Monthly Archives

August 2007


William Penn is Not Getting A Wax Job Yet!!

As I mentioned in my 8/8/07 entry, City Hall’s William Penn was scheduled to undergo his 10 year cleaning and waxing to waterproof the statue starting 8/20/07. The newly in place $5 observation viewing tower fee would be suspended as it would be closed for about 30 days for obstruction of view and safety issues. So on 8/20/07 I thought I would begin a series of William Penn shots to mark the progression of the scaffolding and cleaning (I am always inspired by and


Lucy there’s something fishy going on ‘er; On my way to work Wednesday morning I see a guy with a picket sign standing in the South archway of City Hall. I asked him if he was with the company that will be cleaning William Penn and if are they on strike. He didn’t want to answer my questions (which I thought meant if you ask one more question I am going to break your camera over your head)
Lucky for me there seemed to be plenty of picketers and maybe one would answer my questions

West side (another shy one)

Mayor’s entrance
East side, and then finallysomeone, who didn’t want to be photographed, tells me that the picketers are from the Carpenters Union. He further states that “A Non-Union carpenter firm is inside City Hall doing work and the Carpenter’s Union doesn’t think its fair that they can pay someone less than Union Scale to do a job.” I then mentioned that because of his picketing, the Union Carpenter guys who were going to scaffold William Penn to prepare him for cleaning and water proofing, won’t cross the picket line and now tourist from all over the world are going to have to wait even longer to view our beautiful City because of the delay. In fact it could even go into winter before all is said and dine, tourist season will be over and dollars will be lost.

He said, “The City should have been better prepared, they knew about the impending strike and should have been flexible to opened the observation tower, since the work hadn’t even started. They could have been collecting the $5 a head, put a smile on at least 120 people a day for the last two weeks grossing $1200, but then again we are talking about the Street Administration.” (OK that wasn’t his quote)


The New Clothespin Plaza at Penn Square

The 1976 Claes Oldenburg’s 45-foot-high, 10-ton sculpture stands in front of the Center Square Building at 15th and Market Streets, near City Hall in Philadelphia. The old Clothespin area was not very pretty, it was a concrete jungle, the stairs were in an odd juxtaposition to the street, although it seemed inviting to marathon sittersThe New Clothespin at Penn Square is much prettier. The stairs have been flipped and you can now enter/exit from the streetside. No more unwanted people loitering by the banks doors.Not much of a concrete jungleand still a great place to sit
Looks like it’s a Taxi Stand now too?Overall I think they have done an excellent job. The facade and plaza really make Penn Plaza an inviting place to locate a business. With their largest tenant Comcast Corp., which occupies about 230,000 square feet, leaving within the year, I think the new curb appeal will attract the tenants they desire.


It’s Official: You no longer have to Knock, it’s opened

The City inspectors finally got around to inspecting the long anticipated resturaunt, KNOCK. It was orginally supposed to open last Friday, but you know how it is the last few weeks of August everyone moves a little slower. I just got off the phone with KNOCK and the bar will be opened today at 4PM and dinners will begin tomorrow night at 5PM. See my entry about KNOCK:

Dinner being served 5 – 9, Sat & Sun Brunch 11 – 2. Eventually KNOCK will be opened for Lunch and Dinner beginning everyday at 11AM KNOCK 225 South 12th Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 215.925.1166

You no Longer have to KNOCK, it’s open, really

Bill Wood or as he is known in the GAYborhood, Woody, and his brother Steve (& their spouses), have finally opened their global restaurant-lounge. KNOCK whose name takes its inspiration from an Irish town, will occupy the northeast corner of 12th and Locust Streets, in the ground floor space that has housed a series of short-lived eateries (Lula, Sukothai, Cafe Cosmo and the longest tenant at 5 years, Pamplona, a branch of Dmitri’s).

When I spoke to Bill Wood, earlier this week, he told me that he wanted to do some things that would break the curse that seems to have occurred at the corner of 12th and Locust Streets, in addition to really wanting to do something special to the space and for the community. Trust me, he has, it’s amazing, down to the detail on the floor, the bar, lighting, linens, hearth (yes its true) and it’s very stylish “Green” bathrooms (Hopefully he didn’t have a problem with the plumbing unions that the Comcast Building did). The rumors are true the new place does have a piano, but its just for show strategically placed as you sweep into the foyer to request a table.

And as soon as I walked in the place it felt like home again, the feel, the atmosphere, seeing Bill Wood and some familiar faces. Woody’s was always one of those places that closely reminded my friends and I of TV show Cheers; they always knew our name, it was always a safe warm atmosphere and everyone was family, (& who can forget those free pour drinks.) It’s great to see Woody back in the neighborhood, to see old friends again, make new ones, and enjoy a good meal by Chef Stephen Huey. Pictured above Thom Cardwell and James Duggan of BUCKmonkey, Bill Wood, his Partner Lee Mallon, Partners David White and James McManaman of Absolute Abstract.
All the art work at Knock is from Absolute Abstract located at 141 S. 13th Street, in the newly created Midtown section of Center City I have only showcased a small part of the restaurant, as you will want to stop by not only for a delicious meal, but to take in the beautiful design of, damn I failed to get the name of the interior designer, I will get it because everyone will want a piece of them after seeing KNOCK. The hours will be limited at first, Dinner being served 5 – 9, Sat & Sun Brunch 11 – 2. Eventually KNOCK will be opened for Lunch and Dinner beginning everyday at 11AM KNOCK 225 South 12th Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 215.925.1166