School District’s ‘Back to School’ event to be held this Thursday in West Philly

August 13, 2018

The summer break for Philadelphia schoolchildren is coming to an end, as the 2018-2019 school year for public schools is set to begin on August 27. This Thursday (Aug. 16), the School District of Philadelphia is hosting its annual Back-to-School event at the High School of the Future (4021 Parkside Ave), from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The first 8,000 students will receive free book bags filled with school supplies. The event will also feature an on-site free Cuts and Curls salon, student enrollment services, children’s eye testing, on-location dental services, information tables, educational workshops, free giveaways and a fun Kids Zone.

For more information, please call the Office of Family and Community Engagement at (215) 400-4180 (option 5) or visit the School District website.

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Theatre in the X is back with a take on ‘The Wiz’

August 10, 2018

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The community theater group Theatre in the X will be back in Malcolm X. Park (52nd and Pine) over the next three Sundays to reimagine The Wiz. 

Theatre in the X’s staging of the African American classic will be an homage to Hip Hop and Black cinema of the 1980s and 90s.

“Our iconic characters will journey through Oz remixed with all the nuance and cultural swag of the Black experience in America,” according to their Facebook post for the event.  Continue Reading

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Swirl Cafe on Baltimore offers sweet treats

August 9, 2018

Baltimore Avenue offers several different kinds of cold desserts during this hot, sticky summer, from vegan ice cream at Little Baby’s to enormous shaved ice concoctions from the Ice Cave. Now we can add another to the list — Swirl Cafe at 46th and Baltimore.

This small family-owned shop features old-fashioned soft-serve with new-fashioned swirled-in “Flavor Burst!” flavorings, as well as bubble tea and milk tea in various fruity and creamy flavors. Seating is limited to a pair of small tables and a five-seat counter, so it might be wise to get your desserts to go. Right now food is limited to a small handful of prepackaged snacks, though there are plans to expand the menu further.

Swirl is open from 1 p.m. – 10 p.m., seven days a week. For more info and updates, check out their Facebook pageContinue Reading

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Temporary Cobbs Creek Parkway closure scheduled due to maintenance work

August 8, 2018

The Streets Department has scheduled maintenance work on Cobbs Creek Parkway, which will result in its temporary closure from Wednesday, Aug. 8 through Thursday, Aug. 9.

Cobbs Creek Parkway, between 67th Street and Springfield Avenue/60th Street, will be closed to all traffic from 9 p.m. on Wednesday until 5 a.m. on Thursday. The following temporary restrictions are scheduled to be in effect:

Northbound traffic will be stopped at 67th Street. Vehicles can continue north using 67th Street to Chester Avenue, then 63rd Street to Woodland Avenue. Traffic that wishes to return to Cobbs Creek Parkway can do so at 58th Street. Southbound traffic will be stopped at Springfield Avenue. Vehicles can continue south using 60th Street and then turning right onto Woodland Avenue.

This closure is part of a larger project that will include multiple overnight closures over the course of August and early September. Advance notification will be provided for each separate closure.

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‘Movies in Clark Park’ kicks off this Friday at 43rd and Chester

August 8, 2018

Movies in Clark Park will return this Friday, Aug. 10 for its fifth season. University City District is partnering with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, Friends of Clark Park, and local organizations and food trucks to present four Fridays of free outdoor film screenings and other fun activities! Films will be projected on a giant screen at the park at 43rd and Chester Ave for the entire family to enjoy.

The event begins at 7 p.m., and movies will start shortly after 8 p.m. right after the sunset.  Continue Reading

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City now requires local police pre-approval for block party permits

August 7, 2018

The Streets Department has changed the block party approval process to include police pre-approval.

Street event applications, handled by the Right of Way Unit, will now require pre-screening approval from local police districts in advance of being processed. This change applies to applications submitted for approval on or after August 1, 2018. Applicants seeking approval to close their street to host a block party or another street event must submit a Block Party Authorization Approval Form to their local Police District before applying for a permit with the Streets Department.  Continue Reading

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Hadramout restaurant offers Yemeni dishes near 45th and Walnut

August 3, 2018

Though it opened a few months ago, many West Philly Local readers may not be familiar with Hadramout Restaurant, a Yemeni eatery located at 136 S. 45th Street (between Walnut and Sansom, just across from the AICP mosque).

