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Congratulations on your New Home, Zak and Krista!

We'd like to give a hearty congratulations to Zak Starer and Krista Peel, the lovely couple that we helped purchase a home on Huntingdon Street in New Kensington.

The owners of the Philadelphia Art Hotel were featured on our blog over the summer, and we were excited to work with two exciting people with such presence in the art community. The couple has also received Volunteer Service Awards from NKCDC for assisting in neighborhood cleanups and beautification projects.

Zak and Krista, we hope you love your new home and find the perfect artwork to fill it with!


Philadelphia’s One and Only Art Hotel


BYO Lunch ‘N Learn for Local Businesses

Are you a Philadelphia business that needs to take their marketing up a notch? Local full-service PR, Marketing, and Strategic Communications agency Metrospective Communications LLC wants to meet you.

Metrospective provides product, service and individual promotion strategies based on an organization's needs, timelines and resources. So even if you think you don't have the time, you can still find a solid marketing solution to help you get ahead.

If you're interested in learning more about promoting your business, Metrospective will be holding an event this Wednesday:

B.Y.O. Lunch ‘N Learn: Jump Start Your 2011 Business Promotions

Join Liz Galantino, Senior Associate, Metrospective Communications for networking, lunch (B.Y.O.) and conversation about jump starting your 2011 business promotions.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Free to attend - please B.Y.O. lunch
Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce offices - Montgomery Room
200 South Broad Street – 7th Floor - Philadelphia
11:30 a.m. – Networking
12 Noon – Program begins
RSVP by Monday, November 29 to [email protected]
Attendees will be eligible to receive a complimentary consultation from Metrospective Communications (must be present to be selected).


Everybody Loves Swag…in Northern Liberties

We immediately fell in love upon entering Swag, a gift shop next to Cantina Dos Segundos in Northern Liberties. The shop began selling gifts, showcasing locally made items, and featuring Philadelphia artists on Black Friday and was full of curious passersby this weekend. Blue walls set the backdrop for the colorful, fun-ctional wares, with collapsible colanders and ramen bowls for the kitchen guru on your holiday gift list, to eco-friendly totes, gift bags, and sweet treat extras for the last-minute birthday gift or a thoughtful just-because.

Swag has a section for Philly-made crafts, and the back wall of the store is currently showing off artwork from two talented Philadelphia art students, ages 12 and 14.

The unique items and appealing layout of the store make Swag a vibrant addition to 2nd Street - and we can certainly see a Swag bag or two in our future.

SWAG Boutique
935 N. 2nd Street
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Sat - Sun:
11:00 am - 9:00 pm


10 Life Lessons Inspired by our Real Estate Adventures in 2010

10 Life Lessons Inspired by our Real Estate Adventures in 2010

Chris and Stephanie Somers Ready for the HolidaysWhile sitting on a train from Richmond to Philadelphia this past Thanksgiving Holiday, we put together 10 of our most personally inspiring life lessons learned over the past year. We looked back at some of the more highly read Real Estate blogs that we wrote for inspiration. In essence, these blogs have become a journal of sorts for us, chronicling the weird, wacky and in some cases brilliant experiences we've had. In putting this article together for you, we realized that even though we are Realtors® by profession, there are some pretty great real life universal lessons that we learned and we want to share some of them with you.

So here they are. 10 Lessons from Realtor® to Real Life

1) Sabotage is only cool when the Beastie Boys sing it, unless Eminem's got the mic.
We learned that great life lessons can be learned everywhere, even through the edgy, in your face lyrics of pop culture's famed rap artists.

2) Beer not required but it never hurts.
We learned to celebrate those unexpected and even unusual moments when they insert themselves into our daily life. If someone brings cake to the office meeting, call it a party! If there is beer in the boardroom, make a toast! Go with the flow and enjoy.

3) Invisible friends make the best BFF's ever ! One of the great lessons of all time for us is to delegate the work that we need to get done and we've entrusted that to some people who we almost never see! Virtual assistants. Meet one of our invisible friends.

4) Look up! Lift your gaze off the ground, away from your Blackberry, off of the keyboard, or iPad, get out of your head and look up into the eyes of your friends and colleagues. Interact because life is good!

5) Often, "Simple" is the best strategy. When we uncomplicate things it almost always equates to less stress and greater success. This concept can be applied to everything from our work schedule to our junk drawer at home.

6) Honesty is the best policy. This well worn phrase needs no explanation.

7) Take a vacation ! We are pretty sure that it is a Law of Physics (like gravity and entropy) that when you take a vacation, expect your business to grow.

8) Sometimes when you lose you win ! It happens to the best of us when we experience a setback or disappointment that breaks our heart. Then later as time passes we see that the loss was actually a blessing in disguise as something greater was out there for us!

