few that are still overflowing with autumn’s hardier bounty, and that stay open straight through to the holidays (or all year round).
The “culinary storytelling website Life & Thyme has a video about Rival Bros. Coffee founders Jonathan Adams and Damien Pileggi and how they got from high school friends till today.
Early on Saturday morning, video cameras outside of Fitler Dining Room at 22nd and Spruce recorded someone vandalizing the restaurant’s iconic dog statues. A segment of the video (below) shows a male kicking and twisting the statue.
According to Fitler Dining Room’s Ed Hacket — who has seen the entire surveillance video of the incident — the suspect was walking west on Spruce Street when he tried to catch a cab at the corner. Hacket says the man was quickly tossed from the cab, and after that he headed for the dogs. Hacket says that the video shows the man kicking at one of the statues, finally knocking it over and breaking it.
How much would you shell out for a teeny tiny home? Architizer’s Matt Shaw poses the question, albeit with regards to this modern micro-abode in north London. It got us thinking about what little historic houses line the streets of our city proper, which led to this Fitler Square gem.
First off, don’t be fooled by its size. The adorable home makes good use of its available space and might even beat owning a condo (at least, that’s what the listing boasts)! Case in point, the first level open floor plan: hardwood floors, crown molding, and French doors with access to a wood-fenced yard with patio are all on display. The updated kitchen features maple cabinetry, SubZero fridge, and granite counters and backsplash among other brand appointments.
Does anyone remember The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton? If not, it’s a children’s book that follows the life of a cute little house out in the country who over time finds itself surrounded by towering city buildings. It sticks out like a sore thumb and, if I remember correctly (probably not), it starts to deteriorate and almost…well, I won’t spoil the ending.
Anyway, while some think the story might be commentary on urban sprawl (Burton denies this), this home does not seem to be headed toward the same fate (nor is it noticeable in a bad way). Still, it reminded me of it just a teensy bit because it’s not something you see every day: a porched home mingling among the the more conventional townhouses near Fitler Square.
There’s a brick courtyard with a fountain behind this three-story Fitler Square home, but what makes this detail an important one is the fact that it can be seen and accessed from the family room, a room which boasts antique wood paneling, spiral staircase, and, get this, a 20-foot “wall of windows.”
At the front of the home is the living room with built-ins, fireplace, wet bar, and exposed brick wall, while the island-centered kitchen can be found on the lower level with its custom cabinetry and U-Line wine refrigerator. (There’s a laundry/storage room here too.)
The second floor contains the master bedroom and its renovated stone bathroom, as well as a bonus room to be turned into whatever you please. Another bedroom and bath can be found on the third floor.
When we first tipped off that Tria Cafe was coming to the old Dmitri’s at 23rd and Pine we admittedly rolled our eyes. After all, just about every restaurant vacancy is rumored to become a Tria. It’s usually just wishful thinking but the neighbors of Fitler Square can cheer, Tria is really coming to the neighborhood.
Owner Jonathan Myerow told Michael Klein that the former Mediterranean restaurant will feature a full kitchen, “be more dinner-friendly” and serve a weekend brunch.
Look for the latest Tria to open before the year ends. Myerow also owns Tria Cafe locations at 18th and Sansom, 12th and Pine and Tria Taproom at 20th and Walnut.
Fitler Dining Room has added happy hour. The Center City restaurant is offering sangria and snacks from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. everyday. The menu includes half-price oysters, a daily cheese special, a veggie plate and popcorn dusted with Rogue Creamery’s “Blue Heaven” cheese.
The highlight however is the Japanese Fried Chicken Sandwich which includes bread and butter pickles, slaw and is served on a semolina roll. On the drink side Fitler Dining Room is offering Tiger Lager for $3 and summer sangria (white wine, lillet, berries) for $5 a glass, $23 a pitcher.
Full Fitler Dining Room Happy Hour Menu »
For the uninitiated, Joseph Horn was the Philadelphian half of Horn & Hardart, of the automat empire by the same name. For the really uninitiated, automats were something of a Grubhub for the very early 20th century. Which is to say, you could get cheap food there without having to interact face-to-face with humans. Horn & Hardart opened the nation’s first automat here on Chestnut Street in 1902. Its contents now reside in the Smithsonian. The restaurants grew in popularity through the Depression and into the 1950s, when you could still order hot meals from anonymously staffed vending machines for less than a dollar. The last one closed in New York in 1991.
Back to Joseph Horn. According to the Fitler Square Improvement Association, Horn was persuaded to build a home in the neighborhood by James Methaney, who had recently built his own mansion nearby. You might recognize his name if you spend time in Fitler Square park because he is memorialized with a plaque and tree there. Horn built his mansion in 1929.
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The May 1 explosion that leveled two Naudain Street rowhomes and damaged part of a condo complex at 23rd and Naudain remains under investigation. In this case, “remains under investigation” means “it appears we have no clue why a house exploded.”
Some facts are clear: Before the explosion, a resident called 911 after her boyfriend’s carbon monoxide detector went off. Firefighters examined levels that were off the charts of their CO meters; buildings on the block were evacuated. Eventually, one house exploded.