Public school breakfast, lunch menu (Oct 20-24)

Posted on 19 October 2014

We continue publishing breakfast and lunch menus served at schools in the School District of Philadelphia. Here’s the menu for Monday, Oct 20 through Friday, Oct 24. If your school uses a Satellite menu, click here. Come back every Sunday evening for the coming week’s menu.


A variety of three cereals will be offered daily and served with a yogurt parfait or a bake-crafter bar.


Mini Pancakes
Bake Crafter Cereal Bar & Yogurt
Choose 1: Pineapple Juice or Fresh Pear
Variety of Milk


Steak, Egg & Cheese on a Bagel
Benefit Bar
Choose 1: Mixed Fruit Cup or Fresh Orange
Variety of Milk Continue Reading

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Still; like a gargoyle

Posted on 18 October 2014

We found this plump little one guarding a porch on the 4500 block of Osage on Saturday.

We found this plump little one guarding a porch on the 4500 block of Osage on Saturday (Photo by West Philly Local).

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Books Through Bars hosting workshop, speakers, fundraiser on incarceration issues

Posted on 17 October 2014

Books-Through-Bars-LogoAn important discussion about incarceration has gained traction nationally in recent years and an important facilitator in that discussion locally is the organization Books Though Bars.

The group’s primary mission is to obtain, pack and ship books to inmates in the region, a volunteer-heavy activity they have been doing in West Philly for more than 20 years. There is a chance this Saturday to be part of this ongoing conversation, meet people from Books Through Bars and other organizations engaged in incarceration issues and raise a little money to keep their work going.

Books Through Bars is hosting a fundraiser tomorrow (Oct 18) at the LAVA Space at 4134 Lancaster Ave, beginning at 2 p.m. The event will feature free workshops and speakers (2 to 6 p.m.) from the following organizations: Decarcerate PA, Hearts on a Wire, The Center for Returning Citizens, HRC, Books Through Bars Address This!, and DreamActivist PA. After that there will be a rockers show (6-10 p.m.) hosted by MMGZ.

Please bring $5-8 to donate at the event. Also, Books Through Bars’ Business, Science and Math shelves are pretty empty right now, so if you have any books that you don’t need please bring them to tomorrow’s event or to the A-Space where the organization is located (4722 Baltimore Ave).

For more information, check out the Books Through Bars Facebook page.


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St. Francis de Sales students featured in Philadelphia Film Festival Premiere

Posted on 17 October 2014


Violinist Zebadiah plays with The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra and now attends Central High School.

This weekend, the annual Philadelphia Film Festival kicks off and we learned that students attending a local parochial school will be featured in one of the festival premieres.

Ilene Miller of Play On, Philly!, a tuition-free after school music program that has been operating for a few years at the St. Francis de Sales School near 47th and Springfield, sent us some more details about the film and the West Philly kids featured in it:

Play On, Philly! (POP), the innovative tuition-free after school music program in communities with little access to music education, was founded in 2011 at St. Francis de Sales School. The program, as well as two students, will be featured in the premiere of Crescendo! The Power of Music, at the Philadelphia Film Festival on October 20 and 25 (see a trailer here).

Filmmakers Jamie Bernstein (daughter of famed conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein) and Elizabeth Kling have been following Play On, Philly! at St. Francis de Sales since day one for their documentary about kids participating in two youth orchestra programs – POP and the Harmony Program in Harlem.


Raven started POP in 4th grade and now plays with Musicopia String Orchestra and Philadelphia Sinfonia. She wants to be a professional violinist.

You will be truly moved at the experiences of students Raven and Zebadiah – their struggles, heartbreak and joy – as they discover themselves through the mysterious power of music in the Play On, Philly! program.

Raven is a violin natural with a rambunctious spirit. Quiet, quirky Zebadiah overcomes his shyness and gains confidence through the viola.

Zebadiah is now in 11h grade at Central High School. He returns to St. Francis every week to mentor younger students as a POP Ambassador… Raven, now in 9th grade at String Theory Charter School, studies with a member of The Philadelphia Orchestra, plays in Philadelphia Sinfonia and Musicopia String Orchestra, and wants to be a professional violinist.”

Crescendo! The Power of Music will be shown on October 20 at 3:00 p.m. at The Ritz Bourse Theater and again on October 25 at 3:15 p.m. at The Prince Music Theater (including a performance by POP students and a discussion with Jamie Bernstein).

