Sanctuary Jam (free jazz + pizza) returns Sunday, February 2nd to St. Mary’s Church (sponsored post)

January 21, 2020

The Sanctuary Jam: A Philadelphia First: At St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Hamilton Village (3916 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104) is open to both Drexel University and University of Pennsylvania students and musicians.

Visit with us and hear the best of the universities instructors in jazz, and if you play an instrument you’re invited to sit in. Come on West Philly support Jazz in all its Glory…FREE PIZZA – GREAT MUSIC – NO CHARGE.

And yes we know that February 2nd is Super Bowl Sunday! Jazz in the afternoon, football in the evening! A great day for all!  Continue Reading

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Construction begins on 8-story apartment building at 49th and Spruce

January 21, 2020

Construction has begun on a new 8-story apartment building at the former parking lot on the southwest corner of 49th and Spruce. The building will include 150 residential units from the first through seventh floors and a roof deck on the eighth floor. The project also includes 41 parking spaces and 63 bicycle spaces on the ground floor.  Continue Reading

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New York style bagel shop opens on Lancaster Avenue

January 17, 2020

A new bagel shop inspired by sojourns to legendary Manhattan shops like H&H and Zabar’s has opened in the Powelton neighborhood last week.

Brothers Brett and Kyle Frankel opened Bart’s Bagels at 3945 Lancaster Ave. The shop was recently featured on 6ABC news. The brothers grew up in Philadelphia and reportedly often visited their uncle in New York where they were bit by the bagel bug, according to the report.

The new shop includes a kitchen, and all bagels (about a dozen varieties!) are handmade on-site, according to the report. Meats are also roasted on-site. The shop also serves schmears and sandwiches. Continue Reading

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MLK Day events, volunteer opportunities

January 16, 2020

Philadelphia is getting ready to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, Jan. 20 with a bunch of events, activities and volunteer projects. Some began earlier this week and will be held throughout this and next month, like the MLK Jr. Sermon Discussion Group at Mosaic Community Church (123 S. 51st St).

Check out some events and volunteer opportunities in West and Southwest Philly below. Also visit the MLK Day of Service and the University City District websites for more events and volunteer projects in the area.

MLK Day Events at UPenn

• A Community Beautification Project will take place on Monday, Jan. 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers will work on service projects at the following sites: Mitchell Weir Elementary, Hamilton Elementary, Antioch Home School Center, and Laura Sims Skate House. Light refreshments will be provided. Meet at 9:45 a.m. in the main lobby of Houston Hall (3417 Spruce St) for transportation to locations.  Continue Reading

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Police pursue vehicle in West Philly in connection with stabbing death of a 65-year-old woman; arrests made

January 15, 2020

Police arrested two people at about 11 a.m. on Wednesday after they crashed a car near 43rd and Sansom they believe to be owned by the victim of a fatal stabbing in East Germantown early Wednesday morning.

Police pursued the vehicle along West Philly streets on Wednesday morning in connection to the murder of a 65-year-old woman in East Germantown. The woman was found unresponsive inside a bathtub at her home on the 300 block of Mechanic Street around 1:20 a.m. on Wednesday. She had multiple stabbing wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police. The woman is reportedly the mother of a Philadelphia police officer.  Continue Reading

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Abyssinia expansion/outdoor seating proposal update

January 15, 2020

Abyssinia, the popular Ethiopian restaurant located at the corner of 45th and Locust, is eyeing expansion into the adjacent space on S. 45th Street (a former laundromat) and also wants to offer outdoor seating.

“They are in early stages and will have to apply for their expansion [to the City’s Zoning Board of Adjustment] and come back once they have a refusal,” says Spruce Hill Community Association Zoning Committee Chair Barry Grossbach following a meeting on the plan. Continue Reading

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The Woodlands’ Grave Gardeners program accepting applications for 2020 season

January 13, 2020

Photo courtesy of The Woodlands.

The Woodlands Cemetery’s popular gardening program, Grave Gardeners, will return this spring and some spots are still remaining for those who are interested in participating.

