We’ve already told you about all the spooky, ghoulish events around the city this month, but what about the little trick-or-treaters? There’s plenty of kid-friendly Halloween fun in Philly, too, and we’ve rounded it up for you.
Boo at the Zoo
The Philadelphia Zoo hosts two weekends of not-so-scary activities so kids can celebrate Halloween in costume with their favorite zoo animals. There will be live music, food, games, and more, all included with general admission. October 18th and 19th, and October 25th and 26th, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Philadelphia Zoo, 34th Street and Girard Avenue.
Halloween in Manayunk
Enjoy a family movie night on Friday, October 24th at 6:30 p.m. at the newly opened Venice Island Performing Arts & Recreation Center. Trick-or-treat along Main Street and head to Fall Fest on Saturday. Most activities are free and open to the public. Friday and Saturday, October 24th and 25th, times and locations vary.
Tomorrow Mayor Nutter will once again stand at a podium in Philadelphia and talk about the city’s green-friendly, river-related growth as he unveils the new performing arts and recreation center on long forgotten Venice Island, the Guam of Philadelphia. The spit of land in the Schuylkill across from the Manayunk Towpath has served official functions throughout the years, and had a crumbly rec center, but it hasn’t had much of a sense of identity or connection to the mainland. Those who used the rec center didn’t seem to communicate much with the outside world about the island, leaving many in the dark.
That’s all set to change after the hitherto-unknown-to-be-creative folks at the Philadelphia Water Department and Parks and Rec came together for a Kumbaya-style “if they build it, they will come” project spurred by necessity but inspired by, like, Portland.
Here’s how it happened:
This week marks the opening of the Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center in Manayunk. An event 10 years in the making, this massive project was a collaboration between the town’s community, the Philadelphia Water Department, and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. Located at 1 Vector Street, the Venice Island development reconstructed the former facilities between the Schuylkill River and the Manayunk Canal into a public space now filled with a performing arts theater, an outdoor amphitheater, a playground, basketball courts, and a spray park.
Winnie and Bob Clowry who have owned Le Bus in Manayunk for the past ten years are getting ready to open their second restaurant. Smokin’ John’s Bar-B-Que will be opening later this fall at 4258 Main Street, the former home of Bella’s Trattoria and next door to Winnie’s Le Bus.
Smokin’ John’s is named for chef John O’Brien, who is also the chef at Winnie’s. The restaurant will have a full bar and promises something for everyone, not just carnivores.
Smokin’ John’s Bar-B-Que [Foobooz]
I once asked Bart Blatstein, one of the more successful developers in Philadelphia, what he thought were some of the biggest issues in city development. The first thing he said? The scarcity of female developers in Philadelphia. (The second thing he mentioned was minority developers.) It is certainly true that the names that get mentioned over and over are men’s — Carl Dranoff, Eric Blumenfeld, Kenny Gamble, Tom Scannapieco, etc. But it’s also true that there are women in the business, including Lesley Scannapieco, who plans to develop the former Bok School. Add to that list of names Khara Cartagena, a successful businesswoman (she’s the owner of the Velvet Lily), who’s been quietly developing since she was 18. With her newest project, the Falcon Condominiums on the 3800 block of Terrace Street, she’s making a bit more noise.
First, the skinny: the condos, built on the site of the former Falcon Polish Social Hall, consist of seven contemporary units in the heart of Manayunk. The units are three stories; six have two bedrooms, one den and two and a half baths. There’s also a one-bedroom unit that’s ADA compliant. All units have at least one patio, if not two, and there’s secure garage parking. Kitchens have granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and bamboo floors, while bathrooms have both wood grained tile and white wall tile. The units range from 1,800 to 2,000 square feet, except for the one bedroom, which is 600 square feet.
Chef Timothy Spinner and Brian Sirhal who own the Feliz Restaurants (Cantina Feliz, La Calaca Feliz and Taqueria Feliz) are opening their first non-Mexican concept. Beast & Ale, an “updated greasy spoon” at 4161 Main Street in Manayunk is opening today.
Beast & Ale is taking over the former Gemelli/Bisou. The bi-level spot has a full bar and two-floor dining room that includes a second floor deck.
From the garden, it would be tough to guess that this house was just a stone’s throw from Main Street in Manayunk. The interior of the home also makes it seem a bit more … grown up than some of the typical neighbors. All of which is likely owed to the architect and professional designer who put the whole thing together.
The home features four bedrooms and two full baths as well as a powder room. Luxe paint, built-in shelving and original plank hardwoods give things a warm feel. The kitchen has been recently redone and includes subway tiles on the backsplash as well as a custom bench at the eat-in table. A basement boasts additional room for storage.
Some good news for Manayunk runners: Main Street is getting a new face thanks to Philadelphia Runner, Be Well Philly reports.
The athletic store, which has a projected “build out” date for this September, will have Canno Design (who just revamped Charlie is a sinner) working on its storefront. Be Well’s Emily Leaman also spoke to PR’s outreach coordinator who said,”We really think Manayunk’s best days are ahead, and we want to be a part of the continuing revitalization of the business corridor.”
Let’s hope so! The news comes after Bryn Mawr Running Company closed its doors a few doors down last fall.
• New Details: Philadelphia Runner to Open New Manayunk Store [Be Well Philly]
Calling all broke college students and anyone else who loves free things and tacos. In order to celebrate Union Taco’s grand opening in Manayunk, the taqueria will be giving away free tacos tomorrow between noon and 2 p.m. Each guest, whether dining in or taking out, will get one taco on the house, but you can enjoy the entire menu, too.
This is Chef Nick Farina’s second Union Taco, and while the menu is almost identical to Northern Liberties’, though you won’t find any flatbreads at the Manayunk location. Yet that didn’t hinder Farina’s enthusiasm for his new opening. “I’m really excited to meet our new clientele and introduce our cuisine to Manayunk taco lovers.” And for you late-night taco lovers, Union Taco will be open until 3 a.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
The new location will be at 4229 Main Street.