Street improvement work to begin in West Philadelphia on Monday, May 27 (track it now online!)

May 24, 2019

Street improvement work will take place in West Philadelphia during the week of May 27th in the areas covered by the 16th and 19th Police Department – including portions of Vine Street, Aspen Street, Malvern Avenue, Wynnefield Avenue and some other areas. The work schedule includes temporary full street closures and parking restrictions. The work will be completed in separate phases – milling, adjusting of manhole covers, and resetting of utility boxes – which will take place in separate activities over the course of the week.  Continue Reading

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Get your kids excited about science, sign up for free ACES program at UPenn

May 24, 2019

On Saturday, June 1, the Activities for Community Education in Science (ACES) outreach program at the University of Pennsylvania, is inviting students in grades 3rd-8th to perform a diverse and exciting line-up of experiments. Each student will have an opportunity to perform and discuss several different experiments in small groups, engaging in science demonstrations with other attendees.

Experiments will include:

• Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream
• Balloon-Powered Cars
• Colorful Chemistry
• Gold Nanoparticles
• Separating Dyes with Electricity
• Marshmallow Spaghetti Towers  Continue Reading

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Gauthier wins 3rd District in upset of longtime incumbent Blackwell

May 22, 2019

Jamie Gauthier

Political newcomer Jamie Gauthier pulled off the biggest upset in Tuesday’s primary election, handily defeating longtime incumbent Jannie Blackwell in the City Council 3rd District race. The win appears to end the 45-year reign of the Blackwell family in the district, which has undergone massive demographic changes in recent years.

Gauthier garnered about 56 percent of the approximately 25,000 votes cast and with no Republican candidate in Tuesday’s primary, the win almost assures her victory in the November general election.  Continue Reading

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A look at the 278-unit apartment building coming to former church site at 43rd and Chestnut

May 21, 2019

Plans for the 7-story apartment building coming to the former site of the Christ Memorial Church at 43rd and Chestnut came before the Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee on Monday as part of the civic design review process, the final community-focused step before building begins.

Residents could suggest things like facade materials and types of street trees, but it’s unlikely the plans will change much.  Continue Reading

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Walnut Street ramp to I-76 East to close tonight for 25 days; Chestnut Street Bridge to close in June

May 20, 2019

The Walnut Street ramp to I-76 East at 30th Street will close tonight at 7 p.m. for 25 days of construction, according to an announcement by PennDOT. Motorists will be redirected west on Walnut Street, left on 38th Street to University Avenue, and then south on 34th Street to access the ramp to eastbound I-76. The ramp is scheduled to reopen on Friday, June 14 (weather permitting).

The ramp repairs are part of PennDOT’s $103.6 million project to rehabilitate the Chestnut Street bridge over the Schuylkill River and seven other nearby structures, including the westbound I-76 ramp to 30th Street and the Walnut Street on-ramp to eastbound I-76 at 30th Street. The Chestnut Street bridge over the Schuylkill River is scheduled to close for approximately one year beginning in mid-June for major rehabilitation — including steel repairs, repainting and re-decking.

For more information about the project, visit

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Don’t forget to vote: Tuesday’s primaries could reshape city government and courts for years to come

May 20, 2019

votePrimaries for registered Democrats and Republicans around the city are Tuesday, May 21 in an election that could reshape city politics for years to come.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow. You can find your polling place by going here.

The mayor’s seat and all 17 City Council seats (10 district and 7 at-large) are up for election this year. And in Philadelphia, where Democrats dominate local politics, most races are decided in the primaries.

Instead of providing an exhaustive list of candidates, we have decided to provide links to folks who have compiled a variety of perspectives.  Continue Reading

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Proposal for 278-unit building at 43rd and Chestnut to get design hearing on Monday

May 19, 2019

The Spruce Hill Community Association (SHCA) zoning committee will have its monthly meeting on Monday, May 20, where more details will be revealed about the mixed-use complex proposed on the site of the demolished Memorial Christ Church at 43rd and Chestnut. The property was sold to Alterra Property Group for $17 million earlier this year.

