Newsletter for Thursday, July 23
INSTAGRAM OF THE DAY
This awesome technicolor home portrait is mesmerizing, via @linewalker215 on Instagram.
POPE IN PHILLY COULD SHUT DOWN GIRARD TO SOUTH STREET
Rumors have been flying for weeks over what’s going to happen when Pope Francis comes to Philly: What streets will be shut down? Will a #PopeFence cordon off all of Center City? Will this be a living nightmare for actual residents? PlanPhilly offered some clarity on some of this Wednesday when it quoted a PPA official saying there will be a “significant security perimeter basically going from Girard Avenue to South Street, river-to-river,” and could even include parts of University City. The same official also said the Parkway can hold up to 700,000 people — a far cry from the 1.5 million expected to attend the Papal Mass in September. Nothing is set in stone for now, and the tight-lipped Secret Service is running the security show; here are some of the details from PlanPhilly, and be sure to follow along with our Pope visit edition of What We Know and What We Don’t.
OUT WITH MARATHON GRILL’S FARM, IN WITH BREWERYTOWN GARDEN
The Marathon Farm project started in 2011 when Philadelphia’s Marathon Grill was investing in a new way to get the city involved in supplying produce to its local restaurants. Within three years, plans had fallen apart, and Marathon Grill didn’t renew its lease for the property with the city. By last summer, some of the city-owned plots of land on which the garden was situated were going up for sheriff’s sale. Not anymore. The abandoned mess of Marathon Urban Farm is now the Brewerytown Garden. Here’s how the place became where neighborhood residents can purchase their own lots and where gardeners tend to fruits and vegetables.
PHILLY IS OWED HALF A BILLION DOLLARS IN BACK PROPERTY TAXES
The numbers are grim. A report Wednesday indicates the city’s tax delinquency problem has actually gotten worse in the period between April 2014 and April 2015. Now, that number is a bit inflated due to people’s property assessment appeals (in other words: I don’t agree with this valuation so I’m not paying it). Enforcement is up — there’ve been more sheriff sales and cooperation from delinquents who were told the liens on their properties would be sold. But the damage is done. Philly Mag explains why most of that $500 million is uncollectible.
Swiss Haus Bakery is hosting a mid-day cake-off at their new location at 3rd and Market. Philly personalities will compete to decorate the craziest, most mouthwatering versions of Swiss Haus bakery’s famous hazelnut cake. In attendance: Philadelphia Cheerleaders, John McNesby of the Philly Police Union and the CEO of Yards Brewing.
Where: Swiss Haus Bakery at 313 Market St.
When: July 23, 2015 at 12:00 p.m.
How much: Cake is free, but it costs $1 to cast a vote for your favorite cake. Proceeds will go to Philabundance.
BILLY PENN LIKES
GIRARD ESTATE: THE SOUTH PHILLY HOME TO ROCKY II AND A MOB BOSS
Once called a “pocket of suburbia” that’s still in the city, Girard Estate is one of Philadelphia’s most secluded neighborhoods — it’s really more like a village of its own. Falling in South Philly, this family-oriented neighborhood is largely designated historic and is chock full of stories about the 480 homes built here in the early 20th century. The neighborhood has been home to influential Italian-American families ranging from politicians to mobsters, and now the community members are working to preserve the history found here off of West Passyunk Avenue. In this week’s edition of the neighborhood series, we’ve featured Girard Estate.
FOUR BARS AND ALL OF THE JOURNEY SONGS: THE LIFE OF A KARAOKE HOST
Meet Sara Sherr, a 45-year-old Philly resident who hosts four nights of karaoke at various Philly bars every week. She is among a small group of “karaoke hosts,” traveling around the city with a public address system, a mixer, a hard drive of thousands of karaoke versions of songs, and the tome-like books of song options. Here’s how Sherr turned karaoke into a career.