Hot Taco Massacre and more Halloween, Day of the Dead events

Posted on 26 October 2016

Halloween 9

Halloween is almost here, so if you’re looking for something fun to do check out our assorted list of events below. We also included Day of the Dead events in the neighborhood. Also, a reminder that the Spruce Hill Halloween Tot Parade will take place on Monday, Oct. 31, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Philly Thriller dancers usually perform after the parade – near 44th and Osage and in Clark Park – so if you want to catch their performance follow them on Facebook for more information and updates.  Continue Reading

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What’s going on with 4224 Baltimore project?

Posted on 25 October 2016


The lot at 4224 Baltimore Ave.

After years of planning and community meeting after community meeting, people are starting to wonder if the grand residential building proposed for the corner of 43rd and Baltimore will ever get built.


Residents look over plans during a community meeting on 4224 Baltimore Ave. in September 2014 (Photo by West Philly Local).

“I’ve given up going to the Farmers’ Market on Saturdays because I’m tired of people asking me what the problem is,” Barry Grossbach, the chair of Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee said at a recent meeting.

In case you had forgotten, construction on a 132-unit residential building at 4224 Baltimore Ave. complete with a full-service restaurant overlooking Clark Park was supposed to begin this summer. Delays on construction projects in the city are not that uncommon, so observers of the process waited. Soil samples were taken, more engineering studies were ordered, construction plans were submitted and re-submitted. But nothing has happened at the large, empty lot at 43rd and Baltimore.  Continue Reading

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Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center founder to receive prestigious award

Posted on 24 October 2016

williamsgreenWest Philly educator Carole Williams-Green, who founded the Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center, will be honored by the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education with the 2016 Meigs Award. The award is given annually to a regional leader who embodies the spirit and leadership of Henry Meigs, one of the Schuylkill Center’s founders.

A former public school teacher and administrator, Williams-Green led a successful multi-decade effort to rehabilitate the historic Fairmount Park Police stables in Fairmount Park’s Cobbs Creek, creating an environmental education center. Founded in 1991, the Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center opened its doors in 2001.

Williams-Green has made a substantial contribution to environmental education in the Philadelphia region, reaching communities often excluded from traditional environmental education. She explains that “it bothered [her] that children from West Philadelphia had to travel so far to get these kinds of experiences [in nature], ones that really excited children.”  Continue Reading

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Volunteers sought for ‘Love Your Park’ Fall Service Day

Posted on 24 October 2016

lyp-f16-postcard-image-no-logosThe annual “Love Your Park” Fall Service Day is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 12, and Philadelphia Parks and Rec is now recruiting volunteers who can help clean, green and celebrate Philly’s parks. Overall, 2,000 volunteers are needed to help plant trees, collect leaves for compost, clean up trash and litter, and more.

There are many beautiful parks in West Philly, and volunteers can sign up to participate in the fall service day in their neighborhood park. Kids, families and large groups are welcome.

Go to or call (215) 683-3689 for participating parks and to register.

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Spruce Hill Halloween Tot Parade to be held Oct. 31

Posted on 20 October 2016

Halloween 10Every year, the Spruce Hill Community Association (SHCA) and residents organize a Halloween Parade and Party when our little neighbors can showcase their cute/scary/funny costumes. This year is no exception. The parade will be held on Monday, Oct. 31, beginning at 4:30 p.m. (gathering starts after 4 p.m. at 45th and Baltimore).

The parade will proceed to the 4200 block of Osage Ave. (Little Osage) where the annual Halloween Party will be held until 7 p.m. Neighbors and local businesses will be treating the tots to cider and baked goods.

The parade has taken place over the past eighteen years and has grown each year.

For more information, visit the SHCA website. Also, check this Facebook event page for latest information.

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Permanent chess tables, other updates coming to Clark Park’s North Park

Posted on 20 October 2016


The northern section of Clark Park at 43rd and Baltimore (Clark Park “A”) has been under construction this week. The work includes installation of long-awaited permanent chess tables to “replace the ratty units the players now employ,” according to the Friends of Clark Park website, and restoration of the layer of gravel that covers the plaza, which hasn’t been updated since 2009.

