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4th of July in Philly!

Independence day conceptHappy Birthday, America! Spending the 4th of July in Philly is the way to go and there are so many ways to celebrate this weekend, it can be a little bit overwhelming. So whether it's fireworks that rock your world, or you prefer something low-key on your yoga mat, we've rounded up some activities by neighborhood to make it easy-breezy.

Whatever you do, have fun, be safe, and Happy 4th from the Somers Team!

To start, there will be fireworks, and who doesn't love that? Here's a handy fireworks map from Visit Philly that shows when and where to get your fireworks action, from Penn Treaty Park and Sugarhouse Casino in Fishtown all the way to South Philly's best viewing spots. The fireworks kick off tonight with Wawa Welcome America's Philadelphia Orchestra Neighborhood Concert at Penn's Landing.

Here's the forecast for the weekend. Let's hope for the best!

Now, for a few alternatives.

Old City: History buffs and hoagie lovers should head to the All-American Celebration on the Mall and Wawa Hoagie Day. And don't miss the annual Independence Day Parade from 5th & Chestnut to Front & Market Streets.

Northern Liberties/Fishtown: Escape the Center City and Old City crowds for the 4th of July Jam at the Piazza with headliners the Roots. Or kick back with some brews at Yards Country & 'Cue Celebration for beer, food truck grub, live music, and brewery tours.

Center City/Art Museum: How about some yoga followed by beer? Join Maha Yoga's Jake for Brewmaha, a fun class that ends with beer tasting from Dock Street Brewery on the 3rd. Something more traditional? It's an all day Party on the Parkway on the 4th.



Gorgeous 1 Bedroom in the Loft District!

1111 Mount Vernon Street, Unit 1 is one of the last 2 units available!

This is a first floor front, bi-level unit. Outstanding features include 13' ceilings, breath taking Baroque inspired molding on the main floor, new hardwood flooring throughout, contemporary open kitchen with access to the common courtyard (granite, stainless, Kohler, Pella insulated windows, recessed & designer lighting, high-efficiency GREEN heating and air conditioning etc.). There is a stunning full bath on the first floor (convenient for overnight guests) and on the lower level where there is the 1 bedroom suite with laundry area. This unit includes an extra storage closet in the basement. Common areas are professionally decorated and furnished. Off street 2 car parking is available for $100/mo rent or $15,000 purchase. Located a few minutes from Downtown Center City. The developer of this condominium building also developed 1309 N Lawrence Street, 19122. There is a 10 yr Tax Abatement. Price per sq ft is only $221 for this luxury unit!

Contact the Somers Team for more information.


Now Renting: 1111 Mt. Vernon #2

Step inside...1111 Mt. Vernon Street #2 is now renting! This is a first floor rear, bi-level unit. Outstanding features include exposed brick, new hardwood flooring throughout, contemporary open kitchen with access to the common courtyard (granite, stainless, Kohler, Pella insulated windows, recessed & designer lighting, high-efficiency GREEN heating and air conditioning systems in each room etc.). There is a half bath on the first floor and a marble bath on the lower level where there is the 1 bedroom suite with laundry area. This unit includes an extra storage closet in the basement. Common areas are professionally decorated and furnished. Located a few minutes from Downtown Center City.

 Only $1,250 a month! Contact the Somers Team for more info.


Tip Jar: Get Moore Creative Philly

Today's tip? Get Moore creative!

What's new and exciting in Philadelphia? Feeling like it's the same crap, different day? Don't let your daily mantra keep you shackled. Check out the galleries at Moore College of Art at 20th and Race Streets, where Logan Circle Fountain, the Science Museum, and the Franklin institute are located. Moore has several galleries with free admission. There are always several exhibits to see with diverse and emerging artists. The video compilation above features clips from the current exhibits (Summer 2012). A visit to Moore Galleries will let you see how others define the world. Many of the exhibits are interactive like the one I participated in on the attached video. Discover how to look at things in a fresh new way. There is a gift shop filed with art and jewelry and handmade items. Enjoy a stroll around the Logan Circle Fountain and take in creative Philadelphia.

Share your favorite creative spaces in Philly in the comments!


Tip Jar: Take the Stairs for a Change

Take the stairs for a change.

I cannot count how many buyers have turned their nose up at homes that feature a center staircase. That is unfortunate because in Philadelphia, particularly in the older turn-of-the-century homes found in and around Center City, a center staircase is the prevalent design. The center staircase is often situated in the middle of the home dividing it in half separating the living room, parlor, or dining area from the kitchen which is typically located in the back of the house. The current modern trend favors one large open great room with nothing but furniture to divide the room into less formal spaces.

I would like to challenge current home buyers and home owners to take the stairs for a change. Consider making the staircase the centerpiece of your home rather than avoiding or ignoring it altogether. Here are a few ideas that really make a center staircase the most delighted part of the home.

1) Open the staircase up completely for that ultra modern feel.

2) Refinish old spindles by stripping them or painting them your favorite accent colors.

3) Swap out the old-fashioned decorative wrought iron for more industrial materials like the (see photo) staircase done by local artist Leo Razzi.

4) We've all see risers painted white but what about painting them different colors?

5) If you have a closed off wall on either side of your staircase, make it a half wall or get really creative and cut and finish small openings to be used as shelving or peek through windows.

6) Try adding some built-in shelving nooks.

[image via Silver Lining Decor]


A Showstopper near Avenue of the Arts: 1204 S Carlisle Street

Need a 2 Bedroom, 1.5 Bath with an Avenue of the Arts Location? Check out 1204 S Carlisle Street, a must-see home! Many of the original features have been retained and used to complete this transitional style home. A vintage vestibule with stained glass and original tile communicates a welcome home message the moment you cross the threshold. A loft space and finished basement adds more room for whatever it is you need to make your home more comfortable and convenient. Priced under $250,000, this home is a huge value and the upgraded kitchens and baths are sure to amaze. Full tiled powder room and bath, hand laid designs, and crown molding throughout. Marble kitchen floor and the remainder of the home is hardwood.

Go see a show on Broad Street. Walk to Center City restaurants and shopping. Stroll over to Passyunk Square for great pubs and BYOBs and local boutiques. This location has it all. Close to public transportation.

For  more details, please contact the Somers Team.


Tip Jar: Visit the Reading Terminal Market

If you're standing at 11th and Filbert Streets in Center City Philadelphia, you might wonder where is everyone going? Well, I'll tell you where. They are all going to the Reading Terminal Market! If you have not been there yet or have not checked it out in a while, our tip to you is to visit it! The Reading Terminal is filled with all sorts of delights from baked goods made by Amish artisans, handmade chocolates, fresh and colorful produce, fine cheeses, meats, and fresh fish. Or just stop in for lunch like I did and enjoy a number of eating spots to enjoy Philly cheese steaks, deli specialties, Chinese, Italian food, etc. We had an amazing Mediterranean plate that was just out of this world. Admittedly, finding a seat at lunchtime will be a challenge but well worth the experience. If you are a people watcher, you will be in your glory. Don't wait another minute. Come check out Philly's finest indoor market today. Oh, and you might want to start that diet tomorrow.


Casino Project Planned for Broad Street

The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that developer Bart Blatstein's next move is a plan for a casino and hotel project along North Broad Street.  Blatstein will seek the casino license formerly held by Foxwoods.

Earlier this week we mentioned the beginning of Blatstein's Tower Place.

According to PBJ, "the proposed casino would be 117,000 square feet and include what Blatstein called a “destination entertainment center” with theaters, shopping, sporting events, concerts, and spa services. By comparison, the SugarHouse casino is 130,000 square feet and is expanding by another 106,000 square feet."

What are your thoughts on a Center City casino?




Fresh Address: 201 N 8th St 508

This is Where It's At: Welcome to 201 N 8th Street at the Metro Club just off of Washington Square in Center City East. There's a little bit of hustle and bustle outside, with the lush beautiful square just steps away! Close to Le Pain Quotidien, Starbucks, Talula's Garden, and much more...

Come On In: This is luxurious  living in Philadelphia. This very large and bright 2 bedroom property with views of the city includes deeded parking, pool, gym and concierge appointed building. Hardwood floors, marble bath, open floor plan and elevator access to all floors. This condo is all on one level. Electric utilities and cooking.

Ready to show! Contact the Somers Team for more information.


Holiday Short Sale at 511-19 Broad Street!

Our Broad Street Street Holiday Spectacular? It's live at 511-19 Broad Street, 702.

This modern studio is smart Center City Philadelphia living, priced to please at $105,000.

Large windows overlook the city from the 7th floor. Live steps from the subway at Spring Garden Street and a few blocks away from local gems such as Cafe Lift, Trestle Inn (newly reopened as a whiskey and 60's themed bar), and Prohibition Taproom in the Loft District or the acclaimed restaurant Osteria on North Broad.

Contact the Somers Team for more information!

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Phone: 215.253.6818