The proposed complex will reportedly include 278 residential units, ground-floor retail, below-grade accessory parking for 54 vehicles, and 109 bicycle spots. The property is in a CMX-4 Commercial Mixed-Use Zoning District, so this proposal complies with the existing zoning code and already has conditional approval. However, due to the size of the project, it must go before the City Planning Commission’s “civic design review” process. An early step in that process is a presentation to the appropriate coordinating RCO (Registered Community Organization), which is the SHCA Zoning Committee.  Continue Reading

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Cedar Park scholarship applications now open

May 17, 2019

Click to enlarge.

Applications for the 2019-2020 Gary Bronson Memorial Scholarship are now available. Now through June 15, 2019, the Cedar Park Neighbors Scholarship Committee is accepting applications from young adults living in the neighborhood who are pursuing higher education.

Both new and returning applicants are welcome to apply for this year’s scholarship, as long you live within the boundaries of the Cedar Park neighborhood (see map).

All information about eligibility and applications are available here: Reading

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Construction permit issued for 132-unit residential/commercial building across from Clark Park

May 16, 2019

4224 Baltimore Avenue project rendering (via

After more than six years of planning, building permits were recently issued for the 132-unit residential/commercial complex on the vacant lot across from Clark Park at 4224 Baltimore Avenue.

Permit for the construction of the six-story building was issued on May 7, according to the City’s Department of Licences and InspectionsContinue Reading

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Police report high number of thefts from autos recently

May 15, 2019

There has been an uptick in thefts from cars in the area, according to police, with the most recent cases reported in the area of 41st and Market and 40th and Ludlow Streets. Thieves got entry inside cars by breaking windows, according to police.

In a recent tweet, Matthew Gillespie, the Commanding Officer of the 18th Police District, which covers West Philadelphia neighborhoods south of Market Street, reminded area residents and visitors who park their cars on the streets to take all their belongings from their vehicle:  Continue Reading

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Annual ‘Ride of Silence’ to be held Wednesday for cyclists killed on area streets

May 14, 2019

       Photo from

The annual Ride of Silence to raise awareness of cycling safety and honor those killed in bicycle accidents will take place Wednesday, May 15 beginning at 6:45 p.m. at the base of the Philadelphia Art Museum steps.

The 8-mile ride will proceed down Benjamin Franklin Parkway, around City Hall and across the Walnut Street Bridge into West Philly before returning to the Art Museum. It should last about an hour.

Five cyclists have been killed in the Delaware Valley over the past year, according to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater PhiladelphiaContinue Reading

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Party in the Park with Friends of Clark Park this Saturday (sponsored post)

May 14, 2019

Friends of Clark Park presents Party in the Park on Saturday, May 18, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. This year’s party will feature food trucks, Dock Street beer, wine, Lil’ Pop Shop, live music, pop-up art from the University City Arts League, and family fun – at Clark Park (43rd and Baltimore).

Party in the Park is free to attend and open to all ages. Food and beverages will be pay-as-you-go with alcohol specials for Friends of Clark Park members. Event attendees may sign up for membership at the event to take advantage of the specials.  Continue Reading

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City Council candidate Jamie Gauthier hosting last meet-and-greets before primary election

May 13, 2019

City Council candidate for the 3rd District, Jamie Gauthier, is hosting two last meet-and-greets this week before the May 21 primary election. Both of these meet-and-greets will take place at her campaign headquarters at 5121 Baltimore Ave.:

Wednesday, May 15
Time: 6pm-8pm

Thursday, May 16
Time: 6pm-8pm

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

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

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Spruce street closures this week for Penn Move-out

May 13, 2019


The spring semester has come to an end at the University of Pennsylvania, and its students will be moving out from their dorms this week. Due to the move-out, the university has announced the following street closures:

Spruce Street will be closed to all traffic except emergency vehicles from 34th to 40th Streets, in both directions, on Tuesday, May 14 and Wednesday, May 15 from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Please note that bikes will need to be walked on Spruce Street while it is closed to traffic.

