Thursday, May 29, 2014

Dickinson Square Park Farmers' Market Opens for Biz Sunday, June 1st

Get 'em started early on the goodness of fresh fruit and veggies (Instagram)

Admit it, you've had a hankerin' for some fresh, green local veggies. Well, you're in luck! The Dickinson Square Farmers' Market opens this Sunday, June 1st from 10am to 2pm. Located at the corner of Moyamensing Avenue and Morris Street, the market will run every Sunday from June through October - weather permitting, of course.

Here's a list of who you can expect:
    • Beets, asparagus, scallions, strawberries and Boston, red lead and romaine lettuce
    • Red and green butter head lettuce, baby romaine lettuce, salad mic, swiss chard, beets, spinach, kale, radishes, yukina savoy, baby pac choi, hakurei turnips, collard greens, dandelion greens, spring garlic and RAW HONEY (!)
    • Classic, Mango salsa and Raw tomato salsa
    • Whole bean coffee available by the bag 
    • Hot and iced coffee while you shop
    •  Artisan bread and cheese
 Be sure to follow DSP Famers' Market on Facebook for all of the lastest updates, ya'll!

Also, if you have any recipes made with farmers' market goodies, share them over at our Facebook page as well.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Scrap Metal Joint Moving to Weccacoe Avenue

F&J Scrap has packed up shop and looks to be in the process of moving to an unknown location on Weccacoe Avenue. While that's probably bad news for John's Roast Pork (and IKEA's shopping carts), it's music to the ears of neighbors looking to rid the area of transient scrappers, litter and stray shopping carts. Check out this list of recent violations.

A sign hung on the fence mentions the move, which points to an opening date (?) of July 1st.

This news will hopefully mean less transient scrappers in the neighborhood and underneath I-95, as well as less stray carts from Target, Marshall's, ShopRite and even as far as IKEA.

This cart was found at Moyamensing and McKean - that's a haul from F&J

Open House for Abigail Vare Elementary School is Today

Reminder: The open house for Abigail Vare Elementary School is today from 9am to 12pm. Listed at $2.5m, it's one of the highest valued properties in school district's most recent portfolio of 20 shuttered schools. The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation is in charge of the sales.

For an idea about what the process looks like, check out the live-blog for the open house of William Penn High School I did yesterday for Curbed Philly. Before you ask -- yes, waivers are involved.

Please be sure to let us know if you happen to stop in. We'd love to see what Vare looks like on the inside.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Pennsport Listed as One of the Top Cycling Communities in the Entirety of America

Do you bike to and from work or school? Or maybe you bike to the grocery store? How about when you go out with your friends or family?

Student at Furness High love to ride their bike to school
If you do, then you've apparently contributed to Pennsport being listed as one of the "Top 10 Cycling Communities in the USA" -- so, thanks for that!

I have to admit, something seems slightly off with this story. Perhaps they're using a broad definition of "community' and encompassing multiple South Philly 'hoods within Pennsport. Either way, it's awesome news for the neighborhood and Philadelphia as well. As you know, Philly is getting a bike share next Spring and it's a pretty big deal.

The usual scene outside of The Industry
So keep biking anywhere and everywhere, Pennporters - we have a reputation to live up to now.You might want to check out this app that tracks your bike ride in order to create better and safer bike lanes. And if you see a parked car blocking the bike lane, report it to the PPA using the hashtag #UnblockBikeLanes on the Twitter machine.

Norman's on Two Street is For Sale

Back in November, we brought you the sad news that Norman's Juvenile Furniture on Two Street had closed after nearly 60 years in the baby furniture business. Well, much like Abigail Vare School up the street, it looks as though the building is now officially up for sale. Whereas Vare is looking to net a cool $2.5m, Norman's in on the market for a shade under $600,000 -- or just slightly less than the entire Rudolph Wilson Elementary School near 28th and Leigh.

Norman's is for sale for just under $600k
The listing on Redfin offers a glimpse at the current condition of the large commercial space, officially located at 1714 South 2nd Street -- Second and Watkins for most of you. While the outside remains intact, the interior of the old shop (which was originally a grocery store) has been stripped, leaving an expansive open floor plan just yearning for a vision.

The shelving units are gone. All this place needs is a vision -- and someone with $600k. (via Redfin)
Hopefully, the building can be sold and turned in to a useful commercial property. As you are probably well aware, houses are going up left and right. Two Street could really use the foot traffic that typically comes from the emergence of a new business in the neighborhood. Here's what we wrote back in November:
The good news is that Jim [Pratt, the owner] wants to see something become of the large corner property that housed a few grocery stores back in the day. "We were originally across the street (corner of 2nd and Pierce Sts.) and this used to be an ACME," he said. "Believe it or not, these few blocks were mainly storefronts but things change." 
Oddly enough, it could be Norman's that sparks a commercial turnaround on Two Street.  The opportunity is certainly there: the old Wise Guys pizza place is still on the market, as is the commercial property located directly up the street at 1708 South Second Street. The short-lived Brown Chicken Brown Cow, which didn't survive the winter, is still available to rent. Add the untapped potential at the Pennsport Mall to newer shops like Federal Donuts and CrossFit 2Street and you've got yourself the making of a fine commercial corridor from Washington Avenue down to Moore Street to help service current neighbors and those who purchase one of the many new town homes in the area.

