Archive for May, 2010

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Another Thing to Love About Summer in Philadelphia

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp. and Victory Brewing have hooked up just in time for Philly Beer Week, with the release of Summer Love Ale. The golden ale will debut on June 4 at local summer drinking spots like P.Y.T., Fork, Chifa, and Standard Tap. We can’t think of a better way to promote the city right now than with a cold brew named Summer Love.

Summer Love Ale

Originally Posted on The Philadelphia Real Estate Blog

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Fly that Old Glory in Port Richmond

Campbell Square

What are your Memorial Day plans on May 31? If you’re in Port Richmond, stop by the Port Richmond Memorial Day Parade. It begins at Thompson Street and Allegheny Avenue at 10 am and will wrap around Port Richmond before ending back at Campbell Square Park for a flag raising ceremony and wreath laying dedication. So before you hit those barbecues or enjoy your day off, take a moment to honor your veterans.

Prior to the parade, all are invited to honor local veteran James Jaskel, who passed away in November 2009, at his grave in St. Peter’s Ceremony at Almond and Venango Streets. The 8:45 am ceremony will give a guard and rifle salute to the US Airforce veteran, who lived on Venango Street.

Grand marshall US Army Sgt. Timothy J. Palka, born and raised on Mercer Street, will appear in the parade. The organizers encourage residents to fly their flags and decorate their homes in red, white and blue.

After the parade, enjoy barbershop chorus the Sounds of Liberty in Campbell Square. A new American flag will be dedicated to the Square. Hot dogs, pretzels. water ice, and cold drinks will be for sale. A Veteran’s Mass will be held on Sunday, May 30 at 11 am at St. George R.C. Church at Salmon and Venango Streets. All are welcome to attend.

Explore more about Life in Port Richmond. Ready to search for Port Richmond properties?


Port Richmond Works! A Neighborhood that deserves a 2nd Look.

What’s up with…Port Richmond

[photo credit: Friends of Campbell Square]

Originally Posted on The Philadelphia Real Estate Blog

Friday, May 28th, 2010

It’s Flea Season in Northern Liberties


Getting ready to move? Unload your unwanted extras and old furniture at the Piazza Flea this summer. The series of flea markets kicks off on May 29 and 30 from noon to 7 pm.

Future flea market dates are June 26-27 . There are also flea markets scheduled for Friday nights at 5 pm, which will coincide with movie nights and live music.

Guarantee your spot now by contacting or calling 215-467-4600 ex. 114. Each 10-‘ by 10’ space comes with a table and costs $100 with advanced payment or $75 for a same day payment (Friday spots are $40-50).

On Saturday, June 5, the flea market frenzy continues at Liberty Lands Park. The Northern Liberties Music Festival will fill the air with Gildon Works, the North Lawrence Midnight Singers, and a full roster of bands, but the sound of savings? That can be heard as well, during the Liberty Lands Flea Market from 9 am – 5 pm. Spaces can be reserved for $15, BYO table, and proceeds will benefit the park and NLNA. Contact or call 215-688-0330.

Get some crisp ones ready and bring home something cool. You’ll feel better.

Originally Posted on The Philadelphia Real Estate Blog

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Turning Around Philadelphia Schools with Mastery Charter


Mastery Charter

Mastery Charter needs your help.

Over the last 9 years, Mastery has run 4 high performing schools grades 7-12, including 3 turnarounds of Philadelphia public schools that were among the lowest performing schools in the city. This past weekend, they were featured in the Inquirer for their achievements, tackling school after low-performing school and getting real results. Mastery followed a college prep model for their high school, pushing students towards a deeper future. Their motto is “Excellence. No excuses.”

So why do they need your help? Brian McLaughlin reveals Mastery’s plans for this fall.

“Mastery will turn around 3 additional schools– all elementary, which will feed our current 7-12 schools. We will grow from serving roughly 2,300 students and families to serving 4,000! I will be the principal of one of those schools, Mastery Charter School – Smedley Elementary, which is located in the Frankford section of Philadelphia.”

Congrats and good luck, Brian! So what’s the trouble?

“We are looking for smart, hard working, and driven teachers who want to be part of a school turnaround team. This work will be challenging, but ultimately will transform the educational trajectory of hundreds and then thousands of children. If you know any teachers or leaders who are looking to be part of this movement in Philadelphia, please refer them to where they can view the positions that are still available and submit an application.”

We know that many of you are or plan on raising children here, or were part of the Philadelphia school system at one point. So here is your chance to get involved or give back. If you studied education or have experience in the industry, a position at Smedley could be of interest. Please take a look at the available positions or pass this on to anyone you know that is looking for a job in this field.

