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Ethical engagement rings from local maker p. 14

Summer vacations without boarding a plane

An antifracking activist crosses the line

p. 17

p. 40




Plugging in to the car-free lifestyle

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Check Your Head A Philly-based entrepreneur develops a sensor to detect concussions The energetic and optimistic Jessie Garcia, founder of Tozuda, has a sense of humor about the head injuries she has sustained. “My first known concussion occurred when I got hit in the head with a bowling ball, on my 8th birthday,” she says. But don’t let her lighthearted manner fool you. This woman is deadly serious about concussions, and has devoted her adult life to developing a sensor that will speed the diagnosis and treatment of brain injuries. Her journey began as a student at Lehigh University in 2009. As a rugby player, Garcia sustained a concussion but was unaware of the seriousness of her injury. Her coach, while watching video of the game, realized that Garcia was concussed, but since no one noticed it during the game, she continued to play. This situation is far too common, and is very dangerous because secondary concussions can result in rapid and fatal brain swelling. At the time, Garcia was in the Technical Entrepreneurship program at Lehigh University. Inspired by her own experiences and new-found knowledge of the severity of untreated concussions, Garcia began to explore means of early concussion detection. By 2016, Garcia completed NextFab’s business incubator program, which provides access to prototyping facilities and professional guidance, and set up her office at NextFab in South Philly. There she met a critical collaborator, Tozuda’s second full-time employee, John Pettit, during one of NextFab’s monthly happy hours. The two quickly became friends and then co-workers. “Ever since John has joined, we have taken Tozuda from a product still in development to a product that’s ready to launch and scale quickly.” Along the way, Garcia procured a machine from an injection molding facility that the plant couldn’t get to work. Despite being armed only with an instruction manual that was written in German and missing some pages, Garcia mastered the machine. Now Tozuda offers injection molding services to other NextFab members. This determination speaks to a name her grandmother called her, and the same name she has used for her company. “My grandmother always called me ‘tozuda,’ which is Spanish for ‘hardheaded,’” Garcia proudly admits. Tozuda will be launching a Kickstarter this spring, and you would be wise to bet on Garcia’s hardheaded, and big-hearted, determination.

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alex mulcahy

That time I said something racist—and noticed


round 20 years ago, I was in San Francisco, attending a music conference as a publisher of magazines for independent record stores. The music industry was awash in money, and Warner Bros. was famous for throwing the most decadent parties. This particular year, they had rented the entire island of Alcatraz, the infamous prison, and transformed the space into a venue for fancy food and live music.

Getting to the island required a boat ride, and on the way, I was sitting next to a group of people from the record label, including a young woman of color who would be performing that night. People introduced themselves, and I met the artist. Within seconds of meeting her, I told her that I had an awesome writer on staff who focused on R&B and hip-hop, and that I would definitely make sure he got a copy of her record. She looked at me blankly for a second, and then she said, “I do pop music.” Immediately recognizing what I had done, I said, “Sorry, that was a stupid thing to say.” Someone from the label quickly jumped in, and gracefully said, “That’s why we have her out performing here tonight, so everyone can see what she’s all about.” I worked for many years in a record store, and I love to talk about music. My proudest moments were when I surprised a customer by connecting with them on their interest in music. Why, oh why, didn’t I ask her the rock-journalist standby question: “Who are your influences?” I can’t imagine an equivalent scenario where I would be so presumptuous with a white person. Why did I shut down this person’s possibility, her humanity, and blurt out something so confining? What was I thinking? Black people, people of color, don’t need to see more traumatic videos to confirm that our country is poisoned by white racism.

While some white people may be shocked by these episodes of racism, many people of color are not. They don’t need further evidence that there is a serious systemic problem that needs to be acknowledged. If there’s one thing that seems to be consistent in the messages of black leaders, it’s that they really want to talk about race. Whether it’s Cornel West, George Yancy or Jay-Z, they all say that this issue will not just naturally resolve, that we need to have uncomfortable discussions or, in the words of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “If you don’t understand, ask questions. If you’re uncomfortable about asking questions, say you are uncomfortable about asking questions and then ask anyway. It’s easy to tell when a question is coming from a good place. Then listen some more. Sometimes people just want to feel heard. Here’s to possibilities of friendship and connection and understanding.” This month we’re introducing a new column by Akbar Hossain called Access to Justice. As a first-generation Muslim immigrant from Bangladesh and an award-winning Penn law student, Hossain’s perspective is unique. His column will draw from his own personal experiences, the speed bumps and hindrances he has experienced or witnessed that keep people of color and immigrants from receiving a fair deal. I admit that I feel apprehensive as I write these notes. Am I going to say something stupid again, like I did that night on the boat? In the face of a society that is rife with social injustice and inequality, it seems like a risk worth taking.

publisher Alex Mulcahy editor-in-chief Alex Mulcahy 215.625.9850 ext. 102 associate editor Walter Foley copy editor Cara Stefchak art director Michael Wohlberg 215.625.9850 ext. 113 writers Bernard Brown Akbar Hossain Alex Jones Emily Kovach Randy LoBasso Katherine Rapin Paige Wolf photographer Kriston Jae Bethel illustrators James Olstein Jameela Wahlgren advertising Santino Blanco 215.625.9850 ext. 112 distribution Alex Yarde 215.625.9850 ext. 106 published by Red Flag Media 1032 Arch Street, 3rd Floor Philadelphia, PA 19107 215.625.9850 G R I D P H I L LY. C O M



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paige wolf

Lactation Station Procrastination

W Mt.Airy South Philly

West Philly South Jersey

hen I was nursing my second child, I decided to leave her at home and take a one-day trip to Baltimore for a large conference. There was no way I was lugging around a massive electronic pumping system, so I carried along a largely ineffective hand pump and occasionally tried to seek shelter in the expo center restrooms. It was the worst. I had to sit on a toilet in a public restroom and try to express enough milk as to not feel burdened by the weight of bowling balls that, to make matters worse, were leaking through my dress. Local mom Lacey Kohlmoos experienced similar frustration in the summer of 2017 when she took an Amtrak train from 30th Street Station in Philadelphia to Union Station in Washington, D.C., for a work event. Because she usually worked from home and didn’t know better, she assumed it would be easy to find a place to pump. “At that point I needed to pump every two to three hours to keep up my milk supply and avoid leaking, aching breasts and mastitis,” she says. “But when I asked the information desk ladies if there were any lactation facilities in Union Station, they looked at me like I was crazy.” She said they first suggested pumping in the public bathroom, which was crowded, dirty and didn’t have an electrical outlet. She ended up leaving the station, finding a nearby Starbucks and pumping in the individual bathroom. In the 15 minutes it took for her to express her milk, she recalls that there must have been at least 10 knocks on the door. “The whole experience was embarrassing, stressful and rage-inducing,” Kohlmoos says. “But I thought, just like so many other new moms, that’s just the way it is.” But she knew it didn’t have to be that way. As the online organizing strategist at

Care2, Kohlmoos was already working with everyday people to turn their petitions into full-fledged, winning campaigns. But it wasn’t until a few months later when she was inspired by all the social media posts for Breastfeeding Awareness Month (August) that she decided to do something. So she created a petition on demanding that Amtrak provide lactation facilities at Union Station in D.C. “Because it’s my job to help other activists, I had a lot of resources at my fingertips that others may not have access to or may not realize they have access to,” she says. “I was able to send out an email to Care2’s members urging them to sign the petition, post to Care2’s Facebook page and get our PR firm to put out a press release.” But while Kohlmoos had access to some additional internal tools, anyone can create a successful petition on sites like—and thousands of people have. Kohlmoos says she got an overwhelming amount of support from lactating working moms. “I’ve heard countless pumping horror stories since I started the petition,” she says. “One woman told me that the logistical nightmare of figuring out how to pump while traveling by train was so great that she just decided not to go on a trip to New York with her friends.” She connected with fellow frustrated local mom Samantha Matlin and asked her to start a petition calling for lactation facilities in 30th Street Station. After gathering more than 50,000 signatures between the two Care2 petitions and getting some press attention from D.C. and Philly outlets, she emailed Amtrak’s communications manager to ask her for a meeting to discuss getting lactation facilities at the two stations. When she didn’t hear back, she invited all of the petition sign-

paige wolf is the author of “Spit That Out!: The Overly Informed Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy Kids in the Age of Environmental Guilt.” Follow @paigewolf on Twitter. 4


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A Mamava breastfeeding pod at 30th Street Station

ers to join her in a Twitterstorm targeting Amtrak, which generated more than 2,000 tweets within 24 hours demanding lactation facilities and linking to the petition. One of Kohlmoos’ colleagues happened to have a connection with Mamava, a company that makes and installs lactation pods in public places, so she requested a meeting. Mamava loved the petition and jumped on board the campaign. As Kohlmoos was putting pressure on Amtrak to get lactation facilities, Mamava was reaching out to them about placing an order for some pods. And while Amtrak never responded to Kohlmoos and Matlin directly, they did respond to Mamava and told them that they would like to buy some pods—expected to be installed in Philly, Baltimore, Chicago and New York City this year. It was a fortuitous chain of events, but

not an uncommon success story. Viral petitions often lead to media attention and connect the movement with corporations, nonprofits and other influential parties who want to help turn the issue into action. You don’t have to be a “petition expert” to get the ball rolling—Care2 even offers a

free online “activist university” to give you the tools to spread your message and get it into the hands of the right changemakers. Thanks to Kohlmoos and thousands of action moms who shared her petition and spread the word, nursing moms should soon be able to travel with one less inconvenience.

