30th Street Station to greet DNC attendees with light show

Posted on 22 July 2016


A patriotic lighting installation will greet the thousands of people expected to visit 30th Street Station before, during and after the four-day Democratic National Convention (July 25-28). The programmable system of color-changing LED fixtures will sweep stars and swaths of red, white and blue across the station’s 29th Street facade.

This light show is sponsored by Amtrak and the University City District and is one of several across the city to welcome DNC attendees.

The lights will be projected onto the station’s 29th Street facade from 8:00 p.m. – 3:00 a.m. every night through July 31.

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Mind the gap (and the orange cones)

Posted on 22 July 2016

Car in ditch

There’s a lot of road construction going out there right now. That means the occasional closed street and detour – and lots of orange cones. This driver found out what can happen if you ignore the cones along 45th Street near Walnut, where crews are replacing pipes.


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Cosplay life drawing this weekend at The Rotunda (free event)

Posted on 21 July 2016


Here’s a fun and free event this weekend that the organizers are hoping will help bring the community together. Two nights of cosplay life drawing will take place on Saturday, July 23 and Sunday, July 24 at 7-10 p.m. in one of West Philly’s most well-known venues – The Rotunda (40th and Walnut). Any drawing level is welcome from beginner to maestro. You can bring your own supplies or use the ones provided by the organizers.

Two models in cosplay each night! There will be music provided by WKDU 91.7, projections, and props.

NUMiNOUS Magazine, a publication that focuses on Cosplay, will be there exhibiting on Saturday night.

The event is co-hosted by 40th Street Artist-in-Residence Program, Cosplay Life Drawing Club, and the organizers of the Philly Zine Fest.

Tips for models are appreciated but not necessary.

For more information check out:

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Historic Chestnut St. rowhomes saved from demolition… for now

Posted on 21 July 2016


Google Street View image of 4046-4048 Chestnut Street rowhomes.

The twin apartment buildings at 4046-4048 Chestnut Street, which date back to the late 19th century, were saved at least temporarily after a municipal court judge issued a ruling yesterday barring demolition until mid-October.

Court of Common Pleas Judge Linda Carpenter’s decision found the demolition permit issued in March to a developer that sought to knock the buildings down and build student housing was invalid. The stay of demolition is until October 15, according to Plan Philly.

The final decision on demolition hinges on two more decisions. The first will be a likely appeal of Carpenter’s ruling that the permit is invalid and second will be a hearing at the Philadelphia Historic Commission to determine whether the buildings should be added to Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, which would make demolition far more difficult.

The buildings were sold on March 1 to a new owner who planned to replace them with new apartment buildings aimed at students. A demolition permit was issued later that month, but an application to declare the building “historic” was made on May 16 in an effort to save the buildings.

The hearing to determine whether the rowhomes can be demolished according to their developers’ plans was held last month and resulted in the decision issued yesterday.

For more in-depth coverage of the case and a copy of Judge Carpenter’s ruling, check out the Plan Philly story.

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Young man shot by an older man inside donut shop at 40th and Lancaster

Posted on 20 July 2016


Police have released surveillance video of a recent shooting at a donut shop at 40th and Lancaster and are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the shooter in the video. Police say an unknown male approached Fresh and Tasty Donuts at 4096 Lancaster Avenue on Sunday, July 17, at 7 a.m., and fired several shots through the glass door at the victim, a 20-year-old man, who was inside the shop. The shooter then quickly fled the area, according to police.

The victim was shot three times in the groin and was transported to Presbyterian hospital. He is expected to survive.

The suspect is described as black male, 45-50 years old, five feet eight inches tall, 180lbs, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, and armed with a handgun.  Continue Reading

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West Philly through the eyes of local band Post Sun Times (including Omar with a GoPro)

Posted on 20 July 2016

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 11.20.03 AM

A screen shot from the video for “West Philly Jawn” by Post Sun Times.

West Philly means a lot of things to a lot of people. We get a chance to see what it means to members of the band Post Sun Times in the video for their song “West Philly Jawn” posted on Tuesday.

In an interview with the Philly music magazine Jump, singer/guitarist Robin Carine noted that the band members grew up in North Jersey and that he himself has lived in West Philly since 2009.

The video includes a riff with Mike Fuller, the trolley poet, and few seconds of the world through Omar‘s eyes.  Continue Reading

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City pursuing firm that owns Supreme Shop n Bag land for back taxes

Posted on 19 July 2016

The City of Philadelphia has taken the landowners of 4301 Walnut Street, where the Supreme Shop n Bag is located, to court to pay more than $158,000 in property taxes.

The city filed a “sequestration” case against Gladwynne-based EFBEE Associates, owners of the property, in municipal court on July 11. The School District of Philadelphia, which would receive much of the taxes collected, is also named as a plaintiff (see the file below). A sequestration hearing is typically the last resort on commercial properties owing back taxes on the 66,000-square-foot parcel and will likely result in the garnishing of rental income – so Supreme will pay the city its rent instead of the landowner – until the back taxes are paid.

