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Celebration for a West Philly street this Saturday

Posted on 23 September 2016

On Saturday, Sept. 24, community members and guests are invited to celebrate Viola Street in the Parkside section of West Philadelphia. There will be food, music, African dancers, an oral history project, community asset mapping, and other activities. The event highlights the history of the area and is a collaborative effort between residents of Parkside and neighborhood organizations, such as Viola Street Residents Association, and various large city organizations, such as Fairmount Park Conservancy, Free Library of Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

The event will be held from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on in the Viola Street Alley (42nd Street between Parkside Avenue and Viola Street; see map below).

In the recent years, there have been efforts to revitalize the area, including fixing up historic Flemish Revival brick row homes, turning vacant properties into new residences and greening the street. Read more about these efforts here.

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‘The Birds’ to open Curio’s 2016-2017 season

Posted on 23 September 2016

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Photo by Rebecca Gudelunas

OK, now here is something to look forward to as the days get shorter and the leaves begin to fall. Curio Theatre Company will be staging The Birds in October.

Yes, we’re talking Hitchcock (based on Daphne du Maurier’s novelette, of course). Irish playwright Conor McPherson’s play builds on the story of birds gone wild as three people retreat to an abandoned farmhouse, where relationships begin to unravel. As it becomes clear that the birds are a signal of the apocalypse, the rules of society change.

While it shares its name with du Maurier’s work, which was set in her native Cornwall, England, and Hithcock’s frightening film, McPherson’s work charts its own course that includes explorations of human frailty under extreme duress.  Continue Reading

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New West Philly club hits a bullseye

Posted on 21 September 2016

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There’s a new sport on this side of the river and it’s catching on. The new West Philly Archery club has informally been created, thanks to Gabriel Nyantakyi. With about eight years of archery experience under his belt, he’s taught a couple of summer camps here and there and currently considers himself a hobbyist. He can be seen shooting at Kingsessing Park at 49th and Chester, but he wants to teach others how to participate in the sport as well. Which is why he started West Philly Archery.

When I asked Nyantakyi if he worried about shooting in a public space and if there were any safety issues, he said, “Safety is always a priority haven’t had any incidence in my eight years of teaching and shooting.”  Continue Reading

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Penn Museum to hold free Public Classroom series on Science and Race

Posted on 20 September 2016

While scientists agree that many common assumptions about race are wrong the consequences of racism are very real. This fall, the Penn Museum (3260 South St) on the University of Pennsylvania campus, will bring together more than two dozen internationally recognized experts from diverse backgrounds for an in-depth and powerful exploration about race, science, and justice in a free series of five evening classes geared to adults and young adults (14 and above).

publicclassroomThe Public Classroom @ Penn Museum: Science and Race: History, Use, and Abuse will run non-consecutive Wednesdays, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., beginning September 21 (September 28; October 26; November 9; November 16). Individuals can sign up for one, several, or all sessions. Seating is limited and advance registration is recommended. Interested individuals can sign up at: penn.museum/pmclassroom.

For those who can’t attend the program at the museum, there will be live streaming of the program on the website.  Continue Reading

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Stories emerge about victims in Friday night shooting spree (updated)

Posted on 20 September 2016

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                Shooting victim Sara Salih

While the man whose shooting rampage had parts of West Philly in fear on Friday night expressed a hatred for police, the bullets he fired did far more damage to innocent people in the neighborhood.

Stories have emerged about other victims, including 25-year-old Sara Salih. She was killed when shooter Nicholas Glenn began firing shots at random bystanders as he fled after firing 18 shots at a police officer at 52nd and Sansom. Police later killed Glenn in a shootout near 48th and Sansom.

Salih’s father, an Ethiopian immigrant who heard the shots that killed his daughter, talked to Philadelphia Inquirer Sam Wood about the tragedy.

UPDATE: Sara’s friends have created a GoFundMe page to help her family.

The Inquirer‘s Stephanie Farr reported the story of Martice Washington, a bouncer at Maximum Level Lounge near 52nd and Sansom (one of his three jobs) who was shot in both legs. Washington has two children and is married to a Philadelphia police officer, according to reports. Continue Reading

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Support Garden Court Community Association at Progressive Dinner 2016

Posted on 19 September 2016

gardencourtHere’s a chance to visit a few beautiful homes of Garden Court, get to know your neighbors, and dine on gourmet meals prepared by talented neighborhood chefs. The Progressive Dinner, the annual fundraising event for Garden Court Community Association (GCCA) will be held on Saturday (Sept. 24) and will supporting the Cheryl Roebuck Scholarship fund, neighborhood projects, and a summer camp

The Progressive Dinner starts at a home near 46th and Cedar for check-in and appetizers, then moves on to another for the main course, and ends with dessert and dancing at Take The Lead Studios at 47th and Pine.