Are you looking for the right school for your child? Call to enroll at one of their current campuses.

Lenfest Campus

35 South 4th street

Philadelphia, Pa 19106

phone: 215.922.1902 


Thomas Campus

927 Johnston Street

Philadelphia, PA 19148

phone: 267.236.0036 


Shoemaker Campus

5301 Media Street

Philadelphia, PA 19131

phone: 267.296.7111


Pickett Campus

5700 Wayne Ave.

Philadelphia, PA 19144

phone: 215.866.9000

[photo credit: Mastery Charter]

Originally Posted on The Philadelphia Real Estate Blog

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Start Planning for Philadelphia 2035

What will Philadelphia 2035 look like? Have your say now at one of the Planning Commission’s public meetings. The first meeting will be held Thursday, May 26 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts from 6 – 8 pm. Each table at the meeting will be responsible for coming up with a nickname for Philadelphia, for starters, and then it’s on to more serious business, like mapping out things like parks and transit stations that will shape the future of Philadelphia. If you’re curious about the planning process or have some input that you’d like to share at the meetings, we urge you to attend.

Other meetings are June 1 at the Please Touch Museum from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm; Esperanza College, Monday, June 7 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm; and Knowlton Mansion, Tuesday, June 8 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Details can be found at

Philadelphia in 2035, we honestly cannot wait to meet you.

Originally Posted on The Philadelphia Real Estate Blog

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Walt Whitman Bridge Gets 4 Years of Repairs

traffic #1Philadelphia’s busiest bridge to New Jersey and certainly its most poetic, the Walt Whitman is up for a $128 million renovation project for the next four years.

While not the most traffic-friendly news that commuters want to hear, the 53-year-old bridge is in need of some re-decking. What will this mean for those that travel daily? Until the makeover is completed, the construction crew will take out one lane of traffic at a time in 2011. Steel decking and asphalt paving will be replaced.

As Walt Whitman once wrote, I accept reality and dare not question it.

Originally Posted on The Philadelphia Real Estate Blog

Monday, May 24th, 2010

My Inner Grinch is Cured at Genesis Nail Salon

The Grinch
I see the world in cartoons so it just makes sense that when I am beaten down and stressed, I feel like the Grinch. You know the Grinch. He’s the pot bellied green guy made infamous by the children’s story book author Dr. Seuss. When I am stressed, I’m about “as cuddly as a cactus…as charming as an eel” and lately, I really think my heart is “2 sizes too small.”

But my inner Grinch was cured by the simple loving kindness of strangers in the secret back room at my neighborhood nail salon. This is not just a silly little story, it is a miraculous recollection of how healing and transformative random kindness can be.

Here is my story:

I really needed a break from the office so I popped into Genesis Nail Salon for a quick manicure and complimentary neck massage. The place was buzzing with customers celebrating spring with pinks, pastels, and candy colored nail polish to match their new lipstick, sundresses, or sling-back sandals… blah blah blah, whatever. Not me. I just wanted an excuse to relax so I chose the appropriate color – BLACK – to match my mood and slunk miserably into a seat to receive my manicure. You see where this is going?

Monica, one of the nail techs, must have noticed my Grinch-like glowing green glumness and in spite of it, invited me to lunch. The Grinch in me strongly disapproved.

“I’d rather eata sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich… with a side of arsenic sauce!” said my inner Grinch.

“Shut-up!” I said inwardly to the growling beast. Hoping only I could hear him.

“Great, I’ll see you Thursday for lunch!” I said to Monica with a half smile on my face.

So the day came when I was to endure lunch. (Inner Grinch talking there.) I contemplated canceling more than several times but decided to go for it.

Korean lunch with Genesis Nail Salon

I arrived at the nail salon for my lunch date feeling weird and out of place. I was not there for a manicure. I was not paying them for a service. It was a social call and the inner Grinch never partakes in social activities. Hellen, the owner of the store, lead me to the secret back room. The room where all of the girls who work at the salon mysteriously disappear to. I have wondered on many occasions what was back there. I knew there was something special, perhaps magical, going on because when they would emerge from the secret back room, they were always smiling, happy, and energized.

To my amazement I saw the secrets hidden in the back room. It was amazing. A banquet of delicacies and other enchanting things. I was quickly ushered to a lone picnic table in the yard, set for one. Me. Monica and Helen dotingly place in front of me a meal made by their very own hands. Authentic Korean recipes that were fresh, aromatic, and delicious. I ate with gusto and with every mouthful my less than adequate sized heart was restored to normal size again. Maybe even a tad bit bigger !