For tickets visit or call 267-607-3385.

(Photos by Steven Krull/Play On, Philly!)

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Open bar, buffet, fortune tellers: Help support Curio Theatre at ‘The Carnival Macabre’

Posted on 16 October 2014

4027323West Philly’s own professional theatre company, Curio Theatre, is throwing a party this Saturday to celebrate its 10th anniversary and raise money to help keep this important community resource going strong.

This year’s benefit, titled “The Carnival Macabre,” kicks off at 7 p.m. at the St. Francis DeSales Ballroom (917 S. 47th St.) and will include games of chance, fortune tellers, silent and live auctions and dancing. The Gold Standard Café will provide a buffet and there will be an open beer and wine bar along with a signature cocktail. Second Vision will supply the music.

Tickets are $50 and are available online here.

Speaking of Curio, the company recently announced the debut performance of the 2014-15 season: The Matter of Frank Schaefer, which will open Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. The performance takes on the story of the Methodist minister from Lebanon, Penna. who was defrocked after officiating at his son’s gay wedding.

“What grabbed us right away with the story of Frank Schaefer is that it felt like a civil rights movement was starting right in front of us,” said Curio Artistic Director Paul Kuhn.

That’s just a taste. We’ll have more information on The Matter of Frank Schaefer before the premiere. In the meantime, please do what you can to help support the amazing work at Curio.

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2014 Spruce Hill Halloween Parade and Party confirmed

Posted on 16 October 2014

halloween 1

We hope that our little neighbors and their families are getting their costumes ready because this year’s Spruce Hill Halloween costume parade for tots will be held on Friday, Oct. 31, the Spruce Hill Community Association (SHCA) announced earlier this week. The parade will start at 4:30 p.m. from the assembly area at 45th and Baltimore (next to Milk and Honey). The assembly will begin at 4 p.m.

West PhillyThe parade will follow the usual route down Larchwood to 43rd Street and over to the scarily decorated 4200 block of Osage (“Little Osage”), where the everyone will be welcomed with cider and treats.

SHCA, who is the sponsor of the parade, is asking that all tots be accompanied by an adult and that everyone be extra careful crossing streets to get to the parade and especially afterward, as darkness falls.

SHCA also invites little neighbors to stop by their center at 257 S 45th Street during trick-or-treating. “SHCA board member and Mel-Lo Townwatch leader Jackie Waiters will continue the long standing tradition of delighting trick-or-treaters with hand assembled goodie bags,” their announcement reads.

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No more curbside bagged leaf collection; other changes in this year’s Philly Leaf Recycling program

Posted on 16 October 2014

leavesThe Streets Department’s 2014 Philly Leaf and Recycling Program will kick off on November 10 and will run through December 19. During the six-week program, leaves will be collected for composting purposes, such as fertilizing gardens and nourishing trees.

There will be changes in the way leaves are collected for recycling this year, according to a recent announcement by the Streets Department. Bagged leaves will no longer be collected curbside. Instead, residents can drop them off at specially designated locations throughout the city. Here are the bagged leaf collection locations in West and Southwest Philadelphia area (open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays from Nov. 10 through Dec. 19):

• 66th & Haverford Avenue
• 54th & Woodbine Avenue
• 43rd & Powelton Avenue
• 72nd & Buist Avenue

Bagged leaves may also be taken to any of the four Sanitation Convenience Centers (visit the Streets Department website for more information).

Another requirement for recycling is that bagged leaves will only be accepted in biodegradable paper bags because they can be processed for recycling along with the leaves. The Streets Department doesn’t provide biodegradable bags, but you can purchase them at your local home improvement or hardware store.  Continue Reading

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Cranes explained: UCD releases new ‘State of University City’ report

Posted on 16 October 2014

StateofUCThese days it seems like you can’t walk more than a block or two near Penn and Drexel’s campuses without seeing some sort of major construction project. Cranes are becoming about as common around here as coffee shops.

Some 32 building projects have been or will be completed in the area around the universities between last fall and next summer or so, according to the 2014/2015 State of University City report, which was released by the University City District (UCD) yesterday afternoon during a reception at World Cafe Live (3025 Walnut St.). These include about 1.3 million square feet of new building space dedicated to medical and biomedical research, a key field driving development of this part of the city.

