Summer 2017 Issue

Last Updated June 28, 2017
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Summer 2017
A street set up for its summer block party. Photograph by Ted Nghiem



Less than 100 years ago, my grandfather came to Philadelphia from Ireland. He died when I was a baby and I don’t have a strong sense of Irish identity, but the fact that he was an immigrant, accepted if not fully welcomed by the city that became his, my father’s and then my home, crosses my thoughts pretty often. Lately, I’ve thought about it more than ever.

On the other side of my family, I had a spaghetti slinging, meatball rolling, overfeeding Italian grandmother who lived until I was in my late 20s. Thus, I claim an Italian-American identity as my legacy. My grandmother was born in America but her parents crossed the seas to live here, just as my grandfather (and likely one of yours) did. They were immigrants, too. I feel very lucky to live in a sanctuary city, a place that limits its cooperation in enforcing punitive national immigration laws. Here, I cross paths with brave travelers who have come by whatever means they could to secure better lives. In the process, they have undoubtedly made Philadelphia a more vibrant (and certainly more delicious) city.

Immigrants, refugees, global citizens—Philadelphia wraps its arms around them all. It makes me proud to learn about the of.cial ways we help newcomers transition to our city, such as through the agricultural training and refugee garden Jenn Hall describes in her terri.c feature, a year in the making, on page 30.

That isn’t the only story in this issue that we have been working on for many months. It was last summer when I happened to start talking about the Philadelphia tradition of block parties with a stranger at a neighborhood party. He regaled me with tales of the epic, food-.lled, multicultural block parties on the street where he used live. That tip led to Katherine Rapin’s moving feature, “Know Your Neighbor,” on page 20. It turned out to be an immigrant story as well.

During her months of research, writing, and reporting, Katherine fell completely in love with this block and the people who live there. Recently, when one longtime resident decided to put her row home up for sale, she called Katherine because she had an intuition Katherine might want to know about it.

This month, Katherine moved onto the block she so beautifully chronicles in this issue, after buying that very home. She hails from Michigan and is not an immigrant at all, but I think of her as someone from another culture that Philly has assimilated and claimed as our own. As you will read in those features and see in restaurants and farms all around Philadelphia, food has enormous power to bring different kinds of people into the same place. Few things have the power to connect us in our shared humanity like a meal. There are unlimited differences between people, but food makes us remember that we are more alike than different.

Joy Manning

Summer 2017 Checklist

Éclat Porcini & Thyme Chocolate Master chocolatier Christopher Cur tin of Éclat Chocolate pushes past traditional sweets to offer...

Hunt and Gathering

There’s a natural haven up in Germantown where you can birdwatch, learn to identify native trees and hunt for edible plants. The Awbury...

Say Cheese

Sue Miller, Stefanie Angstadt and Alex Jones
There’s a new Philly subscription service you should know about: Collective Creamery. The CSA-style service brings cheese from two standout...

Graduate Hospital Opts to Chop, Not Toss

Deviled eggs
A Korean peach drink, mung beans and golden raisins were the star ingredients in a recent cooking competition held in the Graduate Hospital...

Roll Your Own Way

Roll Your Own Way
Order a smattering of small plates at Opa—and prepare for a surprise as they’re sent out in no particular order and everyone around the...

Sandwiches by Chefs

Sandwiches by Chefs
Here’s a special you might see on the menu at Stockyard Sandwich Co. this summer: locally raised chicken, ground and mixed with basil,...


A longtime scrapple lover investigates the ingredients in this Pennsylvania staple “But what’s in it?” I asked my father as a kid, sitting...

Farmers' Market Guide

We’re excited about the many new markets that have sprung up since last season. They give us even more opportunities to shop directly from our region’s growers and artisans. Use this guide to fi...


Know your neighbors
The League Street block party in Bella Vista brings a diverse community together


food waste
Food waste fighter Ben Simon, who founded the Food Recovery Network at the University of Maryland in 2011, turned a kernel of an idea into...

In a Grays Ferry Garden, Opportunity Grows

Urban agriculture helps refugees get a fresh start in Philadelphia As the sun rises over West Philly, a quiet hum of work is under way at...

JACQUELINE PECCINA-KELLY (Chef Jacquie), Owner, Taste 4 Travel

Chef Jacquie
Almost no one knows Philadelphia’s Italian Market like Jacqueline “Chef Jacquie” Peccina- Kelly does. In addition to growing up in South...

Long Beach Island LIKE A LOCAL

The story of Long Beach Island, better known among NJ locals as LBI, is a story of the water. As you cross the Route 72 Causeway, the view...


Just like she does every night, Jemila Mohamed is making injera, Ethiopia’s famous flatbread. In the sweltering back room of a small...

Bassetts Ice Cream

Today, Philadelphia-based Bassetts Ice Cream is sold as far away as China. But this global business offers a sweet taste of Philadelphia...
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