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MANAYUNK LIVE|SHOP|DINE|PLAY

SUMMER 2019

Art History

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Manayunk Arts Festival

Artists’ Hidden Haven | Creative Pieces in Creative Places Art En Plein Air Spring 2019 | manayunk.com


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MANAYUNK magazine

LIVE SHOP DINE PLAY

contents SUMMER 2019

06

Mark Your Calendar

What’s happening this summer in Manayunk.

08

In Case You Missed It

A recap of our spring events.

24

Cover Profile

 Celebrating 30 years of the Manayunk Arts Festival.

52

Now Open

 Step inside Manayunk’s newest businesses.

LIVE.

10  Artists’ Hidden Haven What goes on inside The Mill Studios.

SHOP. 16  Makers in Manayunk

Where to find local art at Manayunk shops.

DINE.

36

Edible Art

Taste Manayunk’s most appealing dishes.

PLAY.

Editorial + Production Editors Megan Douress, Leo Dillinger, Leksey Maltzman Design Cantor Design, cantordesign.com Sales M7 Media • 610.417.9261; bauerjim7@gmail.com

44

Art En Plein Air

A tour of Manayunk’s murals.

Manayunk Magazine

is published by the Manayunk Development Corp. Manayunk Development Corporation 4312 Main Street Philadelphia, PA 19127 215.482.9565 | info@manayunk.org

Photography Susan Beard Design Photography (susanbearddesign.com) Alexa Nahas Photography (alexanahas.com) JPG Photography (jpgphotography.com) 4

manayunk.com | Summer 2019

Cover Photographed by JPG Photography jpgphotography.com


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MARK YOUR CALENDAR

every thursday, memorial day to labor day 5pm - 9pm Stroll the Street Every Thursday night throughout the summer, visitors to Manayunk can walk, shop and eat their way down Main Street for Stroll the Street! Enjoy local food trucks, vendors, live music and different theme nights every week like Fitness Night, Pet Night, Game Night, and Movie Night! Select Manayunk restaurants feature $6 cocktail and appetizer specials, while retail shops offer discounts and other promotions. It’s fun for the whole family!

saturday, aug 24 5pm - 9pm Dog Day Of Summer

Walk down historic Main Street and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the largest outdoor juried arts festival in the region! The Manayunk Arts Festival features more than 300 artists and their work from a variety of mediums including glass & ceramics, wood & sculpture, painting & drawing, fiber, jewelry, mixed media, and photography. The festival also features an emerging artist tent on Grape Street to showcase new talent.

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manayunk.com | Summer 2019

Photos courtesy of JPG Photography (jpgphotography.com)

saturday, june 22 11am - 7pm & sunday, june 23 11am - 6pm 30th Annual Manayunk Arts Festival

This event has gone to the dogs! Manayunk.com is bringing back Dog Day of Summer this August with more pet vendors, activities, adoptions, and a “pup crawl.” Stop by with your four-legged friends to win raffles with proceeds going to the National Canine Cancer Foundation. Visit Manayunk.com for full details.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT By Samantha Renn

Best of Manayunk Thursday, March 14 The people have spoken — you voted and your favorite places to live, shop, dine, and play won! On March 14, Manayunk Development Corporation revealed the 2019 Best of Manayunk winners with a lively cocktail party at Sona Pub & Kitchen. Nominees and the Manayunk business community were invited to an interview on the red carpet, followed by a night of food, drinks and dancing to live music by Rad and Kell. Wondering if your favorite business won? Check out manayunkmag.com for feature stories and the complete list of winners!

Photos courtesy of JPG Photography

StrEAT Food Festival Sunday, April 14 April may have brought showers, but that didn’t stop 20,000 people from coming to Manayunk for the biggest food truck festival in the area! Stretching from Shurs to Green Lane, visitors walked along Main Street to discover a world of new flavors. Families, friends, and dogs alike came together and enjoyed an array of food trucks, gourmet food vendors, and more. Highlights of the day include the unique Albie’s Burgers’ Blackberry Popper Burger winning first place in the best berry dish competition, a popup skate park with Skate the Foundry, and live music. Join us next year and expand your taste palate with Manayunk at the StrEAT Food Festival!

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LIVE

Artists’ Hidden Haven The Mill Studios provides local artists with affordable studio spaces that foster creativity, camaraderie, and community. By Ainsley Maloney Photography by Susan Beard Design Co (susanbearddesign.com)

W

alking through the entrance to The Mill Studios is like stepping through the secret wardrobe portal to Narnia. The single black door off of Baker Street is nondescript, but beyond it lies a colorful gallery of hand-painted artwork and winding hallways with pops of purple painted doors that open to artists’ private studios. Natural light flows in from high vaulted ceilings, which for nearly three decades, has provided affordable studio spaces to over 50 prolific local artists. Home to a range of talent from painters, potters, and sculptors to jewelers, architects, and web designers, The Mill offers them a quiet and safe place to do their life’s work. “The space invites concentration and creativity,” said Irene Nunn, spanning her arms around her intimate studio as sunlight illuminates her stunning oil portraits. Back in the early 1990s, decades before coworking spaces entered the public consciousness, owner, Scott Gressen, had a 150-year-old mill from his family’s synthetic plant manufacturing business. Manufacturing was quickly moving overseas. This left Scott with a lot of empty space, and one really creative idea: to break up the mill into smaller 20-by-20foot studios and rent them out to local artists. “Scott put one advertisement in Art Matters Magazine and got something like 300 phone calls in one day,” said Scott’s right-hand man Johnny Olszewski, General Manager of Gressen Properties and The Mill Studios. “He was the only person in the area doing this. Scott had a big part to do with the Manayunk art community and its beginnings.” One of the very first tenants, Susan Beard of Susan Beard Design Co. has been in the same space from day one and remains to be one of 10

manayunk.com | Summer 2019

PAINTER ELAINE LISLE TAKES A BRUSH TO ONE OF HER LANDSCAPE PAINTINGS INSIDE HER STUDIO AT THE MILL.

the most esteemed professional photographers in the Philadelphia area. With the largest studio in The Mill, her entrance on 123 Leverington St. opens to a gorgeous workspace that feels more like a comfortable living room with hardwood floors, elegant glass tables, and modern sofas for client meetings. Susan started in fine arts, but over the years, she has evolved beyond classic portraiture, weddings and other events, to include fine art encaustics (WaxWorksPhoto), pet-inclusive digital works (the popular “Regal Beagle”), and framed organic sea fans. “I loved that this space was a 150-year old mill with the lofty ceilings. It felt really raw,” she said. “I know everybody now. I’ve been here for so long. It’s like a real family.” Another long-time tenant, Elaine Lisle, a local artist who has received national recognition for her cityscape oils, has found many benefits of having a studio at The Mill. Schooled at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the University of Philadelphia, Elaine rented her first studio in 1992. “I tried working from home, but it’s so difficult to not be constantly interrupted or diverted by all of the things that need to get done,” Elaine said. “As a professional, it’s important to have a workspace that’s your own.” She also uses the space to host workshops and painting lessons for up to four people. Elaine, like many of the artists, can also look out her window to find