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randy lobasso


Biking: Affront to Moral Order? A N G E L A MONACO J E W E L R Y


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ore than 150 people met at the Gershman Y in April to discuss subtle safety changes to the bike lanes on Spruce and Pine streets. Not everyone was on board. For example, the Society Hill resident who told me that, first, we need to regulate what cyclists wear: Too many cyclists do not wear high-visibility neon clothing, and that’s a hazard to everyone else. “I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of a cyclist hurting someone because they were wearing dark clothing,” I said with a shrug. She insisted, though, she knew people who had been hit by out-of-control cyclists wearing dark clothing. “Who?” I asked. She couldn’t remember. But it happens. This was a common refrain throughout the night. Many people were worried about out-of-control cyclists, but no one could remember anyone getting hurt by one. After a pause: “My husband.” “Your husband was hit by a bicyclist?” I asked. “No,” she said. “A car.” “Your husband was hit by a car?” “Twice!” she said. “Once, the person just kept going.” If you’re confused by the exchange, you’re not alone. Getting hit by a driver doesn’t seem a reason to regulate the color of cyclists’ pants. But too often, this is what passes for debate around transportation issues. Just a year earlier, some Washington West residents, worried the city was going to make Spruce and Pine streets safer, theorized that cyclists using bike lanes would carry explosives in their backpacks and commit terrorism; others asked why cyclists didn’t pay gasoline taxes like other citizens who use streets for transportation. The issue of selective memory of cyclists’ bad behavior is not unique to Philadelphia, and has been analyzed and studied around

the world where two-wheeled transportation has caught on. And though no one’s come to a conclusion on what motivates anti-cyclist rage, many have pretty solid ideas. Timaree Leigh Schmit, best known in Philadelphia as a sex columnist, has used her psychology training to understand the hostility toward bikers, and explains that anti-bicyclist sentiment is part of both group identity and a lack of empathy. “The reality is that most cyclists use other forms of transportation, so they understand the motivations, they understand what it’s like to be a driver and what it’s like to walk around the city,” she tells me. So, when a cyclist sees someone crossing the street at a red light, they shrug at it because they’ve done it, too. When someone who frequently drives sees a motorist make a right on red where it’s not allowed, well, they’re likely to let that pass, too, because they’ve made a right on red before, and if there’s no one coming, no big deal. “But so many people who are drivers don’t have the same experience as cyclists,” Schmit says. “So, they don’t have the empathy to tap into why someone is behaving that way.” British psychologist Tom Stafford, who studied this issue in a 2013 piece for the BBC, has a theory: Drivers think cyclists “offend the moral order.” The moral order says that society exists because of mutually agreed-upon cooperation. And cyclists disrupt that cooperation. This is often explained as the “free rider” (no pun intended) problem. A societal free rider is someone who does not necessarily hurt you, but “cheats” at the “game of coordination where we have to rely on each other to do the right thing.” Though the rest of us are unaffected by the free rider, the free rider still has to pay a price. In Philadelphia’s case, that means fewer safe spaces in which to travel.

randy lobasso is the communications manager at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. 6


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akbar hossain

Higher Ed’s Inclusion Problem

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o, what do your parents do [for a living]?” When a prominent law firm partner casually posed this question to a group of Penn Law students I was part of, I shifted uneasily. My peers responded with the professions held in the highest esteem in our country, and the most lucrative: They were the sons and daughters of doctors, bankers, lawyers and engineers. Feeling slightly embarrassed, I excused myself from the conversation. As a first-generation Muslim immigrant from Bangladesh, I grew up in a low-income household where my parents sacrificed everything to make sure my siblings and I have the opportunities they never had. Despite the success I have had in law school, I still, at times, felt like an imposter. I would never have a “sophisticated” answer to what my parents did for a living. I knew this feeling wasn’t right, and I used it as a wakeup call to stop hiding in the shadows. That’s why a few friends and I helped found our newest student group, Penn Law FGP (First-Generation Professionals). It’s designed to: 1) establish relationships and mentorships among alumni, undergraduate and high school students; 2) develop networking opportunities for students to access social capital; and 3) provide space for reflection and dialogue. First, some facts about graduate school. If your parents aren’t already part of this elite world, you probably won’t be, either. Studies have shown that at the top law schools, less than five percent of the student body comes from the bottom economic quartile, and around 10 percent come from the bottom half. This creates a disconnect for students who come from a working-class or lower-income background, and who identify as first-generation professionals. Institutions of higher education can continue to highlight their diversity numbers

in promotional materials, but their commitment needs to be followed by actions that work to identify, understand and respond to the needs of FGP, whose family backgrounds are radically different. For example, while some of my Penn classmates grew up summering in Martha’s Vineyard, I was working from 3 to 11, after a day spent in high school, to help my family make ends meet. I still often get calls from my mother to help translate letters from the bank or the school district. Sometimes while my classmates are stressing out in the library, I find myself in the courtyard, on the phone, helping my younger sister with her homework. I share my story neither to garner sympathy nor to lend a feel-good narrative, but because I truly believe that visibility matters. And visibility permits productive dialogue—we can’t make changes if we don’t get uncomfortable or if we keep denying the realities of our students. Simultaneously, I’m working on what makes me feel uncomfortable. I will always be a minority in the circles I inhabit with the progeny of privileged people. I know that they will have no frame of reference if I tell them stories about my family’s experiences. This uneasiness never goes away completely. But, that’s okay. It is my family’s sacrifices and resilience that have provided the base from which I advocate today. Penn Law FGP has been doing incredible work over the past year, hosting professional events and social gatherings geared toward developing the next generation of leaders. However, not every FGP has the opportunity to engage in this dynamic process around our country’s most elite institutions. Leaders in higher education should recognize this crucial need and cultivate this space. By the way, my stepfather works at an assembly line in a factory and my mother has one of the hardest jobs of taking care of the household, and I’m proud to be their son.

akbar hossain writes about community engagement, immigrants’ rights and access to education. 8


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The beginning of BLING. NEW


Wreaths from Queen Puabi’s headdress, Ur, Iraq, ca. 2450 BCE

see ancient history in a modern light


The Penn Museum’s new Middle East Galleries are made possible with lead support from the Selz Foundation and the William B. Dietrich M AY 20 18 G R I DP HI LLY.COM Foundation, and support from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, and the Coby Foundation.




Evolve Locally Dutch biologist says Darwin’s theory is on full display in our by bernard brown cities



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have evolved rounder wings, better for quick takeoffs and tight maneuvers around buildings. The crested anoles of Puerto Rican cities have evolved longer legs and stickier toes than their country cousins—better for running around on concrete walls and glass windows. Urban evolution starts with species predisposed to live in the conditions we create in cities. The original pigeons nested on rocky cliffs. Buildings with ledges were an easy transition. From that point, heritable advantages, such as detoxing feathers, got passed

along to yield a distinctly urban creature. “There is something special about specifically urban evolution in that the whole system seems to be running by different rules than is the case in natural ones,” says Schilthuizen during a phone call prior to his visit at the Academy of Natural Sciences on April 11. “Species that are being transported between cities by humans and by traffic are being homogenized, but also the conditions to which animals and plants in cities adapt are being homogenized.” For example, cities all over the world are



heck any biology textbook for an example of evolution through natural selection, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to read about the finches of the Galapagos Islands. Some have smaller beaks ideal for eating insects. Others have sturdier beaks that crack seeds. As Charles Darwin realized when he visited the Galapagos, all are descended from colonists that then evolved based on local conditions. It took Darwin a five-year trip around the world on the HMS Beagle to start thinking about evolution. Today, though, he might have started in a city closer to home. And instead of Galapagos finches, how about urban pigeons? Our pigeons, aka rock doves (or rats with wings, depending on your outlook), have also been evolving. As Dutch biologist Menno Schilthuizen explains, French researchers have looked into why it is that urban pigeons tend to have darker feathers than rural pigeons. It’s not that they need a bath. “It turns out that this has to do with the fact that they can use their feathers to get rid of pollution by heavy metals,” he said. “The darker ones are better at surviving because there is more melanin in their plumage, and melanin binds to these heavy metals. They can detoxify themselves by putting zinc and lead ions in their feathers, and when their feathers shed, they can do the same thing again with the new feathers they grow. That’s one example of a process of urban evolution.” Schilthuizen’s new book, “Darwin Comes to Town: How the Urban Jungle Drives Evolution,” is full of such examples. Starlings

adopting LED streetlights. Nocturnal urban moths in these areas are facing the same shift in light spectrum. Some of us might not welcome a world of homogenized urban plants and animals. Schilthuizen, though, urges a warmer reception. “You can design cities in such a way that urban evolution in animals and plants is stimulated. We can actually make use of the process to build a more livable environment for the future.” Urban gardeners might start by embracing the urban-adapted plants (don’t call them weeds) that grow “naturally” in our city soils. “The city is already full of species that are adapted to our urban conditions,” he says. “So if you are building or designing a new green area or a green wall or green roof, you might be wiser not to stock those places with plants that you pick out of a catalog in the garden center. You could simply provide the soil and wait for the vegetation to develop naturally out of the preadapted plants.” Not all species can thrive in cities. Schilthuizen says pristine patches of habitat can be preserved for those species that can’t adapt. He also recommends that city conservationists avoid connecting patches of habitat, whether pristine or urban. This can protect the city-averse natives while also fostering evolution of the urbanites. Each city park, for example, might present subtly distinctive conditions. “I think that for some animals and plants it might be better not to connect those parks but to allow the species in those parks to adapt to local conditions,” he says. “If you identify interesting local species and other ones that are more generalized urban wildlife, and if you make sure that they do not get into contact with each other, you can have your cake and eat it.” Like it or not, our own species is increasingly urban. “As cities continue to grow, as urban habitat becomes a more and more systematic part of life on Earth, it will be the kind of environment that most people will be seeing,” Schilthuizen says. “[Evolution] is not something that you need to go to the Galapagos... to observe. It’s a very mundane process that goes on all around us. By placing that story in the context of something so familiar to us as a cityscape that we live in, it brings it literally very close to home.”


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urban naturalist


Fairmount Water Works opened its freshwater mussel hatchery in February 2017

Mussel Memories and Fish Dreams


acks of tanks with plastic tubes feeding in and out stand against the thick stone walls of the Fairmount Water Works. Together with the microscopes and other lab equipment, it looks like a mad scientist’s underground workshop—that is, until you start reading the cheerful interpretive panels about freshwater mussel restoration. “We’re demonstrating why we care about mussels and what we can do to help mussels in our rivers and streams, so we created a see-through laboratory with acrylic walls so you can observe what a scientist would actually be doing in a mussel hatchery,” explained Kurt Cheng, shellfish coordinator at the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary. The Delaware watershed’s freshwater mussel populations are a shadow of their 12


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former selves, reduced by centuries of dams and water pollution. The perils of water pollution might seem obvious, but dams? It’s not as if mussels can swim. However, as Cheng explained, larval mussels start their lives getting shot out of their mother’s shell and into a fish’s face. “The fish ends up as the mode of transportation. They hitch a ride for a week or two and then drop off.” Without the fish, they’d never be able to land upstream, and the population would gradually get washed away. Block the fish with a dam, and you also strand the mussel larvae. One goal of the hatchery is to produce mussels that can be seeded upstream of dams, thereby circumventing the problem. Perhaps more important, though, is convincing people that these outwardly uncharismatic creatures are worth saving. Mussels


bernard brown

spend most of their lives just sitting there, filtering water. They aren’t flashy, and, unlike their saltwater brethren, they aren’t food (for humans) either. They supposedly taste muddy, and you wouldn’t want to eat something that has spent decades accumulating toxic chemicals at the bottom of a river. That filtration work, however, is actually one of their selling points, Cheng says. “So a mussel basically filters water for a living... so by their very existence in our streams, they’re helping to filter out all those microscopic particles and even some pollutants.” Moreover, mussels are a major, if humble, element of our national heritage. North America has the highest freshwater mussel diversity in the world, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Fairmount Water Works Mussel


Research center launches efforts to aid freshwater bivalves and shad

Grid_May_Key-Trolley-OneOnly_4.5x9.75_4.13.18.pdf 1 4/13/2018 3:10:48 PM

Hatchery is only one step in a growing effort to restore the Delaware watershed and engage the public in our rivers as thriving habitat, not just something to drive over. A coalition—consisting of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Philadelphia Water, Parks and Recreation, Drexel University, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the Independence Seaport Museum, and Bartram’s Garden—has formed the Aquatic Research and Restoration Center (ARRC) to develop projects that mix conservation and public outreach. On the other side of the Schuylkill River from the hatchery, shad are getting a boost with another ARRC initiative. Shad spend most of their time in the ocean but breed in rivers and creeks. Like mussels, their populations crashed over the years as they found their way upstream blocked by dams. “Shad is a big part of our cultural history here in Philadelphia, and there’s been a gap of several generations that haven’t experienced that,” explained Joe Perillo, aquatic biologist with Philadelphia Water. C With fishways (a series of connected compartments that allow the returning M shad to swim in steps to the top of a dam) Y and some support from restocking efforts, CM they have seen their numbers recover a litMY tle. A new project at the Fairmount Dam fishway aims to help them along. “We’re CY taking adult returning shad that are show- CMY ing up below the dam, and we’re putting a K group of males and females inside a 12-footround, 4-feet-deep spawning tank.” The shad return to the river once they do what comes naturally, but their fertilized eggs stay behind until they hatch. According to Perillo, this method boasts higher hatch rates and less trauma than the more-popular strip-spawning method (in which eggs and milt are squeezed out of the fish). The plan is to get local students involved in 2019, emulating existing shad programs in other states. Students in grades four through eight will tend some of the shad eggs until they hatch, experiencing another phase in our rivers’ recovery by releasing fish they might themselves catch a few years later. “If we want healthier waterways and awareness of environmental quality, you get more attention for waterways when you have people using them,” Perillo said. “My kids are the first population that can fish a viable shad run in the Schuylkill River.”

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bernard brown writes about nature, goes herping and podcasts about urban wildlife. M AY 20 18




l. priori

Rules for Engagement Recycled materials key to jeweler’s commitment to environment by

paige wolf



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traditional industry that was ready for new talent to take advantage of technology like 3-D printing and even e-commerce. The jewelry industry is also very fragmented, which I saw as a huge opportunity to start something new.” Priori has a deep appreciation for estate jewelry, and she has always used these recycled pieces, and their gold, diamonds and precious stones—which means there’s that much less demand created for mined resources.

“Any sourcing choice I can make that limits the amount of mining is hugely beneficial to the environment,” she says. A significant part of her business is redesigning clients’ old jewelry into something new. She also stocks a rotating selection of estate pieces, glittering jewels that echo the eras of Gatsby and Queen Victoria. Priori is expanding her line of wedding bands with recycled metals and gems, and her casting house has earned a re-



s early as middle school, South Jersey native Lauren Priori was selling custom friendship bracelets on her school’s playground. Fast-forward more than 15 years, and her childhood interest in custom jewelry has blossomed into L Priori Jewelry, a business devoted to recreating heirloom jewelry and turning secondhand diamonds, precious stones and fine metals into one-of-a-kind commemorative gems. Priori always knew she wanted to run a business, so she studied at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. But after getting a strong foundation in management theory and marketing, Priori abandoned the finance world to pursue her love of jewels. “Jewelry has always been associated with happy memories for me,” Priori says. “My mom would take us to our family jeweler around the holidays, and she would tell us the history behind each piece we fell in love with.” But it didn’t click that jewelry could be a career path for her until she started looking for her first post-college job and realized that nothing appealed to her as much as working with jewelry. She enrolled at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, California, and spent a year grading diamonds, identifying gemstones, and learning the craft and science of jewelry design and manufacturing. “I think people thought I was a little bit crazy, but jumping into the jewelry world just made sense to me,” she says. “It’s a very

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Left: Lauren Priori at work in her Center City office

cycled-content certification from SCS, a third-party sustainability certifier. “There are so many steps that take the stone from mine to market, so I ask a lot of questions of my suppliers,” Priori says. “It’s great to know where the stone was mined, but who cut it? Were there other middle-

men? I’m extremely choosy about my suppliers and only want to work with those that share my values.” A new work of note by Priori is the Tilly Ring, made of 14-karat recycled rose gold and white diamonds. The center stone is an ethically sourced gray diamond from Canada, which enjoys a reputation for less harmful mining practices. “I love gray diamonds because they’re a little more unique than a typical white diamond, but they are still hard and durable for everyday wear,” she says. The Darrah Ring is crafted from used recycled yellow gold to create bezels around each stone that hold up to everyday wear. The center stone is a vibrant pink tourmaline, ethically sourced from a mine-tomarket supplier, which is closely involved in each step of the gem’s life until it is sold. “I love making beautiful things,” Priori says, “but it’s so important to me to do that while having as little impact on the earth as possible.”

