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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Michael’s Place: from Citywide to “Scotch Friday”

by Sequoia Medley for the Passyunk Post

Michael’s Place is a shot-and-beer corner bar where you can literally see the layers of history — from the weathered wooden bar with its brass rail to the decades of photos on the wall. It’s also the kind of bar that’s slowly disappearing. There’s a cigarette machine on one wall, and a single pool table that’s free on Tuesdays. The doors open at 7am and there’s no food menu. But it’s not stuck in the past.

Michael’s Place draws a healthy crowd of all drinking ages — from daily regulars who know about the secret specials to hipsters interested in the cheapest citywide left in Philly. The bar bridges the contradictions of the changing neighborhood around it and serves as a place where everyone is welcome . If you come in often enough, everyone will learn your name.

The bar (complete with hipster) as captured by Google in 2017.

Speaking of names – the bar’s name is a bit of a misnomer – it’s actually co-owned by Michael Bordoni and Perry Cavalieri who “go way back.” Back in the day, their fathers co-owned J&D Billiards Parlor, a second-story pool hall on Passyunk and Moore. That bar was located above a florist and beneath a boxing gym where the renown Joey Giradello trained. A 1963 Sports Illustrated article with photos and a description of the pool hall is framed on the wall near the pool table.

Michael bought the existing bar on the corner of 12th and Mifflin “maybe 20 years ago” and fixed it up. Perry came in about five years later. Dates and timelines don’t matter so much when you’re talking about families that have spent generations in East Passyunk.

The bar has local brews on tap, and the aforementioned $4 citywide, which you can customize with different pours for the same price. Prices are approachable, and the atmosphere encourages lingering and chatting with your neighbor. The bar gives back to the community around them. There’s a canned food drive before Thanksgiving, a toy drive at Christmas, and the owners likes to helpthe neighborhood that supports them.

Although the offerings here aren’t the high-end flights or rarefied bottles available on nearby East Passyunk Avenue, you can still get a good pour of a solid 12-year, or an easy-drinking blended scotch. Perry’s recommendation: “If you’re a Dewar’s drinker, switch up to J&B – it’s smoother and less sweet.” He’s a Glenlivet man, personally, and the bar also has Chivas.

Perry likes to start the weekend with a scotch on Friday when his wife gets home from work, “in the tradition of other famous drinkers, like Rat Packers Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.” He posted his toasts to “Scotch Friday” on Facebook. Soon, neighbors started greeting him with “Scotch Friday!” when they saw him on the street. Others began tagging him on social media as they raised their own glass.

So start your weekend off right – join Perry, Michael, and the other Michael’s Place devotees for Scotch Friday. You don’t need to be a spirits snob to take part — just show up and ask the bartender for their recommendation.

Weekends are usually quieter at the bar and Friday evenings tend to be slower than a Monday. 

Michael’s Place
1142 Mifflin Street
Monday – Saturday 7 am – 2 am;
Sunday 10 am – 2 am

Check them out on Facebook.

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News Roundup

Happy New Year! We’re back from a holiday break with a few news stories you should check out if you haven’t already.

Riverview Plaza and Theater are in store for some major changes, as reported by Jacob Aldeman at Philly.com. Some highlights:

  • The theater is set to undergo a $12 million makeover that will include a “4D” experience.
  • 7 to 10 year project, divided into three phases.
  • First two phases will include 260 apartments and 125,000 square feet of retail.
  • Plaza will be rebuilt with buildings lining the sidewalk along Columbus Blvd.
  • Parking will be located within and behind the buildings.
  • First-floor retail including restaurants.
  • Luxury apartments with waterfront views located above the retail.
  • Potential re-use of the historic Engine 46 firehouse at 2nd & Reed Streets.

Changes to recycling rules are in our future. In the meantime, the recycling South Philadelphians put out each week is likely going to the incinerator. That’s according to this report by KYW News which notes: “the city is sending recycling only from parts of the city where there’s little contamination of recyclables, largely the Northeast and Northwest.” The changes are due to an upheaval in the global recycling market. Whatever you do, don’t stop recycling! You can be fined for non-compliance.

The owners of East Passyunk’s newly-opened bookstore, A Novel Idea on Passyunk, were interviewed by Philly Mag’s Clair Sasko. Christina Rosso-Schneider and Alexander Schneider hosted a soft-opening for their shop in December. According to Christina, plans for the new year include “…a book club, classes through Blue Stoop, and an open mic, and I want to start a writing group. We also want to do events with other local businesses, like with yoga studios or a wine and cheese tasting with a local wine bar.” Check out the shop during their new hours.