a rich source of inspiration. Some artwork in the gallery features local landmarks, such as the Manayunk Bridge, views of the Schuylkill River in the fall, and al fresco dining scapes. Elaine has also been inspired to host en plein air (outdoor) painting workshops. “Manayunk has a European feel with its colorful storefronts and awnings — it’s very artistically inviting,” Elaine said. “I love the different elevations. The urban scape is varied because of the hills and trains, and I love the intersections of parks, water, and buildings. There’s everything here. It’s a great place to be a painter.” With so much space in The Mill Studios, artists have the room to grow as their business expands, and many tenants play “musical studios,” Johnny said. Working among such a talented community can be a rising tide that raises all ships. Every year on the first Sunday in October, The Mill Studios hosts an open house that welcomes visitors, free of charge, to tour the center gallery showcasing hand-crafted works of some of Philadelphia’s most talented and prolific artists. “The open houses attract art consultants and collectors, which allows me to get my name out there,” Elaine said. “One sale leads to more sales and commissions,” whether for corporations, hospitals, or individual collectors. Elaine is currently represented by Gross McCleaf Gallery in Center City Philadelphia. Working in a community with like-minded individuals has offered these artists a level of support they wouldn’t have had if they remained working from home. Irene coordinates monthly meetings between artists and runs The Mill Studios’ Facebook group to share tips on topics such as how to price their artwork and creative ways to market their business.

“The studio offers the camaraderie of excellent artists, whose work is readily on display. It’s inspiring,” Irene said. “It’s not competitive. We all support one another.” Johnny added, “Our tenants have a lot of skill and talent, but what they don’t often learn in art school is how to promote their work or price Summer 2019 | manayunk.com 11


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their product. Here, our artists can share financial advice to take what people who consider this building their home away from home. We let they’re doing from hobby to business. We’ve had artists who, since being the artists work in an environment they created.” 215.482.8220 in our building, have met other studio owners, and the next thing you For visitors interested in seeing all of the talent The Mill Studios has to know, they’re marketing themselves in art galleries and exhibits.” offer, the artists will be hosting an open house on November 3 from 12-5 manayunkbrewery.com As for Scott, he reflected on the mark he’s made on the artist commup.m. at 123 Leverington Ave. nity in Manayunk over the past 25 years. “Our Open Studio is a consolidating and bonding force that challenges “In any business, it’s great to be able to love what you’re doing,” Scott us to see each other anew,” Irene said. “It’s amazing how many outstandsaid. “It’s been a pleasure working with a wonderful group of talented ing artists we have here — all in one building.”

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WALK | SHOP | EAT EVERY THURSDAY | 5 - 9PM FEATURING THEME NIGHTS & FOOD TRUCKS, IN-STORE ACTIVITES & SALES, HAPPY HOUR SPECIALS & AN OUTDOOR MARKET EACH WEEK

May 30 Meet Your Neighbor Night June 6 Fitness Night| For Adults June 13 June 20 Pet Night | Adoptions June 27 Game Night | Yard Games July 11 July 18 Pet Night| Training July 25 Game Night| Bingo August 1 Fitness Night| For Kids August 8 August 15 Pet Night| Pet Pool Party August 22 Game Night| Bring Your Own Board Game August 29 End of Summer Bash

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SHOP

Makers In Manayunk Where to find creative pieces in creative places. By Leksey Maltzman Photography by Alexa Nahas Photography (alexanahas.com)

Every year for the past 30 years, hundreds of thousands of people flock to Main Street for a weekend at the Manayunk Arts Festival, but that’s not the only time of year when you can find unique and beautiful artwork in this neighborhood. All year long, local artwork can be found in many of Manayunk’s small businesses. From jewelry to woodwork, from ceramics to greeting cards, there is no shortage of art available in Manayunk.

Iluminé Gallery - 4386 Main Street

The Little Apple - 4361 Main Street

Iluminé Gallery is a unique gallery that features a variety of affordable fine jewelry, as well as paintings and sculptures. Owner and operator Lynda Berdin has been in the jewelry and art industry for over 30 years. Even though Lynda has relationships with jewelers and artists from all across the world, she still makes a point to incorporate local artists and jewelers in Iluminé. “I like to support local artists because supporting them is investing in my community,” Lynda said. “It also empowers the individual artist and creates a whirlpool effect on the community to support one another.” Local jewelry designer and crafter Bopbe is a staple at Iluminé. This husband and wife team create necklaces and earrings with natural stones, gems, and shells while still achieving a clean and modern look. Look for Bopbe at the 30th Annual Manayunk Arts Festival this June. There are many artists from out of town featured in the Manayunk Arts Festival, so it is especially nice when small businesses in Manayunk form relationships with artists and carry their work all year round. Iluminé sells work from both Kristiana Parn and Cindy Kaiser, two artists you can find at the festival this year. This will be Kristiana Parn’s second year at the festival. Her whimsical illustrations feature adorable woodland animals in a variety of natural and urban settings. Cindy Kaiser is new to the Manayunk Arts Festival and is excited to showcase her delicate gold jewelry inspired by her childhood in Europe and Zimbabwe. Cindy’s booth will be right outside of Iluminé on June 22 and 23. Lynda also showcases her own abstract mixed media artwork at Iluminé. She enjoys using vibrant colors to inspire joy and bring the earth and spiritual worlds together.

The Little Apple is known for having unique, sassy, and fun gifts, many of which are made by local artists and craftsmen. One local artist who was at the past two Manayunk Arts Festivals, Pepper Pop Paper, can always be found on the greeting card wall at The Little Apple. Every individual card has hand cut and assembled shapes that “pop” off the page! “You can see how much love and care the artists put into their pieces,” said Brandy Deieso, owner of The Little Apple. “They’re not just mass-produced in some factory — there is attention paid to every detail.” Sarah Brett Ceramics is new to both The Little Apple and the Manayunk Arts Festival. Her quirky animal hiney wall art and butt buds succulent vases have both been flying off the shelves since they arrived at The Little Apple earlier this year. You can find Sarah Brett Ceramics in the Emerging Artist tent at the festival or in The Little Apple all year long. This year’s Arts Festival poster artist, Samantha Carell, also has her work available in Brandy’s store. Her paintings combine fluid acrylic paint with scientific methods to create a fascinating and colorful end result. While you can purchase her prints online, The Little Apple stocks coaster versions of her popular pieces. Brandy enjoys keeping a close relationship with the local artists she features in her store and has been thrilled to see many of their artistic endeavours flourish. “One of the best parts about working with local artists is getting to watch their careers start — sometimes as a small side project then grow into their full-time job as they become more and more successful,” said Brandy, “which is just so cool and exciting to see!”

