“I’m lucky.” Why? “Because I get to come here,” Ronoldo, a 9-year-old fourth grader living on the 700 block of Morris Street, said.
Michael Norris originally envisioned journeying through life as a journalist, owing to his curiosity for chronicling powerful tales and commending those behind them.
In 2007, chef Gene Giuffi and his wife, Amy, opened Cochon BYOB, a charming French bistro in Queen Village. Although duck and rabbit are on the menu, Giuffi gives a strong nod to pork. I enjoyed my dinner there. Their second restaurant was Blue Belly BBQ in Bella Vista, a tiny eat-in, take-out place that I also liked. In November, Giuffi made a big decision; he decided to trade in barbecue sauce for excellent marinara, and open Square Pie. Giuffi grew up in Brooklyn, where he cut his teeth on square Sicilian thick crust pizza. He wanted to bring a piece of his childhood to South Philly. The crust differs from Chicago thick crust because it is prepared in small batches of dough that undergo a long fermentation. Thus, the crust is more akin to homemade bread than thin, crunchy crust. This neighborhood shoebox is kitted out with red walls, colorful artwork, red and white checked tablecloths, along with white linen napkins. Like Cochon, it is a BYOB, and seats about 20 people. We had to wait only about 20 minutes on a busy night, and sat at the bar. We watched two chefs pat fresh dough into square pans, top them with ingredients...
To mark Valentine’s Day, Di Bruno Bros., 930 S. Ninth St., will feature numerous in-store and catering specials, including surf and turf and oyster and caviaroli pairings
Roger Lee laments that contemporary chronicling of African-American lives often labors to locate much positivity. Hopeful that prosperous accounts from the past will promote pride, the former Bella Vista dweller and members of his eponymous dance company will offer their second annual Black History Celebration Concert Series tomorrow and Friday.
A man remains at large more than a month after nabbing four bicycles in Bella Vista.
Another veteran bar and restaurant team has decided to take up shop in South Philly this week. Leigh Maida, Brendan Hartranft and Brendan Kelly, the group behind beer centric standouts Local 44 and Strangelove’s, have secured a lease for the former Mildred space at Eight and Christian streets.
Beginning Sunday and lasting through Jan. 18, Percy Street Barbecue, 900 South St., will celebrate Meat Week.
A man made off with a woman’s purse in Bella Vista last week.
Drawing inspiration from the animated sitcom “Bob’s Burgers,” Royal Tavern, 937 E. Passyunk Ave., will offer a pun-infused patty beginning every Sunday at 5.
On a cold winter’s day about a year ago, I began to do some research on the number of Vietnamese restaurants in Philadelphia.
» COMMUNITY PROFILE
Boundaries: South Street to Washington Avenue, Sixth to 11th Street
Origin of Name: The name is Italian and means “pretty view.” Real-estate agents dubbed it Bella Vista as a selling point because many dwellings have views of the Center City skyline and Ben Franklin Bridge.
Brief History: Many Italian immigrants who entered Philadelphia via Washington Avenue gravitated to the neighborhood because it had become a settlement for natives of Spadafora, Italy. The Palumbo family, for one, built boarding homes for immigrants. The first Italian immigrant bathhouse later became the Fante-Leone Pool at Montrose and Darien streets.
Alfred “Freddie” Cocozza, better known as opera legend Mario Lanza, grew up at Sixth and Christian streets and made his first public appearance at 19, singing “Ave Maria” at St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi Church, 714 Montrose St., where he was an altar boy.
Bella Vista has lost some of its treasures: Verdi Hall, 713 Christian St., which opened in 1905, and later became an Italian cinema, and Fabiani Italian Hospital, 10th and Christian streets, which was founded by Vincent Fabiani in 1904.
Famous Residents: Mario Lanza; “father of jazz guitar” Eddie Lang, born Salvatore Massaro in 1902, who was a Bing Crosby accompanist; author/lecturer and social activist Frances E.W. Harper, who devoted her life to championing the rights of slaves and free blacks; Edwin Forrest, the most famous American tragedian actor of his time; Illustrator Charles Santore resides at Seventh and Catharine streets; "American Bandstand" producer, Tony Mammarella, of the 800 block of South Ninth Street.
Major Landmarks: Italian Market, said to be the country’s oldest open-air market; South Street; the former Fante-Leone Pool; Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catharine; Mario Lanza Museum, 712 Montrose; Palumbo’s Restaurant, Ninth and Catharine streets, which burned down in 1994.
U.S. Congressional District: 1st, Bob Brady (D)
Pennsylvania Governor: Tom Corbett (R)
State Senate District 1st, Lawrence M. Farnese Jr. (D)
City Council District: 1st, Mark Squilla (D)
Police District: 3rd, Capt. Michael Ryan; Community Relations Officers Ace Delgado and Gary Harkins;
Libraries: Santore, 932 S Seventh St.
Schools: Christopher Columbus Charter School, 916 Christian St. and 1242-46 S. 12th St. in Passyunk Square; Fleisher Art Memorial, which teaches art classes; George W. Nebinger School, 601 Carpenter St.
Places Of Worship: Christian Street Baptist Church, 1024 Christian St.; The Church of the Crucifixion, 620 S. Eighth St.; Christ's United Presbyterian Church, 1020 S. 10th St.; Church of the Living God, 801 S. 11th St.; synagogue Lubavitch House, 754 S. Ninth St.; New Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 919 S. 13th St.; St. Paul’s Catholic Church, 808 S. Hutchinson St.; Waters Memorial AME Church, 609 S. Clifton St.
Rec Centers: Palumbo Rec Center, 10th and Fitzwater streets
Parks/Gardens: Bardascino Park, 10th and Carpenter streets; Cianfrani Park, Eighth and Fitzwater streets; Palumbo Park, 723 Catharine St.; Triangle Park, Sixth and Christian streets; Bel Arbor, 10th and Kimball streets