After purchasing a ticket ($45/$40 for GCCA members) choose one style of cuisine from a selection that includes:

• Italian
• Mexican
• Tunisian
• Caribbean
• Fish/ Vegetarian
• Belgian

Note: Children under the age of 12 are not permitted to attend this event.  Continue Reading

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Two police officers, others shot near 51st and Sansom; suspect dead (updated)

Posted on 17 September 2016

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The 4700 block of Sansom Street, pictured here, and several other blocks remained closed Saturday morning (Photo by West Philly Local).

UPDATE (Sept. 17, 2016, 6:40 p.m.): Two police officers were shot and two civilians were killed, including the suspect, near 51st and Sansom Friday night in what started as an ambush of a police sergeant at about 11:20 p.m., police said.

Others shot included two people outside a bar near 51st and Sansom and two people inside a car nearby, according to police commissioner Richard Ross in an early morning press conference. A 25-year-old woman in the car was also killed, according to police, and the driver was in critical condition.

Police have identified the shooter as Nicholas Glenn, 25, of West Philly.

What Ross called a “completely bizarre situation” began when Glenn fired 18 shots at police Sgt. Sylvia Young as she sat inside her police cruiser at 52nd and Sansom. Young suffered a gunshot wound to the arm. Bullets also hit her protective vest. The suspect then shot four civilians and a University of Pennsylvania Police Department officer. Both police officers were in stable condition, according to police.

Police shot and killed Glenn after a foot pursuit that lasted a couple of blocks. The Penn police officer and other confronted the suspect along 48th Street between Sansom and Walnut and opened fire. The Penn officer was shot in the leg and the suspect was killed, Ross said.

Several blocks around 51st and Sansom were still closed to traffic and pedestrians on Saturday morning as the police investigation continued.

Police flooded into the area after a citywide alert went out requesting assistance. All public transportation was also shut down. Police reopened the search area, from 47th to 53rd Street and Market to Pine at about midnight.

Glenn had a long criminal record and police said they found a note on him in which he expresses animosity toward police.

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There was also shooting along 48th Street between Walnut and Sansom, where police continued the investigation Saturday morning (Photo by West Philly Local).

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Science Leadership Academy Middle School opens in Powelton; Opening celebration Sept 20

Posted on 16 September 2016

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Photo via Drexel.edu

A new public middle school has opened in West Philly, in an area that definitely needs one. On Tuesday, Sept. 20, the School District of Philadelphia, Drexel University and Inquiry School will celebrate the opening of the new Science Leadership Academy Middle School (SLA-MS) at Drexel’s Dana and David Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships in the Powelton neighborhood.

Drexel University and Philadelphia School District officials, including Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite, will join SLA-MS students, staff and families at a ribbon-cutting ceremony, which will begin at 10:30 a.m.

Dornsife Center (3509 Spring Garden) is just a temporary location for the new school while plans are underway to build the school’s permanent home on the site of the now demolished former University City High School and Drew Elementary School near 38th and Filbert. Most of the fifth grade students who enrolled in SLA-MS came from nearby Samuel Powel Elementary, a highly rated K-4 school.

Drexel’s School of Education supports the middle school with help in planning and executing the curriculum, similar to the arrangement Penn has with the Penn Alexander School.

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Parking spaces to turn into parks for Park(ing) Day Philly

Posted on 15 September 2016

Park(ing) Day is coming to Philadelphia on Friday, Sept. 16 and local activists, designers and citizens will transform street or metered parking spots into temporary public parks (aka “parklets”). So far here’s what’s happening in West Philly, and everyone is welcome to stop by and enjoy the following parks:

  • parkingdayRepair the World Philadelphia will create a parklet on the 200 block of S. 40th St.
  • People’s Emergency Center (PEC) will create parks at 3750 and 4116 Lancaster Ave. There will be a seating area open to the public and activities throughout the day.

Many more parklets will be created throughout the city this Friday, so check out this interactive map.

The event will be held from approximately 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Park(ing) Day is a worldwide event held on the third Friday in September.

And just a reminder that there are several more permanent parklets in University City that pop us every spring, so we hope you’re enjoying them while the weather is still warm. If you need a reminder where they are, check out this post.

