Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Target Corp. Finally Headed to Market East; Purported to Cure All Related Ills with Plucky Ads and Design For All

Target Store rendering on Market East PhiladelphiaM. Klein over at the Inquirer is reporting that Target is, in fact, finally headed to Market East to occupy at least two floors of the old Strawbridge and Clothier Building at 8th and Market.

This word comes just more than a year after fellow Inquirer columnist Inga Saffron reported that Boscov’s was headed to floors 1-3 of the Strawbridge’s building and that the Family Court would be relocating from Logan Square to floors 4-6.

If PREIT (Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust) has indeed secured Target as a tenant in place of Boscov’s, bully for them. (Boscov’s can take the store at 11th.) City officials have long coveted a Target for 8th and Market, only they wished it to be built on the Southwest corner (above), where currently resides a totally awesome fucktastic surface parking lot.

So what is to become of that lot remains to be seen. As well, the issues with the rest of the stories in the S&C building.

But what we do know is that we sincerely hope Mayor Elect Nutter is boys with Paul Levy and his crew at the Center City District… because the CCD comes correct.

Nutter should be sure to check out exhibits A and B — related to Market Street East — and then make sure that he appropriates the needed authority to the CCD so they can act on their plan and fix that mess.

Market Street East - Philadelphia Pedestrian ConnectionsBecause the potential be deafening.

Inqlings | The Biz Watch [ Philadelphia Inquirer, Second Item ]
Center City: Planning for Growth, 2007-2012 [ Center City District ]
Nordstrom to Market East: Believe That When Your Shit Turns Purple and Smells Like Rainbow Sherbert

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pennsylvania Green — PA the Second Greenest State in the Union When Rated by Volume of LEED-Certified Projects

LEED certified projects by stateWhen it comes to building green, Pennsylvania is on the right track — with 81 buildings currently certified and another 400+ in the works. Only California tops the Keystone State, boasting 173 already LEED-certified buildings of its own.

Washington State and Oregon are #3 and #4 respectively. (The suckers in New York are #11.)

Three out of the top four states are progressive Pacific coast states. No shocker there.
Green Architecture in the United States is as geographically polarized as the political landscape — and a look at future eco-building sites suggests the trend will continue. The good news? More LEED projects on the horizon. Lots more.
What LEED-cluttered regions have in common are high population densities, stringent government mandates, and strong local USGBC chapters—all of which help explain California’s nationwide high of 173 LEED-certified projects, with 1,217 more in the pipeline. The state’s urban population, nearly 32 million, is almost double that of Texas or New York, and its government has encouraged green architecture through a variety of incentives.

The largely rural states in the center of the country, often lacking big-city infrastructure and broad professional networks, lag behind the coasts. “From a sustainability standpoint, it’s greener to develop in urban areas,” says Max Zahniser, LEED program manager.
There is, however, talk of the LEED system being somewhat flawed.
We're concerned that LEED has become expensive, slow, confusing, and unwieldy, a death march for applicants administered by a soviet-style bureaucracy that makes green building more difficult than it needs to be.

[ resulting in 1) mediocre "green" buildings where certification, not environmental responsibility, is the primary goal; 2) a few super-high-level eco-structures built by ultra-motivated (and wealthy) owners that stand like the Taj Mahal as beacons of impossibility; 3) an explosion of LEED-accredited architects and engineers chasing lots of money but designing few buildings; and 4) a discouraged cadre of professionals who want to build green, but can't afford to certify their buildings. ]

The idea behind LEED is laudable. The execution, so far, has been disappointing. In the final analysis, the world needs green buildings a lot more than green buildings need LEED certification. If LEED continues to cost too much in dollars, time, and effort, we are not going to stop building green projects, we'll just stop certifying them.
So while the U.S. Green Building Council might have to refine the LEED system a bit, it’s nevertheless great to see construction in Pennsylvania making the investment and pursuing mad certifications.

Red, Blue, and Green States [ Metropolis Magazine ]
Can LEED Survive the Carbon Neutral Age [ Metropolis Magazine ]
LEEDing Us Astray? Top green-building system is in desperate need of repair [ Grist ]

Monday, November 19, 2007

Breaking: Single Stream Recycling — including plastic — finally comes to Center City. Hallelujah. Holy Shit. Where’s the Tylenol?

Single Stream Recycling in PhiladelphiaStarting on December 3rd, for the first time since 1992 — NINETEEN FUCKING NINETY TWO, PEOPLE — you will be able to recycle your plastic bottles at the curb with the other stuff you normally recycle (aluminum cans and glass bottles) in Center City and South Philadelphia.

It’s true. The Streets Department has seen the writing on the wall and is finally beginning to get off their fat, lazy asses. Impressively, in the second expansion of the single stream program that began in Northeast Philadelphia last year and was added to West Philadelphia this spring, single stream recycling is now coming to Center City and South Philadelphia.

Single stream recycling is where it’s at. No sorting necessary. Just toss your cans, glass, plastic, cardboard and mixed paper all in the same bin. Put it out on the curb. And poof. It’s gone.