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Soft Illusions Fine Art Gallery - 4226 Main Street

Pineapple on Main - 4347 Main Street

Artist Diane Vaughn and her daughter, Malika, opened Soft Illusions Fine Art Gallery on Main Street in 2010. As Diane prepared to retire from her position as an art teacher with The School Board of Philadelphia, Malika encouraged her to take the leap into entrepreneurship and open her very own art gallery. “After receiving such a positive response at solo art shows and group exhibits with other galleries, we felt the time was right to design a space showcasing my mom’s beautiful artwork,” Malika shared. “As fate would have it, I saw an empty retail space on Main Street that was a perfect fit for our venture!” The following summer, Soft Illusions participated in the Manayunk Arts Festival and has been doing so ever since. “It’s such a joy to have people stop by and say, ‘I bought a piece of art from you and I love it!,’” Malika said. “They often send pictures of their paintings prominently displayed at home or in the office. It’s very gratifying to see.” Not only are Diane’s paintings beautiful and captivating, but according to Malika, they radiate positivity. “I’ve actually coined the term ‘Feel Good Art’ because it genuinely makes people feel good,” Malika explained. “They stare at the paintings and smile as if a magical secret has been revealed, not to mention the colors – everyone loves the colors.” Soft Illusions solely exhibits Diane’s work in a variety of forms including original paintings, hand-embellished prints on canvas, greeting cards, and more. Diane also creates commissioned artwork to express her clients’ visions and ideas and makes the process more collaborative. “I’m very proud of Soft Illusions,” Diane added. “We are a mother-daughter team and we have always fit perfectly together, however, this creation is exceptional.” Soft Illusions’ booth at the 30th Annual Manayunk Arts Festival will be right in front of their gallery at 4226 Main Street.

For Kathy Piccari, owner of Pineapple on Main, working with local artists and craftsmen started out as a practical decision to save money as a new business owner, but turned into many amazing relationships and inspiration to work with more local artists. “There’s just a personal connection you get with local artists that I don’t have with bigger brands,” Kathy shared. “When I know the artist, I know the story behind each item and can provide personal testimony to my customers.” Kathy’s relationship with graphic designer and illustrator Alisa Wismer has grown exponentially. Kathy stocks her greeting cards, and Alisa also became Pineapple on Main’s graphic designer and assists Kathy in creating her gorgeous window displays. Alisa is releasing a children’s book about modern art, which will be available at Pineapple on Main in the near future. As Pineapple on Main expanded their baby collection, Kathy found TWEE, a handmade small batch sidewalk chalk company created by a local preschool teacher and artist, Kate Leibrand. Her unique and colorful chalk comes in a variety of shapes including unicorn horns, donuts, sushi, and more! Plus, a portion of sales from TWEE’s Solar System Set benefits Autism research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In addition to baby products and greeting cards, Pineapple on Main is known for their high quality home decor and gifts. A great gift for fans of the Manayunk is Mara Foley’s photography. Her photographs feature a lot of Manayunk gems including Pretzel Park, local murals, and of course, the Manayunk bridge. As Pineapple on Main continues to grow, Kathy is able to help her local artists grow as well, and nothing makes her more proud than seeing them thrive. “It just makes me very happy,” Kathy said. “I get to help make their personal dreams come true!”

Summer 2019 | manayunk.com 17


SHOP

Johnny Destructo’s Hero Complex 4327 Main Street JD Korejko, owner of Johnny Destructo’s Hero Complex, has an interesting perspective on why he supports local artists because he is an illustrator and t-shirt designer himself. His work can only be found in his comic book shop, where he also stocks other local artwork in addition to his expansive collection of comic books, Japanese manga, action figures, and more. Most of the other artists JD carries are also related to the comic world. His friend, Gina D’Angelo, is the seamstress and fiber artist behind Supersox Shop. Gina creates plush interactive art made of felt, including Captain America’s shield and Thor’s hammer. Her work is fun, cute, and detailed right down to the hand-stitched price tags. “Gina brought some of her work into my store and I just put them out on a table and they kept selling,” JD said. “So, I asked her to create an actual display and now she has a permanent spot in my shop!” Tegan Belitta, also known as Illusoryart online, is an artist JD met in the Emerging Artist tent at the Manayunk Arts Festival a few years ago. Her watercolor, oil, and gouache paintings mostly feature characters from movies and television shows like Stranger Things, Mad Max, and The Fifth Element. “It was a year where nothing at the festival really struck me until I came across Tegan’s work,” JD explained. “She does these great pop culture paintings that I liked and thought would be a good fit in my shop as well.” JD is always looking for more artists to feature. “Not all artists are lucky enough to have a base of operations where they can showcase their work and try to get it out to the people,” JD said. “I feel like it’s my responsibility help other local artists get their name out there.” 18

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Orbit Art Gallery - 4312 Main Street David Decca and Sandy Zanetto, owners of Orbit Art Gallery, have been active members of the art community in Manayunk even before they moved their gallery from Center City to Manayunk over 20 years ago. As long-time residents of Manayunk, they formed relationships with local artists while working in Center City. In fact, most of the artwork at Orbit is from artists based within 90 miles of Manayunk. David finds it very valuable for both the gallery and the artists to keep everything as local as possible. “We are helping our neighbors and they are helping us, so it’s a reciprocal relationship,” David shared. Manayunk has always had a draw for artists, particularly painters, because of the unique landscape, water views, and historic architecture. You will often find artists set up along the canal or Main Street sketching or painting the scenery. “There’s always been a strong connection between artists and Manayunk,” David explained. “If you walk around this area, you will see people up and down the canal, on the bridge, and in the neighborhood with their easels set up.” Charles Cushing is a local artist you may find around the area with his easel painting the scenery in Manayunk. You may even recognize some events and locations in his work such as The Philadelphia Bike Race riding up “The Wall,” or families dining outside at Winnie’s. Another local artist you can always find at Orbit Art Gallery is Emily Keifer, a jewelry designer based out of The Mill Studios on Leverington Avenue. “I’ve known Emily since probably 1990 and we carried her work right after she graduated from University of the Arts a few years later,” David explained. “We’ve had great success selling her work over the years.” You can find Emily’s and Charles’ work at the 30th Annual Manayunk Arts Festival.


Latitudes and Longitudes - 4331 Main Street

UrbanBurb Furniture - 4313 Main Street

When you walk into Latitudes and Longitudes, it’s obvious owner Meredith Gornick loves to support local artists. Many designers she carries have Philadelphia and Manayunk-themed products including wooden signs, coffee mugs, jewelry, and more. One of the newer product lines Meredith brought into her shop are Julia Max Design’s Philly-themed baby onesies. Julia is an illustrator and graphic designer known for her prints of Philadelphia landmarks, mascots, and city views. Her adorable illustrations and cute puns make for the perfect baby onesies. “The ‘whiz wit’ onesies are by far the most popular,” Meredith shared. Meredith is also a proud alum of Philadelphia University, now Jefferson University, just next door in East Falls. Thanks to her connection to the school, she found two young women with a chic and modern jewelry line, EMAYE, that you can now find in her shop. Their jewelry is modern and geometric but still has an earthy feel thanks to the natural wood material they use. There’s no need for shopper’s remorse when you buy any of their pieces because 10% of EMAYE sales benefit Laurel House, a women’s shelter with a mission to end domestic violence. One of Meredith’s most popular artists is Rustic and Luxe. Local artist Christina Lauria creates handmade home decor crafted from natural tree slices and individually wood-burned with interesting quotes, sayings, and logos. “It’s so nice when artists and their supporters come into my shop and see their work on display,” Meredith said. “It’s nice to give back to my community and the people who shop here.” Not only does supporting local artists give back to her community, but also provides Meredith’s customers with unique products they can’t find anywhere else.

