Gentrification in Philadelphia

daily news special section

The DN’s special section appears in today’s print edition as well as online.

For those who think daily newspapers lack a purpose in a digitized world that threatens to make traditional media outlets obsolete, today’s coverage of gentrification in a Daily News special section is a firm rejoinder. The seven articles that comprise “The Problems and the Promise: Gentrification in Philadelphia” is a pull-out section of the print edition and a microsite to illuminate the issues around the word that’s probably the most contested and least understood of any used to refer to real estate and development battles in the city.

The project isn’t perfect. There are missteps — like the boldfaced use of the term “Templetown.” But there are important myths that get debunked, and crucial facts that must be called to every Philadelphian’s attention before they expound on gentrification. Because, oh boy. Do people expound. I hear so much strident talk about “gentrification” from people ill-equipped to understand it. This series should help.

The key takeaway is that gentrification isn’t necessarily what you think. Gentrification, writes Earni Young, is “the change of a block or neighborhood from low value to high value.” It’s “a natural phenomena that has been with us since Benjamin Franklin,” Temple professor Carolyn Adams tells Young, who notes that “Kensington and Fishtown, for example, were traditionally blue collar white neighborhoods. And in San Francisco white middle class professionals are being shoved aside by higher income earners in the tech industry.” Of course, San Francisco is overwhelmingly white.

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House of the Week: Stunningly Creative 7BR

This property in Point Breeze aka Newbold is actually two: 1410 and 1412 Tasker, just off Broad Street. The entry is through 1410, leading to an open floor plan of 1410 and 1412. Let’s take this floor by floor. I’m relying heavily on the listings copy here to reduce any confusion.

On the first floor, there’s a brand new double height kitchen with stainless steel appliances, six-burner Thermador stove, granite countertops, and a double porcelain sink. The downstairs bathroom is sweet: claw foot bathtub and glass tile walls inside, with glass doors that lead to an outside private garden with a hot tub. The living room has wood burning fireplace, and, as in the kitchen and bathroom, painted concrete floors with radiant heat.

The second floor is where 1410 and 1412 kind of split. So in 1410 there’s a reading nook with a catwalk (!), a den with painted pine floors and then access to a decked area that links 1410 to 1412, which has another bedroom with pine floors but also with a Bay window. And this side of the second floor — 1412 — also has a renovated bathroom with a hex tile floor with radiant heat.

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GreenStreet Coffee Roasters’ 3rd Annual Block Party

10346361_684489174977984_8602914258082386976_nAlter Street prepare yourselves, because it’s almost time for GreenStreet Coffee Roasters’ 3rd annual block party. On Saturday, August 16th, the Philadelphia-based, fair trade coffee company will be hosting a day devoted to beer, barbecue, music, games and of course, their coffee.

The merrymaking starts on the 1900 block of Alter Street in Point Breeze at 1 p.m and runs until 7 p.m. The event is $10 and all of the proceeds are donated to the Fresh Artists Program and Deva Watson’s Palates To Palettes. Both organizations support the continuation of art education in Philadelphia schools.

GreenStreet Coffee [Facebook]

 

Point Breeze Real Estate Scammer Gets the Slammer

Image via Google Street View.

The house at 2022 Titan Street that Tubbs “sold” for $22,000. Image via Google Street View.

According to a U.S Department of Justice release, a Philadelphia man was sentenced last week to almost six years in prison for selling three homes he didn’t own. (Don’t worry, though: The homes weren’t occupied at the time so there were no surprise evictions while the family was eating dinner and watching The Voice.) He created fake deeds that he used to transfer the vacant homes to other people he’d recruited, and then sold the properties to new buyers. But he wasn’t just interested in “dead” properties. He also drafted people to act as phony executors of estates, and sold those properties too. The people who bought the homes from him had no idea they were basically buying air.

He certainly didn’t have expensive tastes: He sold one home for $140,000, another for $140,000 and the last for $22,000. Unfortunately for him, that last one got him only $877 due to all the liens on it. Perhaps he should have checked the city’s website first.

Cafe Ynez Has Adam Erace Longing for More

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Adam Erace notes that you can’t have a vibrant neighborhood in 2014 without a good Mexican spot. And with the addition of Cafe Ynez at 2025 Washington Avenue on the Graduate Hospital/Point Breeze border, both neighborhoods can boast they have their Mexican restaurant.

Erace’s only complaint, he wants more. “More food, more hours. Fortunately, both are in the works later this summer.”

A new Mexican place comes to GradHo and Point Breeze [Foobooz]
Cafe Ynez [Foobooz]

Café Ynez Adds New Items For The Summer

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Café Ynez is bringing the heat this summer with a few flavorful and authentic Mexico City additions to the menu. One of which includes a tostada with your choice of chicken, pork or steak on a fried corn tortilla finished off with refried beans, grilled onions, lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream and queso fresco ($5).

Be sure to keep an eye out for the daily specials, like the vegetarian based tomato gazpacho topped with lump crabmeat or a quesadilla. And for the vegetarians? Cafe Ynez now offers a vegetarian enchilada with a fried egg, guacamole, queso fresco, red onion, sour cream and a red guajillo sauce in a corn tortilla.

Whether you’re chomping down on a tostada, slurping up gazpacho, or getting your veggies, just don’t forget to BYO. As long as you provide the tequila or wine, Café Ynez will do the rest with their rotating selection of margaritas or sangrias in a carafe ($8.50). With flavors ranging from Bloody Mary to Watermelon Mint, your hardest decision of the day may be which one (or how many) to get.

Café Ynez [Foobooz]

Weekend Brunch at Cafe Ynez

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Looking for a BYOB brunch this weekend? Consider the recently opened Cafe Ynez at 2025 Washington Avenue. The Mexican restaurant could serve as a mixer for Graduate Hospital and Point Breeze residents who have a hankering for huevos. The attractively appointed space in the NextFab Studios building is open for weekend brunch from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In addition to those egg dishes, Cafe Ynez offers mixes a housemade Mexican Bloody Mary mix that works equally well with vodka, tequila or beer.

Check out some photos of Cafe Ynez »

Meme Fried Chicken Pop-Up at American Sardine Bar

meme-fried-chicken-at-american-sardine-bar

Tomorrow, Thursday, January 30th, Scott Schroeder and American Sardine Bar are once again playing host to David Katz and his Mémé fried chicken.

The dish was a popular once-a-week lunchtime treat when Katz owned Meme at 22nd and Spruce. Tomorrow, Katz will be back in the kitchen, cooking up his fried chicken and biscuits. Lunch starts at 11 a.m. and the High Life is already on ice. completely sold out last time they hosted the pop-up.

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