Neighbors helping neighbors: Cedar Park Holiday Basket Drive underway

Posted on 05 December 2016

holidaymeal-1024x413Cedar Park Neighbors, in cooperation with area churches and other nonprofit organizations, will prepare and distribute food baskets for those in need during the holiday season. To make this event a success, CPN is currently holding their annual Holiday Basket Drive. Suggested donation is $36, which will help feed two families.

In 2015, thanks to neighbors’ support, CPN were able to reach 130 families (over 550 people).

Click here for more information and to donate.

The baskets will be packed and distributed on Saturday, Dec. 17, from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at Renewal Presbyterian Church, located on the corner of 47th and Cedar Ave, and volunteers are welcome to help out. Please contact Michelle Lewis at to sign up or if you are interested in donating bulk items.

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A birthday to remember

Posted on 05 December 2016


It doesn’t happen very often when the mayor wishes you a Happy Birthday. Garden Court resident Dr. Pearl Simpson, who just turned 90, received a letter from Mayor Jim Kinney congratulating her on her achievements. The letter was read to her at her birthday party held on Saturday.

About 50 people attended the party held in the Garden Court apartment complex community room, among them Dr. Pearl’s former colleagues, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, friends and neighbors.

In his letter, the mayor praised Dr. Pearl’s skills and professional achievements, including her work as a Community College of Philadelphia professor and her service in the City’s Human Services Department.

(Photo by Elaine Fultz)

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Where to buy or make your own holiday wreath and greens

Posted on 02 December 2016

The winter holidays are almost here and if you’re decorating your house or apartment, check out these great opportunities to purchase beautiful, handmade wreaths and centerpieces in the area or sign up for one of the wreath-making workshops happening this weekend.

greenssale-header-900x500• On Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Bartram’s Garden (5400 Lindbergh Blvd.) is hosting its annual Holiday Greens Sale. The sale features a beautiful selection of decorated and undecorated wreaths, centerpieces, fresh evergreens, and more. Visitors can also purchase ornamental greens and roping to create your own decorations for the holiday season. Also, enjoy seasonal music, stocking stuffers, and refreshments. For more information, go hereContinue Reading

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Do some good: professional apparel donations wanted for folks transitioning back into the workforce

Posted on 01 December 2016

clothingdriveHere’s a chance to do something kind during the holiday season for a person trying to get back into the workforce after being homeless, incarcerated, in rehabilitation or raising children.

The University City District (UCD) is collecting donations of professional apparel for men and women to benefit the awesome Philly non-profit Career Wardrobe. The clothing goes into one of Career Wardrobe’s boutique where it is provided at no cost to people transitioning into the workforce to help them make a good impression at an interview. Career Wardrobe also offers skills building services. During the past fiscal year, Career Wardrobe outfitted more than 3,000 men and women.  Continue Reading

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Woman dies after being struck by vehicle fleeing police at 52nd and Locust (updated)

Posted on 30 November 2016

UPDATE: The woman who was struck by the car fleeing police near 52nd and Locust has died, according to NBC 10. She was inside one of the vehicles struck by the suspects. The victim was identified as 55-year-old Carol Isom who lived on the 200 block of S. 53rd Street. She was the driver of a Kia Soul and was traveling east on Locust Street when her car was struck by a dark gray Nissan Maxima driven by one of the suspects.

Police say an unidentified driver sped away from police and hit the unnamed woman at about 7:30 p.m. She was taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and was listed in critical condition, according to NBC10. is reporting that police pursued two suspects after a gun was fired near 48th and Westminster. The crash included three other vehicles. Both men were arrested.


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High-stakes power games and a West Philly dive bar: World premiere of Antagonyms at Curio this week

Posted on 30 November 2016

antagonymsIt’s not often you get to see a play’s world premiere. Here’s your chance with the debut of Antagonyms, which opens at the Curio Theatre Company on Friday, Dec. 2.

Written by playwright, actor and Curio member Rachel Gluck, Antagonyms tells the story of four young Philadelphians.

“In Antagonyms, four twenty-somethings wrestle with their sense of self and their relationship to each other as they find themselves at each other’s throats and in each other’s beds. Contemporary millennial anxieties fuel a stylized high-stakes power game, creating a world in which old Hollywood glamour mingles with the sticky floor of a West Philly dive bar,” said Gluck.