In addition to owning and operating UrbanBurb, a consignment furniture store in Manayunk, Joseph Donahue also creates custom live edge wood pieces. Formerly a part of Consignment Marketplace down the street, Joe moved his business to a big new space in the heart of Main Street. This gave him the opportunity for more exposure for both his consignment furniture and home decor, but also for his growing woodworking business. Joe encourages his customers to bring in natural materials to transform into working pieces of furniture, like coffee tables, bar tops, desks, and more. No two pieces are alike and the customer gets to work with them on how they see the piece fitting in their home. “We do really fine furniture work,” Joe said. “They are each one-of-akind pieces that I couldn’t replicate if I tried.” You can see some of Joe’s woodwork in person at UrbanBurb, as well as custom projects on UrbanBurb’s Insatgram page — @urbanburbfurniture. As someone who has been in the Manayunk community for several years, Joe became familiar with many artists who return for multiple years at the Manayunk Arts Festival and enjoys seeing their work change and evolve. “It’s neat to see what they’ve been working on from year to year,” Joe said. Joe is very proud to be a part of the art community in Manayunk, both as a business owner and an artist himself, and hopes to see the art community continue to thrive and support each other. “There are so many local artists who might have a regular nine-to-five job but keep doing what they are passionate about,” Joe explained. “Manayunk supports those little artists that really are passionate about their work.” Summer 2019 | manayunk.com 19


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ART HISTORY

COVER PROFILE

MN

YK

How betting it all in June 1989 turned Manayunk into the beloved place we all know today.

I

By Megan Douress Photography courtesy of Susan Beard Design Photography (susanbearddesign.com), JPG Photography (jpgphotography.com), and Manayunk.com

t’s an unusually warm April evening when some of the founding members of the Manayunk Arts Festival gather at Jake’s and Cooper’s Wine Bar to reminisce about how the event got its start. Every June for the last 30 years, Main Street Manayunk has welcomed nearly 200,000 visitors for the annual Manayunk Arts Festival. It’s hard to imagine now, but according to Dan Neducsin of Neducsin Properties, Manayunk was a sleepy former mill town when the festival first got its start. “I had some properties on the street but things weren’t going that well,” said Dan, who founded the Manayunk Arts Festival. “We needed to get people here.” Dan had an idea to host a festival to draw traffic to Manayunk, especially after speaking to his friend Alan Gross, a photographer who exhibited at an art fair in Chestnut Hill. An estimated 7,000 people attended the event every year. “I thought, ‘Wow, if we can get 7,000 people to our street, that would be a big deal,’” Dan remembered. In the late 80’s, the district was going through a major revital-

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ization. Former mill workers stuck around because housing remained affordable and crime rates were low. However, it was no longer feasible for mills to operate in a neighborhood consisting of narrow streets and steep hills. A handful of small businesses – some of which are still here today — began to move in. “We decided we wanted to open our own store after doing craft shows,” said Norma Mann, co-owner of Gary Mann Jewelers. “We looked at a lot of Main Streets and we just really liked the feeling of Manayunk with Jake’s, Jamie’s, Latitudes, and The Eyeglass Works. We were young and it was very much a supportive entrepreneurial environment here.” “These few small businesses who were moving in started out with antiques, and that sort of seemed like the push for where it was going,” added Victor Ostroff, former owner of A.I. Poland Jewelers. “There were small art-types of businesses – maybe not fine art – but people would come in for clothing that had an art element to it.” With a need for foot traffic and an interest in the art businesses that were already on Main Street, it only seemed nat-


ABOVE: FOUNDING MEMBERS OF THE MANAYUNK ARTS FESTIVAL (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT): DAN NEDUCSIN, VICTOR OSTROFF, JOAN DENENBERG, BARBARA BOROFF, GERTIE SOLKOV, ALLEN NEWMAN, BECKY CORNMAN, AND KAY SYKORA.

ural for Dan’s concept to revolve around art. At the time, there were two business organizations: Business Association of Manayunk (BAM) and the newly formed New Manayunk Corporation (NMC). BAM was run by Gertie Solkov and was a resource for the small businesses that set up shop in Manayunk. NMC was founded by Kay Sykora in 1985 and focused more on community planning projects. As the president of BAM, Gertie volunteered her time to NMC by doing the books and recruited Becky Cornman to run the parking lots that brought revenue to the organization. No matter how great of an idea an arts festival was, Dan knew no event would be successful without the support of the business community. He went to BAM to ask for permission to host the event and for funding. “At the time, the organization had a budget of $14,000,” Dan laughed. “The board voted to give me $10,000 – more or less to use as seed money to start the arts festival. That was the good news and the bad news.” “I thought there was going to be an implosion on the street!” Kay chimed in. “I was the treasurer of BAM and Gert said to me, ‘Can we spend $10,000 on this?’” Victor remembered. “We didn’t even know what we were doing with that number but we ended up greenlighting it.” “I OK’d it because everyone wanted it,” Gertie said. “We only had $14,000 then? What were our [membership] dues? How much were they, $25 a year?” “We had $25 dues and we accumulated $14,000? I would like to go back and look at that number!” Victor said to a room of laughter. With the seal of approval from BAM and $10,000 in his pocket, Dan checked off the first two of many boxes on his to do list in order to get his new event off the ground. He sought the help of one of his tenants on the street, Ronni Brenner of Ahava, to assist with marketing the event. Jefferson Bank had just moved into the neighborhood, so he got CEO, Betsy Cohen, to chip in for sponsorship. Then, Dan took a step back and Summer 2019 | manayunk.com 25


COVER PROFILE

NORMA AND GARY MANN OF GARY MANN JEWELERS CHAT WITH DAN NEDUCSIN IN THEIR BOOTH AT THE 2002 FESTIVAL.

