H Y PERLOC AL
DON E DI F F E R E N T LY
FISHTOWN + KENSINGTON + NORTHERN LIBERTIES + PORT RICHMOND + BRIDESBURG
WEEK NOVEMBER 30, 2016 VOL. 13 NO. 45
URBAN BIRDING Take a closer look at the House Sparrows living in the community. 9
CLEAN PLATE A recipe for baked brie with fig topping. 10
DEVELOPMENT NEWS Find out whats being built on your block. 8
BALDSPOT Spirit's own weekly games and comics. 10
ACCU-REGGIE Seven day forecast for the Riverwards. 3
COMMUNITY CALENDAR Local events, meetings and more. 12-13
HOT OFF THE
he death threat written in ketchup on her concrete steps confused four-year-old Jazmen Merritt. “I just remember thinking, ‘That’s not what ketchup’s for,’” Merritt, now 24, recalled recently. More death threats came in the form of letters alluding to previous firebomb attacks on others. They were signed, “The Posse.” Warnings came from neighbors, some politely and some not so politely. A number of neighbors even raised the Confederate flag, about 20 miles north of the Mason-Dixon Line, in 1996. The message was clear: The new neighbors were unwelcome here. The still unknown people threatened Jazmen Merritt’s family, her mother Bridget Ward and her sister Jamilla because they were black and
moving into Bridesburg, a neighborhood so white that the word “predominantly” doesn’t do it justice. The situation gained so much attention that, in addition to local media arriving en masse, the national media got in on it too. Ted Koppel and the folks from ABC’s “Nightline” aired an investigative piece in May 1996 in which they spoke to residents of Bridesburg about it. Merritt still recalls much of what happened in 1996, with some blanks being filled in from time to time by her family. Though it is all memory now as her mother and sister have since passed away. “My mother died in 2013,” Merritt said. Her sister Jamilla died of “congenital heart-failure.” Continued on Page 4.
The Spirit of the Riverwards – November 30, 2016 THE
efore the Thanksgiving holiday, I checked the Philly Police Blog, which lists the incidences of reported crime in the city’s twenty one police precincts, and was startled to discover that November was a big month in the Riverwards for commercial and residential burglaries. Listed under the heading “Multiple Commercial Burglaries for the 24th and 26th District”, I scrolled to the month of November and found so many listings I could barely count them. The B-Tan Tanning Salon at 2601 Aramingo Avenue, where I happen to be a member, was hit by a burglar who broke the glass front door to gain entry. Now, B-Tan doesn’t have much in the way of valuable goods, unless you consider exotic and sweet smelling tanning lotions to every bit as valuable as bundles of cash. The PPD’s blog stated that, “the suspect took an undisclosed amount of money then fled the area in an unknown direction.” B-Tan, unfortunately, is robbed on average of about once a year, and the results are usually the same: The front glass door is smashed to smithereens, leaving piles of shattered glass in the entranceway. The robberies always seem to occur in the middle of the night or towards dawn, when car and pedestrian traffic on Aramingo Avenue is at its lowest ebb. Prior to studying the police blog, I had assumed that commercial burglaries of this sort were committed by drug addicts looking for quick-fix money and that the robberies were more or less impulsive. I changed my opinion on that score when I viewed a video on the police blog of a suspect breaking into Accent on Animals in the Port Richmond Shopping Center, not far from B-Tan. Most of the time, burglaries in this area involve more than one store, and this time was no exception. It’s possible that the person who robbed B-Tan was the same person who hit Accent on
Christmas for Our Veterans It is that time of year already!! The American Legion Auxiliary Elm Tree Post #88, will be taking gifts to our veterans at Veterans Hospital and Veterans Nursing Home in December. Items can be dropped off at The Spirit Newspaper, located at Gaul Street & Susquehanna Avenue. We are in need of the following: Hand Lotion • Body Lotion • Body Wash • Knitted Hats • Knitted Scarves • Undershirts (L-3X)) • Batteries (AA,AAA,C) • Flannel Shirts (L-3X) • Gloves • Slippers • Board Games • White Socks • Lounging Pants (L-3X) • Puzzle Books • Card Games • Boxes of Cookies • Candy Canes • Boxed Candy • Sugar Free Treats • 2 In 1 Shampoo • Shaving Cream • Hoodies (L-XXL) • Boxer Shorts (L-XXL) So that the veterans can also select Christmas gifts for family members, we are collecting items for toddlers, children, teens and women. Thank you for your support! Further Information: Please contact Marge at 215-203-0270.
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Animals. A security video from Accent on Animals showed that the suspect arrived in the shopping center parking lot in a light blue Chrysler Town & Country or Dodge Caravan, proving that a) he was not homeless or a street addict carrying a sign, and that b) he was possibly from another neighborhood, such as the Northeast. The video recorded the arrival of the car as being somewhere near 6AM. The suspect, a white male in a full gray sweatsuit with his head covered in a hoodie and half his face covered with a scarf, was shown swinging an axe two times at Accent’s door frame. With a third swing he swung into the glass door itself, shattering the glass in one fell swoop. Three precise, surgical whacks allowed him to enter the pet store. Once inside he behaved like a contestant in a free 3 minute supermarket shopping spree, frantically emptying out the cash register and then looking around for something valuable to pocket. Since t-bone steak flavored doggie bones or catnip toys held no interest for him, he ducked back out the opening he created with his axe, and then made his made his way to another business: Safe Cleaners at 2435 Aramingo. Presumably, he followed the same procedure at Safe Cleaners, swinging his axe twice at the door frame and then with one final blow smashing the glass door so that he could gain entry. According to the police blog, the suspect stole nothing from Safe Cleaners, but “fled the area in an unknown direction.” That ‘unknown direction’ was likely 2475 Aramingo, the Ez-Bargain store, where he once again used the threeswing axe method to gain entry. This time, he walked away with an undisclosed amount of money. But still not being satisfied, he presumably walked to the neighboring Village Laundry at 2455 Aramingo, where he again took his axe and shattered yet another glass door so that he was able to enter and take a checkbook and “approximately $3.00 worth of coins.” Three dollars in coins is hardly a treasure trove. But when you’re desperate, you’re desperate. Almost down for the count, the suspect then decided to tamper with the Hair Cuttery at 2457 Aramingo, perhaps recalling a former visit there when he needed his neck hair shaved. With his trusty axe, he once again gained entry, but finding no cash on hand in any of drawers or compartments, he did what any desperate, self respecting thief would do: take anything. So he took a $20 bottle of hair conditioner. If you’re like me, you might be thinking, “Wow, smashing door frames with an axe and shattering glass is a lot of mess and drama for just one bottle of hair conditioner.” Perhaps the stolen overpriced conditioner was for his own hair, tucked away in obscurity inside his hoodie. Perhaps he was opting for a Thanksgiving gift for a girlfriend. The reigning similarity here is that none of these violated businesses had metal or shatter proof doors. Glass doors, it seems, are a handicap and a liability, especially when you consider the ease with which they can be shattered. Our experienced burglar, after all, delivered his 3-axe whack and gained entry at Accent on Animals in record time-- under 30 seconds. Talk about criminal expertise. Obviously what these small businesses need to do is invest in stronger doors, namely a metal door grate for after business hours. The second business blunder here seems to be keeping cash on the premises after hours. While a
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business can afford the loss of a bottle of hair conditioner, the suspect would not have bothered with the Hair Cuttery in the first place if he had known there was no cash on the premises. The dollar store, after all, sells fantastic conditioner. What’s odd here is that someone could go from store to store in a kind of Wild West manner, smashing glass doors and not being heard by a single passerby. Granted, there’s not much sidewalk traffic at that hour, especially in the rear part of the shopping center which faces the desolate stretch of land under I-95. B-Tan, which is not in the shopping center and borders the never ending traffic streams along Aramingo Avenue, would seem to be in the most burglar unfriendly area of the shopping center, but yet the suspect was still able to smash and grab even here. Police presence in the shopping center and along Aramingo Avenue prior to 2AM is intense, especially near places like Wawa, Dunkin Donuts and Cione Playground. Police presence at this time in fact even tends towards overkill. Perhaps there’s a good reason for this police presence, even if your average burglar is going to avoid well lit businesses with several patrol cars in the parking lot. As for the axe-wielding suspect who broke so many glass doors along Aramingo, perhaps the best that can be said for him is that one day he will be out of his comfortable, lightweight, large pocketed sweatsuit. I can see him now, scrubbed up and dressed in a tailored suit when he is in court for his trial. •
The Spirit of the Riverwards – November 30, 2016 S E V E N D AY F O R E C A S T F O R T H E R I V E R WA R D S
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ast week was beautiful. All the food, all the family, all the friends — it was truly a wonderful time! The weather wasn't too bad either. Yes, it was cool, but we are in the heart of fall and it’s going to be cool in Philly this time of year. After an extremely dry November we turn the page into a stormy December. Rain storms will attack the area one by one the next few weeks. We start and end this seven day period with a significant storm. No snow in the forecast yet, but we are getting close. I expect snow before December 15th, but either way, it’s coming! We will start the week with rain from a storm cutting to
the Great Lakes, which means we are on the warm side of the storm, so only rain for me and you! Sunday and Monday could feature a big daddy storm that brings snow to the Mid-west and rain to the East Coast. Stay tuned because the exact track of this storm is not locked in yet. Wednesday features a warm rain as moisture streams up from the South. It’s a soggy day, but at least it’s not cold and wet. Thursday will see the return of sunshine and cooler temperatures. We jump down from the 60s to the 50s. Friday is a cool, crisp day typical of what we have been experiencing lately.
