Street Artist WRDSMTH Drops New Typewriter Stencils in Fishtown and Kensington

L.A.-based street artist WRDSMTH was in Philadelphia yesterday, where he left behind a couple of his iconic typewriter stencils in Fishtown and Kensington.

The works range in size, and carry different messages that sort of recall Steve Powers’ feel-good Love Letter murals in West Philly. One six-foot tall work on West Master Street in Kensington reads, “The only lie I ever told you is that I liked you when I already knew I loved you.”

Photo by Conrad Benner via Streets Dept.

Photo by Conrad Benner via Streets Dept.

Another smaller one reads, “Truth told, the odds are not in your favor. But that’s what will make it such a great story.”

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NKCDC Kicks Off Renewal of Kensington’s Withering Orinoka Mills

Photo credit: Deborah Huber

Photo credit: Deborah Huber

Kensington residents and veteran Market-Frankford Line commuters who continue on past Huntingdon know well the blighted and tagged hulk standing just off Somerset Station at the corner of East Somerset and Ruth Streets: the Orinoka Mills Factory (map).

For those not in the know, the last decade or so has seen Orinoka Mills, once a busy textiles production complex, empty out and deteriorate, even with a short-lived neighborhood effort to keep it going in the late 1980s. By 2007, Philadelphia Weekly called the area adjacent to its neighboring El stop one of the top ten drug corners in the city.

And now? Well now, significant changes are afoot thanks in large part to the New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC), which is spearheading the Orinoka Civic House project. That project, which broke ground on Tuesday and involves plans to convert it into a 51-unit apartment complex with commercial and community spaces, is anticipated to not only kick off a new era for the property, but to jumpstart a wonderful and long-desired neighborhood renewal plan.

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Orinoka Civic House to Break Ground in October

The new Orinoka Civic House | via NKCDC

The new Orinoka Civic House | via NKCDC

The New Kensington Development Corporation (NKCDC) announced today that their ambitious revitalization project at the former Orinoka Mills, a dilapidated 19th century textile mill site at East Somerset and Ruth streets (map), will officially break ground at a ceremony on October 27 at 11 a.m.–rain or shine.

Due to its location near one of the city’s most notorious drug corners–Somerset and Kensington avenues– and its blighted condition, the Orinoka Civic House has been billed as a game changer for the surrounding area and has been in the planning stages for some time now.

“The mill is a dangerous eyesore,” said Sandy Salzman, Executive Director of NKCDC, said in a release. “It has served as a cover for illegal activity.”

“This project will continue the positive momentum in Kensington,” Salzman continued. “We are excited about the lasting effect Orinoka Civic House will have on the community.”

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Pair Break Into Kensington Home, Take Car Keys, Steal Car

Police in Philadelphia are looking for a duo that broke into a woman’s house in West Kensington, took her car keys, then walked up and down the block until finding her car and driving away in it.

The burglary took place Wednesday at around 7 in the morning. The victim was asleep in her house when two people entered her home through the back door and/or window. They took her purse containing ID, credit cards, cell phone and laptop — as well as her car keys. Read more »

Federal Distilling Opening in Kensington

stateside-vodka-federal-distilling-940Philadelphia is getting another new distillery. Federal Distilling is coming to 161 Cecil B. Moore Avenue (next to Keystone Mini Golf) in the Kensington neighborhood. The distillery’s first product, Stateside Vodka should be hitting restaurant and select PLCB stores in mid-October. Further down the road, a tasting room will open at the distillery.

Federal Distilling is the result of Clement “Clem” Pappas and brothers Matt and Bryan Quigley. Matt Quigley is the distiller, he has completed a distiller apprenticeship through the University of Michigan and been a spirits consultant for several brands in the United States and Poland. The three met through a mutual acquaintance who strategically left Matt’s business plan at Clem’s 40th birthday party around the 2013 holidays. The plan worked and the distillery project took off.

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Police Made 68 Drug Arrests in One Neighborhood in Two Days

From left, drug-dealing suspects Alexis Salamon, Gina Collette, Alfredo Negron, and David Nowicki were among last week's arrests. Photos via Philadelphia Police Department photos

From left, drug-dealing suspects Alexis Salamon, Gina Collette, Alfredo Negron, and David Nowicki were among last week’s arrests. Photos via Philadelphia Police Department.

Most drug users in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs know that one of the best places to score dope in the Philadelphia area is in Kensington, where open-air drug deals have long been a staple of neighborhood life. Well, the Philadelphia Police Department tried to show that it means business with two operations last week that led to 68 arrests. Read more »

Property’s Photo of the Week: Sidecar Fun in East Kensington

We don’t know about you, but it’s been a long week for some of us and we could certainly do with some feel good vibes. That’s why Property’s Photo of the Week this week is something we can all probably get behind: sidecars and proto homes!

Say what? Well, we found the #phillyscape capture on Postgreen Homes’ Instagram account. According to the caption, the pic was snapped by one Sam Oberter who didn’t use any filters (not that there’s anything wrong with Willowing up your photos!). The pictured home is one of Postgreen’s protypes built in 2011, and the people on the motorcycle and sidecar are its owners…who we think should let us take it for a ride this weekend!

Sigh…isn’t spring wonderful?

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Tomorrow: Saint Benjamin Brewing Company Begins Tours

On tap this Saturday at Saint Benjamin's. Get a growler to go.

On tap this Saturday at Saint Benjamin’s. Get a growler to go.

Saint Benjamin Brewing Company, the Kensington-based brewery is hosting its first round of tours this Saturday. The brewery opens up at 12 pm until 4 pm, with tours running until 3.

There will be samples of beer, the opportunity to fill your own Saint Benjamin’s growlers, keg sales and food provided by the Farm Truck.

The brewery plans to hold tours two Saturdays per month, with the next one being on April 25.

Saint Benjamin Brewing Company [Official]

Memphis Taproom Beer Garden Opening Saturday, April 18

The Memphis Taproom Beergarden is just waiting to be filled with happy beer-drinkers.

The Memphis Taproom Beer Garden is just waiting to be filled with happy beer-drinkers.

It’s that time of year again when the weather decides to get drunk and say it’s cool to have 40 degree mornings, 68 degree afternoons and violent thunderstorms. But we put up with this transition stage for the same reason we put up with adolescence: it’s unpleasant now, but soon it will be over and things will be better.

To celebrate the onset of almost summer (did I just jinx it? Sorry…), Memphis Taproom is celebrating its seventh anniversary with a special draft list inside, and a  grand re-opening of its outdoor beer garden on Saturday, April 18th at noon.

The beer garden will feature a brand new menu for their truck. Expanding beyond just hot dogs, the new menu offers “truck fries” (fries covered in ground beef, fried onions, cheddar cheese and “truck sauce”) and a New England clam roll. The beer list for the season is also set to be released in the coming week. Additionally, every Thursday there will be Beer Garden Quizzo at 6pm.

Get ready, it’s almost beer garden season. We promise.

Memphis Taproom [Foobooz]

Spotted in South Kensington: Warehouse to Be Converted Into Seven Loft-Style Apartments

Its days as a cabinet factory have long disappeared from the rear view mirror, so it was only a matter of time before the as of late disused warehouse building at 1737 N Howard Street caught the eye of developers looking to convert some fresh space near Fishtown.

Enter Civetta Property Group’s Mike Tomasetti, who teamed up with Doug Fath for this project. Their plans? Repurpose the warehouse into seven loft-style apartments, which Tomasetti tells us will be single- and double-bedroom rentals that are likely to be in the $1,200-$1,600 range.

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