All About the Adult Science Fair

Sojourn Philly’s first annual Adult Science Fair was a rousing success! The event – in partnership with NextFab and the University City Science Center – was held on October 22nd at the PHS Pop Up Garden at UCity Square. This year’s theme was “Urban Sustainability” and we had six entrants with projects ranging from backyard vermiculture to global-impact ectomycorrhizal fungus innoculants.


Our participants (in alphabetical order):

  • Jonathon Cheng and Kimberly Goins – Project: Reclamation of City Greywater to Relieve Burden on Urban Water Demand
  • Mark Goldstein, Jordan Strauss, Zach Dahm, Chris Yerger – Project: Orchard, a self-contained home hydroponic garden that will allow anyone to grow vegetables quickly, easily, and organically
  • Kevin Huang – Project: Zero Waste using Vermiculture to Process
  • Dr. Carol Janerette and Dozie Mbonu – Project: Dr. Janerette’s Eco-Friendly Fungi, to sustainably solve agriculture, forestry, and environmental challenges.
  • Luciano Murta – Project: WaveBlock, a modular construction system to easily deploy temporary shelters for disaster relief and other structures.
  • Ryan Simms, Mahesh Patel, and Stephen Malkowicz – Project:  Vert Turbine, a patented wind turbine that takes advantage of existing infrastructure and composite materials to reduce costs by 70%.

Entrants displayed their projects to the public and to the judges. The public was asked to vote for a “People’s Choice Winner”, with the winner optionally receiving a bottle of either Blue Coat Gin or Penn 1681 Vodka, both made by local, Philadelphia Distilling. With over 60 votes cast for both 1st and 2nd place, we had a tie! Congratulations to WaveBlock and Orchard!

Our judges winner – and the $1000 cash prize – went to Dr. Janerette and her Eco-Friendly Fungi. Congratulations!


The fair was inspiring to the public and to participants, alike – and not just to our $1000 winner!  Overall, participants and the public enjoyed several hours of viewing, socializing, and chatting about Urban Sustainability.

Participant Ryan Simms wowed audiences at the Fair, itself, but got even wider exposure for his project from the on-site visit by Justin Odu of Philly’s KYW station. Justin’s interview was heard on KYW 1060, and was also featured on CBS3. Find both – and more photos – here.

Luciano Murta, one of our “People’s Choice” winners, explained that he was happy to get feedback for his work, and summed up his fulfillment in participating on the Fair with a picture of a little girl playing with his Waveblock construction.

For Kevin Huang, talking with so many other people interested in science and urban sustainability proved inspiring for moving forward with his own future projects combining science and art.

Drexel University students Kimberly Goins and Jonathon Cheng presented their project on cost-effective (plans) to by funneling grey-water into non-potable uses at the household level. While they did not win a prize, Goins noted that, regardless, she was there to share her passion for urban sustainability. And that was a success!


Dia de Muertos at Cafe Ynez

Dia de Muertos is a trio of days honoring ancestors and remembering the souls of the dead. It is celebrated from October 31st to November 2nd. The Mexican holiday has evolved from its original, Aztec origin, but still involves feasting and dancing, as well as visits to graves and cemeteries, costumes and decorations.

We’ll be celebrating the Day of the Dead on November 2nd, with foods that speak to Puebla and Mexico City – the traditional home of the holiday and its Aztec roots.

Join us on the 2nd and try one (or all!) of these special dishes:

Classic Pumpkin Soup   $10
with crispy onions and parsley
Savor this Sopa de Calabaza, knowing that pumpkin comes from Mexico.

Lomo de Cerdo    $15
Pork loin served with a sweet potato puree and swiss chard
Spaniards brought pork to Mexico, but defeños make it all their own


Romeritos de Branzino    $14
With mole, red bliss potatoes, watercress
Enjoy romeritos – a needle-shaped green with flavor similar to spinach – with its classic counterpart, mole.


Want to know more about our chef? Read here!

PA Wine Month at Jet

Celebrate PA Wine Month at Jet Wine Bar

October is PA (as in Pennsylvania) Wine Month and we are joining the fun by featuring 3 of our very favorite wineries: Galen Glen, Stargazers, and Va La. Never tried PA wines? You are in for treat!

All month long we’ll have a wine from each winery, available by-the-glass or – at Happy Hour (5-7 daily) – in a flight of 3 for $15.

We’ll start the month with three,exceptional rosés, move to cool-weather whites, and finish with 3, outstanding reds.


Stargazers Winery

We’ve been big fans of Stargazers for a while now. Jet’s very first menu – in November of 2010 – featured their magical, 2008 Cabernet Franc. It was a customer favorite then, and our appreciation for John’s wines has only grown since.