A rough estimate of the cost of this project is $15,000, and the funding became possible thanks to Friends of Clark Park membership dollars.

Continue Reading

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Mood Cafe expanding to 45th and Sansom

Posted on 19 October 2016


Mood Cafe’s second location will open this fall at 126 S. 45th Street. (Photo by West Philly Local)

The popular Indian/Pakistani chaat restaurant on Baltimore Ave, Mood Cafe, is expanding to a second location in the area – 45th and Sansom – with plans to open in two to three weeks. Owner Hasan Bukhari wanted to make sure customers knew he wasn’t shutting down the old location. “It’s not a new location, it’s an expansion,” he said.

The new location will have more menu offerings with hot food favorites such as Chicken Tikka Masala, Biryani and Lamb Rogan Gosh. “I’d like to introduce the people to really good food. The cooking style will be closer to homestyle cooking, we’re going to have a very selective menu… Over there, I’m thinking we’ll start delivery at some point. But for now, we’ll only offer takeout and a place for people to sit,” Bukhari explained.  Continue Reading

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Final presidential debate viewing parties in West Philly

Posted on 18 October 2016

If you’re going to watch the final presidential debate before the election, check out these viewing parties in West Philly. The debate is this Wednesday (Oct. 19), and begins at 9 p.m. There are various starting times for the parties though, so check out more information below. Also, the following West Philly/University City bars usually host watch parties: The Bar(n) (49th and Catharine), City Tap House (39th and Walnut), as well as the Hillary Clinton SW Philly Office (533 S. 52nd St).


Drexel Dems Presidential Debate Watch Party

8-11 p.m., Wahoo’s (3180 Chestnut St)


West Philly 3rd Presidential Debate Watch Party

8-11 p.m., Cavanaugh’s Restaurant & Sports Bar (119 S 39th St)  Continue Reading

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Zoning proposals: Another restaurant adjacent to Clarkville; bakery on 4300 block of Spruce

Posted on 14 October 2016


The first floor of the residential building connected to the left side of Clarkville at 43rd and Baltimore would be converted into a restaurant under a proposal considered last night by the Spruce Hill Zoning Association (Photo from Google Street View).

The Spruce Hill Community Association considered a proposal last night to convert the first floor of the row home adjacent to Clarkville at 43rd and Baltimore into a small restaurant amid concerns from some neighbors of commercial encroachment in residential areas.

Brought by the owners of the Clarkville building (not the business itself), the proposal for 4303 Baltimore includes an 1,100-square-foot restaurant on the first floor and renovated, high-end apartments on the second and third floors. In the past, the building housed three apartments, but is in rough shape, said Tom Lussenhop of Best House Partners, the building owners since May.

The proposal requires a variance for the first-floor restaurant, which has yet to be decided on (they’re open to suggestions). It will not have a liquor license.  Continue Reading

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Developers eye parking lot for apartment building on 4000 block of Baltimore

Posted on 14 October 2016


Developers pitch a proposal for an apartment building at 4045 Baltimore to the Spruce Hill Community Association Zoning Committee on Thursday evening (Photo by West Philly Local)

The owners of a parking lot on the 4000 block of Baltimore are proposing a five-story, 55-unit apartment building.

New Horizons Housing, which owns the lot at 4045 Baltimore Ave. (see Google Street View image below) and an adjacent apartment building, brought the proposal before the Spruce Hill Zoning Committee last night for feedback. A formal zoning request has not yet been made.

An apartment building once stood on the lot, but burned down in the mid 1980s. The proposed building would include mostly 450-square-foot, one-bedroom units and a few studios.

Under one version of the proposal, the plan includes a small 900-square-foot retail space. Concerns included the proposed building’s height. At 71 feet, it would be about 15 feet higher than a nearby apartment building (owned by the same developers) and would be the tallest structure in the immediate area.  Continue Reading

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Tour EAT Café and meet its staff at Community Open House this Friday

Posted on 13 October 2016

eatcafeflierEAT Café, Philly’s first nonprofit, pay-what-you-want restaurant, is opening this month at 3820 Lancaster Avenue, and neighbors are invited to check it out this Friday (Oct. 14) from 4:30-6:30 p.m. during a Community Open House.

This is an opportunity for the community to become introduced to EAT Café, its staff, and its unique payment model before the restaurant officially opens for business. All are welcome, and refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public, and coincides with Lancaster Avenue’s Second Friday.

EAT Café’s Grand Opening date is Wednesday, Oct. 26. Check out this page for updates.

In case you missed it check out our earlier story on EAT Café and the people and organizations behind it here.

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Restaurants, bakery under Spruce Hill zoning consideration

Posted on 12 October 2016

The Spruce Hill Zoning Committee will be meeting Thursday, Oct. 13 to take up three RCO cases, and community members are invited to participate in the meeting. Additionally, revised drawings for a proposed apartment building at 4043 Baltimore Avenue will be reviewed (this project is currently in the “talking stage” and no zoning has been applied for).

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the cases heard will be:

• 4407 Pine Street – currently zoned for two units, application seeks four units

• 4301-4303 Baltimore Avenue – application for lot adjustment to create one lot out of two, and for a sit down restaurant in first floor and front of the 2nd floor in 4303. 4301 Baltimore Avenue is currently occupied by Clarkville bar and restaurant.

• 4323-31 Spruce Street – application for a take out restaurant (bakery).  Continue Reading

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Free and family-friendly: Bartram’s Garden to host Harvest Fest, John Bartram Jawn this Sunday (Oct 16)

Posted on 12 October 2016


John Bartram Jawn 2016, a free concert featuring Southwest Philly artists, will take place Sunday, Oct. 16 at Bartram’s Garden.

On Sunday, Oct. 16, Bartram’s Garden will be hosting Harvest Fest, an annual free community event packed with fun activities for the whole family, such as hayrides, cider pressing, face-painting, cooking and canning workshops, games of chance and skill, yoga, boating, and much more. The Fest will take place from 12 – 3 p.m., and more details can be found on the Bartram’s Garden website.

Following the Fest, John Bartram Jawn 2016 will kick off at 3 p.m. This is a FREE family-friendly outdoor concert featuring artists with roots in Southwest Philadelphia: Lee Mazin, E–Ness, Scorp Da Boy, Reed, Beat Peace, Solis, Zai & Rico, MTM, Shyster, DJ POOH GEEZ, Cheris Wimes, Music is Soul Good, FU, Dez, Vito, Jasmine Carter, Host JR Morris, and more.  Continue Reading

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A fundraising party, silent auction for Powel Elementary

Posted on 11 October 2016

partyforpowelOn Saturday, Oct. 15, neighbors have a chance to make a difference in the life of a child and a public school community. An adults-only party — with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a silent auction — in support of Samuel Powel Elementary, a high-performing public school in Powelton Village, will be held at the Indigo Bleu Design & Culture Center (3870 Lancaster Ave), from 6 – 10 p.m.

Proceeds from the party will help fund essential programs at Powel including Playworks, a recess-based, community-building program that benefits 300 students at the school.

You can help (and have fun, too!) by attending or sponsoring this fantastic event. Tickets are $35 online in advance. The Guest Emcee list includes Councilwoman Helen Gym, State Rep. James Roebuck, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell and Sheriff Jewell Williams.  Continue Reading

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‘NOT COOL’: Three scribblers caught on video tagging new YOMI mural near 47th and Woodland

Posted on 11 October 2016


UPDATE: After publishing this post we received information that another Woodland Avenue business, Lil’ Pop Shop, located at 46th and Woodland, has also been recently tagged (see photo below). Here’s what Lil’ Pop Shop owner, Jeanne Chang, writes: “Our window on Woodland Ave was also tagged… Our cameras didn’t pick anything up, unfortunately, but it looks like the same color and writing.”

