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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Good news for South Philly Co-op, plus a couple secret garden pics

Everybody’s favorite potential food co-op, the South Philly Co-op, hit a milestone this weekend when it signed up its 300th member at the second annual garden tour.

The event – which sold 111 tickets at $20 to $25 a pop, not a bad haul – featured 24 home and community gardens all over South Philly, and they all looked a lot nicer than the crumbling concrete slab that makes up the back yard of Passyunk Post world headquarters.

Why doesn’t our back yard look like that? Oh yeah, hard work (from Co-op’s Facebook page)

The 300-member mark is impressive, but it’s still short of the 600 members needed to be able to sign a lease. According to Plan Philly:

At 250 members, the co-op was able to create a real estate committee. At 400 members the organization will begin to secure funding, and at 600 members the co-op will be able to sign a lease.

Check out a ton of photos on the Co-op’s Facebook page. And click here for more info on how to become a member. It’s $200, but you can pay in installments, so what’s the hold-up?

Veddy nice, Facebook again
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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing :  Passyunk Square 

Valet stand opened, another’s coming

The rain poured down this weekend, so the new, intrepid valet parker took shelter under a white umbrella at the valet stand that opened this weekend at the fountain. Another stand will open this month on the 1600 block of the avenue near the parking lot.

Valet is being offered Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. for $8 if you get it validated at one of these restaurants: Stateside, Mamma Maria, Birra, Izumi, Paradiso, Tre Scalini, Fond and Da Vinci. Without validation, it’s $15, which would still save you the 10-20 minutes it would take to find a spot on Saturdays and is a lot less than the $41 ticket you might get anyway.

It’s another success for PARC, which also just announced the beginning of facade improvement program that starts with five businesses this month. Hand it to Philly.com commenters, though, to make lemons out of lemonade and complain about the parking “mafia.”

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What's Happening in:  Newbold 

SoPhilly Spotlight: Brownstone Steal edition

For this week’s SoPhilly spotlight, we technically are looking in Point Breeze – the house is on the west side of Broad Street (or, in Newbold, if you want to get fancy). But that grueling trek to such a distant neighborhood, whatever it’s called, is worth it to get a peek at this brownstone mansion at 1818 S. Broad St., being offered by Jeff “City” Block at PruFoxRoach for $440,000 (or $400,000 if you trust the Zillow listing).

Grand, indeed

With 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths in 2,970 square feet, this “warm, wonderful and grand” home is less than two blocks from EPA and has lots of interesting, old-world detail. Some of the details are a little old-fashioned, lots of dark, carved wood, and some unfortunate color schemes. But the massive kitchen is renovated and bright, and there’s an extra family room and office with 10 to 12-foot ceilings throughout. Grand really was the right word, Mr. City Block.

If you want to get a closer look in person, there’s an open house Sunday from noon to 1 p.m. Tell ’em Passyunk Post sent you.

That’s original stained glass
Living room, nice built-ins
Damn! That’s a big kitchen
Could do without the border, but hey, that’s nice
The family room, or as the original inhabitants probably called it, the parlor
Love the woodwork
Spacious bathroom in the master suite
So many bay windows
Starting to see why it’s not more expensive
Very nice
There are grape vines on the trellis
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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing :  Passyunk Square 

2nd Saturday gets G-rated

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The East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District has been drawing art aficionados, curious passersby and wine freeloaders to 2nd Saturday for years, but now the BID is skewing a little younger with its latest initiative.

A family-friendly, early incarnation of 2nd Saturday begins tomorrow, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to a news release:

Philadelphia’s “it place” for grownup dining, drinks, fashion and fun jumps into fall with a kid-friendly version of the popular “Second Saturday” series. Families are invited to enjoy back to school shopping, live entertainment, public tours, craft activities, family meals and free prizes! Many activities are discounted or free.

Prizes, huh? More than 20 avenue businesses are participating with food specials, games, live music, apple painting, discounts, deals and other little enticements. For the full list of offerings, go to the event’s Facebook page.

No need to worry, childless adults and parents who want to get a cheap buzz on. The regular 2nd Saturday is still going on later, so drop the kids off at Nana’s house and get some free Narragansett beer at the Bottle Shop.

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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Ellsworth Street development rises out of the ground

Cedars Village, the affordable senior housing complex that took the place of what was a city-owned parking lot, is starting to take shape just off the Italian Market. The developer, St. Maron’s CDC, plans 64 units on the 22,000-square-foot lot, plus 25 parking spaces and a community garden,¬†according to Plan Philly.

A couple stories already
Another view
The crane’s on the future parking lot
What the finished product will look like

BCM Affordable Housing, a Paoli company, is constructing the five-story building, which only rises three stories along Ellsworth to make it blend in a little more with the neighboring rowhouses. They still have a lot of work to do, though, and our guess is that it will be another eight months before they finish.

The “before” picture, thanks to Naked Philly

Incidentally, the developer is a related venture of the tiny St. Maron’s Catholic Church at 10th and Ellsworth, which has been serving Lebanese immigrants and their descendants in South Philly for 125 years. The connection to Lebanon undoubtedly inspired the “Cedar” in the housing project’s name. The cedar tree is on Lebanon’s flag. See:

You learn something new every day
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Is your mail slot putting your family in grave danger?

Danger lurks within -Dun, dun, duhhhhh!

Sounds like a teaser for every local newscast you’ve ever seen, right? Well, don’t board up your front door just yet.

A police officer in the 3rd District sent out a burglary warning about a scourge flexible felons who are removing mail slots, then reaching inside to unlock the door.

Throughout the City of Philadelphia, including several incidents within 3rd Police District, thieves have begun to exploit residential front door mail-slots as a method of breaking into the homes of unsuspecting residents. In these incidents, thieves were able to remove the flap, or sometimes the entire mail-slot frame, from the front door of the residence and then simply reach in and unlock the door, walking right into the home. If your mail-slot is within reach of your front door lock, your home is vulnerable to this method of residential burglary.

The alert recommended that if your mail slot fits this profile, then you should consider replacing your door or sealing it up. Disturbing new crime trend? Well, after following up with the police department, we learned that there have been a grand total of three confirmed mail slot burglaries in the whole city, all of them in South Philly.

Kudos to the police department for trying to keep us informed, but we at Passyunk Post world headquarters think we’ll take our chances with our old door.

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