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Go West! Craft Fest returns to The Woodlands this Saturday

Posted on 27 April 2017

Take a break from spring cleaning and your other weekend duties this Saturday, April 29, and get over to The Woodlands for the Go West! Craft Fest, the bi-annual music/food/artisan wares celebration.

Go West! runs from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday and the rain date is the following day.

All-female aerial troupe, tinycircus, will again perform at Go West! Craft Fest. (Photos West Philly Local)

More than 100 artisan vendors will take part this spring, including seven food vendors like West Philly favorites Taco Angeleno and Kung Fu Hoagies

This family-friendly event also includes live music, kids activities and a performance by the always entertaining and inspiring tinycircus from Tangle Movement Arts.

Here’s the lineup:  Continue Reading

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Traffic, SEPTA changes for Penn Relays, NFL Draft on April 27-29

Posted on 27 April 2017

The Penn Relays will be held April 27-29 on Franklin Field.

Two big events are happening this weekend in Philadelphia that will cause road closures and traffic changes. The annual Penn Relays will be held on the Franklin Field, and the NFL Draft will take place for the first time since 1960 in the city – on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Both events will be held for three days – April 27 through April 29.

The NFL Draft Experience will take place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, between 20th St. and Eakins Oval, and a number of road closures will be in place for this event. Until Monday, May 1, 5 a.m., Ben Franklin Parkway from 20th St. to the Art Museum will be closed. Kelly Drive will be closed at Fairmount Ave., and all traffic will be diverted.  Continue Reading

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Spruce Hill May Fair is May 13: Vendors tables available for West Philly artists, crafters, community groups (updated)

Posted on 26 April 2017

may fairThe annual Spruce Hill May Fair will be held on Saturday, May 13 at Clark Park and, as always, will feature tons of fun activities for children, live music performances, unique handmade items for sale by local artists and craftspeople, food from some of the top vendor trucks, book and plant sales, and the usual raffle with great prizes from local merchants.

The May Fair is also an opportunity for West Philly groups looking to do community outreach to interact with the public. Currently, the Spruce Hill Community Association (SHCA) has vendor tables available for local non-profits, artists and crafters.  Continue Reading

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This is not your grandma’s Madame Bovary: Curio’s final work debuts Friday

Posted on 26 April 2017

Aetna Gallagher is Madame Bovary (Photo by Rebecca Gudelunas)

 

West Philly’s Curio Theatre Company‘s final performance of the season, a laugh-filled retelling of Gustav Flaubert’s classic novel Madame Bovary, premieres this Friday (April 28).

Yes, that’s right – laugh-filled. Entitled The Massive Tragedy of Madame Bovary, the play is the North America debut of an adaption of Flaubert’s work by Peepolykus, a UK based touring company.

As you may know, Madame Bovary tells the story of a 19th century marriage in the north of France. The story’s got intrigue, passion and adultery. What it didn’t have is whimsy – until now. The work retells the tragic story of Emma Bovary in a way that may remind theatergoers of Curio’s hilarious adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles in 2013. Peepolykus also wrote that play.  Continue Reading

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Harvest Seasonal closes its location at 40th and Walnut

Posted on 25 April 2017

Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar has closed its location at 40th and Walnut after nearly five years of operation. It seems that the restaurant never recovered after a January fire and the water damage it sustained in the aftermath. What seemed like a temporary closing has now become permanent, according to The Daily Pennsylvanian. The 40th and Walnut location is no longer listed on the restaurant website.

The University of Pennsylvania, which owns the building, is currently looking for a new tenant to occupy the restaurant space on the first and second floor of the building. “The goal is to find a tenant that will appeal to both the University and surrounding community — there is no timeline at this time for a new opening,” Penn’s Executive Director of Real Estate Ed Datz told The DP.

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Vision Zero wants to reduce traffic-related deaths; contribute to online survey about road safety

Posted on 25 April 2017

Have you, or someone you know, ever gotten into a traffic accident as a cyclist or pedestrian? Perhaps, you or someone you know was on the other side, behind the driver’s wheel? Either way, you’re certainly not alone. A driver hits a pedestrian every five hours in Philadelphia, according to the website of Vision Zero, an initiative of The City of Philadelphia’s Managing Director’s Office of Transportation & Infrastructure System (oTIS). In 2016, there were 369 deaths and serious injuries as a result of automotive crashes.

oTIS wants to drastically reduce and ultimately eliminate traffic-related deaths (of including but not limited to bikers and pedestrians) throughout the city. Their initiative, Vision Zero, hopes to accomplish this ambitious goal by 2030.