Hadramout serves generous portions of traditional Yemeni dishes, many of which feature ingredients and flavors not often seen in American eateries. Among these dishes are molokhia chicken (chicken with cooked greens), saltah with holba (beef stew with fenugreek topping, served with fresh-baked flatbread), haneeth (pressure-cooked lamb) and Yemeni milk tea (shahi haleeb). All the meat is halal, slaughtered in accordance with Islamic dietary law.

Hadramout offers both takeout and dine-in options, with delivery a possibility for the future. The restaurant is open until 10 at night, 7 days a week.

Mike VanHelder

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City completes green infrastructure improvements at Malcolm X Park

August 2, 2018

The City is ready to unveil the green infrastructure improvements at Malcolm X Park. New green tools installed at the park will manage approximately 84,000 gallons of stormwater runoff from surrounding streets each time the neighborhood gets an inch of rain.

The reconstruction of the sidewalks around the perimeter of the park also included planting nearly 30 new trees that are specially designed to hold enough stormwater to fill three water tanks the size of SEPTA buses. These trees will filter millions of gallons of captured runoff over the course of a year.

A special ribbon-cutting event with the participation of City officials and representatives of neighborhood organizations will take place tonight (Wednesday, Aug. 2), beginning at 5:30 p.m. and will be followed by a free concert featuring Tony “TNT” Jones & Beyond the Dream as part of the bi-weekly Jazz Heritage SeriesContinue Reading

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Street Movies! return to public parks this month

August 1, 2018

scribeThe annual Street Movies! program by the West Philly-based media arts organization Scribe Video Center that celebrates the cultural histories of Philadelphia neighborhoods, returns this month for its 21st season. The program features free outdoor film screenings and live performances at public parks across the city. This year, Scribe will present a range of short films, from internationally recognized award-winning fiction, documentary, and animation to local community- and youth-produced works.

Live performances will be by some of our region’s most talented artists, including Philadelphia’s first Poet Laureate Sonia Sanchez (who will be at Malcolm X. Park!), poet and recording artist Ursula Rucker, experimental music project Moor Mother by Camae Ayewa, bomba and plena group Los Bomberos De La Calle, Chinese dance studio L&M Dance Studio, singer and sound artist Jacqueline Constance, award-winning lyricist and author Lyrispect, and dance group Cambodian American Girls Empowering (CAGE).  Continue Reading

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Certified Medical Assistants training program with Drexel University College of Medicine

July 31, 2018

University City District’s West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, the program that connects unemployed West Philly residents with local employers, is recruiting Certified Medical Assistants for a training program with the Drexel University College of Medicine (DUCOM).

The program is seeking applicants who possess a high school diploma or GED; are currently unemployed; and live in the West Philadelphia zip-codes of 19104, 19131, 19139, 19143, or 19151. Applicants should be goal-oriented, motivated Certified Medical Assistants with a history of providing quality patient care and high-level customer service, and should have computer confidence. Program participants will earn a performance-based stipend while in training at WPSI.  Continue Reading

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Loco Pez now open at 47th and Baltimore

July 30, 2018

Photos by Mike VanHelder

A West Philly branch of the Fishtown taco jawn Loco Pez has been threatening to open for months now. Taco lovers will be happy to know that the time is finally upon us! The bar & restaurant on the ground floor of the Montrose building at 47th and Baltimore had a soft opening with limited hours on Saturday. The official opening night is tonight (Monday, July 30).

The menu features most of the same dishes as served at the original Fishtown location, along with a full bar that has both draft and bottled beer and wide selection of tequila. There are options for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, but unfortunately no options for credit-card users. Loco Pez is cash-only with an ATM on-site, and management has no plans to add credit card service at this time. Current hours are 5 p.m.-1 a.m., with eventual plans to expand to daytime service and weekend brunch.  Continue Reading

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Overnight work scheduled for 40th Street beginning this Monday

July 30, 2018

The Citywide Street Resurfacing project continues in West Philadelphia with overnight street improvement work now being scheduled along 40th Street. The work will begin tonight at 7 p.m. and will include temporary street closures and parking restrictions in the area. The work is expected to be completed by late August, but weather or special events in the area may alter the work schedule, according to an announcement by the Streets Department.

