Archive | April, 2013

Help support a West Philly based short film

April 30, 2013


Less than two weeks are left before the Indiegogo fundraising campaign for A Man Full of Trouble, writer/director Michael Johnston’s dark comedy about a suicidal Alexander Hamilton reenactor, comes to a close, and it’s under $300 shy of $7,000.

Money raised for the West Philly-based indie short (view trailer below), which serves as Johnston’s thesis project for Temple’s MFA program, will fund the bulk of production costs, including equipment and location rentals, and costume fabrication by Regalia Costumes, said A Man Full of Trouble’s producer, David Leith Fraser. The total budget, which ranges from $12,000 to $14,000 depending on the final Indiegogo amount, is also funded by a $4,500 Temple University Grant, and a $500 Allied Pixel gift certificate Johnston received with his 2013 Media Film Festival’s Allied Pixel Silver Award for his previous film, Irina. A Man Full Trouble is slated for completion this fall.

A Founding Father and one-half of one of the first sex scandals in American politics, Alexander Hamilton makes for mysterious and complicated anti-hero. A Man Full of Trouble explores his inexplicable life through the eyes of Nick Crane (the aforementioned suicidal reenactor), who is “fighting to keep Hamilton’s voice relevant in Philadelphia, a city dominated by Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington.” And in the midst of this battle, Nick unknowingly reenacts Hamilton’s affair with Maria Reynolds through his relationship with fellow reenactor, Isabella.

“Michael is fascinated with Philadelphia’s history and architecture. He wanted to write something that was specific to the city. Hamilton’s affair with Maria Reynolds, which took place in Philly, and Hamilton’s tragic end provided the perfect back-story for creating the film’s dark-comedic tone,” Fraser told West Philly Local. “The film examines one man’s conflict and the ending of the film will elicit different responses from different people. If I had to choose one, I would say the film asks that we study and preserve our history.”

The majority of the project will be filmed at The Woodlands Historic Mansion, Cemetery and Landscape, which was originally purchased in 1735 as a 250-acre swathe on the Schuylkill River’s west bank (today, the estate, overseen by The Woodlands Trust for Historic Preservation, consists of 53 acres nestled between S. University Ave and 41st Street south of Woodland Avenue.) Other filming locations include Independence Hall, the Second Bank of the United States, and Society Hill.

According to Fraser, money allocated for filming on the cemetery grounds will go towards restoration efforts on the Mansion. The premiere party for A Man Full of Trouble will also be held at The Woodlands, planned for some time in late fall, and double as a fundraiser for the historic landmark.

– Annamarya Scaccia

Indiegogo: A Man Full of Trouble from Michael Johnston on Vimeo.

Comments Off on Help support a West Philly based short film

Vendors, volunteers wanted for two May events in Clark Park

April 30, 2013

Here’s some exciting news: Clark Park is hosting two big events in May – the annual Spruce Hill’s May Fair on Saturday, May 11 and Clark Park Party on May 18. Both events will be packed with fun activities for adults and children alike, music, food and vendors. We’ll let you know more about the details a little later, but for now here are a couple important messages from the event organizers.


Vendors at Spruce Hill May Fair. (Archive photo)

Mark Wagenveld of the Spruce Hill Community Association, who coordinates vendors at the May Fair, sent a note that there are still some slots available for vendors. Especially welcome are artists and crafts persons from West Philadelphia who are making unusual things. Also, groups that want to promote their cause, and businesses, especially unusual start-ups. Tables are $35 for those selling, $25 for non-profits. SHCA provides a table and chair for the day. The fair will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Interested persons or businesses should e-mail Mark by May 1 at:

Michael Munson of The Thrive Fitness and Wellness, who’s in charge of field day events this year during the Clark Park Party, is seeking volunteers for the following  events and activities:  the 3 legged race, potato sack races, some fun fitness games, exercises and much more including face painting. Ideas and suggestions are welcome, too. If anyone has kids who would like to join in the fun (young or old) please let Michael know. Also needed: face paint, potato sacks, a rope for tug-o- war and maybe more. If you would like to volunteer, donate or for more information, please email Michael at:


Comments Off on Vendors, volunteers wanted for two May events in Clark Park

Summer camp registration underway; Camp Sojourner Walkathon; Curio Theatre Camp Scholarship fundraiser