Using municipal data of traffic crashes by neighborhood, the oTIS produces some alarming and urgent statistics. In our previous post, we wrote about Vision Zero’s report that deemed 52nd Street and Baltimore Avenue and 40th and Market streets as the most dangerous intersections in the entire city.  Continue Reading

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UC Green to honor Winnie Harris by planting an oak on Earth Day

Posted on 21 April 2017

UC Green will honor the memory of community greening activist Winnie Harris on Saturday by planting a mighty swamp oak in Clark Park.

Winnie Harris (center) was murdered in West Philadelphia on Feb. 3.

Tragically, Harris was murdered in her home earlier this year. She was a longtime advocate of community green space and served as volunteer coordinator and executive director of UC Green. Community members are invited to a light breakfast at 9:15 a.m. at City School at 41st and Baltimore on Saturday (April 22). Everyone will then walk together to Clark Park to plant the tree and then spend the rest of Earth Day doing what Winnie loved – planting trees in West Philadelphia.

UC Green volunteers will help McMichael School students and staff plant four trees near 35th St. and Fairmount Ave. Other volunteers will help homeowners and residents in Spruce Hill plant about 28 trees.

The event is open to the public and anyone who plans to attend should call or 215-476-0124 or e-mail eleatherbarrow@ucgreen.org.

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Dock Street Brewing Co. to open tasting room and beer cannery

Posted on 21 April 2017

Dock Street Cannery & Tasting Room will open on April 27 at 4 p.m. (Photos by Rana Fayez).

 

Starting Thursday, April 27, you’ll be able to buy some Dock Street Brewery beer, such as No Exit double IPA, Jip the Blood Berliner weisse and Golden IPA, in cans. Customers will be able to see the canning line in action at the new tasting room, which will be located right around the corner from the restaurant on 50th street.

Dock Street head brewer Mark Russell (right).

Why is this recent shift in product packaging? Head brewer Mark Russell says that’s where the beer industry is headed.

“Craft beer, in general, is heading towards cans. Lots of other breweries are also looking at cans, it’s something you can take outdoors. When you look at shipping costs, cans are a lot cheaper, too,” said Russell.

Russell went on to further advocate for beer in cans as a preferred format due to their ability to contain less air and allow less light in, two aspects that affect beer. Dock Street hopes to offer Summer in Berlin and Man Full of Trouble in cans soon as well.

The tasting room will be offering a curated selection of cocktails in addition to the beer. On the shelves, there will be a rotating selection of Pennsylvania liquors like Faber. However, if you’re trying to order one of the restaurant’s famous pizzas in the new space, you won’t be able to. The tasting room will stick to providing a seasonal snack menu from different vendors throughout the area.  Continue Reading

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Celebrate Bartram’s Mile opening, shop for plants this Saturday at Bartram’s Garden

Posted on 20 April 2017

Saturday, April 22 will be a big day at the historic Bartram’s Garden as it’s celebrating Spring and opening of the Bartram’s Mile section of the Schuylkill River Trail.

Community members are invited to a Spring Open House and plant sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year, guests will get an opportunity to visit the 1731 Bartram House as its doors will be open all day. The plant sale will feature a unique selection of heritage roses, pond plants, historic boxwoods, vegetable and herbs starts, native perennials, shrubs, and trees. Here’s the full array of plants available for sale this year. Gardening experts will be on hand to answer questions.  Continue Reading

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Better bike lanes? Learn more about Chestnut Street Transportation Project at tonight’s open house

Posted on 19 April 2017

Chestnut Street is one of the busiest streets in West Philadelphia with three lanes of eastbound traffic with cars often zooming by at high speeds. This Wednesday evening (Apr. 19), the City is hosting an open house on a proposed Chestnut Street transportation project that will help protect bicyclists and pedestrians between 34th and 45th Streets.

