CenterCityTeam Category

Items Found In Colonial Privies to Be Shown In Revolution Museum

July 7th, 2016 Shannon O'Donnell Comments Off on Items Found In Colonial Privies to Be Shown In Revolution Museum

They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This is especially true when you add in the variable of three centuries between the trash-dumping and its discovery. Such is the case in Philadelphia, where interesting historical items have been excavated from a dozen colonial-age privies (or toilets) found on the site of the upcoming Museum of the American Revolution. Unlike today’s toilets, which are used solely for human waste, colonial privies were often a dumping site for other household trash. Among the dozen brick-lined privy pits found on the Museum’s property, tens of thousands of artifacts were discovered.

privies

The brick-lined privies yielded tens of thousands of fascinating artifacts.

The area where the privies were discovered used to be known as Carter’s Alley, and it was lined with businesses and private homes from the beginning of the 1700s until the end of that century. Nina Golgowski of the Huffington Post reports that the types of items found in each privy made it easy to determine what sort of business to which it was attached. For example, 750 pieces of type were found in a privy that was determined to be located near a printer’s establishment.

Smithsonian.org mentioned that one of the most interesting pits was the one dug by Benjamin and Mary Humphreys, who were eventually arrested in 1783 for running an illegal tavern and brothel. That pit yielded “dozens of drinking vessels, beer, wine and liquor bottles, broken tobacco pipes, serving dishes and broken punch bowls.” It’s believed that the Humphreys used their privy as a place to dump the evidence of their illicit establishment. A windowpane etched with a political quote by Cato the Younger was another treasure discovered in the Humphreys’ privy pit. One that will definitely go on display in the Museum is a punchbowl depicting the Triphena, the ship that the American colonists sent in 1765 to Britain bearing a demand for the repeal of the notorious Stamp Act.

Several of the artifacts found in the privies will make their way to the display cases of the Museum, which is set to open in 2017.

Tour Focuses on Scandalous Lives of the Founding Fathers

July 6th, 2016 Shannon O'Donnell Comments Off on Tour Focuses on Scandalous Lives of the Founding Fathers

It’s easy to view historical figures in an almost saintly light. Immortalized in dignified painted portraits, one tends to forget that these were people, real people with real lives as colorful and interesting as our own. One doesn’t think often of George Washington’s sex life, for instance. And yet, a new tour in Philadelphia is exposing the public to the more salacious details of the founding fathers’ lives for the very first time.

The tour is called “Sex and the (First) City,” and it is led by former criminal lawyer David Cross. Mild-mannered and a little nerdy-looking in his bow tie and khakis, Cross nonetheless has created a vivid reconstruction of the private lives of some of America’s most prominent statesmen.

Did you know, for instance, that Benjamin Franklin was a great frequenter of ladies of the night? Or that General (and first President) George Washington was on an endless quest for aphrodisiacs, which included the infamous Spanish Fly? Thomas Jefferson was known as a ladies’ man, cutting a swath through the more adventuresome women of the City of Brotherly Love. And good old Alexander Hamilton, now the star of an award-winning Broadway musical, was having an affair with the married Maria Reynolds at his Walnut Street home while simultaneously blackmailing her husband, James.

The tour is held in the early evenings, at 7 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, in Old City. The sordid details are described vaguely enough that it’s safe for families with older children. The Daily News made note of Cross’s delicate, deliberately vague phrasing, which includes gems like “certain gesticulations,” “the act,” “love’s disport,” and “Cyprian mysteries.” It’s nothing, a guest commented, that a kid wouldn’t hear on cable.

To book a tour, go to: sexandthefirstcity.com.

Just Sold: 1933 Federal St, Philadelphia, PA 19146

July 5th, 2016 Frank L. DeFazio Comments Off on Just Sold: 1933 Federal St, Philadelphia, PA 19146

