Archive for February, 2011

Monday, February 28th, 2011

The Memphis Taproom Goes Mobile


Memphis Taproom

The Foodtruck Craze Coming to Fishtown

The Memphis Taproom in Fishtown has just added a Hot Dog Truck to their arsenal for the upcoming spring season. Alongside the just-popped Beer Garden, owners Brendan Hatranft and Leigh Maida are launching the stationary lorry experiment on April 23, the third anniversary of the restaurant that put Fishtown back on the culinary map. Where they will serve hot dogs and canned beer.

Along with the now-famous fried pickles that recently took a star turn on The Food Network’s Diners, Dives, and Drive-Ins, there will also be a bunch of canned beers to pick from when the weather gets steamy and ultimately unbearable. Considering local favorite Sly Fox Brewing features a line of delicious canned suds, you’ll definitely see some local love in the form of foxy cans. Until then, you’ll have to deal with the Pork Belly Salad or the King Rarebit.


Monday, February 28th, 2011

Spring Designer’s Tip by Busybee Design

mariana-floor-lamp-douglas-fir-mSpring is all about re-connecting with your senses, so stimulate them with whimsy! For the new season, we automatically lean towards bold, energizing colors like turquoise, green, and bright pink. Wake up your room with these vibrant shades in the form of an eye-catching pillow, a striking vase, or a chair in a dazzling pattern or hue. Even the simple switch to a new light fixture can bring in color and also add playful architectural elements.

Another way to brighten up for spring? A new work of art can make you view any room in a new light. Go for something fun like this Papier-Mache Deer with Floral Antlers.

Or try a custom piece from artist Parvez Taj. He can create the print of your dreams and transfer it to bamboo, aluminum, or canvas.


41717_100001381961565_157_n1Wanna talk more about color? Talk to us! For color consults or to purchase these items, please visit Busybee Homestore & Design Center at 734 South Street.

Originally posted on The Philadelphia Real Estate Voice



Saturday, February 26th, 2011

Discovering Francisville

1923parrish25While it’s so easy to refer to homes around the Art Museum section of the city as “the Art Museum area”, we wanted to clear something up.

We have not forgotten Francisville!

We simply use the Art Museum as a point of reference for people who are new to Philadelphia or may not be aware of the smaller, distinctive neighborhoods in the nooks and crannies of Philadelphia (there are oh so many!).

So what exactly defines Francisville, you ask?

One of our readers recently emailed us to  let us know of a listing that is actually in Francisville, which is known as “East of Fairmount, further east of the Art Museum area and north of Spring Garden”.  Boundaries for the neighborhood are Fairmount Avenue to the south, Girard Avenue to the north, Broad Street to the east, and Corinthian Avenue to the west.

We regret the error and fixed our mistake – you can check out the updated listing in Francisville here. We also added a Francisville category to our neighborhood categories.

The Francisville website calls it “Historic. Off the Grid. Unique. Diverse. Walkable”.  It is all of those things and more. The neighborhood could soon be known as a prime destination for green housing, with plans for a LEED-certified housing development in the works. It’s close to some of the city’s best restaurants and coffeeshops (Osteria, Mugshots) and is extremely close to local universities and Center City, and of course, Eastern State Penitentiary, the Art Museum, and the attractions of the Parkway.

For more information about Francisville, contact Penelope Giles, President of the Francisville Neighborhood Development Corporation.

If you have any breaking news or ideas for coverage of Francisville, please let us know! We’d love to add more Francisville content to our blog.

Originally posted on The Somers Blog


Saturday, February 26th, 2011

Tacconelli’s & Osteria Make “Food and Wine Magazine’s Top 25 Best Pizza Spots in the U.S.”

pizzaFood & Wine Magazine recently released its ranking of 25 best pizza spots in the U.S., and two Philadelphia pizzerias made the list: Marc Vetri’s Osteria and Tacconelli’s Pizzeria. The article names Osteria’s signature item as the oak-burning stone oven-baked Lombarda pie (with baked egg, Cotechino sausage, mozzarella and bitto cheese, made from a blend of cow’s milk and goat’s milk); Tacconnelli’s is Tomato Pie, the recipe for which hasn’t been changed since Giovanni Tacconelli opened this place in 1918.

Click here for the full list of winners.


Friday, February 25th, 2011

Make an Old Bathroom Fresh and Fun

rms_dotsazules-pink-black-floral-bathroom_s4x3_lgWith the right color paint on the walls, the right accessories and, most important of all, the proper attitude, you can take your bathroom from outdated to outstanding

The location is just perfect. The layout is charming. Even the price is reasonable. This place is almost too good to be true, you think.

And then, you see the bathroom.

Tiles the color of pink baby aspirin. Or fixtures in a shade of green that just screams “mint chocolate chip.” Or perhaps a white one that has turned dingy and yellow with age? Call it “vintage.” Call it “retro.” Or, just be honest and call it OLD.

Old Bathrooms, New Advice
Your first instinct may be to rip out the outdated bath, right down to the studs, but that isn’t always practical. For one thing, many rental buildings won’t allow it; for another, do you really want to spend $30,000 redoing a bathroom?

With that steep price, bathroom renovation may have to wait a while. There’s the leaky roof that has to be fixed immediately, and the kitchen that has to be redone before you can scramble an egg or brew a pot of tea. Looks like you may be living with that Pepto-Bismol-pink powder room for a while.

But no matter how outdated your bathroom, there is always a way to make it look fresh and fun. With the right color paint on the walls, the right accessories and – most important of all – the proper attitude, you can take your bathroom from outdated to outstanding.

Here’s how some of our favorite designers would update some of yesteryear’s challenging color combos.

Pink Fixtures With Black-and-White Tiles
“What’s not to love here?” asks New York-based designer Roderick N. Shade ( “Pink, black and white could be a very HOT color scheme. I would take inspiration from Dior’s ‘new look’ in fashion from the mid- to late- 1950s, which featured these exact colors. I would think of a very shiny, wet-look wall covering or paint all the walls black; perhaps a silver ceiling would be good too. I would probably make a big shower curtain that started at the ceiling in a strong black, white and pink pattern,” adds Roderick, author of Harlem Style (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2002). “Then, with lots of pink and silver accessories this bath could be great!”

Mint Green Fixtures With Yellow Tile
“All this bath needs is purple!” he says. “Paint all the walls purple, get a green and purple striped shower curtain that goes all the way up to the ceiling, and put in purple area rugs and towels.”

For another take on this 1960s classic, designer Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz ( suggests a monochromatic approach: “Paint the entire room yellow including the ceiling,” says Benjamin, author of Emotional Rooms (Atria, 2007). “Hang a crystal chandelier in the center. Every accessory in the room should be yellow – everything! I believe that abundance of one color always looks right,” he says.

Brown Tile With Beige Fixtures
Though your beige-speckled tiles may shout “1970s,” an earth-toned bathroom offers plenty of modern possibilities. “I’d paint the walls a khaki strie pattern,” says designer Barclay Fryery (, “and buy khaki towels with chocolate monograms. Get a brown shower curtain with khaki stripes, and hang a chocolate waffle-weave bathrobe.” For a dose of whimsy, Barclay would add blown-up photos of Hershey chocolate bar wrappers in 12 sizes. “Think Warhols,” says Barclay. “Your very own couture art.”

Want to add some color? Use the beige as a blank canvas and go with whatever bright, bold hue your heart desires. “Depending on your taste,” says Roderick, “you could add red, turquoise, magenta – any of those would work well here. Just make sure the lighting is good to keep the bath from looking drab.”

White Subway Wall Tiles With White Hexagonal Tile Floors
With a clean, white backdrop, the sky’s the limit, Roderick says; there is almost nothing you can’t do in a vintage white-tiled bath.