1708 S. Second Street is still for rent - it's three doors north of Norman's (via Google Maps)

Wise Fries is also still for rent since it's closing in June of 2013
What would you like to see happen to the old Norman's space? Shoot us your ideas in the comments, on Facebook or Twitter and, who knows, maybe we'll look back at your ideas in five years times and tell you how much you nailed it! 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Former Ugly American spot will soon get new owners, new life as restaurant

It looks as though the former Ugly American spot will soon be a restaurant again.

We don’t have many details yet but this Fox Roach listing notes that the large, three-story property at Front and Federal streets has recently been sold for $450,000, though city records still list its last sale as being in 2007 for $541,685. The former Pennsport gastropub closed in early 2013 and the space at 1100 S. Front St. had seen little action since being put on the market.

However, after the listing had recently been removed from Zillow, we decided to contact Donna Santore, listing agent with Berkshire Hathaway/Fox & Roach Realtors to see if the pieces were starting to fall in to place.

Santore didn’t comment on specifics of the sale but did say that new owners are taking over and will be in settlement on the property in under 30 days. She went on to mention that they’re looking to open a new bar/restaurant that also features a brunch menu in the mold of For Pete’s Sake, located a few blocks north at Front and Christian Streets. Word on the street is that the restaurant could be open as soon as July/August, although that hasn't been confirmed.

Prior to Ugly American, this location was home to La Vigna, an Italian restaurant that was well-liked, according to multiple neighbors.

With the coming addition of Pub on Wolf (and the aforementioned For Pete’s Sake), it looks as though South Front Street will be soon be dotted with brunch-serving gastropubs from Queen Village all the way down through Whitman.

As always, we'll have the details as soon as they become available.

Big ups to Ryan, a loyal reader who gave us a heads up on a bit of this news. 

Abigail Vare is Officially For Sale, Open House Scheduled for May 20th

Abigail Vare School has officially been put up for sale for the hefty price of $2.5m. The school district sold eight of the vacant school buildings last March for less than $30m and announced this week that 20 more buildings will be sold, this time with the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) at the helm.

The buildings start at $700k and go all the way up to the astronomical price of $15m for William Penn High School on North Broad Street. Vare is the second smallest building square footage wise at 54,000 sq. ft. but the is listed as the fifth priciest out of the 20 properties up for sale. After all, many of these vacant school buildings are located on a landmark park like Dickinson Square and smack-dab in the middle of a burgeoning neighborhood like Pennsport.

Through their new website,, the PIDC will look to offload the properties as soon as possible in order to raise the necessary funds to help ease the school district’s financial crisis, according to Superintendent William Hite and School Reform Commission Chair Bill Green testified to City Council on Monday that the district is $261m short.

As you can see from the listing, the open house is scheduled for Tuesday, May 20th starting at 9am.

The school was apparently added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

Here are a few wonderful pictures of Abigail Vare School over the years. All pictures are via
From 1906

From 1927

From 1927, Morris Street in the background

From 1927, from Morris Street - note the trolley tracks
Here is one I recently posted to Instagram:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Path to Glory at the Philly10K Runs Through Pennsport

It looks like the Philly10k Race on September 6th will run through the heart of Pennsport. According to the official course map, the race will start on East Passyunk Avenue, travel through the Italian Market up through Center City, head towards the Delaware River until Fourth Street and head down Fourth through Pennsport at Tasker St. The race will end at 10th and Tasker Street area.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of the momentum built up by the Broad Street run. While the BSR is a 10 miler, this Philly10k is a little over 6 miles. We all know that runners love themselves a party and there will be a post race after party to be announced in the coming months - so stay tuned!

For more info, please visit the Philly10k website and good luck to all of those runners who sign up for the race, we won't be running alongside but we will be there to cheer you on!

Big thanks to Matt Stanley for the heads up on this awesome race!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Broad Street Run Special at Moonshine is Worth a 10 Miler

You may have heard about this little race called the Broad Street Run. It's no big deal really, just 40,000 people running the length of Broad Street from Einstein Medical Center all the way down to the Navy Yard.

Seriously though, the Broad Street Run starts at 830am this Sunday. It's ten miles and it's amazing for runners and spectators alike - go cheer on the runners because they deserve it and it really does push them on. Outside of the Mummer's Parade, it's probably the best people watching event Philly has going for it.

Tell all your runner friends (or strangers, too!) to come on down to to Moonshine in good old Pennsport after the race for a pretty ridiculous special - $5 and your bib gets your one of their insanely delicious burgers and a beer.

Not familiar with the Broad Street Run? Our pals at Philly Love Notes have an inspirational post dedicated to the run that features some incredible pictures as well.

Good luck runners and don't forget your bib!

Don't believe us about the amazing special at Moonshine? The proof in is the pictures: