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JUSTICE DELAYED?

Residents of Eastwick and Chester are still fighting for the survival of their communities—and for their lives ALSO

THE RISE OF FOOD ENTREPRENEURS IN PHILLY’S MAKER SCENE MAKING YOUR OWN PEACH PRESERVES TOWARD A SUSTAINABLE PHILADELPHIA AUGUST 2016 / ISSUE 88 GRIDPHILLY.COM

Treat Yourself GRID’S GUIDE TO SUMMER INDULGENCES


PLANTING THE SEEDS OF WELLNESS. THE DELEMA G. DEAVER WELLNESS GARDEN AT LANKENAU MEDICAL CENTER

At Lankenau, we are committed to fostering a healthy and sustainable community. In collaboration with Greener Partners, we have planted a half-acre, year-round, organic garden—the only one of its kind in the Philadelphia region. The Wellness Garden will serve as a source of fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs for our community, and serve as a hands-on classroom for thousands of students. Because teaching children where wholesome food comes from not only encourages healthy eating habits, it plants the seeds of wellness for life. MAINLINEHEALTH.ORG/LANKENAU

Greener Partners Connecting communities through food, farms & education


Image: Alyssa Stuble

Artist JJ Tiziou is Taking Over the Museum! Visual artist and community organizer Jacques-Jean "JJ" Tiziou was inspired by light, letters, faces, spaces, and the many objects in the Museum. JJ invites you to come check out the fruits of his inspiration this summer in the Museum, starting….now! Don’t Miss! Faces of Migration, the series of community portraits he took across Philadelphia of individuals who have themselves or in some generation of their families experienced migration or displacement. Learn more at NMAJH.org/OPEN

NMAJH.org • 215.923.3811 Corner of 5th and Market Streets OPEN for Interpretation featuring JJ Tiziou is made possible through the generous support of the William Penn Foundation. Major support has been provided by Sherrill Neff and Alicia Felton, and Judith Creed and Robert Schwartz, with additional support from The Paul and Emily Singer Foundation and Drs. Marsha and Stephen Silberstein.


IT’S YOUR TIME TO SHINE No matter what life throws at you – even if it’s twins – Bones Fitness Partners can help you be your best self. When Lindsay first started with Bones Fitness six years ago, she had already seen the dramatic benefits of running and healthy eating. That combination had helped her reverse a lifetime of being overweight. Still, she felt she had a long way to go. “I was doing a lot of cardio, but it wasn’t until I started lifting weights that I lost sizes.” Her progress continued and, with an imminent wedding, she went into overdrive, achieving something that she could not have imagined possible: a pull-up. Things changed again when she and her husband decided to start a family. Bones Fitness dialed back the training, but, even after Lindsay found out she was pregnant with twins, it never stopped. Bones Fitness constructed a workout plan that would prepare her for the ultimate physical challenge: a natural childbirth. “While I was giving birth, the doctor actually complimented me on how strong I was. Thanks to Bones Fitness, I had the confidence and strength for the most important moment of my life.”

Schedule your free, no risk fitness assesment today info@bonesfp.com


that aligns with your values • Locally farmed foods • Gluten-free and vegan options • Socially responsible coffee • Compostable and recyclable disposables at no additional charge

Not your usual line-up. SOURCING LOCALLY SINCE 2004! 1925 FAIRMOUNT AVE, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19130 PHONE: 267.514.7145 • EMAIL: catering@mugshotscoffeehouse.com MONDAY - FRIDAY: 6:30am - 8:00pm • SATURDAY & SUNDAY: 7:00am - 7:00pm


CONTENTS DEPARTMENTS 08

To-Do List August is all about keeping cool. Take to the woods or pop a poolside popsicle

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Comings & Goings Find out which doors are opening and closing, and who deserves kudos

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August 2016

INSIDE THE ISSUE 30

Chester’s Long Emergency Residents of the city of Chester have suffered for decades from the health consequences of heavy industry, and its advocates are tired. Who will fight for its future?

SPECIAL SECTION 15

MAKERS & DOERS Circuit boards and buzz saws may dominate the maker community, but shared kitchen spaces and innovative programs are helping culinary entrepreneurs make their mark, too

Opinion The Eastwick Friends & Neighbors Coalition calls for an end to their community’s blight designation

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The Right Question Does it matter if we diversify the environmental movement if we’re still all consuming too much?

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The Big Picture Historian Carl Zimring says fluid conceptions of race should be a larger part of the conversation about the history and future of environmental justice

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Shop Local Let your senses go on vacation this August with Grid’s picks for sweet summer indulgences

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Homestead Acts Preserve some peaches and enjoy them all year long

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Market Watch

Melons are on the march in August, and a grilled melon salad with mint is on the menu

Events What to see and where to go

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Dispatch A chef reflects on his grandmother’s cooking—and why his fascination with flavor always ends with the joy of sharing it with others

Rebel Ventures Executive Director Jarrett Stein (R) works with a team member. Page 16

“Rebel [Ventures] loves failing, because we learn from our mistakes and we really encourage experimentation and radical creativity.” —Jarrett Stein, executive director of Rebel Ventures


EDITOR’S NOTES

by

HEATHER SHAYNE BLAKESLEE

THE ICE CREAM MAN Your best friend in a mad, mad world

I

t’s hard not to feel as though the entire country has gone crazy. The barrage of violence at home and abroad and the continued struggle for civil rights has everyone on edge. The feeling that the truth is on permanent vacation has added to the Orwellian overtones of our lives. In the midst of the madness it’s important to acknowledge that in order to right the ship, we have to be strong—and sane. Years ago, I had a nervous breakdown in a shoe store. At the time, I was raising money for a Quaker green building project that had me thinking about peace and social justice all day. At night, I was reading and studying about the impacts on people and planet that result from a global economy fueled by a hyped-up consumer culture. I started feeling as though I was living in the Matrix and could finally see the code behind a mass illusion. If I saw a commercial for an oversized hamburger, I would see the horror of a factory farm. If I walked by a store with its door open blasting the street with air conditioning, I saw American soldiers guarding oil fields. In the shop window filled with cheap sneakers were the faces of Chinese children suffering from cancer caused by polluting factories. I couldn’t get the images out of my head. That was a problem, because I needed to buy a pair of shoes. Mine were disintegrating on my feet. I walked into a store on South Street, and started looking at labels. What company? What country? What materials? I asked the poor clerk a hundred questions that could easily have landed me in a skit on Portlandia where Carrie Brownstein might deadpan, “Did the cobbler turn off the water when he brushed his teeth at night?” I weighed options for an hour as I became more and more agitated, more and more convinced that I couldn’t buy anything, not there, not anywhere, not ever.

It was a relief when I saw my brother’s name ringing through on my phone. For 10 minutes, I unloaded my anxieties uninterrupted. He responded with characteristic, caustic wit. “So!” he said cheerily in the face of my anxiety. “How’s that working out for you?” I laughed. It felt good. “Ahhh… Not very well, I guess?” “OK then!” he said, and we carried on. When I hung up, I said to myself, “OK. Go back in there and buy a pair of shoes. The world is not going to end if you buy a pair of shoes today.” I then resolved myself to two things. The first was to continue to work for large-scale, system-wide change, so that any person could walk down the street and buy a reasonably priced pair of shoes without it wrecking the planet or giving a raw deal to some faraway person. I also resolved that I wasn’t going to go crazy while I did it. I realized that I would be no good to myself, to my family or to my community if I were emotionally paralyzed and off rocking in a corner somewhere. I got a therapist and let go a little of my strict and self-imposed rules. I’m still careful about what I buy, but sometimes we need to treat ourselves to whatever it is that’s going to help us continue to stand up for what we believe in, whether it’s a pair of shoes or an ice cream sundae. It’s so important that we keep working for change, calling out our politicians and fighting injustice together. While we take care of each other, let’s also take care of ourselves—even treat ourselves. Laugh a little. Let’s not become the cobbler’s daughter, hobbled as we march in protest with bare feet.

HEATHER SHAYNE BLAKESLEE Managing Editor

heather@gridphilly.com

editor-in-chief Alex Mulcahy managing editor Heather Shayne Blakeslee heather@gridphilly.com 215.625.9850 ext. 107 copy editors Walter Foley Aaron Jollay Designer Marika Mirren marika@gridphilly.com 215.625.9850 ext. 112 writers Peggy Paul Casella Anna Herman Alex Jones Emily Kovach Brian Ricci Jerry Silberman Alex Vuocolo illustrators Chris Bernhardt Corey Brickley Anne Lambelet Nicholas Massarelli Kailey Whitman photgraphers Matt Stanley Gene Smirnov ___________ sales & marketing manager Claire Margheim claire@gridphilly.com 215.625.9850 ext. 103 ad sales Boston Gordon boston@gridphilly.com 215.625.9850 ext. 100 distribution Megan Matuzak megan@gridphilly.com 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


ENDLESS ENDLESS SHOUT SHOUT SE PTEMBER 20 SEPTEMBER 2016– 16– MA RCH 20 MARCH 2017 17 Ra ul de Nie Raul Nieves ves Da nielle Go Danielle Goldman ldman Ge orge Lew George Lewis is Fre d Mo Fred Moten ten Th e Ot olith Gro The Otolith Group up tai sha pa taisha paggett ggett

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Majorsupport supportfor forEndless Endless Shout Major Shout hasbeen beenprovided providedby byThe The Pew has Pew Centerfor for Arts Arts&&Heritage. Heritage. Center Marketing supportedby by Marketin g isissupported PamelaToub ToubBerkman Berkman&& David J. Pamela David J. Berkmanand andby byLisa LisaA. A.&& Steven Berkman Steven A.Tananbau Tananbaum. A. m. EndlessShout Shoutwill willoccur occur in tandem Endless in tandem withThe TheFreedom FreedomPrinciple Principle: with : Experiments Artand andMusic, Music, 1965 Experime nts ininArt 1965 toNow, Now,on onview viewatatICA ICAfrom from Septemto September14, 14,2016, 2016,totoMarch March19, 19, 2017. ber 2017. Formore moreinformati information: For on: endlessshout.icaphila.org endlesss hout.icaphila.org

Institute of Contemporary Art Institute of Contemporary Art University of Pennsylvania University of Pennsylvania icaphila.org icaphila.org ICA is always Free. For All. ICA isadmission always Free. For All. of Free is courtesy Free admission is courtesy of Amanda and Glenn Fuhrman. Amanda and Glenn Fuhrman.

phillybikeclub.org cmyk colors: blue = 95c85m red = 100m80y gray =Pantone 60%colors: black

Sunday, September 11, 2016 blue = Pantone® 2736 red = Pantone® 711 gray = Pantone® 424

Fri, Oct. 28 – Sun, Oct. 30, 2016

cmyk colors: blue = 95c85m red = 100m80y gray = 60% black

Bicycle Club of Philadelphia (phillybikeclub.org) proudly announces its 20th Annual Scenic Schuylkill Century New Start/Finish: AIM Academy, 1200 River Road, Conshohocken (River Rd near Manor Rd, the Schuylkill River Trail & the Miquon train station). Ample free parking is available at AIM Academy. Picturesque routes from Montgomery County, along the Schuylkill River to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and back out, through the scenic countryside of Southeastern PA.

A fully supported ride with SAG, breakfast at the Start, pizza bash at the Finish, rest stops, and 23-mile, 43-mile, 67-mile, black with percentage of gray: black: and 102-mile options. black = 100% black solid black gray = 60% black

more info: sceniccentury.org

For more information and to register visit: sceniccentury.org.

Foliage Weekend FallFall Foliage Weekend In Hanover/Gettysburg, In Hanover/Gettysburg, PA PA All-inclusive, 3-day package: • • • •

Hotel, dinners & breakfasts Rides with leaders Tour packets with a wide variety of cycling routes Cycling snacks to take along on rides, parties, and more!

phillybikeclub.org/newbcp/events/fallevent2016/fallevent.htm


TO-DO LIST 1. collect your

2. check a/c drains 3. put up some

Start harvesting some of those great plants you put into the ground—August is the start of when collards and okra should hit your plate.

After working hard all summer, your air conditioning drainage lines can clog. Make sure they’re functioning properly so you don’t end up with water damage in your home.

collards and okra

4. cool off in the woods

Our city’s hardscapes have been absorbing sun and heat all summer, which can mean that temperatures for city dwellers are more than 10 degrees higher than our rural or suburban friends. August is a great time to escape to the woods, especially if you can find a campsite that’s near a lake or pond to help keep you stay chill.

5. keep your pets cool

The Humane Society of the United States has good guidelines online for how hot is too hot for your pets, and you can get a great recipe for DIY peanut butter popsicles for your dog!

peaches

Fresh summer fruit will be over before you know it, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be gone. It’s easy to preserve fruit: We’ll show you how on Page 54.

6. celebrate our diverse city

Philadelphia isn’t taking a break in August. Don’t miss Philly’s homegrown Blackstar Film Festival Aug. 4 through 7, or two great festivals on Penn’s Landing: the African Cultural Alliance of North America’s ACANA Festival on Aug. 7 and the Caribbean Festival on Aug. 21. The Pennsylvania Dutch Festival, featuring handmade crafts, is at Reading Terminal Market on Aug. 11 through 13.

7. take a dip in the pool

Did you know that Philadelphia maintains more than 70 public pools, some of which also host poolside yoga, aquatic yoga and aquatic Zumba? Check out the list at phila.gov or take to Twitter and look up #swimphilly to find out where you can make a splash.

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IL LUSTRATIO N S BY CHRIS B E R NHA RDT


8. treat yourself For Grid’s picks on some summer indulgences, see Page 39. If you’re camping and find yourself fireside, you can celebrate National S’mores Day on Aug. 10.

You don’t Buy Happiness You Eat it Beef Brisket from more than Q Barbecue

9. get that garlic in the ground

At the end of August, break up whatever bulbs you plan to use (but leave the skins on) and let them sit for a few days before planting the cloves.

10. give some

veggies to your neighbors or co-workers You won’t be able to keep up with the tomatoes and peppers exploding in August. There’s probably a neighbor, a young colleague or a busy family with kids who would gladly take your surplus. Don’t let it fall to the ground and be wasted!

EastonPublicMarket.com/more-than-q-barbecue

325 Northampton St., Easton PA AUGUST 20 16

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NEWS

California and Florida, one of whom died after being hospitalized for a Listeria monocytogenes infection.

$105K AWARDED TO LOCAL LIBRARY PROJECTS

RETAIL CHAIN UNVEILS LARGE SOLAR ENERGY PROJECT IN NEW JERSEY Jersey-based arts and crafts retailer A.C. Moore hopes to cut energy costs by as much as 50 percent with the installation of a rooftop solar panel on its distribution warehouse in Berlin, New Jersey. The installation covers 12.5 acres of roof space with more than 11,000 individual solar panels and generates 4,620,000 kilowatt-hours of clean renewable electricity—enough to power more than 350 homes.

CITY LIFTS BAN ON SERVING FOOD IN PUBLIC PARKS Philadelphia announced on July 5 that it will withdraw its ban on serving food in public parks, a move put in place in 2012 that resulted in a lawsuit from religious organizations that provide food to homeless and hungry people. The city established the Food Access Collaborative in 2013, working with the plaintiffs and others to improve the availability of food and related services in healthy and safe environments. “The solution to homelessness and hunger is not to stigmatize it and hide it from public view,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “I share with the plaintiffs a steadfast commitment to serve those in need and, together

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with other homeless advocates, will continue to pursue short- and long-term approaches to improve food distribution and other vital services and, ultimately, to end hunger and homelessness in Philadelphia.”

NEW HOMES IN FISHTOWN RECEIVE HIGHEST LEED CERTIFICATION AVAILABLE Awesometown—a mixed-income project by development company Postgreen Homes, in partnership with New Kensington Community Development Corporation—has been awarded LEED Platinum Version 4 certification. The project is one of the first in Philadelphia wherein a for-profit developer has partnered with a nonprofit community development corporation to build eco-friendly affordable housing.

LISTERIA CASES PROMPT USDA INSPECTION OF RAW DAIRY Miller’s Organic Farm in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, must submit to inspection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to a July ruling by the U.S. District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania in Allentown. A March 18 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked the farm to listeriosis illnesses of individuals in

The Knight Foundation’s News Challenge on Libraries included three Philadelphia library partnerships as winning prototypes for “re-imagining libraries in the 21st century.” Launched in February, the Knight News Challenge asked for ideas that serve modern information needs, recognizing libraries as vital institutions that can play a role in engaging communities. The winning Philly projects—each of which has been awarded $35,000—include a monthly service that uses agricultural CSAs as a model for introducing subscribers to librarian-curated digital content; a program in which media specialists take up residence in libraries and offer hands-on media training to community members; and a collaboration among libraries and the broader open-data community to support long-term access to open civic data through community information portals such as OpenDataPhilly.

YARDS FOUNDER READIES FOR A NEW BREWERY LOCATION Yards Brewing Co. presented in July its plans for an 85,000-square-foot brewery at 5th and Spring Garden streets that would serve as a space for manufacturing, storage and distribution and include a larger brewpub with a kitchen. Yards President Tom Kehoe told Philadelphia Magazine that it was “hugely important” to stay near his workforce, a tight-knit group, many of whom often bike to work; the Clean Air Council named Yards the 2016 Clean Air Employer of the Year for encouraging and accommodating clean commuting practices.

GREENSGROW WEST MOVES TO BIGGER LOCATION Greensgrow Farms’ West Philly branch is moving this month to a larger and more permanent home two blocks away at 5123 Baltimore Ave. The new space will feature


a high tunnel for growing an expanded selection of garden plants and gear, seasonal CSA, a farmstand, a chicken coop and a community house.

ORGANIC PIONEER AWARDS TO HONOR LEADERS IN SUSTAINABILITY The nonprofit Rodale Institute in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, will host its sixth annual Organic Pioneer Awards (OPA) ceremony Sept. 10 to recognize three innovators in the fields of science, farming and business. Environmental toxicologist Warren Porter will receive the Research Science Award for conducting studies on low level pesticide exposures in food and water with his team at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. David Vetter, owner of Grain Place Foods in Nebraska, will be given the organization’s Farm Award for his family business’ adoption of organic farming practices and for helping steward other local farms as they move toward organic production. The CEO of Dr. Bronner’s natural soap company, David Bronner, won the Business Award for partnering with farmers to help them practice regenerative agriculture in Ghana, Kenya, India and Sri Lanka.

ANN BARTRAM CARR GARDEN OFFICIALLY OPENS Bartram’s Garden in Southwest Philadelphia has concluded a $2.7 million restoration of the city’s only 19th-century flower garden. The Ann Bartram Carr Garden is the first major garden restoration project at the site in nearly a century, and is now open to the public. Ann Carr was the granddaughter of pioneering botanist John Bartram.

BIKE AND PEDESTRIAN VICTORY The city’s streets will be closed to automobiles Sept. 24, from Front to South Street, through the Schuylkill River Trail, and along MLK Drive to Fairmount Park. The concept, Philly Free Streets, is a response to the relief many residents felt during the pope’s 2015 visit, when major Center City streets were free of cars and trucks.

FOR THE NIGHTS THAT TURN INTO MORNINGS, THERE’S 24-HOUR SEPTA. The Broad Street and Market-Frankford Lines are running all night long, all weekend long.

Friday and Saturday nights Learn more at ISEPTAPHILLY.COM

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EDITOR IAL

Eliminating Blight The term ‘blight’ is deeply rooted in racist ideology and failed urban renewal programs. It should no longer be a tool of city planning by eastwick friends & neighbors coalition

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blighted neighborhood… what does that mean? For many, the word conjures images of cracked sidewalks, strewn trash, rusty cars and homes in need of a paint job. But are any Philadelphia neighborhoods free of such features? According to Pennsylvania Urban Redevelopment Law, seven criteria are used to determine whether blight exists in an area, and the above description would meet many of them. But only one of those criteria needs to be met to establish a property or an area as blighted—a first step in the process by which city officials may use eminent domain to seize land from homeowners. Although the term seems neutral, the history of blight is also deeply rooted in racism. For decades, local governments have used the term to condemn areas predominated by racial and ethnic minorities and immigrants. For Eastwick, a primarily African-American and immigrant neighborhood in Southwest Philadelphia, this has meant trouble. The term was originally applied to Eastwick in the 1950s by people who didn’t live here, by officials who set out to create a new “city within a city,” without respect for existing community cohesion. In 2006, Eastwick was recertified as “blighted,” a designation

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that residents feel strongly continues to hold the Eastwick community back. Now, in 2016, it’s time to eliminate “blight”—a word that has become synonymous with racism and injustice—from the vocabulary of city planning officials. To understand Eastwick’s future, we must acknowledge its past. Eastwick was officially designated as blighted in December 1950 by the city of Philadelphia planning and redevelopment agencies. This action facilitated the largest urban redevelopment project in history, in which more than 2,100 acres of land were condemned and seized. Over the next half-century, the Korman Corp. held the rights to redevelop and renew Eastwick. Old brick homes were razed and replaced by modern buildings, streets were planned and paved for new cul-de-sacs, and the Penrose Plaza was conceived and constructed. In the name of urban renewal, more than 8,600 people—bewildered, frustrated and angry—were displaced. Many of them protested, unsuccessfully, the forced sale of their homes. Families, churches and local businesses were forced to leave; most never returned. A peaceful, racially integrated community known as the Meadows was effectively destroyed. Despite the city-led redevelopment, Eastwick’s blight certification was renewed in

March 2006 under the Street administration. The recertification cites evidence of three of the seven criteria used to define blight: 1) unsafe, unsanitary, inadequate, or overcrowded conditions; 2) faulty street and lot layout; and 3) “economically or socially undesirable” land use. However, the report fails to mention that the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, not individual Eastwick residents, held title to the 162 acres of “vacant land” relied upon to recertify Eastwick as blighted; that the illegal dumping was occurring on that same publicly owned land; or that there was no intent to relocate the industrial activity that aggravated blight conditions in this environmentally vulnerable area. In short, Eastwick residents—the individuals most impacted by the blight designation—played no role in creating so-called blighted conditions. Today, this blight status—and the police power it represents—remains. It’s a significant concern for Eastwick residents, many of whom have lived here for decades. Attracted to this peaceful corner of Philadelphia, cradled by the trails along Cobbs Creek and the trees of John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, Eastwick’s residents—before and since the ill-fated urban redevelopment project—do not see their commu-

IL LUSTRATIO N BY N ICHO L AS M ASSA RELLI


nity as blighted. But they have no power to change these conditions going forward, even though they have committed to staying in the neighborhood and organizing to protect their community. Community activists—dedicated residents such as Earl Wilson, Leonard Stewart, Ramona Rousseau-Reid, Joanne Graham and Eastwick Friends & Neighbors Coalition (EFNC) President Terry Williams— have come together with renewed energy, working hard to make Eastwick whole, despite deep-seated distrust of a city that disenfranchised and disrespected their elders years ago. They are proud of the storied history of Eastwick, and they are looking forward to the next chapters of change. The EFNC is dedicated to engaging and empowering those residents, advocating for an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable future for the community. EFNC is working with elected officials and city agencies to ensure that future planning in Eastwick is conducted with residents, not for them. The recently approved Lower Southwest District Plan incorporated significant community input and is, thus, a step in the right direction. The blight designation, however, remains in force in Eastwick. EFNC believes that the term “blight” is an archaic tool that has no place in modern urban planning. We call for a public discussion in order for city officials to understand the long-term social and developmental impacts of the blight designation, and for a clear and transparent pathway for removing a designation that is impeding the forward progress of Eastwick. The negative social and psychological impacts of the label are real. As a blight designation initiated a painful chapter of Eastwick’s history, removing the designation would be an auspicious start for the next one.

K

through

LIFE

3 1 W E S T C O U LT E R S T R E E T, P H I L A D E L P H I A , PA 1 9 1 4 4 215.951.2345 GERMANTOWNFRIENDS.ORG

Eastwick Friends & Neighbors Coalition in Southwest Philadelphia brings together community stakeholders in planning and advocating for an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable future for Eastwick. For information or to get involved, email eastwickfnc@gmail.com or visit eastwickfriends.wordpress.com.

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Now Enrolling Winter: January 4 - 13, 2017 Spring: March 12 - 20, 2017 theGREENprogram.com/apply


A Rebel Ventures student at the Center for Culinary Enterprise making Rebel Bars

{ PHOTO BY M AT T STA NL EY

Makers & Doers

}

Makers and doers aren’t just using jigsaws and circuits to build products and businesses. Across the city, teachers, advocates, chefs and entrepreneurs are working to educate, nourish and inspire Philadelphians with food and cooking. These culinary champions dedicate themselves to strengthening our health, our economy and our community. by alex jones

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{Makers & Doers}

Sharp Knives, Bright Minds Cooking Crew Academy and Rebel Ventures teach kids how to run a kitchen—and a business by alex jones

Students line up for training to become participants of the Cooking Crew Academy at Benjamin B. Comegys Elementary School in West Philadelphia

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t Cooking Crew Academy, headquartered at Benjamin B. Comegys Elementary School in West Philadelphia, every meal the students serve begins with ceremonially trashing a traditional school lunch. Into the garbage goes the frozen pizza and french fries, and out from the kitchen comes food that could easily be on the menu of any farm-to-table restaurant in town: yellow squash and bulgur salad, collard green hummus and soba noodles with eggplant and mango, purple cabbage clementine slaw. Twice a week during the school year and summer sessions, young chefs empowered by the academy’s cooking and nutrition training feed approximately 120 students and adults with fresh, plant-based meals made with ingredients that are often sourced from the neighborhood. Elementary school student Shyheem Blagman has come back to Comegys over the summer for his third Cooking Crew Academy session, where students spend six weeks sharpening their knife skills, trying new ingredients and learning healthy recipes. 16

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“I wanted to do Cooking Crew because I thought I had a future in cooking,” Blagman says, “and I wanted to show everyone.” At home, Blagman loves making omelets and other breakfast foods to serve to his mother and two brothers. “I want to be the owner of a restaurant [when I grow up],” he says. Cooking Crew Academy (CCA) students learn alongside a nutrition educator, area high schoolers, college students and a group of Promise Corps members—an offshoot of the AmeriCorps program. The students also learn teamwork as they compete throughout the sessions as part of one of three teams to win the semester’s coveted prize, the Watermelon Cup, which is awarded based on points for presentation, flavor and cooperation. The Pineapple Prize goes to the student voted Most Valuable Chef; both trophies are made from fresh fruit. Jarrett Stein designed and supports the Cooking Crew Academy program. He’s the director of Academically Based Community Service Partnerships and Student Engagement with the Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative (UNI) at the University of Pennsylvania’s Netter Center for Community

Partnerships; he also serves as volunteer executive director for Rebel Ventures, which sometimes shares mentors with CCA. “We’ve always kept a core philosophy [that] kids want to be healthy. [Our job] is providing space, tools and support to allow this to happen,” says Stein. “[It’s amazing to see] third- and fourth-graders take control of the meal for all of their peers with very, very basic resources. This is the best of what we know how to do.” Rebel Ventures started in 2010 at the now-shuttered Pepper Middle School, where students developed a tasty, healthy granola bar to sell to their fellow students. With organic, nutritious ingredients such as oats, dried fruit, and chia and pumpkin seeds, the Rebel Bar (originally called the Far Bar) was a hit: The student-run social enterprise that produces it and other products—Rebel Ventures—was born. “We started with some core values, like youth power [and] listening to our customers in our community, and one product, which was the Rebel Bar, a healthy snack alternative to what was available,” says Stein. “With that one product, over the next three

P HOTOS BY M ATT STAN L E Y; S ID E BAR P HOTO BY A F E W FI SHI ES


STAR FOR A DAY Food Underground shines a spotlight on the back of the house

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Rebel Bars in student-designed packaging

fter cooking at top restaurants in Tel Aviv and Philadelphia, chef Ari Miller struck out on his own with Food Underground, a pop-up event and private dinner party service. Book him for your next party, or attend a Cooks’ Canvas dinner, in which line cooks from the city’s hottest restaurants emerge from their unheralded place at the back of the house and take the spotlight. You also need to try one of his mouthwatering Frizwit grass-fed cheesesteak and (vegetarian) Sabih sandwich pop-ups. You’ll taste best-quality local ingredients prepared with inventiveness and care—and get the story behind the plate. foodunderground.net

years, [we] built a youth development social enterprise model.” Tiffany Nguyen co-founded Rebel Ventures as an eighth-grader at Pepper alongside other students, with Stein as their mentor. She’s been involved with the program in some way ever since. “Just being with UNI [mentors] at Rebel Ventures, I learned how to run a business,” says Nguyen, who is now studying interior architecture at Marywood University. “It’s really busy, and you have to be really organized.” She continued to work with the program throughout high school and comes back to support Rebel Ventures and Cooking Crew Academy’s efforts during summers. There are now six departments of Rebel Ventures, with students running every aspect from sales to accounting to research and development during after-school programs and summer sessions. “The granola bars were really just a tool to develop the model,” says Stein. Now that the model is developed, the goals of the program will grow and change, too. “How can we use this model to really make a difference in the food landscape for our target customers, who are kids in schools?” Allowing students room to make mistakes is key, says Stein.

“Rebel loves failing, because we learn from our mistakes and we really encourage experimentation and radical creativity,” Stein explains when Emily Irani, a UPenn senior who’s working with the crew as part of an internship program, tells him that this batch of Rebel Bars will be a little heavy on the pepitas: What could have been a wasted batch has turned into an experimental special edition. “We like to work with what we have here,” Irani says. “I’ve learned a lot about the limited access that Philadelphia schools have to healthy foods and how big of a problem it actually is.” To taste Rebel Ventures’ products outside of the public schools, pick up a Rebel Bar or a pack of Rebel Seeds at Mariposa Co-op or on the UPenn campus at 1920 Commons or Williams Café.

Top left this page: The cooking crew prepares before class. Clockwise from bottom right: Tiffany Nguyen, Fleshae Arbur-Seay, Bruce Schimmel and Nasir Laney Sidebar: Chef Ari Miller (R) at the Food Underground Home Brewed dinner at Philadelphia’s Physick House

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{Makers & Doers}

Shared commercial kitchens for food entrepreneurs Kitchen shares give food entrepreneurs access to low-cost, commercial-scale equipment at a location with flexible hours. So whether you want to be a private chef, a caterer or a producer of a commercial product, these kitchens will help you get a food business going. They can even assist with marketing, networking and distribution.

Molly Haendler of Spruce Hill Preserves

Center for Culinary Enterprise (CCE) Location West Philadelphia Year Founded 2012 West Philadelphia’s Dorrance H. Hamilton Center for Culinary Enterprise, a project of The Enterprise Center, provides invaluable business development support—as well as access to kitchen and event space rentals, access to capital and help connecting with wholesale buyers—to fledgling food businesses from all over the city. theenterprisecenter.com/cc

Artisan Exchange Location West Chester Year Founded 2015 The Artisan Exchange takes the shared kitchen model one step further, promoting business growth by also offering distribution services to wholesale accounts all over the Philly metro area and a weekly year-round farmers market for food artisans—from granola makers to coffee roasters—to showcase their wares. artisanexchangewcpa.com

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“Spruce Hill Preserves wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t discovered the CCE. They also offer entrepreneurs an opportunity to network and collaborate with other small businesses and organizations, thus building their own companies while helping to strengthen the small business community.” – Molly Haendler, Spruce Hill Preserves

P HOTO BY CJ DAWSON


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{Makers & Doers}

Beyond the Cookbook Hands-on learning for life at the Free Library’s Culinary Literacy Center by alex jones

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ucked away on the fourth floor of the Free Library’s Parkway Central branch, you won’t find the rare book collection. Instead, hidden behind an unassuming door you’ll discover a gleaming, commercial-grade culinary classroom. It’s a nontraditional space for a library, but library coordinator Suzanna Urminska believes that the Culinary Literacy Center (CLC) fits right in. “Every bite of food has a story,” says Urminska. “Literacy can be taught through cooking, and cooking can be taught through literacy.” The CLC’s mission is to develop a slate of programming to build confidence, encourage curiosity in the kitchen, and empower Philadelphians of all backgrounds around health, literacy and food. “In Philadelphia,” says Urminska, “there are people of all ages working to improve their literacy... There are also challeng-

es around food access and how to make a doctor’s mandate of eating fruits and vegetables happen for yourself so that it’s culturally relevant, appetizing and fun. That’s the work we’ve been refining over the past two years.” Activating the space and getting new patrons inside the library has been key. At night, top chefs and authors from around the city and country come out to teach classes and events on topics from ancient Roman cooking to whole-hog butchery to restaurant workers’ rights—which has the added benefit of engaging citizens who might not participate in other CLC programs. “One thing we’ve learned about our evening classes, which are sort of a one-off way to highlight the extensive food culture that exists in Philadelphia, is that [many attendees] were not library users or did not have a library card,” says Urminska. “I see that

as a win. Once people come in and are excited about the CLC, we’re able to share the other wonderful resources that are available [here] for the use of all Philadelphians.” A dizzying array of people have been served by CLC programming including kids, adult ESL learners, refugees, blind patrons and military veterans. One curriculum, A Taste of Africa, creates a connection to cultural foodways and recipes of the African diaspora, with an emphasis on building better health and well-being for students overall. Shivon Love, a nutrition educator and food justice advocate, was hired this year as the library’s first food literacy and access coordinator. “[The class] serves as a reminder of the rich relationship that people of African descent have always had with food,” says Love. “Anywhere that you find descendants of Africa, you will find inspi-

The monthly Chow Down on Wellness series, in partnership with the VA Medical Center

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P HOTO BY RYAN B RAN DENBERG


ration for this curriculum. Dakar, Senegal; Bahia, Brazil; Low Country, South Carolina; or 52nd Street, West Philadelphia.” Her approach means that the class may look at several variations on a theme that can be traced to African origins, with each culture of the diaspora creating its own version of a dish. Take jollof, a West African one-pot rice dish: Variations exist in different regions of that part of the continent, but American variations show up in examples such as jambalaya and Charleston red rice. This year, the center is doubling down on its commitment to culinary literacy, thinking strategically about how to bring CLC programming to outlying branches while also sharpening its focus on programs to connect SNAP recipients with education and resources. They’ll pilot a 16-week ESL class centered on food, culture and library skills with recipes prepared using a tabletop kitchen kit that allows any branch to host programming.

Empowering the communities served by each branch is an explicit goal of the program. “We want to create a model in which we support and develop a training program for folks who live in the communities of the [branches] we would be working with to be nutrition educators,” says Love. “[And], in turn, they would teach their immediate community.” For Love, information really is power. “If you look at the state of health in this country today, we know there’s a disparity between what is available in terms of healthy food [and] who gets healthy food,” she says. “Some of the disparity is access to information. Sometimes what prevents people from nourishing themselves is not knowing how to prepare healthy meals. I think that just a little bit of information can go a long way in terms of making sure that people are taking agency over their health. It’s not just an income issue—it’s a skill issue and an access issue.”

RESTAURATEUR FOR A NIGHT Balboa is the place if you want to show off your cooking chops

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tching to try your hand at a big dinner, but don’t have the kitchen facilities or seating you need to host a big night? Balboa is a contemporary, refined space that hides on a residential block in Fishtown—but it hosts some of the city’s most innovative chefs for special dinners, as well as events highlighting Chef Alex Garfinkel’s meticulously crafted farmto-table menus. Buy a ticket to one of their chef appearances, or rent the space for an intimate private party or dinner. alexgarfinkelcatering.com

Image on left: Summer Thyme Cooks, a program for children and teens organized with Vetri Community Partnership Sidebar image: Quick Chef Challenge night at Balboa

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{Makers & Doers}

Education and event spaces for foodies with a plan These businesses double as kitchen and dining room: They provide a clean, certified and inspected space for food entrepreneurs at the production side of the supply chain, and then serve up a delicious final product to excited eaters in a beautiful space.

Alex Buckner (C) of Local 215 Food Truck at a summer wedding

City Kitchen Location Center City Year Founded 2014 This cheery space along the eastern wall of Reading Terminal Market hosts programs such as a culinary camp for kids, tastings by market vendors and high-end dinners. It also serves as a production kitchen and staging area for Reading Terminal’s catering company, which hosts private parties, fundraisers and weddings after hours. citykitchenrtm.com

Greensgrow Community Kitchen Location Kensington Year Founded 2009 In partnership with St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, five blocks west of their urban farm, Greensgrow uses their commercial space to host cooking classes, produce a line of Greensgrow-made value-added products, and provide hourly kitchen rental space to food trucks, caterers and other food entrepreneurs. (Since the church doesn’t allow alcohol, parties, weddings and more can be booked for the farm space.)

“Greensgrow was the first real pioneer in the effort to meet the growing demand for commissary kitchen facilities and was absolutely instrumental to our first year’s success.” – Alex Buckner, chef/owner, Local 215 food truck

greensgrow.org/kitchen

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the RIGH T QUE STION

Blind Justice The arc of history is long, and it bends toward mother nature by jerry silberman

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uestion: Is environmental justice available under our law? The Right Question: Is environmental justice the same thing as justice for the environment? We usually think of justice as the concept of fairness and equity: that everyone should be treated with the same respect, given the same rights and treated equally under the law. The Cambridge Dictionary’s practical definition is “the system of laws by which people are judged and punished.” These two definitions can easily be at loggerheads, depending on one’s view of existing law. To me, many of our laws protect and promote the grossest forms of unfairness, inequity and environmental destruction, e.g., fracking and mountaintop removal. Come to think of it, when you consider the impact on our health and future, environmental justice to me would mean the long-term incarceration of anyone engaged in, or attempting to engage in, fracking or coal mining. Since the environmental movement was founded, it has largely been a movement of privileged people seeking to retain their privileged enjoyment of natural beauty, access to the best food or protection from

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the effects of pollution. The environmental movement was, and is, largely a NIMBY (Not in My Backyard) movement, in denial about the consequences of the lifestyle its activists choose to follow. In an effort to broaden the appeal of the mainstream environmental movement and scrub away its image as an elitist hobby, some environmentalists and labor organizations developed the “Blue Green Alliance.” It focused on promoting investment in so-called green jobs, such as renewable energy development, and was seen by its labor partners as a way to mitigate the impact of eliminating jobs in dangerous and polluting activities. Their approach, however, didn’t address the downstream impact of polluting activities on the poor in this country or overseas. Fights against toxic incinerators in poor black towns like Chester, Pennsylvania, or cancer clusters caused by factory emissions in working class neighborhoods like Bridesburg were not on the radar of wealthy suburbanites concerned with preserving park land or fighting genetically modified crops. In reaction to these enormous blind spots in the mainstream environmental movement, the environmental justice movement arose, demanding that the quality of life

issues demanded by the elite should be available to everyone, and that, most importantly, polluting activities should be located equitably in rich and poor neighborhoods or stopped altogether. An entire new vocabulary of struggle was introduced, which the mainstream environmental movement must pay lip service to, without ever changing its basic focus. What the environmental justice and the mainstream environmental movements have in common, though, is a focus on the conditions of human beings without regard to the limits imposed by nature. Environmental justice principles, by and large, still subscribe to the notion that a way of life comfortable and familiar to middle-class Americans is available to all without any nasty side effects. They believe that if the wealthy are forced to experience these side effects, then mitigation and prevention will be prioritized. Eliminating leaded gasoline and ending the discharge of ozone-destroying chemicals are the kind of victories that environmental justice advocates believe they can multiply. But justice for the environment—that is, fairness and equity for the rest of the biosphere—is not so simple. Humanity’s

IL LUSTRATIO N BY CO RE Y BRI C KLEY


continued existence, in its current level of consumption of resources, poses a serious threat to millions of species. The current rate of extinction, considered by biologists to be caused by human impact, ranks with the great extinctions of the past when more than 90 percent of all extant species disappeared. Of course in this next extinction, one of the species likely to go is the human race. Over the next few million years, evolution will result in millions of new species that will fill every niche available. Evolutionary change is a constant of life, although the speed of evolution varies radically depending on the rate of change in the physical environment. Over the hundreds of millions of years that life has existed and will continue to exist on this planet, it seems the height of arrogance to suggest the actions of a single species, on the planet for a trivial and insignificant few hundred thousand years, are more than the operations of probability in history, to which no moral value can be attached. So, environmental justice is justice for people—present and hopefully future. We are a resilient and adaptable species—generalists—a trait we share with rats, raccoons and roaches. But we are still evolved to be most comfortable and healthy in an environment we are putting at risk every day by overconsumption and overpopulation. Unless we are willing to reduce both of these fairly quickly, life will be very much different and less comfortable, even for the wealthiest among us. The environmental justice movement, it seems to me, has a greater chance of coming to terms with the limits of growth than the mainstream environmental movement. But, at least for now, it has not found a way to integrate its core message of justice with the necessary message that nature has limits. We must recognize those limits if we’re to remain a part of it. Jerry Silberman is a cranky environmentalist and union negotiator who likes to ask the right question and is no stranger to compromise.

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the B IG PICTUR E

Whitewashing History Historian Carl Zimring believes that the concept of whiteness itself—which has shifted over time in America—has been missing from discussions about environmental justice interview by heather shayne blakeslee

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or centuries, Americans have conflated whiteness with cleanliness. It’s so thoroughly ingrained in our culture that even during the 2007 presidential election, Joe Biden tried—and failed spectacularly—to compliment presidential candidate Barack Obama by describing him as “clean and articulate.” In his book “Clean and White: A History of Environmental Racism in the United States,” Carl Zimring describes the pernicious roots of that cringe-worthy moment. From the attempts to scientifically justify slavery, through the rise of the Klu Klux Klan and to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1968 Memphis sanitation worker strike, Zimring unpacks how the history of environmental justice and waste is tightly woven with class, but more importantly with who is considered “white.” Environmental justice is a modern concept, but your book goes all the way back to the antebellum South to show the roots of the idea that white people were clean and black people were dirty, and it explains how that purposeful misconception has influenced who handles and lives by our waste. CZ: My goal with the book was to look at not only how communities of color have been affected by environmental inequality, but how conceptions of whiteness have been shaped over time to produce those inequalities. In the 17th century, slavery was a major part of the economy and society, but it wasn’t spoken about in racial terms so much as it was religious terms: There were Christians and there were “savages.” This breaks down by the beginning of the 19th century, into a discussion of physical difference, specifically skin color: There are white people and nonwhite people—and the white people are intrinsically more civilized, and this is very much a justification for doing things such as pushing indigenous Americans off their land and enslaving people of African origin. As the international sentiments against slavery really turn in the early 19th centu-

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ry, in 1808, the international slave trade is banned, the racial justifications for keeping slavery become more and more toxic and related to racialized science. There are a lot of books by physicians, oftentimes from the Deep South, that claim that people who are not white are physically inferior, intellectually inferior and morally inferior, and this scientific racism becomes more and more popular. … [It’s] an attempt to try to reassert [dominance]. “Well, what is white identity now? We’ve lost our political power… We may have lost a foothold in our economic power. What does it mean to be white?” And this is a time when the Ku Klux Klan starts developing as a terror organization to redeem past supremacy. And the language it uses is one of purity and sanitation, notions of miscegenation. In social history, we talk about the fact that “whiteness” is historically constructed, and we don’t in the literature about environmental racism. One of the crucial elements for the book is the notion of whiteness being very much native-born whiteness—Northwest European origin coming into this country and being native-born. [It] was a big aspect of what it meant to be white during

that crucial period in the early 19th century, when the notion of race became an even greater obsession. One of the crucial aspects of structural racism is understanding the culture that shapes the institution—shapes the structures. Waste management, especially, became something that shifted from people who are economically disadvantaged to burdens [placed] specifically on people by the classifications of race. You do a deep dive on the fluidity of race by looking, for instance, at how census identifications changed as people from certain countries of origin—Italy and Ireland for instance—assimilated into American society over time, and how those conceptions of race related to the waste management industry. CZ: If we’re talking about 1820 in the United States, economic status is the determinant factor in whether or not you are handling waste materials and whether or not you live near them. That changes in the late 19th century. The worries about social upheaval in this country, with the end of slavery, with mass migration coming from not only Southern and Eastern Europe, but also Asia and Latin America, led to a new definition of white identity that somehow separated whites— native-born whites—from all this chaos, this unknown quantity, be it humans from other places or pathogens that could cause disease. Those stereotypes really take shape after the Civil War with [developing] waste management structures. Both formal ones, such as the development of streets and sanitation departments—but also informal ones like the way we recycle in this country, which started with a lot of small, independent junk dealers. As it turns out, that became an extraordinarily racialized labor market by 1880. We still have stereotypes today of the Chinese laundryman, the Jewish rag man or the Italian trash hauler, none of IL LUSTRATIO N BY KAIL E Y WHI TMA N


whom were considered white at the beginning of those trades. It’s easy to forget that certain ethnic groups were essentially boxed out of other employment and handled dirt and waste to survive. Then those businesses were passed on. CZ: It’s a complicated history in many ways. This is very much shunting the burden onto these people who are in these very risky trades. Dealing with waste materials is among the most dangerous work in industrial society—and yet, because there was such a stigma associated with doing this work, it was possible for some of these immigrant-founded businesses to make tremendous amounts of money. The largest waste management company in the world, Waste Management, was formed by Dutch immigrants. Martin Luther King Jr. was in Memphis in 1968, where he was assassinated, in part because of a sanitation worker strike protesting the conditions of the workers, two of whom had just been killed on the job. You write that while the words, “environmental justice” didn’t pass anyone’s lips at the time, “The burdens of waste and race had become a nationally recognized civil rights issue.” That same year, activists in Houston sued the city over racially discriminatory practices of waste siting. CZ: The Memphis strike showed the template for both recognizing the inequalities and gave the structure for resisting them in an effective way… [It] took place where it was clear that waste management was something that African-American men did, in the city of Memphis. Over a thousand men, picking up the garbage of Memphis—almost all of them are African-American men—and the conditions that they had to deal with were very much shaped by a mayor whose family had made money in laundry, putting the brunt of the hazards of doing laundry on African-American women, paying them very little over decades and reaping the profits. We talk a lot about the modern hazards of living next to a waste incinerator, but we don’t talk about the fact that the people who pick up the waste and work in the plants are also in dangerous situations. CZ: Think about what we put in recycling bins—we put in metal, we put in glass... If

you are handling this, either collecting the bins from curbside or going and processing this material and sorting it—sorting is crucial for recycling to work—you’re exposed to broken glass, rusty metal. If you’re working in a metal recycling plant, you might actually be exposed to automobile parts including fuel tanks that might explode. Any number of caustic chemicals might be in the goods that you are sorting, and so fire, tetanus, amputation, explosion, these are all possible hazards that people dealing with discards face every day... This has been true since the industry of salvage developed in the 19th century. As mass-produced household items became available, it touched off a period of “conspicuous consumption” where we not only started producing much more waste, but consumption also became class performance. To what extent is that still true today? CZ: Attempting to discern identity and status through consumption remains a very large thing. The Republican Party is about to nominate for president a gentleman who’s got a solid gold bathroom in his home.

T HIS EXC ER PT ED INT ERVIE W H AS BE E N E D I TE D FO R CLA R I TY

There’s a reason you do that: It’s not for any functional use in the bathroom, but it’s to show that you can do that. What clothes you wear, what car you drive, what your interior decor is… that aspect of our culture, I would argue, has endured to this day. One of the problems with persistent environmental racism is that we just have too much polluting industry and too much waste. It has to go somewhere. What has to change? CZ: We must dispense with the idea that we can put waste out of sight and out of mind. Noting all waste has consequences can lead to personal decisions to use less, and industrial decisions to design for less. Doing otherwise will continue to burden the most vulnerable among us.

Carl Zimring is an environmental historian and associate professor of sustainability studies at Pratt Institute. His books include “Cash for Your Trash: Scrap Recycling in America” and “Clean and White: A History of Environmental Racism in the United States.”

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Chester resident Shelia Hyland in her living room with her inhalers

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W T L W


WINNING THE BATTLE, LOSING THE WAR Pollution—most of it legal—may be killing the residents of Chester. Does a handful of divided, volunteer environmental justice advocates even stand a chance? by ALEX VUOCOLO

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photos by GENE SMIRNOV

helia Hyland looked up at the sky one evening last May and saw a mass of black smoke hovering above the city of Chester. The sight didn’t surprise her. Her house is just a halfblock from the industrial waterfront, and reminders of the pollution problem are everywhere: the rumble of diesel-fueled trucks coming off the highway, the odors that sometimes blow in on the wind, the tint of the sky on a given evening.

“I can’t even walk down there,” says Hyland, 68, looking toward the waterfront from her front porch. “I would like to walk, you know, for exercise, but I can’t because it takes my breath away. That’s how bad it is.” Situated 15 miles southwest of Philadelphia, in Delaware County, Chester has a 30 percent poverty rate and is over 75 percent black. The city of 34,000 also contains one of the largest waste incinerators in the country, a water treatment plant, two

major chemical manufacturers and a paper factory. The waste incinerator, owned by Covanta, processes the majority of the waste produced in Delaware County and large portions from New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia. There is little buffer between industry and residential neighborhoods in Chester. The city is a narrow 4.8 square miles and wedged between the Delaware River and Interstate 95. Freight rail tracks, transmis-

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SPECIAL REPORT sion lines and flight paths also band across the city. Hyland lives on 2nd and Edwards streets, one of a handful of blocks that touch the edge of the industrial waterfront. An overgrown asphalt lot is all that separates her street from the industrial zone. What all this means for public health is difficult to determine, given the number of facilities and the fact that many health problems are also related to social problems such as poverty and crime. But environmental health experts say that pollution has likely contributed to a number of public health effects: The city has a 24 percent higher rate of lung cancer, a 64 percent higher rate of ovarian cancer and more than triple the rate of asthma than the rest of Pennsylvania, according to data from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey. Hyland suffers from asthma—so do her two youngest children—but she has no intention of leaving her home of 30 years. She likes that the street is somewhat isolated. It separates her family from the gun violence that affects other parts of Chester. “This is a nice block,” she says. “We don’t have crime and stuff down here.” But it’s gotten harder in recent years for Hyland to ignore the problem. Last November, she spent a night in the emergency room because of an asthma attack so intense she thought it was a heart attack. That same evening she learned that a friend who lives a few blocks away was also in the emergency room for an asthma attack. “It’s just amazing how both of us can end up in the hospital because we can’t breathe,” she says. For Hyland, pollution is something you experience firsthand. It’s not some invisible threat or debate about the fate of the ice caps. It’s sensory: You can smell it, see it, feel it deep in your chest. As a result, a number of engaged Chester residents have embraced the idea of environmental justice—the concept, popularized in the 1980s, that low-income, often minority groups are most affected by pollution and require special attention. In the 1990s, the idea swept into Chester through a grassroots movement that would become a national example of how a community can rise up to defend itself against polluters. But a lot has changed in 25 years. With

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Chester’s economy still ravaged by unemployment and poverty, city leaders are reluctant to work against job creators of any kind, even if they happen to be polluters. This has left local activists to keep the pressure on industries. But Hyland’s own more recent experiences with activism have left her even more disillusioned than before. Neither of the city’s two main environmental groups, in her view, represent her needs or are serious about real change. “They don’t care about us,” she says. The groups also fundamentally disagree with one another. The Chester Environmental Partnership, which is run out of a local church, maintains that collaborat-

ing with polluters is essential to making progress. Chester Environmental Justice, meanwhile, led by an environmental advocate with roots in Bucks County, maintains that aggressive activism is the only ethical and effective way to fight pollution. THE INVASION On a Monday morning in early April 1993, Chester residents carrying handmade signs reading, “We Deserve Clean Air” and “Save Chester, Stop the Incinerator” gathered in front of the county government building in the borough of Media. The protesters, organized by a group called Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living (CRCQL), were rallying against what was


SPECIAL REPORT Street view of Monroe Energy LLC in Chester

then the Westinghouse waste-to-energy plant. The plant, built two years earlier on the waterfront, had flooded the city with truck traffic and stoked fears of air pollution among residents. The Rev. Horace Strand, an early organizer for CRCQL, says the issue came to his attention after members of his congregation started complaining about increased truck

traffic around the plant. “I learned about people’s foundations cracking, the dust, the noise, the rodents and all these other activities that came as a result of being invaded by solid waste,” he says. Beginning in the early 1980s, Chester attempted to recover from its post-industrial decline by welcoming waste facilities into

the city. With the support of city and county officials, the Westinghouse incinerator, the DELCORA water treatment plant and an infectious medical waste autoclave, among others, had opened on the waterfront. For those living near the waterfront, it felt like an invasion. “All they’re going to do is be successful in driving away people like me who have the ability to stay here, to pay the taxes, to buy the homes,” said Zulene Mayfield, founder of CRCQL, in the 1996 documentary “Laid to Waste.” Activists like Mayfield and Strand took a decidedly confrontational approach: They blocked trucks from entering the Westinghouse plant. They marched from the county seat back to Chester. They brought giant inflatable rats, Philadelphia labor-unionstyle, to City Council meetings. “At that time, that’s what was necessary,” says Samantha Phillips-Beers of EPA Region 3, who provided legal counsel to CRCQL in the 1990s. “It was sort of a wakeup call.” The protests did eventually lead to outside help. In 1996, Jerry Balter, an attorney for the nonprofit Philadelphia Public Interest Law Center, helped CRCQL bring a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Justice. The suit made the claim, which was novel at the time, that the agency had violated the civil rights of Chester citizens by issuing so many permits for waste facilities in such a small area. The suit, though eventually declared moot by the U.S. Supreme Court, was followed by a drop-off in new permits. “We stopped the clustering effect,” Strand says. With a de facto legal victory under its belt, CRCQL had to decide whether it would keep the pressure on or figure out

“Other people are more radical. They take great pleasure in hollering, screaming, cussing and, you know, just being a nuisance.” — The Rev. Horace Strand, Chester Environmental Partnership

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SPECIAL REPORT how to coexist with the industries already in the city. Mayfield told a reporter at the time that the lawsuit changed nothing. Strand, meanwhile, had other ideas. A TACTICAL SHIFT Chester was beginning to change in the early 2000s. State and federal agencies had a closer eye on the city, and the influx of new waste facilities had slowed down. In 1998, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) denied a permit to a demolition waste transfer station. A few years after that, the agency denied paper manufacturer Kimberly-Clark a permit to burn tires at its facility. Strand felt that the time for aggressive activism was over. Whatever came next would have to look very different, he thought at the time. “I think CRCQL went its way, I went my way,” he says. Mayfield kept CRCQL going for a few more years, but eventually she left the city and the movement behind (as she suggested she might in the 1996 documentary). Without her leading the group, CRCQL lost its momentum and faded out of existence. After stepping out of the movement himself for a few years, Strand returned to form the Chester Environmental Partnership in 2005. The idea behind the new group was to encourage government, industry, academia and advocates to work together. “My approach to environmental justice is you scream as loud as you can until you get attention. Then once you get attention, you sit down and try to work it out with the people you’re hollerin’ at,” Strand says. “Other people are more radical. They take great pleasure in hollering, screaming, cussing and, you know, just being a nuisance.” Today the CEP counts the University of Pennsylvania, Widener University, Crozer-Chester Medical Center, the DELCORA water treatment plant and the Covanta (formerly Westinghouse) waste-to-energy plant among its members. The organization meets every other month and is the main point of contact in the city for state and federal environmental agencies. Mike Ewall, who had worked in Chester as an activist since the 1990s but grew up in Bucks County, joined the board of the CEP during its first couple of years. His relationship with Strand soon splintered, though,

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“You don’t starve [the incinerators] by allowing further expansion. You starve them by doing zero waste in the city and ultimately in the country.” — Mike Ewall, Energy Justice Network

due to ideological differences. Ewall says he was frustrated by the lack of progress and by how Strand ran the meetings. They were held at 10 a.m. on weekdays, and he thought they should be held at night to attract more residents. “I’ve worked with many dozens of grassroots groups,” says Ewall, who currently runs ActionPA, a statewide environmental justice group. “This is not one of them. This is like a corporate-government-clergy collaboration that gets updates on things but is not a group that is going to rail against incinerators.” After being kicked out for speaking to a reporter, Ewall says, he formed the Delco Environmental Justice Network, later renamed the Chester Environmental Justice Network—a local branch of a national group called the Energy Justice Network. This new group took the tact that polluters can’t be negotiated with. They can only be out-organized. “Unless you can make them do something by law, it’s not going to happen,” says Frances Whittington, a longtime resident and political activist who joined the group early on. BREAKING RANKS For a while, the two groups worked separately but not at cross-purposes. Then, in the summer of 2014, Covanta requested a permit to construct a 15,000-square-foot rail box for handling trash sent via rail from New York City. The company had just signed a 30-year contract with the city, and it touted the expansion as a more efficient way to handle the waste coming down from New York. Strand publicly endorsed the plan. Ewall helped organize a citywide movement against it. Between June and August, City

Council and planning committee meetings drew hundreds of residents. Many of them, such as Hyland, were speaking out against the pollution problem for the first time. Strand argued that the facility could only handle as much waste as permitted by the state. The expansion, he says, wouldn’t change that. Other members of the CEP agreed. “We felt that there was probably no increase in emissions to the Chester community,” says Dr. Marilyn Howarth, an occupational physician at the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology, which is federally funded to research the relationship between the environment and health. Whether it would lead to an increase or not, Ewall’s main problem with the expansion was that it represented a long-term investment in a plant that he believed needed to be phased out entirely. In a presentation to City Council that summer, he stressed that incinerators are dangerous in and of themselves, making any investment in them a backstep. The goal is to render the plant obsolete, he says, by stopping expansions and eventually cutting off the flow of waste. “You don’t starve them by allowing further expansion,” Ewall says. “You starve them by doing zero waste in the city and ultimately in the country.” City Council approved the expansion despite the public outcry, citing legal pressure from Covanta. “We can all vote no,” Councilman William A. Jacobs told The Philadelphia Inquirer soon after the decision, “but then they would win later on in court, wasting taxpayers’ money.” The debate, nonetheless, highlighted the deep rift among the city’s environmental


SPECIAL REPORT advocates. As many would learn for the first time in the summer of 2014, CEP receives $10,000 annually from Covanta. The grant, which was arranged by the DEP and began in 2006, is part of a larger community benefit agreement that also funds scholarships and a Little League program. The $10,000 portion that goes to CEP is meant to fund “administration needs,” according to a letter from Covanta to Strand and obtained by Grid. For some residents, the money was further evidence that Strand was unable to honestly represent the people of Chester on environmental justice issues. “I don’t deal with Strand,” Hyland says. “Why would I deal with somebody that is getting money from the trash-and-steam plant and not even putting it back into the community?” Strand is well aware of his critics, but stands by his approach to advocacy. “People have a mindset that if you take money from an industry that you are monitoring, that compromises you,” he says. “I’ve been doing this for 30-something years, almost, in this community, and we have a track record that speaks for itself. People have been helped. Lives are being changed. The clustering has stopped.” Given that the group operates within Strand’s church, it’s hard to determine what counts as “administrative needs” for the CEP specifically. Strand says he doesn’t understand why people are so concerned about it. While Strand has difficulty explaining how the money is used, other than saying it goes toward meetings, he has continued to work on specific issues relevant to the community. One success touted by Strand is the work his organization did to persuade the DEP to rescind a permit given to DELCORA for processing wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, which is known to contain a number of hazardous chemicals. He attributes this success to CEP’s close relationship with regulators and with DELCORA itself. “We protested, we fought that,” says Strand. “And we got the state of Pennsylvania to do something that they never did before. They rescinded a permit. And [they] made a public apology as a result of our protest.” The EPA’s Phillips-Beers says, “Rev.