Artwork by Elizabeth Gallagher.

An antagonym is a word with two opposite meanings, such as “bound.” One could be on the move, “bound” to Center City for example. Or “bound,” as in tied up, unable to move.

The performance is directed by Jack Tamburri, and the cast includes Alee Spadoni, Alexander Scott Rioh, Andrew Carroll and Colleen Hughes.

This production has mature content and not recommended for children and there are themes related to sexual violence.

You can catch a preview performance tonight and Thursday night. Antagonyms runs on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 17. All performances begin at 8 p.m.

For tickets visit the Curio Theatre Company website or call 215-525-1350.

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$45,000 reward for information in hit-and-run that killed 8-year-old West Philly girl (updated)

Posted on 29 November 2016


Police believe this vehicle struck and killed an 8-year-old West Philly girl, Jayanna Powell on November 18. (Photo from Philly Police Blog)

UPDATE (Nov. 30, 8:30 p.m.) NBC10 is reporting that a 24-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the hit and run. Police located the vehicle they believe was involved in the crash at an automotive repair shop in Fraser, a town in Chester County along Route 30 about 25 miles outside the city. 

After a week and a half since the hit-and-run that left a West Philly girl dead, police are still searching for the driver who struck the child while she was crossing 63rd St. near Lansdowne Avenue in Overbrook and fled the scene. A total of $45,000 is now being offered for information leading to the arrest of the suspect and their conviction.


 Jayanna Powell

The crash happened at about 3:15 p.m. on November 18 when 8-year-old Jayanna Powell was walking home from school with her siblings. The little girl was found unconscious on the street and was transported to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where she was pronounced dead at 3:35 p.m., according to police.

The vehicle is believed to be a silver 2009-2016 Nissan Maxima or Altima. The vehicle should have damage to one of the front headlights as well as damage to the front grill area.

The Mayor’s Office is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the driver, and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 is offering $15,000. In addition, the girl’s uncle is offering a $20,000 reward to anyone with information about the driver, according to

Anyone with information on the identity of the driver or the whereabouts of the vehicle, is asked to contact Accident Investigation District at 215-685-3180 / 3181 or call 911.

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Support local nonprofits on #GivingTuesday

Posted on 29 November 2016

On #GivingTuesday, we would like to remind folks that there are dozens of great nonprofits in West Philly that need our support. On our Civic Life page, you can find information about West Philly-based nonprofits. Please consider donating to your neighborhood organization today.

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Groundbreaking for 40th Street trolley portal remodel, including restaurant, next week

Posted on 28 November 2016

Portal 2

An artist’s rendering of the Trolley Car Station restaurant from plans presented last spring to the Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee.

Developers will soon break ground on a project that should transform the barren patch of concrete at the 40th Street trolley terminal into a landscaped public space complete with a 125-seat restaurant.

University City District officials promise it will be a more navigable public space for pedestrians. Complete with moveable tables and chairs, enough racks to accommodate 48 bikes and “vegetation everywhere,” the project was well received during public meetings and breezed through zoning approval last spring.

The centerpiece of the project will be the Trolley Car Station restaurant, a two-story restaurant that will be built in the grassy area bordering the portal along Baltimore Avenue. A company owned by real estate developer Ken Weinstein, which runs the Trolley Car Diner in Mount Airy, will operate the restaurant.  Continue Reading

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Take a (free) ride on Winter Express Shoppers’ Trolley (W.E.S.T.) this Saturday

Posted on 28 November 2016


The Baltimore Avenue and Lancaster Avenue Business Associations are teaming up again to provide a unique holiday shopping experience for neighborhood residents next month. The Winter Express Shoppers’ Trolley (W.E.S.T.), connecting two of the busiest West Philly streets and commercial corridors – Baltimore Avenue and Lancaster Avenue – will return on Saturday, Dec. 3.