For a clean, modern look, Benjamin suggests painting all surfaces with white epoxy paint to make everything one color. “That way,” he says, “you can make the room’s story be about textures. Do the accessories all in white as well,” he says, relying on different textures and finishes to provide visual interest.

If you’d like to add some color, Barclay recommends a dove-gray ceiling. Or, Roderick suggests, “Try a light icy-blue color. But with such simple existing elements,” he adds, “really, any color would look good. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a classic ‘New York-style’ bath: just plain black and white with subway tiles – simple and clean.”

Outdated to Outstanding
Whether you’re facing one of the aforementioned “classic” bathroom color schemes or another vintage favorite (cantaloupe-colored floor tiles, a powder-blue bathtub) here are some quick tricks for making everything old look new again.

“If you have white floor tiles,” says Barclay, “have them sandblasted and freshly grouted with black grout on the floor, to keep the space from looking dirty. Have brightly bound books on one wall as a library since we all like to sit and read in this room.”

Whether you’re reading or putting on your makeup, good lighting is key; it’s also an opportunity to add some style. Be sure to choose lighting that makes a statement, rather than just illuminating the space, says designer Amie Weitzman ( Go for something retro, she suggests, like Nelson bubble lighting from Modernica.

“Whatever tile colors and fixtures you’re stuck with,” says Amie, “you can always contrast those outdated colors with cool black-and-white wallpaper or some black and white artwork.”

Or, says Shade, you can accept the colors, enjoy them and just have some fun. “Baths lend themselves to going way over the top,” he says. “We don’t spend a lot of time in bathrooms, so a strong jolt of color here can be invigorating – go for it! The key is enjoying what you have and not trying too hard to change it into something it’s not.”

And, for goodness’ sake, says Roderick, don’t take your bathroom decor (or yourself) too seriously. “This is decorating,” he says. “It’s not negotiations for world peace. Remember: It is supposed to be fun.”

[article & image]


Friday, February 25th, 2011

Arrow Swim Club: Luxury Swim Club in Northern Liberties

2-13-2011_12-16-00_pm_customShady cabanas, cool margaritas, and hot bikinis? Developer Bart Blatstein will open a private swim club across the street from his Piazza at Schmidts in Northern Liberties.

Event planner/public relations exec Nicole A. Cashman is his partner in Arrow Swim Club, at Allen Street and Germantown Avenue, which, starting in May, will be the only private, 21-and-older swim club in the inner city. They plan to sell $1,000-a-year memberships, limited to 1,000 people. (Guests will be allowed at $30 to $50 a pop.)

Amenities will include a 41/2-foot-deep pool; private cabanas equipped with cable, PlayStation, and Blu-ray players; hammocks; table tennis; a fire-pit lounge; DJs; and a public bar-restaurant called Chenango. There will also be a massage lounge where you can get a Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue Massage , Couples Massage , or Chair Massage.  

“Bohemian chic” is the aesthetic, says Cashman, who says they will keep the facade of the building, which used to house the Arrow Screw Co.

Here is a rainy day view from our office at The Piazza at Schmidts on the 5th floor of the Rialto Tower. We’ll keep you up to date with photos of the construction of Arrow Swim Club in Northern Liberties.



Friday, February 25th, 2011

“Super Pet Expo” At The Valley Forge Convention Center: February 25-27

stacked_colorPet Lovers: Clear Your Weekend Because the Super Pet Expo is coming To The Valley Forge Convention Center

This event will feature more than 100 vendors selling pet products and services.  The unique thing about this expo is that most of the products and services featured can’t be found in most pet stores. 

Along with the vendors, there will be plenty of activities for the family including the EVO World Class Frisbee Dog Show, Mutts Gone Nuts Comedy Dog Show and much more. 

Leashed pets are welcome. Tickets Range from $6-$20 and can be purchased online or by phone at (301) 564-4050.

