Friday, August 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

South Street Renaissance men and women

Longtime Philly residents know the story of the Crosstown Expressway that was set to obliterate then-downtrodden South Street until a bunch of hippie "bohemiams" moved in and opened funky businesses that defined the South Street that's now a venerable Philly landmark.

South Street Renaissance men and women

South Street regulars (front to back, left to right): Ruth Snyderman, Ron Kaplan, Rick Snyderman, Julia Zagar, George Manney, Isaiah Zagar, Susan Lunenfeld, Bill Curry, Kenn Kweeder, Warren Muller, Joel Spivak, Tom Bissinger.
South Street regulars (front to back, left to right): Ruth Snyderman, Ron Kaplan, Rick Snyderman, Julia Zagar, George Manney, Isaiah Zagar, Susan Lunenfeld, Bill Curry, Kenn Kweeder, Warren Muller, Joel Spivak, Tom Bissinger. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer

It's not often that we here at Earth to Philly, the Daily News eco-blog, link to something from our upstairs sibling/rival, the Inquirer. But if I didn't, I'd have to basically write out this info myself, which I had intended to do if nobody covered this - the 40th anniversary of the "South Street Renaissance." Thankfully, they did.

Longtime Philly residents (and here I mean longer-time than me - I arrived in the mid-80s) know the story of the Crosstown Expressway that was set to obliterate then-downtrodden South Street until a bunch of hippie "bohemiams" moved in and opened funky businesses that defined the South Street that's now a venerable Philly landmark.

This is especially E2P-related because two of the visionaries most responsible for pulling that off are also Dumpster Divers, for which this will serve as the latest Dispatch.

Joel Spivak, who will be leading a walking tour on Saturday (starting at 2 p.m. at Head House Square - 2nd & Lombard) is no stranger to our readers, having been - among many other roles - the ringleader in opening the first Dumpster Divers gallery and now also the second one about a block away. The new gallery promises to feature the "best outfit made from trash/recycle" that shows up for the 11 am parade (6th and South).

And Isaiah Zagar is almost as much of a Philly icon himself as are his broken-glass mosaics that are visible all over the South Street area (as well as elsewhere in town) and especially at the Magic Gardens just off 10th and South. Of course, there were plenty of other people involved, and in fact many who have wound up in far-flung locations are returning to Philly just for this weekend.

Whether or not you were in Philly in the 60s or 70s, take a walk down memory lane with some of our previous E2P coverage of key players,and check out the events of the South Street Renaissance 40th Reunion. There will be a lot of people interested in this - but please: No flash mobs.

About this blog
Earth to Philly is a weblog focusing on earth-conscious technology, trends and ideas, from a Daily News perspective. We look at the "green" aspects of your home, business, food, transportation, style, policy, gadgets and artwork. If you have a Philly-related story, Click here to let us know about it!

The experts at Philadelphia's Energy Coordinating Agency answer your energy questions in our regular feature Stay Warm, Stay Green. Send in your question or questions to energy@phillynews.com.


Look for Jenice Armstrong to supply tips on green living as well as occasional columns on the subject of Green. She also blogs at Hey Jen.


Becky Batcha stays tuned for the here-and-now practical side of conservation, alternative energy, organic foods, etc. - stuff you can do at home now. Plus odds and ends.


Laurie Conrad recycles from her ever-growing e-mailbag to pass along the latest travel deals, fashion statements, household strategies, gadgets, cool local events and other nuggets of interest to those who appreciate a clean, green world.


Vance Lehmkuhl looks at topics like eco-conscious eating, public transportation and fuel-efficient driving from his perspective as a vegetarian, a daily SEPTA bus rider and a hybrid driver, as well as noting the occasional wacky trend or product. Contact Vance with your 'green' news.


Ronnie Polaneczky sees the green movement through the eyes of her 12-year-old daughter, who calls her on every scrap of paper or glass bottle that Ronnie neglects to toss into the house recycling bins. Ronnie will blog about new or unexpected ways to go green. She also blogs at So, What Happened Was...


Sandra Shea and the DN editorial board opine on any green-related legislation or policy. And we'll pass along some of the opeds on the subject that people send us.


Jonathan Takiff will be blogging mainly about consumer electronics - those things that we love to use and that suck too much energy. He'll spotlight green-conscious gizmos made in a responsible fashion, both in terms of materials used and the energy it takes to run them.


Signe Wilkinson draws the comic strip Family Tree, which follows the Tree family as they try to live green in the face of nattering neighbors, plastic-wrapped consumer products, and the primal teenage urge to spend vast quantities of money on hair care products of dubious organic quality.


In addition to these updates from our newsroom bloggers, watch for an occasional feature, Dumpster Diver Dispatches, from Philadelphia's original "green" community of artists, the Dumpster Divers. You'll learn about creative ways to reuse and recycle while you reduce, and about the artists who are making little masterpieces from what others throw out.

  • Dispatch #1: Margaret Giancola's rugs from plastic bags
  • Dispatch #2: Dumpster Divers in City Hall (Art in City Hall series)
  • Dispatch #3: Wild wood, New Jersey
  • Dispatch #4: Dumpster Divers award winners announced
  • Dispatch #5: From sweaters to colorful cuddling
  • Dispatch #6: Green artists retake South Street Sunday
  • Dispatch #7: Isaiah Zagar: He's a Magic (Gardens) Man





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