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October 2014

There are 84 blog entries for October 2014.

UCD President Matt Bergheiser talks about green spaces in University City at the Oct. 15 "State of University City" report presentation.

The University City District (UCD) held a forum to unveil the release of its annual “State of University City” report at the World Café Live building on Oct. 15.  The event included nearly a dozen speakers who covered the positive new developments in the neighborhood in recent years, the new plans and developments for the coming years, and those who are innovators and residents in the neighborhood.  

Over the last few years, University City has seen a good deal of new development despite the slow economy, and the “State of University City” report identifies 32 new and planned projects totaling 6.9 million square

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 Little Pete's: Here today...

Earlier this week, we reported that the former Dewey's Famous at 13th and Chancellor streets, a Washington Square West/Midtown Village/Gayborhood icon and a landmark in local LGBT history that last housed the Letto Deli, will come down in favor of a new restaurant to be run by star chef Sylva Senat, late of Tashan and now building his own culinary empire.

Now comes news that the other historic Dewey's we mentioned in our May 4, 2013 "Buildings Then and Now" feature, the restaurant now known as Little Pete at 17th and Chancellor streets near Rittenhouse Square, will also disappear along with the parking garage that contains it.

...gone tomorrow, to be replaced by this new boutique hotel... 

DAS Architects

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That threat to the established taxi order, UberX, could be in a position to become a lifesaver if TWU 234 walks as most expect it will; Eastern State Penitentiary may have the franchise on "Terror Behind the Walls," but there's another prison in this city that has ghosts too; Want some urbanist dress-up ideas for tonight's Halloween parties? Try these; and if you think there are too many bloodsuckers in this city now, wait until news of this really gets around:

UberX ride-sharing could be in perfect position if SEPTA strikes (Philadelphia Business Journal)
Haunting Holmesburg Prison (Hidden City Daily)
The Best Halloween Costumes for Urban Planners: Philly Edition (Property blog|Philadelphia magazine) 
Philadelphia ranked best city to be a vampire (6ABC) 

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Above, Troy Everwine with the liquor license application notice; below, the Prince Cafe, soon to become the Saw Town Tavern. The arrow points to the license application in the window.

When Mike "Scoats" Scotese opened the Grey Lodge Public House on Frankford Avenue above Harbison in Mayfair, Troy Everwine became an early fan of what quickly became one of the most highly regarded beer bars in a city that loves its beer. Then the two became neighbors in Tacony. Now they're business partners, as the two are going in together on a new pub in their home neighborhood.

For Scotese, it's an opportunity to spread the gospel of good beer, great food to go with it, and good times further. For Everwine, it's a chance to do something he's wanted to do for some

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Or is "artist" the right term? Architecture is considered an art form: the legendary Paris architecture school's name translates into the "School of Fine Arts," which is the same thing Penn called the school that housed its architecture department for many years. But the discipline is as much engineering as art, at least if the artist wishes for his or her creation to not fall down. Still, it's art enough that its practitioners — or some of them, at least — sign their work. We ran across these artists' signatures on a recent walk around town. Can you tell us where we found them? For extra credit, name the building; for a gold star, tell us the history of the building.


Answer next week.

Photo by the author

Last week's Hidden Treasure Hunt

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Washington Square West's Gayborhood, which overlaps with Midtown Village, gets a new western frontier this weekend as Boxers PHL, the local outpost of a popular New York City sports bar, opens to the public.

People were already headed through the door as your editor passed the site earlier today, but he couldn't help but notice that the Sheet Metal Workers union also showed up for the grand opening with a Welcome Wagon present of sorts.

This time, instead of the giant rat that has made an appearance at the Boxers construction site on at least two earlier occasions, the union hauled out the fat cat choking a construction worker it has used at other local construction sites to protest the use of nonunion labor on the projects.

It seems moot now

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Seems some folks in Ardmore still don't like Carl Dranoff's proposed downtown stimulus project; The author of that magisterial biography of Ed Bacon has a recommendation for a 100th birthday present for the Ben Franklin Parkway — putting the square back in Logan Square; An encounter between Mayor Michael Nutter and the son of Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres has launched a boomlet of Israeli firms interested in setting up shop in Philadelphia, drawn by the city's "European style"; and panelists at a discussion last night in Center City had plenty of ideas for making Philly more family-friendly while still keeping its appeal to younger Millennials:

Montco protest planned for Ardmore project (
The Parkway is a disaster — let's fix it! (Broad

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By Matty Stringer

The question isn't if, but when, the building that most recently housed the Letto Deli in Washington Square West's Gayborhood in Midtown Village meets its fate—complete demolition.

Licenses and Inspections issued a permit for the building's complete demolition on Sept. 16, and shortly after mid-October, green mesh and chain link construction fencing went up around the building. (The photos accompanying this post were taken by the author before the fencing went up.)

So we know the end for 208 S. 13th St. is coming—and soon. After Philly's own Iron Chef, José Garces, pulled the plug on his own restaurant project two years ago, CBRE Fameco began shopping the property to other prospective restaurant tenants.  News recently

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Philadelphia's Magic Gardens, itself an otherworldly space, is the perfect starting point for a Day of the Dead parade. South Street's parade will begin there on Sunday, Nov. 2.

Halloween falls on a Friday this year, which means places all over the city are scaring up a full menu of ghoulish activities, parties and events all weekend long. We've chosen a few of the best to feature here:

Friday, Oct. 31

Mt. Airy Monster Mash: Germantown Avenue in Mt. Airy throws its big monthly street fair on the last Friday of each month. Since that happens to be Halloween this month, October's Final-ly Friday will become a "Monster Mash" with a costume contest at 5:30 p.m. a mummy wrap competition at 6 p.m., and a Halloween dance, along with the usual Final-ly

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Is it the home of your dreams or the beginning of a nightmare? A little homework and forethought can keep your new home from becoming the latter. If you've concluded buying is right for you, make sure you're buying the right home for the right reasons.

Just as there are bad reasons to remain a renter, there are situations when buying a home makes less sense than you think it might.

And even when it still makes sense to buy, there are some traps that could cost you if you fall into them.

We'll look at these issues in our last installment of our "To rent or to buy?" series.

When Buying Is A Bad Idea

You're Moving Soon. If your plans include a move within the next three years, for whatever reason, you shouldn't buy a home right now unless you

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