April 29, 2013

With the summer fast approaching, many parents are now searching for information on day and residential camps available in our area, so we are trying to keep our Summer Camps page constantly updated as we get more information. Recently, we have updated the page with three more camps, two in Philadelphia and one in Poconos with transportation provided from a pick-up location in Philly. To see our list of summer camps, go to:

If you’re a camp owner, staff member or counselor and would like to share information about your camp with West Philly residents, please drop us a line at:

Camp-Sojourner-Staff-App-2013FYI, on Saturday, May 4, there will be a 5K walkathon through West Philly (starting in Clark Park, circling Kingsessing and Malcom X Park, and ending at the Calvary Center) to honor the leadership of women and girls and to support the wonderful West Philly-based girls’ leadership Camp Sojourner. The walkathon begins at 10:00 a.m. and is followed by a celebration at Calvary (48th & Baltimore) from 12:15 to 2:00 p.m. To register online go to:

This is a family-friendly event and even if you can’t walk, you’re welcome to come to the celebration event and support Philly girls and women.

There is also a chance to help another great local camp. You can combine your love of sports and theater by participating in the Curio Theatre Summer Camp Scholarship fundraiser. If you buy tickets for the Phillies/Marlins game on May 2, 2013, 7:05, net proceeds will go to support the Reuben Mitchell Scholarship Fund. Individual tickets are $32 (or 4 for only $100.00!) For more information contact Lewis Mellman at or call 267-252-6648.



Comments Off on Summer camp registration underway; Camp Sojourner Walkathon; Curio Theatre Camp Scholarship fundraiser

Two gunpoint robberies at 51st and Osage, shots fired near Watusi Lounge Friday night

April 27, 2013

Unfortunately, there was some criminal activity reported in the area last night, including two gunpoint robberies near 51st and Osage and shots fired on 46th street between Walnut and Locust.

The robberies took place around 10 p.m. within a few minutes of each other – the first one was on the 400 block of S. 51st street and the second one on the 500 block of S. 51st Street, according to Joe Murray of the Southwest Detectives. In the second robbery the victim was pistol-whipped.

A reader reported hearing five or six gunshots last night, around 1:20 a.m. near the Watusi Lounge located at the corner of 46th and Walnut, followed by police presence. Police confirmed the incident and said that they apprehended a man with a gun after they were called to the scene. Fortunately, no one was injured in this incident. Police are still investigating the case and we’ll post updates as we get them.


Comments (10)

Get your science on: Stargazing at Woodlands, USP and science festival at Clark Park

April 26, 2013

stargazingIt looks like it will be a perfect night for some stargazing. Tonight from 6:00 – 9:30 p.m. two West Philly locations, the Woodlands Cemetery and the University of the Sciences, are inviting neighbors for Astronomy Night where you can check out the night skies and meet Philly-area astronomers. At the Woodlands (40th & Woodland), stargazing will be in the Center Circle, the highest point in the cemetery. You are also welcome to bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic with your friends and family.

Stargazing at the University of the Sciences will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Quad area on Woodland Avenue, between 42nd and 43rd Streets.

On Saturday, families are invited for Discovery Day at Clark Park that begins at 11 a.m. Kids can meet local scientists and science students, explore the park and its inhabitants and enjoy hands-on activities, such as sun gazing and creepy-crawly creatures.

Both events are part of the Philadelphia Science Festival.


Comments Off on Get your science on: Stargazing at Woodlands, USP and science festival at Clark Park

Parklets are back, including new one at Fu-Wah

April 26, 2013

fuwah parklet

The parklets, those cool little curbside outdoor seating spots, are branching out. There is now one in front of Fu-Wah Mini Market and Deli, home to the best tofu hoagie in the city, near 47th and Baltimore.

The parklet is also back at the Green Line Café at 43rd and Baltimore. Others will return soon in front of Honest Tom’s Taco Shop/Lil’ Pop Shop on the 200 block of S. 44th Street and Ramen Bar at 4040 Locust St.

A reminder that the parklets are public, so no purchase is required to sit at them. Three new parklet locations, including Fu-Wah, are slated for this year. Parklets are cooperative effort between the city and the University City District. More details on the others coming soon.


Enjoying a banh mi from Fu-Wah at the new parklet. (Photo by our Twitter follower @deviantollam).


Comments (24)

Follow us on Instagram


Follow Us: