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Frankford Civic Association Meeting

Christopher Wink -

The Frankford Civic Association meeting last night had over 30 in attendance including some new faces which are always welcome.  The big issue was the Bridge.  As usual, Chris Wink did his outstanding job reporting for  Wink prefers to work in the background but he faithfully attends these community meetings and makes the job here much easier.  You can read his report here.

The next Frankford Civic meeting on April 7th will feature a presentation by the Bridge.   They are looking for community support in the quest to move into Frankford.  The Frankford Civic board is looking for community input before they make their decision on support.  Even if you cannot vote directly, you can make your opinion heard.

My opinion is that I support the Bridge.  It looks like a great program and I cannot understand why it has to move into this particular location.  So I support the Bridge finding another location.  There is no overwhelming reason why the Bridge should be in Frankford.  We have gone on record in the past that we have enough of this type of service here and that is simple enough.

Find another creative use for that land that does something positive for the community.  Follow the Frankford Creek Redevelopment Area Plan.  If you have forgotten about it.  Read it here.  But that is only my opinion.  Come to the meeting next month and express yours.

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A modest note of departure from a long term visitor

From Christopher Wink:

Frankford won’t much miss me. That I know.christopher-wink_headshot-extra-small

This neighborhood has been shaped for hundreds of years, thousands more, I suppose, when including Lenni Lenape men and women walking some form of Frankford Avenue. My time here, by comparison, has been simply inconsequential. Forty thousand people or so live here now, in varying states of fighting for, bettering, worsening, surviving and loving the gateway to the Northeast. I’ve just been one, but I’ve enjoyed my 13 months here enough that I hoped I might mark its conclusion.

I settled into the third floor of a big, renovated duplex on the 4600-block of Penn Street in November 2008. I wanted an affordable, culturally significant neighborhood independent of Center City but a short transit trip away. I’ve had that and leave with a sense of appreciation for Frankford.

I’ll miss being able to walk to the always welcoming and warm Frankford Library and around the corner to the hidden museum that is the Historical Society of Frankford. There are a dozen big, beautiful houses I’ll miss passing by, many of them chronicled here, including my favorite home in all of architecturally over-endowed Philadelphia. I’ll miss the chicken steaks from Leandro’s — no, not the original, but the one nearer and friendlier to me in my time here. I’ll miss playing basketball and the occasional lager at Billy’s Chili Pot.

I only lived in Frankford for 13 months. I must have called the cops 50 times and walked down those Margaret-Orthodox station steps twice that. I’ve sat on stoops with neighbors and took my bicycle along nearly all the streets of Frankford — by the great, big manses west of the avenue and the rowhomes to the east.

Of course, as people often say, this goodbye has no sense of finality to me. I’ll continue working with Frankford High School’s journalism club, and I’ll be around Frankford, Northwood and other civic meetings in my contributing capacities with NEast Philly, a hyperlocal news site for the Northeast.

But I know it’s not the same. Frankford is a neighborhood, perhaps even more than most in Philadelphia, that craves an authenticity that is hard to replicate outside of those boundaries around the creek, Torresdale, Castor and Cheltenham avenues. For whatever it’s worth, though, I’ll always see myself as a friend to Frankford. A year isn’t long enough to claim to know a neighborhood well, but I know it a little better.

I gave my landlord the keys and walked out of that one-bedroom apartment for the final time last week. I left for my El trip home thinking that there’s a fracture here in Frankford, one that also exists, to greater and lesser degrees, in the riverward neighborhoods that also share that rumbling, elevated mainstay. Some have argued that that big, dusty, blue train helped break the communities that existed here in the early second half of the 20th century. Today there are signs of departure from that. There are signs that the very same El that helped bring blight and drugs and crime will begin to bring another generation of communities that will hope to rebuild all the parts of Philadelphia its reaches.

Frankford will not be rebuilt tomorrow. But I’ll just be short El trip away to see that process unfold.

Christopher Wink is a freelance journalist. Earlier this month, he moved into his first home in Fishtown. You can see more of his work on his professional site here.

There is no doubt, we will be hearing his name again.  Good luck Chris.

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I Made It Into Globe Dye Works

globe-dye-works-signYesterday, local Frankfordian and free lance journalist Christopher Wink and I took our misadventures on the road to the Globe Dye Works.  And this is what we’ve learned.

  • Charlie Abdo, brothers Matt and Ian Papajohn, and 3 other guys(sorry I can’t remember their names) have gone partners in the Globe Development Group.  Charlie and and another guy are the operations guys on this project.  GDG has other buildings in other neighborhoods too
  • this Charlie Abdo founded North Star Bar back in ’81 as their history states, so he has already touched on awesomeness.
  • by some estimates, the facility has 165,000 square feet of space
  • Globe Dye Works isn’t just one building.  It’s many buildings built side by side as the organization expanded through it’s existence
  • The development of the facility appears to be very organic, it’s just evolving.  The one thing that’s being concentrated on is its environmental sustainability
  • they bought a house across the street at sheriff sale to make sure something will get done with the place, super cool
  • Here’s it’s entry by Torben Jenk on
  • There’s a metal worker, wood worker and a UPenn art professor already taking up space in the building
  • An art exhibition showcasing the building is on May 9th from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM.  I’ll be there.
  • I have a ton of pictures from this very cool place that I will be showcasing for quite some time.  Below is a little taste:


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Freelance Journalist and All Around Awesome Guy Found Living in Frankford

Christopher WinkChris Wink appears to be quite awesome.  Here he is being named one of the 100 top young journalists by UWire.  He’s written for the Philadelphia Weekly.  He has spoken at Temple’s 08 Commencement, and has been a guest on Fox 29 talking about politics and shit.

My father found him 3 days ago blogging about moving in, and I met his unphotoshopped self last night when he actually showed up at the halfway house Town Hall Meeting and talked about community involvement.

In all seriousness, I don’t usually call any non politician out by name, but on account of how he’s thrown himself up all over the internet, I just had to bring him up.  I had always considered Frankford a hidden gem, that only I knew about because I grew up here.  But apparently others are finding out too.  That someone as cool as this made a (probably) rational choice to come stay here a while gives me a lot of hope, because the reasons he chose Frankford were the same as mine, and now that makes two of us.  Now where’s my third?