The Grave Gardeners program accepts volunteers who each will be assigned a cradle grave (designed in the Victorian era) to adopt at The Woodlands, located at 40th and Woodland. The Grave Gardeners tend to their assigned cradle grave throughout the growing season, from March to November. Gardeners will receive a wide variety of plant material (seeds, plugs and bulbs).  Continue Reading

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Spruce Hill zoning meeting to discuss Abyssinia restaurant expansion, outdoor seating

January 10, 2020

Monthly Spruce Hill Zoning Committee meetings resume after a short break in December. The Monday, Jan. 13, meeting will include:

• Ethiopian restaurant Abyssinia, located at the corner of 45th and Locust, would like to offer outdoor seating to its customers in the near future. The restaurant owner will be at the meeting to discuss this proposal, as well as a proposed expansion to the adjacent empty storefront, a former laundromat, on S. 45th Street (see photo).

• A zoning application for seven family dwelling at 4206 Chester Avenue will also be discussed. It’s a multi-family home built in 1900 and is a little over 4,800 square feet, according to

The meeting will be held at the Spruce Hill Community Association Headquarters (257 S. 45th St), beginning at 7 p.m.

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New vegan-friendly cafe & bakery opens at 42nd and Chester

January 9, 2020

Grindcore X Crust coffee shop & bakery is now open at 42nd and Chester. (Photo by West Philly Local)

A Manyaunk-based vegan bakery, Crust, has opened their first storefront in West Philly! The coffee shop and bakery recently opened at 42nd and Chester, on the ground floor of the new three-story apartment building, across from Millcreek Tavern (we wrote about the plans to open a coffee shop in that location in a March 2019 post).

The new shop is called Grindcore X Crust and is a collaboration between Crust Vegan Bakery and Grindcore House, a South Philly based vegan-friendly coffee shop. They supply coffee, tea, bagels and sandwiches for the new shop, while Crust sells pastries, cakes by the slice, pop tarts, and more (see photo below). Continue Reading

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Christmas Tree-Cycling in Clark Park & Malcolm X Park this Saturday (updated)

January 8, 2020

If you want to dispose of your Christmas tree responsibly, here’s a great opportunity. The annual Tree-Cycling event organized by University City District and UC Green will be held on Saturday, Jan. 11 at two neighborhood parks: Clark Park (43rd and Chester) and Malcolm X. Park (51st and Pine).

Tree-Cycling at Clark Park will run from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and at Malcolm X. Park from 12:30 to 3 p.m. A $5-$20 suggested donation is requested at both events.

After you drop off your tree you can watch it being mulched by staff and volunteers from UC Green and Bartlett Tree Experts. The mulch from the trees will be used at local parks and your donation will support UC Green community greening services and programming.  Continue Reading

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‘Filthadelphia’ fading? Kenney promises full return of street cleaning by new term’s end

January 7, 2020

Mayor Jim Kenney says scheduled street cleaning will be back in every neighborhood in the city by the time his second term, which began yesterday, ends in 2023. If he follows through, Philadelphia will no longer be the only major U.S. city not to have regular street sweeping.

Budget cuts that began in the 1970s spelled the end of street sweeping across the city by the late 90s. Since then, vocal concerns over neighborhood residents having to move their cars on possible cleaning days have, in part, prevented a sweeping program from coming back.  Continue Reading

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Theatre in the X seeking community input for Summer 2020 production

January 6, 2020

Theatre in the X. (Photo by West Philly Local).

Theatre in the X, known for its free summer productions in Malcolm X. Park, is planning something exciting for the upcoming season and wants the community to participate. In addition to their August production in the park, the Afrocentric theatre troupe will present an original play in the summer of 2020. The play will be “created with the West Philadelphia community in mind,” according to a Facebook announcement.

