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Curio Theatre closes season with The Winter’s Tale; introduces inclusive ticketing strategy

April 25, 2019

Photo by Rebecca Gudelunas

Curio’s 2018-2019 season is coming to an end with a bang. Beginning this Saturday, the West Philadelphia theatre company will present Shakespeare’s timeless play “The Winter’s Tale,” where the audience will be taken on a journey with the actors. The audience will be invited to go outside to the theatre’s backyard space for part of the play. The space will also function as a place to gather and enjoy a glass of wine or beer or other beverages before and even during the show!

“We’re doing something new and adventurous with this production and that is that we’re going to ask our audience to go on a literal journey with us!” said Curio Company Member Liz Carlson-Guerin, who directs the show. “… this is a play about community and a celebration of our community. We are incredibly lucky to have such a loyal and adventurous audience in West Philly and we strive to create spaces and experiences for our neighbors to come together, share a story, go on an adventure…”  Continue Reading

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Zoning and development round-up: Ahimsa House, Mill Creek Tavern, 4400 block of Chestnut

April 23, 2019

Here are some details on projects and properties that have been discussed at recent zoning meetings in Cedar Park and Spruce Hill.

• Ahimsa House (5007 Cedar Ave.)

                                Ahimsa House

The Cedar Park Neighbors zoning committee will support a variance request from the owner of the Ahimsa House at 5007 Cedar Ave. that would allow the privately owned residence that is used for various community activities to continue to operate. The decision made at its April 16 meeting follows a lengthy zoning committee hearing concerning the property last month.

The variance would rezone the property as a three-unit, multi-family dwelling. The zoning committee’s support includes stipulations that the property owner continues to live at the residence and that the zoning would be rescinded if the building was sold or operated as a non-owner occupied building. Other stipulations include that the variance be renewed after three years and that the owner follows fire and food safety codes.  Continue Reading

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City Council candidate Jamie Gauthier to hold meet-and-greets with two West Philly wards

April 22, 2019

Jamie Gauthier

City Council candidate for the 3rd District, Jamie Gauthier, will have meet-and-greets this week with two West Philly wards.

On Tuesday, April 23, Gauthier will meet with the 51st Ward at her campaign headquarters at 5121 Baltimore Avenue, from 6 to 8 p.m. She will have another at the same location and same time on Thursday, April 25 with the 46th Ward.

All interested individuals are invited to meet the candidate and ask questions. Free dinner will be served at both events.

The map with Philadelphia political ward boundaries is available here.

Jamie Gauthier is running against long-term incumbent Jannie Blackwell in the May 21 primary election.

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Parklets are back, now include board games

April 18, 2019

parklet

Philadelphia’s first “parklet” was installed in 2011 at 43rd and Baltimore (Archived photo).

Since the weather has gotten consistently warm, temporary seating platforms, aka “parklets”, have been reinstalled at six locations:

• 4040 Locust St. (hosted by Ramen Bar)
• 261 S. 44th St. (hosted by Honest Tom’s Tacos and Lil’ Pop Shop)
• 4239 Baltimore Ave. (hosted by Green Line Cafe)
• 4903 Catharine St (hosted by Little Baby’s Ice Cream)
• 3601 Market Street (between Market and Filbert, hosted by Schmear It, Jimmy John’s, and M.A.T.T.S. Sliders)
• 4725 Pine Street (hosted by the Garden Court Community Association)  Continue Reading

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Help choose the ground mural for Cedar Park

April 18, 2019

University City District, Cedar Park Neighbors and Hagopian Arts, a Philadelphia-based mural and fine arts company, are teaming up to create a ground mural for the pedestrian plaza at the east end of Cedar Park and they need your help.

There are three nature-inspired designs to choose from (see below) and you can cast your vote here.

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Check out Easter Egg Hunts this weekend

April 17, 2019

Here are some Easter Egg hunts happening in the area this weekend. Please note that some of these events require registration. If you’re holding an Easter egg hunt please post your event in the comments below.

Saturday, April 20

• Easter Egg Hunt in Clark Park, 43rd and Regent (near the toddler playground), 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Renewal Church is holding its annual Easter Egg Hunt for kids ages 0-6. Registration for the egg hunts takes place 10:45-11:15 a.m. Crafts, games, and egg hunts will be presented by age group. Everything is FREE. There will also be a free raffle for gift baskets and gift card donations from the following local businesses: Booker’s Restaurant and Bar, Clarkville, Ice Cave, Lil Pop Shop, Lulu Cafe, Firehouse Bicycles, and The Nesting House!  Continue Reading

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Trolley Car Station restaurant closes after seven months in business

April 17, 2019

Just seven months after opening at 40th and Baltimore, Trolley Car Station restaurant has closed its doors. A new operator is currently being sought for the 125-seat restaurant, according to a report by Philly.com.

The highly anticipated restaurant opened in a new two-story building next to the remodeled 40th Street Trolley Portal in September 2018, but things didn’t go as well as the owner, developer and restaurateur Ken Weinstein, who had reportedly invested $2.5 million in the new restaurant, had expected. The restaurant concept, which included hiring 20 staff members with the neighborhood’s diversity in mind, didn’t turn out to be financially viable, according to Weinstein. “We opened with a concept that I thought would work and it just didn’t resonate,” Weinstein told Philly.com’s Michael Klein.  Continue Reading

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Spring Family Portraits this Sunday with Ken McFarlane, Neighborhood Time Exchange Photographer-in-Residence (Advertisement)

April 16, 2019

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UCD alerts of robberies around trolley stops, Market-Frankford Line

April 15, 2019

Click to enlarge.

A relatively high number of crimes has been reported in the University City District area last month. In March, 33 crimes serious crimes, including gunpoint robberies, residential burglaries, aggravated assaults with a gun, stolen cars and thefts from cars, were committed within the UCD boundaries and reported to the police, according to the latest UCD Crime Update. Twelve arrests were made in connection to those crimes, according to the report.

The UCD Public Safety Division alerts residents to a high number of robberies in March (they say that this trend has continued in April), particularly near the Market-Frankford Line and several trolley stops (see map below).  Continue Reading

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Online petition asks Penn to save Penn Book Center from closing

April 12, 2019

After news broke out earlier this week that Penn Book Center, the independent bookstore operating on Penn’s campus since 1962, is going out of business and closing next month, the owners – Ashley Montague and Michael Row – received a lot of messages of support from community members. The University of Pennsylvania’s English Department has also launched a petition on Change.org urging the University of Pennsylvania to “save” the store by possibly offering discounts for textbooks purchased there, much the way Princeton supports its independent bookstore.

“This closure would mean an immeasurable loss to Penn’s intellectual community and to that of the surrounding University City neighborhood,” the petition reads. “We believe that of all universities, Penn, with its strengths in business innovation, is capable of finding a solution to this problem.”  Continue Reading

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Penn Museum’s Sphinx soon to be on the move

April 11, 2019

A computer rendering of the redesigned main entrance hall at the Penn Museum, where the famous 3,000 year-old Sphinx will rest (from the Penn Museum website).

How does one move a 25,000-pound Sphinx up a couple flights of stairs? Very carefully, we presume. That’s what folks at the Penn Museum are mulling over right now as they plan to move the Museum’s best-known artifact, a 3,000-year-old, red granite Sphinx, into its redesigned main entrance hall.

“The Sphinx has long been our mascot and this puts it front and center, as the anchor of our new visitor experience,” said Julian Siggers, the Museum’s Williams Director.

Moving day is scheduled for June 13th and the new location will be unveiled in the fall.  Continue Reading

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Penn Book Center to close in May

April 10, 2019

Penn Book Center, one of Philadelphia’s oldest independent bookstores, will close its doors next month. The reason for closing is not surprising: the business has been experiencing losses due to online sales giants, like Amazon, selling textbooks at cut-rate prices.

Penn Book Center was founded in 1962, and current owners – Ashley Montague and Michael Row – purchased the business in 2005. Located on Penn’s campus at 130 S. 34th St., the store carried many books that appealed to students, professors and scholars.  Continue Reading

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Panera Bread coming to 40th and Walnut

April 10, 2019

The two-story restaurant space on the southwest corner of 40th and Walnut, where Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar used to be located, is finally getting a new tenant. Panera Bread is coming soon to the space, according to a sign posted outside. The space, which also includes an outdoor seating area, is currently undergoing renovation.

Harvest Seasonal closed its doors in early 2017 and until now the space remained vacant. The University of Pennsylvania owns the building and had been looking for “a tenant that will appeal to both the University and surrounding community,” according to an earlier report.

There is no official opening date for Panera Bread yet, but it is expected to be this Spring.

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Saint Mary’s Nursery School (SMNS) Annual Fundraiser on Saturday, April 13 will honor Representative James R. Roebuck

April 9, 2019

UPDATE: Online registration for the annual St. Mary’s Nursery School Fundraiser “Spring For Our School” closes on Tuesday, April 9 at midnight. Discounted tickets ($45) include drinks and food, music and dancing.