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PHILADELPHIA Take a vacation without taking flight 



paige wolf

s summer approaches, many of us are planning much-needed getaways. But, unfortunately, one of the

worst culprits for carbon emissions is air travel. ¶ A roundtrip flight cross country creates a warming effect equivalent to 2 or 3 tons of carbon dioxide per person. The average American generates about 19 tons of carbon dioxide a year—probably significantly less if you walk, bike or take public transit to work. In fact, if you don’t drive much and live an eco-conscious lifestyle, flying could by far be the largest part of your carbon footprint. ¶ But getting away is still a necessary reprieve for relaxation, wanderlust and general well-being. Here are six easily drivable locations that also happen to be packed with natural wonders, great food, stimulating recreation and sustainable treasures.

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THE PINE BARRENS ➤ Camping, canoeing and kayaking If you’ve ever driven to the shore (or seen someone murdered on “The Sopranos”) you’re more than familiar with what may appear to be a barren wasteland alongside the Atlantic City Expressway. But, in fact, the Pine Barrens is a massive and historic natural reserve even bigger than Yosemite. And it’s less than an hour’s drive from Philly. WHERE TO STAY: Camping is really the only way to go. Cabins and remote campgrounds can be found throughout the Pine Barrens. Two of the more popular sites in Wharton State Forest include the Lower Forge campsite on the Batsto River and the Mullica River campsite. WHAT TO DO: Pinelands Adventures offers hikes, tours and paddling instruction with guides and naturalists. Discover 13 great sites featuring Pinelands parks, historic sites and natural areas. You can also rent kayaks and canoes from Micks—in Chatsworth— to paddle along the cedar waters. WHAT TO EAT: Anthony Bourdain sampled the scrapple at Lucille’s Country Cooking for an episode of “Parts Unknown.” The four-decadeold family restaurant doesn’t even have a website, but the tiny eatery always has home cooking for the locals. DRIVETIME:



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Jim Thorpe ➤ Bike the Lehigh Gorge It’s only about 90 minutes to reach this quaint Victorian town in the Pocono Mountains. WHERE TO STAY: There are several great campgrounds in the area, but if you aren’t up for totally roughing it, check out the various historic bed-and-breakfasts and inns. WHAT TO DO: A couple of times each month, Pocono Biking offers the “bike train,” a one-hour train up the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway, which drops you and your rental bike at the Lehigh Gorge trailhead in the village of White Haven. Once at the trailhead, pedal at your own pace down the Lehigh Gorge Rail-Trail for 25 miles back to Jim Thorpe. Along the way, you’ll pass canal remnants, waterfalls, swim spots, scenic overlooks DRIVETIME:

and railroad trestles. On dates when the train is not available, the same company offers bus rides to the trailheads where you can choose a 15- or 25-mile bike ride down the trails. Hikers can also explore the Glen Onoko Falls Trail, though they should research the trek ahead of time— it can be intense and difficult to navigate. WHAT TO EAT: Chef Heriberto Yunda incorporates Ecuadorian influence into his innovative cuisine at Moya, which focuses on local product, flavor and freshness. Top-notch Italian restaurant Encore, located in the historic mansion once owned by General Charles Albright, features an absinthe bar and live piano music. Check out Stonekeep Meadery for free tastings of fermented honey wine.

About two and a half hours from the city, Ricketts Glen State Park is one of the most scenic areas in Pennsylvania, comprising 13,050 acres in Luzerne, Sullivan and Columbia counties. WHERE TO STAY: There are plenty of great bed-and-breakfasts in the area— but be prepared to live without Wi-Fi. 4G is hard to come by in these parts. WHAT TO DO: Hike the Falls Trail System to explore 22 waterfalls including the 94-foot Ganoga Falls. The park also contains the 245-acre Lake Jean, and offers kayak and canoe rentals. WHAT TO EAT: Old Tioga Farm is a family owned farm-to-table restaurant situated in an old home with two small dining rooms. The small-plate prix fixe menu blends local, seasonal ingredients with rural Italian home cooking. The restaurant also operates a CSA. DRIVETIME:

RICKETTS GLEN ➤ Chase some waterfalls in NEPA

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LEHIGH COUNTY ➤ Spot a hawk, visit a vineyard and room at a historic country hotel



Only about an hour and 15 minutes from the city, the village of Fogelsville will place you in the epicenter of regional goodness. WHERE TO STAY: The Glasbern Inn is a quintessential historic country hotel located on a 150-acre sustainable farm. It offers free full country breakfasts and even a Tesla charging station. WHAT TO DO: The Lehigh Valley Wine Trail offers nine wineries within a 30-minute drive. Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is a conservatory and education facility for birds of prey. The nearby Hawk DRIVETIME:

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Mountain Lookout Trail offers a 4-mile loop trail with beautiful wildflowers. There’s also nearby whitewater rafting for folks who want to get wet. WHAT TO EAT: In addition to the Glasbern’s locally sourced kitchen at its on-site restaurant, there are loads of sustainable eats. Bolete is a James Beard Award nominated farm-to-table restaurant located in a former Stagecoach Inn. Hit Two Rivers Brewing Company in the previously named historic Mt. Vernon Hotel for housemade craft beer and locally sourced food.

Amish Country ➤ Park your car and hop in the buggy Less than two hours to enter a 300-year-old world of rolling hills and spacious farms peppered with windmills and horse-and-buggies. WHERE TO STAY: For a truly embedded experience, check out an Amish Farm Stay, Amish Bed and Breakfasts or guest houses owned by an Old Order Amish family. One profile of a guest suite on Airbnb shows a cozy room built into the bottom of an A-frame with a huge bathroom that the owners made out of rocks. Literally located in a forest, the home is situated in the trees complete with Adirondack chairs on the patio. WHAT TO EAT: With abundant farmland that is home to some of the state’s best produce, the essence of Pennsylvania Dutch cooking is in the farm-to-table inDRIVETIME:

gredients. Plain & Fancy Farm is situated on 10 acres of Amish farmland. Enjoy a traditional farm feast served family style with fried chicken, pork sausage, chicken pot pie, browned butter noodles and shoo-fly pie. WHAT TO DO: Visit the Amish Village for an authentic look at today’s Amish lifestyle. Located on 12 acres, the village lets visitors tour an authentic Amish property, including a one-room schoolhouse, barn, blacksmith shop and smokehouse market. Take a buggy ride, enjoy a farm tour and learn more about the culture. Shop for handmade Amish crafts, but keep a careful eye to make sure you are purchasing something authentic—some souvenir shops are full of mass-produced tchotchkes.

DELAWARE STATE PARKS ➤ Miles and miles of scenic, historic trails Less than one hour from Philly and adjacent to the University of Delaware (my alma mater) lays miles of beautiful parkland I never knew existed when I was barhopping and sleeping till noon. WHERE TO STAY: Originally built in 1692, the Blue Hen Bed & Breakfast is situated on the remaining 2 acres of land that was once part of a 255acre farm. Brandywine Creek State Park and White Clay Creek do not have formal campgrounds; however, they do offer primitive camping for youth groups, and occasionally host family camping nights. WHAT TO DO: White Clay Creek Park offers 37 miles of trails featuring historic sites and scenic vistas. The trails at Possum Hill and the Pomeroy Rail-Trail are great for mountain biking. Slightly farther north is Brandywine Creek State Park in Wilmington. The almost-1,000-acre park is divided by gray walls built from local stone in the late 19th century. The park maintains 14 miles of trails and fields popular for hiking, fishing and cross-country skiing. You can also kayak, canoe or tube down the Brandywine River. WHAT TO EAT: Farm A Sea Bistro & Crafthouse is a farm-to-table restaurant inspired by its proximity to the region’s freshest coastal seafood. It also features an expansive beer list with regional craft brews. Just across the state line in nearby Maryland is the Fair Hill Inn, a historic house with significance as far back as the Revolutionary War. Situated on 1.5 acres, with a working garden, much of the food is grown on the property.   DRIVETIME:

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MOTORIZED? Sales of electric bicycles are up, but regulation remains an obstacle by randy lobasso


rian p owell like s to say electric bicycles just sort of happened to him. “I was at the beach. I was riding [my bicycle] from Cape May to Ocean City, I was out on a Saturday and it was beautiful,” the Chestnut Hill resident says. “And I was humping along and some big old guy came flying past me on an e-bike.” Powell, 55, whistled at the guy to catch his attention. “And I said, ‘What... is this?’ Because he was a big guy, you know? And he flew by me.” At that time—August 2016—Powell had only vaguely heard about e-bikes. But, fasci22


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nated by what he’d just witnessed, he asked if he could take a ride. “I came back and I had this giant grin on my face and… I was obsessed by it.” Fourteen months later, Powell was the president of Junto, a Philly based direct-to-consumer e-bike company. It was his fifth startup business. In the fiscal year ending in July 2017, e-bike sales grew 95 percent over the previous year, according to the NPD Group, a market research company. NPD also found e-bike sales have tripled over the past three years in the U.S. While 1.5 million electric cars were sold throughout last year, 35 million e-bikes were purchased around the world, reported The New York Times in November. More than 150

million e-bikes have been sold since 2003— mostly in China—and some bike-sharing companies, such as JUMP in Washington, D.C., now offer e-assist bicycles. The biggest hurdle, though? Lots of Americans are still in the place where Powell was in 2016: They don’t know what e-bikes are. ‘Imagine an escalator’ E-bikes are not motorcycles. Not really, anyway. Rather, they’re battery-assisted pedal-cycles, giving the rider an advantage when wrestling up hills and over long distances. E-bikes have the ability to get you to your destination without breaking a sweat, but while still getting some exercise. “Imagine an escalator,” says Powell. “I P HOTO G RAP H BY KRISTO N BETHEL

Junto co-founder and product manager Sam Ebert

endeavor. Compare it to a $100,000 Tesla electric car, and it’s practically free. Powell began commuting 13 miles to his Fishtown office after starting his e-bike company. “The experience of being at eye-level with people, of seeing them, being in your community,” he says, “there’s something really mystic about it that I didn’t know.”

mean, if you’re walking up the steps, you get there in a certain amount of time. If you’re walking up the escalator, you’re going to get there twice as fast.” Most e-bikes sold on the market provide what’s called a pedal-assist; if you’re providing pressure to the pedals, the bike is, too. If you’re not pedaling, the bike’s not working for you. This technology has given people with long commutes, and those who feel they’re too old or out of shape for pedaling uphill, a newfound appreciation and usage of twowheeled glory. Junto bikes offer a pedal-assist for riders and, like most e-bikes, a display on the handlebar. Given the large battery component, which usually allows the rider to go 30 to 40

miles on a charge, e-bikes are substantially heavier than your typical bicycle, weighing about 50 to 70 pounds. Pennsylvania law has caught up to e-bikes. As long as it does not have a pedal-assist option of more than 20 miles per hour (which is referred to as a “Class 1” e-bike), it’s considered a bicycle and is regulated about as much as a Huffy. Class 2 and Class 3 e-bikes exist, too, and have caused controversy due to their ability to go, well, really fast. Like anything in the bicycle industry, prices vary depending on quality. You can pay as little as around $500 and as much as, well, $15,000. Compare it to a “$100 OBO” beater bike you’re hawking off Craigslist, and it all sounds like a pretty expensive

‘More people are seeking a car-free lifestyle’ That feeling is something Meenal Raval and Afshin Kaighobady have held onto for a while; they’ve been betting on e-bikes for nearly a decade. Since opening Philly Electric Wheels in 2009, the couple have moved their shop twice—once from Mt. Airy Village at Carpenter and Greene streets to Germantown Avenue, then to East Mount Airy, across from the Sedgwick Regional Rail Station. “When we started, it was hard to sell a $2,000 e-bike, and had to keep a $500 option on the floor. Now, this price tag seems to be more acceptable,” says Raval. “More people are seeking a car-free lifestyle, and as a result, have much less hesitation when deciding between a second car or an e-bike.” Dena Driscoll of South Philly, who is cochair of the urbanist political action committee 5th Square, has been using an e-bike since 2013. “When I purchased the bike, I was 36 weeks pregnant with my youngest child; I was already riding with my oldest, who was 2 at the time,” she says. “I knew my kids would just grow bigger, and since Philadelphia’s bicycle infrastructure isn’t built for all ages to ride safely, I knew I would have to tote them on my bike even as they grew older… I was able to pedal myself and my son while pregnant in Manayunk up and down the hills until I gave birth at 41 weeks… Five years later, I am so glad I purchased a bike with assist.” Raval says e-bikes expand the pool of cyclists to people who would otherwise rely on cars or public transportation. “Think about a restaurant worker, working till late into the night, returning home when the streets are empty. An e-bike offers an opportune way to get home fast, without waiting for the bus,” she says, noting an elderly woman in South Philly can be assistM AY 20 18



Philly Electric Wheels in East Mount Airy

ed just as easily with an e-bike that “serves her daily needs, that involve errands, some shopping and doctor visits within a 2-to-3mile radius.” But there are still voices out there—millions of them—who say e-bikes are motorcycles and need to be regulated as such. ‘E-bikes are too often a danger’ Since their introduction, e-bikes have been shunned by a large population, and larger voice, within the bicycling community. Many shops in the region, including Frankinstien Bike Worx on Spruce Street in Center City, refuse to serve customers wielding electric bicycles. Concerns about motorized bicycles on trails have been voiced at national bicycling summits in recent years, and New York City even experienced a crackdown on e-bikes. Some e-bikes are equipped with throttles that bring the bike above 20 miles per hour, which has led to some parts of the country—20 states currently, according to research from PeopleForBikes—to regulate the vehicles the same way as mopeds, which often requires that riders register the bikes with their city or state. In October 2017, New York City tried to ban e-bikes, responding to safety complaints from residents. The problem: E-bikes were going too fast. Many of these throttle-equipped vehicles were able to travel well over 30 miles per hour without forcing the cyclist to pedal, effectively making them motorcycles. Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD stepped up enforcement, declaring it a Vision Zero issue. “E-bikes are too often a danger on the city’s streets and sidewalks,” said NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill. “They’re illegal to operate here, but it seems like you can spot them everywhere—and that’s where our increased enforcement comes in. After transportation and immigrants’ rights activists took their case to City Hall, Mayor de Blasio reversed course, declaring pedal-assist bicycles legal in the city, but continuing to outlaw throttle-equipped e-bikes that can travel over 20 miles per hour. The dangers posed by e-bike riders, like regular cyclists, are largely anecdotal. Many residents in New York City believed those traveling on e-bikes were going too fast, yet 24


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“I was able to pedal myself and my son while pregnant in Manayunk up and down the hills until I gave birth at 41 weeks.” —dena driscoll , co-chair, 5th square there was little evidence to suggest those riding e-bikes were doing so recklessly. Philadelphia has not seen that sort of backlash, though it’s not too hard to imagine. Bicycles and their riders seem to invoke a certain negative emotional response among Philadelphia residents, and an e-bikelash season could be just around the corner. ‘People are even ditching Uber’ A Center City District report distributed in early 2018 found that Philadelphia’s traffic is at its worst in decades. From 2013 to 2017, vehicular travel times increased by 10 percent, while bus travel times increased by 25 percent (bicycle and pedestrian travel times did not change much). The report details the causes of congestion, contextualized by the rapidly changing social and physical nature of Center City, before offering suggestions for how to mitigate the growing problem. It’s easy to see that with the introduction of ride-hailing apps and services, such as Uber and Lyft, congestion has become worse. CCD introduced several ideas for cutting congestion, such as traffic enforcement by

unarmed civilians, the elimination of onstreet parking during business hours to create loading zones for deliveries, and designated pickup and drop-off zones for taxis and transportation network companies. And that all may work. But for many, it’ll be too little, too late. “We don’t think of [Junto] as competition for bicycles,” notes Powell. “Our focus is on cars. Get cars off the road.” Raval isn’t as convinced that e-bikes will replace cars—at least not until Philadelphia creates safer spaces for cyclists—though she has hope that e-bikes can soon become a regular part of city life. “Given the inadequate cycling infrastructure in our region, I don’t know that an e-bike will let everyone completely disassociate from a car. Certainly, they’re ideal for a one-car family, or in conjunction with a car-sharing option,” she says. “But an e-bike empowers people to use a bike in a more utilitarian way, such as grocery shopping, and multimodal transportation. Every day we hear stories of how e-bikes are being integrated with a bus or train ride, without worrying about parking the car. People are even ditching Uber over e-bikes.” P HOTO G RAP H BY KRISTO N BETHEL

