Callowhill News - Skidmutro Creative Partners



Callowhill News - Skidmutro Creative Partners
Callowhill News
429 N. 13th Street, 1A, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Fall/Winter 2006, Volume 2, Quarter 4
November 2006
Town Watch Patrol
7:00-8:00 pm
CNA Board Meeting
Board Members Only.
6:30-7:30 pm
Welcome to Trestletown—
Closing Show
Photos by Jackson Gruber
Café Lift
6:00-9:00 pm
Show runs Oct 12 - Nov 22
Siam Lotus
6:30-7:30 pm
December 2006
Town Watch Patrol
7:00-8:00 pm
CNA Board Meeting
Board Members Only.
6:30-7:30 pm
CNA General Meeting
All are Welcome.
7:30-8:30 pm
Siam Lotus
6:30-7:30 pm
January 2007
Town Watch Patrol
7:00-8:00 pm
Siam Lotus
6:30-7:30 pm
CNA Board Meeting
Board Members Only.
6:30-7:30 pm
Siam Lotus
6:30-7:30 pm
Please check the website, callowhill.
org, for locations of events and
other info.
This newsletter is
brought to you by
Sierra Skidmore, [email protected]
Creative Services
Travis Skidmore, [email protected]
If you are interested in submitting an
article, please send an email to
[email protected] with the subject
The Avenue in Transition
The future of North Broad Street
Intro by Sierra Skidmore
The Philadelphia City Planning Commision
(PCPC) is working with the City of Philadelpha
and Avenue of the Arts to revitalize North
Broad Street, not unlike the earlier planning
efforts of South Broad Street. The revitalization
focuses on the northern portion of the Avenue,
from City Hall to just above Glenwood Avenue.
The first installment of “Extending the Vision
for North Broad Street” touches on the history
of North Broad Street. Upcoming issues of
Callowhill News will feature the Goals of the
PCPC and the steps to fruition of their vision.
The following excerpt is taken from the PCPC’s
publication “Extending the Vision for North
Broad Street”
North Broad Street’s Cultural Past
For about the first one-third of the 20thCentury, North Broad Street was one of the
most fashionable thoroughfares in Philadelphia. Handsome mansions lined the northern
portion of the street. Closer to Center City,
North Broad was home to schools for the
arts, grand movie theatres, and concert halls,
including the Metropolitan Opera House and
the Pennsylvania Academy of the FIne Arts.
But transition of North Broad Street began
soon after the Great Depression of the 1930s.
The older gentry abandoned their residences
along Broad Street to settle in more prestigious areas of the city and region. In the
1950s and 60s, many large mansions were
subdivided into apartment buildings while
City Hall Tower View Of Philadelphia, looking Northward. Broad Street abounding in traffic and pleasure
vehicles. In the foreground the Lutheran and Methodist
churches, United Gas Improvement Company structure,
Masonic Temple, Odd Fellows’ Hall, etc. Beyond are
the Catholic High School, Baldwin Locomotive Works,
Spring Garden Institute, etc. Published by Moses King,
New York. Copyright, 1900 by Moses King.
others were torn down to accommodate the
development of light industry, automobileoriented uses and retail establishments.
With the changes of use came changes in
population. Above Spring Garden Street,
North Broad Streeet became an important
Continued on page 7
Nov 14, Dec 12, Jan 9
7pm - 8pm
CNA’s Monthly
Neighborhood Happy Hour
Meet at the southeast corner of
13th and Callowhill Streets
For more information on CNA events:
or email [email protected]
$3 Singha bottles, $4 well cocktails,
and $4 Happy Hour appetizers
Wed’s: Nov 29, Dec 27, Jan 31
931 Spring Garden Street. Street Parking Only.
Lemon Ridge: A Tree Story
By Phoebee Sloe
There’s a magical spot in our hood. A place
where the square edges of city buildings
have been softened back into roundness
and flow, where green leaves rustle in the
summer breeze, and where far away the
sound of the good-humor truck winds
through the neighborhood. It’s plinkety
tune drifts towards us, turns away, then
back again. It is Sunday, and all around us
the city is winding down, quieting itself
for rest so the work week can begin again
tomorrow. Traffic slows to a trickle, an
occasional bus goes by, a streetlight glows
on as the shadows deepen; then the moon
Ridge Ave. – N. of intersection of 13th and Mt.
