Otis & Pickles Speakeasy, a craft beer and cocktail bar in the Whitman/Pennsport neighborhood of South Philly, is expected to open its doors January 2017.
Located at the former Cooley’s Bar at 2500 South 3rd Street, Otis & Pickles is a new bar that will be inclusive of new Philadelphians, without alienating any of the old residents. The owner, Collazo, suggests the bar will uphold the fun and rough essence of South Philly, without tolerating any “douchebaggery” of pretension. Otis & Pickles will be “a bar where you can have some fucking fun.”
The vacuum repair shop has closed and is transitioning into Valena’s Simple Cafe! Pennsport and Whitman neighborhood have been sorely lacking in independently owned coffee shops. This new cafe, opening right at the border of Pennsport and Whitman, will be located at the corner of Front st and Snyder ave.
There are two major issues that get South Philadelphians riled up: street cleaning and parking. And since the only major criticism against street cleaning is that it requires parked cars to move, the only issue that truly troubles South Philadelphians seems to be parking.
Illegal median parking on south Broad Street has long been a topic of discussion and debate. Cars park on the median of Broad Street, Oregon Ave, Washington Ave, and wherever it the PPA and Philadelphia police turn a blind eye. Other neighborhoods don’t get it, and South Philadelphians don’t really think anything of it. It’s the way it has always been, legal or not.
Since the Democratic National Convention, when median parking ban was enforced, the controversy has only escalated. Median parking practice is technically illegal, but is it dangerous? 5th Square, a political action committee, seems to think so. 5th Square started an online petition to ban median parking that has since gained over 900 supporters. The organization recently hosted a fundraiser, “No Parking on the Dance Floor” at our own Dolphin Tavern to support the banning of median parking. According to 5th Square, the funds will be used to “pay for the next phase of the Broad Street campaign, which will include professional planning and design work, and multiple public engagement sessions that empower South Philadelphia neighbors to reimagine what Broad Street can be.”
Leading the other side of the median parking war are many vocal long-term South Philadelphia residents. Most notably, the administrator of Taking our South Philadelphia Streets Back (TOSPSB), a local pro-police/anti-crime Facebook group, has led a social media campaign to support maintaining illegal median parking in South Philadelphia. The TOSPSB Facebook group is a page for community residents to warn each other about local crime and share events to support the PPD. The Facebook group identifies as diverse, with majority vocal members being traditional, long-term South Philadelphia residents.
“The mayor, the PPA and members of the administration met to discuss the median parking issue a few weeks ago, before the administration met with 5th Square this week,” said Kenney spokeswoman Lauren Hitt. “In that meeting, we agreed that PPA should ticket in the median when a car is fishtailed, in the turning lane, and in the crosswalk. We also agreed that any other changes should be community-driven.”
Polls, action calls, and surveys are flooding Facebook, with South Philadelphians split nearly 50/50 between the sides. Enforce the law and ban median parking or continue the South Philly tradition and let it be? Is it simply a battle of new residents vs old residents? Will Mayor Kenney’s efforts be enough to peacefully settle this deeply divided issue?
Philadelphia city’s bike-sharing system, Indego, celebrates its first birthday last Thursday. Playing off its wide success from the first year in the city of brotherly love, Indego will implement 24 new docking stations throughout the city this coming year, including the inclusion of 300 brand new bikes.
Once again, the new bike share locations will include very few locations in South Philadelphia, drawing negative feedback from South Philadelphia residents. Concentration of regular bikers are most dense in South Philadelphia, where supplies of biking stations are fewest. Higher supplies of bike-sharing stations would help lower the demand for parking in the already congested South Philly neighborhoods.
The new NACTO bike share guide suggests that studies show that “bike-share stations placed within a 3- to 5-minute walking distance of each other throughout a contiguous service area are essential to a system’s success.”
Indego stations to be added:
10th and Federal Streets
11th and South Streets (Magic Gardens)
15th and Market Streets
15th and South
19th Street and Girard Avenue
22nd Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue
24th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue
26th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue
26th and Poplar Streets
27th and Master Streets
29th and Dauphin Streets
29th and Diamond Streets
31st Street and Girard Avenue
33rd and Dauphin Streets
33rd and Diamond Streets
33rd Street and Reservoir Drive
34th Street and Mantua Avenue
42nd Street and Lancaster Avenue
46th and Market Streets
4th Street and Washington Avenue
Front and Berks Streets
Moyamensing & Tasker Avenues
Delaware Avenue and Beach Street (Penn Treaty Park)
Columbus Boulevard and Race Street (Race Street Pier)
Shoprite of Snyder Plaza will finalize its move to Whitman Plaza this Fall. When Shoprite purchased bankrupt A&P’s Pathmark in Whitman last year, they promised an early opening in Spring 2016. It seems that the old Pathmark building required a lot of fixing up because the final move and opening date is now set for September 2016, months behind schedule.
Shoprite is now hiring for their new location at Whitman Plaza on 3rd and Oregon. The new renovations and expanded space includes plans for their nutritionists and a sit-in coffee shop. There has been no word of a new pharmacy opening to replace the closed Pathmark pharmacy that previously serviced the neighborhood.
Vietnamese Medical Charity Organization hosts their annual Fundraising Social at Irish Pub to raise money for the Vietnam Medical/Pharmacy Mission, a healthcare mission led by Philadelphia’s Temple University School of Pharmacy students and staff. 100% of proceeds from the social admission and raffle goes to buying medical and medical supplies. You can read more about the mission or donate at vietmeds.com.
Mayor Kenney recently announced his proposal for a potential bond issue which would provide updates to our Philadelphia’s park, recreation, and library infrastructure. The Philadelphia Parks Alliance is gathering petitions for their campaign to support the improvement the parks and recreation facilities. Local communities, groups, and individuals can support the efforts by getting or signing a Rebuilding Community Infrastructure petition.
On the topic of green Philly, Tree Philly’s Spring 2016 Free Tree giveaway is now open. Each resident can sign up to reserve 2 free trees. This year, pick up sites will take place at four different TD Bank locations in April. Act quickly if you are interested in reserving a tree or two. Trees run out fast, especially in the easily accessible South Philly location.
Registrants will be able to pick up their yard trees at one of the following location:
The most common question we get is concerning the different Philly neighborhoods. From the boundaries of civic groups to where am I right now, the confusion seems endless. We had our team put together a map of all the different Philadelphia neighborhoods, primarily South Philadelphia.
There are way too many overlapping boundaries and ‘mini-neighborhoods’ to break it all down in a simple image, but that is about the gist of it.