The majority of all new office construction in the city is happening in the patch between 38th street to the west, Market street to the north and the Schuylkill River to the east and south.

All of this building and investment has created what doctor-turned-entrepreneur Keith Leaphart, a lifelong Philadelphia resident, called an “ecosystem for ambition” during yesterday’s reception. Leaphart owns the design and print firm Replica Creative, which opened a café amid all the hubbub last year at 3711 Market St.

Residential space is increasing as well. Two new residential high rises, at 36th and Market and 3737 Chestnut, are slated to open next summer and fall respectively. The UCD is forecasting that the number of new apartments will increase 60 percent by 2016. Many of these are aimed at graduate students and millennials, the fastest growing demographic category in the district.  Continue Reading

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WPL’s 2014 Pumpkin Carving Contest starts today

Posted on 15 October 2014

pumpkin_entry_2011-1Dear West Philly Local readers, we’re happy to announce our 4th Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest. We hope that more people will participate this year because we’ll have some awesome prizes from local businesses, plus there will be random drawings for prizes. Are you ready? Here are the rules:

The contest runs from October 15 through October 31, 2014. All ages are welcome to participate.

Submit a snapshot of your pumpkin by email ( that includes your name, address (West Philly residents only please), and age (if you are entering the Kids category). Entries from kids 12 and under will also be entered into the Kids category. Be sure to get a good photo that shows off your pumpkin’s best features. If you’re an Instagram user, please upload your photo there with the hashtag #westphillylocal.

Winners will be selected in the following categories:

Kids (12 and under)
Best Philly-Themed
Readers’ Choice (grand prize)

There will also be a random drawing for those pumpkins that didn’t win in any of the above categories, so everyone has a shot at an awesome prize.

The entry deadline is 6 p.m. on Friday October 31.

Voting for the Readers’ Choice will run on October 31 – November 2. Note: One entry per person.The winners will be announced on November 3.

If you need ideas check out the pumpkins entered in our previous contests here.

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Free preschool options in West, Southwest Philly

Posted on 14 October 2014

headstartThe Philadelphia Head Start Partnership (PHSP), a program of Public Health Management Corporation, provides no-cost preschool education and family support services to low-income children and families and is currently accepting applications for this school year. Recently, PHSP began partnering with various child care providers in West Philadelphia (see the list of locations below).

Children who were 3 by Sept. 1, 2014 are age-eligible for Head Start services. If you are interested in applying to PHSP, please call 215.205.0400 to set up an intake appointment.

The following locations in West and Southwest Philadelphia now offer Head Start programming managed by PHSP:

Child Care Centers

Brightside Academy
4829 Lancaster Ave. 19131

Brightside Academy
4047 Lancaster St. 19014

Brightside Academy
801 N. 48th St. 19139

Woodland Academy
5401 Grays Ave. 19143  Continue Reading

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Halloween-themed events kick off this Tuesday at The Woodlands

Posted on 14 October 2014

FunnyBonesThis month, we’ll be publishing information about Halloween-themed events happening in the area. Here’s a roundup for the upcoming events at The Woodlands Cemetery and Mansion (40th and Woodland). Many of them are for the whole family. Please note that the first two events, dedicated to works of Edgar Allan Poe, will take place today (Tuesday, Oct 14).

Tuesday, Oct 14

Edgar Allan Poe: Funny Bones (kids are welcome)

4:30-6:30 p.m.

The Woodlands is a perfect setting for something mysterious and macabre, like a performance based on Edgar Allan Poe’s works. Literary historian and playwright Rob Velella, who specializes in 19th century American literature, will demonstrate some of Poe’s most loved stories. This event is especially great for kids. For more info and to buy tickets ($15 adults, $10 kids), click here.

Edgar Allan Poe: Master of the Macabre

7:30-9:30 p.m.

Velella, will continue his demonstration of some of Poe’s works, in this after-dark performance. After his performance, Velella will take you on a nighttime cemetery walk to visit Poe’s contemporary, Timothy Shay Arthur, at his eternal resting spot. This event is more suitable for adults and children ages 10+. For more info and tickets ($20), click hereContinue Reading

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Public school breakfast, lunch menu (Oct 14-17)

Posted on 13 October 2014

Today, all public schools were closed for Columbus Day, so here’s breakfast and lunch menu for this Tuesday-Friday (Oct 14-17). If your school uses a Satellite menu, click here. Come back on Sunday evening for next week’s menu.