EFBEE has 20 days to respond to the sequestration order.  Continue Reading

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Row home fire on 5200 block of Larchwood

Posted on 18 July 2016


Firefighters at the scene of fire on the 5200 block of Larchwood Ave. (Twitter photo @a_butler)

A serious fire broke out this evening in a two-story vacant row home on the 5200 block of Larchwood Avenue. The fire began shortly before 5 p.m. and was put out after about 18 minutes, according to

No people were found inside the building and no injuries were reported.


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Summer in West Philly: lots more things still to come

Posted on 18 July 2016


We hope you’re enjoying your summer in West Philly despite the heat. A lot of great events are still coming up, so here’s a reminder for our readers of what is scheduled for the rest of this month.

• University City Dining Days will continue through Sunday, July 24.

• On Saturday, July 23, Dendê & Band will bring Afro-Brazilian rhythms to 40th and Walnut, as part of the 40th Street Summer Series.

• Shakespeare in Clark Park will present The Two Gentlemen of Verona, July 27 – 31. Parks on Tap will also make a stop in Clark Park.  Continue Reading

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Trolley tunnel closes at 10 p.m. Friday, reopens Monday morning

Posted on 15 July 2016

The trolley tunnel will close down tonight at 10 p.m. and reopen at 5 a.m. on Monday, SEPTA has announced. The closure is due to maintenance of overhead wires and will impact all routes.

Routes 11, 13, 34, and 36 will divert to 40th and Market Streets and Route 10 will divert to 40th and Filbert Streets.

This closure is not related to the annual “Tunnel Blitz,” which was recently postponed due to the recent problems with Septa’s Regional Rail cars.


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Van carrying children crashes into building at 52nd and Hazel (updated)

Posted on 15 July 2016


The scene on the west side of 52nd Street near Hazel (Photo West Philly Local)

Twelve children were hospitalized after a day care van crashed into an building at 52nd and Hazel Friday morning. The incident was reported at around 9:30 a.m. Children and the driver of an unmarked van were taken to area hospitals for observation, according to reports. Police said the children were not hurt, and the driver was in stable condition.

Reportedly, the driver experienced problems with the brakes before the crash. The investigation continues. Detours are expected in the area.


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Free outdoor movie night at Lea School this Friday

Posted on 14 July 2016

Walnut Hill Community Association is inviting families this Friday (July 15) to a free outdoor movie night which will be held at the newly upgraded Lea School Yard (47th and Locust). Popular new flick Zootopia will be screened beginning at 8 p.m. (rain date is Friday, July 22, 8 p.m.). Please bring your own beverages and snacks and also chairs or blankets (adult supervision is recommended).

There will be another movie night at Lea School – on August 12 at 8 p.m. For more information on this and other community events, please check the Walnut Hill Community Association website.


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10th Annual Lancaster Avenue Jazz Festival to celebrate Women in Jazz

Posted on 14 July 2016

LancasterAvejazzThe annual Lancaster Avenue Jazz Festival returns on Saturday, July 16 to Powelton Village. This year’s festival, which runs from noon to 7 p.m. in Penn Presbyterian Saunders Park Greene (39th and Powelton), celebrates women in jazz and features a mix of dynamite artists.

A renowned pianist and composer with Philadelphia roots, Sumi Tonooka, will headline the festival and will also present a master class performance with local youth on Friday (see more info below). Also performing on the Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival stage are saxophonist Nzinga Banks, poet and vocalist Pheralyn Dove, vocalist Laurin Talese, trumpeter Dr. Diane Lyle-Smith, guitarist Monnette Sudler, 12 year old Alesandra Pollack, a vocal artist and pianist, and the popular jazz, R&B and soul-spirited Charlene Holloway Band. The Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble will also be back by popular demand.


Sumi Tonooka

The Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival is a FREE family-friendly event showcasing the best of Philadelphia: it features some of the best musicians, a diverse gathering of people, a view of the city and a chance to enjoy a neighborhood that is rich in arts and culture. The festival has grown from a few hundred attendees to more than 3,000!

Artisans and vendors along with a variety of specialty food trucks will be on site. Activities such as a moon bounce, face painting, community resources and digital pop-up computer lab will be available for everyone’s enjoyment. Free parking is available one block away at Penn Presbyterian’s lot at Powelton Avenue and State Street.  Continue Reading

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Black Orchid Foods co-owner hurt in house fire

Posted on 13 July 2016

We’re sad to report that Robyn Biv, co-owner of Black Orchid Foods (Facebook page), the West Philly vegetarian and vegan catering service, was recently hurt in a house fire.

A fire erupted in her home near 51st and Kingsessing that destroyed her kitchen – where her business is based. Robyn suffered burns and was hospitalized. She has made a huge impact on the Kingsessing area by feeding many people for free or using a “sliding scale” with dietary restrictions always in mind. Some of you may have also tried the food served by Black Orchid at the most recent edition of Go West! Craft Fest.

While Robyn is recovering in the hospital from burns to her face, eyes, arms and hands, her friends set up a GoFundMe page to help her with some expenses.

Please follow this link if you would like to donate and support Robyn with your messages:

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Developer eyes Holly Street Community Garden for 6-unit building; meeting Thursday (updated)

Posted on 12 July 2016


UPDATE (July 15, 2016): The meeting turned out to be anticlimactic as the developer did not show up. The developer is seeking a zoning variance to build the apartment building. The land is zoned for single-family homes only. Those present at the meeting voted overwhelmingly against the variance.

University City’s hot real estate market is putting another community garden under pressure. A public meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, July 14 to discuss a proposed apartment building on one of the parcels that make up the Holly Street Neighbors Community Garden.

The garden is located on four small parcels along 41st Street between Baring and Powelton in the West Powelton neighborhood. A proposal to build a 6-unit apartment building at 320 N. 41st St. is scheduled to go before the Zoning Board of Adjustment in September. One of the four parcels that the garden sits on was up for Sheriff’s sale in May, but was taken off at the last minute. Another parcel is owned by a real estate company and a third parcel has recently been claimed as part of an inheritance.

HollyStreetcommunitygarden2The Holly Street property has officially been a community garden for about 12 years, but nearby residents have been planting on the vacant lots for decades.

“People have gardened here for years and years and years,” Winnie Harris, who has been managing the garden since it began, told Plan Philly in May. “We wanted the land before anyone else wanted it. And now just because University City is a hot real estate market, you want to build in every open space? I don’t think that’s right. I think the people that were there first should get preference.”

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Mount Zion Church at 4110 Haverford Ave.

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Early morning hit and run at 45th and Spruce damages parked cars, wakes neighbors

Posted on 12 July 2016


Neighbors are reporting an early morning hit and run crash at 45th and Spruce that caused some heavy damage to cars parked along Spruce Street:

“I heard a huge crash at about 3:30 this am – it set off a car alarm across the street! I went to see what happened, and it looks like someone smashed up two cars with their own car/truck (possibly carrying sand or building materials, as there were lots of chunks of random sandy dirt in the intersection) and drove off.”

The photo above was taken shortly after 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning near the intersection of 45th and Spruce.

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The Democrats are coming! Here are a few things you should know

Posted on 11 July 2016


Check out this DNC Donkey at The Porch at 30th Street Station (Photo West Philly Local).

As Philadelphia is preparing for the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC), here’s some useful info for the locals. Approximately 50,000 participants among delegates, media, and other attendees, are expected at the event, which will be held at the Wells Fargo Center on July 25-28. By the way, many guests will be staying in University City hotels. Also, The Daily Show will be at the Annenberg Center (3680 Walnut St) from July 26-29 (in total, four episodes will be filmed there!). Unfortunately, general public tickets have already been sold out.

All city services are expected to operate as scheduled during the event, and Philadelphia Police, Fire and EMS services will not be impacted by the DNC. The City has created a special DNC web page with the Convention news and official information, city service updates and changes, and things to see and do.  Continue Reading

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Water Department to conduct special lead testing program starting this month

Posted on 08 July 2016

The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) is conducting a tap water lead testing program and is seeking participants.

The program will run from July to December 2016, in advance of PWD’s regular water testing for lead under EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule, which is scheduled for 2017.

The 2016 lead testing program will check a minimum of 50 homes from what is categorized as Tier 1 (homes considered more likely to have lead in the plumbing). PWD is making efforts to increase the number of sampling sites to provide more data for assessment under this program, and residents interested in learning more about PWD’s programs should go to for additional information.  Continue Reading

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Shakesbeer: ‘Parks on Tap’ visits West Philly parks this month, including Clark Park (updated)

Posted on 07 July 2016



          Photos via

Parks on Tap is a cool new program by Philadelphia Parks & Rec and Fairmount Park Conservancy that brings a traveling beer garden from park to park for 14 weeks, including a stop at Clark Park during Shakespeare in Park.

From July 8 to July 10, the program will make a stop at the beautiful Shofuso Japanese House and Garden in West Fairmount Park at Landsdowne and Horticultural Drives. Guests can enjoy craft beer, delicious food, and family-friendly activities all weekend long. There will also be FREE admission to the garden and a special $5 admission price into the house.

Parks on Tap will also offer Maha Yoga on Saturday and coincide with Family Tanabata weekend and Japanese Tea ceremonies on Sunday. The Tea Ceremony is an additional $30 and requires a reservation. Hours of operation are Friday and Saturday 1 to 11 p.m. and Sunday 12 to 10 p.m.  Continue Reading

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