Archive | July, 2011

Another rash of neighborhood robberies keep police busy

July 31, 2011

PolicePolice are reporting that two young men recently tried to rob two Russian nationals at gunpoint near the 4800 block of Walnut St. The Russians proceeded to beat the two men up and take their BB gun.

Police say the incident, which happened Thursday, was one of several robberies or attempted robberies on that day in the neighborhood. Thursday’s robberies are part of a rash of robberies over the last few days. Most have been clustered within a six-block radius of 48th and Baltimore. Below are details on some of them. The information comes from a combination of police reports, an anonymous e-mail to and Southwest Detective Joe Murray’s must-read Twitter feed.

Thursday, July 28 – A 25-year-old man was approached near 49th and Cedar at about 1 a.m. by a 19-year-old carrying a black handgun. The victim fled on foot but was cornered by a second young male. Both men beat him up and stole his cell phone, which was valued at $215.

Thursday, July 28 – A 32-year-old female was approached by two males near 48th and Cedar at 12:13 p.m. One male grabbed her purse. The woman fought back, but the two men fled with her car keys. The woman refused to file a report.  A witness, who asked that her name not be used, e-mailed us with some details on this one. She wrote:

“Two women and a twelve week old infant in a baby carriage were mugged in the middle of the day on Thursday, July 28th. The thief was carrying a gun and approached from behind on the south side of the 4800 block of Cedar.”

Thursday, July 28 – Three armed and masked young men entered the Fresh Deli (4832 Baltimore Ave.) and attempted to rob it at about 10:30 p.m.. The owner, who was unarmed, chased the men out. Detective Murray wrote: “He’s lucky.”

Thursday, July 28 – Plainclothes officers from the 18th District arrested a man who had broken into a home at about 1 p.m. and stolen a laptop and iPod. The items were returned to the owner.

Murray also warned residents that it’s not a good idea to fight back against armed robbers, despite the success by some folks above. He wrote: “Two robberies I posted had unarmed people fighting people with guns. Don’t roll the dice on it being a fake gun..plenty of real ones out there.”


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West Philly voted most underrated hood for food, Rave gets worst theater. Update: Honest Tom!

July 30, 2011


UPDATE: Holy Cow. We forgot Honest Tom. His rolling shop won “Best Food Truck.” They write: “Fish, plantain or chicken-and-pork tacos – it’s whatever you ate last that you’ll tell everyone you love best.”

Raise your hand and pat yourselves on the backs West Philly restauranteurs. Philadelphia Magazine named West Philadelphia the “Most Underrated Food Neighborhood” in its “Best of Philly” issue, which hit newsstands this week.

The blurb for the award reads: “Desi Chaat House. Kabobeesh. Vietnam Cafe. Abyssinia. Manakeesh. Vientiane. Gold Standard. Dock Street. Kilimanjaro. Heard enough? Next time you’re bored with the Philly food scene, buy a compass, turn west and start walking.”

Other West Philadelphia winners include the West Philly Tool Library (1314 S. 47th St.), which the magazine deservedly named “Best DIYers Secret.” Go check them out. They have a big new space now and more tools than you can shake a pipe wrench at.

Biba Wine Bar (3131 Walnut St.) and its sister establishment in Center City, Tria, were named best place to get a “Wine Education on the Cheap.” Speaking of potent potables, Capogiro (3925 Walnut St.) won for best “Use of a Liquor License” for its sorbet/alcohol combos.

Penn’s Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli won for best, ahem, “Westward Expander.” The magazine noted that he was “the brain behind a 30-year plan for campus and surrounding community that’s already boosted everything from retail to real estate to West Philly’s image.”

But Penn takes one in the bread basket in the “Worst of Philly” category for “Worst Movie Theater” for Rave (240 S. 40th St.), which is housed in a Penn-owned property. The blurb: “We thought the most obnoxious, cell-ohone using and downright rude crowd was at Riverview or Maybe Franklin Mills Mall. But it turns out that it is on Penn’s campus. For Shame.” Yikes.


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UPDATE: Drexel student fatally stabbed near campus may have been intruder, police say

July 29, 2011


A Drexel University police car remained outside 3414 Race St. late this morning. A Drexel student was found stabbed to death earlier today.


A 22-year-old Drexel University student was found stabbed to death in an apartment near campus that he may have broken into early this morning, according to police.

The student, senior Evan Morris, was found with multiple stab wounds in the body and head at about 5 a.m. in an apartment on the 3400 block of Race Street, according to reports. The block borders the Drexel campus. He was later pronounced dead at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Drexel President John Fry said in a statement that “we do not yet have complete information about this tragedy, it appears that an altercation between Evan and a student from another university ultimately resulted in Evan’s death.”

News outlets are reporting that the student is being questioned but has not been charged.

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West Philly chinwag

July 29, 2011

chinwag (noun) Light informal conversation for social occasions.

The idea of this site has always been conversation – about the news and about the neighborhood. “West Philly chinwag” is a conversation starter. Drop a rant, a rave or a well-reasoned comment below.

trolleyToday’s topic:

SEPTA ridership is at its highest level since 1989. Gas prices probably have something to do with it, but SEPTA officials surmise that the increase has much more to do with the increase of young professionals in the city. Folks took some 13 million more trips on SEPTA this year over last year. The overwhelming majority of those trips, 12 million, were on SEPTA’s “City Division” – city buses, subways and trolleys.

Are you using SEPTA more? What do they need to do to lure you aboard more?

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Food justice conference hosting potluck dinner for community members Friday

July 28, 2011

Rooted in Community Conference bannerYouth from the University of Pennsylvania’s Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative (AUNI) are hosting the 13th Annual “Rooted in Community” national food and justice conference this week, July 27-31. More than 100 young people from across the country have come to build a youth-led food justice movement.

The conference includes a community outreach event on Friday, July 29. Community members are invited for a potluck dinner from 6:30-8 p.m. at the University City High School garden (3601 Filbert St.). Attendees are expected to bring a dish to feed 20 people.

AUNI was created by Penn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships and works to improve community nutrition and health through implementing a set of programs and activities in specified neighborhoods.


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Inky article details the sweet life of Urban Apiaries

July 28, 2011

The Philadelphia Inquirer has a nice piece today on Urban Apiaries, the citywide honey operation co-owned by Annie Baum-Stein of Milk and Honey Market (4435 Baltimore Ave.).

Local cheese blogger Tenaya Darlington, aka Madame Fromage, penned the article, which details the “ultra local” honey – bottled by zip code – that Urban Apiaries will begin to sell next month. Honey made in the city, the article explains, often has more taste diversity than country honey because of the wide variety of flowers. Honey from the operations hives in Mt. Airy, for example, tastes different than that from the rooftop hives above Milk and Honey here in West Philly.

Click here for the entire article.

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