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Take 30th St Station Plaza redesign project survey

Posted on 20 July 2017

Rendering of the 30th Street Station Plaza redesign concept.

At a public Open House held earlier this month at 30th Street Station, Amtrak presented its design concept for Station Plaza, one of the more visible projects of the widely publicized 30th Street Station District Plan.

Information boards were available at the Open House to help the public better understand the vision of the District Plan and Station Plaza design concepts. The public had an opportunity to fill out a station plaza survey. Those who didn’t attend the Open House but want to provide their feedback on the project can do so through an online survey.

But here’s what you need to do first: Learn about the station plaza concept. Click HERE to view the eight information boards that were on display at the July 12, 2017 Open House.  Continue Reading

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Fresh produce shares, cooking demos at Fresh Food Fest this summer in Parkside

Posted on 19 July 2017

A group of local non-profits and Reading Terminal Market are teaming up to bring more fresh and healthy food to Parkside residents this summer. The first-ever Parkside Fresh Food Fest kicked off on Viola Street between 41st St and Belmont Ave on July 6 and will be held on select Thursdays from 6 to 7 p.m. throughout this summer. The festival brings fresh food to residents (via a food share program) and also includes cooking demonstrations from Reading Terminal, live entertainment and activities for families.

The next event in the series will take place this Thursday, July 20, and the remaining four events are scheduled on the following dates: Aug. 10, 24 and Sept. 14, 21.

The food share program was created after gauging residents’ interest in a potential subsidized Community Supported Agriculture service for East Parkside. Each food share includes fresh fruit, vegetables, locally-sourced eggs and/or dairy, and an assortment of other grocery items from Reading Terminal. Participation in the food share program requires a subscription (four-event subscription is $35), and some limited single shares ($10) will be available at each event. Information on each item in the food share package will be included along with a recipe card.

The series seeks to use food as the foundation to build community and utilize common public space. Attendees can also participate in organized art activities, bicycle safety workshops from the Indego Bike Share, and a Philadelphia Free Library Book Nook for children. Activities will vary each week and may include live music performances and a movie night.

The program is supported by the Knight Foundation.

More information about the fest can be found here. To subscribe to Parkside Market Food Share, click here and type the password “viola”.

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Hate group disrupts Clark Park Music & Arts Festival (updated)

Posted on 17 July 2017

Photo by Yoni Kroll.

UPDATE (7/19/2017): According to additional witness reports, the religious group that showed up in Clark Park on Saturday is called Christian Interviews. The group is based in Philadelphia and is led by “Pastor Aden”. Read this article about how the same group disrupted “I Heart UD Day” at the University of Delaware.

An unidentified religious group disrupted the biannual Clark Park Music & Arts Festival on Saturday, holding signs and shouting anti-gay, anti-Muslim and other slurs, according to witnesses. In an approach reminiscent of Westboro Baptist Church, even children held signs.

“[The group] had some Westboro-style signs that listed many different things that would send just about any person to hell,” said West Philadelphia resident Suzy Subways. “One man [in his] 30s was the most aggressive, and he was wearing a shirt that said, in huge letters, ‘YOU WHORE’ with a giant pointing finger, and a hat that said ‘Repent, you HO!’ A small child was sobbing in their midst and none of them comforted him.”  Continue Reading

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Free water ice to celebrate new diner construction at 40th and Baltimore

Posted on 17 July 2017

Construction of a new restaurant, the Trolley Car Station, began last month at 40th and Baltimore. To celebrate the beginning of this major University City construction, which is part of the Trolley Portal Gardens project, the public is invited to enjoy free water ice from the Trolley Car Ice Cream Shoppe.

The event will be held on Wednesday, July 19, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at 40th and Baltimore.

The construction of the new two-story 125-seat restaurant (see rendering below), is expected to be completed in Spring 2018. The company that owns the Trolley Car Diner in Mount Airy will operate the restaurant.