Shelia Hyland at her window

“You don’t have to like people, but if you got a cause, you got to work together. And the cause here is that people are dying.” — Shelia Hyland, Chester resident

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SPECIAL REPORT

CHESTER BY THE NUMBERS

GENDER (2014) 52.6%

HISPANIC 9.1%

POPULATION: 34,000

FEMALE MALE

WHITE 14.2% BLACK 76.3%

47.4%

RESIDENTS BELOW THE POVERTY LEVEL (2013) POPULATION IN CHESTER, PA (2013)

OTHER 0.4%

CHESTER

44.8%

PA

17.7%

ESTIMATED MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME (2013)

SOURC E: CITY-DATA .COM

Strand has a very strong vision for his community, and he is not going to give up. And I applaud that.” For Phillips-Beers, the specifics of how Chester deals with its pollution problem comes down to what the community wants. “Communities have a right of self-determination. It’s not my job to tell them what tact to take,” she says. “There are community leaders that are elected and community leaders that are empowered, and Rev. Strand is an empowered community leader. He lives, sleeps and breathes his community’s health. That community stands behind him, and it’s my job to see what, if anything, he needs from me as he formulates his plans going forward.” For the Chester Environmental Justice, however, Strand’s close relationship with regulators and government officials is part of the problem. They take the stance that Strand, in effect, monopolizes who gets to represent the community on environmental issues. “We haven’t seen any real change with Rev. Strand’s organizations,” Whittington says, and yet, she adds, regulators and city officials put more stock in his opinion than other groups.

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THE STAKES But tactics (and ethics, for that matter) aren’t the only thing Chester environmental advocates disagree on. There is a fundamental difference in opinion on what the actual stakes are for residents, and what can reasonably be done to help them. Few residents fully understand the science linking environmental health with public health. Instead, many come to their conclusions through anecdotes shared between neighbors and friends, their own experiences, and what they see as the physical evidence all around them. Carol Burnett, a resident since the 1980s, experienced her own visceral run-in with pollution a few years ago. While walking along the edge of the industrial area, giving what she called a “toxic tour” to some other activists, she began to experience a physical reaction. Her face burned. She lost her voice. “Within two or three weeks, I developed walking pneumonia in my left lung for the first time—the first and last time,” she says. “I had to go on a breathing machine, antibiotics and an albuterol inhaler” Whether the pneumonia was ultimately

CHESTER

$27,581

PA

$52,007

caused by pollution isn’t even a question for Burnett. The correlation seem entirely clear to her. Yet figuring out a clear line of cause and effect between the environment and health is inherently difficult. “There’s lots of different emissions,” says Dr. Howarth. “It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to parse out health impacts to any one of these exposures. It’s much more likely that these exposures combine and together cause these health impacts.” She adds that social factors—such as poverty, crime and housing quality—are also significant contributors to health. Home maintenance problems, such as dust or moisture, can cause or aggravate asthma. Strand has argued that the pollution is more of a regional problem. He points out that the city is situated within a larger industrial corridor that stretches from Wilmington, Delaware, to Southwest Philadelphia, an area identified by the American Lung Association as a “cancer belt.” This makes the question of legality complicated as well. In certain cases, polluters are directly breaking the law in Chester. In 2015, for example, the DEP fined PQ Corp., a chemical manufacturer lo-


SPECIAL REPORT

CHESTER CANCER FACTS ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH EXPERTS SAY POLLUTION HAS LIKELY CONTRIBUTED TO A NUMBER OF PUBLIC HEALTH EFFECTS IN CHESTER

3x

24

%

HIGHER RATE OF LUNG CANCER IN CHESTER THAN PA

64

%

HIGHER RATE OF OVARIAN CANCER IN CHESTER THAN PA

Chester also suffers triple the asthma rate than the rest of Pennsylvania SOURC E: SOUTHEASTE RN P E N N SY LVAN IA HOUS E HO L D HEALT H SURVEY

cated on the waterfront, $1.7 million for exceeding set limits on carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. Both are identified as criteria pollutants (those that cause the most harm) by the EPA. The CEP also sent a letter to the DEP that this violation should be considered before renewing the corporation’s permit. Many facilities within Chester, however, do operate within the law, leaving the city without legal recourse. “If the problem is that you already have too many permits that are putting too much stuff out, there isn’t much you can do, currently, as I understand the law,” says Michael Churchill, executive director of the Public Interest Law Center. “You can keep out new polluters, and I think we’ve been pretty successful in that regard. But it doesn’t do much about the existing pollutants that people are living with.” This is why the Chester Environmental Justice, according to Ewall, has stressed stopping expansions. It’s a way for the community to intervene and, to some extent, hobble polluters, if not entirely shut them down. Yet, as the “trash train” debate in 2014 showed, even this is difficult when up against corporations with the power to

use the courts for themselves. Since 2014, Ewall has moved on to other efforts around the state, and Chester Environmental Justice has slowed down its activities. “It’s died down to some volunteers who care about things but don’t really have the time to fully invest in it,” Ewall says. For Burnett and Whittington, losing Ewall left them without direction. “He was the catalyst. He was the fountain of information. We were learning from him about activism,” Whittington says. After he left, she adds, “we kind of lost our momentum because we really didn’t have the leadership anymore.” Strand, too, has talked about moving on. He says he is currently looking for a younger generation to replace him. What’s next for Chester? Though the two groups may disagree on how to deal with corporations in particular, members of both Chester Environmental Justice and the CEP agree that some kind of multifaceted approach is necessary. “I would like to see the people of Chester have a substantial drop in their total exposure,” Dr. Howarth says. For her, that means working within the legal realm, as

well as with regulatory agencies and the companies themselves. That kind of big-picture approach can be hard to see while on the ground, however, especially when the threat feels so urgent. One of the CEP’s first initiatives after it formed was to try to help residents move away from 2nd Street and Highland Avenue, which is located directly above the Covanta plant and serves as an entry point for trucks. The block had long been considered at the frontline of the city’s pollution problem. But as Strand soon found out, many of the residents were unwilling to simply uproot their lives. “[The initiative] has not materialized, because the residents have mixed emotions there,” he says. “Some are content to live there. Some are not.” Ewall, who met with residents from the block, found a similar story. Many had bought their homes, and at least one resident had been forced out by eminent domain in the past and was unwilling to go through displacement again. For Hyland, who lives just a few blocks from Highland Avenue, moving out isn’t an option, either. Instead she’d like to see the city come together and fight for itself. “You don’t have to like people,” she says. AUGUST 20 16

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S SH H OP L OCAL

Summer Indulgences

The piña colada cupcake from Whipped Bakeshop

by emily kovach

When your plate is often piled with produce, protein and whole grains, a well-timed sweet treat is nothing to shame or scold yourself for. After all, what is life without little indulgences? In this case, we mean stolen moments of sugar-fueled sensual delight. In our book, indulging is all about quality over quantity, slowed-down bliss instead of superfluous bingeing. As summer wraps up and concerns for “beach bodies” and the other unfortunate societal pressures we endure about our physiques are allowed to wane, we urge you to splurge a little: Give yourself permission to occasionally say yes to a flaky pastry at breakfast, a mid-day milkshake or a sweet little treat after that home-cooked meal you’ve lovingly crafted from the bounty at the farmers market.

SHOP LOCAL « 2016 »

P HOTO BY WH IP P ED BA K ES H O P

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Ice Cream Dreams Frosty treats will help you beat the heat

A scoop of ice cream perched atop a cone: Is there a better symbol of summer? Though ice cream trucks incessantly circle the block hawking pre-wrapped pops, we suggest holding out for the good stuff. High quality dairy, seasonal fruits and inventive combos from local shops elevate ice cream from humble to sublime..

DISHES WITH SWEET SUMMER FRUIT Summer Berry Crisp Ice Cream Zsa’s Ice Cream Local berries and grass-pastured dairy mingle in this locally churned delight from Zsa’s Ice Cream that emulates the classic warm weather dessert. Bonus points for the gorgeous magenta hue from the rich berry purée. Ripe for the picking: Mobile truck and cart at various locations (check social media), pints at Weaver’s Way Co-op, Tela’s Market and Green Aisle Grocery zsasicecream.com

Cantaloupe Rose, Sweet & Salty Summer Corn and Watermelon Lemonade Popsicles Lil’ Pop Shop Ice pops, the perfect single serving treaton-a-stick, get the seasonal treatment from the flavor mavens at Lil’ Pop Shop. Zero artificial anything here, and the produce is sourced through Lancaster Farm Fresh. Ripe for the picking: Lil’ Pop Shop, 265 S. 44th St. and 4608 Woodland Ave. lilpopshop.com

Paw Paw Ice Cream Franklin Fountain This old-school soda fountain has a long list of flavors, including paw paw, a local fruit that’s briefly in season at summer’s end. The flavor is reminiscent of mango and floral banana, and is begging to be nestled into a maple- or vanilla-laced waffle cone. Ripe for the picking: Franklin Fountain, 116 Market St. franklinfountain.com

INVENTIVE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES Macaroons Sugar Philly Truck French macaroons are reimagined in a genius way at the Sugar Philly Truck—as the cookies for ice cream sandwiches! A rotating menu of flavors like ginger rum pistachio, hibiscus melon and passionfruit blueberry burrata makes every visit to the truck an adventure. All yours: Sugar Philly Truck, 38th Street between Walnut and Sansom streets sugarphillytruck.com

Verbena Raspberry on Sugar Cookies Weckerly’s Lemon verbena from local growers Chicory Florals and Heritage Farms adds an herbaceous layer to rich ice cream swirled with raspberries. Sugar cookies hold it all together and lend a delicate crunch. All yours: Various locations including the Green Line Café, Di Bruno Bros., Fair Food Farmstand, and—this fall—at their own shop on Frankford Avenue in Fishtown. weckerlys.com

Raspberry verbena ice cream sandwiches from Weckerly’s Ice Cream

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P HOTO BY N EAL SA NTOS


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Sugar Philly Truck macaroons. Clockwise from top left: Sour cherry bourbon and smoked tea; kaffir lime and strawberry; passionfruit blueberry burrata; s’mores

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GOOEY GOODNESS Tish’s Warm Chocolate Brownie with Little Baby’s Cinnamon Ice Cream Martha This happening Kensington spot may be known for cheese, charcuterie, hoagies and funky sour beers, but they know how to rock a mean dessert, too. Brownies and ice cream are a timeless pair, and the chefs at Martha know well enough to withhold unnecessary distractions. Sit and enjoy: Martha, 2113 E. York St. marthakensington.com

Malt & Barley Sundae Southwark The superb result of a creative deconstruction of beer’s ingredients, teased apart and reassembled on a dessert plate. Think: malt ice cream, candied puffed barley and whipped cream atop a cocoa nib blondie, drizzled with a ribbon of ale caramel. Sit and enjoy: Southwark, 701 S. 4th St. southwarkrestaurant.com

Affogato Capofitto This iconic Italian dessert, a scoop of ice cream or gelato “drowned” in espresso, seems to be popping up all over the place, but we recommend leaving it to the resident gelato experts: the folks behind Capogiro, and now Capofitto, a charming pizza restaurant in Old City. Sit and enjoy: Capofitto, 233 Chestnut St. capofittoforno.com

SOPHISTICATED SOFT SERVE Banana Lapsang Bing Bing Dim Sum Ice cream base is infused with smoky tea and then spun with sticky sweet overripe bananas. Savor your swirls: Bing Bing Dim Sum, 1648 E. Passyunk Ave. bingbingdimsum.com

Tons of Toppings Kermit’s Bake Shoppe Ice cream flavors keep it classic in chocolate and vanilla, but the selection of housemade toppings is out of control: cake crumbles in all the flavors, berry jam and lemon curd, sauces (salted caramel goo!) and crunchies, including sugary kids’ cereals. Savor your swirls: Kermit’s Bake Shoppe, 2204 Washington Ave. kermitsbakeshoppe.com

Peaches & Cream Alla Spina Try this luscious seasonal flavor alone or twisted with creamy, milky fior di latte. Savor your swirls: Alla Spina, 1410 Mount Vernon St. allaspinaphilly.com

MILKSHAKES TO MAKE YOUR MOUTH WATER Pie Milkshakes Magpie Artisan Pies This isn’t just pie-flavored milkshakes; it’s pie actually blended up with ice cream into a dizzying fusion of desserts. Expect chef-forward flavors like peanut butter and jam and blackberry custard pie from these baker artisans. Sip it up: Magpie Artisan Pies, 1622 South St. iluvmagpie.com

Wild Flavor Milkshakes Little Baby’s Ice Cream Sure, you’ve probably tasted your way through the rainbow of madcap flavors at Little Baby’s Ice Cream shops. But did you ever notice that they also serve milkshakes? Anything on their menu can be whizzed up with whole, soy, almond or coconut milk for a sippable experience. Sip it up: Little Baby’s Ice Cream, 2311 Frankford Ave. and 4903 Catharine St. littlebabysicecream.com

Horchata Milkshake Big Gay Ice Cream The Philly outpost of this NYC shop features all kinds of decadent treats, including weird and wonderful soft-serve sundaes. But their milkshake game is equally strong, including this cool flavor based on the cinnamonic almond beverage. Sip it up: Big Gay Ice Cream, 1351 South St. biggayicecream.com

Big Gay Ice Cream’s chocolate toppings spread

The affogato dessert from Capofitto

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P HOTO BY DO NNY TSA NG

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Transcendent Vegan Treats Indulging without dairy

Think you need butter, cream and eggs to create rich, satisfying desserts? Think again. Philly’s new school of vegan chefs, bakers and artisans prove that a little ingenuity goes a long way when it comes to handmade goodies.

DRINK UP Thai Iced Tea

Peanut Chew Croissants The Tasty Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews—chewy nuggets of peanuts and molasses covered in chocolate—have long been a go-to candy for vegans. Using them as a pastry filling? That’s some new-school vegan creativity at finest. Enjoy it: The Tasty, 1401 S. 12th St. facebook.com/thetastyphilly

Dottie’s Donuts

Kitchen Sink Cookies

Dottie’s is well-loved for their selection of gourmet doughnuts, but the unsung hero at their West Philly storefront is the vegan Thai iced tea: a rich, creamy and powerful brew for those steering clear of dairy. Get your sips: Dottie’s Donuts, 4529 Springfield Ave.

Blackbird Pizzeria

twitter.com/dottiesdonuts

Mint Chocolate Shake

Sometimes more is more. So it goes with these loaded cookies from the vegan pizza wizards at Blackbird: chocolate chunks, pretzels, potato chips, pumpkin seeds, coconut and oats compete for real estate and make every bite chaotically delicious. Enjoy it: Blackbird Pizzeria, 507 S. 6th St. blackbirdpizzeria.com

This slightly more virtuous version of a milkshake from the clean-eating cohort at P.S. & Co. blends up organic vanilla cream, mint, chocolate mousse and brazil nut milk with ice. The result is a deeply luscious way to fulfill a mint chocolate craving. Get your sips: P.S. & Co., 1706 Locust St.

FRUIT FORWARD

puresweets.com

PB and bananas play so nicely together, and this cupcake takes the pairing to soaring new heights. Banana cake is filled with a hit of salty pretzel cream filling and topped

Brownies & Blondies Sweet Freedom Bakery These gooey, sweet brownies and their chocolateless counterparts make indulgence possible on even the strictest diets: They are not off-limits for vegans, those avoiding gluten, corn, peanuts and soy (they’re kosher, too!). Enjoy it: Sweet Freedom Bakery, 1424 South St., with locations in Collingswood and Bryn Mawr as well. sweetfreedombakery.com

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naturallysweetdesserts.com

Lemon-Lavender Mascarpone and Fruit Stuffed Challah French Toast Miss Rachel’s Pantry We’re not quite sure how she does it, but Rachel Klein is a true pro at putting up cruelty-free comfort food that’s indistinguishable from the “real” thing. This brunch dish, at once rich, fluffy and creamy, is a prime example of her kitchen prowess. Find your happy place: Miss Rachel’s Pantry, 1938 S. Chadwick St. missrachelspantry.com

Banana Jams The Chilly Banana

P.S. & Co.

BAKED

with peanut butter frosting. Believe it or not, these babies are low glycemic, dairy and soy free. Find your happy place: Online only.

Vegan Banana Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes NaturallySweet Desserts

Also known as “banana whips,” these are 100 percent frozen bananas whipped to dreamy perfection. Jam harder with signature flavors like the Chilly Banana Split: housemade chocolate sauce, candied walnuts, toasted coconut flakes, coconut milk whipped cream and a cherry on top. Find your happy place: Mobile food cart at various locations. facebook.com/thechillybanana

Lemon-lavender mascarpone and fruit-stuffed challah French toast from Miss Rachel’s Pantry


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CHOCOLATE AUGUST 20 16

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SHOP L OCAL

Carb Games

Cool little numbers and hot stuff from the oven A tender crumb, a flaky layer, a caramelized crust—baked goods possess so many ways to enthrall us. Sinking our teeth into something crafted from sugar, butter and flour is pure pleasure, and the list of where to find gorgeous carbohydrates in Philly goes on and on.

SOFT AND SWEET FOR BREAKFAST Pop Tarts

Banana Bread Sticky Bun

Churro Doughnut

Double Knot

Hungry Pigeon

Federal Donuts

Ever since this coffee bar, lunch café, bar and izakaya combo joint opened in Midtown, we’ve been ogling photos of pastries on their Instagram account. Their riff on a Pop Tart is a clever throwback that’s about a billion times better than the boxed version. For your morning treat: Double Knot, 120 S. 13th St.

The whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts in this lovely mashup of two crowd-pleasing baked goods. Brioche, bananas, walnuts and a slick of glaze combine quite cheerfully, especially with a cup of coffee and a seat in a sunny window. For your morning treat: Hungry Pigeon, 743 S. 4th St.

Much ink has been spilled on this local chain of doughnut and fried chicken shops. Believe the hype—their doughnuts are on some next level. A newer flavor of fancy (read: cakey) doughnut that emulates the flavors of churros goes over the top of the top. For your morning treat: Multiple locations including 1219 S. 2nd St. and 1632 Sansom St.

doubleknotphilly.com

hungrypigeon.com

federaldonuts.com

A churro doughnut from Federal Donuts

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P HOTO COURTESY O F F E D E RAL DONUTS


SH OP L OCAL

LET US EAT CAKE Sweet Potato Cheesecake

Market Street Butter Cake

Piña Colada Cupcake

Sweet Nectar

High Street on Market

Whipped Bakeshop

When vegetal sweet potato richness meets plush cream cheesiness, the result is a luxuriant slice of heaven from this popular neighborhood dessert kitchen. Find a slice of heaven: Sweet Nectar, 547 N. 20th St.

Pick anything from the curated pastry list here, and your tastebuds will be happy. But this slice in particular, elegant in its restraint and simplicity, demonstrates the level of mastery of this well-regarded baking program. Find a slice of heaven: High Street on Market, 308 Market St.

Each month, this charming shop offers a Cupcake of the Month, and August’s is piña colada. Coconut cake is filled with pineapple curd, then topped with pineapple rum-infused piña colada buttercream, a sprinkle of toasted coconut and a tiny beach umbrella. Find a slice of heaven: Whipped Bakeshop, 636 Belgrade St.

sweetnectardk.com

highstreetonmarket.com

whippedbakeshop.com

Sweets from High Street on Market, served only at breakfast: Market St. Butter Cake, Pecan Snickerdoodle and Blueberry Teacake.

PHOTO BY M A R IKA M IR R EN

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SH OP L OCAL

MAKING WHOOPIE Whoopie Pies Flying Monkey Bakery Are they cookies? Pies? Cakes? Whoopie pies prove that categories are irrelevant in the face of such tastiness. This bakery tucked in Reading Terminal Market goes way beyond chocolate and vanilla with literally dozens of flavors like hazelnut, black raspberry and oatmeal raisin. Indulge yourself: Flying Monkey Bakery, 51 N. 12th St. flyingmonkeyphilly.com

A DOLLOP OF JOY Cookie Dough Nuggets Hope’s Cookies We know you’re not really supposed to eat raw cookie dough, and the pre-packed dough balls from this Main Line sweetshop are surely meant for convenient at-home baking. But if you pop them like potato chips, we won’t judge. Loving spoonfuls await: Hope’s Cookies, 1125 W. Lancaster Ave. in Rosemont hopescookies.com

Sticky Toffee Pudding Jar Night Kitchen Bakery These individual-sized pudding jars are light-years beyond the cups you brownbagged to school. Creamy, sugary custard crunchies are layered together in cute glass jars, mess-free and great for gifting. Loving spoonfuls await: Night Kitchen Bakery, 7725 Germantown Ave. nightkitchenbakery.com

Key Lime Pie Bait & Switch This kitschy dessert is surprisingly hard to do well, but they nail it at Port Richmond’s newest seafood restaurant. The sweetness and tartness are nicely balanced, and the texture is spot-on. Loving spoonfuls await: Bait & Switch, 2537 E. Somerset St. thebestseafood.com The black raspberry whoopie pie from Flying Monkey Bakery

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P HOTO BY M ARIKA MI RREN


Eat better. For good.

TM

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SHOP L OCAL

Adults Only It’s time for a tryst with a twist

IPAs, fine wines and stiff craft cocktails are all well and good, but when it’s time to have some grown-up fun that doesn’t take itself too seriously, a 21-plus beverage that doubles as dessert is the way to go.

IF YOU LIKE PIÑA COLADAS

AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK

Frozen Piña Colada

Adult Water Ice

The Yachtsman

Triangle Tavern

Take your mouth on vacation without leaving the city limits. The island vibes and legit frozen tiki drinks, including a no-nonsense piña colada at the Yachtsman, will help you sail away. For your afternoon delight: The Yachtsman, 1444 Frankford Ave.

Basically, South Philly in a glass. Spiked but keeping it classy with real fruit flavors: raspberry, cherry, strawberry, mango, peach and hibiscus. Partying as part of a group? A pitcher will keep everyone sauced. Get some: Triangle Tavern, 1338 S. 10th St.

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Batida

Arnie’s Gimlet Slush

Bar Bombón

Bud & Marilyn’s

The standard piña colada recipe gets a Latin twist at this chic, Puerto Rican-inspired Center City vegan joint. Cachaça (a Brazilian spirit made from distilled sugarcane juice) is blended with mango, papaya, cream of coconut and lime juice. For your afternoon delight: Bar Bombón, 133 S. 18th St.

Possibly the most simultaneously kitschy and classy frozen drink in town, this black tea concoction is spiked with vodka, jazzed up with lime and sweetened with simple syrup. Best enjoyed on a leather bar stool under an air conditioning vent. Get some: Bud & Marilyn’s, 1234 Locust St., budandmarilyns.com

barbombon.com

Rotating Frozen Drinks Morgan’s Pier Morgan’s Pier, now in its fourth season, is like a waterfront picnic with 400 of your closest friends. Their well-stocked bar is boosted by a rotating list of frozen drink specials—basically boozed-up slushies. Recent flavors include blueberry lemonade and rocket pop. Get some: Morgan’s Pier, 221 N. Columbus Blvd. morganspier.com

SPICING THINGS UP Spiked Milkshakes Craftsman Row Saloon Booze and ice cream make happy bedfellows indeed in over-the-top concoctions at this unpretentious midtown pub. We’re intrigued by the Cherry Lee Lewis: cherry vodka, Disaronno and dark chocolate ice cream, topped with whipped cream, of course. Share it with someone you love: Craftsmen Row Saloon, 112 S. 8th St. craftsmanrowsaloon.com

Morgan’s Pier cocktails include the Kentucky Collins (L) served with Hell or High Watermelon beer and their Blueberry Lemonade (C). Craftsman Row Saloon makes the Cherry Lee Lewis milkshake (R)

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P HOTOS BY M ARIKA MI RREN


Eat better. For good.

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amed “Outstanding Organic Processor” N by Pennsylvania Certified Organic, “For exceptional commitment to high quality organic production, promoting organic products and supporting the integrity of organic goods in the market.”

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Dairy-free, egg-free, GMO-free, delicious organic sandwich breads, starting at $3.99.

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HOM E STEAD ACT S

Peach Bliss Small batches of peach preserves are easy to make and a pleasure to eat by anna herman

G

orge though you may, there are only so many peaches and cherries you can eat this summer, and some fruits are just better when they aren’t fresh: I’ve rarely had an apricot on the East Coast that was worth eating when I bought it. But sweet and tart jam made from local apricots on toast or over vanilla ice cream? I’ll have that anytime. Most summer fruits are as good or better preserved in some fashion and eaten later. While setting aside time each summer to transform large quantities of perfectly ripe fruit into dozens of jars of jam is a noble project, I prefer to put up small batches of whatever fruit is ripe and ready each week of summer. Sometimes that means freezing whole berries, or submerging cherries with a vanilla bean in a jar of brandy. But I never let summer pass by without making several small batches of jam. At its most basic, jam or fruit preserve is simply fruit cooked with sugar until thickened. After that you can store it frozen or in the fridge; or “hot pack” this jam in clean jars in boiling water. Home canned foods that are high in acidity (sugar, tomatoes and/or vinegar) are fairly straightforward to make. Following the guidelines available on the back of most new boxes of canning jars, all the canning jar websites and numerous other home canning guides is important. Be creative in your ingredient combinations—not in the method by which you attempt to sterilize and preserve foods to store in the pantry. Peaches are an excellent fruit to put by in various forms. Pack them in a clean jar and pour brandy to fill (a bit of sugar and vanilla bean optional). These will last for months. But for a treat more suited for breakfast (and children), transform these luscious globes of juicy sweetness into chunky spreadable peach preserves. Anna Herman is a garden educator who raises chickens, ducks, bees, fruits and veggies in her Mount Airy backyard.

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D O -IT-YOU RSEL F PEAC H PRESERV ES Safety First Reuse or buy new glass jars, and even reuse the bands that hold the two-part lid on. But always use brand new flat metal lids if you are heat processing, to ensure a safe seal. Wash jars and bands in hot, soapy water. Rinse. Place jars inside a canner or stock pot filled with water and bring to boil. Boil jars for 15 minutes to sterilize. Or, run jars through the sanitizing cycle of your dishwasher. Place lids and bands in the warm water (or dishwasher) until ready to use (do not boil).

A dozen or more ripe fragrant peaches, lemon juice and sugar are all you need to make delicious preserves. Directions • Have a large pot of water on hand at a simmer. • Make an “x” with a sharp knife at the bottom of each peach and plunge several peaches at a time into hot water for about 15 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon into a bowl of cold water. • Remove from water to a clean cutting board and use a paring knife to easily pull off the peel. Cut the peach flesh off of the pit, and over a bowl slice the peach into small chunks, catching all the juice. • Add the juice of a half lemon to every 4 or 5 peaches. For every pound of peaches add about 1/2 cup of sugar. • Stir and let sit for at least an hour to let the juices flow. Meanwhile you can get your jars ready. • Strain the sugary juices of the peaches into a heavy-bottom saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn heat to medium and simmer until the liquid is reduced by a bit more than half. • Add the peach chunks and continue to cook until the jam seems thick. Stir often to prevent scorching. The wider

the pan the less time this takes (if you are making a small batch you can use a high-sided sauté pan). • Put a small amount of thickened fruit on a cool plate. If liquid dribbles from the jam, continue cooking a bit longer. Taste along the way and adjust sweetness with a bit more sugar or a bit more lemon juice. • When thick enough, ladle into hot jars, leaving a 1/4 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles by slipping a clean wooden chopstick or rubber spatula inside along the edge of the jar, wipe the rim, add the lid and band and loosely tighten the band. • Place jars in boiling water bath (water must cover the jars by at least 2 inches) for 10 minutes (or according to the time for your altitude). Remove from water with tongs and place on clean, dry surface for 12 to 24 hours to cool. • Check the seal. The lid should be slightly concave and have no give when pressed in the center with your finger. Label and date your jam, and if you aren’t going to eat it immediately, you can store it for up to a year.


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MA RKET WATCH

A Fresh Take on Fruit Salad Try your hand at grilled melons mixed with briny feta and crisp mint by peggy paul casella

W

elcome to the sweetest time of the year, when bins of fragrant, bowling-ball-size melons crowd farmers market stalls and grocery store displays. Though you may think they belong to the botanical family their name suggests, watermelons come from a completely different genus—Citrullus—and are actually classified as large pepos or “false” berries. Cantaloupes and honeydews, on the other hand, are muskmelon varieties belonging to the Cucumis genus, characterized by their dense flesh, central seed cavity and thick skin. But botanical differences aside, it’s the similarities in flavor and applications that bind these three late-summer fruits together. Nothing beats chomping into a thick slice of chilled cantaloupe, honeydew or watermelon, letting those sweet juices dribble down your chin while you savor each sweet, refreshing bite. And their easily chopped flesh makes a pretty trio of red, orange and green in classic, seasonal fruit salads. Choose cantaloupes and honeydew melons that are heavy for their size, have a sweet, floral or fruity aroma, and give slightly to pressure at their blossom ends (or “belly buttons”). Choose watermelons that are symmetrical in shape, rich in color and hollow-sounding when slapped on the side. Unlike cantaloupes and honeydew melons, watermelons should not yield to pressure; avoid any with soft spots.

Grilled Melon Salad with Mint and Feta Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients yy 1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing yy 1 medium cantaloupe or honeydew melon (or 1/2 of each), seeds scooped out, flesh cut into 1-inch cubes yy ½ small seedless watermelon, flesh cut into 1-inch cubes yy Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper yy 1 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices (optional) yy Juice of 1 ½ limes yy 12 to 18 fresh mint leaves yy 4 ounces block feta, crumbled (about 1 cup) yy Flaked sea salt

Directions 1.

Heat your grill to high and brush the grate with oil.

2.

Thread the cubed melon on skewers (presoaked if wooden). Brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brush the onion slices with olive oil, too, if using, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.

3.

Using long-handled tongs, place the onion slices (if using) and the melon skewers on the grill. Cook onions until they are charred on both sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Melons should take less time to char.

4.

Roll up the mint leaves and slice them crosswise into thin strips. Add them to the bowl, along with the lime juice and crumbled feta. Season with a pinch or two of flaky sea salt. Toss well and serve.

Peggy Paul Casella is a cookbook editor, writer, urban vegetable gardener, produce peddler and author of the blog Thursday Night Pizza.

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EVENT S In Mt. Cuba Center's Aug. 11 Inviting Wildlife into the Garden class, learn how to cultivate habitats that sustain wildlife, like the swallowtail butterfly, year-round.

August 3 P.M. @ Penn Museum Summer Nights Concert: Barakka This group specializes in Turkish folk-rock with a mix of eastern and western instrumentation, including guitar, oud, drums, bass and more. The museum galleries remain open until 8 p.m., with a docent-led tour at intermission. penn.museum WHEN: 5 to 8 p.m. COST: $10 WHERE: Penn Museum, 3260 South St.

Late Night Wednesday: Simon’s Absence Band Come listen as this advanced group of North Ridge Music School students perform a repertoire of jazz and Latin music. The band performed for the 2016 Inaugural Ball for Mayor Jim Kenney and soloed the 2015 Philadelphia Citizenship Award Ceremony honoring Ralph Roberts and Kenny Gamble. morrisarboretum.org WHEN: 6 to 7:30 p.m. COST: Free with admission, $0-$17 WHERE: Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Ave.

PHS Tree Tenders Neighborhood Tree Stroll on Bikes Join East Passyunk Crossing and Passyunk Square Civic associations for a bike tour with tree expert Peter Verrecchia. Participants will meet at Capitolo Playground and

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start by exploring a few trees on foot, then hop on their bikes or grab an Indego at Capitolo. Meet up afterward at Triangle Tavern to swap tree stories. WHEN: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Capitolo Playground, 900 Federal St.

August 4

through

6

Spotlight Gallery Conversations: ‘Fountain’ by Marcel Duchamp Art comes to life before your eyes at this indepth, in-gallery participatory conversation. philamuseum.org WHEN: 11 to 11:45 a.m. COST: Free with admission WHERE: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

August 5 Art After 5: Jabali Afrika Revel in the powerful sounds of this intense Kenyan Afro-rock band. philamuseum.org WHEN: 5 to 8:45 p.m. COST: Free with admission WHERE: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

August 6 Weekly Yoga at Lemon Hill Presented by Fairmount Park Conservancy in partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, weekly yoga classes at Lemon Hill will be held on Saturdays through Sept. 17. These all-levels classes will be led by a rotation of local teachers from Yoga and Movement Sanctuary. myphillypark.org WHEN: 9 to 10 a.m. COST: $10 WHERE: 3298 Sedgley Drive

Twilight Garden Tour Greensgrow is a bustling urban farm and nursery that boasts a large array of growing practices and greenery. Spend an evening getting a glimpse of how vision and hard work can change a community during a curated, small group tour of the nursery. greensgrow.org WHEN: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. COST: $35 WHERE: Greensgrow Farms, 2501 E. Cumberland St.

August 7 Plant Walk and Climate Change Monitoring Workshop Participants will explore Philadelphia Parks and Recreation’s research sites in Hadding-


EVENT S ton Woods through a series of observation exercises. Guided by staff from Parks and Recreation and the Office of Sustainability, the walk will provide participants with the skills to observe ecological changes and ways they can take action at home. phila.gov WHEN: 1 to 3 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Vine and North Daggett streets (meet at the Bocce Court parking lot)

2nd Street Festival

Northern Liberties will be filled with workshops, art, food, beer and live music all day, with a stated goal of encouraging a “safer, greener and happier environment for the city to appreciate.” 2ndstfestival.org WHEN: Noon to 10 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: 2nd Street, between Germantown Avenue and Green Street

ACANA Festival The African Cultural Alliance of North America presents a day of music, food and family fun centered around Africa’s exciting and diverse art and history. acanafest.org WHEN: 2 to 8 p.m. COST: Pay as you go WHERE: The Great Plaza, Penn’s Landing, at Columbus and Chestnut streets

August 10 P.M. @ Penn Museum Summer Nights Concert: Leana Song Bike on over and feel the rhythms of Afro-Cuban and West African drumming as this ensemble combines traditional Yoruba songs with modern folk and jazz. The museum galleries will remain open until 8 p.m., with a docent-led tour at intermission. penn.museum

Late Night Wednesday: Scents of the Arboretum Lori Regan, local essential oil distiller and owner of Shine Essential Oils, will share her knowledge of distilling local trees and plants for health and well-being. Essential oils from trees at the Morris Arboretum will be featured. morrisarboretum.org WHEN: 6 to 7:30 p.m. COST: Free with admission, $0-$17 WHERE: Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Ave.

August 12 Shooting Stars and S’mores Explore the sky during the summer’s most spectacular nighttime event, the Perseid meteor shower. Look for shooting stars and gaze at the planets above us. And, of course, what summer night would be complete without a campfire and s’mores? schuylkillcenter.org

Greensgrow Farm Dinner with Balboa Catering Join Greensgrow Farms for a four-course dinner on the farm with Balboa Catering, which was created after Chef Alex Garfinkel was hired to cater the latest “Rocky” film. Garfinkel has worked in some of Philly’s best kitchens and will be highlighting top local farmers with a prix fixe dinner menu designed with foodies in mind. balboacatering.com WHEN: 7:30 to 10 p.m. COST: $90 WHERE: Greensgrow Farms, 2501 E. Cumberland St.

August 11 Inviting Wildlife into the Garden Take your home landscape to a new level with inviting habitats that sustain wildlife year-round. Explore Mt. Cuba Center’s naturalistic gardens, observe native bees in action and discover the best native plants for butterflies. Learn which plants nourish migrating and resident birds, especially hummingbirds, and add them to your garden. mtcubacenter.org WHEN: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. COST: $245 WHERE: Mt. Cuba Center, 3120 Barley Mill Road, Hockessin, Del.

WHEN: 8 to 10 p.m. COST: $10 WHERE: Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road

August 12

through

14

Parks on Tap: Playing Angels at Kelly Drive Parks on Tap will be traveling to Playing Angels at Kelly Drive. Enjoy a variety of beers on tap as well as a great selection of food. myphillypark.org WHEN: Friday and Saturday, 1 to 11 p.m.; Sunday and Monday, noon to 10 p.m. COST: Pay as you go WHERE: Kelly and Fountain Green drives

August 13 Hidden River Blues Festival Returning for its second year in Manayunk, this all-day, outdoor show will highlight local and national acts including Charlie Musselwhite, Samantha Fish, the James Supra Blues Band and more. manayunk.com WHEN: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. COST:$25 WHERE: Venice Island Outdoor Amphitheater, 7 Lock St. Kensington Gardens

WHEN: 5 to 8 p.m. COST: $10 WHERE: Penn Museum, 3260 South St.

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EVENT S Hundreds of people attended the July opening of Kensington Gardens, a five-part pop-up beer garden series. The next one is on Aug. 13

Pop-Up Beer Garden #2 Kensington Gardens is a series of five popup beer garden events in Philly’s vibrant River Wards community that opened July 16. Enjoy local beer pours, tasty food trucks and the kind of fun you’ll only find in Kensington. All-ages to enter, but must be 21+ to drink. kgphilly.com WHEN: 5 to 10 p.m. COST: Pay as you go WHERE: 2670 Coral St.

track running through it. Miniature buildings are created entirely of natural materials. morrisarboretum.org WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. COST: Free with admission, $0$17 WHERE: Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Ave.

August 14 Run Belmont Plateau Trails with the Fairmount Park Conservancy

August 13 & 14 Bug Fest

Discover the incredible trails of West Fairmount Park with the Fairmount Park Conservancy. Runs depart from the Car Barn parking lot. myphillypark.org

Celebrate insects of all kinds at the annual Bug Fest at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Cheer on a favorite cockroach in the Roach Race 500, talk with academy entomologists, examine hundreds of live bugs up close and enjoy other fun activities. ansp.org

WHEN: 9 to 11:30 a.m. COST: $10 WHERE: Car Barn Parking Lot at Montgomery Drive in Fairmount Park

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. COST: $13.95 and up WHERE: The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Ecosystems and Plant Communities

Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends Weekend at Morris Arboretum

Learn how ecology, geology, hydrology, plants and animals all interact to create healthy ecosystems through classroom study and field trips. Understand the complexities of these communities and how to replicate similar plant associations in your home landscape. mtcubacenter.org

Come visit the Morris Arboretum Garden Railway and see Thomas and his friends take over the tracks. The Garden Railway display is a small train world of tunnels, bridges and trestles with a quarter mile

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August 17

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. COST: $245 WHERE: Mt. Cuba Center, 3120 Barley Mill Road, Hockessin, Del.

P.M. @ Penn Museum Summer Nights Concert: El Caribefunk Dance along to the fun, upbeat fusion of funk, salsa, calypso, zouk and Haitian compas by this visiting ensemble from Colombia. The museum galleries remain open until 8 p.m., with a docent-led tour at intermission. penn.museum WHEN: 5 to 8 p.m. COST: $10 WHERE: Penn Museum, 3260 South St.

Late Night Wednesday: In Touch This workshop, led by dancer and choreographer Jenny Roe Sawyer, will use simple movement exercises to explore nature. Discover how touch profoundly affects our physical, mental and emotional experiences of connecting with each other and the natural world. Bring a picnic and take a mid-week break in the Morris Arboretum garden. morrisarboretum.org WHEN: 6 to 7:30 p.m. COST: Free with admission, $0-$17 WHERE: Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Ave.

August 18 Sustain PHL Green Philly Blog is hosting the first ever SustainPHL Awards, a celebration for sustainability visionaries to unsung heroes making a difference in their communities. Sample local fare and drinks in an interactive Munch & Learn. Hear inspirational


EVENT S

stories from Philly changemakers. See the winners announced live onstage. sustainPHL.com WHEN: 6 to 10 p.m. COST: $55 WHERE: WHYY, 150 6th St.

Walnut to Waterworks Kayak Trip Join this all-levels guided kayak trip from Walnut Street to the Fairmount Waterworks and back. Meet by the Walnut Street dock, accessible from the Schuylkill River Trail (entrance at 25th and Locust streets) and from the stairs coming down from the Walnut Street Bridge. myphillypark.org WHEN: 6 to 8 p.m. COST: $40 WHERE: 25th and Locust streets

Pruning Small Trees and Shrubs Using the grounds of Chanticleer as a classroom, Doug Croft will demonstrate techniques of pruning shrubs and small flowering trees. He will discuss correct timing to ensure optimum blooms, as well as accurate techniques to give your trees proper shape and improved habit. pennhort.net/chanticleer WHEN: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. COST: Members $20; nonmembers $30 WHERE: Chanticleer Garden, 786 Church Road, Wayne, Pa.

August 19

August 20 Open Hive Days Join The Land Conservancy’s apiarist Dan Borkoski for an inside look at the busy, buzzy world of honeybees. Participants will get a close-up look at a hive during routine inspection while gaining practical beekeeping knowledge. tlcforscc.org WHEN: 10 to noon COST: Members $5, nonmembers $10 WHERE: New Leaf Eco Center, 776 Rosedale Road, Kennett Square, Pa.

