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Philadelphia 76ers Practice Facility Opens Today In Camden

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76ers Practice Facility outside

Philadelphia 76ers Practice Facility Opens Today In Camden. Clap your hands, everybody! It’s 76ers seasons ladies and gentleman and we are happy to announce that we got an exclusive tour of the new practice facility located in Camden, NJ.

Fun Facts About 76ers Practice Facility In Camden, New Jersey:

  • The basketball courts are made of 16,384 pieces of Maple Wood Athletic Flooring.
  • Acoustical tile is arranged on the walls of the basketball courts to prevent echoing and sound vibrations.
  • The interior layout required 1,500 sheets of drywall and 22,500 screws.
  • 1,384 square yards of concrete were poured just to complete the first floor.
  • The basketball courts are comprised of two full size NBA courts and six additional shooting baskets for a total of two hoops.
  • The Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex is 125,000 square feet in total – the basketball facility is 66,230 square feet with 20,480 square feet making up the basketball courts.
  • Both the main and player entrance reception desks feature wood from the basketball court that Wilt Chamberlain famously shot his NBA record 100 point game.
  • The Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex broke ground on January 25, 2015 by Intech Construction. Since then over 60 different trades have been worked on the construction.

 

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Plaze Review: Philly’s Fastest Growing DIY Networking App

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I’ve been involved with do-it-yourself music in the Greater Philadelphia area for over a decade now. Throughout this time, I have occupied every potential role: showgoer, performer, promoter, you name it. 

The groups I’ve ended up with typically share a similar genesis. 

Here’s a picture: you’re sitting in a half-empty living room. Below you, a crowded basement pulses with tame tropes and half-hearted expressions. Some loudmouth nursing a 40oz foolishly exchanges charm for pretension and out from a groggy, smoke-induced stupor, an assertion springs: “Jawbreaker is the definitive Bay-Area rock band of the 90s. Miss me with that Green Day sh*t.”

Leaping (or staggering) to your feet, you fumble for rejoinders. It’s then that you find yourself thrust into a spirited dialogue with an equally impassioned stranger.

One thing leads to another. Chatting and chain-smoking, you trade visions, earnestly planning a potential project only to wake up the next morning without energy or interest in maintaining contact. After all, they smoked menthols— and your inner pre-teen still weeps to Green Day. You don’t need that kind of energy in your life. 

The story repeats itself ad nauseam and there’s no light at either end of the tunnel.

Enter: Plaze. Philadelphia’s hottest DIY networking app. Aiming to revamp the way musicians discover one another, Plaze offers a digital alternative to the oft-excruciating process of starting a band. 

What is Plaze?

Double Swede at PhilaMOCA on 2/26/2022. Credit: Jj Park.

Before I dig in, let me provide some background about Plaze. Like most innovations, Plaze was inspired by a problem. As stated in the first sentence of the Our Story portion on their website: “Plaze started with a problem.” 

Call it journalistic intuition. 

Co-founder Jamie Mallia, a drummer, recounts his story. It’s a common one, and we all have our own version. An exciting new musical partnership abruptly halted upon the realization that the person you have agreed to jam with is, shall we say, grossly incompetent. 

Naturally, the unevenness of their skillset led to an awkward, short-lived alliance. That’s when the big idea hit: an app that facilitates discovery among creatives. One that promotes networking and collaboration while helping weed out the mismatches.

Plaze looks to one-up other avenues of creative networking like Facebook and Reddit. It does so by tailoring the experience to the expressed needs of its users. It is, however, currently a Philadelphia-centric app. 

A New Way of Networking

Photo Credit: Jj Park

For the sake of transparency, I must share my initial skepticism. And I’ll be the first to admit that this is likely the result of my reverence for the punk ethos. But honestly, that’s a stuffy holdover. 

And punk, in its truest and most essential form, is about moving forward. Embracing change, even (and especially) when it threatens tradition. The fruits of punk that have prevailed throughout history have been those that, in threatening tradition, offers a constructive, democratic alternative. And so, with that renewed understanding in mind, I’m downloading Plaze.

Nowadays, there’s an app to help you with everything from grocery delivery services to keeping your mental health in check. So, really, why shouldn’t there be an app for meeting other local creatives?

Mind you, this article will encapsulate one person’s attempt at using the app.

My experience doesn’t speak for the whole of us. Everyone who uses this app, with their own style, expectations, intentions, and skill sets will undoubtedly yield a unique experience. With any hope, anyway.

In a sense, you can consider this less of a review and more of an account. The semantic difference is that, in this case, I won’t submit an official judgment.

How’s the User Interface?

Upon downloading Plaze, you’ll find that the interface is simple and intuitive. For those of us experienced with any of those countless dating apps, it’s downright familiar. This isn’t a dating app though, so there’s some hope for you yet. Just think of all the time you’ll save not having to worry about a punchy new pick-up line. 

Features

All of the features are offered in a palatable four-tab menu. The tabs are as follows: 

Profile

My Scene

Map

Explore

Profile

You’re going to want to add a picture or two. Really flesh out your profile here. Honestly, this function alone is pretty dope. Consider it a central hub for all of your artist profile pages. Now you can have your Bandcamp, Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and personal website all in one place. Artists are not terribly well-known for being, well, unlazy— so this certainly helps the discovery process along! 

The profile section is also where you’ll outline your skillset. Shameless promotion here, but I need to show photos to properly explain. 

This also provides me the opportunity to show off this sleek, seamlessly navigable interface. Despite being a millennial, my handling of most new technology is more in line with that of a 100-year-old man. But believe you me, sonny: this app is absolutely easy to handle. Golly!

You can write up a quick blurb about yourself and add all of your skills. This includes both on-stage and off-stage skills; which means audio engineers, promoters, teachers, and photographers all have a place in Plaze.

Whatever your niche, Plaze has thought of ways to plug it into the scene. Speaking of the scene, let’s hop to the next tab. 

My Scene

This function puts you in the same room as what’s happening in your area. At all times. The page is split up into two subsections, both of which are very simply laid out: Show Posters and Community. These sections borrow a lot of the convenient aspects of Facebook or Reddit.

Show Posters, as its name suggests, is purely a feed for flyers. It’s like an infinite scroll of calendar events for upcoming shows. You can interact with these the same way you would Facebook events, including RSVPs, comments, and likes. 

Community is a collection of threads, not unlike Reddit, where people can post about any number of things. Want to promote an upcoming album release? Need a new drummer? Maybe you’re a promoter in search of an opening act. Whatever your need, this section allows you the freedom to express it.

Anyone can make a show flyer or community post! 

Map

The map function essentially contextualizes people’s profiles in a geographic layout. This is a cool feature, but its benefits are limited to showing exactly where each individual profile is. It’s a helpful tool, nonetheless. 

Explore

This page contains the meat and potatoes of the app. It provides full access to all other profiles on Plaze. A search bar at the top of the page offers a speedy look-up for specific people. Or you can scroll along casually, thumbing through profiles of Plaze users. (Plazers? Plazeers?)

To make it even more convenient, it splits up profiles into different categories based on each user’s expressed intent. Here are some of the subsections: Freelance Clients, Lookin’ For Bandmates, Jam For Fun, Find Local Shows, and Near You. It’s as simple as sending a message. From there, you’re free to discuss as you please! You can even curate your own feed, narrowing it down to your specific need.

Closing Thoughts: Is Plaze worth it? 

Plaze offers an entirely free platform for exploring your scene. You stand to lose nothing, and the gains are immeasurable. it’s not limited to musicians, either. Plaze is perfect for artist-designers, audio engineers, promoters, podcasters, videographers, and journalists. Every creative personality is capable of offering (and monetizing) their skills with this app.

The most inspiring part of Plaze is the way it injects a burst of democracy into an experience historically fraught with crossed arms, naysayers, and gatekeepers. Gone are the days of not being able to find the right band members. And never again will you be burdened with the task of having to cold message a show promoter on Instagram, only to be left on read time and time again. 

I can speak from experience regarding the difficulties of finding something as seemingly common as a good photographer. You end up just asking a friend with a camera and, oftentimes, you’re underwhelmed with the final product. With Plaze, freelancers are provided a large pool of potential clients and vice versa. 

Just like every punk-rocker has a conversion story— a discovery of new, challenging, artistic integrity in the face of an otherwise bland, corporate landscape— so too may every DIY soul be converted into a Plaze-user (Plazite? Plazian? I hate this bit) and reimagine the possibilities of local art. 