A variety of three cereals is offered daily and served with a yogurt parfait or a mini loaf.


Breakfast Burrito
Cinni Mini Swirls
Choose 1: Peach Cup or Fresh Apple
Variety of Milk


Sausage, Egg & Cheese on Bagel
Appleways Bar
Choose 1: Orange Juice or Fresh Banana
Variety of Milk  Continue Reading

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This month at IHP: Open House; inaugural ‘Night of the Philly Dead’ party

Posted on 13 October 2014

IHPlogoInternational House Philadelphia (IHP), which has been serving scholars and the Philadelphia community for more than 100 years, is holding a couple of special events this month.

IHP’s Open House will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 3 – 7 p.m. Community members are invited to tour the House, including its residential facilities, conference center and theater, and learn more about the services and programming offered there. You can also meet staff and some of the current residents from all over the world. You can explore IHP’s history by attending a historical exhibit on Tuesday. Last but no least, learn more about language courses offered at IHP, meet the teachers, and even sign up for some classes. Admission is free, but if you’re planning to attend this event, please RSVP. You can read more about the Open House and RSVP here.

nightofthedeadOn Friday, Oct. 31, IHP is throwing a Night of the Philly Dead: Brews and Brains party. It is a new, annual event and IHP staff hope that you will join them at their inaugural celebration of the undead’s favorite day of the year. There will be a zombie themed dance-party paying homage to the cult-classic movies, scary-good catering provided by TV Chef Barbie Marshall, craft beer, and themed cocktails, all included in your cost of admission ($50). Costumes are encouraged and there will be a competition. 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. For more information and tickets, go to this page.

There will be many more fantastic events this Fall at IHP, including some great film screenings, exhibits, and cultural events. For more info, click here.

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Columbus Day closings, schedule changes

Posted on 13 October 2014

The City is off for Columbus Day today, which means administrative offices and courts are closed. Public schools and libraries are also closed. Post offices are closed, too, and there will be no mail delivery. Some banks are closed, too.

There will be no trash and recycling collection today. Monday collections will be picked up on Tuesday and collections for the remainder of the week will be delayed one day.

SEPTA will operate on a regular weekday schedule today.

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Update on 4224 Baltimore from Plan Philly: Blackwell says ‘Go to the zoning board’

Posted on 10 October 2014

Plan Philly yesterday got in touch with City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, who said she will not introduce an ordinance to “spot zone” the vacant parcel across from Clark Park at 43rd and Baltimore.

Blackwell told Plan Philly’s Jared Brey that she is reluctant to push for special zoning for this project out of fear that other developers, including those involved in the row over the property at 40th and Pine, will line up at her door asking for ordinances. Blackwell said she supported the project, but advised the developers to go through the zoning process, which will include a public hearing.

We reported last week that the property owner, Clarkmore LLC, was pressing Blackwell for a special ordinance that would allow them to forgo the zoning process. Clarkmore currently can build a “by right” 92-unit project that includes little parking and no retail. It wants the ordinance for a bigger 132-unit building that includes parking and ground-level retail and would require zoning variances.

For a recent history of the property and the process that led to the current proposal, see this collection of posts.

There’s a lot to this story. Go to Plan Philly for more details.

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Weekend overnight subway service a big hit, extended indefinitely

Posted on 10 October 2014

Good news for local late-night public transportation users. SEPTA is extending again its pilot “Night Owl” weekend subway service on the Market-Frankford and Broad Street lines, this time indefinitely. The service was introduced in June, prompted by the changing city, and initially it was planned to try it until Labor Day and evaluate it. Then it was extended until November and now SEPTA says that the service is so popular that it’s staying for an indefinite time.

Here’s some stats from SEPTA regarding the popularity of this service:

– An average of 15,000 riders each weekend have boarded trains between midnight and 5:00 a.m. since June 15. That’s 6,000 riders more than those who previously used overnight bus service.

– Weekend overnight train service has been most popular during holiday weekends (24,430 riders on July 4; 17,192 passengers over Labor Day weekend).

According to SEPTA, passenger safety was also evaluated during the pilot. Issues have been minimal, due to an increased police presence on overnight trains.