It’s taken away to the Blue Mountain Recycling Center in Grays Ferry, where “state-of-the-art machines use magnets, fans, gravity and centrifugal force to sort the hodgepodge, weeding paper from cardboard, plastic from glass.”

So make sure you tell everybody you know. Recycling plastic is back. Recycling cardboard is back. Recycling in Philadelphia is back. Starting on December 3rd, if you live south of Vine Street between the Schuylkill and the Delaware Rivers, you can toss all your recyclables in the same bin and get rid of ‘em curbside.

Recycling bins in Philadelphia at pennYou don’t even need a blue bin. (Which is good because apparently Penn snatched up pretty much all of them.) Just mark one of your containers “RECYCLING” and throw everything in it. Water bottles. Soda bottles. Mouthwash bottles. Laundry soap bottles. Any plastic bottle that has a #1 or #2 on the bottom of it. Effing recycle it.

(For more details about how to single stream, etc., check out the Streets Department website or give a shout in the comments. This PDF outlines what's what, but it has not been updated to reflect South Philly and Center City going single stream.)

Now, while we do have to admit that the Streets Department should definitely be commended for expanding the single stream recycling somewhat rapidly, this is only one piece of the puzzle. To reach the citywide 40% recycling rate, a goal that the city first set in 1987, you not only have to make recycling really easy (single stream), you are going to have to add incentives as well.

Philadelphia Recycling MapAnd that’s where RecycleBank comes in. Single stream is good, but single stream plus incentives, which is RecycleBank’s formula, is even better. We strongly urge Mayor Elect Nutter to greatly expand RecycleBank’s pilot area in Chestnut Hill and West Oak Lane and see if the company can’t provide its services to the entire city. (Hint: it can.)

The city’s recycling rate is currently around 6%. The expansion of single stream is a good baby step. One that might get the rate up to 16% in three years (according to a Streets Department official). But if you seriously want to approach a respectable recycling rate of 35% — a rate that would save the city more than $17 million annually and a rate that would signal that the city has, indeed, moved into the 21st Century, then you have to look toward an innovation by the name of RecycleBank.

It shouldn’t be so difficult to recycle. On the contrary, it should be ridiculously easy.

Let’s make it so.

Philadelphia Streets Department Recognizes “America Recycles Day” [Recycling Pays @]
The Recycling Riddle [ Philadelphia Inquirer ]
Getting West Philadelphia Greener, Bin by Bin [ Daily Pennsylvanian ]
RecycleNow Philadelphia [ Official Site ]
Recycling Alliance of Philadelphia [ Official Site ]
RecycleBank [Official Site]

Friday, November 16, 2007

Eating/Drinking the Illadelph Alert: Pre-Turkey Day East Passyunk Pow Wow Promises to Be True South Philadelphia Shit-Kicker

East Passyunk AvenueEast Passyunk comes correct. You know they do.

This year’s pre-Thanksgiving, East Passyunk Avenue POW WOW is just the latest example as to how.

A Thanksgiving Eve bar-crawl of sorts along the ‘Shunk, the Pow Wow gets started at Ray’s esteemed Happy Birthday Bar at 6 pm and then makes its way down the Ave, stopping at basically every establishment that endorses fun.

Word is there will be drinks and snacks at each stop, which include Triangle Tavern,
Rita's, Pub on Passyunk East, Paradiso, Cantina Los Cabillitos and Marra's. Tickets are $25 and are available for purchase online.

Obviously, it is time to get your headdresses on.

First Annual East Passyunk Avenue POW WOW [East Passyunk Avenue BID]

[ Photo via Philly Skyline ]

Sunday, November 04, 2007

AP details Philly’s current efforts to shed city’s way-outdated image; stumbles when it accompanies said story with a photo from — wait for it — 1988

Old Philadelphia skyline photo from AP article in USA today november 2007The good folk at Philly Skyline would have a field day with this one.

They’re presently out of town so we’re going to have to go ahead and point out the AP’s rather egregious error ourselves.

In an article published Friday, running flush next to the headline, “Philly tourism officials try to shake blue-collar image,” the above photo of the Philadelphia skyline appeared.

Thing is — it’s a bit outdated. Like, by two decades. And not on purpose.

The photo shows the city in the 1988 or 89, after the completion of One Liberty Place and One Commerce Square, with the Bell Atlantic Tower under construction in the background.

The mind baffles.

You’d think the AP, in their vast network of resources, would have a more recent shot of Philadelphia. Or, perhaps, the editor was simply feeling a little ironic.

Whatever the case, for those that are indeed interested in a updated image of Philadelphia, see the appended image, via the accomplished local Flickr user Fen Branklin.

Philadelphia skyline from south street bridge by flickr user fen branklin
Philly tourism officials try to shake blue-collar image… and we’ll be damned if we sit idly by and let them shake shit [ AP via USA Today ]
Yr City's a Sucker by LCD Soundsystem [ Hype Machine ]

[ Photo via Flickr user Fen Branklin ]