From noon till 5 p.m. this free trolley will travel along both avenues, stopping along the way at designated shopping and dining destinations. Businesses will welcome riders with specials, promotions and giveaways, as wells as with some delicious treats.  Continue Reading

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Thanksgiving Day closings, hours at local stores, cafes

Posted on 23 November 2016

leavesMany local stores and cafes will be closed or will have special hours tomorrow and this weekend:

Coffee Market (45th and Pine): Thursday, Nov, 24: 7 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Nov. 25-27: 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Mariposa Food Co-op (49th and Baltimore): Thu, Nov. 24: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Green Line Cafe: All locations will be closed this Thursday and Friday. Wednesday, Nov. 23: 43rd and Baltimore – closes at Noon; 40th St. and Powelton Village shops will close at 3 p.m.; Locust Street – Closes at 5 p.m.

Milk and Honey Market (45th and Baltimore): Thursday, Nov. 24: Closed

Renata’s Kitchen (46th and Baltimore): Thursday, Nov. 24: Closed

Fine Wine and Spirits stores (44th and Chestnut, 49th and Baltimore): Closed on Thanksgiving Day.

Supreme Shop-N-Bag (43rd and Walnut): Special hours on Thanksgiving Day: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The Fresh Grocer – Open 24 hours

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Special pre-Thanksgiving Clark Park Farmers Market this Wednesday

Posted on 22 November 2016

Pumpkins at Farmers Market

This is a reminder that Clark Park Thursday Market (43rd and Baltimore) is taking a break until June 2017, and the last mid-week market will be held this Wednesday (Nov. 23) due to Thanksgiving. The market will have special hours this Wednesday – from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Clark Park Saturday Farmers Market is open throughout the year, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more information on other city markets run by The Food Trust, visit:


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City seeks buyer for 36 MOVE bombing properties on Osage and Pine

Posted on 22 November 2016


These properties along the 6200 block of Osage are for sale. They were quickly built following the MOVE bombing in 1985 and quickly fell into disrepair (Photo Google Street View).

The city has invited developers to bid on 36 controversial properties on the 6200 blocks of Osage and Pine hastily rebuilt following the MOVE bombing in 1985.

West Philly bombing in 1985A fire began after police dropped a small bomb from a helicopter on a home at 6221 Osage Ave. following a long standoff with members of the black liberation group MOVE, who had barricaded themselves inside. Eleven people, including five children, were killed in the fire that followed the bombing. More than 50 neighboring homes were destroyed.

Only about half of the residences are occupied, and now the city is looking for a builder to buy the properties and either renovate them or demolish them and start over.  Continue Reading

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Noah’s Pizza opens on 46th and Woodland

Posted on 18 November 2016


From left to right: Noah’s Pizza owner Mekonen Hailu, executive chef Sal Traina, and co-owner Chris (Photo by Rana Fayez)

Pizza lovers of the west rejoice, we now have more options. Noah’s Pizza just opened next to Lil’ Pop Shop at 4602 Woodland Ave. Now we’re quite aware of the shortage of quality pizza on our side of the river, but this is exactly why owner Mekonen Hailu decided to transition his previous business, Noah’s Market, into what is now Noah’s Pizza.

The pizza shop opened about a couple of weeks ago, with the idea to provide quality pizza to the neighborhood. “There is more need for pizza than a mini market here,” said Hailu.

The pizza chef? Sal Traina, he’s the executive chef at Chestnut Hill Hospital. He’s really good friends with Hailu and well, he loves making pizza, so he decided to add a side gig to his work week. “I wanted to help out a friend,” said Traina.  Continue Reading

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2016 Philadelphia Marathon info, street closures, detours

Posted on 18 November 2016

philadelphia-marathon-parkway-680uwThe 23rd annual Philadelphia Marathon activities will take place from November 18-20. The half marathon will take place on Saturday, Nov. 19 and the full marathon will be held on Sunday, Nov. 20. Here’s some important information for those who are planning to attend and those whose plans may be affected due to street closures.

Marathon Races, Activities, Cheer Zones

Here you can find information on weekend race activities, and information on the races is available here. Information for fans, including cheer zones, can be found here.

Street Closures


2016 Philadelphia Marathon Course Map (click to enlarge)

Streets will be closed in many parts of the city in connection with the marathon on the weekend of Nov. 18 – 20. Delays can be expected. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes, avoid areas along the race course, allow for extra driving time and proceed with caution during Race Weekend. Due to increased security in the Parkway area, parking and traffic regulations will be strictly enforced. Street closures will be enforced on a rolling basis as runners go by.