9) Excitement is contagious! Wooo Hooo!

10)"Slow down you move too fast..." (Simon and Garfunkle) Never toss the car keys into your trunk and then close it while your car is parked illegally in front of a fire hydrant at N 12th and Wood Streets thus making your wife take a cab to bail you out of your predicament because you were rushing for no reason at all except out of habit. "Feeling groovy..."

There it is folks. The 10 Lessons we learned this year!!

We look forward to yet another year of life's peculiar and admittedly wise teachings with great excitement. 2010 was certainly interesting for us and we hope that as this year draws to a conclusion for you, that your December Holidays be filled with much health and joy as can possibly be had.


Winter Designer’s Tip: Ruffle Those Feathers!

What are the design experts over at Busybee Homestore & Design Center feeling this winter? Feathers, Feathers, and more Feathers.

When they showed us what they had in mind for holiday decor this December, we had to agree: 'Tis the season for ruffling some feathers with fun embellishment and texture instead of the usual ho-hum decorations.

Dreamy, feathery ornaments will add both whimsy and natural elegance to your holiday. The neutral colors will work with almost any room and are a refreshing change from all of the bright reds/greens and flashy silvers/golds that many of us turn to.

At Busybee Homestore and Design Center, you can find Glass Feather ornaments (small – $7 extra large $22) and Feather Balls ($8) for your tree and mantle, Ostrich Feather Plumes ($9), and a Feather Headdress from Cameroon ($550). Feather Trees from Roost are a beautiful tree alternative (Busybee stocks both Roost Trees and Tabletop White Feather Trees, small-medium-large $13-$30). The  feather trees are collapsible and store easily in your closet.  Visit the shop at 734 South Street for your holiday decor needs before you start trimming that tree!


Fall Designer’s Tip: Go for the Glow!


Natural Cure for the Common Cold: Straight from the Wellness Expert in Northern Liberties

We asked Karen Rossignol of Urban Roots Wellness Center (our featured neighbor this month!) for a Wellness Tip.

"This recipe is for anyone who feels that they may be getting a cold and a must for anyone who is feeling it go into their chest, " Rossignol promises.

Got that achy, run down feeling, congested, coughing, or feeling like pretty soon you will be? Here is a recipe that is not only tasty but will kick that bug right out of the ballpark. With immune boosting ingredients that you can find at the local store...

Rossignol's Cold Cure:

1 to 3 large garlic cloves
Piece of ginger root, skinned and grated - 1/2 thumb size
Juice of 1/2 lemon or more to taste
Some cayenne
Tomato juice or V-8

Blend together. Take three times a day for one or two days. It will loosen the mucus and bring it up and out of your body.

Find these health incensing ingredients at some of our favorite local stores such as the Palm Tree Market, The Almanac, the Pink Dolphin Market, and Penn Herb.


Wellness is a Journey. Just ask Karen Rossignol and Nancy Blum, your Neighbors.


A Bigger, Bolder One Shot Coffee in Northern Liberties

We've been counting down the days until our neighborhood coffeeshop, One Shot Coffee, expands into its larger space on George Street in Northern Liberties.

Owner Melissa Baruno was willing to give us a preview tour of the Bigger, Bolder new home of One Shot Coffee.

We started with Floor 1, where the expansive coffee bar made of reclaimed wood and materials is a showstopping piece of work. With plenty of shelving, storage, and unique lighting, it is a barista's dream stage. Towards the back, there is a full kitchen with a fun service window.The pastry case will be glorious when full, and there's more room for bags of Stumptown Coffee for the taking. There's a shiny new espresso machine waiting for its moment. The fabric bar seating and gorgeous marble tabletops rimmed in gold lend some Mad Men-era sophistication to your latte experience.

Floor 2 is brunched out with plenty of salvaged seating, including a long wooden table that has attached stool seats that slide out. Printed wallpaper brightens up the floor and will be a display for art from Temple's Tyler School of Art students. The center of the room is divided by a motorcycle - YES, a motorcycle - which has a tiny bar surrounding it. And for the more studious coffee nerds, the other half of the second floor is lined with bookshelves, a motorcycle mural, brown leather couches, and antique lamps. Floor 3 is being used as Baruno's office.

Get excited, because it all opens to the public on December 1st. Chef Michael Thomas' mysterious menu won't be revealed until Day 1. But we did hear that potato chips will be baked on-site...

The coffee is legendary. The baristas are the real deal. And Baruno has created our new favorite all-in-one hangout in Philadelphia.

One Shot Coffee
217 W. George Street
Brunch 7 days a week 7am-7pm


One Shot Coffee Makes the Switch to Stumptown


Wellness is a Journey. Just ask Karen Rossignol and Nancy Blum, your Neighbors.

