Steve Drabkowski's Blog Posts

Steve Drabkowski's Blog Posts

Philadelphia Transfer Tax Increase
For some time there have been rumors of an expected increase in the property transfer tax in the city of Philadelphia.  Many have questioned when it would take place and now t...

Sakura Sunday Is Coming April 15
While the calendar says spring, Winter does not seem to have left the Philadelphia region.  we think it has left and then it returns and says "hold my beer and watch this"!&nb...

The Train Shed At Lincoln Square
  I admit that I have not been paying that much attention to Washington Avenue lately, though I have been following new projects close by.  Several months ago I drove pas...

Love Returns
It has been some time since the iconic Robert Indiana "Love " Statue has graced JFK Park, but it returns just in time for Valentines Day!  The statue was removed for restorati...

Do Not Let Your Pipes Freeze
With some of the coldest weather the Philadelphia area has seen in some time likely to be around for a while, this is a good time to keep an eye on your plumbing lines.  If yo...

Christmas Market Now Open
   The Philadelphia Christmas market is now open and is well worth paying a visit to.  Last year it was located in City Hall courtyard, which gave it a very intimate...

Moms Organic Market Is Now Open At 11th And Market
   Now that the construction around 11th and Market is starting to reach it's conclusion, some of the new tenants are starting to move in.   One of the most ant...

Be Prepared For An Emergency
   As I write this, news channels are full of reports about yet another major hurricane bearing down on part of the United States.  So, it seemed like a good time to...

So You Want To Flip Housess
  So, you want to start flipping houses.  The Rehab shows make it look fun, get together with your friends, buy and old wreck of a place, get busy with sledgehammers and ...

What To Do With That Old Garage
What about the garage  The garage, everybody wants one, pitched battles are fought in the city about curb cuts for them and the resulting lack of street parking.  In the ...

Remember Your Pets Over The Holiday
   The big 4th of July holiday is upon us.  While we all enjoy the cookouts, picnics and fireworks, it is good to remember that our dogs and cats may not be so thril...

The Philly Rowhouse 20s Style
Philly rowhouses from the 1920”S    With all the attention that the anniversary of the United States entry into World War 1 has been getting, I thought it may be...

Market East Is Coming Back To Life
Now that Winter is pretty much over, you will see that big changes are happening on the area known as Market East.  After months of watching the destruction of the old block...

Philly Flower Show Coming Soon
This has not been the worst of winters, so far, but dark and grey days do take a toll.  One sure sign of spring in the city in the annual Philadelphia Flower Show, march 11 -1...

Visit The Christmas Market At City Hall
Christmas Village at City Hall   This year brings some changes to the annual Christmas Village held in Center City.  For the past few years the holiday village has...

New Wawa To Open In December
   Lovers of Wawa, the convenience store we all use, will have reasons to rejoice on Friday, December 2 as the largest and newest outpost opens for business at 19th and M...

Living In The Strike Zone
   So, Septa has gone on strike, this seems to happen every few years.  I have been through a few of these events over the years and they are survivable, if hugely...

On The Loss Of Grand Spaces
    With the announcement that the Post office is closing the Post office at the 9th street federal building ( Nix Federal Building)  we lose access to anoth...

Life With The New Septa Key
   A few months ago SEPTA announced the introduction of the new fare card system that will eventually take over for the convoluted system of tokens, paper transfers, an...

Good Job Philly
   The Democratic National Convention is now behind us, and it was quite a ride.  Together we made history, heard some inspiring speeches, had our disagreements and ...

Remember Your Pets On The 4th
   The Fouth of July in Philadelphia is always a big celebration, parades, concerts, fireworks and other activities are eagerly anticipated.  While you may enjoy fir...

Its Hammock Time
It’s Hammock Time   Even though it has been unusually cold and damp this season, a true sign of summer’s return is the opening of the ever popular Spruce Street Har...

Mr Hamilton Requests The Pleasure Of Your Company
Mr. Hamilton requests the pleasure of your company….    If you have spent time in West Philly, you have been past the entrance gates to Woodlands Cemetery. ...

Why Is There So Much Lead Around Anyway
Why is there so much lead around anyway ?    For years we have heard the problems with lead based paint in homes and in water lines, but why is it there to begin w...

Philadelphia Flower Show Starts March 5th
   Winter  is almost done, but getting through the next month or so seems to take an eternity.  Hopping the next flight to someplace warm and tropical is not ...

Will The Whales Still Live On At 2400 Market Street
Will the whales still live on at 2400 Market   A bit of my past is about to change.  Many years ago I worked as an assistant showroom manager at fabric showroom at...

When The Power Goes Out
   With the upcoming storm seemingly becoming worse by the minute, here are a few things to remember in case you lose electric power.  If you are lucky, this may ...