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A Place Where Plants Will Rule Stoneleigh is a new kind of green space for Philadelphia


by alex jones

Trees at Stoneleigh grow freely, without formal pruning


t the region ’ s newest public garden, you won’t see rulerstraight rows of color-coordinated petunias, or trees pruned into perfect proportions, or hedges of boxwood trimmed high and tight. At Stoneleigh, native plants get preference, and trees have spent the past century growing wild, unshaped by orchard saws and pruning shears. That’s just what the former owners, the wealthy Haas family, wanted—and Natural Lands Trust, the property’s current steward, will keep it that way. “One thing the Haases didn’t do is formally prune these trees,” says Ethan Kauffman, Stoneleigh’s executive director. “At other estates, they cut them off like lollipops. But here, they let them grow and twist as they would. It’s a really unorthodox beauty.” This laissez-faire approach to arboriculture means towering, uniquely gnarled specimens, many more than 100 years old. An outsized, asymmetrical sycamore welcomes visitors as they approach the property’s main house. The arbor vitae trees that ring the massive, open Circle Garden aren’t the tightly clipped, Christmas-tree-shaped ones you’ve seen edging a suburban lawn—they’re sprawling, multi-trunked specimens, with huge evergreen branches extending along the ground and swooping up dramatically, giving this outdoor space an insular, enclosed feel. Stoneleigh’s massive ironwood, with a damaged trunk that gives it the look of one of the ancient heart trees from “Game of Thrones,” is the largest of its kind in Pennsylvania. At 42 acres, the Main Line estate-turned-public-garden, which opens to visitors on Mother’s Day weekend, may seem petite compared to the sprawling grounds of Longwood. Its open spaces and knotted trunks may look rather minimalist next to a manicured, perpetually blooming garden such as Chanticleer. But that’s all the better to show off the space’s striking, unique beauty. “Our style will be very exuberant and romantic,” said Mae Axelrod, director of communications for Natural Lands Trust. “This is a place where plants will rule.” M AY 20 18



From titans of industry, to a conservation nonprofit Stoneleigh’s former owners, John and Chara Haas, lived in the main house, raised a family and took care of the property starting in 1964. John’s father, Otto Haas—one of the founders of chemical company Rohm and Haas—originally purchased it in 1932. While the property was the estate of one of the Main Line’s wealthiest families, John and especially Chara wanted the grounds to reflect the natural world as much as possible, using only native plants and letting long-established trees grow freely and wild. The site also features examples of historically significant landscape-architecture practices. When United Gas Improvement Co. head Samuel Bodine bought Stoneleigh around the turn of the 20th century, he brought in prestigious Olmstead Brothers firm, owned by the sons of celebrated landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead— they’d bring in plantings, shape pathways and add decorative structures such as lychgates and pergolas around the property for the next 50 years. Like many other titans of industry in the region, the Haases valued green, natural spaces; John and Chara chose to establish their family home—already something of a nature preserve—as a place where anyone could enjoy the natural world. In 1996, they placed the property under a conservation easement to preserve it in perpetuity; in 2016, their children officially turned the property over to Natural Lands. “The story of Stoneleigh will be the story of what happens when a land conservancy takes over a garden,” said Axelrod. The organization holds easements on more than 23,000 acres of preserved land in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, from woods to meadow to pastureland. But Stoneleigh is its first public garden.

Natural Lands has spent the past two years readying the property for the public—Kauffman estimates that 70 contractors a day worked on the property during the past 12 months, upgrading facilities and infrastructure—but much of the landscape remains untouched. Old and new structures, with access in mind A few small structures have been added, built with local Wissahickon schist; the pool house has been refurbished with a kitchen and restrooms for events. The pool itself has been filled in, but its elliptical shape is outlined in the landscaping, highlighted in grasses with contrasting colors and textures; several circular bogs, a few yards wide, contain moisture-loving carnivorous pitcher plants. Beds that will flank the house were shaped to mimic the asymmetrical angles of the stone used to build the Tudor Revival structure’s walls. (“Curves are boring, everybody does them,” Kauffman explained.) Stoneleigh also provides a well-preserved example of early 20th century Main Line architecture; at the time, the area was a magnet for magnates, attracting industry tycoons to build sprawling estates outside of the city. Most have been sold off or transformed, but the Stoneleigh remains. Months of renovations went into restoring the main house’s dark wood interior; the inside of the building is closed to the public apart from special tours, but it’s rentable as an event-and-meeting space. The Richmond, Va.-based Organ Historical Society—another beneficiary of the Haas family, as son Fred is a passionate player— has transported its archives to the second floor of the house. In addition to its manageable size—it’s easy for a family to roam the entire property

“Stoneleigh is a public garden, and public gardens are for everybody. Everyone should have access to this beauty, to learning about plants.” —ethan kauffman



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over just a few hours—Stoneleigh is meant to be accessible in more ways than one. Admission is free, and the property is only about a five minutes’ walk from the Villanova regional rail stop. Ramps have been built and gravel pathways paved so that those with wheelchairs or walkers can visit all parts of the garden. This, Natural Lands Trust hopes, will attract garden-goers from all over the region, not just the Main Line. “Stoneleigh is a public garden, and public gardens are for everybody,” said Kauffman. “Everyone should have access to this beauty, to learning about plants.” While natural beauty takes center stage, Stoneleigh isn’t just about aesthetics. A big part of the garden’s mission is to promote reverence for, not just access to, the natural world. With workshops, tours and the property itself, part of Stoneleigh’s programs will teach visitors about sustainable landscape practices such as stormwater mitigation, soil erosion, planting for biodiversity and using native plants, as well as raising awareness about the work of Natural Lands Trust. “We’re incorporating best practices using native plants into a Main Line country estate,” said Kauffman. “It shows people that if we can do it in a place like this, they can do it at their homes and businesses.” For example, there are 14 acres of turf on the property, but Kauffman has plans to reduce that number. A portion is designated to become a meadow, designed to increase habitat for insects, migrating birds and small mammals. The garden is already a vibrant habitat for wildlife: Kauffman has spotted five different species of snake in addition to red foxes, coyotes, raccoons, chipmunks, squirrels, groundhogs, salamanders, toads, rare species of birds, even a bald eagle—and deer, of course. But they’ll also, er, cut down on how often they mow portions of the lawn. “We’ll stylize it, but we want to let it grow long—you don’t have to use machines to cut your grass so often,” Kauffman explained. And when workers do tighten up the grass, they’ll use greener, battery-powered mowers and shears rather than heavy, gas-powered machinery. Stoneleigh uses other sustainable landscaping practices, too. Leaving plants standing in the winter rather than cutting them down, for example, provides places for bees and nesting ground birds to

C LO C K W I S E F R O M TO P L E F T: E D C U N I C E L L I ; L AU R A C R U Z ; M A E A X E L R O D ( 2 )

Above: Stoneleigh Executive Director Ethan Kauffman

overwinter. The staff plants native species in the landscape, sourced from local and regional nurseries when possible, instead of commonly used non-natives—American euonymus instead of a privet, for example, or pinkberry instead of boxwood. They’ll source leaf mulch from local contractors and manage compost on site, with a goal of never having to take waste off of the property. The Stoneleigh staff will keep programming light for their first season, but there are already ways to get involved; monthly volunteer days will give folks the chance

to help out in Stoneleigh’s gardens. They’ll hold classes for adults around sustainability in the garden, bird walks and big tree walks, and collaborations with the Organ Historical Society, which is installing an instrument in the house’s basement. For garden members, they’ll offer evening events for picnicking in the summer and a special silent film screening featuring the organ’s music in the fall. When Stoneleigh opens its doors to the public for the first time on May 12, this space, once beloved by a single family, will enter a new chapter as a place where thou-

sands can benefit from its vibrant life and natural beauty. Natural Lands Trust will enter a new phase of essential conservation work along with it. The organization has had experience managing garden spaces on preserved lands, Axelrod notes, but Stoneleigh is its first public garden. “We’ll be able to see what happens when people who are deeply committed to sustainability, saving land and preserving wildlife nature take over a garden,” Axelrod said. “Those values drive everything behind Stoneleigh.” M AY 20 18





Apple of Their Eye New craft cidery is a dream come true by emily kovach for South Philly couple


ermentation was our hobby together,” says Kerry McKenzie, who owns cidery Hale & True with his wife, Risa. “We were making kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, and finally, we were like, ‘Let’s try making alcohol.’” In 2013, the couple took a crack at a batch of hard cider, which turned out better than they’d expected. It was that “aha” moment that so many entrepreneurs report along the journey to a new, self-guided career path. “I fell in love with the fermentation, art and science of it,” Kerry remembers. “Risa had always wanted to start a business and saw a great opportunity for cider … we dove in head first.” They ordered numerous cider-making books and struck up a relationship with Weaver’s Orchard, a family owned farm outside of Reading, Pa., to get interesting 32