 

 

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11th annual Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival to present ‘New Wave of Jazz’ this Saturday (sponsored)

Posted on 14 July 2017

                              Click to enlarge

One of the biggest local events of the year, the Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival, will return on Saturday, July 15 from noon to 7 p.m. to Saunders Park Greene at 39th and Powelton. The 11th edition of the festival, which has grown from a few hundred attendees to more than 3,000, will feature the “New Wave of Jazz.” Philadelphia saxophonist Jaleel Shaw will be headlining the event.

This year, the FREE festival offers a family-friendly event showcasing the best of Philadelphia: a mix of up and coming young artists who are shaping the future of jazz, a diverse gathering of people, a view of the city and a chance to enjoy a neighborhood that is rich in arts and culture.

Artisans and vendors along with a variety of specialty food trucks will be on site. Activities such as a moon bounce, face painting, community resources and digital pop-up computer lab will be available for everyone’s enjoyment. Free parking is available one block away at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center’s lot at Powelton Avenue and State Street.  Continue Reading

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Marvelous Records to close, Common Beat Music to take over on Baltimore Ave.

Posted on 12 July 2017

Here’s a good news/bad news situation for West Philly music lovers, particularly those who dig vinyl or need an instrument or turntable repaired.

Photo from The Marvelous Records & Music Facebook page.

The bad news is that The Marvelous – Records and Music on Baltimore Avenue (formerly of 40th Street) is closing after 14 years on July 14. The good news is that the storefront at 4916 Baltimore Ave won’t really skip a beat as a purveyor of music-related stuff.

The Marvelous opened in a basement storefront on 40th Street in 2003 and in 2012 moved into a former yoga studio at 4916 Baltimore Ave., where they offered a large selection of vinyl, CDs, instrument supplies, and more.

“Nothing could have pleased us more than to spend this time rubbing our cheeks up in your jowls and we deeply appreciate every last crusty 45, guitar pick and even crispy comic which you saw fit to purchase from us over the last decade and a half,” owner Milan Marvelous wrote us.  Continue Reading

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Green improvements planned for Malcolm X Park; Community meeting tonight

Posted on 12 July 2017

Here’s some great news for Malcolm X Park and neighborhood residents. The Philadelphia Water Department is working on bringing green improvements to the park, which will include specially designed tree systems that will help manage local stormwater while adding new green features to the park’s square located at 52nd and Pine.

Residents are invited to learn more about this initiative at tonight’s community meeting organized by the Water Department and the Friends of Malcolm X Park. The meeting will be held at the park, beginning at 6 p.m. weather permitting, but will move to Lois’ Learning Tree (430 S. 52nd St.) in the event of rain.

The planned improvements are a part of the city’s Green City, Clean Waters program, which uses landscaped green tools to improve neighborhoods and protect local waterways from stormwater pollution.

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Interested in solar power for your home? Attend Cedar Park Neighbors meeting on Monday, July 17

Posted on 12 July 2017

West Philly residents have an opportunity to learn more about solar power for their homes at an upcoming Cedar Park Neighbors meeting at the Calvary Center (48th and Baltimore). The meeting will be held on Monday, July 17 from 7 – 8 p.m.

In an effort to make solar power more affordable for all Philadelphians and to provide solar installation training at the School District, a special city-run program, Solarize Philly, has been recently created as part of the Philadelphia Energy Authority. Representatives from Solarize Philly will be at the meeting to explain how the program works and to answer questions.

The program has already been picking up steam in the city, including in West Philadelphia.  Continue Reading

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Fire under control at 52nd and Baltimore (updated)

Posted on 12 July 2017

Baltimore Ave fire site Wednesday afternoon (Photo West Philly Local).

Emergency responders have a fire at 52nd and Baltimore under control. The fire was reported at a donut shop and Million Dollars store near 52nd and Baltimore shortly after 8 a.m. The 34 trolley was operating with shuttle buses.

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A taste of Argentina – Jezabel’s Studio – opens Wednesday on 45th St. near Walnut

Posted on 11 July 2017

Chef Jezabel Careaga, a native of Argentina whose Jezabel’s Café at 26th and Pine has been named one of Philly’s best “under-the-radar breakfast places,” is bringing her empanadas, alfajores, specially made mate tea and coffee to an intimate storefront near 45th and Walnut.