Even if they don’t f*ck with Green Day.

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Philly

Kayak in The Delaware River⁠—Is it Allowed?

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kayaks and ships

The Delaware River, a major river on the Atlantic Coast of the U.S., runs undammed for 338 miles from New York to Cape May. People can swim, tube, Jet Ski, paddleboard, and kayak in the Delaware River. Sadly, not in the area where it runs through Philadelphia. 

Environmental campaigners have worked for several years to change the designation of a 27-mile stretch of the river. It runs between the Tacony-Palmyra and Commodore Barry Bridges, where people can utilize it for non-motorized recreation. 

There is a brewing debate about who gets to use the Delaware River in Philly and what pollution level is allowable. 

The Issue

The issue involved some of the largest stakeholders on the river. That includes the 453 billion port industry, environmental groups, the Philadelphia Water Department, and Philadelphia City Council. In a letter to the City Council in December 2021, the nonprofit Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay pushed back against a change in the river’s resignation due to safety concerns. Their protest is part of a revived debate on a regulatory issue.  

Today, the river is allowed for “secondary contact,” including rowing, powerboating, and fishing. Environmental advocates want to change it to what’s known as “primary contact” under the Clean Water Act. It means that people can use it for recreation without getting sick from water contamination. 

The letter urged some members of the Philadelphia City Council to write their letter asking to open the river. Environmental groups that fear losing the river’s Clean Water Act designation arise to support the City Council.

Further complicating matters is the Philadelphia Water Department, which draws drinking water from the river. Unfortunately, the department is also one of the biggest polluters because of its aging sewer system.

“I think what industry and the Maritime Exchange is trying to prove 

is that if you consider the river for primary contact designation. It needs the appropriate protection so that more people will enjoy the river,” said Maya Van Rossum of the nonprofit Delaware Riverkeeper Network. She added that the Maritime Exchange doesn’t want to see that, and they believe the river belongs to them and not the people. Van Rossum asserts that people are already using the river for recreational purposes. 

Who decides who uses the Delaware River?

The rekindled debate came from a petition by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and some environmental groups. The river Basin Commission in 2020 says that the river is much cleaner than in decades past and should be protected by a “primary contact swimmable” designation.

The Clean Water Act regulates waterway pollution to make them clean enough for fishing and swimming. The act requires states to list impaired waters with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, including those unfit for “fish propagation” or “human recreation”. States are supposed to set pollution limits to reach these goals.

But the Delaware River flows through four states, making coordination the tricky and delicate job of the Delaware River Basin Commission, or DRBC. It was created under a compact to balance the needs of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.

However, changing the designation could force the industry and the Philadelphia Water Department to spend a lot of money it doesn’t have right now. And the maritime industries worry it would lead more recreational users into shipping lanes and around ports.

An older, combined sewer system covers almost 60% of the city. A single pipe carries stormwater and sewage from streets, houses, and businesses directly to a wastewater treatment plant. The system works fine during dry weather. However, the combined system is overloaded during big storms, sending sewage and stormwater into rivers and creeks. 

Is It Safe To Kayak in the Delaware River? 

Kate Schmidt, a DRBC spokeswoman, said the agency has been monitoring for bacteria around Philadelphia and Camden since 2019. This includes locations in Chester City, Red Bank in Gloucester County, Penn’s Landing, and Frankford Arsenal in Philly, and Pyne Poynt Park in Camden. At Pyne Poynt, the DRBC and U.S. The Geological Survey installed “an advanced next-generation water-quality instrument to monitor bacteria” in near real-time.

Schmidt said significant sources of bacteria include combined sewer systems, waste from dogs and other animals, and stormwater runoff.

So far, data show concentrations of bacteria are higher near the shoreline, where people are more likely to hang out than in the center channel.

 “This requires further study before any change to the designated use is considered,” she said.

 Involvement of other Stakeholders on  the  Issue 

  • Lisa Himber, president of the Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay, said their main concern is safety. Next is security. The group is worried about activity that might cause some harm to recreational water users, the crews on the ships, or the ships carrying cargo. 
  • The Council supports commercial shipping and on-water recreation continuing to coexist safely. They are willing to explore constructive solutions similar to those implemented in New York Harbor, where recreation representatives are active New York Harbor Safety Committee members.
  • The Council noted recreational activities like kayaking on the Delaware River. Independence Seaport Museum, the Red Dragon Canoe Club, and the youth of UrbanPromise are among community groups already using the river for recreation that involves primary contact with the water.
  • The Philadelphia Water Department wrote in an email to The Inquirer that they are committed to “improving the water quality in the Delaware River, along with the other waterways in our city. State and federal regulators approve of Philadelphia’s aims to address the combined sewer overflows. And we are investing billions of dollars in protecting local waterways.

And for other news about Philly, read more here!

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Philadelphia’s Cooper Sharp Cheese is Making Its Way in Every Restaurant in Philly

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grilled cheese

When you’re ever in Philadelphia craving for cheese by any chance, the only kind of cheese you can count on to satisfy your tummy is the Cooper Sharp cheese. This cheese has been well-loved by Philly residents. With its bold and rich taste, we won’t be surprised why you’ll love it too!

Like the other type of cheese called “American” cheese, Cooper Sharp cheese is made with love and perfection from its founder I.C. Cooper. In 1918, I.C. Cooper envisioned a thriving cheese business when he started aging cheese curds. 

He then moved the business from New York to Philadelphia and has made the same recipe for over 25 years! You can find Cooper Sharp cheese in almost every supermarket around the region. You can even search for this cheese on the website and get first dibs from nearby stores. 

However, if you’re around Philly and want a comforting sandwich with its famous Cooper Sharp cheese, here are the go-to places you must check out. 

1. Mom Mom’s Kitchen’s Grilled Cheese ($6 to $10)

Although Mom Mom’s Kitchen doesn’t have dine-in offers available, it doesn’t mean you can’t order their famous grilled cheese. However, you may also enjoy your sandwich at Bob and Barbara’s next door while ordering drinks from them and cleaning up after your mess.

You can order at the takeout window and have your sandwich to-go as well. Mom Mom’s Kitchen has changing menus all the time. And you may also check out their Instagram for weekly specials and mouthwatering images. 

Location: 1505 South Street (South Street West)

2. O’Jung’s Tavern’s Pork Roll Sliders ($8)

O’Jung’s Tavern has found its home in Philly since 2001 in South 2nd Street. The restaurant offers weekly specials together with their regular menu. If you’re also looking for weekend entertainment, come to this place for some fun and sports games. 

Order the pork roll slides with the Cooper Sharp cheese sauce, spicy mustard, and filling butter-toasted baby soft pretzels.

Location: 1625 South 2nd Street (Pennsport)

3. Pub & Kitchen’s Burger ($20)

Pub & Kitchen has featured farm-to-table dishes with wine, craft cocktails, and local beers. This authentic tavern has been beefing up its menu for over a decade, depending on the season and product availability.

One of Pub & Kitchen’s best-sellers is the Happy Valley six-ounce burger patty with Cooper Sharp cheese, pickles, caramelized onions, and of course, bacon!

Location: 1946 Lombard Street (Rittenhouse)

4. Middle Child’s Breakfast Sandwich ($7.50)

Middle Child is a casual daytime spot for breakfast lovers. The restaurant opened another location in Fishtown, five times the first location’s size. The second location will also feature a dinner menu and a bar for those who want to pair their Turkey club sandwiches with a round of booze. 

We recommend Middle Child’s breakfast sandwich with fluffy eggs, Cooper Sharp cheese, potato bread, and arugula.

Location: 248 South 11th Street

5. Angelo’s Pizzeria’s Cheesesteak 

Angelo’s Pizzeria offers creative and classic sandwiches, breakfast options, and fried snacks. Their mouthwatering bagels, cheesesteaks, and pizza are the bomb. The restaurant only accepts cash and takeout for now. 

Although the pizza is its best-seller, try the cheesesteak with Cooper Sharp cheese, which is to die for! 

Location: 736 South 9th Street (Italian Market)

6. Korshak’s Long Hot Bagels

Korshak’s founder Phil Korshak started whipping out bagels in 2003. He intended to spark joy in hungry diners and continues to do that today with Korshak’s long hot bagels. 

Order the chewy and crispy long hot bagel with Philly’s famous Cooper Sharp cheese and experience delight in every bite.

Location: 1700 South 10th Street (East Passyunk)

For other reads about Philly eats, check out more here at Owner’s Mag!

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