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thought about the arts festival customer. Who would they be? What else were they interested in? He went to his friend David Lipson, owner of Philadelphia Magazine, for support. “My story was that his readers will be the ones who would come to an arts festival,” Dan said. “I thought, ‘If Philadelphia Magazine could be a sponsor, it would give us credibility right away.’ Jefferson Bank and Philadelphia Magazine were the first sponsors and we built it from there.” Of course, you can’t have a festival without food and unlike today, there weren’t many options on Main Street. Dan sought the help of his friend Larry Cohen, who owned the fruit vending and stadium catering company, KISS. “We made a deal and he put up substantial dollars, too,” Dan said. “The only caveat was if it rained, he didn’t pay. So the whole arts festival, I was praying it didn’t rain!” With the support of the business community, the confidence of David and Betsy to fund the festival, and food for his estimated 7,000 guests, Dan saw his event slowly coming to life. However, Dan wasn’t an event coordinator nor did he know the first thing about running an arts festival. He needed a staff that knew how to get artists to vend at the festival – and someone who knew how to speak their language. That’s when he reached out to Barbara Boroff, who had a history of executing mall craft shows. “I had good relationships with the artists,” Barbara said. “They trusted me and many came along.” The first Manayunk Arts Festival committee was a small group with big ideas. They had Dan’s concept, Barbara’s experience, logistics and branding support from Dan’s wife Luana, and day-of volunteer help from Victor, Dan’s colleague Allen Newman, and Barbara’s daughter Joan. At their first planning meeting at Jake’s – now famously known as Jake’s and Cooper’s Wine Bar – they needed to discuss the logistics of running a large festival. “I went to Shad Fest in New Hope a few months prior to the first arts festival,” Dan said. “It was a nightmare! It took me two hours to get there because there was no control of traffic. I was sweating like, ‘Oh my God,


we’re going to create this monster and people are going to try to get to Manayunk and they’re never going to get there!’” Becky did her usual job to bring in revenue by manning Manayunk’s parking lots, but the group also decided to partner with North Light Community Center to run shuttle buses to remote parking lots – a tradition that still stands today. “If we didn’t have them, it would’ve been a one-year event,” Dan said. While having 7,000 people visit Manayunk for a weekend sounded great to the BAM board members who initially approved the event, there was a catch — the street would have to be closed. The plan sounded promising, though – line the artists back-to-back in the middle of the street so visitors would still have access to stores and restaurants. “The goal of the event was to sell Manayunk, not to sell an art show,” Barbara said. “I had to tell my artists, ‘You are not the stars. These businesses will be here on Thursdays when it rains and Sundays when it snows.’” “At that time of year, closing the street was the worst thing that could happen!” Victor added. “I remember trying to convince people that closing the street for these two days would be good for us the other 51 weekends of the year.” “Dan and Gertie did the whole pitch to us,” said Bruce Cooper, owner of Jake’s and Cooper’s Wine Bar. “It all sounded good. I saw the benefit of having all of these people on the street right from the get go.” “I was thrilled because July is always a month where people are away, so to have it at the end of June was something to look forward to,” added Davida Levin, owner of Worn Yesterday. “It was always good for business. I always do well according to the weather. If it turns out to be really hot, then all of the little kids need hats. If it’s a chilly day, then they need jackets.” But like all great plans, the committee hit a few bumps in Summer 2019 | manayunk.com 27


COVER STORY

the road. “We had the sponsors, we had the artists, we had the street laid out, and the night before, the fire department came to us and said, ‘You can’t set it up this way.’ Barbara, I don’t know how you did it!” Dan said to her. “I stayed up all night!” Barbara responded. With her whole family in tow, Barbara took her chalk and remarked booth spaces for artists and sponsors on the opposite sides of the street. “I was helping in the middle of the night — eight months pregnant — marking the street,” Joan remembered. “We tried to keep front doorways open and created walkthroughs to businesses,” Barbara added. “We had a lot of issues with that but it finally did work.” “Is that an understatement, Barbara?” Victor joked. “I got heavily involved in the second year,” Allen said. “I was astonished because Barbara laid out the street the first year in chalk!” “Why? Because I didn’t want the street to be messed up after the show. That’s why it was chalk! I overdid being careful,” Barbara said. Allen explained that once he got more involved in year two, he would get up at 5 a.m. a few weeks prior to the festival to measure and mark the street in paint. “The interesting thing is every year, I went out to refresh the paint and each time I got more booths!” Allen remembered with a laugh. “It was never-ending. The street kept expanding!” The group shared many more logistical snafus and stories from the first few years, like how the street would reopen to traffic on Saturday night. “These artists who took three hours to put up their booths on Saturday morning had to then take them down Saturday night!” Barbara said. A few years later when the group got permission to keep the street closed throughout the weekend, the committee sought the help of local residents to help with overnight security. “They would drink all night and patrol!” Dan laughed. 28

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Kay recalled an early year when she lived on Cresson Street. She woke up to find an artist sleeping on a cot in her backyard. “The artist life is hard,” Joan said. “Many of them sleep in their campers or cars in our parking lot overnight.” Another year, Shurs Lane was being paved and essentially became a mudslide. Kay and Dan had to build ramps so the buses wouldn’t have to fight the uphill battle. For a few years, small hot air balloons sat on top of Main Street’s buildings representing each of the festival’s sponsors. “They were great until you had a big thunderstorm on Friday night and you had to let the air out of all of them!” Victor laughed. Another year, there was a fear that the power would go out due to a burst of new development in the area. “PECO put a generator in our parking lot but they said, ‘Not a problem. It won’t go out,’” Kay remembered. “So, we were hanging out in a sponsor area and the lights went out on the entire street. I went to them and I said, ‘The lights are out.’ They thought I was kidding.” Perhaps the most memorable moment from the arts festival’s mother-daughter duo was dinner at Jake’s after their very first successful event. “As a family, every year we would make reservations at Jake’s after the arts festival,” Joan said. “The first year we came here after being up all night. So, we’re eating dinner and having a glass of wine after working in 100 degrees. My mother fell asleep at the table.” “You had to tell that story. Only your kid would tell that story,” Barbara responded as she shook her head. “We all worked very hard and I looked over and there she is. I think we’ve come here every year since,” Joan said. The excitement and crowds far exceeded Dan’s original vision of 7,000 visitors. Two hundred and fifty artists vended that first year, and the police estimated 200,000 people visited Main Street in just one weekend. And while the Boroff family tradition of dinner at Jake’s has remained the same, the legend of the Manayunk Arts Festival has had quite an Summer 2019 | manayunk.com 29


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ARTWORK BY MATHEW FRANK KEIPER “HARD TO BELIEVE” ARTWORK BY MICHAEL SMITH