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Big Annual Hamilton Street Porch Sale returns Saturday, Sept. 17

Posted on 14 September 2016

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hamiltonsstporchsaleOne of the largest and longest running community porch sales, the Hamilton Street Porch Sale, will be held this Saturday (Sept. 17), from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Every year, more than 100 vendors sell their wares, such as household items, clothes, cookware, books, and many other items at this four-block long porch sale, from 34th to 38th Streets in Powelton Village. There will also be food and drinks prepared by neighbors and local organizations.

Hamilton Street Porch Sale began in 1981 and is still going strong! The sale is usually held on the 2nd Saturday after Labor Day every, but this year was postponed by one week. Rain date is Sunday, Sept. 18.

Check out the event’s Facebook page for more information and photos. If you would like to get involved, email: HamiltonStreetPorchSale@gmail.com

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Rally to save Wiota Street Garden planned for Sunday, Sept. 18

Posted on 13 September 2016

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Photo from the Wiota St. Garden’s Facebook page.

Community members are invited to attend a rally in West Powelton on Sunday, Sept. 18 in another attempt to save the Wiota Street Community Garden from development. The garden was established in 1984 on a vacant lot at the corner of Wiota St. and Powelton Ave. and has been providing area residents with fresh produce for eight months of the year since then. Plans were revealed in 2014 to build housing on the site of the garden, but tenuous community consensus to preserve the garden was reached at a December 2014 public meeting with Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell. However, the garden has again come under threat as reported recently by Hidden City.

The rally will be held at the garden (4022 Powelton Ave.), beginning at 4 p.m., and the organizers are asking the participants to bring a picnic.  Continue Reading

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Neighborhood Bike Works turning 20 – Party and Bike Drive this Saturday

Posted on 09 September 2016

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Neighborhood Bike Works, the West Philly youth bike education program, is turning 20 years old and will hold a birthday party and a bike drive on Saturday, Sept. 10.

nbwanniversary2The celebration will be held from 3 – 7 p.m. at NBW’s location at 3939 Lancaster Ave. As for birthday gifts, the organization is in need of more used bikes, parts, and accessories and will be ready to take bike donations at the party to benefit their youth bike education programming.

The party will include cool free raffles (extra tickets for donating a bike!); cake, Weckerly’s ice cream sandwiches and snacks from Trader Joe’s; and Goldsprints (head-to-head stationary bike racing) provided by the Philly Bike Messenger Association.

Check out the event’s Facebook page for more info. (Photos courtesy of Neighborhood Bike Works)

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Public, Archdiocesan schools to dismiss early on Friday, Sept 9 due to heat

Posted on 08 September 2016

The school year has just begun, but we have our first early dismissal due to lingering hot weather. The School District of Philadelphia has announced that all public schools will dismiss at noon on Friday, Sept. 9 due to the high temperatures forecasted for tomorrow (the temperatures are expected to reach the mid-90s). All after-school activities including all athletic programs and professional development classes scheduled for Friday are also canceled as well. All District early childhood centers will remain open as per their regular schedule.

All Archdiocesan schools will also dismiss at noon this Friday.

 

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Ice Cave brings its cool desserts to Baltimore Ave

Posted on 08 September 2016

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Ice Cave owner Po Chang and dessert chef Jessica Wang (Photo by Rana Fayez/West Philly Local)

People of West Philadelphia, you no longer have to travel to Chinatown for Taiwanese shaved ice treats. Ice Cave has opened at 4507 Baltimore Ave next to Atiya Ola’s and The Nesting House.

This is only one of a number of new businesses opening up on Baltimore Ave this year. Flavors such as strawberry, matcha, coffee, peanut and mango are on the menu with toppings like mango, kiwi and berries. If shaved ice is not your thing the shop also sells some of its flavors in a popsicle format.

Owner Po Chang graduated from Drexel in 2012 but decided to stay in West Philadelphia after earning his degree in Public Health. His dessert chef, Jessica Wang, was trained in Taiwan for five years in the craft of shaved ice.

If you like cold treats for breakfast, you may be out of luck. The shop is open 2 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Saturday. On Fridays it closes at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m.

Not sure if you’re into it? Come out to the Dollar Stroll tonight to try it, the shop will be selling sample sizes for $1.

Rana Fayez

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Woman shot, wounded during ‘targeted’ robbery near 52nd and Filbert

Posted on 08 September 2016

A 31-year-old woman was shot and wounded Wednesday night, shortly before 9 p.m., during a robbery near 52nd and Filbert, according to police. An unknown male approached the woman while she was standing outside with a group of men and attempted to grab her purse. A struggle ensued during which the suspect pulled out a gun and opened fire at the woman striking her in the left breast and left wrist, according to a police report. She was taken to Presbyterian Hospital and was listed in stable condition.