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varietals of apples. Many home cider makers start with juice pressed on a farm, but the McKenzies decided to start from scratch. “We built a homemade scratter—the machine that grinds up the apples—and got a cider press, so we’d have these huge pressing parties at my parents’ house in South Jersey,” Kerry says. As their cider obsession grew, so did their plans to open an urban cidery in Philadelphia. In early 2016, they took an in-depth cider-making course at Cornell University, which Kerry credits as helping to refine his skills. “Once I had the base for straight fermented cider down, I started experimenting with hops, other fruits and spices. I think you have to be able to make a good fermented dry cider before you can really start experimenting with other things,” he says. Now, Kerry and Risa are on the cusp of

their very own urban cidery: Hale & True, at the corner of 7th and Kater streets in the Bella Vista neighborhood. They signed the lease on the space last year, just a few days before they got married. After six months of looking at all kinds of buildings, they knew this was the place. “There are high ceilings, the doors were wide enough to fit the tanks through and it just felt right,” Kerry McKenzie remembers. Designed in part by the agency Cohere, where Risa works as director of operations, Hale & True is aiming for a vibe that’s “comfortable but elevated.” All of the tables, the bar top, the server station and shelving are made from reclaimed wood that Kerry, his dad and his brother have collected over 20 years. The taproom will seat 50, with windows looking into the 1,000-square-foot production area, where three, 10-barrel fermenters and four, 10-barrel bright tanks will live. Behind the bar, guests will find 10 draft lines, including five Hale & True ciders such as the Standard, a bone-dry fermented cider, and Hail to the Hop, which is dry-hopped with Citra. The other taps will offer local beer, a cider-based cocktail and kombucha. Fresh, non-alcoholic cider will be available for minors and nondrinkers, as well. For food, Kerry and Risa have partnered with their favorite bar, Good King Tavern, which created a small menu for them of snacks, sandwiches and other light bites. Hale & True is slated to open in early May, and the couple is thrilled to see their dream of opening an urban cidery come true. There’s only one downside to the location, Kerry notes. When he brings the giant totes of fresh juice in from Weaver’s Orchard, there’s no loading zone, and he has to do some fancy truck maneuvering to park and pump the hundreds of gallons of juice into the tanks inside. “It’s a little hectic on 7th Street,” he laughs. “Crowds have gathered to watch me pump juice, like, ‘What is going on?’” 613 S. 7th St.;

What are you doing this summer? Plan a visit to a garden or two! With more than 30 gardens within 30 miles of Philadelphia, there are gardens to inspire every interest. Learn more at

M AY 20 18





Seasonal Six-Pack Cold brews for warm breezes



emily kovach

here’s no wrong time of year to drink beer, but there is definitely a right time, and that time is late spring. Finally (or should we say, finally!!), the weather is consistently warm and breezy, welcoming us out of our apartments, offices, and classrooms and into the world. Ball games and barbecues are made for craft-beer drinking—you know those days, when the conversation is easy, the playlist is on point and the sunset seems to unfold for hours before twilight finally settles over the city. ¶ With an ever-growing roster of local breweries, there’s no excuse for reaching for watery, tasteless, mass-produced beers, even on the warmest of days. Here are our top six picks for seasonal sipping: Saison

Summer in Berlin

Todas Las Lima

Saison • Yards Brewing Co.

Berliner weisse • Dock Street Brewing Co.

Pale ale • Brewery ARS

This is the quintessential summer wheat ale, brewed in our fair city at 5th and Spring Garden. Though many saisons are redolent of barnyard funk or overly sweet, this one is beautifully balanced with Belgian yeast, malted summer wheat and Styrian Golding hops.

Saint Benjamin Summer Playlist Rotating cans • Saint Benjamin Brewing Co. Each week this summer, Saint Benjamin will release something new in a series of hop-forward brews in shareable 32-ounce cans, with labels designed by local artists. Look for them at farmers markets and at its Olde Kensington taproom. First up is Nice Dream, an IPA brewed with Azacca and Rakau hops, with label art by Tessa Shackelford.

Successful day drinking requires a sessionable brew, and at 4% with plenty of tart citrus and ginger spice, this “Philly style” Berliner weisse, a twist on Dock Street’s Summer Session wheat ale, will do nicely.

Brewery ARS made this mojito-inspired brew for Cinco de Mayo last year, and it was so popular they’re bringing it back. Spend a warm evening in their garage brewery sipping this pale ale—hopped with Motueka and Citra—along with lime peels for perfect spring vibes.

Sofa King


IPA • Urban Village Brewing Co.

Rustic pale ale • Fermentery Form

Philly is a city of IPA crushers, and we’ll bet this can release from Urban Village will make an appearance at a party or ten this summer. Oats lend a light color and hazy appearance, and a mountain of hops result in the massive grapefruit punch and floral, piney aroma that we love.

This not-quite-brewery’s beers often carry a funky, farmhouse profile that many beer drinkers prefer for colder-weather imbing. But this rustic pale ale is just right for summer. The mixed-fermentation beer is dry-hopped with Falconer’s Flight and offers soft acidity and bitterness, with notes of lemongrass, melon, citrus and papaya at a reasonable 5% ABV.

New Hop Strains to Look out For Galaxy, Pacific Jade, First Gold, Mosaic … no, these aren’t strains of designer marijuana. They’re strains of hops, the conical green flowers of the plant Humulus lupulus that give beer its telltale bracing bitterness and, in many modern ales, a bouquet of citrus, pine, floral, grassy, and earthy aromas and flavors. Just like other flora, there are hundreds of cultivated varieties within the hops species, each with its own characteristics. And just as some heirloom varieties or hybrids of fruits or vegetables have their moment in the spotlight, so too do certain strains of hops. New strains are bred for flavor and aroma, as well as disease and drought resistance. Cashmere, Idaho 7, Mandarina, Loral, Enigma and Pekko are a few you might see starting to pop up in the descriptions from your favorite brewery. Drew Smith of Philadelphia Homebrew Outlet has seen a push into the non-bitter side of hops—strains like Nelson Sauvin, Citra, Ella and Vic



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Secret—in the current brewing market. Even common varieties are sometimes given new life with changes in the brewing process. “There are nuances of strains that we haven’t really focused on until now,” he says. “We’re rediscovering that many of the hops that we’ve used for years for piney, resinous flavors like Simcoe in the West Coast IPA can also be used for their peachlike aromatics in the ‘juicy’ New England IPAs.” While many recipes for West Coast IPAs add hops during a vigorous boil, which releases bitter compounds, the New England varieties treat them more delicately, adding them around the 160-to-190-degree mark and during dry hopping. Look for continued innovation on the hops-farming and brewing side as the craft-beer world explores just how many ways there are to enjoy a pale ale or IPA.

12th & Arch Streets Philadelphia, PA 19107

Four Local Wines to Try this Summer Chaddsford Winery 2016 Artisan Series Dry Rosé •• As they say, “Rosé all day!” Get in on the wine trend that just won’t quit with a locally made, wonderfully dry and refreshing version that’s balanced with spicy berry flavors. The grapes are a blend of pinot noir, merlot and cabernet sauvignon from Historic Hopewell Vineyards in Chester County. 632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, Pa.; Galen Glen Grüner Veltliner •• Arguably the most food-friendly white wine, this award-winning grüner is made in the Germanic style by Sarah and Galen Troxell (an ex-chemist and engineer, respectively) on their sixth-generation Pennsylvania farm. Crack open this lovely green bottle for a wildly crisp glass, promising notes of golden apple, white pepper, honeyed citrus, sweetpea and spice. 255 Winter Mountain Drive, Andreas, Pa.; Va La Vineyards Silk •• From the fields on his farm in Avondale, Pa., Anthony Vietri coaxes stunning European-style wines. Silk, a dry rosato, is one of its core brands and is perfect for warm weather. It’s made from grapes grown in “dark soil” on the east side of the farm’s hill: Corvina veronese, barbera, nebbiolo, carmine, petit verdot, among others. 8820 Gap Newport Pike, Avondale, Pa.; Galer Estate Huntress Vidal Blanc •• This refreshing wine is estate grown, produced and bottled. “It’s sort of my spin on a vinho verde with a slight effervescent character and mouthwatering acidity,” says winemaker Virginia Mitchell. Notes of grapefruit, pineapple and lemon make it perfect for pairing with peak-season produce and grilled seafood. 700 Folly Hill Road, Kennett Square Pa.;




Take advantage of the fresh produce, meats, dairy, seafood, spices & baked goods that the Reading Terminal Market has to offer. Best time for locals to shop: 8 – 11 AM & 4 – 6 PM

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2/14/17 9:37 AM


may 2018

M ay 11

Mother’s Day Clay on the Wheel

Container Gardening at Greensgrow West Learn step-by-step how to design a container garden with herbs and annual flowers. Instructors will talk soil, light, position, care and maintenance for your particular container and conditions. WHEN: 6 to 8 p.m. COST: $45 WHERE: Greensgrow West, 5123 Baltimore Ave.

Celebrate Mother’s Day by spending some quality time together or making your mom a gift made from the heart. Be sure to wear clothes you’re not afraid to get dirty. An adult must participate in the workshop with all children ages 4 to 12. Parents with children ages 4 to 7 work together on one wheel. WHEN: 10 a.m. to noon COST: $17.50 WHERE: The Clay Studio, 139 N. 2nd St.