1933 Federal St

Just Sold: $360,000

 Beauty, warmth and exquisite craftsmanship are the hallmarks of this contemporary Point Breeze row. This fantastic, three story home features a well-designed floor plan with large, airy rooms, soaring ceilings and tons of natural light. The open floor plan is spectacular and the home is spotless and loaded with premium upgrades. Kick off your shoes after a long day, drop off your bag and make yourself at home. Relax in your open-concept living room flooded with natural light and gleaming hardwood floors. Get dinner started in your modern kitchen complete with maple cabinets, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, a mosaic glass tile backsplash and granite island with plenty of space for food preparation. After dinner, pour a glass of wine and make your way out back to your wonderfully private deck where you’ll spend summer days gardening and nights grilling and dining al fresco. A powder room and laundry round out the first floor. Upstairs you’ll find two sunny bedrooms, one with a den/office, and a full bath, allowing guests to feel right at home without compromising your privacy. Finally, wind down in the evening in your third floor two bedroom retreat. The back bedroom has two windows with sweeping skyline views while the larger front bedroom has a large closet and can be used as a Master. Surrounded by new construction and rehab projects, this home is positioned to benefit from the revitalization of Point Breeze and the accessibility to the Schuylkill banks waterfront. You’ll enjoy the ever-expanding Point Breeze amenities such as American Sardine Bar, the Pharmacy, the pop-up beer garden, Buckminster’s and Breezy’s Cafe and savor Graduate Hospital classics, Ultimo Coffee, Grace Tavern and the Side Car. Public transportation is just a stone’s throw away and parking is plentiful, making this one of the most convenient locations in the city. Start planning your housewarming party now – you have found your home!

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Frank L. DeFazio, JD (previously licensed to practice law in PA/NJ)
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS
530 Walnut Street, Suite 260
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215.521.1623 Direct
610.636.4364 Cellular
888.308.1148 Fax
Frank@CenterCityTeam.com
www.CenterCityTeam.com
PA License # RS299840
Click Here to get your home’s value instantly for free!
Over 48 Million in 2014 sales!
2015, 2014 “America’s Best Real Estate Agents” a prestigious national award by Real Trends, Trulia and Zillow recognized in the Wall Street Journal

Sanders Supporters Book Up Campgrounds for DNC Protests

July 5th, 2016 Shannon O'Donnell Comments Off on Sanders Supporters Book Up Campgrounds for DNC Protests

Who knew that Bernie Sanders would provide an inadvertent boom for the campground industry? Supporters of Senator Sanders, who disapprove of Hillary Clinton’s presumptive nomination for the Democratic candidacy for president, are planning to gather en mass to protest during the Democratic National Convention, to be held later this month in Philadelphia.

camping

Bernie Sanders’ supporters are planning to camp out in order to protest the DNC.

Cheryl Robinson, co-owners of the Four Seasons campground in Pilesgrove, New Jersey (which is located just thirty miles south of Philadelphia), says that all 200 of the ground’s campsites have been booked up for the days of the convention. Now, the remaining long-term rental sites are starting to be booked up as well. Robinson says that usually the campground is only fully booked during major holidays or on major events, such as when the Pope came to town last September.

“We are getting phone calls constantly,” Robinson told The Morning Call. “A lot of times they don’t want to let us know that they’re Bernie supporters. We ask if they’re coming for Occupy the DNC, and then they kind of giggle and embarrassedly say, ‘Yes, we are.'”

It’s believed that tens of thousands of Sanders supporters will take part in rallies and protests during the DNC. They are not just hitting the Four Seasons campground, either. Reports from Timberlane, in Clarksboro, and other campgrounds are that they are getting booked up, and spots at Parvin State Park in Elmer are starting to go, said Laurie Cestnick, a Massachusetts neuroscientist and organizer of the Occupy the DNC Facebook page. What do all these spots have in common? They are less than one hour’s drive from Philadelphia.

 

Just Sold: 1805 Pine St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

July 5th, 2016 Frank L. DeFazio Comments Off on Just Sold: 1805 Pine St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

1805 Pine St

Just Sold: $2,850,000

Formerly the Civil War Museum of Philadelphia, this historic residence resounds with charm displaying beautifully appointed interiors that feature 12 ft. ceilings, 9 fireplaces, original woodwork, and a two car garage. Its built-in surround sound, exquisite great room, and fabulous roof deck with magnificent city views make this spacious home perfect for entertaining. The finest amenities complement its luxurious rooms including grand foyer, elegant living room, five bedrooms, five full-and two half-baths, plus an elaborate playroom/family room that leads to a deck overlooking the distinctive courtyard. In the heart of Rittenhouse Square, this charming home, with 5 years remaining on the tax abatement, features an abundance of storage, 4-zone AC, and large windows allowing natural light to flow in. Featured in Philly Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and showcased on Houzz, this home is convenient to the finest restaurants and shopping as well as University City, Drexel, 30th Street Station, 1-76 and all of center city.