A police source said that the robbery was not random. She “was definitely targeted,” he said.

After shooting the woman, the suspect ran off with her purse south on 52nd Street and west on Filbert. Police later retrieved the purse in a nearby empty lot.

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Fringe Festival kicks off Sept 9: Check out West Philly events; support West Philly artists

Posted on 07 September 2016

FringeArtsphotoThe annual celebration of Philly arts and artists, The Fringe Festival, will be held from Sept. 9 through Sept. 24. This year, the festival has expanded its reach and is presenting an array of outstanding contemporary theater, music, dance and other performances at city-wide locations, including many events in West Philadelphia.

Here’s information on some of the performances to be held in West Philly. We also included shows by West Philly’s all-female aerial dance company, Tangle (for more festival events and tickets, visit: fringearts.com).

Shakespeare @ the Bar: The Taming of the Shrew

Sept 11, 7:30 p.m. – City Tap House (3925 Walnut St)

Fire up your Tinder profile (seriously) and get ready for Shakespeare @ the Bar, a no‐holds‐barred experience of Shakespeare like no other in Philadelphia! This lightly rehearsed production of the Bard’s most irreverent romantic comedy exposes one man’s lusty, raucous scheme to “take one for the team” and get filthy rich in the process. FREE. Go here for more details.  Continue Reading

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Get “buzzed” at Bartram’s Garden this Sunday

Posted on 06 September 2016

honeyfest1Bartram’s Garden will be hosting the annual Philadelphia Honey Festival this Sunday (Sept. 11). The festival will feature a bunch of fun and educational events and activities for the whole family, include honey tastings and sales from local beekeepers. Festivities will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and daytime events are free and open to the public. Check out the Bartram’s Garden website for more details.

One of the special events planned as part of the festival is the “Buzzed” Ice Cream Social fundraiser, featuring Little Baby’s ice cream, Art in the Age cocktails, and boozy ice cream floats!

Guests are invited to sample the exclusive new Bartram’s Garden flavor from Little Baby’s Ice Cream and enjoy Philly-themed favorites from Art in the Age, which is crafting a number of specialty concoctions specifically for the event including a Bartram-inspired cocktail.

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Photos courtesy of Bartram’s Garden

Tickets are $15 ($12 for Bartram’s Garden members) and include your first drink and first ice cream or float. All guests will need to provide photo ID before being served alcohol. Click here to buy your ticket online.

The event will be held from 3 – 5 p.m. and all ages are welcome.

Bartram’s Garden is located at 5400 Lindbergh Blvd. and you can get there by public transportation (Trolley Route 36) or by bike. Parking is also available.

For more information, visit: bartramsgarden.org.

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2016’s only Dollar Stroll is this Thursday

Posted on 06 September 2016

VIXThe Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll is returning this week. The popular West Philly event, which is now held only once a year, will take place on Thursday (Sept. 8), 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. As always, this is a great chance for local businesses to showcase their signature products and for locals to enjoy $1 samples and deals. Well-known businesses, as well as newcomers will participate in the event (about 40 businesses overall).

Here’s what you should look for: $1 samples of everything from samosas to slices of pizza, cheesesteaks, ice cream and small pours of beer, but also highlights businesses offering pet supplies, children’s clothes and toys, handmade items, plants, and more. Vendors line the sidewalks and people are encouraged to walk up and down the avenue between 43rd and 52nd Streets sampling all sorts of food and drinks.

Baltimore Avenue Dollar StrollThe Dollar Stroll will also feature street performers and live music.

The goal of the Dollar Stroll is to celebrate established businesses on Baltimore Avenue while introducing visitors to new stores and restaurants, such as Black Hound Clay Studio, Amari’s restaurant, Vital Step Physical Therapy & Fitness, and more.

For the list of participating businesses and their $1 bargains, visit the event’s Facebook page.

The event is organized by the University City District (UCD) and Baltimore Avenue Business Association (BABA).

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West Philly barbers teaming up for ‘Back 2 School’ free haircutting event this Sunday

Posted on 02 September 2016

barberswhocareMore than 20 West Philly-based barbers will be at the West Philadelphia branch of YMCA this Sunday (Sept. 4) to provide free haircuts for youths as they prepare for the upcoming school year. This is the 2nd annual “Back 2 School” free hair-cutting event organized by the local group “Barbers Who Care.”

The event will run from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. and will also include child friendly activities, music, and special guests. West Philly YMCA is located at 5120 Chestnut Street.

Dozens received free haircuts at last year’s event.

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