My cure:

Spicy rice finger dumplings

Cellophane noodles with mushroom and carrot shreds

Marinated sliced thin beef with green onion Korean miso soup with cabbage and fish stock

I was cured and touched forever by this random act of kindness. I honestly do not know why they were so nice to me but I am forever grateful.

Thank you Helen and Monica!

Genesis Nail Salon, 984 N. 2nd St., 215-925-4540

Hours: Mon – Wed 10 – 7:30 Thurs – Fri 10 – 9 Sat 10 – 7:30 Sun 10 – 6


Get Your “Me Time” at Genesis Nail Salon in Northern Liberties

Monday, May 24th, 2010

So what happens now in a Post Tax Credit World ?

Recently, we have been enjoying settlement-pack weeks and days with all the deals that went under contract where the buyers qualified for the first time home-buyer tax credit.  It has been an amazing run the first part of this year, but the question now remains what will happen the rest of the year in the Philadelphia Real Estate market as well as nationally ?  And how best to position yourself if you are in the market to buy or sell a home ?

The good news is that it is still the spring market and mortgage rates are at historical lows so there will be that steady demand of purchasers who either did not qualify for the tax credit or for whatever reason, missed it.  The bad news is that so much of the demand was pushed up to the first half of the year.  So now the buyer pool will be much smaller the second half of the year.  So what do you do ?



Buyers – Business as usual.  You have more leverage to get a good purchase price as there is less competition in addition to taking advantage of historically low mortgage rates.

Sellers – Your property MUST stand out amongst the crowd !  Price your property below market value to get your home sold faster as the buyer pool is smaller.  And of course, hire one of the best Internet Marketers in your area as the majority of buyers are finding properties online.

Then there is the national economy with the unemployment rate still hovering around 10 percent and the concerns going on overseas with the debt crisis and the potential fall of the Euro.   Combine that with a potential fall-off of demand raises concerns about the second half of the year, especially the 4th quarter which includes the slower months of November and December.  It is a shame that so much money was spent by the Federal Government on other programs instead of focusing more on housing which is the backbone of our economy.  Even with that, the real estate market in your area will be dependent on local forces and your local economy.  I think we will be walking a tight-rope in Philadelphia, but do believe we will make it out of the woods okay and foresee 2011 being a decent year as the economic recovery continues.

It will be interesting though with all the headwinds and uncertainty.

What are your thoughts ?


Originally Posted on The Philadelphia Real Estate Blog

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

Regional Land Use Program of the Year Goes to…the Piazza at Schmidts

Congrats to the Piazza at Schmidts for being awarded Regional Land Use Program of the Year by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, which celebrated its 9th Annual Celebration of Regional Excellence yesterday. Gloucester City News has a list of the winners.

We view the daily additions and changes that the mixed-use development has brought to the Northern Liberties neighborhood and surrounding areas. What we notice most is the influx of visitors and residents of nearby communities that choose the Piazza for its many events and offerings. It is the location we decided upon for our office, so believe us when we say that every day is an adventure.

Read more of our coverage on the Piazza.

Originally Posted on The Philadelphia Real Estate Blog

Friday, May 21st, 2010

This Weekend is For the Dogs

Pet Adoption

With Super Adoption Day and the Schmidt’s Pet Expo set for this weekend in the Piazza, the pet-set are guaranteed two days of vendors, canine contests, live music, and animal treatment awareness. If you’re considering adopting, this weekend will feature plenty of paws that need you. If you already have a pet, this will be their ultimate playground for the day.

Tie on a PhillyNoKill bracelet for discounts at Northern Liberties businesses (happy hour priced margs at El Camino, 20% off at Jinxed, 20% at Fresh Melt Water, and more). Think your dog is super special or extra talented? Enter him in one of Sunday’s contests for Cutest Puppy, Biggest Dog, Smallest Dog, Best Costume, and Best Trick. Vendors include several rescue centers such as PAWS and PSPCA, Chez Bow Wow and the Chic Petique, the Humane League, and Heather Fowler Photography.

May 22-23 Schedule:

8-9AM Vendor Load-in

9AM The Piazza Market opens

10AM Super Adoption Day Starts

12PM Live Music Starts (The Atomic Square, Tim McGlone, Jaded Son)

2PM Humane Educator of the Year Award Presentation

4-5PM Breakdown and Load Out

4-9PM After-Party at P.Y.T.

Discover more about Life in Northern Liberties. Ready to search for Northern Liberties properties?

Related: Natural Pet Expo in Northern Liberties – Doggy Heaven !

Originally Posted on The Philadelphia Real Estate Blog