Septa Routes 40 and 42 will be re-routed during the street closure (visit for information on each bus route).

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StoryCorps coming to record at The Porch at 30th Street Station

May 13, 2019

The national oral history recording project StoryCorps is coming to record at The Porch at 30th Street Station from May 28 through June 26.

The StoryCorps MobileBooth (Photo by Ryan Dorgan).

You can reserve a recording spot (there is a limited number) tomorrow, May 14, beginning at 10 a.m. by calling the project’s 24-hour reservation line at 1-800-850-4406 or by visiting

StoryCorps’ MobileBooth allows two people to record a conversation between them about “who they are, what they’ve learned in life, and how they want to be remembered,” according to the project. A StoryCorps facilitator will help with the interview. Here are some tips for effective interviews.  Continue Reading

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Get rid of hazardous waste safely this Saturday in West Philly

May 9, 2019

On Saturday, May 11, the Streets Department will be holding a special event in West Philly for those who want to get rid of hazardous waste safely. If you have any used or unwanted toxic, flammable, corrosive or reactive products (check the label), you may bring them to the 1st District Highway Yard at 4800 Parkside Ave. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday.

Some of the items accepted at this hazardous waste drop-off event are:

– antifreeze
– moth balls
– pesticide
– gasoline
– oil-based paints
– spray paints
– acids
– lithium/NiCad batteries  Continue Reading

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Lots of debate, but no vote on new plan for 4820 Chester Ave.

May 8, 2019

The presentation of revised plan for a 12-unit apartment building at 4820 Chester Ave. during a meeting last night at Kingsessing Recreation Center (photo by West Philly Local).

The owners of an empty lot at 4820 Chester Ave. presented a scaled-down proposal for a 12-unit apartment building during a zoning meeting last night. But in the end it didn’t really matter.

Last night’s meeting, hosted by Southwest Philadelphia District Services at the Kingsessing Recreation Center, was the latest iteration of an ongoing debate about the property at the corner of 49th and Chester. The lot is zoned for a semi-detached, two-family structure. The original proposal of a four-story, 18-unit building received considerable community pushback, so the developer hired a new architect and proposed a revised plan that included 12 units.  Continue Reading

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Spruce Hill May Fair returns this Saturday: Vendors, petting zoo, plant sale, $1 raffle and more!

May 7, 2019

The 61st Annual Spruce Hill May Fair will be held at Clark Park on Saturday, May 11th from noon to 6 p.m. (rain date is Sunday, May 12). The event is the primary fundraiser for the Spruce Hill Community Association (SHCA). Proceeds go to support local schools and other organizations and sponsor popular neighborhood activities.

This year’s May Fair will feature the following events and activities:

  • Over 50 local vendors offering a wide range of arts and crafts and other unique products, including many gift ideas for Mother’s Day. Others will have information about local groups and causes seeking public support.
  • Exciting musical line-up with Dan Blacksburg and the Haimishers and special guests Compas 48.
  • The University City Garden Club will hold its annual plant sale.
  • Food for every taste will be provided by some wonderful food vendors.
  • For the kids, there will be a petting zoo, a bounce house and 40-foot-long inflatable obstacle course, and professional face-painting.
  • $1 raffle will feature great prizes donated by local merchants.

Continue Reading

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Ramadan begins; Check out special hours/closings at popular restaurants

May 7, 2019

A sign inside Saad’s Halal restaurant.

The fasting month of Ramadan began on Sunday evening, and this is a reminder that some local businesses will be closed or have limited hours during this month.

As usual, Saad’s Halal (45th and Walnut) will be closed during the month and will reopen on June 8th.

Manakeesh Cafe and Bakery across the street will be closed during the day for the month of Ramadan (until June 4th). It will be open in the evening from 7:30 p.m. for order pickup and for dinner from 8:00 to 10:30 p.m. It’s also accepting iftar catering orders during this month (please email

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