Festival of India A family friendly celebration of India’s Independence Day, featuring a colorful panorama of art, music, dance and cuisine.

Participants will complete a trail run on the Boxers’ Trail in East Fairmount Park where boxing legend Joe Frazier and many others trained. Wear typical running clothes and be prepared to get a little muddy. Trail running shoes are advised, but not required.

smithplayground.ticketleap.com/kid2016/

WHEN: 9 a.m. to noon COST: Free WHERE: Camden County Parks Environmental Center, 1301 Park Blvd., Cherry Hill, N.J.

Enjoy a variety of beers on tap as well as a great selection of food. myphillypark.org WHEN: Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 1 to 11 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 10 p.m. COST: Pay as you go WHERE: 1431 N. Delaware Ave.

philamuseum.org WHEN: 1 to 4 p.m. COST: Members $30, nonmembers $38 WHERE: Various locations in Fairmount Park

Join Bicycle Coalition staff and members for an afternoon ride from Bartram’s Garden to Heinz Wildlife Refuge. This ride will be moderately difficult, with some on-road riding in city traffic. Cyclists will be riding on some gravel in the refuge. This ride is 15 miles out-and-back.

Free Plant Clinic

Parks on Tap: Penn Treaty Park

Explore the fashionable lives of the early American owners of Lemon Hill, Woodford and Strawberry Mansion with this look at their stunning architecture and furnishings.

Run the Boxers’ Trail with the Fairmount Park Conservancy

Don’t miss Smith Memorial Playground’s final Kidchella 2016 concert emceed by Kathy O’Connell of WXPN’s “Kids Corner.” Bring food or buy dinner from food trucks and enjoy family friendly music by The Singing Lizard and Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke in the 6.5 acre playground. Rain or shine outdoor event. Tickets required for adults and kids older than 1.

21

Trolley Tours: High Style along the Schuylkill

Explore the Circuit Ride: Bartram’s Garden, Cobb’s Creek, Heinz Wildlife Refuge

WHEN: 9 to 11:30 a.m. COST: $10 WHERE: 3800 Mt. Pleasant Drive

through

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. COST: Members $35; nonmembers $40 WHERE: Bucktoe Creek Preserve, 541 Chandler Mill Road, Avondale, Pa.

WHEN: 1 to 7 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Great Plaza, Penn’s Landing at Chestnut Street and Columbus Boulevard

Kidchella Music Festival

August 18

tlcforscc.org

indiacouncil.org

myphillypark.org

WHEN: 5 to 7:30 p.m. COST: Members $5; nonmembers $10 WHERE: 3500 Reservoir Drive, East Fairmount Park

to The Land Conservancy’s headquarters to identify mushrooms collected along the way. Sample a delicious mushroom-themed lunch and relax on the beautiful property of the future Chandler Mill Nature Preserve.

Get answers to your gardening questions. Bring your plants or a piece of a diseased plant to get identification and suggestions on how to treat it. Bring a sample in a small container of any insect from your garden that you need identified. camden.njaes.rutgers.edu/garden

August 21 Wild Mushroom Forage Venture through woodlands and meadows of Bucktoe Creek Preserve in search of wild mushrooms. Afterward, come back

bicyclecoalition.nonprofitsoapbox.com WHEN: 1 to 4 p.m. COST:$35 WHERE: Bartram’s Garden, 5400 Lindbergh Blvd.

Morris Arboretum Grist Mill Demonstration Day Historic Springfield Mills at Morris Arboretum’s Bloomfield Farm is restored and stone-grinding corn for meal and flour. Come and explore revolutionary technology, local history and a beautiful setting along the Wissahickon Creek. morrisarboretum.org WHEN: 1 to 4 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Bloomfield Farm across the street from 100 E. Northwestern Ave.

Caribbean Festival This rich celebration of 14 Caribbean islands includes live reggae, steel drum bands, hip-hop and poetry. There will of course be plenty of island cuisine, such as jerk chicken, curries and festival bakes. phillycaribbeanfestival.com WHEN: Noon to 8 p.m. COST: Pay as you go WHERE: The Great Plaza, Penn’s Landing, at Columbus and Chestnut streets

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EVENT S R&B/soul band Shine and the Moonbeams brought kids onstage during their performance at a Kidchella show earlier this summer. Catch the next one on Aug. 19

August 22 Food Math Camp Food: The Common Denominator is a fourday, half-day morning camp for kids ages 6-11. Campers learn about math through cooking and food activities, bake and cook every day, and practice fractions, ratios and measurements. hungryeducation.com WHEN: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. COST: $150 WHERE: Alma Mater, 7165 Germantown Ave.

August 24

August 27 through S ep tember 5 Circus Week at Morris Arboretum’s Garden Rail Come see the big top and the circus trains at the Garden Railway: a small model world of tunnels and bridges with a quarter mile track running through it. On Sept. 4, The Secret Circus, a roving aerial and circus performance art company, will be on-site for two performances. morrisarboretum.org WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. COST: Free with admission, $0$17 WHERE: Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Ave.

Late Night Wednesdays: Plein Air Paint Party

August 28

Socialize, sip and savor a summer evening in the garden. Professionals from The Uncorked Artist will guide you to capture an iconic Morris Arboretum tree on canvas. Bring your friends, snacks and your favorite beverage. All painting materials will be provided. Tickets must be purchased through Ticketleap. morrisarboretum.org

Farm-to-Fork

WHEN: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. COST: Members $30; nonmembers $35 WHERE: Morris Arboretum: 100 E. Northwestern Ave.

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Cocktail hour and seven-course wine-pairing dinner with seven of New Jersey’s most highly regarded chefs, featuring locally produced food from farms throughout the area. Gourmet hors d’oeuvres, a VIP vineyard tour, and elegant dining under a tent overlooking the vineyard and surrounding hillsides. 21 and older. albavineyard.com WHEN: 4 to 8 p.m. COST: $150 per person WHERE: Alba Vineyard, 269 Riegelsville Warren Glen Road

Ladies at the Pumptrack Join the Fairmount Park Conservancy, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and Women Bike PHL for a group ride to the Philly Pumptrack in West Fairmount Park and a chance to try it out. myphillypark.org WHEN: 10 to noon COST: $10 WHERE: 5300 Parkside Ave.

Ukrainian Folk Festival This dazzling festival of Ukrainian music, song and dance, and food returns for its 25th year in a celebration of independence. tryzub.org WHEN: Noon to 8 p.m. COST: Adults $15; students and children $10 WHERE:Ukrainian American Sports Center, Lower State Road and County Line Road, Horsham, Pa.

August 29 Delaware River Cleanups Chad Pregracke, a CNN Hero of the Year, is on a quest to clean up the Delaware River, but he needs help from the community. Pregracke and his staff from Living Lands and Waters are working with the Partnership for


EVENT S

the Delaware Estuary to fill their boats with volunteers. Lunch included. tinyurl.com/jqx325s WHEN: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Ridley Township Municipal Marina, 401 South Swarthmore Ave., Ridley Park, Pa.

minded individuals together to network, share ideas and strengthen communities. All are welcome. greenlimbs.com WHEN: 6 to 8 p.m. COST: Pay as you go WHERE: Bridget Foy’s, 200 South St.

Food in Jars” and blogger at Food in Jars, Marisa McClellan. You’ll get hands-on experience making a batch of honey-sweetened tomato jam. McClellan will also demonstrate how to use the boiling water bath method for safe, shelf-stable preservation. greensgrow.org

August 31 Late Night Wednesdays: Kyo Daiko Drumming Crew Taiko drumming has been practiced in Japan for hundreds of years at festivals, battles and as a means of communication over long distances. A combination of choreography and drumming, taiko is physically demanding and visually compelling. morrisarboretum.org

S ep tember 7 through 11 Parks on Tap: Fairmount Water Works Parks on Tap will be traveling to the Fairmount Water Works, showcasing a variety of beers on tap as well as a great selection of food. myphillypark.org WHEN: 1 to 11 p.m. COST: Pay as you go WHERE: 640 Waterworks Drive

WHEN: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. COST: Free with admission, $0$17 WHERE: Morris Arboretum: 100 E. Northwestern Ave.

S ep tember 8 S ep tember 2 through 4 Parks on Tap: FDR Park Parks on Tap will be traveling to FDR Park, showcasing a variety of beers on tap as well as a great selection of food. myphillypark.org WHEN: 1 to 11 p.m. COST: Pay as you go WHERE: 1500 Pattison Ave.

Photography: Capturing Late Summer Color Join the Chanticleer grounds with optimal light and without other visitors. Following a brief presentation of the basic principles of garden photography and how to create a sense of place, Lisa Roper will lead the group into the garden to put these principles into practice. pennhort.net/chanticleer WHEN: 5 to 7 p.m. COST: Members $20; nonmembers $30 WHERE: Chanticleer Garden, 786 Church Road, Wayne, Pa.

S ep tember 3 Weekly Yoga at Lemon Hill Presented by Fairmount Park Conservancy in partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, weekly yoga classes at Lemon Hill will be held on Saturdays through Sept. 17. These all-levels classes will be led by a rotation of local teachers from Yoga and Movement Sanctuary. myphillypark.org

S ep t. 9 Philly Vegan Homecoming Great food and raffle prizes await at this dance party, which supports the Humane League’s efforts to help reduce animal suffering. phillyveganhomecoming.eventbrite.com

WHEN: 9 to 10 a.m. COST: $10 WHERE: 3298 Sedgley Drive

WHEN: 7 to 10 p.m. COST: $25 WHERE: Friends Center, 1501 Cherry St.

S ep tember 7

S ep tember 10

South Philly Green Drinks

Tomato Jam Workshop with Marisa McClellan

South Philadelphia Green Drinks is part of a worldwide movement to bring sustainably

WHEN: Noon to 2 p.m. COST: $35 WHERE: Greensgrow Farms, 2501 E. Cumberland St.

Kensington Gardens PopUp Beer Garden #3 Don’t miss this series of five pop-up beer garden events in Philly’s vibrant River Wards community. Come for local beer pours and tasty food trucks. All ages are welcome, but you must be 21+ to drink. kgphilly.com WHEN: 5 to 10 p.m. COST: Pay as you go WHERE: 2670 Coral St.

Pennsylvania Coast Day This free family event at Penn’s Landing includes boat rides, kayaking, kids’ crafts, face painting, pedal boating, exhibits and a hands-on science lab. delawareestuary.org WHEN: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Independence Seaport Museum, 211 South Christopher Columbus Blvd.

S ep tember 10

and

11

Community Garden Days Community gardeners will receive 10 percent off of purchases made for their community garden. Your garden must be preregistered to receive the discount at the time of purchase. greensgrow.org WHEN: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. COST: Pay as you go WHERE: Greensgrow Farms, 2501 E. Cumberland St.

S ep tember 11 Wild Edible Plants with Lee Peters Learn ways to gather, prepare and identify wild edible plants. Enjoy a light dinner at the conclusion of the walk. tlcforscc.org WHEN: 3 to 6 p.m. COST: Members $10; nonmembers $15 WHERE: Bucktoe Creek Preserve, 432 Sharp Road, Avondale, Pa.

Learn how to safely and deliciously can tomatoes with the author of “Naturally Sweet

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DIS PATCH

Sharing Our Table Professional cooks make more than food. They make memories by brian ricci

I

’m fascinated by flavor. I was raised in a small town in the New Jersey suburbs, and at a young age I could walk by myself to school or meet my friends in the town village to trade baseball cards and trap crayfish in the creeks. Many afternoons, I would come inside after running around with friends and sit at my grandmother’s kitchen table. There, she would have some pencils, markers and paper waiting. I sat and drew while she cooked and talked. As day turned to evening, the kitchen would become a hot spot of activity. Neighbors, aunts and then my folks and brothers would arrive to socialize and eat. Food would appear—she was the type of cook who made things appear effortless. Conversation would continue as Grandma surveyed the room: She knew what you needed before you did. After dinner, the kids would run off and play outside while the adults had a little more wine and a little more coffee. I can still see the sky at dusk, my grandfather fast asleep, music playing through-

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out the house. I can smell the tomatoes plucked from my grandmother’s garden and taste the tomato ragù that she would slowly simmer all day long. I believe the science that tells us that smells and tastes are the avenues by which we hold onto some of our strongest experiences. Fast forward 20 years, and I cook for a living. While the fast pace and the sheer amount of time involved in preparing each dish can be overwhelming, it forces you to sharpen your focus and heighten your senses. I once worked in an Indian fine dining restaurant in New York City that required me to toast and grind an arsenal of fresh spices daily. The act of simultaneously toasting six separate pans of spices every morning at 6 a.m.—five days a week for 10 months—leaves a lasting impression. There is a distinct moment when a spice passes from darkly toasted to slightly burnt. I can smell it before it happens. In a San Francisco bakery co-op, I honed my skills at kneading, shaping and baking,

and mastered knowing—by a simple touch or tug—if a dough was properly mixed or proofed. Smelling the crust develop during a bake was a sensory experience that bordered on addiction for me and for our customers. They knew our bake schedule as well as we did and would arrive punctually as fresh bread was decanted from our baking racks and transferred to our shelves. Here in Philadelphia, I spend most evenings essentially doing what my grandmother did: making effort look effortless. We cooks thrive on that moment of joy when our guests eat. I tell my cooks and servers to look at a restaurant as if it were a casual dinner party we’re hosting at our house, where everyone is welcome. And when I’m at home with my boys, with their markers or iPads spread on the table, we talk, we eat and I pour myself a little more wine. Brian Ricci is a chef who has worked in New York, San Francisco and Philadelphia, most recently with Pub & Kitchen, Supper, Kennett Restaurant and Brick and Mortar.

IL LUSTRATIO N BY AN N E L A MBELET


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A global agent of change One Penn student makes an impact, one country at a time.

Akudo Ejelonu Master of Environmental Studies/ Master of Public Health May ’18— expected, University of Pennsylvania To learn more about Akudo’s public service around the world, visit www.upenn.edu/grid

“If you interviewed me last year, I would have said I wanted to go to med school. Now, after being exposed to so much at Penn, I know my calling is in global work,” shares Akudo Ejelonu (Master of Environmental Studies/Master of Public Health, May ‘18—expected). Since joining the MES/MPH dual degree program, Akudo has traveled the world—from Calcutta to Botswana—addressing dozens of environmental public health matters. Just this summer, with support from the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, Akudo went to Rwanda with the School of Engineering’s Service Learning program. There, she helped build solar energy panels for a water filtration system that can minimize water-borne Penn’s admissions staff

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Walk right in.

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Grid Magazine August 2016 [#88]  

Grid Magazine August 2016 [#88]