impact on the district throughout the years. Businesses that were already on Main Street started to evolve, and more importantly, more businesses started to move in. “I think it was a catalyst,” Dan said. “I had vacancy signs and it really brought people here who hadn’t been here or not in a long time. It was like they were just discovering it or were rediscovering it. After that, my phone rang off the hook and everyone wanted to be in Manayunk. I had previously told Gert we were going to bring people here that have never been here with this festival. She really believed in me.” After a few short successful years of having volunteers and business owners run the show, BAM and NMC merged to create the Manayunk Development Corporation (MDC), which has run the festival ever since. “As a consultant with MDC, I’ve been involved with the festival on and off throughout the years,” Joan said. “I have been involved with festival branding, media partnership and planning, and logistics, but it always comes down to the artists and the love of art. Without good artists and new artists, the show would go away. I would find new artists and give them that love. Even today, I’m always the one that’s like, ‘You have to be nice to the artists!’ We knew that if you don’t have a good arts show, you won’t have good sponsors.” “It was always a juried show,” Barbara added. “We made every attempt to keep out junk. It showed in our reputation and it showed in the quality.” To keep up with the trends of the artist lifestyle, MDC added an emerging artists tent to the festival seven years ago. Artists new to the festival scene are encouraged to apply for a table to sell their work in the large tent that sits on Grape Street. The expectation is that the artist will eventually move up to their own booth on Main Street after three years of vending from the tent. It’s the organization’s way of encouraging young artists to keep the tradition of art alive in Manayunk. “Your first year with a full booth is half off,” Joan said of the emerging artists transition. “In fact, one of the people that’s moving up is this year’s poster artist. We’ve had other artists who started in Manayunk and have gone on to other shows, like the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, which is one of the best.” “It’s been interesting to see over 30 years,” Joan continued. “There have been artists who started out doing jewelry and are now doing furniture, and you can see the connection. Some of the artists have really grown over the years.” The community has grown to love the arts as well. Back in the late 80’s, many of the stores didn’t appeal to the population on the hill and restaurants would promote themselves to suburban diners looking to spend a night in the city. “The people buying homes in this neighborhood are young or empty-nesters and they’re looking for art to put in their contemporary homes,” Joan said. “It’s a whole new market for the arts festival.” Today brings new competition to the art world. Art is more accessible now with online shopping through Etsy, big name labels on every corner, and replicas of original art. Even still, the founding members and volunteers of the Manayunk Arts Festival are sitting in Jake’s and Cooper’s Wine Bar today, not only laughing while they reminisce about how far they’ve come but remaining confident in the event – just as confident as they did 30 years ago. “Gert is responsible for the whole thing!” Victor said. “You hear all of these people talk about the arts festival but Gert was the first person that really unified the street with a business association and kept them here when there wasn’t much here.” “It was a gutsy move,” Dan said. “I asked for everything they had!” “And by the way, we never used the money,” Dan added. “Without the businesses, there wouldn’t be an arts festival.”

ARTWORK BY SIGNE SUNDBERG-HALL

COVER STORY


“RECENT DEVELOPMENT” ARTWORK BY MARK E. FLOWERS

“THE FRUIT TREE” ARTWORK BY RUTH AVA LYONS

ARTWORK BY BARRETT SMITH

ARTWORK BY CATHERINE JANSON

“GARDEN RELIQUARY”ARTWORK BY GARY OWEN PELKEY

DESIGNED BY FLUXLABS.COM

Summer 2019 | manayunk.com 31


COVER PROFILE

ARTWORK BY CHARLIE BARTON

“There have been artists who started out doing jewelry and are now doing furniture, and you can see the connection. Some of the artists have really grown over the years.” ARTWORK BY CHERYL LEVIN

ARTWORK BY GERI DIBIASE

“DRAGONVASE”, ARTWORK BY BERNARD KATZ

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“BIRD IN THE HAND”, ARTWORK BY PHILLIP SINGER

ARTWORK BY BRUCE REINFELD


TOP: JEWELRY BY FRANCIS MARION BOTTOM: ARTWORK BY MICHAEL MADZO

TOP: ARTWORK BY ERIC DORRIS BOTTOM: “FRIDAS MONKEY”, ARTWORK BY SHANNON ALMANZAR Summer 2019 | manayunk.com 33


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DINE

Edible Art

Manayunk’s restaurants channel their inner artist with these dishes. By Leo Dillinger Photography by JPG Photography (jpgphotography.com)

While some artists prefer the palette and canvas, others utilize pots, pans, and cooking utensils to create their masterpieces. Here in Manayunk, local chefs and restaurant owners take pride in their signature dishes as if they were works of art. They focus on flavor profiles, proportions, and presentation in an effort to keep their patrons coming back for more. Here is an inside look at some of their favorite dishes.

Jambalaya (Bourbon Blue) “The Big Easy” may be more than 1,200 miles away from Manayunk, but according to Brendan McGrew, owner and head chef of Bourbon Blue, one bite of his jambalaya will make you feel like you’re dining on the streets of New Orleans. “We’ve gotten praise from people who come up from Louisiana as we’re one of the few restaurants that have a New Orleans theme in this city,” Brendan said. “They’ll specifically order it to gauge it against the ‘authentic’ one and 99 times out of 100, people say our jambalaya is on par if not better. It’s a huge point of pride to say and it’s why the recipe will never change. When something’s going well, why change it?” There has always been jambalaya on the menu at Bourbon Blue, but the current recipe has been in use for the last 11 years. Brendan starts by searing Andouille sausage and Tasso ham, then adding in celery, onions, and peppers. After adding the veggies, he adds their homemade pork stock, shrimp stock, and chicken stock to fill out the dish along 36

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with roughly 15 different spices and seasonings. Once the dish is done simmering for one hour, he thickens the dish with a blonde roux. He cooks the jumbo shrimp and rice separately before adding to the dish at the last second to give it the proper texture and flavor. The entire slow-cooking process takes roughly four hours to make and requires a lot of attention, but it’s always a top-selling menu item as the restaurant goes through roughly 10 to 15 gallons of it every week. Whether you’re using a fork or spoon to eat, you’ll still get to taste a little bit of every ingredient in a single bite. “It’s a really good dish that represents us because it’s a big mix of everything,” Brendan said. “It’s one of our most popular dishes and I think one of the reasons why is that it takes a lot of time to make it. At home when you’re cooking for six or seven people, you don’t want to make something that takes over three hours of active cooking.”


Choo Chee Duck (Chabaa Thai Bistro) In the same way artists express themselves through their work, Moon Krapugthong, owner and head chef of Chabaa Thai Bistro, uses her cooking talents to give customers a glimpse into her culture. One of her most beloved seasonal dishes is the Choo Chee Duck, which not only tastes delicious but is so beautifully presented that you may feel guilty digging into it. “The word ‘choo chee’ is a sizzling sound where the name comes from,” Moon said. “The way we cook the duck, there is a sound that Thai people call the approach ‘choo chee.’ The sound makes me think of spring and summer when you’re cooking in the warmer weather. You see the garnish and the vegetables in there so it’s more like a warmth celebration to me. That’s why we added it to the menu.” Moon prepares the duck breast in two parts for this dish. The first is by dicing the duck and crispy frying it before sautéing it with a homemade Thai sweet chili paste. The other part is a duck confit that is marinated and oven roasted until the order comes in, where the duck is then pan-seared to a medium-rare style. For Moon, the key is to render the fat without overcooking it. Otherwise the dish gets too chewy. Moon then accentuates the duck with kaffir lime leaf, garlic, chili pepper, and cilantro root and serves it with a side of string beans and steamed jasmine rice. “I love the aroma and how it’s both salty and sweet,” Moon said. “It’s an inspiration from a lot of different cuisines, but we try to preserve the authenticity of the cooking. The flavor is so Thai, but the technique can be anything.”