Super Pet Expo
February 25-27, 2011
Valley Forge Convention Center
1160 First Avenue
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Show Hours:
Friday, February 25, 2011 4 PM – 9 PM
Saturday, February 26, 2011 10 AM – 7 PM
Sunday, February 27, 2011 10 AM – 5 PM


Friday, February 25th, 2011

Hear the Somers Team Live on Real Estate Radio this Sunday!

Hands toasting cups.“But they said it really loud

They said it on the air

On the radio whoa oh oh”

Have you guessed by now that the Somers Team will be featured guests on Real Estate Radio with host Paul Carson?





Listen in on Sunday, February 27th  from 9-10AM on WFYL 1180AM to hear our opinions on the Real Estate Market. You can also stream the show online at

We’ll be sharing our predictions, advice for homebuyers and sellers, and addressing questions with the same candor and spark that you’d expect from us on the blog…So park yourself in front of the computer with your coffee or tune in during your commute and hear us out.

Who knows what we’ll say…on the radio.

Originally posted on The Philadelphia Real Estate Voice


Friday, February 25th, 2011

Tip Jar: Pheromones Sell Homes

Cinnamon SticksPheromones Sell Homes! Try this:

15-20 minutes before your Open House or before a showing, place a tray of prepared but uncooked cinnamon buns in the oven and bake. Let the aroma fill your entire dwelling. When they are fully baked remove from the oven, let them cool, and place them in clear view with napkins and a note that says “Welcome Home. Please Enjoy.”

Your home smells amazing and there will be a special treat for the lucky visitor.

Cinnamon Buns do more than stimulate the olfactory nerve, the treat is strongly connected to memory and it has been linked to reducing depression, increasing libido (wink, wink), and creating an overall feeling of happiness! Scented candles, oils and sprays are not as effective. You can find ready-to-bake Cinnamon Buns at your local grocer.

Try it ! I am telling you…Pheromones Sell Homes!

Originally posted on The Philadelphia Real Estate Voice


Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Top 10 Ways to Add Architectural Details to Your Home

Replace or enhance baseboards throughout your home. They are a visual link that travels into every room in the house.

Crown Molding
Crown molding is a great way to lift a room. By adding this architectural detail you make a room rich and brimming with character.

Chair Rail
Chair rail is a detail that has form and function. Not only does it save your walls from damage, it can be applied in many forms — from a modern shape to a traditional style.

hripr_james10_columnsColumns and Pilasters
Columns and pilasters are a great way to separate a room without using walls. These can be used as load-bearing elements or just visual additions. Columns are either round or square and stand on their own, while pilasters are attached to a wall or part of the dwelling.

Moldings can be placed just about anywhere and give a room a sense of depth. They can be used on ceilings to mimic architectural details in a room, run along hallways or stacked in layers to create the illusion of length and height. You can even wrap them around columns to add texture to an otherwise drab room.

Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors are a must to obtain flow in a space, whether you are in a large or small area. Always run the flooring along the longer direction to achieve the feeling of an elongated room.

Ceiling Beams
Ceiling beams can be added to any ceiling and come in a wide variety of styles, from rustic worm-holed wooden beams to sleek and modern metal designs. Ceiling beams are also great places to install recessed lighting fixtures or hide wiring from a home theater system.

Lighting Coves
Lighting coves are a great way to indirectly create a warm space. With this detail you have the choice to shine up if the ceiling is vaulted, or down if there’s a painting or other feature on a wall you’d like to highlight. Another way to create a great detail is to box in a lighting cover around floor or ceiling joists. These are great places to add lighting and at the same time you are creating an architectural detail.

Door and Window Trim
Door and window trim is a must, and the great thing with this detail is that it doesn’t have to be removed to be changed! You can get a completely different look with very little work. If you decide to leave it on, add to it with more molding to create a handcrafted look.

Contrast is without doubt a very important detail and is central to accenting all architecture. For example, if you choose dark floors then go with a light wall color. If you have light-colored kickboards in the kitchen, then match those with a dark countertop and soft blond cabinets. These are all great ways to achieve light and shade, which in turn creates depth