Neighborhood

South Philly neighborhood community news, developments, and local interest.

Neighborhoods: Bella VistaEast PassyunkLower MoyamensingPennsportPoint BreezeWhitman

Authentic Asian Dining in Lower Moyamensing

Along the Lower Moyamensing neighborhood, Cambodia Town serves some of the most authentic asian food in South Philadelphia. None of these little eateries have the grandeur of Washington Ave or Chinatown restaurants, but they have quality and richness of authenticity. The loyalty of the locals who have tried and loved their food have helped them prevail in South Philly for decades.

Influx of new residents have led to newly found fame of some of the restaurants in the once self-contained neighborhood. It will still takes courage to venture out to the unfamiliar ground and cross the language barrier. Be adventurous.

Cafe Vinh Long (2225 S 7th St; 215-334-8505; vinhlong.farphilly.com) is a small, simple restaurant cafe that makes fresh Vietnamese hoagies, or banh mi, right in front of you. Sure, you can travel to Washington Ave and other parts of South Philly to eat the mainstream Ba Le hoagie, or you could try this hidden gem. The Vietnamese coffee are made to order with French coffee drips.

New Phnom Penh (2301 S 7th St; 215-389-2122) is a hole-in-the-wall, less than 10-tables seating cafe that serves the absolute best Phnom Penh Noodle Soup (Hu Tieu Nam Vang) in Philadelphia. The streets around here are small, with less than inviting looks and some language barriers – but don’t let that stop you from trying some of the best Cambodian comfort food in the city, as reviewed by the Philadelphia Weekly.

 

Cambodian Noodle Soup
Noodle Soup with extra veggies and hot sauce via instagram

 

Other notable nearby Khmer eateries in Lower Moyamensing and Whitman neighborhoods:

Heng Seng Restaurant
2217 S. Seventh St.
215-755-5390

I Heart Cambodia
2207 S. Seventh St.
215-755-2728

Khmer Kitchen
1700 S. Sixth St.
215-755-2222

Khmer Sweet Basil
1801 S. Sixth St.
215-465-2329

Neighborhood Convening at Playgrounds in South Philly

Join the Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge neighborhood convening in South Philadelphia on Friday, November 13, 2015. The event will be hosted at on the 2nd floor of The Mill (2115 8th St.) and gather stakeholders and community members, local and international activists, planners, curators, artists, and politicians, to explore questions of cooperation, civic engagement, and gentrification.

The convening will begin with an in-depth presentation of CohStra’s research report, followed by round tables with local and international practitioners, combining their expertise to facilitate new imaginings of solutions to enduring problems.

Registration for the neighborhood convening costs $15. (We’re not sure why it costs…)

Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge Neighborhood Convening
By City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
Convening Neighborhood South Philly Mural Arts
Date:
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13 2015
9:00 AM — 5:30 PM

Location:
The Mill
2115 8th St., 2nd floor
Philadelphia, PA 19148

About Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge:

Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge is a community-based experimental urban platform that uses play, games and performance to reveal, share and celebrate local knowledge produced in South Philadelphia, an area known for its rich cultural and ethnic diversity. A project by Cohabitation Strategies (CohStra), Playgrounds seeks the restructuring of urban spaces by promoting new social relations across cultural and economic divides, with the objective of generating just and sustainable forms of collective inhabiting to confront the pressures of accelerated urban development.

From May through September 2015, Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge occupied the lot at 632 Jackson Street, creating a temporary hub space where the demands of daily life are interrupted through play to inspire new spatial imaginaries and political subjectivities. Here CohStra collaborated with a variety of neighborhood partners in a participatory pilot project that activates playful ways of critically thinking of land occupation, gentrification, environmental restoration and housing through participatory design, while inspiring cross-cultural communication by generating knowledge exchange through performance, construction and dialogue.

Philadelphia Libraries the new scene: Meet, Yoga, Learn

The future for the Free Library of Philadelphia is looking up a year after the big scare that promised the closing of 11 public library branches.

The Free Library of Philadelphia was awarded a $26 million grant from the William Penn Foundation last year. Much of that money went into upgrading and renovating six of the libraries: Central Library on Parkway, and branches of Lehigh Avenue, Logan Library, Lovett Library on Germantown Avenue, South Philadelphia, and Tacony.

Why those six? “With six million Philadelphians visiting the city libraries in person each year, the renovations, which will make the branches brighter and more accessible, are welcome,” reports Siobhan Reardon, President of the Free Library of Philadelphia. At least 50 other library branches failed to receive an upgrade, but local staff have made strong efforts to open keep their doors open to the community.

