In Light Of the Gulf Oil Spill Very Interesting Graphic On Oil Use, Location, ETC

From Good Magazine, a very interesting graphic which shows where oil is, who uses it, and lots of other interesting data. Bottom Line, US uses a ton of it yet we produce very little of it and are forced to buy it from often hostile regimes.

Community Garden At 30th & Harper In Brewerytown

I was strolling by the community garden on 30th and Harper in Brewerytown today and noticed it has recently undergone a very nice upgrade, check it out.

Philadelphia To Double Number of Bike Lanes - Nice Move

According to an article on

The city's proposed new bicycle network, now undergoing final revisions, will roughly double the miles of marked bike lanes to about 400, not counting 40 or so miles of separate trails on parklands. The bike lanes will come over the next decade as streets are repaved.

We applaud this, the key is really uniting all the bike lanes into a more cohesive transportation network, perhaps link to burbs, septa (imagine changing stations and secure bike storage at regional rail stops).

Mexican Restaurant Coming To W. Girard Avenue In Brewerytown

Back in March we put out a call for a Mexican restaurant to come up to W. Girard Avenue in Brewerytown. In just two months we are very excited to announce that we have just signed a Letter Of Intent with a very accomplished Chef (who must remain nameless for the time being) to open his first restaurant at 2711 W Girard. The project must be classified as tentative until full financing is in place, but we can say that it will feature a combination of authentic Mexican food and flavor from all regions of Mexico and, despite being a BYO, will provide a changing, unique menu of specialty cocktail mixers to add to your favorite spirit.

The Chef aims to create a cozy atmosphere with impeccable service, a communal table, and be affordable with a full meal (appetizer, entrée, dessert) running $20-25 per person. The restaurant will seat 40 or more and will be open from 4pm to 10pm Tuesday through Saturday.

Some Ideas On Improving Public Transportation In America

It seems that improving public transportation has been getting a good deal of attention lately (it's about time). Whether it's high speeds trains, light rail or other forms of mass transit - the goals are usually to improve how people move around their neighborhoods, cities and city to city. I came across two interesting articles recently; one on Japan finally exporting its bullet train technology - technology that Japan has long guarded but now finally sees the upside in letting other countries implement this amazing technology. Here is a link to the article.
On Tuesday, the Central Japan Railway Company took the visiting United States transportation secretary, Ray LaHood, on a test run — a 312-mile-an-hour tryout for the lucrative economic stimulus contracts that the United States plans to award to update and expand its rail network.
The other article looks at how early public transit in cities was privately financed by real estate developers and electric utility companies and they paid cities for the right of ways. The article suggests this is a good way to improve public transit, however attitudes in this country towards public transit probably would hinder this happening. Nonetheless it's quite intriguing and makes sense and maybe is not so far fetched.

More and more infrastructure is being privately financed today - toll roads, airports, charter schools, parks. So why not public transit? If you look at trains, this country would be well served by a private company(s) running high speed rail as Amtrak certainly hasn't done a good job.

With federal, state and local governments budgets already strained and our countries infrastructure in dire need of upgrading perhaps the revising the private sector financing makes sense?

Planting the Tree Beds Along Girard Avenue

We have begun cleaning out the tree beds in front of our properties along W. Girard Avenue in Brewerytown and are planting and mulching them as well. Here is a photo of the first one in front of MMPartners' office at 2621 W. Girard Avenue. We are planning on doing the same next week in front of 2711 W. Girard, 2819 W. Girard and up and down the north side of the 2900 Block of West Girard where we own 7 properties.

Study Shows Cul-De-Sacs Kill Communities (DUH??)

While we certainly didn't need an official study to tell us that suburban cul-de-sacs kill communities, we now have proof they do - click here. This ties into the overall trend of re-urbanization that is going on in this country with this shift making some parts of this country like Europe where the poor are concentrated in suburbs as opposed to city. It will be very interesting to see the results of the 2010 Census and whether it will validate this trend. Key will be finding ways to create mixed-income communities in cities and suburbs.

Images From Shepard Fairey May Day Show At Deitch Projects

Yesterday I was in New York and stopped by the Deitch Project gallery to check out the Shepard Fairey May Day show. Here are some images from the show and a cool mural across the street from the gallery which is similar to the mural across from MM Partners offices at 2617-19 W. Girard Avenue in Brewerytown. Check out the show if you can, very cool



Standup Sunda Croonquist, born in Paterson, N.J. to a an African American mother and a Swedish father, was sued two years ago for allegedly defaming her Jewish mother-in-law, sister-in-law and brother-in-law.

On Friday, a U.S. District Court judge in Trenton ruled that the comedian's routines expressed opinions, not facts, and so were protected as free speech.

Ironically, in one YouTube video, Croonquist says, "These are not mother-in-law jokes, because you can't make this up."

One reason the in-laws got riled is that Croonquist wasn't discreet about their identities, naming sister-in-law Shelley Edelman, for example, in a bit calling her the kind of "Jewish broad" who says nyihnt at the end of every sentence, like a cat in heat."

Judge Mary L. Cooper called such remarks "colorful, figurative rhetoric that reasonable minds would not take to be factual."

Shelley and husband Neil, of Morganville in Monmouth County, brought the suit, along with Croonquist's mother-in-law, Ruth Zafrin, who lives in Brooklyn. Croonquist and her attorney husband, Mark Zafrin, live in Beverly Hills. His firm represented her.

In her act, Croonquist tells jokes like: "I am a black woman with a Jewish mother-in-law, OK? Now you know the only thing we have in common: We don't want to get our hair wet."

"Drama from the moment I met my mother-in-law!" she continues, telling how her husband decided to introduce her to family at a Passover seder - and advised her not to mention being black, as if his mother wouldn't notice.

"But she noticed and that's when I noticed that Jews can't whisper," Croonquist said. ". . . Latinos know how to whisper, blacks know how to whisper . . ..

"I meet Ruthie for the first time, and she says, 'Thank you so much for coming, have a seat, and Elliot, put my pocketbook away."

And so on.

Croonquist shared reactions on her blog in June.

"I can't begin to tell you how sad this is," she wrote. "My children are so sad not knowing who their family is. Not ever knowing their cousins, and worse than that. Their grandmother, aunt and uncle is suing their mom."

"It's not every day a comedian is sued by their in-laws!," she continued on "Most people pick up a phone if they don't like a joke. Let's focus on the good things on life like my children's shoe addiction."