Jezabel Careaga, chef-owner of Jezabel’s.

Jezabel’s Studio will open tomorrow, July 12, at 208 S. 45th St. At only 400 square feet, Jezabel’s Studio will definitely not be a place to park with your laptop. But Careaga is making the most of the space, which includes a small indoor sitting area (there are a couple of seats on the sidewalk too).

Offerings will include a variety of her signature empanadas (yes, they have a vegan option) as well as alfajores, Argentine shortbread cookies that are filled with dulce de leche and rolled in coconut shavings.  Continue Reading

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3 Courses for 3 Prices: University City Dining Days kicks off Thursday, July 13

Posted on 10 July 2017

University City Dining Days, the annual event where you can try food prepared at some of the best area restaurants at a discount, kicks off this Thursday (July 13). As always, dozens of University City-based restaurants will offer three-course dinner menus at three fixed prices – $15, $25 and $35.

Over 30 restaurants will participate in this popular event this year – from those run by famous chefs to ethnic cuisines to cozy BYOBs.

Some of the area’s well-known restaurants and bars are offering $15 three-course dinners, including Dahlak, New Delhi, Vietnam Cafe, Dock Street Brewery, Kabobeesh and more.  Continue Reading

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Police investigate paintball attacks in West and Southwest Philly (updated)

Posted on 07 July 2017

Several people were attacked by a group of paintball shooters in West and Southwest Philadelphia on Thursday, according to police. The first attack took place near 42nd St. and Baltimore Ave. shortly after 4 p.m. when a man and a woman walking down the street were shot at by people who were inside a dark-colored Hyundai Azera, according to reports. The couple then saw two more people being hit by the same attackers nearby. After that they drove away.

The third incident happened at around 4:15 p.m. near 50th and Woodland. In this attack, which involved the same vehicle, four people sitting on a porch were attacked in a drive-by paintball shooting. Three people were struck in this attack. All four victims in this attack were transgender, according to reports. It’s not clear whether they were specifically targeted.

Police believe there were four people in the car. No descriptions of the attackers are available at this time. The investigation continues.

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Trolley Tunnel Blitz to begin July 7; Trolleys on diversion to 40th and Market

Posted on 06 July 2017

It’s that time of the summer again. The 2017 Trolley Tunnel Blitz, SEPTA’s catchy name for the annual construction and maintenance project inside the trolley tunnel to Center City, will take place July 7 – 17, according to an announcement by SEPTA. During the Blitz, which will begin at 10 p.m. on Friday, July 7, SEPTA Trolley Routes 10, 11, 13, 34 and 36 will not operate in the tunnel, but will be diverted to 40th and Market Streets.

Passengers are advised to use the Market Frankford Line for traveling to Center City or board the train at 40th and Market where trolley service will begin and end during the Blitz.  Continue Reading

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Free summer meal program available for local children

Posted on 05 July 2017

In Philadelphia, thousands of children and youth are eligible for free or reduced price breakfast and lunch during the school year.  The city and the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger are partnering to also offer free meals when school is out. This food is accessible at more than 1,000 sites throughout the City, including recreation centers, parks, churches, and neighborhood blocks.

These sites serve free meals and snacks to children and teens age 18 and younger in Philadelphia, and there are dozens of such places in West Philadelphia. This map shows the currently available sites, and more sites are still being added.

There are no income requirements, ID, or registration needed in qualifying areas. For more information, visit: http://www.hungercoalition.org/summermeals or call 1-855-252-6325.

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SEPTA to add additional late-night service for July 4th celebration

Posted on 03 July 2017

All SEPTA modes of transportation will operate on a Sunday schedule on Tuesday, July 4, but additional service will be added to subway and trolleys at night to accommodate those who are planning to watch the fireworks on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The following information may be helpful to West Philly residents:

Market-Frankford Line: A total of ten extra trains will be dispatched starting at 4:30 p.m. to provide service every five minutes. These extra trips will run until 12:30 a.m. to help customers get home after the event. Market-Frankford Line Night Owl buses will replace trains at 12:30 a.m. SEPTA’s 15th Street Station provides riders access to and from the Parkway festivities.

