Here’s the Guy Who Hit a Kid With an SUV in Kensington

Left: SUV driver Vince Broomall in a state photo. Right: an image from the surveillance video that shows the SUV driving down the sidewalk just after hitting a young boy.

If you see Vince Broomall behind the wheel of a car, you might want to get out of his way. Philly Mag has learned that the 26-year-old Aston resident was the one driving the SUV (his mom’s SUV, by the way) that hit an 11-year-old boy in Kensington on Tuesday, May 16th. And while Broomall hasn’t been arrested or charged in last week’s incident, he has had some run-ins with the cops related to his driving. Read more »

Neighbors Outraged That Police Didn’t Arrest the Driver of This SUV

An image from the surveillance video. The light-colored SUV can be seen on the sidewalk, just seconds after allegedly striking a child.

Tuesday was almost a tragic day for a woman and her young son in Kensington. A light-colored SUV jumped a curb and hit the child, neighbors say, and someone inside the car allegedly tossed four bags of heroin out the vehicle just after it happened. And now the neighbors want to know why no one has been arrested. Read more »

A World-Class Pastry Chef Is Opening a Cafe in Kensington This Fall

Flow State/Twitter

Melanie Diamond-Manlusoc is new to Philly. She’s originally from Chicago, and there, she was sort of a big deal in the restaurant community, making pastries, desserts and gelato for acclaimed restaurants like Morimoto’s Japonais, Henri, and the Michelin-starred Blackbird before landing at Spiaggia. Spiaggia made the most sense — a Michelin-starred modern Italian restaurant is more like a playground for a crazed gelato nut like Manlusoc.

And Philadelphia — specifically Kensington — is where Manlusoc, her wife Liz Diamond-Manlusoc, and their friend Maggie Lee settled to open their new coffee bar, Flow State, later this year.

Read more »

Who’s Building Philly: Ken Weinstein

Philly Office Retail specializes in rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of buildings like the historic Cunningham Piano factory in Germantown, which it is planning to convert to street-level retail with apartments above. | Photo: Philly Office Retail

An idea that has been gaining steam of late among developers and planners is “social impact development.” This relatively recent concept marries the market to social change and community benefit by combining profitable construction with services or facilities that help improve the lives of those in need.

Maybe what Philly Office Retail President Ken Weinstein is doing doesn’t exactly fit in that box. But it is development, and it does contain a strong community benefit component, for not only is he redeveloping Northwest Philly’s stock of commercial buildings, he is developing the talent that will rebuild Germantown’s neglected housing stock. Read more »

First Friday: Three Galleries to Check Out Tomorrow

Jeffrey Stockbridge's Kensington Blues series captures the images and stories of people who live along Kensington Avenue. (Jeffrey Stockbridge)

Jeffrey Stockbridge’s Kensington Blues series captures the images and stories of people who live along Kensington Avenue (detail). (Jeffrey Stockbridge)

Kensington Blues @ Savery Gallery
Between 2008 and 2014, photographer Jeffrey Stockbridge captured a side of Philly rarely seen, rarely talked about anywhere else. The photos and interviews on his Kensington Blues site tell stories of addiction and sex work, survival and struggle along Kensington Avenue. These images are not just stunning — they’re essential. This exhibition doubles as the launch of his new book of photos from the project. Reception Friday, May 5, 5-9 p.m. Read more »

Greensgrow Celebrates 20 Years With Blowout Benefit Party

Greensgrown Farms | Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Greensgrown Farms | Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Greensgrow, Kensington’s pioneering nursery, aggregated CSA, and urban farm oasis, is celebrating 20 years since founder Mary Seton Corboy, who passed away last year, and her then-business partner Tom Sereduk started the project, growing hydroponic lettuce on a remediated EPA brownfield site.

The party, A Taste of Kensington, will be held on June 10th at nearby Philadelphia Brewing Company. Proceeds will benefit the nonprofit organization’s programming, and the festivities will feature food and drink from some of the the neighborhood’s best restaurants and distillers.

Read more »

The Pet Shop in “Rocky” Just Got Demolished

rocky pet shop

In Philly, we tend to destroy the buildings we treasure – such was the case with the historic Boyd Theater in Center City and such will likely be the case with Jewelers Row (assuming Toll goes ahead with the project).

And now, a lesser-known but just as lovable site has seen its last day: the Kensington storefront that doubled as Adrian’s pet shop in “Rocky” has been demolished. It’s a sad day for Rocky fans, who were apparently dumpster diving in their desperation to hold on to a piece of the movie setting forever.

Rocky tour guide Ben Caplan realized the store was being demolished mid-tour yesterday.

“I was getting ready to tell these people, ‘Well, hey, across the street is the –,’ and then I looked over and saw a big bulldozer,” Caplan told Philly.com.

You’ll remember the pet shop as the place where Rocky met his wife, Adrian, and bought his dog, Butkus. It’s been vacant for some time, but for many years, the store was a real Kensington pet shop called J&M Tropical Fish, owned and named after Joe Marks and his father, Morris Marks, who opened the shop in 1963.

Marks still owns the two turtles that Rocky bought in the movie – Cuff and Link – but he closed the shop in 2003, a few years after his father died, and sold the building in 2011.

“I think it’s sad to see it go and sad that it was in the state it was in,” Marks, 71, said. “I think sometimes the best aspirations in life don’t come true sometimes. I had visions and thoughts of a Rocky museum type of idea for this to work, but that’s just things in my mind. I have a lot of memories of it.”

Philadelphia magazine’s Victor Fiorillo first talked to Marks last year for the magazine’s oral history of the Rocky movies. Marks spoke about how the film crew first reached out to him in 1975, and how he got to “meet Hollywood,” as he said, including Sylvester Stallone, Carl Weathers, Burt Young, Tommy Morrison and more.

“The first time they filmed, I didn’t know Sylvester Stallone from the man on the moon,” Marks said by phone today. “He was young, and kind of stoic, to a point. We didn’t talk much. The next time they came to look at the store [to film the second movie] it wasn’t in a regular car –they came in a limousine.”

Marks, who’s lived in Kensington for the majority of his life, said he wished the site would’ve been preserved.

“I feel that the effect the movie had on Philadelphia … I think that maybe there should’ve been more city interest in actually helping preserve sites,” Marks said. “I’m not talking about street-corner sites, but I know that the movie is an inspiration to a lot of generations that have come into being.

“It showed that anything is possible in America,” he added. “It was a great storyline, a fantastic storyline. It put Philadelphia on the map. Even though we’re not in the greatest part of the city, they could’ve looked at that to a point.”

Kensington is home to several other film locations, like the Lucky 7 Tavern and Mighty Micks Gym (which Marks’s uncle owned at the time of filming). All three locations are detailed in the filming location guide on TotalRocky.com (though the pet shop info has yet to be updated).

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.

How Drug Busts in Kensington Could Make Things Even Worse

Philadelphia police drug bust press conference

Photos via @PhillyPolice

The police laid the drugs, the money, and the guns on the table. The cameras rolled. And another victory in the drug war was declared.

After a string of at least 35 polydrug overdose deaths earlier this month, the cops moved in. From December 14th to 16th, Philadelphia police made 176 arrests in the East Detective Division, which includes Feltonville, Hunting Park, Juniata, Kensington, Port Richmond, and other parts of North Philly. At a press conference on the 20th, they showed off 21 guns, almost $50,000 in cash, and what the department said was $200,000 worth of heroin and other drugs. Read more »

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