Warehouse on Watts, Philly’s Best Kept Secret

Warehouse on Watts, Philly’s Best Kept Secret

Gavin DiRusso had a few challenges before opening Warehouse on Watts (WOW), “a grassroots events space” in North Philadelphia. Initially, he had purchased the space in late September of 2013 for its garage so that he could develop and work on his own projects. The purchase was made around the time that the city switched over their real estate tax methods. It took over a year and a half before getting things up to code. “We’ve obviously had challenges, but for the most part I’ve been trying to keep things as organic as possible,” DiRusso said. Once DiRusso was able to get WOW operational, he opened up a few spaces for tenants which helped him get some consistent income so that he could invest it back into the space. WOW had started experiencing some success, until the city’s Licensing and Inspections noted that there were a few violations that needed to be addressed and all of DiRusso’s tenants were made to...
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Black and White and Dead All Over

Black and White and Dead All Over

TRAILER: Black & White and Dead All Over from Lenny Feinberg on Vimeo. I think it's always interesting to take a look at the state of newspapers as Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets become more popular. I am a firm believer in print and that it will never go away completely, just evolve...even if it is taking a while for it to do so....
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The ‘write’ stuff

The ‘write’ stuff

“I like all of the classes,” said eight-year-old Jada Lowery of the offerings at Mighty Writers. “I just can’t decide.” When first entering Mighty Writers at 1501 Christian in South Philadelphia you are greeted by a large red and white "MW"sign with surrounding comic book phrases: "thwack," "ooof," "bam," "ka-pow." This is the main studio where teens are assisted in SAT preparation by tutors. The studio is neatly lined with tables for the students and their tutors to work. Frames of comic book covers decorate the walls. Shelf upon shelf of books occupy the center of the studio. Mighty Writers is a nonprofit organization where Philadelphia youth are able to participate in free writing workshops to perfect their reading and writing skills. Each year teachers, journalists, and others volunteer to teach and mentor more than 500 local students. Jada recently started attending. She’s originally from Georgia, and found out about the program from her soccer coach at Chester A. Arthur School. Read the full story... ...
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Reflections of a CCP Grad

Reflections of a CCP Grad

As I type this I am staring at my newly earned Associate in Arts degree and certificate in creative writing from the Community College of Philadelphia. I am realizing that no matter how tedious, all of the work was worth it. All of the nights staying up to write papers, reading handout after handout, and studying for countless hours prepared me for where I am now. I must admit, however, that during my first semester at CCP my mind was filled with doubt. Would I be able to actually finish college? Was I truly prepared? I suppose this is the feeling of all incoming freshman: whether they will be able to stick with college. Succeed in it. Over the next several weeks, I plan to share personal stories of my time at CCP and current transition to Temple University. During my first semester at CCP, I was already wary from my then short-lived Temple experience and I was constantly going over in my mind...
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From G to Gent

Jamal Nasir was 15 the first time he sold drugs. It was an easy choice for the gullible teenager: As a Baltimore high school student in the late ’80s, he watched many of his peers arrive at school sporting flashy clothes, showcasing new cars and brandishing huge wads of cash. “It was eye-catching,” says Nasir, who lives in North Philadelphia. “These guys had all the girls and made the football and basketball players seem obsolete. I wanted to be part of the team.” Being a player on the drug-dealing team was as easy back then as it is today: Nasir and a friend were recruited and given a package of crack along with instructions to bring back half the money they made. “I would go out there on the corner and within 20 minutes that stuff would be gone,” he says. Before long, the teen had enough cash rolling in to keep him hooked in the lifestyle. But the game has a way of...
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