Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Graffiti near the corner of Houston and Suffolk in the Lower East Side. Philly is everywhere. Picture taken by MC.
Jay-Z, South Philly Niggaz
It's been too long since I extolled the virtues of the greatest city on earth. Yes, I am talking about Philadelphia, and no, I'm not kidding. Anyway, just wanted to drop some news and links to things going down in the Illadelph. I spent this past weekend there with MC, who was making a return to the city that foisted my sorry ass on her. For real, it was so great being back in Philly together with my girl and taking advantage of all aspects of the city.
-The Rub was back in town Saturday, taking over Transit for the night. Brooklyn's finest seem to have established themselves quite nicely in the Sixth Borough, as DJs Ayres and Cosmo Baker have been here once a month for the past few months. This time, The Rub was the main draw, and they pulled it off nicely, as the crowd got bigger and bigger as the night wore on. MC, CS, LU and others got there around 1, lucky enough to catch the end of the Spankrock set. It was an early-ish night for MC and me, but I can safely say that I hope to attend many more Philly editions of The Rub. Thanks especially go to PaperStreet, who've been responsible for bringing this to Philly.
-Speaking of that ridiculous 6th borough phrase, Philly was featured on CNN.com earlier in the week, hyping how great the city is and how it's on the come-up. This time, we weren't the sixth borough, we were the new Williamsburg. Whatever, as long as it gets the name out in the press, I'm good. I have actually talked to quite a few recent Brooklyn transplants in Philly, and sense that there is some validity to this. For real, it is wonderful to see a change in perception about the city, about its possibilites, about its advantages. I just hope that Philadelphians lead the way in changing perceptions, and understand what a great place we have.
-One of the areas that I have harped on for awhile has been the need to focus on retail for the city. We have always lagged behind on this front, attracting little in the way of upscale retailers. That seems to be changing. Philadelphia: America's Hometown has the details on the burgeoning Center City retail market, which is hopefully just the beginning.
-Other great news on the development front, as the site of the old Meridian Plaza took a step closer to building after the Zoning Board approved its plans. The best part of this is that the condo tower will replace a hideous parking lot that sits there now. Also, make sure to go here and read a nice article on the re-use of vacant Philly hospital sites. A great look at the urban dynamic of decay and rebirth.
-I've got to mention two blogs that have gone under my radar for far too long. Badminton Stamps and callmeMICKEY are two great sites that everyone needs to check out. They both cover the indie/rock side of music, which makes them invaluable for someone like me who always feels a few steps behind on music with guitars. Even better, they are great resources for the live music scene in Philadelphia, which gets better and better each year.