Architype: Off the Grid in Mount Airy

mt airy

Photo of celebration at Final-ly Friday by Michael Albany Photography via Go Mt. Airy

About six months ago, after 11 years in West Philadelphia, I decided to move. I’d been part of a wave of young white professionals who came to Cedar Park and made it possible for someone to open a haute-cheese patisserie where a friendly bodega used to be. I liked the bodega better, but it was my own fault.

Now I’d priced myself out of my neighborhood, but I still wanted trees, the birdsong, the mix of old and young, black and white, and the progressive vibe. So I moved to Mount Airy.

This decision has been met with undisguised horror. You’d think I moved from a 12-room penthouse on Rittenhouse Square to a shack next to a rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. There also seems to be a significant degree of geographical confusion. A couple of people have said, “I never thought you’d leave Philly.” And absolutely everyone has said, “But it’s so faaaar.”

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Two Bells for Cresheim Valley Grain Exchange

grain-exchange-interior-940Craig LaBan visits Cresheim Valley Grain Exchange in Mount Airy and finds a restaurant and bar that is elevating food and cocktails on Germantown Avenue.

For $18, a slice of sustainably raised Verlasso salmon, nicely seared over buttery barley risotto studded with diced sweet potatoes, is one of the best fish bargains I’ve tasted in a while. A handsomely roasted acorn squash, brimming with flavorful red quinoa sparked by hazelnuts and cranberries, was one of several hearty seasonal salads that anchor the menu’s starters. A hot skillet of Anson Mills grits came topped with tender shrimp, pickled cherry tomatoes, and house-made sausage, a satisfying $17 meal of Southern comfort.

Two Bells – Very Good

Cresheim Valley Grain Exchange [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Drink: Honey Bear at Cresheim Valley Grain Exchange [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Cresheim Valley Grain Exchange [Facebook]

PHOTOS: Mount Airy Street Fare 2014



This Saturday: A Germantown Avenue Brewpub Crawl

germantown-ave-cartelSaturday, September 20th from noon until 5 p.m. a continuous bus loop will connect three of Philadelphia’s most talented brewers; Paul Rutherford of Iron Hill Brewery Chestnut Hill, Scott Morrison of Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery, and Tom Baker of Earth Bread & Brewery. The crawl will supply attendees with three one-of-a-kind brews made especially for the occasion. The brewers have come together to brew specialty collaboration beers at each brewery.

The Germantown Avenue Cartel Crawl costs $20 (tickets are on sale at all ofthe brewpubs) and each patron will receive a ticket to take with them to each stop where bartenders then stamp tickets for their allotted 12 ounce pour. Attendees may purchase additional Cartel beers at a discounted price, enjoy other in-house beers, and have access to each brewpub all day. The brewers will also be on site at each location to answer questions and provide insight into their brewing experiences.

 Germantown Avenue Brewers Cartel [Facebook]

8 Things to Do in Philly This Week: Dollar Stroll on Baltimore Avenue, Mount Airy Street Fare, and More



Next Thursday: Sip, Savor, Stroll in Mount Airy

mount-airy-night-market-940

The best way to dine is to walk off the meal so you can fill up some more, right? Mount Airy’s Street Fare: Sip, Savor, Stroll will be hosted on Thursday, September 18th along Germantown Avenue (between Sedgwick and W. Mt. Airy Avenue). Tasty treats and beverages from over 50 gourmet food trucks and local restaurants in the region will be provided for the evening. Cuisines served will include Brazilian barbecueCaribbean soul food, authentic Indian and Korean, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. Fare runs from 6 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. Music, crafts and other family activities will also be hosted.

All the vendors and what they’re serving » 

Practice Your Putting on a Four-Hole Green at this Mount Airy Estate

TREND photo via Independent Custom Realty

TREND photo via <a/href=”http://listings.listhub.net/pages/TRENDPA/6357640/?channel=trulia”>Independent Custom Realty

If this seven-bedroom estate were on the Main Line or even in the leafy environs of Chestnut Hill, perhaps a four-hole putting green might not be so surprising. But in Mount Airy? We may have raised an eyebrow. Although, Mount Airy is known to have once provided a summer retreat for wealthy Philadelphians, so perhaps we should have known better. This home does look like a pleasantly shaded place to spend the balmier months.

The home has been recently updated to include central air, parquet flooring and modern electric systems. The kitchen has also been upgraded and finishes carry familiar names: Viking, Wood Mode, Jenn Air and Sub-Zero. Off the kitchen lie living and dining rooms with twin wood-burning fireplaces. Four of the seven bedrooms are on the second floor, including the master suite. The remaining three are on the third floor. The basement includes a laundry room, gym and storage space. Read more »

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