Winter Has Arrived
   With the forecasters predicting anything from 2 inches to 2 feet of snow for the area, it is time to be prepared.  We have not had a decent snowfall since last...

The End Is Finally Coming
The end is finally coming   2015 is coming to an end, we all know that and it will go you with a libation filled bang in a few hours.  The end I am talking about i...

Interest Rates Have Gone Up And The World Did Not End
Interest rates have gone up   Just before Christmas, the Federal Reserve Bank announced that a long rumored rise in the prime interest rate was going to happen.  ...

Let The Skating Begin
Let the skating begin   Now that the winter season is fully upon us, get out and enjoy the season at one or both of the public skating rinks set up for the season. ...

The Open Kitchen And How We Got There
   The open kitchen plan is everywhere you look in today’s homes.  From renovated townhouses to new condo’s , the kitchen is often the first thing you see whe...

A Few Fireplace Tips
Some fireplace tips for winter   With the days getting shorter and the nights getting colder, we are all drawn to that warm crackling fire burning in the fireplace.&nbs...

Time Change And Your Dog
    You know it is coming, that twice yearly ritual of moving clocks back or forward depending on the season.  At 2 A.M.  Sunday, November 1st  it will b...

A Look Inside The Divine Lorraine Hotel
A look inside the Divine Lorraine  Yesterday, I took advantage of the chance to legally get inside the long empty Divine Lorraine Hotel on North Broad Street and I am glad t...

You Need This Map For Papal Vist Survival
This is the map you need for the Papal visit   For months we have all been wondering about what will happen during the Papal visit at the end of this month.  Theor...

Something For Everyone In September
   Summer may be winding down, but things in Philadelphia are heating up.  Labor day weekend is coming up and it will be a busy one.  First Friday wil...

Go Retro In Wildwood
    We all know that Wildwood is great place to get some sun and surf, not to mention the best boardwalk in New Jersey.  But did you also know that this is t...

Go Naked At The Shore With No Beach Tags
No beach tags needed here    There is still time for a quick run to the shore, the water is warm and late summer can be the best time for the shore.  Many of ...

What Is Knob And Tube Wiring Or Why Is My Home Inspector Telling Me This
You have Knob and Tube…You have finally found the old house of your dreams and you are envisioning all the wonderful things you plan on doing and your Home Inspector hands you ...

Protect Your Pets On The 4th
Protect your pets on the 4th  While you may enjoy the sight and sounds of the 4t of July fireworks, your pets may have a completely different reaction.    Our...

Easy Updates For A Tired Kitchen
   Like many people,  I have an older home.  Over all things are in decent shape, but my kitchen could use a more modern touch The appliances have been replac...

Get Some Shore Time In The City
   The days have become hot and humid and you want a place to hang out for a few hours.  Perhaps with a boardwalk, beach chair or perhaps a hammock to swing in for...

May 31 2015 1408 1
Love Park gets a re-designLove park is about to look quite different.  The current design, stepped granite terraces around the central pool and fountain is being re-done in a...

A New Philadelphia Is Going Up Around Us
   A new Philadelphia is going up around us.  If you take a look around the city , you can see evidence of new construction going up just about everywhere.  Th...

The Broad Street Run Is This Sunday
   If you are a runner, you know about the annual Broad Street Run.  For those who are not familiar with this race, it starts up in North Philadelphia , at Central H...

Forgotten Art At The Gallery Mall
   There is a piece of artwork in the Gallery Mall, by an important Mid Century American artist, that most people walk past and do not even realize that it is there.&nb...

Auto Show Is Now Open
   This morning, an event that most guys in Philly look forward to opened to the public.  Yes, the Philly Auto show is now open and you can go in and wander about al...

Big Philly Beerfest Starts Tonight
   The holidays are over, so if you are looking for something interesting to do, head over to the Philadelphia Convention Center for "The Big Philly Beerfest".  This...

What To Do With That Christmas Tree
Philadelphia Christmas Tree Recycling: 2013-2014This is a short post that I found on line, but Philly Green says it well and to the point - http://www.greenphillyblog.com/phil...

New Years Eve In Philly
    Christmas is only a few days away and that means that New Year's  Eve is fast approaching.  In Philadelphia , this means Fireworks over the river on Ne...

Christmas Village Now Open
   This weekend the 2014 Philadelphia Christmas village opened for the holiday season.    If you have not gone in previous years,  you really should...

Just In Time For Holiday Shopping
    The popular Franklin Flea Market has returned for a second year to the first floor of the old Strawbridge and Clothier store at 8th and Market.  If you ha...

Visit The New Schuykill Banks Trail
   If you have not had a chance to take a stroll along the newest part of the Schuykill River Trail, I strongly urge you to do so.  The newly opened walkway over the...