The following safety-enhancing features are being proposed:

• Adding a parking protected bicycle lane to the north side of the street with flexible delineator posts
• Shortening the pedestrian crossing distance with painted pedestrian islands
• Calming vehicle speeds by reducing the number of through traffic lanes
• Adding right-turn lanes at appropriate locations

The open house will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Enterprise Center (4548 Market St.).

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Developer selected to rebuild MOVE fire properties

Posted on 19 April 2017

The city’s Redevelopment Authority selected a local developer to rebuild the residential blocks destroyed in the 1985 MOVE bombing.

If approved by the authority’s board, Philadelphia-based builders AJR Endeavors LLC will rebuild the 36 homes hastily constructed after the bombing on the 6200 blocks of Osage Avenue and Pine Street in the Cobbs Creek section of West Philadelphia. The project will cost an estimated $3.2 million and AJR Endeavors’ bid was one of two received by the authority. The agreement will require construction to be completed within two years of its start.

The fire that destroyed more than 50 neighboring homes began after police dropped a small bomb from a helicopter on a home at 6221 Osage Ave. following a long standoff with members of the black liberation group MOVE who had barricaded themselves inside. Eleven people, including five children, were killed.  Continue Reading

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Second phase of Mantua affordable housing project is complete; ribbon-cutting ceremony this Wednesday

Posted on 18 April 2017

Mt. Vernon Manor II, an affordable housing construction project, has recently been completed in the Mantua section of West Philadelphia, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on Wednesday, April 19. The project includes 46 apartments (five one-bedroom, 36 two-bedroom, and five three-bedroom), all of which are Energy Star certified to ensure low utility and operating costs for the residents. In addition, each apartment has its own washer & dryer, central air conditioning, and video camera doorbell entry system.

The project is a continuation of the We Are Mantua! neighborhood plan created by the nonprofit organization Mt. Vernon Manor, Inc. and other community stakeholders to preserve affordable housing options in this rapidly changing neighborhood. It was funded by Philadelphia’s Division of Housing and Community Development and Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency preservation tax credits.  Continue Reading

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Books against Islamophobia: One West Philly mom’s hopeful campaign

Posted on 18 April 2017

In the current political climate and the rise of the alt-right movement, Islamophobia is growing more widespread. A number of public education efforts have surfaced, but there’s one particular effort that aims to nip Islamophobia in the bud while children are still in school. Meet Melanie Bartlett, a parent who heads the education committee at the West Philly Coalition Against Islamophobia (Facebook page). Bartlett is spearheading the “Kids Books That Fight Islamophobia” campaign, which has one simple mission: to get more books featuring Muslim kids into elementary school class libraries. Currently, the campaign is seeking out funding through their GoFundMe page and has already raised over $3,600 of its $5,000 goal.

Bartlett was driven by creating a better world for her daughter, who is being raised Muslim.  Continue Reading

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Cedar Park Neighbors board elections, general meeting this Monday; more Cedar Park events

Posted on 17 April 2017

parkThe annual Cedar Park Neighbors’ general meeting and Board elections will take place tonight (April 17) at Calvary Center (48th and Baltimore). The meeting will also feature guest speakers who will talk about tenant and renter’s rights and tax relief programs for homeowners.

Board elections will begin at 6:30 p.m., with the general program beginning at 7:00 p.m. More information on board candidates is available in the CPN Spring Newsletter.

Here’s also some information on two upcoming community events in Cedar Park.  Continue Reading

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Friends of Clark Park to talk dogs, leashes at annual meeting on Monday

Posted on 17 April 2017

Dogs on and off leashes in the Clark Park Bowl will be the main focus of Monday’s annual members meeting of the Friends of Clark Park.

The Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation has promised to step up enforcement of rules about off-leash dogs in city parks following dog attacks in Pastorius Park in Chestnut Hill. City park rules require dogs outside of a dog run to be on a leash that is 6-feet long or shorter.

But what about the Bowl, where dogs have been running free with their owners nearby for years and years? Monday’s meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. in the University of the Sciences’ Griffith Hall (43rd and Woodland), will take up this discussion – againContinue Reading

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Check out Easter Egg Hunts this weekend! (updated)

Posted on 14 April 2017

Several Easter Egg Hunts will be held in the neighborhood this Saturday and Sunday. If you know of more egg hunts, please email us at: editor@westphillylocal.com or leave a comment below.

