Why You Shouldn’t Be So Quick to Judge Philly ‘Scrappers’ Digging for Trash

Photo via iStockPhoto.com

“Did someone catch him doing it? If so did they break his hands? I sure hope so.”

“There are soooo many lately.”

“He’s up too something.”

The “Eyes and Ears of Port Richmond” Facebook page is filled with comments like these: They’re talking about the recent influx of scrappers who canvass the streets for aluminum, brass and stainless steel. Scrappers have become Public Enemy No. 1 in the neighborhood, especially those with two or more shopping carts strung together like small trains. But residents shouldn’t always be so quick to judge. Read more »

OPINION: Neighborhoods Are Bearing the Cost of the Conrail Heroin Camp Cleanup

Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

When the city demolished the Conrail drug community in Kensington, it was as if Carrie Nation herself had returned from the grave to swing her axe in righteous indignation. Deprived of a community, the opiate addicts scattered like refugees — only they did not, like the People of the Book, find a Promised Land. They filtered into the surrounding neighborhoods alone or in small groups and set up camps at Frankford and Allegheny and on Emerald Street — aka Emerald City, an Oz opiate safe space, at least for now. Read more »

Man Charged in Port Richmond Crash That Killed Mother, Injured Son

Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Police Department.

Philadelphia police have arrested a Torresdale man in connection with a fatal crash that occurred over the weekend in Port Richmond and claimed the life of a young mother who put herself at risk to save her children.

Thirty-nine-year-old Ryan McHugh has been charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, aggravated assault while driving under the influence, involuntary manslaughter and causing an accident involving death. Read more »

First-Time Find: Design for Living in Old Richmond for $325K

2301 E. Cabot St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19125 | Photos: Dan Robnett, PLUSH, via Custom Philly Homes

The buzz these days is that Fishtown may be over — that is, it’s no longer a neighborhood where you can snap up a housing bargain or find a decent starter home.

We have in this designer home where Fishtown and Old Richmond meet evidence to the contrary.

“Wait, what?” we hear you ask. “A designer home for $325,000?”

Miracles do happen, and this is one of them. Read more »

First-Time Find: A Little Gem in Port Richmond for $146.5K

3212 Aramingo Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19134 | TREND images via The Somers Team

3212 Aramingo Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19134 | TREND images via The Somers Team

Usually, we go combing listings throughout the city and suburbs in search of dynamite homes for sale at modest prices to feature in this weekly space.

But every once in a while, the gods of email smile on us and deposit jewels in our lap.

That was the case with this newly listed two-story rowhome in Port Richmond.

On the outside, it looks every inch the typical smaller Philly row home, the kind that’s perfect for a young couple starting out on a homeownership adventure. These homes usually have fairly traditional layouts with separate living and dining rooms and a kitchen in the back.

Inside, however, this home is one of those 21st-century open-plan beauties that usually sell for much more than this. Read more »

Checkmate in East Kensington? Broker Rearranges the Chessboard

Bishop Square | Renderings: KJO Architecture via The Somers Team; Photos via The Somers Team

Bishop Square | Renderings: KJO Architecture via The Somers Team; Photos via The Somers Team

I’ve gotten lots of pitches from real estate agents and others that lead me to ask, “What’s in a name?”

The answer, it appears, is, “Tens of thousands of dollars.”

Buyers are far more willing to pay top dollar for a property in a neighborhood they perceive to be desirable than in one that may also be on the rise but they know little about.

And so it is that The Somers Team touts its new, six-unit residential development, Bishop Square, as a hot property in Fishtown. Read more »

A Piece of Philly’s Polish History Is Up for Lease in Port Richmond

The bar inside the former Lucyan Chwalkowski Post No. 12 of the Polish Army Veterans Association. | Photos: Courtesy Bob Metry

The bar inside the former Lucyan Chwalkowski Post No. 12 of the Polish Army Veterans Association. | Photos: Courtesy Bob Metry

In case you haven’t noticed, Port Richmond stands on the verge of becoming the next Fishtown and East Kensington put together. Already, rejeuvenation has taken hold in the area where the three neighborhoods overlap — a territory some call “Port Fishington” —  but the pace of development and redevelopment is also picking up closer to the neighborhood’s heart.

In that heart lies the historic institutions of Philadelphia’s Polish-American community. Local developer Bob Metry, who has a fondness for taking pieces of history and turning them into interesting commercial spaces for lease, has done just that with a former veterans’ hall in Port Richmond.

The building in question, at 3178 Richmond St., was built in 1945 to house the Lucyan Chwalkowski Post No. 12 of the Polish Army Veterans Association in America (PAVA). Chwalkowski, the son of Polish emigres who arrived in New York in 1906, was a member of the first class of Polish officers trained in Canada to fight in Europe for Poland in World War I. Read more »

Grey Lodge’s “Scoats” Takes Over Bonk’s Bar

Bonk's Bar is back on Richmond Street

Bonk’s Bar is back on Richmond Street

Mike “Scoats” Scotese has made a name for himself by running the Grey Lodge in Northeast Philadelphia for more than 20 years. Making the bar one of Philadelphia’s first craft beer bars and converting many people into craft beer fanatics. Scotese has also opened two other bars in the Northeast, Hop Angel Brauhaus in Fox Chase and more recently, he opened Sawtown Tavern in Tacony. And now he’s taken over the old Bonk’s Bar in Port Richmond.

With nary a word to the media, Scotese announced on Facebook Monday that he had softly re-opened Bonk’s Bar at 3467 Richmond Street in Port Richmond. Bonk’s has had a cult following for years with its crab nights and no-frills look. But ownership changes saw the place become inconsistent, with crabs being offered just one day a week and online reviews referring to the place as becoming rundown.

Read more »

First-Time Find: Get In on the Ground Floor in Port Richmond

3011 Livingston St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19134 | TREND Images via The Somers Team

3011 Livingston St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19134 | TREND Images via The Somers Team

As Fishtown continues to rise in popularity, the first waves of change are lapping up against the next neighborhood upriver, Port Richmond.

Port Richmond has many of the things that make Fishtown great: residents who care about the community, interesting shopping and dining, easy access to the rest of the city and great housing stock.

Like this two-story rowhome on a prime corner lot.

The years have been very kind to this home, whose owner has taken excellent care of its details, from its original wood-and-wrought-iron cornice to its hardwood flooring (most of it also original) throughout. Its corner location means it gets lots of natural light, and its open main floor gives it a feeling of spaciousness. Read more »

Philly’s First Grocery Store with Wine


port richmond bottle shop wine 400The Richmond Bottle Shop
within the IGA Super Market at 2497 Aramingo Avenue is now selling wine. Thanks to the law change that went into effect in early August, grocery stores can now get in the wine business in Pennsylvania. The governor’s office announced the first 84 stores that will carry wine outside Pennsylvania’s Fine Wine and Good Spirits stores less than a month ago and the Port Richmond supermarket was the only Philadelphia grocery store on the initial list.

Keith Wallace, founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia is curating the wine selection. There are currently 100 selections available and Wallace plans to expand his selections that range from pink moscato to his recommended syrahs.

Read more »

« Older Posts