Des’ Curry Shrimp (The Spicy Belly) As a fusion chef specializing in Jamaican and Korean cuisine, Jimmy Mills of The Spicy Belly gives his patrons a piece of familial nostalgia with interpretations of the dishes his mom used to make. One of his favorites that’s been on their menu since the first day is their coconut shrimp curry. “It’s a traditional Jamaican dish, but my mom being Korean and a huge fan of curry put her own spin on it,” Jimmy said. “Normally, the curry shrimp is batched like a big stew. Generally, you would use smaller shrimp and maybe add another starch item like a potato or a yam in there. My mom wanted curry quick. She wanted to make curry and not have it take two or two and a half hours like it normally does for curry chicken or something like that. It was just about getting the gravy right.” Jimmy starts by sautéing his veggies (onions, bell peppers, scotch bonnet peppers, potatoes, carrots) and seasons them with curry powder. Once the veggies are halfway cooked, he adds the jumbo shrimp with some more curry powder. As the shrimp is nearly finished cooking, Jimmy deglazes the dish with a little bit of water, adds in coconut milk, and lets it boil for three to four minutes. Once the sauce is reduced by a third, the dish is ready to be served. “It’s one of the items on our menu that has stood the tests of time,” Jimmy said. “It was always the same general recipe. As long as your flavor profiles are there, your veggies and shrimp are cooked, it’s not overwhelmingly spicy, and your gravy is thick enough, that’s what you’re looking for. You can always elevate your spice level or subtle it down.”

Summer 2019 | manayunk.com 37


DINE

Crab Cakes (Jake’s & Cooper’s Wine Bar) After more than three decades of business on Main Street, owner and chef Bruce Cooper of Jake’s and Cooper’s Wine Bar believes the one dish that has kept so many customers coming back is his signature crab cake. “I haven’t changed it in years,” Bruce said. “In the beginning we had a Maryland-style, which is more of a butter breadcrumb inside. Then we had a mousse filling, which is very French. We’ve even covered them with potatoes. But the current recipe comes from the gentleman who invented pasta primavera at Le Cirque. I’d say this version of the crab cake has been around for almost 20 years at Jake’s.” Bruce keeps his process simple and uses just enough filler to hold the crab cakes together without making it too heavy. He takes his mix of jumbo and colossal crabmeat, heavy cream, and special seasonings and dredges it in Japanese breadcrumbs. The crab cake is fried until it turns golden brown and served with seasonal vegetables, spinach, beurre blanc butter sauce, and tarragon pickle sauce. Bruce’s current iteration of the recipe can be challenging to execute properly because the cakes are so delicate, but it makes for a delicious small plate that will keep you coming back to his restaurant for more. “It’s probably the one thing we’re known for,” Bruce said. “Some restaurants don’t want to serve them because they are too common, but I have customers who have been coming for 30 years. I can’t worry about being too common.”

Pork Tacos (The Goat’s Beard) Since the purchase their 84-inch Offset Lang Smoker last year, Executive Chef Joel Romano and his culinary team at The Goat’s Beard have been having quite a bit of fun experimenting with new menu items. Out of the smoker, Joel created pork tacos with a spin on the massively popular flavor combo from his home country of Australia. “The dish itself is a play on a very classic combination of my childhood favorite: ham and pineapple,” Joel said. “The ham is being substituted with a baby-back rib that we simply season with sugar and salt and nothing else. It’s smoked on hardwood for 10 hours, and the meat is then shredded from the bone. It’s amazing; probably the best thing we have in both restaurants.” Joel’s sugar-to-salt ratio renders the pork to give it a ham-like quality. The pineapple aspect of the dish comes from their “mostarda”, which is an Italian condiment made with pineapple, sugar, vinegar, and mustard seeds. The tacos are served on fresh tortillas that are pressed and grilled in-house every day at both locations and topped with bourbon and honey pickled jalapeños, shaved red onion, ranch dressing, and cilantro. “Ham and pineapple is massive in Australia on pizzas. It’s a very classic combination and you don’t really have to do much with it. The true secret is the tortilla, which we make here, and obviously the fact that we simply season a high quality pork rib that we smoke in-house with post oak,” Joel said. 38

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Blue Colorado Salad (Winnie’s Manayunk) Not all kitchen masterpieces come predetermined. At Winnie’s, one of their top-selling dishes came out of pure spontaneity. “It’s been on the menu for about six years now, but it was kind of by accident,” Winnie’s manager Jessica Richards said. “The chefs made an ancho chile steak as a special and everybody kept asking for it. So we figured let’s try it with chicken. We tried it and it’s been a staple on our menu ever since. People can’t go without it.” The chefs at Winnie’s roast the ancho chile peppers and turn them into a glaze. They paint the ancho chile glaze on the chicken before grilling to give it a light char and mesquite flavor. The chicken is gently stacked alongside poached asparagus atop a tossed salad of mixed greens, grape tomatoes, grilled corn salsa, bleu cheese, and red wine vinaigrette. Jessica noted the key factors to this best-selling dish. “I think there are two things that we do that makes it so unique,” Jessica said. “The first is the grilled corn salsa that adds a lot of dimension to it. And the other is the chicken. Just the mesquite flavor of it with the crispness of the salad goes so well together.”

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PLAY

Art En Plein Air

Take a tour of some of Manayunk’s public works of art. By Brian Anderson Photography by JPG Photography (jpgphotography.com)

T

here’s a lot to take in on a walk around Manayunk. There are the people, the dogs, the window displays, the bikers and runners, and the new restaurant you’ve been dying to check out. But take another look. Did you really take in all of the art around you? It’s true — Manayunk is filled with public art. You just need to know where to look. Here’s your guide to just a slice of the public art in the heart of Manayunk.

and in an array of purples and pinks. Set at dusk, the mural gives off its secrets in the light. Take a look at sundown and then again at sunrise and you’ll notice something different. “The very 2D graphic nature of the typography blends really well with the 3D foreground,” Evan said.

“Manayunk at Dusk” — Evan Lovett & Glossblack

Along the towpath from Lock to Cotton Streets sit nine concrete stoops splashed with the colors of the rainbow. These mosaic stoops are the work of Philadelphia native Diane Pieri. They symbolize this neighborhood through each of their unique designs. The stoops, installed in 2006, reach back to Manayunk’s industrial past and illustrate its connection to nature and wildlife. Diane says she engaged with children at North Light Community Center for inspiration and design — it’s why many of the stoops feature turtles, fish, and flowers. “One of the signature things about Manayunk was all of these stoops. And if you didn’t have one, you made a stoop,” Diane said. And what do you do on a stoop? Sit and chat, of course. “The stoops along the canal are really used. People sit on those. They

You don’t see many deer in Manayunk, but you always do when you walk southeast on Main Street. Before long, you’ll encounter a few bucks and does on “Manayunk at Dusk.” This huge mural, on the building that abuts the parking lot at 4000 Main Street, blends the city and its wildlife in a cool palette of purple and greens. In the extreme foreground is a buck while silhouettes of other deer stand next to trees and stumps. “This design really fit this area,” Evan said. “We just wanted to have an impact. Another Philly-based artist, Glossblack, filled the sky of the mural with every Manayunk street name in the neighborhood in different typefaces 44

manayunk.com | Summer 2019

“Manayunk Stoops: Heart and Home” — Diane Pieri


eat lunch. They take a break while bike riding. They just relax,” she said. “It’s really great that this art project is being used. You’re sitting on a work of art.”