IMG_20170930_144421931_HDR (694x1024)Stargazers is found in the rolling hills of Chester County, an hours drive out of Philly to Coatesville. John Weygandt – with his late-wife Alice – planted the first vines in 1979 before creating wines under the Stargazers’ label in 1996. John and Alice were pioneers in many ways, by championing solar energy and sustainable agriculture, coordinating the efforts of the growing, PA wine-community and, above all, visualizing the potential for high-quality wines from grapes grown in the local soils.

The name, Stargazers, is a nod to the Mason-Dixon line, and the observation tower that was used to survey the land and create the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania.  The location of the tower – the Star Gazers tower – is today marked by a stone.

This month at Jet you can look forward to:

  • Rose Gold – an approachable rosé of Pinot Noir, with minty/nutty start and a soft cherry and white-pepper finish
  • Arneis – The piemontese grape does very well here, and this Arneis is creamy (it spends ample time sur lies) fruity, and well-balanced with acid. 
  • Warp Drive – Petit Verdot is one of our favorite grapes, and this PV blend has all of its dusty, lavender, white-flower charms.

Galen Glen

photo: Lenn Thompson,
photo: Sarah and Clemens, the wine Lab

Sarah and Galen Troxell own and operate Galen Glen. The vineyards are ideally situated on glacially deposited, fosilliferous shale at cooler, higher altitude amidst mountains.  This land used to be underwater, as evidenced by the Crinoid (sea creatures) fossils that litter the ground. According to Sarah, “no one noticed (them) until I started pointing them out. It’s overwhelming to touch something 360 million years old and think about the vastness of time.” The couple took over Galen’s family estate in 1995, and started planting vines. Sarah’s wine-making skills have been well-recognized, and are especially apparent in her structured, mineral driven, German-influenced offerings. Experimentation with german grapes has paid off for the couple. Sarah famously planted Grüner Veltliner in the vineyards not after tasting the grape, but after reading about it and the food with which it pairs well; Galen Glen’s Grüner now garners numerous awards.

  • Vinology Rosé – this easy drinker is off-dry, fruity, and zippy, with a looong finish.
  • Stone Cellar Gewurztraminer – a beautiful, minerally wine with tropical fruit undertones and good citrus-y zest.
  • Stone Cellar Zweigelt – a little spice, earth, and bright berries.

Va La Vineyards

IMG_20170930_163513401_HDR (742x1024)Va La is the youngest of our featured wineries; the first vines were planted in 1999 and the winery doors opened in 2002. Anthony and Karen Vietri own the small – but storied – Avondale vineyard on land that has been in Anthony’s family since 1928. Growing up, his family bought wine grapes from Rancho Cucamonga, CA, not realizing the land’s grape potential. Coincidentally, while on a trip to California, Anthony and Karen stumbled upon the very-same vineyard that supplied grapes to Anthony’s parents and grandparents; the couple subsequently used grapes from that vineyard to make wine for their wedding.

Today, the Vietris no longer need to purchase grapes. They grow numerous – mainly Italian – grapes on their small property (under 10 acres), which they craft into field blends. For their efforts, Va La has been named among the 101 Best Wineries in America for 4 years running.

Try these wines during October at Jet:

  • Silk – a juicy, fruit forward, lightly-spiced dry rosato. Pleasing to the palate.
  • La Prima Donna – a field-blend “orange” wine (extended skin-contact) that is mead-y, fruity, nutty, complex, and wholly delicious.
  • Castana – Only made occasionally, the name is an homage to the “chestnut” treasure of Vietri family-lore. Dark, rich, and complex.

While we are featuring wine from these three wineries, there are many more to try among Pennsylvania’s xx. Over the years, Jet has featured wines – in one form or other – from these additional wineries:  Allegro WineryBlack Walnut WineryBlair VineyardsBriar Valley WineryCrossings VineyardFero VineyardsGaler EstateGrace WineryKaramoor EstatePenns WoodsPinnacle RidgePresque IsleWaltzWycombe Vineyards. Try one or try them all!

Adult Science Fair

Have a great idea about Urban Sustainability? $1000 Cash Prize for the Winning project!

UPDATE: We are still accepting entries!

We are pleased to announce..The Adult Science Fair!

The Adult Science Fair is a juried, one-day competition of innovative concepts pertinent to the theme “Urban Sustainability”, with sound scientific or technical basis, positive social-impact, and viability. Sojourn Philly is partnering with NextFab and University City Science Center.

Suitable themes include – but are not limited to:

  • Urban farming (hydro-, aero-, aqua-ponics)
  • Urban gardening
  • Renewable energy
  • Urban planning
  • Urban manufacturing
  • Urban distribution
  • Urban transportation

The Fair is open to both teams and individuals who have concepts or projects in various stages of development, though already-commercialized concepts are not eligible. Students, hobbyists, researchers, early-stage entrepreneurs, and otherwise-interested adults are all welcome! Concepts may involve all types of media, including software, hardware, and art, and may apply to objects, services, public policy, and more.

Entries will be vetted for inclusion based on the above criteria for soundness, feasibility and thematic aptness, as well as engaging and informative display for public consumption. Display may be of an actual item/prototype, digital representation, art work, poster, or combination thereof.

The competition will culminate on October 22nd  with a single-day of public display, presentations, and judging, to take place at the PHS Pop Up Garden at UCitySquare, at 36th and Filbert Streets.

Winners will be announced in two categories: juried and public. Juried winner will receive $1000 cash. Winner of the public vote will receive merchandise.


The competition is limited to 20 entries, which will be vetted and selected on a rolling basis, and will be closed once all spaces are filled.

Application materials should include:

  • Abstract
    • Short format for social media – 140 characters
    • Long format for selection – ca. 450 words
  • 75 word Bios of key people
  • 1 minute video explanation / “pitch” (standard video formats, only, e.g. Windows Media formats, Quicktime) – OPTIONAL
  • Signed waiver (Adult Science Fair ParticipantWaiver) allowing use of application materials of selected participants for event promotion

Please send Abstracts, Bios, and Waiver as a single pdf to:

Interested in being a sponsor? Please contact


All selected entries will be set up for display and judging on October 22nd. Participants must bring all relevant materials for display to the garden on October 22nd, beginning at 11am, and must remove all materials the same day, by 7pm.

Each entry will have ca 2′ x 4′ of space – table or “open”. Tables will be provided. Specialized display-equipment will not be provided. Posters and display boards should be 36″ x 48″.  The venue is outdoors, and participants should plan accordingly for wind and sun. Both electricity and wi fi are limited, and participants should plan on supplying their own. Larger spaces are possible with prior approval, where deemed necessary by event organizers.

Hazardous materials will not be allowed


Founded by Dr. Evan Malone in 2009, with three locations in the mid-Atlantic region, NextFab is the premiere destination for makers, artisans, and hardware entrepreneurs. NextFab provides the tools, training, consulting, and capital required for innovators to turn ideas into products, and products into businesses. This is the future of making, and it’s yours to create.



Located in the heart of uCity Square, the Science Center is a mission-driven nonprofit organization that catalyzes and connects innovation to entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. For 50+ years, the Science Center has supported startups, research, and economic development in the life sciences, healthcare, physical sciences, and emerging technology sectors. As a result, graduate firms and current residents of the Science Center’s incubator support one out of every 100 jobs in the Greater Philadelphia region and drive $13 billion in economic activity in the region annually. By providing resources and programming for any stage of a business’s lifecycle, the Science Center helps scientists, entrepreneurs and innovators take their concepts from idea to IPO – and beyond. For more information about the Science Center, go to


Hurricane Relief Efforts

We are very pleased to announce that, with the help of our customers at Jet Wine Bar, Rex 1516, and Cafe Ynez, and the support of Bluebird Distilling, we have been able to donate $1000 to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts of these three recipients:

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy

The Pediatric Advanced Care Team at Texas Children’s Hospital

Houston Pets Alive

Thanks so much to the support of all who helped.


The Sojourn Philly team

Helping Houston

The Houston area received a wallop from Hurricane Harvey (pic: AP Photo/LM Otero).  The damage caused by the stunningly-high amounts of rainfall will not be fully understood until the waters recede and an accounting of people, pets, and property can be done. Sureley it is more than the citizens of the metropolitan area can handle on their own – even with emergency, government dollars. Chef Eli Culp and restaurateur Ellen Yin started the ball rolling among Philadelphia-area restaurants to help in hurricane relief, and many other restaurants have joined- or made similar- efforts to aid in relief. This is one bandwagon onto which we are happy to jump!

We love doing “good”, and also love letting the customer do some good while enjoying a meal out. It isn’t always easy to donate money to a cause – no matter how worthy – and if we can make it easier by allowing people to donate while enjoying an evening out, then we will have been successful.

Each of our restaurants has selected one item from which proceeds will be donated to a Hurricane-relief fund.


Café Ynez

Pato con Mole

From Wednesday (30th) through Sunday (3rd), 50% of sales of Pato con Mole – Duck with mole sauce – will be donated to The Pediatric Advanced Care Team at Texas Children’s Hospital to help the families of children currently undergoing palliative care.

Mole is a regional specialty of Mexico’s Pueblo state, from where our Chef Piña’s family hails; this is his family’s secret Mole recipe!



Rex 1516

Hurricane Cocktail

Rex 1516 is a Southern restaurant, and sells many Hurricane cocktails. We are putting those to good use by donating 100% of the sales from every Hurricane sold this weekend. Proceeds will go to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy for long-term aid toward recovery from Hurricane Harvey. In other words, donate $10 to hurricane relief and we’ll give you a Hurricane.

Our friends at Bluebird Distilling are generously helping these efforts by contributing their Sugarcane and Dark Rums!


Jet Wine Bar

Tito’s Gimlet

We thought that a fitting way to help the hurricane-relief efforts would be with a cocktail made from Texas’ own, Tito’s Vodka. So enjoy Miss Amanda’s Tito’s Gimlet, made with Tito’s, earl grey- and mint- infused simple syrup, and lime. $5 from each drink will be donated to Houston Pets Alive.






Thanks for your help!


Cafe Ynez is turning 3 and we’ll be celebrating all week long with gift certificate giveaways on Instagram, a fiesta on Thursday and specials all weekend long!

Follow Cafe Ynez on Instagram @cafeynez for your chance to win one of four $25 gift certificates leading up to our anniversary party on Thursday!

On Thursday we will be highlighting the following items on our anniversary menu and we will have a live band to celebrate from 7-9 pm at our cafe!

Poblano Soup
Corn, poblano peppers, queso panela, chive oil

Pescado a la Veracruzana
Tomato, black olives, capers, red bell peppers, white onions with wine

Carne Asada Tacos
Hanger steak, white onions, cilantro with habanero salsa
served on two soft corn tortilla tacos


Rex 1516 is celebrating their birthday with a week of southern-inspired activities leading up to their Annual Crawfish Boil!

They will be kicking off their birthday celebrations with Mardi Gras Monday featuring $6 hurricanes from 5-7 pm.

They will be featuring a special anniversary Citywide burger on Tuesday 5/2 and Wednesday 5/3. As always, this will come with a burger, Newbold IPA & shot of Jim Beam’s Devil’s Cut for $17.

From Thursday 5/4 -Saturday 5/6 they will be hosting their Annual Crawfish Boil! They will have Narragansett buckets and their delicious crawfish boil available for you to enjoy. In addition to their specials, Adrian Hutson, jazz musician, will be coordinating live tunes between the hours of 6:00-9:00 p.m.

As an added anniversary bonus this year, they will be showing the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 6th and serving mint juleps!

PHS Pop Up Gardens to Open at uCity Square and Return to South Street

An urban orchard and a lush, modern oasis will brighten the city landscape

PHILADELPHIA (April 2017) – Two PHS Pop Up Gardens will transform the city landscape in May and through October, with delicious new food and drink menus and inspirational programs and events that connect people with plants and each other in lush urban oases.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society will bring fresh, new design elements and gardens to the beautiful gathering space at 15th and South Streets and is planning an urban orchard for its newest location at 36th and Filbert Streets in University City.

PHS Pop Up Garden at South Street – Opens May 5

The flagship PHS Pop Up Garden near 15th and South Streets will be operated by Cantina Los Caballitos, the South-of-the-Border mecca in South Philly. The opening fiesta, sponsored by Corona, will be May 5 – coinciding with Cinco de Mayo festivities – featuring a mariachi band, special drink discounts on Corona and Pacifico, and giveaways.

An expanded food and beverage menu will include burrito or bowl selections, corn on the cob with lime mayo and queso fresco, jicama and watermelon salad, black bean hummus, and Mexican hot dogs, as well as margaritas with botanical flavors, mint juleps, mojitos, and frozen daiquiris. The taps will flow with great craft beers and an extensive can menu. Special events are planned weekly, including live music on Brewsday Tuesdays and a Guest Chef Series every other Thursday featuring dishes from Di Bruno Brothers, Federal Donuts, Royal Tavern and others.

The new landscape design will blend romantic-rustic elements with modern furnishings. A new garden palette of American wildflowers, purple and pink annuals and perennials, crape myrtles, illuminated zelkova trees, and the site’s towering mulberry will provide seasonal interest and great gardening ideas for patios and containers.

Grateful thanks to Kenny Gamble and Universal Companies. Sponsors of the PHS Pop Up Garden at South Street are Whole Foods Markets and Modelo Especial.

PHS Pop Up Garden at uCity Square – Opens third week of May

PHS will turn a corner of the vast vacant lot at 36th and Filbert Streets in University City into an open-air, European-style garden for the season. The new site is located in the dynamic uCity Square community surrounded by top-tier universities, research and medical centers, growing start-ups and established companies, and historic neighborhoods.

Jet Wine Bar will operate the garden and offer delicious dishes created by Rex 1516 and Café Ynez The Tex Mex cuisine will include BBQ sandwiches, tacos, tortilla salad, nachos, tater tots, pimento cheese and crackers, and chips and salsa. Special events will include Mardi Gras Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, Wine Wednesdays, and Thursday Yappy Hours for canines and their companions. The drink menu will include a selection of wines and draft beers, frozen margarita, hurricanes, and sangria. Constellation Brands will feature top labels Corona, Modelo Especial and Pacifico, beers imported from Mexico.

A variety of apple trees will create an urban orchard beneath a canopy of vines filled with flowers and edibles. The entire garden will glow with creative lighting over long communal seating and café tables for more intimate parties.

Grateful thanks to Drexel University. Sponsors of the Pop Up Garden at uCity Square include Univest Bank and Trust Co., Wexford Science + Technology, the University City Science Center, and Modelo Especial.

PHS Pop Up Programs

Both gardens will host a range of creative programs and events designed by PHS and its partners, including a Plant-a-thon in the South Street community, an herbal cocktail emporium, rain barrel workshops, succulent wreath-making, and dorm room makeovers.

Follow PHS Pop Up Gardens all season on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the PHS Blog; share with #PHSPopUpGarden.

About PHS

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is a not-for-profit organization, founded in 1827, whose programs connect people to horticulture and collaboratively creates beautiful, healthy and sustainable communities. PHS’s best known activities include the Philadelphia Flower Show, street tree planting and maintenance, community gardening, public beautification, and the PHS Pop Up Gardens. PHS is supported by individual members and supporters, foundations, partners and government grants. PHS programs bring together people from diverse backgrounds to engage in horticultural projects that advance social equity, environmental sustainability, and urban livability. For information or to support our work, visit

About Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania

Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania (UVSP), including its wholly-owned subsidiary, Univest Bank and Trust Co., Member FDIC, has approximately $4.2 billion in assets and $3.2 billion in assets under management and supervision through its Wealth Management lines of business. Headquartered in Souderton, Pa., and founded in 1876, the Corporation and its subsidiaries provide a full range of financial solutions for individuals, businesses, municipalities and nonprofit organizations in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Univest delivers these services through a network of more than 50 offices in southeastern Pennsylvania extending to the Lehigh Valley and Lancaster, as well as in New Jersey and Maryland and online at

About uCity Square

Located in Philadelphia’s University City neighborhood, uCity Square is a 6.5 million-square-foot mixed-use community consisting of office, laboratory, clinical, residential, and retail space. Surrounded by top-tier colleges and universities, independent research institutions, world-renowned hospitals, hundreds of restaurants and shops, and home to thousands of jobs, uCity Square is the center of connectivity for residents, students, professionals, and entrepreneurs alike. Boasting over 9,000 employees and 90+ companies in the medical, life sciences and technology fields, uCity Square is driving Philadelphia’s innovation economy through collaborations between the private sector and top-tier research institutions such as the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. The project is a joint development of Wexford Science + Technology, the University City Science Center and Ventas. For more info:

About Wexford Science + Technology

Wexford Science + Technology is a real estate company exclusively focused on partnering with universities, academic medical centers and research companies to develop vibrant, mixed-use communities. Wexford’s communities are built on a foundation of discovery, innovation and entrepreneurial activity that creates visible outcomes in the form of substantial economic growth, new and diverse jobs and community transformation. Wexford targets strategic opportunities with top-tier research universities that are directly on or contiguous to dense, urban campuses. Presently Wexford has developed twelve Knowledge Communities across the United States. For more information about Wexford, visit

About the University City Science Center

Located in the heart of uCity Square, the University City Science Center is a mission-driven nonprofit organization that catalyzes and connects innovation to entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. For 50+ years, the Science Center has supported startups, research, and economic development in the life sciences, healthcare, physical sciences, and emerging technology sectors. As a result, graduate firms and current residents of the Science Center drive $13 billion in economic activity in the region annually. By providing resources and programming for any stage of a business’s lifecycle, the Science Center helps scientists, entrepreneurs and innovators take their concepts from idea to IPO – and beyond. For more information about the Science Center, go to



Alan Jaffe, PHS Senior Director of Communications & Media, 215.988.8833,

Marion McParland, PHS Communications Specialist, 215.988.8815,