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West Philly artist studios to open doors this weekend for POST tours (updated)

Posted on 10 October 2014

posttourslogoThere’s a great opportunity this weekend to learn more about artists living and working in the area. The 15th annual guided and self-guided Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST) west of Broad St, including West Philly, of course, are happening on Saturday and Sunday (Oct 11-12). So don’t be shy and stop by to say hello and maybe stay for some special events and presentations. There are a number of individual artists and group artist spaces involved in the Studio Tours here in West Philly neighborhoods. Here’s what a neighbor and artist, Marabelle Hincher, wrote us:


The Anatomy of Peace. Marabelle Hincher.

“I hope a lot of people will take the tour; there’s a lot of great talent in West Philly and many art studios worth visiting.”

Marabelle is opening her studio at 5023 Catharine St. this weekend to present a fantasy collage, “Strange Anatomy,” which is a 33 image mashup of antique anatomical art combined with botanical and zoological elements (science lovers should also appreciate it!).

Here’s a list of other participating studios and artists:

UPDATE: There will be an Open House at The Cedar Works at 4919 Pentridge St on Sat & Sun Noon-6 p.m.

The Rotunda
4014 Walnut Street
Presenting Sanctuary, a site-specific sound art and video installation and series of performances. Oct 11 & Oct 12, Noon-10 p.m.

Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania
118 South 36th Street

40th Street Artist-in-Residence Program
4007 Chestnut St., 1st floor and 4013 Chestnut St.

Johanna Inman
40th Street Artist-in-Residence Program
4007 Chestnut Street, 1st floor and 4012 Chestnut St.

Tremain Smith
Tremain Smith Studio
520 South 59th Street

Jacques-Jean Tiziou
4919 Pentridge Street The Cedar Works, Sat&Sun Noon-6 p.m.

Heather Ujiie
University City Artist League
4226 Spruce Street

University City Arts League
4226 Spruce Street

Lorna Williams
40th Street AIR Space
4007 Chestnut St.

More information is available on the POST website.

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Walnut Hill Community Day is this Saturday

Posted on 10 October 2014

WHCE 1Neighbors are invited to the Walnut Hill Community Day celebration on Saturday, Oct. 11, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The celebration will take place on the 4700 block of Walnut Street in front of the old West Philly High School building. This is a great opportunity to meet other neighbors, get some valuable information about the neighborhood and its organizations, and to have fun!

The event will include a lot of family friendly activities: pony rides, face painting, moon bounce, and more. Also, there will be food and drinks, raffles, a farm stand and live entertainment.

The event is organized by the Walnut Hill Community Association (WHCA). The organization was found in 1961 by a group of neighbors, led by Charles Campbell, Sr., who “were concerned about the deterioration of their neighborhood.” WHCA, which is a volunteer organization, encourages neighbors to participate in community events and in other activities that help improve and strengthen the community. New volunteers are always welcome, too. Visit this page for more information on how you can help.

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‘Journey2home’ public art project opens Friday at 42nd and Lancaster

Posted on 09 October 2014


Journey2home public art project, dedicated to homeless youth, opens this Friday at 42nd and Lancaster. (Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program).

The Philadelphia Mural Arts program has dedicated their new public art project, journey2home, to homeless youth in the city. According to last year’s data by People’s Emergency Center, more than 5,000 kids in Philadelphia are homeless. The project includes two murals created by artists Ernel Martinez and Shira Walinsky at 42nd and Lancaster in the Mantua neighborhood. The opening celebration will take place on Friday, Oct. 10, 4 – 7 p.m.

Journey2home is a year-long, socially engaged project initiated by the Mural Arts program in collaboration with youth enrolled in the Mural Arts Art Education Program. At the apex of a green space at 42nd and Lancaster sits a transformed shipping container, a metaphor for home. It has a front porch, an information bulletin board, a resource area, storage, and a dining room with table, chairs and bookshelves.

The two-wall mural, titled Home Safe, is located across the street from the shipping container and represents the culmination of two years of work with homeless and housing-insecure youth in West Philadelphia.

Community members are invited this Friday to a pop-up outdoor gathering space at 42nd and Lancaster where the project opening celebration will be held. The celebration will include the dedication of the Home Safe murals, as well as other art and sound installations, film, music and food.

For more details on the project, images and videos, visit the journey2home blog.

Here’s a short film about the project:

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