“Water Under the Bridge” — Beth Clevenstine & Paul Santoleri Back when mills lined the canal, Fountain Street was known as having the freshest water. So it’s fitting the steps from Umbria Street to the Towpath and the canal represent flowing water. The murals and mosaics up and down the steps are the work of Beth Clevenstine and Paul Santoleri. Paul said the topography of the towpath and the closeness of the canal influenced the design. “I had a vision of doing a stained glass piece of the rises of the steps,” Paul said. “It would be like the flowing water.” And he’s certainly right. The risers of the steps are whimsical, flowing mosaics of blues, greens, and whites. The murals on the walls are scenes of the river, mixed with reeds, turtles, and other aquatic life. And that’s really what the towpath has turned into — a place with runners, cyclists, and walkers connect with nature. “It’s transiting back to a place that people can enjoy,” he said. “And that comes from the people who care about it.”

“Happy Trails” — Alloyius McIlwaine Alloyius McIlwaine’s murals are big and bold. In Manayunk, his “Happy Trails” is more subtle but it’s distinctly his — bright and playful. “The Summer 2019 | manayunk.com 45


PLAY world always needs some more color,” he said. “Happy Trails” is painted on the underside of Manayunk Bridge on Green Lane. If you were a cyclist, you might stop and lean your bike against the bridge for a break. So what is “Happy Trails?” Three colorful bikers scooting their way up the hill. “I simplified my style for that piece,” Alloyius said. “It was fun. It was really interesting.” And the mural really speaks to the Manayunk experience. Alongside the bikers are words that perfectly describe Manayunk — nouns like community, outdoors, and trails, and verbs including amaze, shop, and play. “In a lot of my pieces, I try to include some affirmation,” he said. “I like to put a lot of words in my pieces to give it something a bit more tangible.”

“Power Hearts” — Amberella A bit of positivity goes a long way. That’s the message of Amberella’s “Power Hearts” that are scattered around Manayunk (and Philadelphia, for that matter). These affirmations, from “You Got This” to “Choose Love” to “Worthy,” can be that moment of joy after a long day. “The messages are universal to everyone. People can sense authenticity,” Amberella said. But you’ll have to look close for some of these black-and-white, candy-like Power Hearts. A lot of them are prominent on businesses and residences — check out The Wall Cycling Studio and The Isle Apartments, to begin your search. Don’t be surprised if you see more Power Hearts pop up. Amberella always has a few in her trunk, so your next pick-me-up may be on it’s way to Manayunk any day now.

“Look Long & Look Good” — Mat Tomezsko “How do you do a portrait of a whole community?” asked Mat Tomezsko, a Philadelphia native and the artist behind the 30 mural panels that make up “Look Long & Look Good.” These portraits feature ordinary people on an ordinary day, but there’s a secret of the faces looking back. “A community is made up of individuals,” Mat said. “It’s a collective of the people that live in this neighborhood.” The panels hang on buildings up and down Main Street (often at eye level, but sometimes you have to gaze up to spot one). The faces that stare back at you are from Manayunk’s past, present, and future. For some panels, Mat picked faces out of the crowd from historical records he found at the Roxborough Library. Others panels showcase people Mat encountered while walking along Main Street. Finally, a number of panels feature children Mat met — they are the future of this neighborhood. “You see one panel, and then you see another one,” Mat said. “I want you to be able to make that connection immediately.” 46

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LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE

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Tbaar Bubble Tea 4321 Main Street Looking for a refreshing drink this summer? Look no further than Tbaar Bubble Tea at the corner of Main and Cotton Streets. Their bubble tea comes hot or iced with ingredients directly from Taiwan for authentic flavor. In addition to Bubble Tea, they offer smoothies and 100% fresh fruit and vegetable juices. If you need something to compliment your drink, try one of their three flavors of crepe cakes!

Pretzel Park Playground 4300 Silverwood Street Pretzel Park’s new and improved playground is finally here thanks to Friends of Pretzel Park and the many amazing community members who worked tirelessly for this exciting renovation to become a reality. The new jungle gym features slides, swings, monkey bars, and tons of climbing equipment on brand new cushioned foam for extra safety. Kids of all ages will love the new playground for many years to come.

U.S. Hotel Bar & Grill 4439 Main Street Under new ownership, U.S. Hotel Bar & Grill got a major facelift! Now with an all new menu and full interior renovation, U.S. Hotel is ready to be your go-to bar this summer! Their happy hour will be hard to beat with great deals on drinks and delicious appetizers including fried cheese curds, mussels, and cheesesteak egg rolls. They are also open for brunch, lunch, and dinner.

Yanako 4345 Main Street Yanako recently moved down Main Street to be next to their sister restaurant, Chabaa Thai Bistro, both owned by chef Moon Krapugthong. But don’t worry — the same amazing menu is still available at the new location, with the addition of a brand new lunch menu. Stop by for lunch or dinner to see the new space!

Hotpot Gourmet 4255 Main Street Visit Hotpot Gourmet for a truly authentic Chinese hotpot meal. This interactive dining experience allows you to customize your meal by adding your choice of meats and vegetables to their classic hotpot base broth. They are open seven days a week from 4 p.m. - 10 p.m

Latitudes and Longitudes 4331 Main Street Latitudes and Longitudes has been at the same location in Manayunk for over a decade. Staying close by, Latitudes and Longitudes moved to a new building just three doors down from their previous location. It may be a new space, but they still have the same great gifts for every occasion, including a variety of products from local artisans and crafters.

New Leaf II 4260 Main Street Can’t decide if you want Chinese or Japanese? How about both at New Leaf II! Their expansive menu features everything from sushi and dim sum to pad thai and General Tso’s chicken, so you don’t have to pick just one dish. New Leaf also features a great happy hour menu, which is perfect for the summer.

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RIGHT ON THE WATER WAY OUT OF THE ORDINARY Life at The Isle brings waterfront living to Manayunk. Life at The Isle brings waterfront living to Manayunk. These brand new apartments feature upscale These brand new apartments feature upscale amenities and offer everything you want to fit amenities and offer everything you want to fit your lifestyle. Enjoy scenic water views from your your lifestyle. Enjoy scenic water views from your apartment or use the private resident pedestrian apartment or use the private resident pedestrian bridge to hop over to Main Street to dine at your bridge to hop over to Main Street to dine at your favorite local restaurant or try one of Manayunk’s own favorite local restaurant or try one of Manayunk’s own brews from the Manayunk Brewing Company. Whether brews from the Manayunk Brewing Company. Whether you want to work up a sweat in the state of the art you want to work a sweat in thethe state of the art fitness center or goupfor a jog along canal, there’s fitness center go for for a jog alongfans. the Located canal, there’s no shortage of or options fitness in the noheart shortage of options for fitness fans. Located in the of Manayunk, you have easy access to nearby heart of Manayunk, you have nearby destinations like Center Cityeasy and access King of to Prussia. destinations like Center City and King of Prussia.

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Summer 2019 | manayunk.com 55


Profile for Manayunk

Manayunk Magazine | Summer 2019 - The Art Issue  

Manayunk Magazine | Summer 2019 - The Art Issue  

Profile for manayunk
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