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What's Happening in:  Bella Vista 

SoPhilly Spotlight: Loft edition

There aren’t many lofts in South Philly, so when you see one in the wild, it’s kind of a treat. This one at 11th and Washington is a doozy.

Renting for $2,050 a month, this apartment is about 1,000 square feet. Depending on where you look though, it’s either a 2-bedroom or a just a 1-bedroom in the loft. That’s kind of a big difference, but neverthless, it’s still so pretty.

From the Solo Realty listing:

An unmatched city loft with all the amenities that you could wish for and more. There is an unobstructed north west view of the city that can be seen through the oversized windows. The premium kitchen features Schiffini Italian cabinets, granite countertops, Jennair appliances and stainless steel topped island. Polished concrete floors, exposed brick walls and a loft bedroom adds to the contemporary style of the space.

There’s also a heated parking garage, bike storage, a community room fitness center and 24-hour concierge. And of course, it’s only two blocks from the Italian Market.

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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Witch Craft Beer Crawl on Wednesday

The East Passyunk BID is throwing its third annual Witch CRAFT Beer crawl on Wednesday night. For $6.66 you get access to $3 craft beers at 12 bars along the avenue and a witch hat that you can put on as you get drunker. Get it? Witch … craft?

You also get a stamp on a Witch CRAFT stamp card when you buy a drink or food from one of the bars. Get five stamps (take SEPTA, for the love of god) and you’re entered into a contest for gift-certificate package worth $300. Nice. The event’s registration fee goes toward the BID’s cleaning and greening program, so it’s a worthy cause, too.

Registration is 5:30 to 7 at the Bottle Shop. Check here for more info and to buy advance tickets.

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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Reader request: What’s all that digging at Columbus Square?

Editor’s Note: Thanks to one of our loyal readers for asking about this project. If there’s anything you’re curious about, send us an email at and we’ll get to the bottom of it.

The big hole that formed a couple weeks ago next to the Columbus Square dog park at 12th and Reed is a rain garden being built by the city.

Making progress – on Saturday

Joanne Dahme at the Water Department says the garden will collect street runoff from 12th Street and from Reed between 11th & 12th, “keeping it out of our combined sewer.” Expected completion is mid-November and a department contractor will maintain it.

“We will also be reaching out to the community about an evolving Adoption Program where we will be asking residents to help us keep [it] litter-free and to keep an eye on how the rain garden looks
on a regular basis,” Dahme said. “The Passyunk Square Civic is one of our partners in this program.”

The rain garden is part of a 25-year effort called Green City, Clean Waters, which aims to reduce the load of rainwater flowing into the city’s aging sewer system. The same project was the reason behind the stormwater planters on the west side of the park along 13th Street. And according to a map of planned projects, another rain garden is being designed for the northeast corner of the park.
What the future holds
A couple weeks ago

Check out more specific plans, including the types of plants being used, here:

Rain Garden Plans

Editor’s Note: Thanks to one of our loyal readers for asking about this project. If there’s anything you’re curious about, send us an email at and we’ll get to the bottom of it.

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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Hey, South Philly Co-op, you wanna open at Annunciation?

We caught up with Leo Addimando, the developer who’s planning 48 apartments in the former Annunciation school at 12th and Wharton, and we came away with a couple particularly interesting tidbits.

Addimando went before the Passyunk Square Civic last week with his initial presentation and solicited feedback for what the community wants in the 3,300 square foot commercial space. They discussed a coffeeshop and office space for the civic. The most notable idea, though, is the possibility of locating the South Philly Co-op there.

“We would love to talk to the Co-op organizers,” Addimando said.

He hasn’t connected with them yet, but this seems like it could be a great home for it. It’s right in the middle of the neighborhood. There’s a city parking lot next door and Columbus Square Park across the street, so the density of cars is probably slightly lower than some other areas of the neighborhood.

The timelines of both projects could also line up. Addimando said if all goes well, he’d like to start work on the building in the first quarter of 2013 and that construction would take about a year. And the Co-op is about halfway to reaching the number of members it needs to open, so that’s still a ways off.

Another notable part of our conversation with Addimando is that there stills seems to be a bit of a disconnect between what he plans and what the neighborhood wants. We reported that though his presentation was popular, the civic’s zoning committee felt that 48 “is too many units for the amount of provided parking spaces [37, plus indoor bike parking] and that it will have a negative impact on the neighborhood,” according to the civic’s website. “Committee suggested they come up with some other plan/design with fewer units.”

Addimando said, however, the building could have fit 70 apartments but that they decided to lower that number to minimize neighborhood concerns.

“The project could support significantly more, but we didn’t want to negotiate,” Addimando said. “Forty-eight is what it takes for us to support the purchase price we’re paying to the archdiocese.” He wouldn’t cough up the sale price and said the sale hasn’t been finalized.

He said he plans to return to the civic’s zoning meeting next month with the same plans, but he noted that he’s “very open to talking with the neighborhood.”So, it sounds like there’s still some distance between the civic and the developer, but hopefully they can find common ground to get this important project moving. From what Cassie Knox at the civic told us last week, the neighbors responded positively to his presentation, and it sounds like Addimando is committed to the project.

“This is a part of town that we think is a really nice area,” he said. “It’s a good representation of how a neighborhood can evolve in a positive away over the years.”

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Who knew? Comedy shows at Adobe, including tomorrow night

From the “Who knew?” file, Adobe Cafe hosts comedy shows on the first and third Wednesdays of every month, emceed by local stand-up guy Bradley Beck.

Tomorrow night is the first South Philly Comedy Jawn, which will happen every third Wednesday. It’s an open-mic show that will draw comedians, sketch troupes, musicians, storytellers, etc. Beck says he expects about 20 acts over three hours. It’s free and starts at 9. The first Wednesday of each month is more of a curated comedy showcase called Accidents Will Happen.

Adobe already hosts the best karaoke party in the city in the back room on Saturday nights, which is fueled in part by $2 Cuervo shots. They also tried an upstairs dance party a while back that never seemed to get off the ground. So maybe this comedy show means they can start finding a way to take advantage of all that unused space and get some more people through the doors. Of course, improving the food and service might help toward that end.

The comedy shows have been happening since the spring, and Beck says they’ve averaged about 40 to 50 people. Has anyone been yet? What did you think?

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So THAT’s why our water wasn’t working, with pics

This is the best picture of the Old City water main break that happened at 3rd and Walnut yesterday afternoon but knocked out water all the way down in East Passyunk. Thanks to Philebrity for it:

But here are a few more tidbits in this 60-second summary, and for lots more pictures, click the link in the tweet below. Here’s a little more info about it from the Inquirer.

[View the story “Old City water main break” on Storify]

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