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 By Danielle Bacher and Jonathan Braymer

Strawberry Mansion: John Coltrane’s House of Blues

Strawberry Mansion: John Coltrane’s House of Blues

Row homes line this North Philadelphia street–some of them abandoned and wet from the grip of constant rain. There is a single rumble of thunder. A low-lying fog covers the front of a three-story brick house on 1511 N. 33rd St. near Oxford in North Philadelphia’s Strawberry Mansion section. Plywood and planks help hold this home […]

 By Justin Finneran

Olney: Center Provides Assistance to Veterans

Olney: Center Provides Assistance to Veterans

When a soldier returns home after experiencing combat, the transition back into civilian life is not an easy task.  The soldiers often face great hardships as a result of the injuries and the memories they bring with them.  Fortunately, for veterans in Philadelphia needing assistance for that often difficult transition is nearby. The Northeast Philadelphia Vet […]

 By Ashley Campbell

Ridge Avenue: The Arts Garage

Ridge Avenue: The Arts Garage

The area around 15th Street at Ridge Avenue is practically vacant during the middle of the day. Aside from a few people who live in the area and walk the streets or those who own the few businesses at that end of Ridge, there usually isn’t much activity. Now fast forward to the hours after […]

 By Sande Friedman

Germantown: Teen Challenge Initiative

Germantown: Teen Challenge Initiative

When John Blaufuss checked himself into the Germantown Teen Challenge Initiative years ago, he was hoping that the program would be the help he needed to get his life in order and not be dependant on drugs and alcohol anymore. Two decades later, he can confidently say the program was a success for him. Not […]

 By Joangel Concepcion and Danny Barron

How Kensington Learns

How Kensington Learns

The Philadelphia school system has a laundry list of problems. Overcrowding, attendance, dropouts, literacy, lack of extracurriculars and cutbacks that lead to music and arts programs being dropped are just some of the complaints against inner-city schools. Effects last after public education. Twenty-two percent of Philadelphians are functionally illiterate. There are optimists. “We just had […]

 By Aaron Gottlieb

Hunting Park: Navigating School Safety

Hunting Park: Navigating School Safety

Officer Raul Ortiz looked like a man completely comfortable in his profession and at ease with his surroundings. As we began our drive through one of the busiest districts in the city, one of the few that has their own radio band, it was only a short amount of time before my feeling of excitement […]

 By Kelly White

Ridge Avenue’s Giant Brain

Ridge Avenue’s Giant Brain

It’s now the Marketplace at East Falls, but 3747 Ridge Ave. is the birthplace of something bigger. Outside, there’s an inconspicuous, blue historical marker. Think of the cell phone pulsating next to you, the car that whizzed by a second ago, and the platform you are on at this very moment. Philadelphia played a massive […]

 By Aimee Otis

Port Richmond: Vacant Lots

Port Richmond: Vacant Lots

Marilyn Dombowski awakes each morning to a constant reminder of the vacant lot issue in Philadelphia and Port Richmond, because whenever she wants to sit on her porch, an abandoned lot is the first thing that she sees. “I have one crappy view from my porch,” Dombowski said, “that’s why I don’t like sitting out […]

 By Meggan Kole

Germantown: Now You Really Can Join The Circus

Germantown: Now You Really Can Join The Circus

If your looking for fun and to learn a new skill, than The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts may be the place for you. But note, that while the high-flying tricks on the rope looks fun, it is also a lot of work. Jonathan Perry, one of the juggling instructors, says being able to pull […]

 By Lena Kravets

Germantown: The Circus Goes to School

Germantown: The Circus Goes to School

Big striped tents. Jugglers and acrobats. Cotton candy, sparkly costumes and magic tricks. Some of us are lucky enough to have childhood memories of circus visits. There was something so elusive about those performers. But thanks to the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts located in Germantown, circus performing no longer has to be something unrealistic […]