Vernon streets – Track laying and paving.
rises and splashes of moonlight fall at our
feet. We get quieter too. Beneath these tall
trees there is something old and familiar,
something calm and comforting. This
place is our neighborhood mini-woods
—our Lemon Ridge Garden.
The trees were here long ago when
the Lenape lived here. Then in the 1630s,
Swedish and Dutch settlers crossed the
Delaware from New Jersey. Fifty years
later William Penn arrived with his charter
from the King and the city of Philadelphia
began to rise.
In our neighborhood, above Callowhill and west of Ridge Pike, streams ran
through the fields and beneath the trees
—one across the very edge of this garden
block. This was farmland until 1844, when
the land was subdivided, lots sold, and
houses built that are still here. That was the
beginning of a long, treeless time.
From 1832 until 1928, the Baldwin Locomotive Works (Broad Street from Callowhill to Spring Garden) grew to define the
neighborhood. It was a huge employer of
some 18,000 people in three shifts around
the clock, as well as, the customer for much
of what was made in the neighborhood’s
Repairs are being made to the Ridge Avenue line.
There is a hint of change in the air. Lemon Ridge
Garden lies the billboards on the corner of Ridge
and Mt. Vernon.
smaller workshops. As Baldwin withdrew to
its new Eddystone plant (near the airport)
the locomotive works continued to buffer
this neighborhood through the onset of the
Automobile and the Depression. In 1932
this was an old, but still lively inner-city
neighborhood. The buildings were full of
life—machine shops, rope manufacturers,
foundries, as well as stores that sold paint,
glass, and groceries. Above these businesses were family homes and hotel/rooming
houses…and not a tree in sight.
By the 1950s our whole neighborhood was known as ‘Machine Shop Row.’
Demand had begun to shift, but the
know-how was here. Some manufactories
expanded product line, or shrunk work
force in order to perservere and some still
exist today. As others ceased to thrive, the
Continued on next page
Chinatown Busses
Lay Waste in the Hood
By Maxmillian Grover
Summer in Philadelphia, the time when the city of brotherly
lover lets it’s true colors—or stink—show. The subway stations
stink, the Italian Market stinks—and in our neck of the woods—
Ridge Avenue stinks.
For about 4 years, the trans-city phenom of Asian American
operated bus services connecting the northeast corridor cities
has been thriving to make simple travel easy and cheap. Well,
as in most cases, you get what you pay for—fast, cheap, and
stinky. Recently, the busses quality control has been going
down the toilet, in more ways than one.
On the 1100 block of Ridge Avenue, one of the bus operators
has been parking, servicing, and washing their busses. What
many of you don’t know is that they have been also dumping
their toilet tanks there too. This week in particular as we come
close to the end of July you can especially smell the love. It
turns out they empty most of the holding tanks in the lot and
the rest as they drive to their next pick-up of anxious riders
waiting in line in Chinatown.
Fast, cheap transportation for most—a stinky toilet water slick
running down Ridge Avenue for us. Philly Style! I’m Maxmillian
Grover, and... If it stinks, I’ll find it!
Fall/Winter 2006
Did you know that one medium sized tree breathes out about the same amount
of oxygen per day that a person needs to breathe in? It happens in the leaf,
where Chlorophyll uses Carbon Dioxide and Sunshine to fuel the breakdown of
minerals soaked up from the soil, and emits Oxygen as exhaust. Lucky for us.
workshop will be held in the neighborhood, for anyone who wants to come.
No experience is expected. It will be
taught by one of our resident sculptors.
We hope you will come have fun with us.
buildings languished and began to
come down.
Our garden lots were recombined,
fenced, asphalted, and used as a car lot
by Reliable Motors. After the dealership moved, the fence was boarded and
the lot turned into a junk yard. With the
lot barely maintaned, the trees began
to make their way back. Then last year,
Byron Prusky—the owner of the junk yard,
generously donated this small grove of
fifty-foot trees with lavender blossoms to
our community .
