25 Years a Mom

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

We’re driving into the city, my husband Doug and I, the car filled with pickaxes and shovels and flats of marigolds and pots of tomatoes. It’s Mother’s Day, and we’re headed to our daughter’s house — well, to her apartment in West Philly. She and her husband Basil have a backyard, and she wants to put in a garden. Somehow, it seems like just the right task for Mother’s Day.

When she and her brother were little, I got to choose an excursion for Mother’s Day. We’d head for the Zoo, or Longwood Gardens; once we went to the Shore. It was windy and cold; we took photos of the kids bundled in blankets on the beach, and ate supper at a Jersey diner. I don’t remember how much fun it was at the time, but now when I look at the photos of that long-ago afternoon, it looks wonderful. Little kids, little problems — isn’t that what they say? Read more »

Morning Headlines: New Plan for Proposed Condo Complex on Clark Park

Rendering of 4224 Baltimore Avenue. Photo credit: U3 Ventures.

Rendering of 4224 Baltimore Avenue.
Photo credit: U3 Ventures.

A proposal for a mixed-use complex at 43rd and Baltimore on Clark Park presented during a recent Spruce Hill Community Association meeting was generally well-received, save for a few dissenting voices against its design. The project, which is set to include 132 units and 17,000 square feet of commercial space, is intended to attract young professionals.

The property’s owner, Clarkmore Group, has plans for a restaurant, owner-occupied condos going down 43rd, and taller apartment rentals further east on Baltimore, which would also house a 10,000-square-foot fitness center on the first floor. Underground parking (65 spaces) and indoor bike parking (50 spaces) would also be available.

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Is Architectural Consistency Overrated?

University City High School. Photo via Wikimedia.

University City High School. Photo via Wikimedia.

One of the big concerns many residents of neighborhoods undergoing major change have is preserving the character of their neighborhood. Usually, such discussions focus on the architecture of an area, especially an area where the homes are of a uniform style and have lasted long enough.

Many Philadelphia neighborhoods like Powelton Village are filled with distinctive 19th-century Victorian and neoclassical homes. Some residents of such neighborhoods want to make sure that 19th-century ambience survives intact.

Not everyone agrees with this view, however.

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Morning Headlines: Demolition of Queen Lane Apartments Coming Soon-ish

queen lane apartments

It’s been almost two years since the Philadelphia Housing Authority announced plans to demolish the long-vacant Queen Lane Apartments in West Philadelphia, and to replace it with a 55-unit development. What’s another few months?

As it is, the Department of Housing and Urban Development can finally give PHA the go-ahead.  The project had been put on pause following the discovery of a historic burial ground in the building’s backyard. The cemetery’s borders have since been asserted, and future construction will not disturb it.

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Tale of the Tape: SPOT Gourmet Burgers, Steaks, & Pork

spot-cart-yotc-940

As we continue the Year of the Cheesesteak, we’ll be taking a look at cheesesteak spots that are new, been flying under the radar or been suggested to us. Today, we visit the SPOT Burgers truck at The Porch at 30th Street Station. Yes, SPOT Burgers has gotten plenty of rightful ink for their hamburgers but you cannot sleep on owner Josh Kim’s cheesesteaks.

The Tale of the Tape » 

UPDATED: University City Federal Donuts Countdown Is On

homer-simpson-federal-donuts-university-cityThe Federal Donuts coming to 3428 Sansom Street is opening shortly. How shortly? According to a tweet from Federal Donuts yesterday, “in fewer days than you can count on two Simpsons hands.” Which if our arithmetic is correct, means the new Federal Donuts will open within eight days, seven as of today. Unless thumbs don’t count, then it’s five.

Counting on Simpson fingers is tougher than it seems.

UPDATE: Just got word that FedNuts West will be opening the doors at 7am on Monday, March 10–which, true to their promise, is a number of days that can be counted on two Simpsons hands.

All the new flavors of donuts and fried chicken right this way…

Will Alexander Wilson School Be Turned Into Housing?

Photo credit: Great Philly Schools.

Photo credit: Great Philly Schools.

Word on the street is Orens Brothers Real Estate will get the former Alexander Wilson School at 46th and Woodland. As mentioned earlier, the building is one of several shuttered School District properties being eyed by potential buyers.

Orens Brothers intends to convert the building into a residential space with possible ground floor retail, not too surprising considering their rehab track record. Their most recent renovation was the infamous Croydon Building known for being a squatter haven and having been the site of a rooftop murder in 2007. That property has since been turned into a residential unit aimed at students.

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