We got an email from Mike Newall a month ago looking to do an interview a couple weeks ago for a story about crime and development in Frankford for a new Philly-centered news website called Metropolis. Inside his four part series he scored some notable misses(like Friends restaurant was opened for under a year, it was Mozaic that opened during a so-called reneasance). Anyways check out all of his piece, it’s nice to see Frankford get some in depth attention. Although it does make me cringe when the title of part one is “The Frankford Story: In a Free Fall”. It’s like he asked someone from Mayfair for the title. If he had come in and done just that story it would have been the regular bullshit that Frankford gets from the area media. I am so sick of hearing where Frankford has been. Yes it sucks. I know how awesome it used to be. Try telling me why it sucks now and point out some things I can do to start changing it. So this bastard spends the next three articles doing just that. It is by far the most comprehensive report on the past, present and future of this neighborhood I have ever seen. And it’s a testament to this so-called “media revolution” that it should come out of a web based outfit as opposed to print. If paper and ink are too valuable to waste on forgotten places like Frankford, then let the printing presses die.
Part 2 covers the crime and drugs. Crime reporting to me is generally sensational, but tell me everything you can come up with about the drugs, especially about the drug rehab houses which he talks at length in part 3. I think the more residents know about how they open up and operate, the better prepared they are to fight it.
Part 4 is my favorite and most important to helping understand what’s going in Frankford now.
Here’s a quote from the piece about the political infighting I always considered too nuanced to even try bringing up:
Factions at war
It’s civic and business organizations are beset by nasty political fighting. Frankford has had had three city council representatives in the last four years – Rick Mariano, Dan Savage, and now Maria Quinones-Sanchez. All three have tried to stuff the boards of the local organizations with their own followers and now it’s all a big mess.
The Frankford Civic Association has had some recent success in fighting the zoning of recovery houses. But the civic consists almost entirely of Savage supporters seemingly more focused on winning the former councilman his seat back than taking bold action for Frankford. For her part, councilwoman Quinones-Sanchez has been no great friend to civic association, seemingly putting politics above constituent need.
“The political fighting is destroying the neighborhood,” said Rita Lugrine, a member of the Frankford Community Development Corporation.
But at the end of the day, what am I, a lone resident, able to do to help?
“We’ve been telling the community folks, pick a parcel of land, come up with an idea, shop it around to developers,” said Michael Thompson of the City Planning Commission.
I’m gonna think on this one, I’ll get back to this.
Overall I’m a huge fan on this piece of reporting, if this is how the future of reporting is going to be, it’s going to be an exciting time, not just for Frankford, but for any forgotten section of Philly. Mike Newall is a Philadelphia reporter who writes about neighborhoods. Yeah he does.