The trees that grew back are not those
who sheltered the Lenape, but exotic
newcomers, Ailanthus and Paulownia.
Their flowery names and habits aside,
they are real pioneers—good at growing their way through asphalt crust and
rubble, and able to withstand the glaring
pavement and long droughts. Reaching
their roots into the earth, soaking up the
sunshine, breathing oxygen into the air,
they have brought back our woodlands.
This summer, neighbors have spent
Sunday afternoons clearing debris from
the land, working 2 or 3 hours, and often
Please call C’Anne at 215-923-0725 for
information on the workshop.
staying later to hang out. Relaxing into the
evening sitting on milk crates or upturned
buckets, having neighbor-to-neighbor
connection time. It’s exciting to see more
and more of our neighbors join us, hanging out beneath these trees.
And there are more trees on their way.
Through NGA (Neighborhood Garden Association) Lemon Ridge Garden has
received a generous OHCD (Office of
Housing & Community Development)
grant for new sidewalks around the garden. The contractor has already begun removing the asphalt and piles of collected
rubble, and will begin to install the new
sidewalks in October. A trough will be left
along the side in which we will plant new
trees in the Spring.
In preparation for this new sidewalk, we
have cut down two Ailanthus who were
entangled in the fence and lifting the
sidewalk. To honor the trees and to have
some fun together, we’re planning
a mask-making workshop using this
garden-grown wood. Perhaps in our
masks, we’ll uncover the spirits of these
trees—the Guardians of our Garden. This
Mask-Making Workshop
Come join us for a mask-making workshop. One of the trees is growing into the
garden fence must be cut down. To honor
the trees and to have some fun together,
we’re planning a mask-making workshop
using this garden-grown wood
All skill levels are welcome. Don’t miss
this opportunity to learn something new
and meet some of your neighbors.
If you are interested in signing up or for
more information, please contact C’Anne
at 215-923-0725.
Do your Sunday Dinner Shopping on Sunday!
Shopping at the historic Reading Terminal Market will soon become a lot
more convenient! Starting October 15th the Market will be open for
business on Sundays on a trial basis from 9 am to 4 pm. About half the
Market’s merchants will open on October Sundays and more will open in
November and December. Shoppers will find a wide range of products
including fresh produce, meats, seafood, baked goods and confections,
cooking ingredients, Pennsylvania wines, breakfast and lunch items,
cookware, cookbooks, fresh flowers and more.
The Market’s discount customer parking program will be honored on
Sundays. Customers can park for two hours for only two dollars in the
Parkway Corporation garage at 12th & Filbert Streets with a ten dollar
Market purchase. Participating
Merchants Include:
Amy’s Place
Bassetts Ice Cream
Bee Natural
Blue Mountain Vineyards
Carmen’s Hoagies
Chocolate by Mueller
Cookbook Stall
Down Home Diner
Fair Food Farmstand
Flower Basket
Miscellanea Libri
Flying Monkey
Natural Connection
Old City Coffee
Foster’s Gourmet
Original Turkey
Pennsylvania General
Golden Bowl
Golden Fish Market
Profi’s Creperie
Harry G. Ochs & Son
Sang Kee Peking Duck
Iovine Brothers Produce
Spice Terminal
John Yi Fish Market
Termini Brothers Bakery
Le Bus Bakery
Tokyo Sushi Bar
Market Blooms
Fall/Winter 2006, Volume
Number 4 Metropolitan Bakery
Young Botanicals
Fall/Winter 2006
A Dash of Indian Flavor on Spring Garden
By Phoebee Sloe
Shop lights spill out onto the sidewalk,
and the sign on the door invites me in to
MAHIMA Designers… at 8:30pm? It’s been
a long time since there was much happening on the ten hundred block of Spring
Garden, especially a clothing store with
evening hours. Inside at her computer, I
meet Yamini…she’s is a Doctoral candidate
in Biology at Temple, but clearly knows and
loves these beautiful goods. The clothing, it
turns out, is her sister Aparana’s doing, and
the shop belongs to an ex-labtech named
Vicki Rothman. The flavor is Indian, but this is a store with a difference, and when I met
Vicki later I got the whole ‘can-do’ story.