Still A Great Tine To Look At Homes
   The summer season is over, but there is still plenty of pleasant weather left to en joy before winter sets in.  So take advantage of these warm fall days and chec...

Dilworth Park Now Open
   This past Thursday the eagerly anticipated Dilworth Park opened to the public for the first time.  Since I was in center city at the time, I decided to take a ...

Spruce Street Pier To Close September 1
   The Spruce Street Pier “Pop Up” park has proved to be a very popular addition to the Delaware River waterfront at Penn’s Landing.  If you have not had a ...

Dilworth Plaza To Reopen September 4th
   It seems that the construction at Dilworth Plaza on the west side of city Hall has been going on forever.  Underground, it seems that subway exits have been block...

Trolley Tunnels Closed August 1 To 18th
  " All Trolleys will be diverted to 40th and Market"..... A collective groan goes up when ever the SEPTA riding public hears this.  Unfortunately, this will be ...

Beer Gardens For Hot Summer Relief
   In the 19th century, when the weather became hot and humid, Philadelphians would visit refresh themselves in any number of neighborhood beer gardens.  There wou...

Spruce Street Harbor Park To Open Soon
   if you have not been down to Penn's Landing recently, you will notice some barges with trees on them, floating by the USS Olympia.  These will be a part of the "P...

Progress On Dilworth Plaza
   For the past several years we have been watching the transformation Dilworth Plaza on the West side of City Hall.  The previous design was done for the 1976 Bicen...

The Start Of Philly Beer Week
   This weekend is the start of the ever growing Philly Beer Week,  a celebration of everything beer oriented.  There are far too many events going on to post h...

Real Estate Today
   Technology has changed many things in our lives and the practice  of Real Estate is no different.  In the not too distant past, if you wanted to buy a house ...

New Life For Old Strawbridges
  For some time rumors have been circulating in Center City that the New York based discount department store Century 21 was looking at opening a space at the Gallery.  I...

What To Do In Case Of A SEPTA Strike
   We are all hearing the rumors,  Septa city transit workers are threatening to walk out at midnight on March 15.  The last time this happened was in November ...

Franklin Flea Hops To Plymouth Meeting Mall
   The popular Franklin Flea market is getting a jump start at Plymouth Meeting Mall for two weekends  - March 28 -30 and April 4-6.  Hours are 10-9 P.M. on Fri...

Franklin Flea Returns April 19
   For those who enjoyed the popular Franklin Flea Market over the holidays, it will return to Center City in April.  The winter version was held in the first floor ...

Federal Doughnuts Now At Penn
  For all of us who have become addicted to the delicious doughnuts from Federal doughnuts, but don't have the time to get to 1219 S. 2nd or 1632 Sansom St, there is hope. &nb...

Flower Show Discount Tickets
  If you are stuck at home today, take advantage of the "Storm Discount "  for the Philadelphia Flower Show.  Today ( Monday) you can purchase general admission tick...

Final Curtain For The Boyd Theater
   When  you walk down the 1900 block of Chestnut street it is hard not to miss the decaying ruin of what was once the Boyd Theater.  The marquee is rusted an...

Celebrate Lunar New Year
   If you live in or near Philadelphia's Chinatown, you know that tonight is the big night.  At midnight, drums, dragons, lions and fireworks will usher in the "Year...

Embrace The Snow
 It's here,  you can't avoid it today.  Even going from one end of town to the other is painful, with gridlocked traffic, stalled transit and slippery sidewalks. &nb...

Welcome To 2014
   In a few hours, 2013 will be a memory.  People are gathering along the river to view what I hope will be a spectacular fireworks display.  All over the city,...

Time For Christmas Dinner
   Let's admit it, Christmas is coming upon us like a speeding train.  If you are the one in charge of cooking that holiday meal, and you are searching for some...

Some Great Places To Do Holiday Shopping
   By now we have all seen the chaos of "Black Friday" shopping, but there is a pleasant alternative to the mall this time of year.  Philadelphia has 2 great sources...

Please Vote
   Tomorrow  is Election Day,  and regardless of your political persuasion, get out and vote!  The right to vote is a hard won right, and I am always amaze...

Campers Rejoice
   I was waiting for the bus the other day at 22nd and South and saw this newly opened shop - Fireside Camp Supply, and I had to check it out.  As a veteran camper, ...

History For Sale
    Recently, I had the chance to see 2 properties that had always interested me.  If you spend time on South Street, you are probably familiar with the park...

Exterior Tips For The Spring Market
   With the current rise of activity in the real estate market, many are thinking of putting properties on the market.  If you are thinking about listing in the spri...

