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Thread: South Philly->Bella Vista (yummy!)(lots of pics)

  1. #1
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    South Philly->Bella Vista (yummy!)(lots of pics)

    I’ve been trying to take as many Philly pictures as I can before the leaves come out. I took these pictures last month in the Bella Vista neighborhood of South Philly. If money were no issue and I could live in any neighborhood in Philly it would be Bella Vista, without a doubt. For now I couldn’t even afford to rent there. I love good food and this neighborhood is full of it and surrounded by it – so you should consider this an eating (and drinking!) tour. The boundaries of BV are: (on the north) South St. where it borders the Center City neighborhoods of Wash West and Society Hill, (on the south) Washington Ave. Where it borders Passyunk Square, (on the east) 5th St. where it borders Queen Village, and (on the west) 11th St. where it borders Hawthorne.

    This was taken from Palumbo Playground in BV. The blue towers, Liberty Place, mark the center of Center City so you can get a good idea of where the neighborhood is geographically.


    The infamous corner of 9th & Washington, the heart of the Italian Market.





    Mexicans have made themselves at home in and around 9th St. The Vietnamese also have a presence but their niche is normally outside of the produce aspect.


    The fires are cute when it is cold out but it wasn’t even close to being cold enough for a fire the day I took these pictures. The merchants burn their trash in these barrels because the city only picks up once a week, they all contribute to a trash fund so they have daily pick-up, but of course, they get charged by weight. Burning the garbage makes things cheaper for them and a nuisance for the rest of us.


    I don’t understand why they bother, especially on the weekends. My brother lives on 9th St. a few blocks south of here (still the Italian Market) and everyday he has a different story about who or what the bus hit. (One day it was his car mirror). It should be pedestrian only on the weekends at least from Washington north to Christian.


    A typical side street off of the market.




    mmmmm . . . gnocchi!


    mmmmm . . . cheeeeese!






    If Mussolini had settled for mayor he too might be memorialized. Frank Rizzo couldn’t even get the trains to run on time. This mural has to be touched up more than any other in the city.


    Another side street, on the right you can see the back of the Christopher Columbus Charter School. Rizzo, Columbus


    Lorenzo’s Pizza – now there’s a reason to be proud!


    12 Steps Down. Because it is 12 steps down to the bar. $1.50 Lager pints every day for happy hour!


    Sabrina’s – always a crowd for brunch. When you serve brunch ‘til 7pm that’s guaranteed to happen in a hard drinking city like this one. Incredible food all around and a really good veggie menu too.


    Poor Anastasio, the heir to the produce “empire”, ran for city council 2 years ago against Frank DiCicco. That council seat basically comprises all of the white neighborhoods (east of Broad) in South Philly, Center City, and the white ethnic neighborhoods along the river north of Center City. Anastasio, was an intelligent and energetic guy who had the support of a lot of Center City and nearly all of the Italian Market and I think he had a good shot at taking DiCicco down. DiCicco is the party man, the insider, and in my opinion, a scumbag. Long story short DiCicco took Anastasio to court and got him disqualified from the race over a technicality on Anastasio’s income declaration form. Despite submitting all of his tax returns for the last 5 years Anastasio forgot to check the box declaring that he was self-employed.




    St. Paul’s – Back in the late 1800’s this part of South Philly was all Irish. When the Italians started arriving they had to fight, literally, just to get into mass. It wasn’t long before the Italians had their own churches. Gradually, almost all of South Philly became Italian. The Irish held on only in Pennsport.


    Always the best cannoli.






    across the street from one POS – a few more.













    New construction near 9th & Catherine. It could be worse.



    the problem with all of these garage doors is that they’re made for compact cars. SUVs don’t fit in the city and they certainly won’t fit in these garages. So the garages get filled with crap, or converted to rec. rooms, and the cars take up an on street space. Giving suburbanites suburban amenities in the city doesn’t urbanize the newcomers. It suburbanizes the city.


    More mediocrity.


    Pleasantness. Unfortunately, for me, I didn’t get to Mezza Luna before the buzz got out and the prices went up.





    Chinatown has no shortage of vegetarian restaurants where everything is deep-fried. Hoa Sen cut through the grease serving everything fresh and only pan fried when necessary. I think they opened at the wrong place at the wrong time. They only lasted a year.


    In and around Cianfranni Park






    Vesuvio – when most restaurants say they have a “full vegetarian menu” they mean they have at least one veggie appetizer, soup, main course, etc. When Vesuvio says it they mean they have an entirely separate menu – and it lives up to the hype.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  2. #2
    Nice. And I thought Philadelphia was immune to vegetarians.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    Thanks for the pics. Bella Vista - great name for a neighborhood - looks like a mixture of the Bloomfield (traditional Italian neighborhood with the same style of housing as seen in the pictures) and Strip District, with it's narrow streets and ethnic markets, neighborhoods here in Pittsburgh.