Vicki is a natural entrepreneur who saw
something she liked in the beautiful blouses
Yamini wore to the lab. She felt there was
a market here and she could find it. She
didn’t expect to sell traditional Indian styles.
“Our operation is personalized and small, it
has to fit a niche people are interested in,”
she says, “and I want to appeal to the more
mainstream person.” So what MAHIMA offers is both unusual goods off the rack, and
anything-is-possible custom tailoring. One
woman brought in a tired favorite dress
and in two weeks she had a new one. In the
store are dyed-to-match sets of fabrics, some
already delicately beaded by Yamini and
Aparana’s mother. With these fabrics, measurements are taken, styles determined,
and the order placed. “People think they
can’t get quality without spending a lot of
money…but they can,” says Vicki.
Embroidery is something Vicki never
meant to do here. The sign she hung out
front was meant to refer to the embroidered blouses and dresses on the rack.
When a man came in one day asking if
she could monogram some towels for a
wedding gift that weekend she couldn’t
help him, but when the next guy came in
wanting an emblem on a few shirts, she
told him, “My machine hasn’t come in yet.
Can I call you in a few days?”
After he left, she got on the phone and
started calling manufacturers. By the end
of the day she knew all about embroidery
machines, and just how small a machine
would do what she needed it to do. Then
she went to see the machines, and she
bought one. Now she’ll put your design on
cap or shirt, and she will monogram your
towels. She’s even working on a program
that will embroider portraits.
MAHIMA is a story about enterprise. It’s
about how much combining talents, teamwork, and vision can accomplish. I think
this new little shop is going to be around
awhile – maybe even help to usher in the
Barcelona-style evening strollers as our old
Spring Garden District renews itself.
Fall/Winter 2006, Volume 2, Number 4 Singha Fashion Fest Recap
On Saturday, August 26,
Siam Lotus presented
their First Annual Fashion
Fest which featured
several Philadelphia
designers for charity, The
Brain Aneurysm Foundation (
KB Consulting Inc
helped transform an
edgy urban side street
into a glamorous prelude of this year’s 2006
Fashion Week. Guests
enjoyed Singha Beer,
Thai Ice teas and authentic, exotic, Thai cuisine.
Starting from the top:
Rob Guarino of Fox 29,
Kristie Bergey, Silver Cho
and Hiran Yii.
Anne Marie Cook and
Jariya Boonpitaksathit–were
the Singha models along
with fashions from Sarai
Style, Carioca de Gema,
Letau and Matthew Izzo
The Low Down
On the “Down Low”
Artist Profile:
How would you
describe your artwork?
I have been working in sitespecific installations, which
concentrate on narratives
combining self-portraiture
and appropriated family
snap-shots. Through these
photographs, I create visual
narratives which focus on specific events delineating rites
of passage or moments in the
changing make-up of the family structure. Multiple repetitive elements becomes a metaphor
for the fragmentation of a memory and the desire to recapture
those ephemeral moments. Resin and glass frames recreate the
experience of entering a private space: from the panoramic view
of innumerable unidentified faces, to an intimate vignette from
another’s life. What inspired you to be an artist?
I have always known that I have wanted to be an artist. At an
early age my grandfather taught me photography and casting
in our basement at home as well as my grandmother taught me
the importance of the preservation of family history. As long as
I remember my parents have been educating me in the arts by
bringing me to museums, cultural events, and supporting me as
an artist.
How do you see your artwork progressing in the future?
I have started to work on installations works on a grander scale,
which gives me the freedom to allow the concepts to be explored
in greater depth. The sculptural aspects are becoming more intricate and minimal to allow the work to focus in depth in concept
and have an air simplicity. I am curious where this will take me and
excited about how the evolution of my work continues to grow
By Maxmillian Grover
Callowhill neighborhood is part of what’s been called
“Crusing loop” that runs up 13th street to Spring Garden
and down 12th street to Spruce Street. 13th and Butt-onWood Street seems to be the barely lit spot in the loop
where you find the right men for the job.
You may have noticed them or not. They are regular
looking guys that seem to always be standing around the
neighborhood. During the day, they just look like they are
hanging out and at night they start to look a little out of
place. You may have thought to yourself that they are selling drugs or up to something devious—well you were right
about the devious. They aren’t just selling drugs, but sexual
services to men from outside our neighborhood. Most of
the patrons like to cruise on Saturday and Sunday mornings
after picking up their New York Times and Starbucks.