Philadelphia Library of Whitman Philadelphia

The Whitman Library branch serving Pennsport and Whitman at 2nd and Snyder Ave offers various different classes and events each week. Adult Education Classes are offered to help locals get their G.E.D. or improve their English. LEAP After School Program offers homework help, computer assistance and special programs for children and adults. This library branch also has free yoga for children and adults. They put out new calendars monthly on their Facebook page.

Philadelphia Library

Remember to come out to your local library to support, whether it be to volunteer, donate, or simply read a book!

What’s Coming to 10th and Oregon Ave?

What’s happening at the southwest corner of 10th St and Oregon Ave? The contractors have ripped down the old buildings, dug up the ground, and are amidst a new construction project. One of the buildings torn down used to house Candelaria Produce (2700 S 10th St). The building is in the Marconi Plaza neighborhood and adjacent to Oregon Steak.

Marconi Park

The new structure will be four stories high for commercial uses, with two additional dwelling units. It has been reported that a fabricator business may be moving in rather than the previously rumored coffee shop. It seems Marconi Plaza and Whitman area must continue on with their lack in cafes.

Breezy’s Cafe Not Closing Permanently

Philly.com gave Point Breeze residents quite a scare when they announced in their headline that Breezy Cafe located at 1200 Point Breeze was closing. Kristin from Breezy’s Cafe was quick to ensure fans that Breezy’s Cafe is looking for a new location to move to and will not be closing permanently.

The building where Breezy’s Cafe now resides was listed on craigslist by OFC Reality, which caused a disturbance in the neighborhood. Ori Feibush of OFC Reality was singled out by some locals as a source of the confusion. Feibush addressed the criticisms thrown his way, but the details behind the situation remains unclear.

Breezys Cafe

Kristin’s Facebook message:

Hi friends,
I wanted to reach out and say thank you to everyone who has expressed concern about Breezy’s Cafe “closing”…and to let you know that it’s totally not true! Not sure why philly.com went with such an ominous headline, but we’re not closing! Take a deep breath, go to your happy place, and rest easy tonight on a bed of organic, sustainable greens wink emoticon.
We heard your feedback about the heating and cooling and, as many of you know, we’ve also had some (many) issues with water leaking. Attempts have been made to fix the problems, but so far without success. Since I’ve just been made aware that I will not be getting a new lease, you will not have to worry about those issues we’ve been having any longer!
Let’s worry about a better location to serve the community! We don’t just serve Point Breeze, we’re part of it, and that’s the way it’s going to stay.
Love you guys!
– Kristin
P.S. Point Breeze location suggestions welcome! Send me a message! ‪#‎pointbreezepride‬

Ori Feibush’s Facebook response:

Many of you asked me over the last few days why “I am pushing Breezy’s out” of their current location. I am not.
You asked me why I couldn’t try and make things work. I have.
You asked me why I haven’t given them a second chance. They had a dozen second chances.
You asked me why I had to let them find out through social media that their space was for rent. I did not. I told them 4 months ago.
You asked me why I couldn’t give them the first opportunity to lease their space again. I did.
You believed these tall tails because every story must have a hero and a villain and OCF must be that villain.
The truth is that Breezy’s had an opportunity that no small business owner ever gets. It’s an opportunity others could only dream of. Rather than take that opportunity and run with it, they took a crap all over it.
I spent $150,000 of my own money to help Breezy’s open up at 1200 Point Breeze. That amount does not include the year of free rent which I gave them to get on their feet, the fronting of their security deposit so they could open the doors without spending a dollar, or the thousands I spent with a smile on my face for taxes and insurance to make their lives as easy as possible.
You may also think that I own the building where Breezy’s is. I do not. I leased it for the sole purpose of giving them a real chance after they picked a terrible first location. Any of you who are disparaging my team are welcome to do the exact same thing for their next location.
All of that said, life is too short to hold ill will and I consider this to be a simple reminder that no good deed goes unpunished.
I wish Breezy’s nothing but success and hope they find their new location to be even better than their old.

TD Bank Robber Still Wanted in Whitman

Police and FBI are still searching for a suspect who robbed TD Bank in South Philadelphia last Wednesday, October 15th. The robbery occurred in broad daylight at the TD Bank branch on the 2600 block of South 5th Street in the Whitman neighborhood.

Investigators said the suspect walked into the bank at 3:22 p.m. and handed the teller a demand note. He then escaped with an unknown amount of cash before fleeing east on Oregon Avenue.

Whitman Bank Robber

Police described the suspect as a black male in his 30s, 5’5″ to 5’9″ tall with a medium build and glasses. He wore a black and white jacket, a black and white Nike cap, and dark-colored pants and shoes. This subject is considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information about this robbery or this subject is urged to call the FBI at 215-418-4000 or the Philadelphia Police Department. There is a reward for information leading to the suspect’s capture and tipsters can remain anonymous.

Additional images of the suspect:

TD Bank Robber

Whitman Bank Robber

Whitman Bank Robber

Whitman Bank Robber

Please help keep the neighborhoods safe and report any crime.