Even neophyte taggers know the ultimate rule: Don’t write over someone else’s work.

screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-9-26-47-amApparently three amateurs either didn’t get that memo or didn’t care when they tagged a new YOMI mural commissioned and painted on the front of Philly Homebrew Outlet’s storefront near 47th and Woodland. The upside is that these geniuses were caught on video early Friday morning. So a little public shaming is in order.

In a YouTube video entitled “47th St Scum Vandals Taggers Caught On Camera,” two taggers are clearly seen from a couple of different angles defacing the mural.  Continue Reading

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Voter registration deadline is Tuesday, Oct. 11

Posted on 10 October 2016

There are only two days left for Pennsylvanians to register to vote in the Nov. 8 general election. Those who haven’t registered yet can do it online or at a PennDot center through Tuesday, Oct. 11. Here are some important links:

Register to vote online. You can also submit a completed application to your county voter registration office, either by mail or in-person. If you are mailing the application, it must be postmarked by Oct. 11.

If you’re not sure whether you’re registered to vote you can check your voter registration status here.

Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is Nov. 1.


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Common to headline free Cedar Park concert this Saturday

Posted on 07 October 2016

n2nAfter several years’ hiatus, The Neighborhood to Neighborhood (N2N) street festival is returning to 50th and Baltimore. An all-day event, which has featured stars like Macey Gray, Chrissette Michele and Robin Thicke, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 8, 12 – 8 p.m. This year, rapper Common will be headlining the festival, which will also feature live performances by national and local recording artists, including West Philly rapper Chill Moody. There will also be free food, vendors, a 76er’s Kids Zone, and tents with community resources.

The festivities will be held from 49th to 51st Streets and from Willows to Catharine. Check out the festival schedule here.

The festival is presented by State Sen. Anthony Williams, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, and Black Women in Sport Foundation (BWSF). The event is free and open to the public.

The festival began in 1989 as a barbeque, but was halted after 2010 due to budget cuts. Check out this story by on the festival and its history.

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Black Hound Clay Studio opens in Cedar Park; Grand Opening Party October 15

Posted on 06 October 2016


bhcs-frontBlack Hound Clay Studio has recently opened near 50th and Baltimore and on Saturday, Oct. 15 all are invited to a Grand Opening Party. This is an opportunity to tour the studio and have fun – play pin the handle on the mug, drink some beer and eat s’mores toasted on the studio’s firepits.

The opening celebration begins at 5 and will be held on the studio’s large patio. It will also include live music by The West Philly Foot Tappers (starts at 8 p.m.). Suggested donation is $5 per person, and children are also welcome. You can find more information and RSVP on the event’s Facebook page.

West Philly clay artist Bethany Rusen is behind the studio, which offers classes and workshops, co-working space for ceramic artists and events throughout the year. The studio occupies a part of the spacious, former warehouse building at 711 South 50th Street (the other half is occupied by The Green Tambourine music studio). For more information, visit: (Photos courtesy of Black Hound Clay Studio)

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Fall/Halloween events at The Woodlands

Posted on 05 October 2016


The Woodlands Cemetery and Mansion will be hosting a number of cool events this month to help you get into the Halloween spirit. We have compiled the listings below. Also check out The Woodlands website ( for more information. Note: The annual Woodlands Gobble Wobble Fun Run will take place November 12. Click here for more details.

HollyWoodlands Movie Night 

Saturday, Oct. 15, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

HollyWoodlands is back for a Double Feature evening: first watch the original Ghostbusters and then stick around for the Halloween classic, Poltergeist! In addition, enjoy snacks from PB & Jams and BYO smores supplies for The Woodlands’ firepits. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., film starts at 7 p.m. Costumes are encouraged but not required. Requested donation: $10 for adults, $2 for children under 12. You can register online here. Rain date: Sunday, Oct. 16.  Continue Reading

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