 

 

 

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Upgrade in store for East Passyunk Community Center outdoor space

By Sequoia Medley
An eager crowd gathered at the East Passyunk Community Center (EPCC) on Tuesday, December 11th for the unveiling of designs for the center’s outdoor spaces. The renderings were well-received as an exciting reimagining of the sole public green space serving the surrounding neighborhood. The presentation, by a team of design professionals assembled by the Community Design Collaborative (CDC), was the culmination of several public visioning sessions and meetings with those who use the space.

Leah Rominger, Community Design Collaborative volunteer, presents her group’s research findings.

The year-long planning process was spearheaded by the EPCC Advisory Council. The Council works with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation to organize special events, promote the Center, and plan and raise funds for site improvements.
EPCC, 1025 Mifflin Street, provides space for athletic, dance, art, and music programs. The building’s meeting spaces host civic meetings, Girl Scouts, the local chapter of the Special Olympics, Vikings New Year’s’ Brigade, a seniors group, as well as cultural, heritage, and history events.

Existing view from 11th and Mifflin looking northeast.

The green space outside the building is a different story. The corner site is one of the only Parks & Rec facilities parks located between Broad Street and 6th Street from Marconi Plaza to Columbus Square. Sadly, it is largely paved with concrete except for an area of threadbare grass. Several trees provide shade, although an arborist reported that most were near the end of their lifespan. The site has no permanent play equipment, but children make use of the sculptural bronze-and-concrete sundial located on the site’s southwest corner.
Since the Advisory Council was formed in 2015 they have made improvements to the site including removing overgrown landscaping and adding a bocce court on the site of an outdoor smoking area used by the building’s former tenants.
Attempting to provide something for everyone, the plans call for a radical redesign that creates a welcoming multipurpose arena designed to serve the diverse needs of neighbors of all ages and interests.

More space for play, less paving.

Leah Rominger and Missy Van Sleet, two of the seven-person volunteer team assembled by the CDC for this project, summarized the previous community input before unveiling the design renderings intended to be presented to future landscape architects and contractors.

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What's Happening in:  All over South Philly 

Events Roundup 12-14-18

Compiled by Josephine Cardillo


Saturday, December 15


Punk Rock Flea Market

When: Saturday & Sunday, December 15 & 16, 10 am – 5 pm
Where: Bok, 1901 S 9th St.
Details:  $5 to enter, good for the entire weekend. For more info, visit the their website.


Made at Bok Holiday Market
An uber-local shopping experience featuring one-of-a-kind items from the Bok Studios. Get your gift wrapped for a suggested donation – gift wrap proceeds will go to Toys for Tots. Thirsty or hungry? Try Bok’s own South Philly Smokhaus, Irwins, Two Persons coffee, and Machine Shop Boulangerie!

When: Saturday, December 15, 11 am – 5 pm
Where: Bok, 821 Dudley St. (rear entrance)
Details:
 Free entry. See the list of vendors at their Facebook event.


Inflatable Snow Globe Photos
Take some memorable photos inside the East Passyunk Avenue BID’s giant inflatable snow globe! Afterwards, continue up the avenue for some holiday shopping.

When: Saturday, December 15, 11 am – 4 pm
Where: East Passyunk Gateway, intersection of Broad Street, East Passyunk Avenue, and McKean Street.
More info: Event details available at visiteastpassyunk.com


Running of the Santas MegaFest
Get ready to run Santa-style. Philly’s biggest Santa party, featuring over 10,000 Santas.

When: Saturday, December 15, 10 am–11:30 pm
Where: Xfinity Live & Field House, 821 Dudley St. (rear entrance)
Details:
 See their website.


Sunday, December 16


Punk Rock Flea Market

When: Saturday & Sunday, December 15 & 16, 10 am – 5 pm
Where: Bok, 1901 S 9th St.
Details:  $5 to enter, good for the entire weekend. For more info, visit the their website.


Holiday Story Times
Perfect for families with young children or anyone who is young at heart.

When: Sunday, December 16, 11 am
Where: A Novel Idea on Passyunk at 1726 East Passyunk
More info: See the Facebook event.


Can You Händel It? Pop Up Choir on East Passyunk
Pop-Up Choir of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah Part 2 Hallelujah Chorus on East Passyunk Avenue. Add your voice and let the music move you – or simply come and watch as a spectator.