The Eagles Of Market Street
   Every day many Philadelphians cross the Market Bridge and I suspect that most of us barely notice the massive stone eagles at each end,  and even fewer have an...

New Mt Vernon St Condos
   This past Tuesday I had the chance to look at 3 new condo units on the 1200 block of Mt. Vernon St.  There are 3 units available in this newly constructed buildin...

Farmers Market Season Again
   Philadelphia has a centuries long tradition of Farmer's Markets, starting with the original market stalls on Market St in the 18th century.  Today, just about eve...

Increasing Mortgage Rates
   Over the past few weeks it is becoming apparent that all signs are pointing to the end of the low mortgage interest rates that buyers have been enjoying for the past f...

Race Street Pier Park
   One of the best places to relax on a hot and steamy evening is the park on the Race Street Pier.  This is one of my favorite places to go any time of the year. &n...

Something Fun For The Weekend
   The weather forecasters say this is going to be a great weekend to be out and about.  So here are two events that promise  a great time.  The first is t...

Coming to a tree near you
For 17 years we have been in the ground,  living in your garden, perhaps under your trees,and now that the weather is getting warm, it's time to Fly!   In about a month o...

Changes at 22nd and Market
  If you have recently walked around the corner of 22nd and Market, you will notice that things are happening.  The old "rated X" theater is now a pile of bricks, and the...

New life for the Hale Building
   There is a rumor going around that one of the most interesting buildings on Chestut Street may eventually come back to life.  1326 Chestnut St, also known as the ...

Daylight Savings starts tonight
   One sure sign  that Spring is rapidly approaching is the yearly ritual of setting your clocks ahead one hour.  Yes, Daylight Saving Time starts at midnight t...

Net Zero house in NoLibs
   If you have not had a chance to walk by the 200 block of George St in Northern Liberties, do so, and see the future bing built.  These houses are Philadelphia's f...

Happy New Year Year of the Snake
   Saturday night (Feb 9th), the residents of Philadelphia's Chinatown will welcome in the Lunar New Year with a parade starting at 11PM.  The Year of the Snake will...

Philly Home Show Week
   The Philadelphia Home show started this past Saturday.  I was at Reading Terminal on Saturday afternoon, and judging from the crowds carrying mops, shopping bags ...

The windows of South Philly
   Every neighborhood of the city has something unique about it.  In South Philly, on of the most noticable things is the decoration of the front windows.  Ever...

Fishtown Society Hills lost brother
   Society Hill is known across the country as one of Americs'a most historic neighborhood.  The streets are lined with homes dating back to the early years of our c...

New Years Day is coming
   Tomorrow is New Years Day in Philadelphia.  And that means Broad Street will be filled with our largest street celebration of  the year, the Mummer's Parade....

Final Hours for the Church of the Assumption
  As of this writing, it looks like this is the end for the former Church of the Assumption on Spring Garden St.  This building is known to anyone driving down Spring Gar...

West Philadelphia High Developments
   This past Saturday, neighbors in West Philadelphia got a chancce to see a developers proposal for the re-use of the old West Philadelphia HIgh School.  This propo...

Center City to get new Whole Foods Market
   There is a very good chance the Art Museum area may be the home of a super sized Whole Foods market in the next year or so.  The exat location has not been determ...

Life in the dark
   Like everyone in the Philadelphia region on the 29th, I was following the progress of “Sandy”  up the coast and waiting for storm to come.  I had...

Revival of the Metropolitan to come
   Now that the news about the (hopeful) revival of the long decaying Lorraine Hotel has made its rounds, lets look at the next major piece North Broad St puzzle.  &...

Get ready for winter now
  While we have been enjoying some pleasant early fall weather, winter will soon be upon us.  Now is the time to get your hoouse ready for the cold days to come.   &...

Lansdowne Theater Restoration progress
   On Friday, October 5th, the Lansdowne Theater in Lansdowne,PA  will celebrate a major milestone in the restoration of this historic theater.  On this date,&n...

The Clarence Moore House
   One of my favorite buildings in Center City is the house located at 1321 Locust St.  As you walk down from Broad St, passing apartment buildings and parking garag...

Explore the Little Streets
   One of the pleasures of living in Philadelphia is exploring what many call the “Little Streets” .  These are those little back streets found in the ol...

Reading Terminal renovations complete
         If you have not been to the Reading Terminal Market for some time, you will see some recent  changes to the place.  But not to worr...

Revolutionary Mobs descend on Fairmont
Revolutionary Mobs to descend on Fairmont July 14th!      This weekend  Eastern State Penitentiary will host one of the best free events in Philadelphia ! ...

Look Up and explore
   Did  you ever feel as if you were being watched as you walked in Center City ?  You may see a  beautifully carved animal head peering back down at you, ...


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