Four public meetings will be held this winter and spring to devise an original theatre piece for Theatre in the X’s new community-based production. Here’s information on the first two meetings:  Continue Reading

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Millcreek Tavern vandalized on New Year’s Day

January 3, 2020

Millcreek Tavern, located at 42nd and Chester, was sprayed with graffiti overnight on January 1, according to reports. A few windows were also broken. Owner Jack Gillespie told the Washington Examiner that the damage was estimated at approximately $20,000.  Continue Reading

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Second community forum on gentrification scheduled for Jan. 4

January 2, 2020

A second public forum on gentrification is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 4, at the Kingsessing Library (1201 S. 51st St.).

The first forum held in late November brought together folks from a variety of backgrounds together to talk about everything from policy remedies to neighborliness (saying “hello” on the street, for example). This second meeting, billed as “Continuing the Conversation,” will feature the same facilitators: local parent and sociology professor Christina Jackson, Drick Boyd, a community educator and professor emeritus at Eastern University, and Gregory Benjamin, a Kingsessing native and candidate for the state legislature.

The meeting will run from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Here is the Facebook page for the event.


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Cedar Park business news: Little Baby’s closes; The Bar(n) update

January 2, 2020

Little Baby’s Ice Cream’s Cedar Park location closed after more than six years of operation. Here’s a sign on their door at 4903 Catharine St.

Two adjacent Cedar Park businesses, Little Baby’s Ice Cream and The Bar(n), have closed in the past month or so. Little Baby’s, the artisan scoop shop known for its unusual flavors, closed its doors at 4903 Catharine St. for good at the end of November after more than six years of operation. The Philadelphia-based company went out of business, according to reports. The owners posted the following message on their Instagram page in November:  Continue Reading

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Where and when to watch New Year’s Eve fireworks; 2020 Mummers Parade info

December 30, 2019

If you’re looking for something to do this New Year’s Eve and on New Year’s Day, check out information below on New Year’s Eve fireworks and the 2020 Mummers Parade. If you’re planning to use public transportation for any of these events, check out information on SEPTA’s Holiday service. More events can be found here.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront

2020 is coming and you can ring it in twice on the Delaware River Waterfront on Tuesday. As always, there will be two firework shows  – at 6 p.m. and midnight, each about 15 minutes long. The best places to watch the fireworks are the Delaware River Waterfront, both Philadelphia and New Jersey sides. On the Philly side, you can get a great view from Penn’s Landing, at the Blue Cross RiverRink WinterFest, near the Battleship New Jersey, and more locations. One of our favorite places to watch New Year’s Eve fireworks is Race Street Pier near Ben Franklin Bridge (check out the map here).  Continue Reading

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PPD 18th District accepting donations of winter clothing, blankets for giveaway on Jan. 10

December 27, 2019

The 18th Police District wants to help those who need warm clothes. Officers will be giving away winter clothing at their headquarters at 5510 Pine St. on Friday, Jan. 10 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

They are accepting donations of winter jackets or any outerwear for both adults and children, socks, hats and blankets at their location. Check out this message to the community from officer Harris from the 18th District:  Continue Reading

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Holiday hours at local stores, cafes – Dec. 24 – Jan. 1 (updated)

December 23, 2019

Check out information on holiday hours and closings at some popular local stores and cafes. This post will be updated as more information becomes available. Businesses are also welcome to post their holiday hours in the comment section. For information on SEPTA’s holiday service go here. For holiday events, please visit our Events page. Happy Holidays!

Grocery & Liquor Stores, Gift Shops

Mariposa Food Co-op (49th and Baltimore): Christmas Eve: 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.; Christmas Day: Closed; New Year’s Eve: 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.; New Year’s Day: 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.  Continue Reading

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SEPTA holiday service for December 24 – January 1

December 20, 2019

Due to the holidays, SEPTA buses, trains and trolleys will have some service changes or special schedules beginning Tuesday, Dec. 24 on the following days:

Tuesday, Dec. 24: City transit routes will operate on a Modified Weekday schedule.

Wednesday, Dec. 25 (Christmas Day): Buses, trains, and trolleys will operate on a Sunday schedule due to the holiday.

Thursday – Friday, Dec. 26 – 27: Buses, trains, and trolleys will operate on a Modified Weekday schedule.  Continue Reading

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