    I've lived in PA for three years now and still haven't made it past Harrisburg. I should really get off my rear and make a trip out to Philly to see these great places you've been posting pictures of. Perhaps sometime soon...

  4. #4
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    Isaia Zagar has made a name for himself in and around Center City by getting his murals up on almost every block. He even built a Gaudi-esque “garden” on rented property, now the owner wants to sell and Zagar is frantic trying to find money to buy it. He’ d probably have a much easier time raising money if his “garden” was open to the public.








    Sam’s “Morning Glory” Diner. A “see and be seen” kind of place and IMHO over-priced and over-rated.




    The Saloon is a favorite with the 40+ crowd. Never been myself. Maybe when I’m 40+.


    The Fleisher Art Memorial. I used to ride by here everyday on way home from work. I just found out 2 weeks ago that it’s an art school.


    The park just west of Fleisher



    The development just east of Fleisher – a new gated community. The old factory is original to the site and the townhouses behind it are new.




    Little Fish – they serve fish. They only seat 16.


    Sud – a Moroccan place with French influences (including a bakery.)






    There’s more to come.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    The last of the BV pics

    One of my favorite streets in BV, near the corner of Passyunk and Catherine. It’s both convenient and quiet.


    Again the problem with garages.


    What I call “the Lego house” near Passyunk & Monroe.


    Salt & Pepper - another BYO Bistro with limited seating.


    Not that Philly suffered any damage during the Civil War but an ante-bellum firehouse none-the-less.


    Modern looking in a traditional way.


    The same developer on the same block. What I can’t understand is, why would you want to give up all of that living space?




    Beau Monde “a Breton Crêperie”, on the second floor “L’Etage” nightclub. Above that the owner’s house, and a very nice deck and sunroom as well. (this is at 6th & Bainbridge, highly recommended if you’re in town)


    When older people do rehabs they like to move their front door to the center of the house. I think it’s a “keepin’ up with the Joneses” kind of thing. It make them feel like they have a center hall colonial like their siblings in the ‘burbs. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a really wide and deep lot all that gets accomplished by moving the door to the center is the destruction of your living room.


    The house at the end is cantilevered over the street.


    Banca Calabrese (though this building is no longer a bank). It always cracks me up when I hear these 3rd and 4th generation “Italians” tell me “When my great-grandparents came here they learned English. They didn’t go around expecting everyone to speak Italian.”
    Evidence to the contrary is all over South Philly, especially in Bella Vista

    The convent (of Italian nuns) at 8th&Montrose






    I honestly have no idea what this architect was attempting to get across here. The only detail I like is the subtlety of the garage doors.


    South Philly’s first gated community – new units going for $950k.






    My mouth waters just thinking about this place. Passyunk just south of Christian St.


    Their neighbor, The Dive. There’s no food at the Dive but it’s convenient if you just want drinks and can’t get a table at Royal.


    Pif – a bistro français – at 8th & Carpenter


    The Vietnamese managed to carve out a chunk of retail in BV before the prices went through the roof. They’re concentrated between 7th & 9th and Christian and Washington. All of the new establishments are south of Washington Ave. where most of that community lives.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  6. #6
    fantastic neighbourhood. the new infill is almost entirely horrendous, though. is the city of philadelphia so willing to whore itself out to development that it will allow any ticky-tack piece of crap with four walls to be built?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    Interesting street. Too bad it is the back (side?) of the building. It's narrowness appeals to me. Houses and businesses facing inwards would be interetsing.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by christopher dewolf
    fantastic neighbourhood. the new infill is almost entirely horrendous, though. is the city of philadelphia so willing to whore itself out to development that it will allow any ticky-tack piece of crap with four walls to be built?
    The critics of this style of infill are numerous and vocal - they just don't have the money to be heard by city council. On the other hand there are a lot of respectable infill projects but you don't notice them because it's a house here or a house there. There are also a lot of rehabs that might as well be infill because they're almost total tear-downs.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by abrowne
    [img]
    Interesting street. Too bad it is the back (side?) of the building. It's narrowness appeals to me. Houses and businesses facing inwards would be interetsing.
    That actually is the front of the building - on both sides of the street. You can't tell because the front doors are recessed. I don't understand it either.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  10. #10
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Beautiful photos. That is a nice comfortable urbanism.

    I also believe that the houses with the garage doors are pretty mean to the pedestrian, but Philly in kinda in spot (I presume) because of the lack of auto accessible alleys. Also, the architecture (apart from the garages) isn't that bad.

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