When: Sunday Dec. 16th, 2 pm – 3 pm
Where: Singing Fountain at Tasker St. and East Passyunk Ave.
Details:  Performing in the original key of D major. Bring your own sheet music, or use one of the provided copies. Conducted by Justin Gonzalez. More details, and a link to download the music here.


Monday, December 17


Hawthorne Neighborhood Christmas Party
Food, fun, and toys. Children up to 12 years of age will receive a gift by signing up in advance.

When: Monday, December 17, 6 – 8 pm
Where: 1200 Carpenter St.
Details:  Call 215.685.1848 to register your child.


Tuesday, December 18


Caroling at Dickinson Square
Food, fun, and toys. Children up to 12 years of age will receive a gift by signing up in advance.

When: Tuesday, December 18, 6:30 – 8 pm
Where: Parson Building – Dickinson Square, Tasker St. & Moyamensing Ave.
Details: See the Facebook event.


Toddler Time: A Very Swedish Christmas
Toddlers and families will get into the holiday spirt by learning about fun Swedish holiday traditions such as St. Lucia Day, Pepparkakor, and Jultomte.

When: Tuesday, December 18, 10:30 – 11:30 am
Where: American Swedish Historical Museum, 1900 Pattison Ave.
Details: $5/child.  More info on the museum’s website.



All Month

East Passyunk Deck the Ave – A Month of Merrymaking!
Festivities will include the East Passyunk Pop Up Choir, Photos with Santa, Snow Globe Photos, Typewriter Letters to Santa, 8th Annual Ornament Show, Holiday Story Time, Holiday Mummers, Free Parking Saturdays, Holiday QOTA LGBTQ Happy Hour – and more. 

When: Assorted days & times
Where: East Passyunk Ave. from Broad to Wharton St.
Details: Visit their Facebook events page.

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What's Happening in:  Marconi 

Public Displays of Reflection

Photo by Darren Fava

By Joseph Myers

The 2700 blocks of South Smedley and Colorado streets have again infused the Marconi neighborhood with Christmas spirit thanks to their inviting holiday-centric lights and decorations. The unique, oval-shaped blocks would be an exceptional place to visit based solely on residents’ home decorations and light displays. But the park-like island in the center of each block has become their calling card. A perpetual parade of motorists make their way along the expanse nightly to take in the sights.
Smedley Street, whose eponymous Christmas Light Spectacular Facebook page has garnered more than 2,000 “likes,” planned to celebrate opening night on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Wet weather and maintenance matters delayed the event until December 4th.

Photo courtesy Smedley Street Christmas Facebook page.

The resident’s persistence and handiwork were well-received. “By the smiles on our faces, you can tell we’re pretty impressed,” said Jeremy Bryson, exploring the block with wife Tisha Hartman and their children, six-year-old Miles and one-year-old Nina. The family recently moved here from San Diego. “We live nearby,” explained Hartman, “so it was an easy decision to come here. But we weren’t aware of the full beauty and allure of the presentation.”

This year’s display includes inflatables such as tributes to Chase and Marshall of “Paw Patrol” fame, Candy Castle, and the North Pole Stables complete with depictions of Santa Claus and his reindeer helpers.

Paul Pellegrino, a South-Philadelphia-native who now resides in Delaware County, was especially taken with the manger scene. “I had intended just to drive by pretty fast before taking my daughter to dinner, but I couldn’t say ‘No’ when she asked me to let her look at everything.” Seven-year-old Olivia, shouted, “This is the best day ever,” while exploring the site. She also enjoyed a conversation with the North Pole’s most famous inhabitant, as Santa posed for pictures.
The Pellegrinos decided to walk over to Colorado Street. There they found another wonderful display that has likewise delighted neighborhood residents and guests for years.

“This time of year is all about goodwill, so we’re happy that these kind people put up their decorations each year for us to see,” Declan Murphy said to a nod from his wife Lucinda. Originally from Ireland, the two have lived in Pennsport for five years and regularly make inspecting the various lights in South Philly a part of their seasonal fun. The recent retirees are particularly fond of Colorado Street because of its quaint feel, accentuated by a massive “Merry Christmas” sign.
“The people who live around here are very spoiled,” Lucinda said with a laugh. “They have Colorado Street and Smedley Street so close together. Who could ever be in a bad mood when they have that going for themselves?”

