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Change is Coming to I-95

How will it affect you? Find out the project details and how it will change your commute and improve Girard Avenue for those that use it.

On Tuesday, May 3rd, PennDOT will be holding the first of two community workshop meetings to discuss the next phases of the I-95 Girard Avenue interchange project. The second will be Tuesday, May 17th, same place and time - please plan on attending both since they will build off each other. Project team members will present opportunities for neighbors to have a hand in the design of spaces under and next to the highway. For more info, please contact Marian Hull at 215-940-9270 or [email protected]

Tuesday, May 3rd 7-9pm
Skybox at 2424 Studios (2424 E. York Street)

[image via NKCDC]


Petition for Pedestrian Level Lighting Along Girard Avenue

Girard Avenue could use a few pedestrian level street lights, and we're not the first to think so. Especially with the opening of the Shops at Schmidts coming soon. So we'd like to pass on a local petition that will light up Girard Avenue and make your walk to Northern Liberties a little brighter in the evening. Here are the details:

The Girard Business and Arts Association (GBAA) is working to address concerns about doing business, living and working in the newly named Girard Liberties area (a commercial corridor from Frankford Ave to 8th Street and its surrounding side streets).

“A review of the findings from our survey prompted us to move forward with several actionable items.  The number one request was for Pedestrian Level Street Lighting,” said Suzanne Mooney, President of the GBAA.

Copies of the petition for the collection of signatures are now being distributed to local businesses, libraries, senior centers, schools, churches, and business and neighborhood associations.
The Petition states:

Girard Avenue from Frankford Avenue to North 8th Street is a commercial corridor with stores and shops which service the citizens of Northern Liberties, Kensington, Fishtown, Yorktown and East Poplar.
Lighting along this portion of Girard Avenue has been overlooked when it comes to local resources. During the evening the streets are dark and pose a security risk for all citizens including senior citizens, children and others who shop or walk along the Girard Avenue. We need pedestrian level lights which will light the sidewalks and create a safe environment for our citizens.

As citizens of Philadelphia, business owners, their employees, business representatives and residents we demand that our collective voices be heard. We demand that the street lights be replaced with brighter pedestrian level lights.

The petitions will be out there for approximately 60 days.  They will be collected by the GBAA at the end of March for presentation to the appropriate representative for the City of Philadelphia.

For additional information and for information about membership in the Girard Business & Arts Association, please contact Suzanne Mooney, GBAA President at 215-789-4198.


Girard Jingle Brings Holiday Specials to the Avenue

Mark your calendars for the Girard Jingle - an extremely rare opportunity to shop and dine at Girard Avenue businesses where you'll be able to take advantage of $1 specials and seasonal treats, like Free Eggnog and Cookies at Hyperion Bank.

It's nearly impossible to find anything for a dollar these days, right? Are you a Girard Avenue business? Let us know about your specials in the comments!


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


Putting the Fish Back in Fishtown

When Chef-owner Mike Stollenwerk opens Fathom Seafood House in Fishtown, you can expect all things fish in a manner of ways.

That means a serious Raw Bar, Oyster Shots, Cod Pierogies, Crispy Fish Tacos, Sword Fish Schnitzel, and more...

We couldn't think of a more apropos neighborhood to consume such items. With a beer list that is heavy on locals and fishy references (Flying Fish Abbey Dubbel, Harpoon 100 Barrel Series, Heavy Seas Small Craft Advisory), it should be a successful spot on the Girard Avenue corridor.

The seafood shack should be serving up fresh catches soon (in the next few weeks).  Stollenwerk currently owns Fish in Center City.

Fathom Seafood House
200 East Girard Avenue


Something Fishy in Fishtown !


4 Stages of Music from Front to 4th Street at Girard Fest

When a bunch of musicians show up on Girard Avenue on Saturday, September 25, do not be confused. It is only Girard Fest 2010, the latest in music-loving neighborhood festivals of Northern Liberties.

We got a glimpse of this year's bands, and you can expect the following show schedule:

Performing at Front St.:

6:00 - TAGGART

Performing at 2nd St.


Performing at 4th and Girard

12:30 - REFLEX
1:30 - RAFIYA

Performing at Crane Arts Building

1:00 – LIKE A FOX

That is a ton of local music, all of it for free.  There will be a trolley to take fest-goers through the loop. Along Girard Avenue from front to 4th St., there will also be vendors, food, and a beer garden. The event is hosted by a non-profit, the Girard Business and Arts Association (GBAA), to draw attention to the development of Girard Avenue. And they clearly have good taste in music, too!


Plans Brewing in Brewerytown

BrewerytownThe Brewerytown Neighborhood Plan has been released and it's a pretty insightful read. The Vision section paints Brewerytown as a "gateway to North Philadelphia and Fairmount Park bottom up - a model for grass-roots community redevelopment in Philadelphia, one community of tolerance, respect, and diversity."

The plan also announces Brewerytown's upcoming community website, which will serve as a resource to communicate ideas and keep track of developments and changes in the neighborhood. The list of initiatives includes hosting events, organizing block watches, and neighborhood cleanups and litter-free zone efforts. It goes into detail of land use and intentions to reclaim untended spaces and improve the streetscape. And of particular excitement to locals? The push for a grocery store on West Girard and the role of Girard Avenue as a destination in Brewerytown's future.

If you don't know much about the Brewerytown neighborhood,  reading the plan gives you a much closer look and a hopeful glimpse of its future. And if you have suggestions? Let them know what you think.

Explore more about Life in Brewerytown.


Mexican BYO Heating Up in Brewerytown

The City of Murals Gets Two More from Renowned Artist

What’s up with…Brewerytown

Big Plans for Cafes in Fishtown, Brewerytown, Fairmount, and Headhouse Square


Soapy Smells on Girard Avenue

Coa SoapsWhat does Fishtown wash their hands with?

Beekman's Copa Soaps has been crafting sudsy bars on Girard Avenue in Fishtown for quite a long time. If you've ever walked past the storefront, you can smell the clean, herbal scents emanating from the building.  The all natural, cold-processed soaps are made from various oils such as coconut, olive, palm, and almond - hence the name, C.O.P.A.

Soaps can be purchased online and are available in lush avocado, soothing honey oatmeal, several types of lavender, rejuvenating seaweed, and exhilarating peppermint. And that's just to name a few. We like the spicy zing of the ginger carrot. Bars range from $1.25 to $4.00.  You can also pick up large quantities in boxes.  Order 10 bars, and shipping is free.  And the nice clean feeling of knowing where your soap comes from? That's a pure bonus.

Copa Soaps
438 E Girard Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19125


Wrenches, Saws, and 24 Taps: Visit Kraftwork in Fishtown

KraftworkIf eating is the plan, then dinner and drinks at Kraftwork is one of the finest projects to take on in Fishtown. At the corner of Girard and Montgomery, Kraftwork has the makings of a real neighborhood bar with elevated food, from owner Adam Ritter and chef Michael Thomas. Ritter also owns the Sidecar Bar in Graduate Hospital.

On a recent Saturday evening, we headed over to Kraftwork and waited for a table at the bar. The place was packed with locals, immediately drawn to the center wraparound bar.  The giant saw hanging over the bar? That's just a tribute to the working man. The rest of the space was decked out with industrial and tool inspired objects. It felt airy and inventive, and the volume was exciting.  The kitchen doors swung open behind the bar every now and then, with the smells of awesome wafting out and plates of shareables and things that are too delicious to share carried forth by servers.

The drinks menu was laid out in a schedule with all of the particulars, making it a breeze to select your beverage. Selections from Flying Dog, Slyfox, and Founders, and maybe any beer you've ever loved, they're all here.

Oysters, ricotta dumplings, vegetable or charcuterie boards, and sandwiches like the Beer Can Chicken and the Falafel are on the agenda. For the finish? Pork Krispy Treats with chocolate, marshmallow, and bacon. Communal-style wooden tables make eating here a group effort, rewarded in deliciousness.

Explore more about Life in Fishtown. Ready to search for Fishtown properties?


It Must Be Fishtown Friday: Kraftwork Opens on Girard Avenue


Mexican BYO Heating Up in Brewerytown

Mexican BYO in Brewerytown

MM Partners reveals that they've just signed a Letter of Intent with an unnamed chef for a Mexican restaurant at 2711 W Girard Avenue in Brewerytown.  The BYO will offer cocktail mixers and authentic Mexican cuisine.  Plans include a a communal table in the 40-seat space and prices in the $20-25 per person range.  Tentative hours are: 4 pm to 10 pm,  Tuesday through Saturday.

Explore more about Life in Brewerytown.


The City of Murals Gets Two More from Renowned Artist

What’s up with…Brewerytown

Big Plans for Cafes in Fishtown, Brewerytown, Fairmount, and Headhouse Square


Phone: 215.253.6818