With its flowering window boxes and painted sign, the 38,000-square-foot brick home of Philadelphia Brewing Company stands like a centerpiece in this Kensington neighborhood of faux-dive bars, pizza parlors and thrift shops that serve a growing clientele of artists and musicians. But the scenery wasn’t always so pretty.
Everyone wants to live in a home that is comfortable and energy efficient. The best way to get there is to look at your house as a whole. That's the approach embraced by programs like EnergySense from Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) and Smart Ideas from PECO. These programs include rebates, incentives, educa-tional programs, energy audits and even free energy-saving items. Together with super low-interest financing from Keystone HELP, homeowners now have the tools to make any home more comfortable, energy efficient and affordable.
Sa Va Fashion Brings buying local to a new level
by Lee Stabert
Upstairs from a posh center city boutique is a small garment factory. There is a hefty metal cutting table along the right wall and a couple rows of sewing machines. There is a machine that folds collars, and one that attaches clasps to pants. There are huge rolls of fabric, stacked in a kaleidoscope of circles and colors. And there are people making clothes.
A group of retirees in Germantown take water safety into their own hands
by Natalie Hope McDonald
The group of senior citizens dipping test tubes into the Wissahickon Creek has their work cut out for them. As members of the Senior Environment Corps (SEC), a volunteer organization housed at Center in the Park—an active adult community on Germantown Avenue—these volunteer men and women are environmental watchdogs.
An audacious plan to reform school food in Philadelphia
by Will Dean
Gray meat, gelatinous gravy and dried-out pasta made cafeteria food the butt of jokes at the lunch table. However, with obesity and diabetes rates skyrocketing among our country’s youth, the poor quality of the food offered at school isn’t so funny anymore. Many people have turned their focus on the food served in schools as a cause of these health problems, and a place to start fixing them.
by Natalie Hope McDonald
The sounds along Lancaster Ave. in West Philadelphia’s Overbrook neighborhood don’t usually include chirping. But on one overcast day in May, across the street from the U-Haul rental center and footsteps from a fruit and vegetable bodega, a small red-breasted bird whistled over the rattle and hum of traffic on this, one of the city’s long-forgotten corridors.
by Haley Loram
Someone left a busted couch at the edge of the Conestoga Children’s Garden, directly under the “No Dumping” sign. Skip Wiener, who tends to the network of gardens in the West Philly neighborhood of Haddington, pursed his lips and said, “That hasn’t happened in a while, but I’ll go talk to Cleveland after we’re done here; he might have seen who left it.” Cleveland owns the mechanic shop across the street, and he’s just one of the neighbors who keep an eye on the gardens.