Saturday is chilly as temperatures barely make it to 50. Clouds may increase overnight. On Sunday and Monday we have the potential to be impacted by a large storm. For now it looks like mostly or all rain for the area, but it could be A LOT of rain. The track is uncertain but a storm during this time is likely. The wet weather will clear out for Tuesday as cold weather swooshes back in behind the storm! More storms are on the horizon, though. The weather winner of the week is Friday; the weather loser is Sunday-Monday. •
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The Spirit of the Riverwards – November 30, 2016
Continued from Page 1. Merritt didn’t remember the “Nightline” program itself, but did recall other media attention. “The reporters standing outside of our house,” she said. “And my mom went on ‘The Montel Williams Show’. She was actually on ‘Montel Williams’ talking about [racism].” “Montel”, a syndicated show airing during the day, was one thing, but Ted Koppel on the highly rated and highly regarded “Nightline” was monumental. But why would the national news show want to come to a small neighborhood in the Riverwards? Spirit News reached out to Ted Koppel, but he said that since he “did more than 6,000 ‘Nightlines’ over the course of 26 years” he felt as though his “memory of the particular program is just hazy enough that I don’t feel I can add anything useful.” But others who worked at “Nightline” during that time did remember the story of Bridesburg and Ward. Members of the “Nightline” team spoke with Spirit News to provide insight into the story they produced as part of a series entitled “Black and White in America” just more than 20 years since it originally aired. “The point of the series was to get people to recognize the racial divide within the country,” Thomas Raymond Bettag, the show’s executive producer, said. “Particularly for whites who said racism was a thing of the past, who may believe that most people don’t have racial bias. We wanted them to stop and think again. But we also wanted people on all sides to walk away after watching and say, ‘Gee, I never thought of issues of race in that way.’” Bettag says that the series tried to avoid issues that were black and white in the sense of someone being totally right while someone else is completely wrong. The crew came to Bridesburg because the community was “like many places all around the country and was easy enough for anyone to identify with.” “You could go down to the South or someplace where there is just outrageous, clear bigotry for no reason other than the person's skin and you would not have proven anything,” Bettag explained. “In that sense, I think you could say Bridesburg was a fairly open-minded community and on the face of it you would not expect something like this [Bridget Ward situation] to be happening there, when it comes to open bigotry and conflict.” Then-mayor Ed Rendell’s administration had already been involved with Ward. Kevin Vaughan, the executive director of Philadelphia's Human Relations Commission under Rendell, met with her at her Bridesburg home and pledged unwavering support from the city. His mission was to get Ward to stay and hope that the neighborhood would start to accept integration. But he understood her fears. “[The press and city officials] were all [there] at the same time,” Vaughan said. “She was afraid. She was terribly afraid. She didn’t know what to expect from the neighborhood, she got very little support from the [other] neighbors.” Vaughan also tried to corral neighborhood organizations to intervene. “[Rendell] wanted to meet with the leadership of the neighborhood,” Vaughan said. But that was difficult as “there are not a lot of institutions... that you can call and get people together.” What few organizations Bridesburg did have, like the recreation center and community center, had already been contacted by the long-time residents. These were the places where neighbors went and asked, ‘Why is this woman here?’ The head of the local Polish-speaking church even refused to meet the mayor, according to Vaughan. Tony Radocaj, a Bridesburg civic leader at that time, explained why the community response might have seemed underwhelming. “I think the whole thing with Bridget Ward was drummed up more than it should’ve been,” Radocaj explained. “I can’t say everyone, but most people tried to keep things [calm].” In addition to that, a couple of the people involved with the civic association back then were against Ward moving in. “They stayed with the civic association for years. A couple of them fought at every meeting just about,” Radocaj said. Vaughan pointed out one group that did step up. “The nuns at the Catholic school were extraordinary,”
Photos by Natalie Piserchio he said. “They had an assembly where they called all the students down and they talked to the students about what had happened and why it was wrong and [instructed them] if they know anything they should talk to the police about it and [explained] that it’s not what their Catholic teaching [was about].” But then the story blew up. “In the midst of this, because it got so much press, it got crazy press, it got international press… ‘Nightline’ decides they’re gonna do a series on race in America,” Vaughan recalled. Radocaj remembered too. “Then we got involved with Ted Koppel. And that was the beginning of the end of it,” he said. “Ted Koppel was a character. He didn’t need to do the show.” Vaughan believes that timing played into how big the story got as well. “Think of the timeframe of the entire incident,” he said. “You have a very heightened awareness of race in the country at that moment. You have O.J. Simpson on trial, which didn’t make anything better. You have a lot of people who are feeling pushed by the issues and not understanding what role they played or didn’t play.” Those at “Nightline” felt as though the stories of race they were telling were exposing a more nuanced paradigm of America’s conversation on race relations — one that was more constructive and therefore necessary in the wake of all the “black and white” media coverage. “Race is the Achilles’ heel of this country. It continues to reassert itself and hasn't stopped in the 20 years that's passed,” Bettag said. “You never get any piece of journalism exactly how you would like it, but we felt very good about what we put together because of the response we received.” Merritt, Ward’s daughter, remembers the scene that was garnering all the attention outside of her house. She remembers being left feeling fearful, but with virtually no context at the age of four. “Just arguing, screaming, shouting. And we couldn’t even stay in our house. I don’t even think we stayed there a month. It was just a lot of chaos and we had escorts taking us to and from school, me and my sister. [All] while my mom went to work, she was working at St. Joseph’s Hospital on Girard Ave., and we [were] going to school right on the other side of Torresdale [Ave.].”
On “Nightline”, Ward herself said, “When they was all hanging out in my door, saying, 'N****r move,' 'N****r, move,' they did not know me.” Aside from threats of violence, Ward, who was 32-yearsold at the time, also became fearful of her reputation being affected by the airing of the show. Vaughan remembers Ward calling him, upset about what would follow all the publicity and how she would have to defend herself. So Vaughan called Koppel and asked for his assurance that nothing in this report would be derogatory about Ward and that she has nothing to worry about. “He was very sympathetic to what was going on with her and was not there to portray her badly,” Vaughan said. According to Vaughan, Koppel stayed true to his word. Radocaj pointed out limitations to the availability of residents for the broadcast. “There weren’t enough black people or brown people or other people to come on [and speak on the Bridesburg episode],” Radocaj said. “The people that we had that night there were a couple who were without question bigots and other people who tried to make things good and the people didn’t like it.” “Nightline” opened the segment with clips of interviews to set the tone. Here’s a snippet from that portion of the program: BRIGID WARD: I just didn't believe that that actually, really, really, goes on in Philadelphia still. TED KOPPEL: [voice-over] Some of the neighbors didn't like the graffiti at all. In fact, they'd come down to welcome Ms. Ward. 2nd BRIDESBURG RESIDENT: My mother raised nine of us. She said, 'No matter what color or what nationality, if they're good, they're good. Everybody deserves a chance.' 3rd BRIDESBURG RESIDENT: I don't think that they should discriminate against them 'cause they're black, 'cause we're all the same inside. TED KOPPEL: [voice-over] Now, those sentiments were televised in Philadelphia, but most of the attention went to what some other neighbors had to say. 4th BRIDESBURG RESIDENT: It's against the law, but if they get 'em out, that's fine. 5th BRIDESBURG RESIDENT: I don't want them living around here. 6th BRIDESBURG RESIDENT: You're not wanted here. WARD FAMILY MEMBER: Yes, we are. 6th BRIDESBURG RESIDENT: You're not. WARD FAMILY MEMBER: Yes, we are wanted here. 6th BRIDESBURG RESIDENT: We don't want our daughters and our sons — bluebirds don't mix with robins, you know what I'm saying? 7th BRIDESBURG RESIDENT: She should have known Continued on Page 5.
The Spirit of the Riverwards – November 30, 2016 Continued from Page 4. what was happening. She came here, she should have expected trouble. Nobody wants mixed people… in their neighborhood. TED KOPPEL: [voice-over] That's what frightens a lot of people in Bridesburg, that what happened to other, once white working-class neighborhoods of Philadelphia could happen to theirs. 9th BRIDESBURG RESIDENT: And there's a stigma attached to the fact of, you know, when a person of color, of any color, moves into a predominantly other color neighborhood. People generally get upset, they're afraid of property values dropping and things like that, and, you know, it's just — it's not gonna work. According to Bettag, the program’s producer, residents’ feelings that minorities could take over their neighborhood were partly at the heart of the Bridesburg story, along with most other stories in the “Black and White in America” series. Section 8 housing, which Ward’s family lived in at the time, was seen by a sizable number of people in Bridesburg as a means to bring about that supposed minority takeover. “20 years ago that was a fairly widely held belief (as soon as you let one in they all come in),” Bettag said. “People were talking about this and how they saw it relating to real estate values, that was part of the grey of the story. These people were not necessarily saying, ‘I just hate black people.’ They were saying, ‘I really am honestly afraid of what is going to happen to my real estate values,’ which I think they were genuinely concerned with.” “There were some people who didn’t like the blacks and some people who didn’t like the Section 8,” Radocaj said. “At that time there were only two houses that were Section 8 and that was one of them.” Vaughan explained the issue with people’s perception of Section 8. “The mentality was: It’s a villain … it was moving poor people into neighborhoods where people had worked to get what they had,” Vaughan said. “[Housing vouchers] are a responsibility for everybody, for the people moving in, for the landlord. Each landlord handles it differently. Some take it as a payday. Others take it as a responsibility. I think Bridget Ward wanted responsibility. To be demonized two seconds after you moved into your house …” Vaughan trailed off, just shaking his head. Bridget Ward never bought the Section 8 story, though. She told Koppel that the neighbors “never gave me a chance. They never gave me a chance. They put them slurs right in front of me the day of. As the weeks went by, yeah, they done pulled out different things to say this is the reason why. This was not the reason why.” So Ward took her daughters and moved. “The mayor gave them the new home, so to speak, and they moved out,” Radocaj said. “And that was [the] wrong [thing to do]. They should have stayed in the neighborhood and it would’ve worked out.” Vaughan believes moving out was the right call for Ward and her family, but a complicated one. “When she decided that she wanted to leave it was… for her it was the right decision, I don’t know if it was right for the city,” he said. “It would have been hard for the city to sustain [the resources to keep her safe], but it really hardened people into points of view that … well, the Confederate flags.” Merritt remembers her mom explaining the move. “She was working and that’s where she wanted to be at because we needed a place for her kids to be at the time. But they wasn’t allowing that because everyone around there all knew each other for a long time and they was stuck in their old ways,” she recalled. “We moved toward Spring Garden.” The family moved around Philly and then out of state until Ward passed. Merritt said she has never experienced racism to that level since then. “No, nothing like there,” she said. That was 20 years ago. Seeing as how Anderson Cooper isn’t snooping around the area today, perhaps it’s safe to say that Bridesburg is better. But is it?
Photos by Natalie Piserchio “For what it’s worth, is it as bad as it was? No, I don’t think so,” Radocaj said. “But is it as good as it can get? No, it’s still not good. I mean, there’s a lot of things that still go on in the neighborhood.” We reached out to several current civic and business leaders in Bridesburg. Harry Enggasser, leader of Bridesburg Civic Association, declined to comment for this story, indicating that he didn’t want to discuss race relations due to the country's current political climate. Bridget Ward and her family weren’t the only African Americans in Bridesburg then and there are a few now. According to Census data compiled by BillyPenn.com, of the 6,465 people living in Bridesburg, only four are African American. Data was culled by matching census tracts with the most commonly associated borders of the neighborhood. So Spirit News sought out African Americans currently living in the neighborhood to ask them what it’s like being black in Bridesburg. A few were understandably reluctant to speak. It’s lonely being less than one in a thousand. One African-American resident, Steven McLaughlin, was happy to speak. He lives with his white fiancee, Kimberly Roberts. Jenna Bean, an African-American woman who doesn’t live in Bridesburg but frequents the neighborhood to visit friends, also shared some of her experiences. McLaughlin is a martial arts instructor in Northeast Philly. He describes a mostly peaceful situation in his neighborhood, but acknowledges that many neighbors know that he is accomplished in martial arts. “It’s more about dirty looks [overall],” McLaughlin said. But on his block, “[It] is mostly smiles. I feel welcome there.” Smiling is what he does to confront the dirty looks. “I just smile at them,” taking advice from a martial arts mentor. “It’s better to beat them with kindness,” he said. “But more people are on my side.” McLaughlin put the number at about one out of three people who have issues with people of color. A lot of what McLaughlin experiences are what he describes as “bad vibes”. “One time I forgot something in my car,” he said. During his trip down the block a white neighbor ran up to him. “He said, ‘Oh, I thought you were breaking into my car.’” The man just stood there and stared at McLaughlin. “Something told me to just let it go,” he said. Other, more frequent incidents are more subtle. At a
convenience store on Richmond Street a friendly cashier chats everybody up. But when McLaughlin checks out, the cashier clams up. McLaughlin asked observers, including his fiancee, to see if it was just his imagination. But they agreed with him. McLaughlin and Roberts have both been on the various Bridesburg-associated Facebook groups. They say that they’ve both been deleted from many of those groups too and usually after a conversation regarding racism. Sometimes they’re not deleted, but then the group goes quiet and someone starts a new Facebook group. “It’s a small group of individuals. Sometimes the leaders [are] racist,” Roberts said. Roberts was more than candid regarding the treatment of her fiance and even her family for “bringing them around here.” She moved into Bridesburg from Kensington as a child. “I was a minority [in her part of Kensington],” she said. “From the first day [of moving to Bridesburg] we were just like, ‘What did we get ourselves into?’” Even before the racism she said it was “weird.” “We got a knock on the door and we thought it was a welcome-to-the-neighborhood thing, but no, it was a man who pointed to a line on the sidewalk [that he made] and he said, ‘You see that line right there? You don’t cross that line when you park your car.’” But by the time she turned 11 she learned firsthand what hides in Bridesburg. She joined a church group in the neighborhood that drew in people from surrounding areas. While walking on the streets with some of the African-American members of the group she would be jeered with “‘n****r lover,’ ‘you like n*****s,’ just because I was walking down the street,” she said. Again, she was 11. “You wouldn’t understand until you lived [here].” After a couple years she was walking in her neighborhood near the park with a white female friend and two black males. Two white guys approached them. “‘Yo, we’re throwing a party,’” they said, according to Roberts. “And we’re like, ‘Where’s it at?’ … and they’re like, ‘You have to leave your n*****s at home, though. They use the word so freely like it’s just acceptable.” Roberts decided hanging out elsewhere was the best policy. Unlike Roberts, Jenna Bean — a black woman who grew Continued on Page 6.
The Spirit of the Riverwards – November 30, 2016
Continued from Page 5. up in New York City as an “army brat” of a military father and an Antiguan immigrant mother — came to Bridesburg by choice. One of the friends she had met at school lived there. According to Bean, she de facto “lived in Bridesburg” in 2005 and 2006 while working as a student teacher and going to school at Temple University. “I was there Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday consistently every week if not almost every week,” Bean said. “One of my best friends (a white woman) was born and raised there and it's where she lives now.” Bean would often stay over her friend’s house after nights out at different bars and restaurants in the area. She says it was “just natural” for her to be there, given that they both worked and went to school together and were becoming best friends. Bean would frequent the neighborhood even more in the summer when both her and her growing group of friends in the ‘Burg would enjoy time off together. Throughout her extensive time in the area, Bean says that she has run into very few problems with regard to her race. “Everyone has pretty much been welcoming and nice and I kind of keep to myself,” Bean said. “So really as long as you are not causing any trouble you are fine.” When she first started spending time in Bridesburg, Bean was unaware of the history regarding race-based issues in the community. “The first time I got into an encounter in the neighborhood, that was unpleasant. I had already been hanging out in the neighborhood for a few years,” Bean said. She believes she was unaware of issues in the community involving race partly because of how young she was at the time. The fact that she was hanging out with white, mostly female Bridesburg residents also shielded her from potential run-ins. “There is one place in Bridesburg, though, that I just don’t go [to] and it's that bad,” Bean said. “One night, we were there for a benefit going on in the upstairs portion of the place, then we wanted to go downstairs after it was over. Once we got down there the people [working at the bar] would not even speak to me, they only spoke to my friend [who was white].” Bean continued: “So my friend did not really even say much to me about it until we had already left and were at another place. She indicated to me that we could not stay there and that it was because of my race.” Bean stresses that during her now countless times in Bridesburg, situations like the one she described “do not occur often.” “When things like that happen it usually does catch me by surprise,” Bean said. “But I just look at it as some people are always going to be that way and that's their loss. I think I’m a pretty awesome person and if you don’t want to meet me... then screw you.” Bean at one point described another outlying experience in Bridesburg, her first overtly physical encounter with a racist in the community. “A guy bodychecked me hockey-style in a bar, and he told me (straight up) it was because of my race,” Bean said. “But one of my friends was the bouncer there, so he got him. My friend was white just like everyone else here. It's really just me so all my friends pretty much look out for me.” Bean’s other black friends who have never been to Bridesburg — but know about its history — look at her with bewilderment when she explains to them how much she frequents the 'Burg. “Some of my black friends don’t even really give a reason. Others say, ‘Well, they don’t like black people there.’ For me, though, growing up as an ‘army brat’ you learn to be around a lot of people that aren't necessarily like you. Also having a mother that's not
Photos by Natalie Piserchio
from America helped... [those life experiences] instilled the same kind of values in me. So for me I don’t find it difficult to assimilate.” That said, Bean can fully understand why other black people might find the situation in Bridesburg intimidating. “Any time you go someplace where you don’t know the people and don’t know the neighborhood, it's intimidating,” Bean explained. “At least for me it is, and I’ll try anything once, but if it does not go well after the first time, then,” she trailed off in a lighthearted tone. But what kind of community accepts physical altercations due to a person's race? According to Radocaj, Bridesburg is “a lot more balanced, but a lot of… a lot more of… we’ll call them flags out there where people have set up their, I guess, southern flags if one would like to call them that.” He’s referring to the Confederate flags. Radocaj elaborated: “I can only say that I know there’s a lot of flags that aren’t shown. But yet, there are people that put them up and keep them up. The younger people have made some [transformation] where they’re willing to accept [people of color], the middle-aged people are not willing to accept and the older people don’t give a shit. That’s really what it comes down to. That’s not all the middle-aged people, but it’s where the problem lies.” Warren is one of the Confederate flag flyers. He’s in his late 40s. [Editor’s note: We reached out to several folks who have Confederate flags flying on their property. Only one of them got back to us and was willing to explain himself. While he’ll engage any challenger to his flag, he refused to go on the record with his last name in the paper for fear of retribution against his family. He does have young children in his house. At first we decided not to print his words. But then we acquiesced because it’s rare to hear this perspective and, more importantly, because it actually substantiates what Mr. McLaughlin, Ms. Roberts and Ms. Bean claim.] “The Confederate flag is not racist,” Warren said. “The ones that think it’s racist are the ones with an ‘edge-amuh-cation,’ not an education.” He continued: “The stars represent the 13 colonies down
South. The X means … we didn’t want to be part of your union. It doesn’t mean anything about race.” Warren was not around when Bridget Ward was run out of town. He claims he wouldn’t have run her out, saying, “I don’t get into that burning people out [stuff]. If a black family moved next to me I wouldn’t hold it against them. It’s not their fault.” But he seems to understand why others do. “When you see neighborhoods transform you know why,” he said. “You don’t want blacks living next door to you because you know what happens. Now the working-class blacks, that’s a different story. Not all blacks are bad. About 60 percent of your blacks are bad, 40 percent are good. They don’t care what the neighborhood becomes because it’s more better for them to sell their drugs.” While flying the Confederate flag is a non-personal way of saying, “You’re not welcome here,” Kim Roberts, McLaughlin’s fiancee, recounted some very up close and personal encounters she’s seen between Bridesburg residents and people of color. Roberts’ sister was starting her family and decided to buy a house in Bridesburg. Unfortunately she asked Roberts’ boyfriend at the time, a black man, for help moving furniture in. This brought out the local unregulated militia. “She got a note a few days later that said, ‘We don’t accept blacks here.’ A note! A note!” Roberts exclaimed. “She called the police and showed them.” According to Roberts, the note wasn’t traceable. Her sister was in a relationship with a white man and since Roberts’ boyfriend didn’t come back around after the move-in, things stayed cool. But eventually, Roberts started to visit her sister with the same boyfriend who had attracted the negative attention. The harassment started again. A couple of years later, when Robert’s sister came home with her first child, who is white, some residents threw stuff, including beer bottles, on her porch and told her, “We thought you were fuckin’ that n****r,” according to Roberts. “My sister kept calling the cops, but she eventually abandoned the home and moved back with her parents.” In the meantime, to try to keep up with the mortgage, they rented the home to a family friend, who was Hispanic. As he moved his stuff in some neighbors surrounded him and yelled, “What the fuck are you doing here?” “Within a month, the man called my brother-in-law and said, ‘I can’t get out of the house.’ They superglued every door shut,” Roberts explained. Continued on Page 7.
The Spirit of the Riverwards – November 30, 2016 Continued from Page 6. The Hispanic tenant had to break out of his rented house through a window. He went about trying to gain access back through the front door and saw that the patio furniture was stolen. All of the wires and cables on the side of the house were severed. The neighbors then called the cops and reported him for attempted burglary. The man moved out immediately. Roberts’ sister gave the house up to the bank, taking a huge hit to her financial credit in the process. The racists who Roberts attributes those actions to moved off that street, but stayed in the neighborhood. “They want Bridesburg as white as possible to stay in their comfort zone,” McLaughlin said. The racists win because “people don’t want drama, so they leave.” McLaughlin sees some of the same age-differences that Radocaj noted too. “Younger kids don’t see color,” he said. “People closer to [their mid-to-late 20s] are cool. It’s people in their 40s, 50s that are the problem.” Roberts agreed. Sometimes, though, those same people are parents of youngsters and they keep their kids away from people of color. “It sucks. You’re limiting your child,” McLaughlin said. According to Vaughan, a major limiting factor that has continuously affected Bridesburg’s community integration has been how much of a “pretty insular place” it's always been. “You have to go out of your way to get into or out of Bridesburg. It’s almost like a West Virginia hamlet where there’s a road in and the same road out.” “You have a strong language-identified community. So there’s a church... a Catholic church where the Polish language was the only language spoken,” Vaughan explained. “And there was an English-language Catholic church for those people who weren’t Polish. So there was like, even among the people who were white there were ethnic splits. Very, very strong ethnic splits.” Since the beginning of its construction in 1967, Interstate I-95 has remained a physical and geographical barrier between Bridesburg and other communities along the Delaware riverfront. Caroline Reid, a professor of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design, has spent most of her adult life as a researcher of public housing issues, recently working on the Dodd Frank Act implementation. Some of Reid’s studies also focus on the areas of housing and community development. She recently had a chance to discuss with Spirit News the challenges large infrastructure projects present to communities in terms of integration, amongst other issues. “Generally speaking, we have historically segregated and isolated neighborhoods through our urban policy. So things like freeway construction have definitely cut off vibrant areas in the past,” Reid said. “The policies in the 1950s and 60s, which simultaneously built big freeways and highways out to suburban locales, allowed access to new neighborhoods for some families... but have also shaped the landscape so that we have these isolated pockets of various communities. Re-knitting those (communities) back into the urban fabric is one of the goals of community development.” Local historian Kenneth Milano believes that Bridesburg is one of those “pockets” more secluded than the other communities in the Riverwards. “It’s surrounded on four sides. You have the manufacturing plan on the north-end, which you can’t get around because it's a dead end. On the east-side you have the river and nobody's coming to shore there unless you are in a boat,” Milano explained. “On the southern-end you have the bridge which is sort of an obstacle and then I-95 on the other side pretty much blocks everything.” Milano also notes that there is no real reason to go into Bridesburg, “unless you are doing business there or living there.” People don’t typically travel through the neighborhood to get to other places, precisely because it is so blocked off. Milano added: “I still get a kind of village feeling when I go there.” Eric Wray was one of the video editors for “Nightline” during the “Black and White in America” series of reports. He is also black. While working on “Black and White in
Photos by Natalie Piserchio
America” his main focus was on editing another story in the series, but he remembers the Bridesburg story well. He believes that issues involving community seclusion played a role in people’s perceptions of race in Bridesburg 20 years ago, and still affect the dialogue on race-relations in communities today. “News about race is a bummer for most people, especially for white people,” Wray said. “And really African Americans feel like that if race is not discussed as an issue, then we lose, because race (as in the case of Bridget Ward) is always part of issues we (blacks) have to deal with. But for white America there is almost no satisfaction or value in talking about race, because it just brings up guilt, and pointing fingers.” Would a Bridget Ward be able to move in today? Kim Roberts and Steven McLaughlin both sighed and looked at each other. “I think it’s block-by-block,” Roberts said. “Some blocks, like ours, are fine but others… no, just no.” McLaughlin nodded in agreement and restated that “his block is all smiles.” Vaughan remains pessimistic. “I don’t know about there,” he said, with wide eyes and a little sneer. “There are other neighborhoods where [Ward] would be very, very welcome. I’m not sure about Bridesburg.” Radocaj is cautiously optimistic.
“I can’t say enough about how good the neighborhood is. But there’s still those people who were a part of it who were against black people,” he said. “There’s a lot of people that still have that feeling that isn’t right. But you can’t move ‘em. They’re still in Bridesburg and a problem and will be forever. [It] doesn’t seem to be the same group [responsible for the acts in 1996]. I mean, you can say a lot and you can’t. I don’t want to put people down but it’s the way it is.” Ward’s daughter doesn’t consider the idea. “I’ve never been back,” Merritt said, who was recently living in nearby Frankford. “I’ve heard there’s still a lot of racism. Once you get on the other side of Aramingo. If you talk to regular people they call it ‘the other side.’ Why would I walk over there? I wouldn’t consider it for a place to live.” Maybe she’s right. “I got 15 of them flags,” Warren said. “So when that flag starts to get oxidized, and can’t be red, I’ll put another one up.” The future for the recently engaged Roberts and McLaughlin is clear. “I won’t raise my kids there,” Roberts said. “How could I expose them to that?” •
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The Spirit of the Riverwards – November 30, 2016 WRITTEN BY JORDYN CORDNER
Development News F I N D O U T W H AT ’ S B E I N G B U I LT O N Y O U R B L O C K
1638-1640 N. 2nd St./Google Maps
According to Naked Philly, new construction on two four-story buildings has popped up at 1638 and 1640 N. 2nd Street on previously vacant properties. Permits state that the project is mixed-use; the spaces will feature downstairs retail space with two upstairs apartments. On Philip Street, two similar structures are taking shape. Upon inspection of the L&I map, Naked Philly noticed another project nearby. In vacant parcels up the block, three new townhomes by different developers are allegedly in the works with variances granted this year by the ZBA. Olde Richmond The first phase of Fishtown Court, located at 2515 E. Albert Street, is underway. The project, developed by BMK Homes, involves replacing an old warehouse with ten new homes. The project is almost finished, with Naked Philly reporting that “all five of the homes on Livingston Street are under agreement at prices up to $375K. The second phase of homes fronting Belgrade Street are now under construction.” An eleven home project at 2640 E. Huntingdon Street is under construction. Previously the site of a nightclub and before that, a church, the property is now being replaced by framework for two homes. The homes will include basements and Naked Philly speculates that they will sell at a higher price point than the aforementioned Fishtown Court properties. A new bar will be replacing Yesterday's Tavern at 2448 E. Huntingdon Street. According to Philly.com, the bar is called Pineville Tavern and will serve "elevated tavern fare" geared at a wide demographic. Naked Philly calls it “a welcome step up from the Arby’s across the street.” • Letter to the Editor
2448 E. Huntington St./Google Maps
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John Taylor has been the State Representative of District 177 since 1984. Through this position, he has attempted to achieve many great feats, all focused on improving various aspects of our state. Whether it has been through education initiatives, seminars and conversation against the abuse of prescription drugs, legislation for increasing private investment, or gun control, Taylor has worked for decades to promote the wellbeing of the citizens of our state. Regarding gun control, Representative Taylor has proposed many bills restricting gun ownership that have made Pennsylvania safer. The penalty for carrying an illegal gun now results in a mandatory minimum of two years because of House Bill 1091, the representative’s own creation. Additionally, the loophole that allowed illegal gun buyers from facing mandatory sentences was terminated thanks to his support. In terms of gun control, Pennsylvania is a relatively safe state. In Pennsylvania, a felony or an unsound mind is enough to keep someone from purchasing a gun. However, we feel that the safest course of action is an assault weapons ban as well as background checks to make sure the weapons do not fall into the wrong hands. Considering the many gaps present in our system, the events that occurred in previous years in Orlando or Sandy Hook could happen in our state. Now, more than ever, we need to regulate gun sales to make sure that we are not next. In our state, there is no form of registration or permit necessary in order to buy a gun. Background checks are not required when buying from private vendors and assault weapons aren’t even discouraged, let alone prohibited. Furthermore, the state ordinance forbids municipalities from taking matters into their own hands regarding gun control. If proper regulation is going to happen in Pennsylvania, it must come from Harrisburg. We think this should be different, especially in a polarized state like ours. Because municipalities cannot create their own gun restrictions, heavily democratic counties like Philadelphia are drowned out by the prevailing opinions of the surrounding counties and, therefore, no gun limitations can be created, even at the district level. In summation, we believe our gun control legislation still needs many improvements, especially tougher background checks, an assault weapons ban, and, at least, the permission for municipalities to decide on their own. - Dorina Domi, Denis Profka and Yun Su
The Spirit of the Riverwards – November 30, 2016 WRITTEN BY GIANNA FARRELL
Urban Birding H O U S E S PA R R O W S T H E S Y N A N T H R O P E S
o to any park in the Riverwards, walk down any sidewalk, stop by any tree and you will hear the familiar chirping of the house sparrow. In fact, go anywhere in the world and you most likely will hear the chirping of the House Sparrow. Love them or hate them, those stinkers are everywhere and they are hearty beasts—here to stay. I can hear them now, chirping away both in my backyard at my feeder and in my front yard scrounging for beetles. I don’t mind them, although they are technically an invasive species. The first House Sparrows were introduced to the United States in 1851. There were 8 male/female pairs and they were released to control the Linden Moth population in Brooklyn. By the year 1900, House Sparrows had made it to the Rocky Mountains. If that’s not an American success story, I don’t know what is. Some birders will destroy their nests - squashing their eggs and breaking nestlings necks - because they are bullies, pushing native birds, like the Eastern Bluebird, out of their nests and taking over their habitat. House sparrows were only able to invade because humans brought them here. Like pigeons and starlings — other ubiquitous city-birds — they are both non-native and are synanthropes. A synanthrope is a wild animal or plant that benefits from the habitats that humans have created. When I think of the damage that we have inflicted on the natural world, I have to smile at synanthropes—plucky rascals—they are true opportunists. Synanthropes are the embodiment of the American Dream in animal form, pulling themselves up by their imaginary tiny bootstraps and taking over. “Raze this forest and build a skyscraper”, the sparrow dares developers, “I will nest in the highest eaves and I will survive. I will feast on your pizza crusts and your pretzel bites. I will line my nest with your cigarette butts. My children, too, will survive, for they are small and mighty and I will attend to them amidst the urban din.” In her book, “The Genius of Birds”, Diane Ackerman explains that city sparrows do, in fact, line their nests with cigarette butts because the cigarette butts contain large amounts of nicotine and pesticides, they function as a parasite repellent. I can’t help but admire their ingenuity. Sparrows live everywhere we do. I’ve seen them in the desert and in the forests. They are Manifest Destiny in bird form — immigrants hell bent on survival pushing onward and upward, destroying those in their way, all the while propagating the species. The thing is, if they were humans, I could hate them, invasive-killers that they are, but who can hate a sparrow? They have no agenda in the same way that humans do, they just have a will to live. They aren’t spiteful, just resourceful. You will know sparrows by both their appearance and their behavior. They are tiny, sassy things, willful and full of spunk. Sparrows are technically old-world finches with heavy beaks, built for crunching things open. They have streaky brown feathers, males have a black bill, black mask, and black feathers on their chest. They are small and chubbier than native sparrows. Females are duller than males with yellow bills and an eyestripe. Both sexes have grey bellies. They are not afraid of humans and will likely approach you in the park if you are eating. Don’t be scared, remember, they are synanthropes and only here because we are. • Photos by Gianna Farrell
The Spirit of the Riverwards – November 30, 2016
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WRITTEN BY CASEY ANN BECK
clean plate A RECIPE FOR BAKED BRIE WITH FIG TOPPING
he last few weeks of the calendar year are a whirlwind of holiday events. So much so that I can’t seem to keep track. Between office parties, family gatherings and surprise visitors, there’s always something to celebrate and someone to celebrate with. For the next month, you’ll be questioning what to bring to the table for these end-of-year celebrations. And though some hosts and hostesses will have a solid request for their parties, many will say they are set with their menu plans. Instead of showing up with a bottle of wine and a Whitman sampler, bring a dish that will impress other party-goers but won’t show up the main course. This recipe for gooey, creamy, melted cheese with a warm fruit topping is irresistible. Once you make it, you’ll never have to ask “What can I bring?” again.
Baked Brie with Fig Topping 12 oz. wheel of brie 1 cup water ½ cup brown sugar ½ cup white sugar ¾ cup dried figs, chopped ¼ cup golden raisins 3 tablespoons cognac (optional) 2-3” pieces of orange peel ½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped 2 sprigs fresh rosemary Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place wheel of brie on a small baking sheet or oven-safe serving dish. In a small saucepan, whisk water and sugars over medium-low heat until sugars are dissolved. Bring liquid to a simmer. Stir in dried fruit, cognac, orange peel, nuts and rosemary. Bring to a simmer and cook for approximately 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Bake brie for 10 to 12 minutes, until top is puffy. Remove and top with fruit topping. Bake for another 3 minutes. Serve warm with bread or crackers. •
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The Spirit of the Riverwards – November 30, 2016
ant to get rich in real estate? What if I told you all you have to do is wait until toxic factories close and then sell houses nearby? It’s that simple. Skip the CD-ROM starter kit, the classes and the seersucker suit. And don’t feel queasy about it. Courts and the state support you 100 percent. 80 properties in zip code 19122 have undergone local and government-funded cleanups as part of the state’s Environmental Cleanups and Brownfields program. A 2010 study by sociologist Diane Sicotte puts Kensington fourth on a list of the region’s most polluted areas. But Kensington differs from the areas that outrank it on the list like Camden City and Falls Township in that home values here have consistently gone up since the 1990s. Median home value in 19122 increased from an average of around $55,000 in 2000 to around $130,000 in 2014. Math by research firm Boxwood Means shows that about $21 million in real estate changes hands each year in this zip code. Maybe homebuyers care less about their health now than before. Or maybe area-specific toxicity information is hard to get and people don’t have it. Maybe they don’t know they should have it. The former Sovereign Oil site near Berks and American Streets became one of the highest profile local environmental stories of Philly in the 1990s: a good test case for figuring out what information is available to the public regarding such cleanups and how easily the public can get that information. Sovereign produced cleaning products and stored antifreeze and motor oil at the site. A Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge shut the facility down after it caught fire several times. 400 gallons of petroleum also spilled under circumstances later described as “highly suspicious” by a state inspector. The spill went unattended for at least one day. A 100 sq. ft. area near the facility’s loading dock was covered with “hardened, slightly sticky spill” at a depth of between two and four inches. Several crushed containers labeled “polyisobutylene” lay nearby. After Sovereign closed, another inspector reported that four inches of red oil had collected on a pump room floor. Four feet of “what appears to be motor oil” had gathered on the floor in another room. In view of the press, a fire captain drove a pole into the dirt on site by hand to show that chemicals had liquefied nearby soil to a depth of at least six feet. Ed Rendell worked for a law firm that represented Sovereign before he became Philadelphia’s mayor in 1992, according to his correspondence with the state. His administration largely avoided the affair. The plant lay vacant for years and conditions worsened. Oily soil washout made American Street slick during heavy rains. The US Coast Guard got involved once toxins passed off the site through the sewer system and into the Delaware River. Sovereign’s owners claimed they couldn’t afford to clean the site and applied unsuccessfully for bankruptcy. City Council recommended prosecution by the Attorney General and the Department of Environmental Protection. Neither took action. The City ultimately bought the property itself and demolished the buildings on site. They did a $4 million cleanup and then sold it. A 1998 City ordinance that documents how that all happened is on file at the Philadelphia Zoning Archive. But the specific section with details about the cleanup is missing. Philadelphia’s Law Department had delayed its response to Spirit News’ request for those cleanup plans twice when this article printed, citing “[b]ona fide staffing limitations” and other issues. The Department also must ensure that law requires them to release the information. Geologist Anthony Sauder and environmental consulting firm Pennoni Associates worked on the Sovereign cleanup. Neither responded to requests for related documents.
