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Northwood Food Truck Festival 2019

The Northwood Food Truck Festival of 2019 was a brilliant success. I did not sample all the foods as there were too many.

The music was rather jazzy and not obtrusive. It was well received and attended by neighbors, but I thought it could have used more people.  Although it was not crowded, there was a steady flow of people who did stop to eat.

There was a police presence, but you really had to look, as the officers blended in with the crowd.

The photographs speak for themselves.

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Northwood Park was formed in or about 1888. It eventually had picnic tables and covered pavilions for concerts and park-goers. (I remember when most of all the City Parks had them and I am angry they have not ever been replaced).

Living in Deed Restricted Northwood for 20 years and the little things become big things.

The quality of life in Northwood is diminishing due to large amounts of trash — in the form of glass bottles, plastic bottles, plastic bags candy wrappers and other junk (used needles) thrown out of automobiles and parked cars. This “little” problem is ignored by the City and it is piling up into a bigger problem. 

The streets cannot be cleaned of the debris because of cars & trucks being “stored” at the corner intersection and the sewers have become clogged. The City will not clean any of this and it causes Castor Avenue to flood every time it rains.

The lack of enforcement by the police (ignored complaints),  allows unregistered automobiles & trucks to be illegally stored on the streets throughout — Trucks are parked for weeks right in front of a sign which says “no truck parking” — and these vehicles cause an unsafe situation in many ways.

One cannot see oncoming traffic when trying to enter Castor Avenue because their view is obstructed by a truck. When this truck is gone, it will almost immediately be replaced by another truck. This is a chronic & ongoing situation.

I want it noted that this will eventually lead to an accident or a death and both the City & truck-owner will be held accountable.

All being said – I am a critic of Mayor Jim Kenney, Maria Quiñones-Sanchez and the whole of City Council. You do not want to hear my opinion. It is an [expletive] indictment and a chronology of ineptitude painted (by them) to look like some huge accomplishment.

If the City wants to improve the quality of life, then City Council should not tax sugar, but should tax plastic and glass.  They should propose a two cent deposit (city tax) on all bottles – both glass and plastic.

That will stop throwing them all over the streets.

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Frankford Y Building on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places

Garsed Bromley Mansion – New Frankford Community Y

At the July 8th meeting of the Philadelphia Historical Commission, the Garsed Bromley Mansion / YWCA of Frankford was approved and placed upon the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. ( I was the lead nominator, Debbie Klak, former president of the HSF (Historical Society of Frankford) and Diane Sadler, curator of the HSF were the co-nominators)
There was no local representative or elected public official in support – or against, there was no representative from the “owners” of the present non-profit who control the building, there were no representatives from Northwood Civic Association (that once so loudly vocal about demolishing the Building). 
There was no broad community support. 
Ashley Hahn of Planphilly was (as she usually is) present with her lap-top typing and covering all the nominations.
John Buffington board member of Historical Society of Frankford and Frankford resident, was the lone-wolf who spoke highly and eloquently about the building and Frankford in general.
Thank you John,
and thank you Ashley.
If you want to see or read the nomination, 
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The News of Independence in July 1776

The News of Independence in July 1776

 Publication: The Pennsylvania Gazette

Date: July 3, 1776




Publication: The Pennsylvania Gazette

Date: July 10, 1776


 Extract of a letter from Williamsburg, dated July 4.

 “Our Convention is not yet broke up; they have appointed PATRICK HENRY, Governor, and chosen a council of eight members, which is to be the executive power; the legislative consists of two branches, one consisting of a House of Burgesses or Delegates, the other consists of 24 members called Senators, to be chosen by the Freeholders as soon as the Colony is laid out in districts; the House of Burgesses to be elected as customary. Governor not to continue more than three years, and annually elected.”

On Monday last at twelve othe DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE was proclaimed at the State House in this city, in the presence of many thousand spectators, who testified their approbation by repeated acclamations.

The same day, at the election for the PROVINCIAL CONVENTION, the following gentlemen were elected members, via.

For the City of Philadelphia. Benjamin Franklin, Owen Biddle, George Clymer, Frederick Kuhl, Timothy Matlack, David Rittenhouse, James Cannon, George Schlosser.

For the County. Frederick Antis, Henry Hill, Robert Loller, John Bull, Joseph Blewer, Thomas Potts, Edward Bartholomew, William Coats.

For Bucks county. Joseph Hart, John Wilkinson, John Keller, Samuel Smith, William Van Horn, Abraham Middleswarts, Joseph Kirdbride, and John Griam.

Clement Biddle, Esq; is appointed Deputy Quarter Master General to the flying camp in New Jersey, with the rank of Colonel.


Publication: The Pennsylvania Gazette

Date: July 10, 1776





WHEN, in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of NatureGod entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

We hold these Truths to be self evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies, and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the present King of Great Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.

HE has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.

HE has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

HE has refused to pass other Laws for the Accommodation of large Districts of People, unless those People would relinquish the Right of Representation in the Legislature, a Right in estimable to them, and formidable to Tyrants only.

HE has called together Legislative Bodies at Places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the Depository of their public Records, for the sole Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with his Measures.

HE has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly Firmness his Invasions on the Rights of the People.

HE has refused, for a long Time after such Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their Exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, and Convulsions within.

HE has endeavoured to prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations hither, and raising the Conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

HE has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

HE has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and the Amount and Payment of their Salaries.

HE has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their Substance.

HE has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislatures.

HE has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

HE has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation;

FOR quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us:

FOR protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

FOR cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World:

FOR imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

FOR depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:

FOR transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences:

FOR abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an arbitrary Government, and enlarging its Boundaries, so as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same absolute Rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

FOR suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever.

HE has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

HE has plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People.

HE is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the Works of Death, Desolation and Tyranny, already begun with Circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation.

HE has constrained our Fellow Citizens, taken captive on the high Seas, to bear Arms against their Country, to become the Executioners of their Friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

HE has excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare is an undistinguished Destruction of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.

IN every Stage of these Oppressions we have petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every Act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.

NOR have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here. We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of Consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.

WE, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in GENERAL CONGRESS assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great Britain is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which INDEPENDENT STATES may of right do. And for the Support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Signed by Order and in Behalf of the Congress, Attest.JOHN HANCOCK, President. CHARLES THOMSON, Secretary.


The above news articles were provided, courtesy of Accessible Archives.



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The Greening of Frankford

Somehow I feel this article is relevant and connected to PhillyRising & to the Mural Arts Program. If it is not then it should be.

Early to Dinner:
November 21, 2011
“Greening Vacant Lots Linked to Reduced Gun Violence”
“We all know about modern theories of policing that suggests signs of deterioration in a community – vacant lots, boarded-up buildings and, most famously, broken windows – communicate to would-be criminals, “No one cares about this place, so you don’t have to either.”  A related theory suggests that the presence of all these same “physical incivilities”promotes weak social ties among residents, increasing crime and discouraging the kind of community self-policing that Jane Jacobs celebrated.
These theories seem sensible. You’re more likely to drop a candy wrapper on a sidewalk that’s already covered in trash. But there hasn’t been a lot of quality, hard data to back this up.
A new study, published online this week in the American Journal of Epidemiology, offers some of the more promising evidence.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania studied a 10-year project in Philadelphia to convert vacant lots into park space. They found that gun-related assaults significantly declined in areas around the lots that had been greened. Vandalism and criminal mischief also significantly fell off. …more at link:
Philadelphia Inquirer is Late for Dinner:  ” ‘Greening’ Vacant Lots Linked to dip in crime” was published on the front page of Philadelphia Inquirer, November 25, 2011. However the article was not found on the Internet under that title; but it t was found as: University of Pennsylvania study links vacant-lot cleanups, reduced gun crime
Posted: Fri, Nov. 25, 2011, 3:01 AM
By Tom Avril, Inquirer Staff Writer
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The Story of Wally’s Bar

When I was a teenager in the 1960’s it was called Wally’s Bar (Bridge & Jackson Sts.) – until the late 1980’s. We even made up a little song about it:

“I was drunk last night; I was drunk the night before; but tonight I’m gonna get drunk; like I never got drunk before ….”

