Monthly Archives: April 2014

Piero Francisco: Singing, Dancing Mob Murder Witness

Piero Francisco spent only three years in Philadelphia in the 1920s, and more than half of his time was behind bars. To earn this, Francisco had the misfortune to witness a pair of mob murders and the willingness to share what, and who, he saw. Francisco was only following the lead of his employer Anthony […]
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The Philadelphia Ice Cream Tradition of Innovation

By Brady Dale. With spring and summer upon us (not to mention an announcement that even Yuengling has entered the ice cream business, the history of local ice cream has been on our mind. Philadelphia has long been a leader in ice cream production, and the city is still home to Bassett’s Ice Cream, which […]
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Parkside Revisited (Again): A Look Inside 4230 Parkside Avenue

Note: the author has previously covered Parkside in “After the Fair” and “The Slifkin Family.”  A walk-through of the house with the author and University of Pennsylvania lecturer Hanley Bodek will be featured on an upcoming segment of WHYY’s Friday Arts.  On the outside, the houses on the 4200 block of Parkside Avenue are grand […]
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Zanghi’s Revenge: A Pivotal Mobster Moment

The third attempt on John Avena’s life took place on March 11, 1927 as the 32-year old gangster stepped out of a restaurant at 822 South 8th Street. Avena knew exactly who was behind the failed hit. And, as we learned last time, he had no intention of turning anyone in. “I like to settle […]
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Stetson Hats: the western icon made here

By Brady Dale, for Technically Philly. It’s often worth taking in the names engraved on old Philadelphia buildings. Sometimes, they are surprising. For example, If you’ve stopped into RAW: Sushi and Sake Lounge, at 1225 Sansom Street, you may have noticed that its ornate entryway says “John B. Stetson Company” in several places. Stetson Hats […]
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