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Frank L. DeFazio, JD (previously licensed to practice law in PA/NJ)
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS
530 Walnut Street, Suite 260
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215.521.1623 Direct
610.636.4364 Cellular
888.308.1148 Fax
Frank@CenterCityTeam.com
www.CenterCityTeam.com
PA License # RS299840
Click Here to get your home’s value instantly for free!
Over 48 Million in 2014 sales!
2015, 2014 “America’s Best Real Estate Agents” a prestigious national award by Real Trends, Trulia and Zillow recognized in the Wall Street Journal

Just Sold: 1902 S Iseminger St, Philadelphia, PA 19148

June 30th, 2016 Frank L. DeFazio Comments Off on Just Sold: 1902 S Iseminger St, Philadelphia, PA 19148

1902 S Iseminger St 8

Just Sold: $328,000

Totally renovated, pristine, meticulously cared for 2 story, 2 bed/2bath home in Passyunk Square! Located on a tree lined street and featuring tons of curb appeal, this move in ready home features an open living/dining room, tons of natural light, hardwood floors, fresh paint, crown molding, custom kitchen cabinets, stainless steel appliances, renovated baths, central air, tons of closet space and rear patio! Finished basement offers full bath and laundry area. Located in the hottest and most desirable neighborhood in Philadelphia, this home is only steps from Passyunk’s best dining, shopping , and bakeries. Easy access to supermarkets, hospitals and SEPTA, Broad Street Line and all major highways. Walkscore 98%!

1902 S Iseminger St 6 1902 S Iseminger St 5 1902 S Iseminger St 4 1902 S Iseminger St 3 1902 S Iseminger St 2 1902 S Iseminger St 1 1902 S Iseminger St 1902 S Iseminger St 7

Frank L. DeFazio, JD (previously licensed to practice law in PA/NJ)
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS
530 Walnut Street, Suite 260
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215.521.1623 Direct
610.636.4364 Cellular
888.308.1148 Fax
Frank@CenterCityTeam.com
www.CenterCityTeam.com
PA License # RS299840
Click Here to get your home’s value instantly for free!
Over 48 Million in 2014 sales!
2015, 2014 “America’s Best Real Estate Agents” a prestigious national award by Real Trends, Trulia and Zillow recognized in the Wall Street Journal

Philly News Briefs: 6/30/16

June 30th, 2016 Shannon O'Donnell Comments Off on Philly News Briefs: 6/30/16

1.) Bernie Sanders is encouraging Democrats to donate so that his pledged delegates can afford the trip for Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention. He sent out a batch of e-mails encouraging supporters to help delegates, many of whom are not wealthy, pay for the trip to the convention which, with airfare, hotel costs, and other expenses, can add up to almost $4,000 per delegate. “Here’s the thing: Our delegates are not wealthy campaign contributors,” wrote campaign manager Jeff Weaver in the email. “They’re not party insiders or establishment elites. They’re working folks, and it’s not easy for many of them to fly to Philly and stay in hotels for a week. … It’s easy for the political establishment to navigate this and know whom to call to find the right way in. That, or they’re wealthy enough to pay for themselves.”

amish

A group of Amish tourists were assisted by SEPTA recently.

2.) SEPTA was there to help out a group of Amish visitors to Philly who were in town to visit the zoo. The group of 62 residents came from Peach Bottom, in Lancaster County. They milked their cows in the morning, said reports, and were back home 12 hours later to milk them again. The Amish “took an Amtrak train to 30th Street Station where they were met by a SEPTA representative who helped them board a Phlash bus, which took them to the Philadelphia Zoo,” said ABC-6 Action News.

3.) Philadelphia is considered a progressive city in many ways, but it recently became even more so for Muslim public school students who will no longer have to miss classes on significant holy days. Almost 200,000 students will be affected by the addition of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha to the school calendar. Only New York City has also taken the steps to recognize these holidays. The Muslim community in Philadelphia is responding joyfully to the news, especially in light of widespread Islamophobia in the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando and the proliferation of Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy.

Eastern State Penitentiary Debuts New Exhibit

June 29th, 2016 Shannon O'Donnell Comments Off on Eastern State Penitentiary Debuts New Exhibit

Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia was, without question, one of the country’s most influential prisons. It was the nation’s first penitentiary (the term was coined here) and was among the first prisons that aimed to reform and rehabilitate its inmates, not just punish them. Today, the Penitentiary is among Philadelphia’s most-visited tourist attractions. It recently unrolled a new exhibit, “Prisons Today: Questions in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” that questions the role that prisons play in today’s society and asks visitors to question their views on imprisonment.

esp

A new exhibit at the Eastern State Penitentiary challenges the ideas behind modern American imprisonment.

The prison opened in 1829 thanks to the combined work of Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Rush and a group of reformers called the Philadelphia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons. Their goal was a prison where the focus was not on punishment, but on penitence. Prisoners would live a lifestyle best described as monastic, not being allowed contact with other prisoners and only limited interaction with guards or prison administration. They would spend the majority of their time in solitary confinement and were not allowed visitors.

Charles Dickons visited the prison in the 1840s and wasn’t a huge fan of the format: “”In its intention I am well convinced that it is kind, humane, and meant for reformation; but I am persuaded that those who designed this system of Prison Discipline, and those benevolent gentleman who carry it into execution, do not know what it is that they are doing… I hold this slow and daily tampering with the mysteries of the brain to be immeasurably worse than any torture of the body.”

The prison eventually transitioned into more of a normal, modern-day one around the turn of the twentieth century when room for more prisoners were needed and the cells were converted into doubles and triples and a universal dining hall was added.

The prison closed in the 1970s and has offered tours since the 1990s.

According to Cleveland.com, “The exhibit asks the question: Why does the United States need to imprison so many people? And the answer: It doesn’t.” Visitors can come to their own conclusions by visiting the prison.

 

Verizon Makes Network Upgrades in Philly Ahead of DNC

June 28th, 2016 Shannon O'Donnell Comments Off on Verizon Makes Network Upgrades in Philly Ahead of DNC

Republican or Democrat, delegate or protester, there’s a safe bet that everyone attending the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia will be doing some of the same things: calling, texting, and uploading pictures to social media during the convention. The number of people present and using local networks would put a strain on any provider, but Verizon is preparing for the event in advance.

wells fargo

Verizon is taking pains to ensure that service will be good for visitors to the Wells Fargo Center, where the DNC is taking place.

The Philadelphia Business Journal reported that Verizon is making major upgrades to some of its Philadelphia networks for the second time in two years. The new upgrades, which are being made in Old City and South Philly, come in addition to upgrades made ahead of Pope Francis’ visit last year. The upgrades will help handle the countless texts, posts, tweets, and calls made by the tens of thousands of people expected to be in town for the DNC.

The locations of the upgrades are strategic, to make sure areas “crucial to the convention’s success” are served with the best reception. Andrew Testa, a Verizon spokesman, told the journal that the company was installing a system that would provide Wells Fargo Center with “six times more capacity.” Not only is Verizon beefing up its network to handle the major amounts of data going in and out of Philly, but it is making contingency plans for any outages as well. “We have eight hours of battery and generator backup should something go wrong,” Testa explained. There will be a command center set up on-site with company representatives on the ground in case severe weather or other problems threaten to interfere with service.

Per the Journal: “Other permanent enhancements in Philly include the installation of additional small cells and expanded network capacity at nearby Lincoln Financial Field, and the addition of new fiber, which will benefit broadcast media outlets, at Wells Fargo, Independence Mall and the National Constitution Center.”

Verizon is making similar upgrades in Cleveland ahead of the Republican National Convention.

Philadelphia Earns Recognition for Reducing Childhood Obesity

June 27th, 2016 Shannon O'Donnell Comments Off on Philadelphia Earns Recognition for Reducing Childhood Obesity

It’s widely recognized that childhood obesity is a national problem in the United States. Not only are obese children likely to become obese adults, but the condition is associated with a host of dangerous comorbidities, including Type 2 diabetes and cardiac problems. Luckily, the nation is starting to realize the dangers of childhood obesity and taking steps to curb the issue. Philadelphia is doing its part, and it’s getting recognition for the fact. The city got a specific call-out in the “Signs of Progress” report released recently by the the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation. Specifically, the City of Brotherly Love reported a 6.5 percent relative decline in childhood obesity during the period between 2006-2007 and 2012-13.

kids

It’s a known fact that increased physical activity helps reduce rates of childhood obesity.

The biggest decline in obesity was seen in little boys, specifically those of African-American and Asian descent. Of over 30 cities covered in the report, Philadelphia was the only city to make the most progress with non-white youth. According to the Philly Voice, “the rate of obesity among K-12 students in Philadelphia fell from 21.7 percent in 2006-07 to 20.3 percent in 2012-13.” The credit for this drop goes largely to the combined efforts of Get Healthy Philly and The Food Trust, who have worked together to make healthy food more affordable, as well as to implement social policy changes at the local level.

Get Healthy Philly has been working since 2010 with over 900 city retailers to promote healthy food sales to Philadelphia’s youth. According to the Voice, “The Food Trust’s Philly Food Bucks program, which offers a $2 incentive for fruits and vegetables with every $5 spent in federal SNAP money, to date has generated nearly $80,000 in redeemed value.”

The Food Trust has done its part as well. In 2004 it worked with city schools to remove all sodas and sugar-sweetened beverages from vending machines. In 2006, the district implemented new rules for meals, snacks, drinks, physical activity, and nutrition education. In 2009, deep-fryers were banned from city schools and milk was switched from 2 percent to 1 percent and skim in all schools. Clearly, small measures work.