Farm Stand Season Opening Local vendors will sell spring veggies, seedlings, sourdough bread, kombucha on tap, perennial and annual flowering plants, seedlings and handmade gifts.

M ay 12 Hansberry Garden Plant Sale

Shoppers can find annuals, perennials, cut flowers, vegetables, herbs and home-baked delights. Proceeds benefit Hansberry Garden’s environmental education programs in Southwest Germantown.

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Germantown Kitchen Garden, 215 E. Penn St.

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Hansberry Garden and Nature Center, 5150 Wayne Ave.

M ay 14 ‘Plastic China’ Film Screening and Panel Discussion Join Philadelphia’s Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet for a screening of the film “Plastic China,” which tells the story of the global impacts of single-use plastics, followed by a panel discussion. WHEN: 6:30 to 9 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Parkway Central Library, Montgomery Auditorium, 1901 Vine St.

M ay 17 2018 Excellence in GSI Awards This event honors green stormwater infrastructure projects and innovations and the partners who bring these projects to life in the Philadelphia area. WHEN: 6 to 9 p.m. COST: Members $65; nonmembers $80 WHERE: FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Blvd.

MAY 12-20, 2018




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Reading Terminal Market 215.627.2100 • parking available at 2 nearby garages.

M AY 20 18




may 2018

M ay 18–20

Tadpole Transformation

Art in the Open Art in the Open, presented through the PNC Arts Alive initiative, is a biennial citywide event that celebrates artists, their inspirations and their relationships with the urban environment. WHEN: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Schuylkill River Banks from the Fairmount Water Works to the South Street entrance

It’s that time of the year again when Riverbend Environmental Education Center’s ponds fill to the brim with squirming tadpoles. Participants will investigate amphibians and explore this fascinating spring phenomenon. WHEN: 2 to 4 p.m. COST: $10 per family WHERE: 1950 Spring Mill Road, Gladwyne, Pa.

PFCU Kensington Derby and Arts Festival This festival celebrates human-powered transit and local businesses, with about 15,000 spectators and 200 vendors gathering on Trenton Avenue to support the East Kensington Neighbors Association and New Kensington Community Development Corporation. WHEN: Noon to 6 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Trenton Avenue and Dauphin Street

Restoration Volunteer Workday Help to improve the health and biodiversity of the Schuylkill Center’s forest while connecting with nature and making new friends. Volunteers will remove invasive plants, add native species, and help to improve the trails. WHEN: 10 a.m. to noon COST: Free WHERE: Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road WHEN: Noon to 3 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: 5202 Levick St.

Wetland Critters 2: Water Chemistry Students will hunt for critters and examine and test the water quality of Morris Arboretum's wetlands. Students will learn about basic water chemistry as they collect and share their findings on an online database. For ages 10 to 13. WHEN: 1 to 3 p.m. COST: $25–$30 WHERE: Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Ave.

M ay 20 Repair Fair with Philly Fixers Guild A team of volunteers will help you learn to make repairs to any broken item you can bring in. WHEN: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: El Bar, 1356 N. Front St.



M AY 201 8

Pollination presented by Bartram’s Garden Learn why bees and other animals are so important to the garden and the food we like to eat. Participants will taste some honey and design the perfect living machine to pollinate their flowers. For ages 12 and younger.

Love Your Park Day— Lardner’s Point Park Volunteers will help with trail maintenance, shoreline cleanup, plug planting, invasive removal and more. Snacks and supplies will be provided. All ages and abilities welcome.

M ay 19

M ay 23

WHEN: 4:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library, 125 S. 52nd St.

Watershed Milestones Award Ceremony & Reception Come network with TTF Watershed’s Partner Alliance and clean-water leaders of the region, enjoy a menu of local food and drink, and be inspired by the achievements of this year’s award winners. WHEN: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. COST: $25–$50 WHERE: Globe Dye Works, 4500 Worth St.

M ay 31 Permaculture Mash-up and Potluck Several practitioners will engage and inspire attendees to pursue permaculture projects on their own, and recognize related practices that they may already be participating in. WHEN: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: 6757 Greene St.





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M AY 20 18



personal essay


Bold Move A climate activist steps beyond her comfort zone by

katherine rapin


s I rode through the farmlands of Lancaster County on a recent morning, I saw a disruption in the landscape: Orange fencing lined the road where trenches bisected golden cornfields and links of pipe climbed vast hillsides. I was riding on a bus with about 30 demonstrators protesting the construction of the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline—the 197-mile, $3 billion project will carry fracked natural gas from the Marcellus shale in northeastern Pennsylvania to the Williams Transco pipeline in Lancaster County, headed to the Chesapeake Bay for export. That day, we would draw attention to a drill that runs 24/7 to burrow a tunnel under the Conestoga River, through which 42-inch-diameter pipe will be laid. Mark Clatterbuck, co-founder of Lancaster Against Pipelines, faced the crowded seats, megaphone held to his mouth. He explained several options for participating in the protest: We could wave banners and sing from the side of the road, or we could walk onto the drill site and risk arrest, while supporting the five demonstrators who planned to climb on the drill rig. Judy Wicks, activist, author and local-economy leader, was among the five who planned to commit civil disobedience. She sat behind me, wearing a bright red T-shirt proclaiming, “You Will Not Spoil This Land” over a down jacket, bundled in anticipation of the brisk wind. I was on that bus because of her. In a roundabout way, I moved to Philly because of Judy. She presented her memoir, “Good Morning, Beautiful Business,” at an

event near the college I attended in Michigan. I was captivated by her imaginative solutions that catalyze our communities to do better. I spoke with her after the presentation, purchased her book and set up a time to meet for lunch in Philadelphia. Three years later, after moving to the city and keeping in touch with Judy, I answered her call for a personal assistant. Even at 70, Judy doesn’t sit still for long; as her “deputy ranger,” I support her action-packed, often unconventional day-today life. Sometimes that means scouting out charging stations in her new Chevy Bolt, scheduling walks for her beagles, Jack and Jojo, or running down the street to Green Aisle Grocery. And sometimes, I play a more direct role in her work supporting under-resourced Philadelphia entrepreneurs, rallying for

progressive political candidates and fighting climate change. On that recent Saturday, I joined her for a series of demonstrations organized by Lancaster Against Pipelines. I was there to document and share her experience with her wider readership, but also because I wanted to support Lancaster residents whose land has been taken by unjust use of eminent domain. The Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline will not serve as a public good; instead it will perpetuate dependence on the fossil-fuel industry that our state government should be working to replace with clean-energy infrastructure. As I stepped out of the bus, I deliberated: Stay safely by the side of the road? Or trespass and risk arrest? The grating sound of the drill, the gaping pipes and the fleet of white trucks at the site reminded me of what Mark said earlier that morning, “We have an opportunity to demonstrate the outrage we feel, and we have to take advantage of this invasion while it’s active and it’s visible.” I watched as Judy marched toward the towering drill rig, surrounded by workers in bright green vests. I knew she would stand on that rig, chained to her fellow citizens until the drill shut down and she was arrested. Though I wasn’t ready to join her on the rig, I trespassed on the site to be among the courageous citizens who protested this destructive, unjust project up close. I realized that bold risks are especially needed right now: When our government fails to protect our land and communities, the responsibility falls on us.

katherine rapin is a freelance writer, the associate editor of Edible Philly and Judy Wicks’ right-hand gal. 40


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M AY 20 18



The seeds of biodiversity A Philadelphia native returns home to change the way the region thinks about horticulture VIRTUAL CAFÉ Join the MES program director on the first Tuesday of every month from 12-1 p.m. for an online chat about your interests and goals. Log in with us. @Penn_MES_MSAG

Tom Brightman (Master of Environmental Studies ‘00) of Kennett Square, PA, first discovered the fragile nature of ecosystems while working as a fly fishing guide in Colorado. He joined the Colorado Division of Wildlife on a study about a nearby zinc mine’s impact on the local trout population. It was there he found his calling in regional ecology. Soon after, he enrolled in Penn’s MES program. The multidisciplinary curriculum expanded Tom’s expertise in working with plant life, migratory species, sustainability and conservation. Now, as the Land Stewardship Manager at Longwood Gardens, Tom works every day to educate visitors and students about what impacts their local landscape. He’s currently managing an innovative capital project that integrates meadow field planting and solar energy. Tom’s degree proved to be transformative, “I’m really glad I took on the Penn MES and was able to move into this field of endeavor,” he beams, “My work is as much of my passion as it is my work, and I’ve never really felt that before. It makes coming to work every day very easy.” To learn more about Tom’s green initiatives and endeavors in sustainability from the ground up, visit:




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Grid Magazine May 2018 [#108]  

Electric Bikes Plugging in to the car-free lifestyle

Grid Magazine May 2018 [#108]  

Electric Bikes Plugging in to the car-free lifestyle