Let’s put a stop to it! If you see them getting into a car,
please dial 911. They are selling their bodies and they are
doing it (literally) in our neighborhood and within close
proximity to the Mathmatics, Civics and Science Charter
School. I even found them right outside my door one night!
Don’t hesitate to make a difference in the quality of our
Fall/Winter 2006
Will you continue to work in the same medium
or do you see yourself changing or evolving?
As an artist who works in multiple media, I constantly challenge
new techniques/media as a part of the concept of the work. The
work demands the media to be intrical to the narrative.
Do you have any upcoming shows or exibits?
I have numerous exhibits planned in the next year. Among those
exhibits included: A solo exhibition in December at Art Basel in
Miami where I am represented by my gallery, Marx-Saunder Gallery of Chicago; Then in January my gallery will display my work in
Art Miami and then onto Art Palm Beach. I will also be having solo
exhibitions at the Women’s’ Studio Woks hop in Rosendale NY,
Radford University in Virginia, Manhattenville College in White
Plains NY, and Glass Weekend at Wheaton Arts in Millville, NJ.
You can see more of Jen’s artwork at
The Avenue in Transition
The future of North Broad Street
Continued from page 1
cultural center for Philadelphia’s African-American population. Restaurants, nightclubs and
shops prospered. The Legendary Blue Horizon,
Freedom Theater, Uptown Theater, Jewel’s Jazz
Club and other entertainment venues drew
audiences from across the city and region. The
area was a source of pride for tens of thousands of Philadelphians and its reputation as
a destination extended well beyond the city’s
Like neighborhoods in many other Northeast
US cities, the economic health of North Broad
Street suffered considerably during the 1960s.
The continued shift of investiment from city to
suburbs, widening socio-economic gap between populatoin groups, and racial strife led
to civil unrest, which ultimately had a disastrous
effect on the corridor. African-American businesses and entertainment venues closed. The
inevitable demolition of damaged, vacant and
structurally unsound buildings further exacerbated the situation. This was also a time, around
the country, when suburbia and previously
“white-only” urban neighborhoods opened
up to black families.
However, in the mid-1960s, the positive impact
of initial stages of federal urban renewal and
redevelopment programs began to take shape.
Reverend Leon Sullivan founded the Opportunities Industrialization Centers (OIC) and strategically located its headquarters on North Broad
Street. Progress Plaza, an inner-city retail development and the contigous Yorktown neighborhood were also developed. In addition, federal
programs enabled substantial expansion of
Temple University’s Main Campus in the area.
Reinvestment and growth of academic and
institutional uses began to inject new vigor to
portions of North Broad Street.
These positive developments were not enough
to spur consistent and coherent growth and
revitalization along th elength of the corridor.
By the latter thrid of the 20th-Century, the loss
of industry and high-paying manufacturing
jobs—as well as the parallel loss of residential
population—inevitably led to business closures, abandonment of buildings and blighted
conditions. Facilities used decades ago for
enterainment were either gone or converted to
other uses. Continued demolition of many late
19th- and 20th-Century buildings allong with
limited new development further changed the
charater of the neighborhood. North Broad
Street continued to be in transition.
For more information on the PCPC, go to www. COMING SOON
63 one, two and three bedroom
luxury loft condominiums in the
325 North 13th Street
Fall 2007
Reservations now
being accepted
Garage in building
Roof deck
Fitness Center
Storage facilities for
every resident
Soaring 12 foot ceilings
Bruce Lang
267-312-6221 (direct)
7 N Columbus Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215-351-7437 ext 223
Fall/Winter 2006, Volume 2, Number 4 5th floor • Heid • 10121_Heid • 4.5 x 7” PG 1 • 6/15/06 • tom
Call or email for
Iyengar Yoga
in the loft
- Certified Iyengar Instructors
- Morning and Evening Classes
- Newcomers and Beginners Welcome
215 627 4097
[email protected]
429 N. 13th Street (Callowhill Loft District)
310 North 11th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107