Do you want to support children in your community and have a great night out? Please consider attending the Spring For Our School Silent Auction & Party on Saturday, April 13, 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the University of Pennsylvania Houston Hall – Bodek Lounge (3417 Spruce St.)

Who is Saint Mary’s Nursery School? SMNS is a diverse, non-profit, non-church affiliated school celebrating 55 years in West Philadelphia, home to 140 children and many active family members who participate in our co-op program. We offer toddler, preschool, Pre-K, After School and Summer Camp programs.

Honoring Representative James R. Roebuck: Rep. James R. Roebuck will be awarded the Jennifer Nix Award for Service in Early Childhood Education for his support of Early Childhood Education (ECE) over the course of his career. Rep. Roebuck is currently Minority Chair of the House Education Committee, and has served on this committee since the early 1990’s, championing education issues from Early Childhood through Pre-K and Higher Education. Rep. Roebuck shares, “It’s only in the past 10-15 years [that] the conversation has evolved and we have talked about programs in the state which would allocate substantial resources into ECE – and I’m proud I’ve been part of that effort.”  Continue Reading

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Animal Care Technician job training opportunity with West Philly Skills Initiative

April 8, 2019

Unemployed West Philly residents are invited to apply for a new job training program with University City District’s West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI). The new program will prepare individuals to be Animal Care Technicians with the University of Pennsylvania. This is the 7th program WPSI has run in partnership with UPenn, the largest private employer in the state.

WPSI and Penn are seeking applicants who possess a high school diploma or GED; are currently unemployed; and live in the West Philadelphia zip-codes 19104, 19131, 19139, 19142, 19143, 19151, or 19153. The program is recruiting detail-oriented, motivated, and resilient individuals with experience in janitorial, housekeeping, labor, or science labs. Experience with animal care is a plus.  Continue Reading

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City begins rehabilitation of Schuylkill Expressway/I-76 viaducts

April 5, 2019

The City has begun rehabilitation of two I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) viaducts – in Center City and West Conshohocken. The project in Center City will include repairs or replacement of the concrete joints and deteriorated sections of the concrete deck, rehabilitating piers and columns, and repairing the viaduct’s drainage system.

Due to the project, overnight and weekend closures will take place intermittently from April to July at the following locations:

• University Avenue Exit 346B
• South Street On-Ramp
• South Street Exit 346A
• Walnut Street On-Ramp

The nearly $40 million project is expected to be completed in Fall 2020. More information is available at: https://i76viaduct.com/. For construction schedule, go here.

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Apartment building aimed at students planned for former Christ Memorial Church site at 43rd and Chestnut

April 2, 2019

Demolition of 19th century Christ Memorial Church underway (October, 2018).

The demolished 19th century Christ Memorial Reformed Episcopal Church building on the northeast corner of 43rd and Chestnut Streets has recently been resold (for a second time) to a new developer, according to reports. Alterra Property Group, the same developer who is currently erecting a 6-story prefab apartment building on the 4100 block of Chestnut, purchased the property for $17 million in February, according to a recent report by Philly.com, and is planning to build another apartment building aimed at “graduate students, retained graduates, and young professionals” on the site.  Continue Reading

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Meet City Council candidates at a community forum this Thursday

April 1, 2019

The 2019 primary election is approaching fast, and this week, West Philly residents have a chance to hear from many candidates for City Council at a community forum. The City Council Candidate Forum will take place Thursday, April 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Enterprise Center (4548 Market St.) and will feature 3rd District and at-large candidates.

So far the following candidates have confirmed their participation in the event:

• 3rd District candidates: Jamie Gauthier

• At-large candidates: Adrian Rivera-Reyes, Deja Lynn Alvarez, Helen Gym, Ogbanna Paul Haggins, Fernando Trevino, Eryn Santamoor, Beth Finn, Erika Almiron, Vinny Black, Mark Ross, Councilman Derek Green.  Continue Reading

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Philly artists Roberto Lugo and Leo Tecosky to bring Graffiti & Ornament to historic Hamilton Mansion

March 29, 2019

Artists Leo Tecosky (left) and Roberto Lugo are bringing their work to the historic Hamilton Mansion at The Woodlands (40th and Woodland).

Beginning Sunday, March 31, local artists Roberto Lugo and Leo Tecosky will bring their work to the historic Hamilton Mansion at The Woodlands as part of their Graffiti & Ornament exhibit. The artists, who embrace graffiti and hip-hop culture within their artistic practice, incorporate a carved 19th century graffiti inscription in the exhibition, connecting Philadelphia’s past with the present.

In addition to the opening celebration on Sunday, from 1 – 4 p.m., the exhibition includes other special events every week throughout April:  Continue Reading

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