Trolleys: Additional trips will be added on Routes 10, 11, 13, 34 and 36 after the fireworks.

More information can be found at septa.org.

Click here for more information about July 4th events and activities in the city (Independence Day Parade, Free Museum Day, Party on the Parkway and more).

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Catch public art on display, new parklet on Lancaster Ave this summer

Posted on 30 June 2017

Ten artists were selected by local community members this Spring to create a series of public art pieces and installations to be on display through September along Lancaster Avenue. Each piece of art will explore progress, change, and invisibility.

                Photos courtesy of LoLa 38.

The work of four installation artists is currently on display at the former United Bank building at 38th and Lancaster and on the fence surrounding the site of the former University City High School (UCHS).

Melanie Booth, whose work can be seen on the fence, is a visiting exchange student at Drexel University from Sydney, Australia. Her piece is a Nylon 5’x8’ American Flag with embroidery titled #notmypresident (pictured above). Oluwafemi’s pen and digital print piece, Collective Conscious, is in the Bank’s parking lot windows and is best seen at night.  Continue Reading

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Reminder: SEPTA fares to increase starting July 1

Posted on 29 June 2017

Here’s a reminder that SEPTA fare increases will go into effect on Saturday, July 1, 2017, the start of the new fiscal year. Fares will increase across all modes of transportation and methods of payment.

SEPTA cash fare will go up to $2.50 from $2.25; single rides with a token/SEPTA Key Travel Wallet will increase to $2.00 from $1.80. Transfers will remain at $1. Here’s a summary of changes to some of the most widely used fare payment methods. The full details are available on the SEPTA website.

• Cash Fare/Quick Trip: Increase from $2.25 to $2.50
• Discounted single ride with SEPTA Key Travel Wallet/Token: From $1.80 to $2
• Disabled Fare: From $1 to $1.25
• Paratransit/Shared Ride: $4 to $4.25
• Weekly TransPass: From $24 to $25.50 (up to 56 trips for one customer)  Continue Reading

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Developer of multi-billion-dollar ‘Schuylkill Yards’ pledges funds for affordable housing, job training, minority businesses

Posted on 28 June 2017

The developers of Schuylkill Yards, the $3.5 billion commercial and residential development near 30th Street Station, announced this week that they will spend $5.6 million on community initiatives, including affordable housing.

Brandywine Realty Trust’s “Neighborhood Engagement Initiative” will focus on local job creation and training, supporting local and minority-owned businesses and building affordable housing. The firm pledged to provide $3.1 million toward housing and job training in the first phase of Schuylkill Yards development, set to begin this summer.

Curbed Philadelphia reports that the $3.1 million will go into a community fund to be shared between the nearby Powelton Village and Mantua neighborhoods for housing projects. Brandywine will also provide $500,000 to the Enterprise Center to help develop minority-owned businesses. Other plans include providing funding for the Construction Apprentice Preparatory Program to help local workers prepare for jobs in the construction industry.

Schuylkill Yards will include 6.9 million square feet of new commercial, retail and residential space on 14 acres stretching from 30th Street Station west to 33rd Street and from JFK Boulevard south to Chestnut. It is scheduled to be completed in two phases over the next two decades.

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Construction on Trolley Portal Gardens begins near 40th and Baltimore

Posted on 27 June 2017

The much anticipated construction of Trolley Portal Gardens, the project that will include a remodeled 40th Street Trolley portal, a public space and a restaurant, has begun. Philadelphia general contractor Domus will begin excavating the building foundation as early as the end of this week, according to Chris Richman, Communication Manager for University City District.

The work will spread to a larger area, called “the apron,” after the Trolley Tunnel Blitz concludes in mid-July.

The groundbreaking ceremony for Trolley Portal Gardens was held in December 2016, but it took some time to obtain necessary building permits. The last remaining permits were finalized earlier this month, according to the project websiteContinue Reading

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