 

Saturday, April 15

• Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Clark Park

43rd and Chester, 11:00 a.m.

Renewal Presbyterian Church will hold its annual Easter Egg Hunt at Clark Park, next to the toddler playground, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Ages 1 – 8 are welcome. The event will also include crafts and a raffle basket giveaway, including items from local West Philly businesses. Registration for the Egg Hunt is from 10:45 – 11:15 a.m. For more information, please email: office@renewalchurch.org or call 267.564.5105.

• Friends of Walnut West Library Easter Egg Hunt

Walnut St. West Library (upstairs), 40th and Walnut, 10:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.

The Friends of Walnut West Library will have two Easter Egg Hunts – at 10:30 a.m. for pre-school children (ages 3 – 5), and at 12:30 p.m. for ages 6 to 12.

Continue Reading

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Ten local artists selected to beautify Lancaster Avenue this spring/summer

Posted on 14 April 2017

The Artist Pitch and Participate event was held on March 30 at the United Bank building (Photos courtesy of LoLa 38).

Ten local artists have been selected to help produce a series of public art installations on Lancaster Avenue.

LoLa 38, a Creative Placemaking project based in West Philadelphia, invited over 20 local artists and artist collaboratives to pitch their ideas for two public art projects in Powelton Village – at the former United Bank building (3750 Lancaster Ave) and the construction fence on the site of the former University City High School.

Ellen Tiberino (left) and audience member.

In brief presentations, each of them no more than five minutes, held on March 30 artists were asked to answer one of the following questions: How does progress feel? Which walls are invisible? Is there a good rate of change? The audience–a crowd of over 30 community members–judged and placed their votes based on the following criteria: excellence, community connection, curiosity, capacity, and wild card.

Ellen Tiberino, Brian “BCASSO” Bazemore, Melanie Booth, Gabrielle Patterson, Lucy Pistilli will be working on the construction fence of the former University City High School.

Tiberino, who comes from the renowned Philadelphia family of artists, is an artist with deep connections to the neighborhood. She shared her memories of a flowered walkway near University City High School during her presentation. You may recall Bazemore’s work, inspired by Black Lives Matter, from his contribution to the Neighborhood Time Exchange in Fall 2015; Pistilli also contributed her own artwork to the same installation. Patterson is a recent graduate from the University of Pennsylvania and freelance animator.  Continue Reading

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Update: Redevelopment Authority saves Wiota Street Community Garden

Posted on 13 April 2017

The Wiota Street Community Garden (from Google Street View).

The Redevelopment Authority voted to save the Wiota Street Community Garden yesterday, rejecting a sale of the land to a developer who planned to build residences on the property on the 4000 block of Powelton Avenue.

The land has been owned for decades by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, which heard a proposal yesterday to sell the land to AJR Endeavors LLC. Several residents attended the monthly authority meeting on Wednesday to speak in favor of the garden. Despite Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell’s support of the sale, the Authority unanimously voted against it, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Community members have been lobbying for years to keep the property a garden. A community meeting in December 2014 drew a pledge from Blackwell, who was present at the meeting, to help preserve the garden when developers expressed interest in the property.  Continue Reading

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“Broken Chains” mural at 52nd and Larchwood to be removed; Provide feedback for new mural’s design this Thursday

Posted on 11 April 2017

The “Broken Chains” mural at 52nd and Larchwood will be removed due to a new construction project.

Murals are an important part of Philadelphia history and cultural legacy, so it’s a big deal for many residents to hear that a mural in their neighborhood has to be removed. We learned that the “Broken Chains” mural at 52nd and Larchwood can’t be saved due to a new construction project. Understanding the mural’s importance to the community, the project developer, West Philly-based real estate and development firm Spak Group, has offered to fund a new mural at the same location after the construction project is completed.

The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and artists KC White and Gabe Tiberino have been engaged to work on the new mural, and community members are invited this Thursday (April 13) to join the conversation and help inform the design of the mural that will celebrate Black History and empowerment. The meeting will take place at Philadelphia Student Union (501 S. 52nd St.), beginning at 6:30 p.m., and light refreshments will be served.  Continue Reading

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