Want to submit a tip anonymously? Use the online form or email tips@phillypolice.com. You can also call 215.686.TIPS (8477) or text PPDTIP (773847)

Halloween for the Family in Whitman South Philly

Halloween is here already! If you and your family are looking for things to do in Philly, look no further than the Whitman neighborhood of South Philly. The Halloween events around the area focus on kid-friendly and family fun.

If you don’t want your little ones wandering the streets late at night to trick-or-treat, consider taking them to trick-or-treat at the Whitman Library! Take your kids to the Whitman Library located at 200 Snyder Ave on Monday, October 26th at 4pm. That will give kids the chance to go home and change after school – if they aren’t already in their costume!

Whitman Halloween

Looking for something a little more interactive for the family? On Thursday, October 29, Mifflin Square Park is hosting their Annual Halloween Park Cleanup & Mask Making Contest at 6th & Ritner Street from 3:30-6:30pm. Bring your joy and share it with the neighborhood!

Whitman Halloween Mifflin Square
Locals paint Mifflin Square Park for Halloween

Philadelphia Fall 2015 Cleanup

Do you want to help keep your city clean but don’t know where to start? Download the Philly Fall 2015 Cleanup Resource Guide to get started. Remember to talk to your block captain and neighbors to organize street cleanings!

Clean Up Philadelphia 2015
Keep Philadelphia Beautiful Community Cleanup Resource Guide

Love Your Park Week: Every fall and spring, an Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy work with neighborhood groups to promote service opportunities in our city’s amazing parks. Learn more at www.loveyourpark.org.

Snyder Plaza ShopRite moves to Oregon Ave as Pathmark Closes

A &P’s Pathmark located in Whitman Plaza on 3rd and Oregon will officially close come November 3rd, 2015. The ShopRite store at Snyder Plaza will be moving to the more spacious Oregon Ave location come Spring 2016, according to sources at ShopRite.

ShopRite hopes to expand its store at the new location by offering a sit-in cafe, dietician, and additional upscale features. Sources hint at a grand plan to develop Whitman Plaza and nearby neighborhoods, bringing in new residents, more jobs, and tight security features; all while maintaining the same low cost to consumers. The expected influx of businesses and jobs is intended to draw in new and diverse residents, further developing the neighborhood.

Snyder Plaza ShopRite moving to Whitman Plaza 2016

The building where Pathmark once stood will be completely renovated to give ShopRite a specific modern appeal, the first of it’s kind in Philadelphia. ShopRite was unclear about their planned security features and specific plans to clean up the neighborhood. Their decision to go green will mostly depend on neighborhood associations and nearby residents.

The new ShopRite does not advertise a pharmacy department. Pathmark’s pharmacy department closes October 31, 2015. Prescriptions have been sold to RiteAid Pharmacy. Consumers with prescriptions or refills at Pathmark Pharmacy in Whitman Plaza will have to contact RiteAid to get their prescriptions. Alternatively, customers can have their new pharmacy of choice contact RiteAid and transfer all their prescriptions.

Update: ShopRite announces opening of ShopRite of Whitman Plaza in early 2016 | ShopRite finalizes opening date of September 2016 after months delay

Should I Move to Whitman in South Philly?

Jennifer P. asks:

Where should two young adults move to in Philly? Is Whitman a good and safe neighborhood for us? My friend and I are both young professionals that are planning to move to Philadelphia for work and school. Do you think the Whitman neighborhood would be a good fit for us? We are looking at a few houses near 3rd street, off of Oregon Ave. I would like to live around Passyunk Ave as there are more nightlife activities for us within walking distance, but the houses are smaller and we were hoping to have some grass. I have seen a few houses around Whitman that are really beautiful with a good asking price, I just don’t know how well we would fit in as there are a lot of families and we are single young adults.

Carol answers:

Jennifer, Whitman would be a great option for you and your friend. The homes are definitely affordable, with many homes offering lawns and gardens. City living is tough, but Whitman offers the best of both worlds when it comes to safety and convenience. The neighbors keep an eye out for each other, making the area one of the safest in the city. The grocery stores and Whitman Plaza shopping center is within walking distance. The bus routes run all throughout.

David answers:

The neighborhood will welcome you with open arms. They love young adults who have energy and something to bring to the neighborhood. You will be invited to events, meetings, watch groups, etc if you are only willing to interact with the neighbors. The only downside I can see is that the parties and clubs are definitely lacking. There are taverns and bars, but all small and old school traditional. The newest thing they have in the area is the bowling alley which boasts two full service bars. Other than that, you’ll find mostly grocery and retail shops. You’ll have to trek a little further south for your party needs. On the bright side, the neighborhood keeps it’s peace and tranquility.