It was a cool Saturday morning in early Spring, and I was driving to 4th and Thompson to show 2 women, driving up from VA, a church we had listed for sale.  I had never met them before. As a matter of fact, I was not going to meet them at all due to my packed schedule that day. But, when I heard that Karen was looking to start a Holistic Health Practice in Philly, and her partner was an artist looking for a unique space to live in...I had a feeling in my bones that they could be really fun clients.

My bones were right! As I pulled over at the corner of N 4th Street and Thompson in Old Kensington, Karen, a then fiery redhead, with an infectious smile, and a certain positive attitude twinkling from her eyes, won me over before she could say hello. She and Nancy looked amazingly well-rested after their 6 1/2 hour drive from Richmond, VA. I've done that trek with Chris when we visit his folks. And believe me, I am not as charming at the end of that drive! Well, long story short, that day, the church property was definitely not for them but our first meeting pretty much sealed the deal for an amazing journey Karen and Nancy were about to take.

Karen was living in Richmond and Nancy in Manhattan when they began to investigate Real Estate in a 120-mile radius around Manhattan when they thankfully decided to narrow it down to  good old Philly, specifically the cool area of Northern Liberties, Fishtown and Old Kensington. That is how they found me. They examined Graduate Hospital, Brewerytown, South Philadelphia and numerous other areas around Center City but found their groove in the Northeast corridor, which is where a lot of creative folks are putting down roots.

Karen and Nancy finally found their home in East Kensington (otherwise known as an arm of Fishtown) but it was not completely built yet! So, Chris and I offered our demure 2 bedroom rental property in nearby Old Kensington to them while they waited for their much larger home to be completed.

So, up from VA they moved all of their possessions and precious cargo including their 3 dogs: Ziggler, Coda, and Ellie, their 16 yr old cat Spice, and Karen's 16 year old daughter Chelsea. More recently when I was speaking to Karen she openly laughed out loud remembering  her first winter in that 2 bedroom house...we had 3 feet of snow and they forgot to pack their winter clothes! Ha ha ha, good times, right?

Karen, Nancy, Chelsea, Ziggler, Coda, Ellie, and yes even Spice are now settled in their new home on Emerald Street. Chelsea goes to high school in Philadelphia and loves it. Nancy recently returned form Berlin where one of the pieces she has in a show there is rumored to be purchased by the American Embassy! And Karen is finally seeing her goals come together as she is now breaking into the Wellness Scene with a new office at 440 E. Girard in Fishtown.

I want to introduce you to Karen and Nancy, your neighbors, and share their Journey with you.  Urban Roots Wellness Center opened over the weekend and offers massage, reiki, homeopathy, hypnosis, tinctures, and more.

"We plan on growing herbs in the backyard and offering tinctures to customers.  We have infant massage sessions, where we can teach parents how to massage their infants. We really want to be able to give back to the community that we live in."

Right now the center is decorated with Nancy's amazing art work. Please stop by and meet Karen when you are in the area!

The website will be live soon.

Urban Roots Wellness Center
440 E Girard Ave
Mon - Fri: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm


Nightmare on Hancock Street. A true story...

The Road to Wellness on Girard Avenue


Hyperion Bank Holiday Food Drive Helps Raise Money for Local Families

Hyperion Bank in Northern Liberties, along with several local businesses in the community, helped support the 26th Police District in their Holiday Food Drive this year.  They raised $880.00 that will go towards feeding families and senior citizens in need of a Thanksgiving turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

We'd like to thank Hyperion and all of the generous contributors involved in these efforts, including the Kensington South Neighborhood Advisory Council (KSNAC), Girard Business and Arts Assocation (GBAA) and the Northern Liberties Business Owners Association (NLBOA).  Hyperion matched their own employees' contributions dollar for dollar. They also collected non-perishable food items.

Thank you and we wish everyone a wonderful holiday!


The Health System is Going to the Dogs!

....and cats and birds and reptiles in Northern Liberties and we are thrilled about it!

What does Northern Liberties need next? How about an animal hospital?

With all of the dogs, cats, and other well-loved pets keeping us company in our animal-friendly neighborhood, the Northern Liberties Animal Hospital will be a much welcomed addition to the community. Whenever our furry friends get sick or are in need of care, it'll be nice to have a local place to take them.

The 10,000 square foot veterinary hospital will be completed in Fall of 2011, located across from the Piazza at 966 N. 2nd Street.  It will service dogs, cats and exotic pets such as birds, reptiles and small mammals. You can find more information on the Northern Liberties Animal Hospital Facebook.


Frankford Avenue Has Gone to the Dogs


Phone: 215.253.6818