Map of 80 properties in zip code 19122 registered with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Environmental Cleanups & Brownfields Program. Source: <http://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/eFACTSWeb/criteria_site. aspx>. Sauder, however, wrote an article about the project in a journal called Environmental Permitting and Regulation, now defunct. Colorado Mesa University supplied this article for Spirit News’ report. Remediators scooped out more than 40,000 gallons of contaminated sludge and water and 900 cubic feet of contaminated soil, Sauder writes. Debate persisted over whether “disturbed soils could remain on site and be covered.” Project supervisors concluded it would be: “economical if the [remaining] product-saturated soils remained in place and would only be removed where they directly impacted construction… The entire site would be covered with either asphalt in the parking area or a concrete floor slab under the proposed building.” Hence, the concrete beach visible today at the base of the food distribution warehouse, which replaced Sovereign’s operation after the cleanup. The new owners initially filed no paperwork about the cleanup when they bought the property. State regulators threatened to revoke deal-sweetening public payouts until they did so. Pennsylvania law requires that developers in these situations send site cleanup reports to both local governments and the state. Though the City didn’t have Sovereign’s report immediately available, the state did. Spirit News got it from the Norristown office of the Department of Environmental Protection, along with other related documents. According to that report, soil at the intersection of 3rd and Berks Streets has, in the, past registered higher levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than anywhere else at the former Sovereign site. A “VOC” can be any of about 70 chemicals, many of which prove dangerous to human health in the short and long terms, primarily through inhalation. We rented a handheld VOC testing device and conducted our own amateur tests of surface-level soil on public land around the site. Results showed VOC levels close to the state-mandated limit for residential use near the intersection of 3rd and Berks Streets. A full report on these
tests is available with the online version of this report. We could find no evidence of further monitoring at Sovereign after 2002. The Delaware River Basin Commission in 2006 reported known carcinogens at the site. Don’t expect to hear much about contamination from the private sector either. Private land sellers in Pennsylvania must disclose “material defects” at a given property before sale. But law requires no additional “investigation or inquiry in an effort to complete the property disclosure statement,” according to the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission. So the more you know about the land you sell, the more risk you take when you sell it. Knowledge of contamination can only increase your legal liability as a seller. Example: ADK Development built and sold homes at Port Richmond Gate near 2600 Tioga Street in the early 2000s. ReMax Millennium brokered many of the sales. Homebuyers sued these firms, claiming they knowingly hid evidence of soil toxicity. The homeowners normally wouldn’t have had much of a case, but ADK had hired consultants to test site soil toxicity before construction. According to the legal complaint, consultants found carcinogens in soil one to two feet down. Soil at that depth contained bits of “railroad tracks, metal and slag.” Beneath that: “depending on the location from 3 – 10 feet below the surface was incinerator ash... [T]he ash consisted inter alia of bottles, broken china, small pieces of household furniture, small pieces of metal, unburned floor tile bricks and other types of common household items that had been incinerated in the past.” State soil tests at the site later showed arsenic levels up to 168-times the legal limit for residential construction and lead levels up to 39-times the limit. A court appraisal showed that ADK cost homebuyers millions in lost property value by hiding evidence of this contamination. It’s not just that disclosure rules in this area are lax. If the Sovereign and ADK cases show anything about courts’ attitudes on these issues, it doesn’t much matter whether land sellers follow these lax rules or not. ADK applied for bankruptcy. But the attorney assigned to handle their request claimed their “insolvency resulted from [the] improper siphoning of funds” after Port Richmond Gate’s construction was completed and they had transferred “all profits from the development site” elsewhere. Six years later, the state’s case against ADK recently reached an appeals court. • Check your address on the federal “Cleanups in My Community” site at <https://www.epa.gov/cleanups/ cleanups-my-community> and the state’s eFacts site at <http://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/eFACTSWeb/criteria_site. aspx> for information about nearby environmental cleanups.
Food distribution warehouse at the former Sovereign site./Kristi Petrillo
The Spirit of the Riverwards – November 30, 2016
CALENDAR N E W S @ S P I R I T N E W S . O R G • 1 4 2 8 E . S U S Q U E H A N N A AV E • 2 1 5 . 4 2 3 . 6 2 4 6
meet ing s NKCDC OPEN OFFICE HOURS NKCDC is hosting open office hours in the 19134 zip code at two locations. They will be at the Firm Hope Baptist Church on Tulip and Auburn Streets every second Wednesday of the month from 4-7PM. They will assist you with signing up for benefits like SNAP, connecting to housing counselors for any housing needs, rent and property tax rebates, food referrals, health insurance and safety or quality of life issues in your community. For further information contact Tess at tdonie@NKCDC. org or 215-427-0350 x 139. AL-ANON AT HOLY NAME CHURCH HALL Meetings are held every Monday night from 7-8PM at Holy Name Church Hall at 701 Gaul Street. Anything shared at a meeting stays there and everyone is welcome to attend. Al-Anon meetings are free, anonymous and confidential. Tuesday, December 6, 7PM FNA ZONING MEETING This meeting will take place at the Fishtown Rec Center, 1202 E Montgomery Ave. All residents and business owners in Fishtown are eligible to vote. Please bring proof of residence or business ownership in the form of a driver’s license or a photo id and a lease, utility bill, or recent piece of mail addressed to your home or business. 2208-12 E Fletcher St; Proposal to redraw property lines to create three lots from two existing lots. 957-63 Frankford Ave; Proposal for the partial demolition of an existing structure, construction of a roof deck and mezzanine, and use of property for a sit-down restaurant and for general industrial. 1220 Frankford Ave; Proposal for a rooftop pool with overhang. NETWORKING MEETINGS Philadelphia Mastermind Group – Every Friday, 8-9:30AM, B2B Networking at Front Street Café (1253 N Front St.) HAPCO/DIG/GPAR – 2nd Thursday of the Month, 12:001:30PM. Lunch & Learn, real estate meetup at the Greater Philadelphia Association of realtors (341 North Delaware Avenue, Suite 200) DIG/HAPCO – 3rd Wednesday of the Month, 6:30-8:30PM. Philly Riverwards Sub-Group, Diversified Investors Groups meet up at Front Street Café (1253 N Front St.) For more information contact Joe Scorese 215-290-5108 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
events Thursday, December 1, 4PM-6PM ARTIST RECEPTION: ROB POLIDORO Celebrate the work of reCreate Featured Artist of December, Rob Polidoro! Rob uses reclaimed materials from The Resource Exchange in his paintings. Join him at the re on Thursday, December 1st for a reception in our reCreate Gallery! Will take place at The Resource Exchange (1701 N. 2nd St.). More information about the artist on our website: http:// www.theresourceexchange.org/create/recreate-artists/joseph-polidoro/ Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/ events/325211254532646/ (IMAGE: see "Two Waterslides in Confrontation") Saturday, December 3rd, 8AM to 1PM PATIENT APPRECIATION DAY AT ALLEGHENY FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC CENTER All services provided will be offered “FREE” in exchange for non-perishable food items and/or new toys to be donated to benefit those in need within our community. Santa arrives at 10 am! All new patients are by appointment only! Call today to reserve your spot at (215) 425-1110. Saturday, December 3rd, 2PM-5PM COMMAND + V A Matisse-Cutout and Collage Workshop with Rob Polidoro reCreate Featured Artist, Rob Polidoro, will lead participants in using reclaimed art materials to learn about Matisse-Cutouts. In the post-postmodern world we live in, where digital images can be copied and pasted to infinity like an endless collage, how can we intervene and bring
the human hand back into our lives? By investigating Matisse’s cutouts, we can ourselves expand our artistic practices and breathe new life into our artistic consciousness. Will take place at The Resource Exchange (1701 N. 2nd St.). Details and RSVP information on our website: http://www. theresourceexchange.org/workshops/command-v-a-matisse-cutout-and-collage-workshop/. Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1794949807451601/ (IMAGE: see "matissecutoutworkshop") Saturday, December 3, 10AM–3PM WINTER CSA BEGINS & FARMSTAND Share pick up is at Greensgrow Farms on Saturdays from 10am–3pm alongside our farmstands. Eat local and support local farmers and producers, reduce your carbon footprint, and enjoy the bounty of our region from December to April. Greensgrow meets with our region’s finest farmers and producers to plan our biweekly winter shares, that unlike other CSAs, include vegetables, fruits, a dairy or vegetable protein choice as well as fun items like honey, cider or preserves. We offer meat, veggie and vegan option. We offer additional shares like locally roasted coffee and artisan cheese shares too! Deadline to sign up for first share November 26. Sign up and info: http://greensgrow.csasignup.com/ members/types Friday, December 2, 7PM COACH BAG BINGO The Sons of Italy in Port Richmond (2537 E. Monmouth St) is having a Coach Bag Bingo on Friday Dec 2 at 7pm. Tickets are $30. Saturday, December 3, 10AM - 2PM CRAFT SHOW At Grace Church and the Incarnation (Edgemont & Venango Streets). Vendors Needed, $25 a Space. Bring Your Own Table. Call Ken Paul to Reserve 215-380-9783 Saturday, December 3, 11AM - 8PM HOLY NAME OF JESUS CHRISTMAS BAZAAR Holy Name (701 Gaul St.) will hold its Christmas Bazaar from 11AM - 8PM. The event will include baskets, food, chance wheels, and crafts for children. Come and enjoy the day with us. Tuesday, December 6, 7PM-8:30PM KENSINGTON COMMUNITY FOOD CO-OP HOSTS BOOK LAUNCH Join us as we welcome Anthony Flaccavento and the launch of his newest book Building a Healthy Economy from the Bottom Up. Let's talk about sustainability, community development, strong towns, local prosperity, and a newer way of living for each other. (2670 Coral Street, Phila.). This event is free. Saturday, December 10, 2016, 1PM - 3PM CHRISTMAS PENNY PARTY First Presbyterian Church (Kensington, 418 E. Girard Ave) will be hosting a Christmas Penny Party from 1-3PM. There will be fun, food, and prizes. Admission is $5 and includes one strip of tickets. Saturday, December 10, 4PM CHRISTMAS CAROLING AND COOKIES Come attend our 2nd annual Community Sing followed by cookies and refreshments. All are welcome. Saint Michael's Russian Orthodox Church, 4th & Fairmount in Northern Liberties. Questions? Please call 215-627-6148 or email email@example.com. Saturday, December 10, 9AM-5PM FIRST ANNUAL ST. NICHOLAS CRAFT FAIR/BAZAAR At Atonement Lutheran Church (1542 E. Montgomery Ave.). Handmade Gifts, Silent Auction, Baked Goods, Holiday Decor, Crafts, Raffles, Flea Market Finds, Kids Secret Santa Shopping, Food and Drinks. Vendors wanted, $25.00 table For more information call 215-866-7133 Saturday, December 10, 10AM-2PM ST. MICHAEL’S CHURCH CHRISTMAS BAZAAR St. Michael’s Church (Trenton Ave & Cumberland St.) will be having their Christmas Bazaar on Saturday, December 10, from 10 AM until 2 PM. Mark your calendars for a visit
with Santa, shopping at all the “goodie” tables that will be available, including those for baked goods, Santa’s Workshop, Tombola Table, raffles, and much more. The Parish Hall will offer homemade food. Plan to stay for one of our favorite lunch specials or homemade soup and dessert. We are asking those who join us to bring a canned good to support St. Michael’s Food Pantry. Call 215-423-0792 to reach the church. Sunday, December 11, 2PM to 4PM COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS LUNCH Join FACT, FNA and Sugar House Casino as we celebrate the Holiday Season at Holy Name of Jesus Church. Lunch, Santa & Mrs. Claus, holiday music and great neighbors! This is a FREE event. We will also be collecting items for Christmas for our Vets (socks, scarves, puzzle books, personal care items) and toys for the 26th Police District Toy Drive. Saturday and Sunday, December 3 & 4, 10 & 11, 10AM– 12PM MAKE & TAKE ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS @ GREENSGROW Stop by the craft table to make something fun to take home. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Appropriate for 12 and under. Saturday and Sunday, December 3 & 4, 10 & 11 • 10AM– 4PM GREENSGROW FARMS HOLIDAY BAZAAR Shop local, support local artists! Looking for local, handmade gift ideas from some of the neighborhood’s most talented crafters and artists? Make a dent in your Christmas shopping at the Greensgrow Holiday Bazaar! This is a festive neighborhood favorite, get your tree or holiday greens and check out all of the cool wares our elves have made. We’ll have a range of fine art, crafts and gifts; jewelry, ceramics, wood working, accessories, green gifts, bath/ body, Greensgrow made edible and growing gifts, and lots more. There are different artists each day of the event. Check out the photo gallery from last year’s event here. The farm will be bursting with evergreen swags, holiday trees, and more for your winter décor. Our trees range in size from tabletop to tall. We have great gift items like rosemary bushes, dwarf Alberta Spruce, mini-evergreens, and winter flowering plants like cyclamens, amaryllis, Christmas cactus and paperwhite bulbs. For more: greensgrow.org/holidaybazaar Location: Greensgrow Farms, 2501 East Cumberland Street 3rd and 4th of Every Month, 6:30PM-8:30PM WOMEN’S SELF DEFENSE CLASSES Fishtown Recreation Center is hosting a Women’s Self Defense class 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM on the 3rd and 4th Tuesdays of each month for $10 per class starting 11/15/16. You can register in person at the Rec on weekdays 2:00 PM to 9:00 PM or on Saturdays 9:00 PM to 12:00 noon. Last Tuesday of every month, 7PM SPIRITUAL INQUEERY A safe space to explore and study the intersection of faith and sexuality for LGBTQIA+ Christians and Inquirers. Come share, listen, learn, and find community support in navigating the trials and tribulations of this life. We meet on the last Tuesday of every month at 1542 E. Montgomery Ave.