The contractor, James J. Anderson Construction Co, Inc., will perform resurfacing on 40th Street from Girard Avenue to Market Street and from Walnut Street to Baltimore Avenue.  Continue Reading

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Catch Twelfth Night in Clark Park through Sunday, July 29

July 27, 2018

Shakespeare in Clark Park’s new production, Twelfth Night, opened last night in the park’s “Bowl” near 45th and Chester. Although, the official opening night was on Wednesday, it was moved indoors due to rain. So, SCP’s actors and musicians participating in this glam rock-inspired production, presented the first outdoor show to a big crowd on Thursday (see more photos below).

Catch the remaining shows at Clark Park (or Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St., in case of inclement weather) through Sunday, July 29, beginning at 7 p.m. All shows are free and family-friendly.  Continue Reading

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SEPTA to stop selling paper transfers beginning Aug. 1

July 27, 2018

This is a reminder that SEPTA will stop selling paper transfers beginning August 1st.

Paper transfers for travel on buses, subways and trolleys will stop being issued at the end of the service day on Tuesday, July 31. Starting August 1, to receive a qualifying $1 transfer, customers will need to use a SEPTA Key Card with Travel Wallet. Customers who are eligible for reduced fare travel will need to use a SEPTA Key Card with Travel Wallet to receive the half-fare $0.50 transfer.

This is the latest effort by SEPTA to encourage more customers to switch to the Key Card, which was launched in June 2016. The majority of SEPTA customers have already made the switch.

After eliminating token and magnetic stripe TransPass sales at SEPTA-operated locations in the spring, SEPTA will also end third-party retail sales of tokens and magnetic stripe passes by Aug. 1.

For more information about the SEPTA Key Fare program, visit:

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Vehicle sought in fatal hit-and-run on Lancaster Avenue

July 25, 2018

Police have released surveillance video (see below) and are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the vehicle involved in a fatal hit-and-run in West Philadelphia over the weekend. The victim, a 61-year-old man, was struck near Lancaster Avenue and Aspen Street on Sunday, July 22, at 3:14 a.m. The vehicle that struck him was traveling at a high speed west on Lancaster Avenue from Fairmount Street and fled the scene after the accident.

The victim was found lying in the bicycle lane by officers patrolling the area and was transported to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center where he later died.  Continue Reading

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Shakespeare in Clark Park’s Glam Rock-inspired Twelfth Night performances kick off Wednesday

July 24, 2018

Pax Ressler (Viola) and Angela Bey (Duke Orsino). Photo by Kyle Cassidy.

Shakespeare in Clark Park returns this week with five performances of Twelfth Night in the park’s bowl near 45th and Chester. The first show of the well-known Shakespearean play is scheduled for Wednesday night.

This production by the popular outdoor theatre company will be filled with music. It’s inspired by Glam Rock (check out this review by WHYY’s Peter Crimmins), and will feature some of Philly’s finest actors (prepare for some cross-gender acting), student musicians, and local cabaret performer, Jess Conda.  Continue Reading

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Mariposa Food Co-op accepting applications for ‘Round-up for Change’ community funding program

July 23, 2018

Mariposa Food Co-op is planning to directly support local community groups and organizations through a new initiative – Round-up for Change. The Co-op is currently accepting applications from Philly-area groups and organizations to receive funding/donations from this initiative, which is expected to launch in early September.

Through the program, the Co-op will donate the extra change when shoppers choose to “round-up” their purchase to the nearest dollar, at the register at their store at 49th and Baltimore.  Continue Reading

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I-76 West ramp to 30th Street to close for 4 weeks this Saturday

July 20, 2018

The I-76 West ramp to 30th Street is closing for four weeks beginning this Saturday for repairs and resurfacing, according to PennDOT. The ramp will close at 12:01 a.m. on July 21 and is expected to reopen in mid-August.

During the ramp closure, motorists are advised to use an alternate exit at South Street and should expect delays.

The closure is part of the $103.6 million project to rehabilitate the Chestnut Street Bridge over the Schuylkill River and several nearby structures. The project is expected to be completed in Fall 2020.  Continue Reading

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Philadelphia artists sought for Percent for Art project at new building near 59th and Market

July 19, 2018

Rendering of New Market West building coming to 5901 Market St.

The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority is seeking interest from artists for an original public art project at a new residential and commercial building at 59th and Market.

The project will be at the New Market West building, a four-story, 135,700 square foot hub which will be built on a 1.5 acre vacant site at 5901 Market Street, a half a block from the 60th and Market Street El stop. The new building will house organizations focused on early childhood education, workforce development, educational and emergency support services, behavioral health service, and will include community-serving retail.  Continue Reading

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