Some of the major areas impacted include:

• The Benjamin Franklin Parkway Friday, Nov. 18 through Sunday, Nov. 20

• Citywide along the 26.2-mile route of the Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 20

• The I-676 off-ramps at 22nd Street (westbound) and 23rd Street (eastbound) will be closed on Saturday, Nov. 19 and Sunday, Nov. 20 after 4 a.m. for event security preparation. Ramps at 15th/Broad may also close, if needed.  Continue Reading

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Community Potluck Dinner at Greensgrow West

Posted on 17 November 2016

Greensgrow 1In light of last week’s presidential election that left many people in Philadelphia frustrated and upset, Greensgrow West (5123 Baltimore Ave) is organizing a community potluck dinner this Friday (Nov. 18) to provide a space for people to be together. All are invited and are welcome to bring a dish to share and/or nonperishable food to donate to PEC’s Rowan House, transitional housing for women and children.

If you want to bring a donation, PEC is currently collecting sides for Thanksgiving dinner, like corn and cranberries, and canned protein, like tuna.

Greensgrow will also have space to write cards to local minority-owned businesses and a small fire pit in which to write down feelings and throw them in.

The dinner will take place from 6 – 8 p.m, and you can RSVP on the event’s Facebook page.

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The State of University City: More bars, restaurants, apartments and students

Posted on 17 November 2016


University City District (UCD) President Matt Bergheiser captured the mood of the moment during the annual The State of University City Report release event last night. There has been a 24 percent increase in food and beverage establishments in University City since 2009, according to the report.

“And to get through the next four years, we might need as many [beverage establishments] as we can get,” Bergheiser said.

Officially released today, the glossy The State of University Report highlights the flurry of ongoing and soon-to-begin commercial and residential building projects, particularly along the Schuylkill River that we have reported on over the past year – like Schuylkill Yards, uCity Square as well as a heap of new academic buildings popping up.  Continue Reading

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Record turnout at ‘Love Your Park’ Fall Service Day

Posted on 16 November 2016


“Love Your Park” Fall Service Day 2016 at Malcolm X Park. (Photo by Albert Yee)

An historic turnout was reported at this year’s “Love Your Park” Fall Service Day.

This past weekend the highest number of volunteers registered for “LOVE Your Park” to date, according to Philadelphia Parks & Rec, the event organizers. 2,129 volunteers showed up at 90 parks throughout the city to plant trees, rake leaves, pick up trash and prepare these green spaces for winter.

This year, West Philly’s Malcolm X Park was chosen as a signature”Love Your Park” site. Mayor Jim Kenney and other city officials were at the park supporting the volunteers.

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Jump start your holiday shopping at Art Star Craft Bazaar (Sponsored)

Posted on 16 November 2016


Get a head start on your holiday shopping at the Art Star Craft Bazaar happening on Saturday, Nov. 19 and Sunday, Nov. 20, 10-5 p.m. at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum (6825 Norwitch Drive). Northern Liberties-based purveyors of handmade goods, Art Star, has once again selected a line-up of top art/craft vendors who will be set up among one of the world’s greatest collections of vintage race cars. The Simeone Foundation Automotive museum is a true hidden gem located in Southwest Philadelphia, and the bazaar is a great opportunity to check it out with the entire family at a discounted price!

craftbazaarFind something truly unique and made by hand for everyone on your holiday list.

Each vendor will be setting up shop in a 10-foot-by-10-foot space within the museum. Shoppers can expect a selection of unique, quality goods handmade from a variety of materials by some of the most talented makers from the region and beyond. Jewelry, Pottery, Furniture, Photography, Holiday Ornaments, Cards, Home Goods, Clothing, Lighting, Fine Art Prints, Original Art/Sculpture, Baby Gifts, Stationary, Tee Shirts, Bags, Macrame, Hand Knits, and More! Avoid the mall and support small business this holiday season.

The vendors will be bringing loads of great gift items that will not break the bank!

Go here for the full vendor line-up.

Continue Reading

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