St. Michael’s Church located at Trenton Avenue & Cumberland Street, Phila., PA 19125, is so thankful to have received the large donation of canned goods to our Food Pantry last Saturday (11/19) from the Boy Scouts Food Drive they had throughout the neighborhoods. Our program provides food bags that are distributed to many families weekly and the service for St. Michael’s to the community is welcomed by many new and old residents throughout Fishtown, Kensington and Port Richmond. Thank you again for this donation it means a great deal to us and those we serve. Respectfully, Pat Walder Food Pantry Coordinator
The Spirit of the Riverwards – November 30, 2016 Wednesdays, 6 to 7PM WEDNESDAY EVENING CLEAN-UPS IN EAST KENSINGTON At Huntingdon Emerald (Huntingdon & Emerald) and Arcadia Commons (Kern Street, Mid-Block). Join us each Wednesday evening for clean ups at two of our beloved neighborhood parks! Help keep our green spaces beautiful by supporting Arcadia Commons. Monthly board meetings, open to the public, take place on the third Thursday of each month at 2614 Amber Street. Wednesdays, 6-7:30PM FALL NIGHTS IN THE MEADOWS Have you joined us in The Meadows? Since last month, The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center has been hosting free arts programming every Wednesday, 6-7:30PM, in our pop up park across the street from the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center (1400 N American St. #103). Check out the lineup: November 30: The Meadows Closing Party Thursdays POWERS PARKS FARMER’S MARKET Come attend the Farmers’ Market on Thursdays from 3-7PM at Powers Park (Ann & Almond Streets). Fresh food available from local farms and kitchens. More information (vendors, etc.) is available on the Powers Park Conservancy Facebook page. Sundays, 12-4PM AMALGAM ADVENTURER’S LEAGUE Adventurers! Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse is now hosting Adventurers' League play on Sundays from noon to 4PM. Bring your level 1 character, or just yourself and our DM will have pre-gens, and join us as we begin the new season of Storm King's Thunder with the Great Upheaval adventure. New and experienced players welcome! Every Sunday morning, 10AM LET THE CHILDREN COME Progressive, child-led Christian education for children ages 3-13. Storytelling (with ample time for wondering) with a focus on processing through art. All children and families welcome, regardless of religious affiliation. At Atonement Lutheran Church, 1542 E. Montgomery Ave.
children SIXERS NEIGHBORHOOD BASKETBALL LEAGUE Hancock Rec has more openings for players in their SNBL league held at Moffett Elementary School. For more information please contact Coach Larry @215-685-9877, or come to Moffet to register on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4-6PM. FISHTOWN LIBRARY Tuesdays: Toddler Storytime: Join Miss Dana for stories, songs, and silliness! Tuesdays @ 10:30AM. For ages 0-3 ½ . Runs through November 15 Wednesday PRESCHOOL STORYTIME AT RICHMOND LIBRARY This program is intended for children ages 1-4 and their caregiver. Siblings are always welcome. Daycares should call for separate appointments. Richmond Branch of the Free Library, 2987 Almond Street. For further information call 215-685-9992. December 27, 28, and 29th, 8:30AM - 3:30PM NOLIBS WINTER CAMP REGISTRATION Science, Art, Cooking, and Museums. Payment is Due by December 15th Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register
seniors EXERCISE CLASSES FOR PEOPLE AGES 50+ Stay Healthy and Active with a variety of exercise classes at St. Anne’s Senior Center. Latin Rhythm on Mondays at 10:00am; Chair Yoga on Tuesdays at 9:30AM (excluding the 2nd Tuesday of each month;) Tai Chi on Wednesdays at 10:00AM; EnhanceFitness on Thursdays and Fridays at 10:30AM; St. Anne’s Senior Center (2607 E. Cumberland St.) For more info call 215-426-9799 CREATIVE ART CLASSES FOR PEOPLE 50+ The Clay Creations class meets weekly on Friday afternoons from 12:30 – 2:00pm. Learn about the art of hand building to create spectacular pots and other clay forms. Creating with the Color Wheel on Tuesday afternoons from 12:30- 2:00PM. Participants will mix paint to create a color wheel and use this technique to create colorful paintings and eye-catching designs. Registration and material fees will be charged for these workshops. St. Anne’s Senior Center (2607 E. Cumberland St.)
For more info call 215-426-9799 BINGO St. Anne’s Senior Community Center has bingo on Monday and Thursday afternoons. Bingo supplies are on sale starting at 11:00AM. Lunch will begin at 11:30AM. Bingo will begin at 12:30PM. Please make your meal reservation in advance to dine with us. Free parking is available. CCT Transportation is offered to members who are 65 years of age or older. St. Anne’s Senior Center (2607 E. Cumberland St.) For more info call 215-426-9799 NUTRITION ASSISTANCE FOR SENIORS Did you know that if you are age 60 or older, or disabled and have low to modest income that you may be eligible for SNAP benefits? Snap is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps) and can provide assistance with purchase of groceries. If you are single and your income is less than $1962/month, or less than $2656/ month for a couple, you may qualify. There is no limit on how much a senior has in savings and checking accounts. Don’t miss out on this important benefit for which you may be eligible! For assistance in completing an application, contact the Social Service Coordinator at St. Anne’s Senior Center 215426-9799. Sundays SUNDAY BINGO St. Anne Church will host bingo on Sundays in the Social Hall, Memphis and Tucker streets. Doors open at 4PM; bingo starts at 6PM. Cost is $12. Call 215-739-4590 for more details. Fridays ART WORKSHOP FOR SENIORS St. Anne’s Senior Center, 2607 E. Cumberland St., is offering an art workshop for people age 50 and older. “Clay Creations” will meet weekly on Fridays, from 12:30-2 PM Participants will learn about the art of hand building to create pots and other clay forms. Those interested should register in advance. For more details call 215-426-9799. SENIOR EXERCISE CLASSES Exercise classes for people 50 and older will be offered at St. Anne’s Senior Center, 2607 E. Cumberland St. Class schedule will be Enhance Fitness on Mondays and Thursdays at 9:30 AM, Chair Yoga on Tuesdays at 9:30AM, Tai Chi on Wednesdays at 10AM, and Line Dancing on the first and third Friday of every month. For more information call 215-426-9799.
faith Wednesdays FIRST PRESBYTERIAN BIBLE STUDY GROUP A Bible study group meets at First Presbyterian Church, 418 E. Girard Ave at 7PM . Come and bring a friend for informative, exciting and lively open discussions. As always, everyone is welcome. Thursdays ST. ANNE WEEKLY NOVENA St. Anne weekly Novena Thursday evening service, 7PM Church of Saint Anne, Memphis St. and Lehigh Ave. Tuesdays PRAYER MINISTRY First Emmanuel Prayer Partners Church, 711 W. Girard Ave. Prayer Ministry is looking for Prayer Partners. Everyone is Welcome to come pray with us. For further information call 215-456-9974.
sign ups Wednesdays, 7PM ST. ANNE’S CHURCH CHOIR St. Anne’s Church Choir is back with a new director, April Anderson, and assistant director, Rich Burns. We’ll be rehearsing on Wednesday evenings at 7PM at St. Anne’s Church (Lehigh and Memphis). Former director Nick Pignataro will return to conduct St. Anne’s Annual Christmas Concert later this year. All are welcome to come and sing. Call 215-426-8422 for more information. GIRL SCOUT TROOP AT GLAVIN PLAYGROUND Welcomes New Members. Meetings will start week of Sept. 19 at Glavin Playground (2600 E Westmoreland St.) with breakdown of age level meetings as follows: Brownies – 1st – 3rd Grade – 6:45 – 8:00 – Monday Nights; Daisies – K – 1st Grade – 6:05 – 7:00 – Tuesday Nights; Old-
Page 13 er girls – 6th – 12th Grade - 7:00 – 8-00 – Tuesday nights; Juniors – 4th – 6th Grade – 6:45 – 8:00 – Wednesday nights. Information about registration and the troop management will be available from the troop leader at the meetings. COHOCKSINK PLAYGROUND (2901 CEDAR ST.) Zumba is on tuesday nights from 7:30-8:30 with Ms. Jamie. Only $5 a class. Yoga is on Wednesday nights from 7:15-8:15 with Ms. Amanda. Only $5 a class. Both classes are held at Cohocksink Playground, 2901 Cedar St. Our phone number is 215-685-9884 BRIDESBURG REC CENTER (4625 RICHMOND ST) Zumba – Classes are Mondays and Thursdays from 7-8PM, and the cost is $4. Pre-school — 3-year-olds. Thursday and Friday, noon2:40PM Pre K — 4-year-olds, age as of September 1, 2016. 8:5011:30AM or noon-2:40PM Monday and Wednesday. Food Pantry - Please donate nonperishable food and clothing for needy in the neighborhood. Drop off donations at the Rec weekdays from 9AM-9PM. Scrapbooking – Scrapbooking group meets on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-9:30PM. The cost is $5 per class and everything will be supplied except a book and photos. Ladies Bowling League — Tuesday mornings at 9AM @ Erie Lanes. Interested? Come an join us any Tuesday. For more information call Miss Jackie at 215-685-1247. CIONE SIGNUPS Zumba: Fridays 7:30 to 830PM. Cost is $5 per class. Chess: Thursday from 6:30 to 8pm and Saturday 12 to 1:30PM. No cost. All ages. All Skill Levels. Arts & Crafts: Saturdays 12 to 1:30PM. Ages 5 to 12. Tot Recreation: Still have openings. Must be at least 3 1/2 years of age. Call 215-685-9950. Leave name and number and teachers will get back to you. TOT SOCCER SIGNUPS Sign up now for Tigers Tot Soccer. Girls and boys ages 3 ½ to 6. The season will begin soon, so sign up now at the Tigers’ clubhouse (2423 E. Ann St.) Also, t-ball pictures are in, please pick them up! For more info, call Tom Mack (215-275-8838) FREE ENGLISH & CITIZENSHIP CLASSES Can you or someone you know benefit from English as a Second Language (ESL) or Test for Citizenship Classes? The Richmond Library at 2987 Almond St. presents free English and citizenship classes. Tuesday and Thursdays from 6-7:30PM at the Richmond Library. For more information, call the Library at 215-685-9992. WALKING CLUB The Playgrounds and Rec Centers in Parks and Recreation District 2 are starting a Walking Club. Exercise as you wait at your child’s program. There is no cost to sign up, and the first 100 participants get a free t-shirt. Stop in and sign up at the Bridesburg Rec Center at 4601 Richmond St. For more information and to register, call the Center at 215-685-1247.
26th District Seeking Donations for Children’s Christmas Party The holidays are fast approaching and we are requesting donations to make our annual Holiday Gift Drive a success. Last year, due to kindness of donors, the 26th Police District was able to reach more than 200 children in our community through our annual gift drive. This year, we hope to exceed that amount and brighten the lives of many more children. As in the past, we hope to provide low income school aged children with toys during the holiday season. This year, our annual event will take place on December, 15th between the hours 11AM and 2PM at the Cardinal Bevilacqua Community Center (2646 Kensington Ave.). On the day of the event, the 26th Police District Officers along with the School Crossing Guards volunteer to provide a holiday party for children. Also, Santa and various special guests pay the children a very special visit during the festivities. Please let us know at your earliest convenience if you are able to partner with us on this event. Our event is to have all donation picked up by December 7th. If you would like further details feel free to contact us at 215-686-3260 or 215-686-3233. Thank you for your support and Happy Holidays!
The Spirit of the Riverwards – November 30, 2016 COMMUNITY
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The Spirit of the Riverwards – November 30, 2016
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The Spirit of the Riverwards – November 30, 2016 WRITTEN BY SHARON ISABEL CURLEY
Spirit Astrology YOUR DOSE OF HYPERLOCAL SPIRITUAL ADVICE
Aries: As usual, I missed out on an art opening I wanted to see this past weekend. There’s a new book store called Ulises and they held a show called “ Body Works”, which is a zine by artist Liz Barr. I really like her art. Although the theme throughout her work is similar, she really gets all over the place with her media. Maybe it’s time for you to switch up your medium? Learn something, play around. Taurus: Sometimes we fall in love with the wrong people. We swear up and down that they’re perfect, and yet they are constantly proving us otherwise. Finding what’s good in someone is not always an easy task, but bad things are revealed and judged so easily. Over the next coming weeks, try letting the good outweigh the bad. Don’t be so judgemental. Find the beauty in someone and let them notice you’ve seen their good side. They’ll pay you back somehow.
houses, I hope someone would make something useful out of one of these empty lots. Leo, you’re full of good ideas, but sometimes you get stuck building the same things in your own empty lots. Would it kill you to build something new? Something that could benefit you or even the world around you? You won’t know unless you try. Virgo: In the Tim Burton classic film, “Batman”, the character of the Joker (played by Jack Nicholson) asks the question, “Ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?” Is your life feeling a little like you’re stuck in a doubly dark place, such as described in that question? There are many ways to correct this. It could be as simple as a walk outside in your favorite sweater. But don’t let yourself stay in a dark place for too long, Virgo. It’s about to be a brutal winter if you choose that path.
Gemini: I recently saw a Facebook post where someone was asking how to copy and paste. My brain immediately jumped to some sort of remark like, “What an idiot”. I felt bad having that thought because there are simple things that I need to ask help for sometimes, too. I used to feel like asking for help was a sign of weakness, but with a little help you can become stronger. Don’t be ashamed of who you are. Be excited for who you will be.
Libra: The Joy Of Cooking is a popular, outdated cookbook where it seems no matter what it is, you bake it at 350 degrees for an hour. There’s no pictures to let you know what your basic meal will or can look like. This is why people have moved to more food images. Philadelphia-based Jenn Friberg has a website “thisfoodlife.com”, where she posts amazing pictures of her recipe creations. If you are feeling bored with your basic joys of life, maybe try a new approach, and make it beautiful and tasty.
Cancer: This First Friday, Transport Cycle on Frankford Avenue will be hosting the release of Megawords issue 23. From storefronts to bars, galleries and now the bike shop, Megawords has been showing up with amazing pictures for many many years. Amongst the hard work these guys put into so many other endeavors, they never give up. Take a lesson from these guys, Cancer. Giving up is easy. Staying in the game is the fun part.
Scorpio: I have an ex that used to make me things all of the time. From a crocheted dress to a song or his home made peanut butter cups, this guy was constantly thinking and giving. I, too, was a giver, as I am a romantic and a people pleaser. Yet, to have someone just thinking of me and making things for me felt incredible. It’s time for you, Scorpio, to start giving to others. See how good you will feel knowing you’ve made someone’s day.
Leo: At this point, I wonder when the Fishtown/Kensington movie theater will appear? Instead of building more
Sagittarius: My friend Alexandra has been working very hard on her art piece for this year’s Art Basel in Miami.
She stares at her screen and watches her beautiful images over and over again until she feels she has perfected them. It may be a hard task, but the results will be epic, as this piece will be featured at 17x12 feet in all it’s glory. A big, beautiful, mesmerizing wall of moving poppies and naked ladies. Don’t get lazy right now, Sagittarius. Keep up your hard work and know that the results will make up for it all. Capricorn: Getting lots of rest recently was probably quite good for you, although you may have felt a little down during it. You work too hard most of the time, and shouldn’t feel guilty if your body needs a little break. Don’t look at it like you’re wasting time, see it as a rebirth. Enjoy the time you need to take care of yourself. When you’re ready to get back to the grind, treat yourself first. Get on over to Danger Salon and let one of those beautiful women cut your hair. Or head to Central Tattoo and get that tattoo you’ve been wanting. Whatever it is you need, Capricorn, you deserve it. Aquarius: The transition between the Jimi Hendrix songs “...And the Gods Made Love” and “Electric Ladyland” is one of my favorite moments in Rock and Roll history. There’s something so smooth and delicate about it. Whatever recent transitions you’re going through ought to be so smooth and delicate. Pull out that record, see what I mean, and follow the sweet soul of Jimi into your next phase. Pisces: Sometimes I get into a perfect little YouTube hole where I get stuck on POV log flumes or long train rides. I do this to stimulate my imagination. It seems the imagination gets darker and harder to charge as we grow older. This is a time for you to figure out what stimulates your imagination. Don’t let your memories get in the way. You can use these Devo lyrics as your guide to start, “Go forward / Move ahead / Try to detect it / It’s not too late.”
Holy Name Of Jesus
Christmas Bazaar Holy Name (701 Gaul St.) will hold its Christmas Bazaar on December 3rd from 11AM - 8PM.
The event will include baskets, food, chance wheels, and crafts for children. Come and enjoy the day with us!
Published on Nov 30, 2016
In this week's issue we look at what it's like being Black in one of Philly's whitest communities, explain how your house may be on a enviro...