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What's Happening in:  All over South Philly 

Events Roundup 12-05-18

“A Night of Carols” – Christmas Concert

When: Thursday, December 6, 7 pm
Where: St Edmond’s Church, 2130 S 21st St.
Details:  See the Facebook event.


An Original Play by Gianna Lozzi Wolf: The Eighth Fish of Christmas
Presented by Raw Street Productions.

When: Friday, December 7 through Sunday, December 9, assorted times
Where: Connie’s Ric Rac, 1132 South 9th Street
Details: Read more about it, see dates & times, and purchase tickets here.


Saturday, December 8


Army-Navy Game
If you’re lucky, tickets to this epic match might still be available here.

When: Saturday, December 8
Where: Lincoln Financial Field
More info:  See the official webpage. And, while you’re at it, read how the game moves one reporter to tears each year. 


Southeast by Southeast Holiday Sale & Toy Drive
Multicultural sale featuring an assortment of global crafts and textiles made by Philadelphians from all over the world. Directly benefits Philadelphia’s immigrant and refugee artists and entrepreneurs. Toy drive – bring a wrapped and labeled holiday gift under $25 for refugee children in Philadelphia.

When: Saturday, December 8, 11 am – 3 pm
Where: Bok, 821 Dudley St.
More info: 
Cash-preferred. Proceeds go directly to the vendors. Sponsored by the Porch Light program and Southeast by Southeast. See the web page or Facebook event.


Brunch with Santa

When: Saturday, December 8, 11 am – 4 pm
Where: Mummers Museum, 1100 South Second St.
Tickets: 
Tickets: adults/$12, children/$10. Call 215.336.3050. Facebook event.


Handmade at Fleisher Art Memorial
Indoor holiday craft market plus DIY gift-making.

When: Saturday, December 8, 11 am – 5 pm
Where: Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catharine St.
More info:  Free admission, limited free parking. See the Facebook event.


13th Annual South Philly Handmade Brigade – open studio & sale
This shopping event features affordable and original artwork & gifts by local artists. Glass, ceramics, jewelry, clothing, housewares, and more. Meet the artists in their studios and enjoy snacks and drinks, too.

When: Saturday, December 8, 11 am – 6 pm
Where: 1241 Carpenter Street
More info: 
See the Facebook event.


Typewriter Letters to Santa
Children of all ages are welcome to type a letter to Saint Nick on decorated stationary using one of Philly Typewriter’s vintage machines. Take your letter home to mail to the North Pole or bring it to one of East Passyunk Avenue’s Photos with Santa events.

When: Saturday, December 8, 1 – 4 pm
Where: Philly Typewriter, 1439 East Passyunk Ave.
More info:  See the Facebook event.


Holiday Story Times
Perfect for families with young children or anyone who is young at heart.

When: Saturday, December 8, 3 pm
Where: EPABID Office at 1904 East Passyunk
More info: Featuring the South Philly Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia. See the Facebook event.


Sunday, December 9


Holiday Story Times
Perfect for families with young children or anyone who is young at heart.

When: Sunday, December 9, 11 am
Where: A Novel Idea on Passyunk at 1726 East Passyunk
More info: See the Facebook event.


Next week


Marconi Plaza – Christmas Tree Lighting
Enjoy caroling and hot chocolate with your neighbors.

When: Saturday, December 10, 7:30 pm
Where: Marconi Plaza, west side of Broad Street at Oregon Ave.
More info: See the Facebook event.


Dinner With Santa at Penrose Diner
5th annual Dinner with Santa feature treats for the kids and a free picture with the man in red.

When: Wednesday December 12, 5-8 pm
Where: Penrose Diner, 2016 Penrose Ave
More info: See the Facebook event.


Italian Movie Afternoon featuring “Benvenuto Presidente!”

When: Friday, December 14, Noon
Where: Fumo Family Library, 2437 South Broad St.
More info: See the Free Library’s website.



All Month

East Passyunk Deck the Ave – A Month of Merrymaking!
Festivities will include the East Passyunk Pop Up Choir, Photos with Santa, Snow Globe Photos, Typewriter Letters to Santa, 8th Annual Ornament Show, Holiday Story Time, Holiday Mummers, Free Parking Saturdays, Holiday QOTA LGBTQ Happy Hour – and more. 

When: Assorted days & times
Where: East Passyunk Ave. from Broad to Wharton St.
Details: Visit their Facebook events page.

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