In the about 1983 Wally Wyszynski wanted $90,000 for the place. When I said I could raise the money and buy it – he quickly raised the price to $130,000 to prevent me from buying it.

Soon thereafter, he got cancer but he was still serving the 20 cent beers while he was wearing a colostomy bag – and he still wanted the $130,000 which I could not raise.

I told my friends that Wally wanted to go out wearing his boots. He did.

I’ll miss Wally & his bar. There were many great games of Horse Collar 21 & 51 played on that table with the old timers and the 20 cent beer.

Wally died and his wife ran it a few years and ended up selling Wally’s Bar for $80,000 to a couple of partners (a woman & a man). The new name was Uncle Jacks.

Uncle Jack wanted a young crowd – the old geezers had to go, but how were they going to do that? Most of the time the old timers would beat us young guys on the shuffle-board for a beer and practically drink for free. We had to out drink the old guys to get them off the shuffle board, because we almost never won a game.

The first thing Uncle Jack did was to scrap the old wooden shuffle board, as it was a game played over 20 cent beers & kept the old timers drinking. They wanted to push the more expensive 12 oz. bottled beer; and not sell 6 oz. glasses of tap beer.

The second thing they did was tear out walls and removed the kitchen as to make the place bigger. It soon had no kitchen, but did have some pool tables & dart boards.

One day – An odd thing happened.

The woman partner in Uncle Jack’s loved to gab on the phone, but it was one of those old cheap cordless phones.

My two sisters lived almost directly across the street and my one sister is legally blind and has nothing better to do but to listen to a police scanner, which by accident picked up the phone calls from the bar being transmitted over the airwaves.

Anyway my sister hears her telling the story that while demolishing the kitchen wall, they found over $80,000 that Wally, throughout his lifetime had saved and hid this money in the wall.

Wally died and never told the old Lady about the money, or perhaps it was there from before the great Depression and Wally did not know.

My sister tells me the money story, and so I went into the bar and had a couple of rounds to loosen up. I’m a bit pissey & salty about the shuffle board removal and I feel like having some fun without the board.

I called the owner over and said to her that if she would pour me a free beer I would giver her a hot tip.

She said: NO! I said “OK, how about a 20 cent beer and I’ll giver you some important information.”

Well she was kind of nasty and told me that “prices were not negotiable, and that if I could not afford to pay for a beer to just get the hell out.”

I told he that I was not her enemy and just trying to help her by passing her some information that I was told.

She said: “What information?”

I said “that anyone who just found $80,000 in the wall could afford to pour me a 20 cent beer.”

She was changing all kind of colors and I think her eyes were bugging out of her head like Jackie Gleason (the Honeymooners).

Well anyway, about that time I am cracking up & giggling. I really did not want another beer.

I said I would give her “some free advice.”

I said “that everyone in the neighborhood knew about the money.” I said “it was being picked up on every AM radio in the neighborhood, and now that she did have so much new found wealth, that she should not be so cheap when buying a new phone.”

That was it!!! She threw me out!

I was Flagged for Life!!!!

Not much latter, her and her partner had a falling out. He stole all the new found money & her new cordless phone and ran away. She went back to talking on the old cheap phone – so my sister says.

She ended up selling the place to a couple brothers who were wanna be gangsters or they were roofers or something for $130,000.

The new owners changed the name to Cappy’s Cafe.

After many fights, lawsuits & people getting assaulted & broken jaws – they sold the place, and next it became known as Minnow’s bar.

At Minnow’s there was a shooting and they were closed down. They just reopened as Natasha’s Caribbean Cafe (no liquor).

Oddly, it has (an illegal) cell phone tower on the roof broadcasting telephone calls to everyone.

I never went back.