Archive | July, 2013

Street Movies! free neighborhood screenings kick off Thursday

July 31, 2013

streetmovies1West Philly-based Scribe Video Center kicks off its annual, month-long Street Movies! series on Thursday, Aug 1. Street Movies!, which is now a citywide event thanks to Scribe’s collaboration with community groups in various sections and neighborhoods in the city, will again bring entertaining as well as thought-provoking independent films and live performances outdoors.

Street Movies! uses short films as “a springboard to facilitate audience discussion about issues like immigration, the environment, and education,” according to Scribe Program Associate Jonathan Farbowitz.

This year’s lineup of animated, documentary and narrative shorts focuses on youth-produced videos and features films about refugees, the environment and the arts heritage of Philadelphia. The Street Movies! program also includes short animations from Nigeria and Kenya, as well as from New York-based StoryCorps’ oral history series.

In addition to film, select Street Movies! events open with a live performance. This year’s featured performers include renowned poet Ursula Rucker and guitarist Tim Motzer, musicians from Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble, the South East Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition (SEAMAAC)’s Hip-Hop Heritage B-Boy Crew, and the all-female drumming group Music Over Matter. Notable media personalities and community leaders serve as emcees for each Street Movies! event, and facilitate post-screening discussions with the audience.

All events start at 7:45 p.m. and are free, open to the public and family-friendly.

In West Philly, there will be two screenings: in the Haddington section on Thursday, Aug 1 and in Cobbs Creek on Wednesday, Aug 21. More details below.

Thursday, August, 1
Host: Urban Tree Connection
Location: The Memorial Garden
536 North 54th Street
Screening: Can’t Hold Me Back, about a first-generation high school graduate, youth-produced Messages in Motion films, and other shorts about the environment and other issues affecting youth.
Opening performance: Ursula Rucker and Tim Motzer
Rain Date: Monday, August 5

Wednesday, August 21
Cobbs Creek
Host: Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center (CCCEC)
Location: CCCEC
700 Cobbs Creek Parkway (63rd Street and Catherine Street) by the creek
Screening: Plastic Bag by Ramin Bahrani, a short film about the epic, existential journey of a plastic bag (voiced by Werner Herzog) searching for its lost maker.
Emcee: Serena Reed
Rain Location: CCCEC Building

For more information, please visit: or the Street Movies! Facebook page.

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Kittens fostered by AIDS Policy Project looking for homes

July 29, 2013


We received this message from our reader Kate Krauss, who runs West Philly-based organization AIDS Policy Project:

“Four little kittens and their mother have appeared on our porch. Kittens probably were born in the basement of an empty house next door. They are very cute and we are allergic. We’ve taken them in and they are staying in a utility room until we find them new parents. Their mother and they are all very sweet and gentle–no bites, just a lot of confused looks and playing.”

If you’re interested in adopting any of the kittens, please email Kate at: or call 215-939-7852. You can also donate some money to help Kate and her colleagues take care of the kittens while they are looking for homes. Please go here for more info and to donate.

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New preschool/afterschool with ‘living green’ approach opening at 45th and Walnut; Open Houses July 30 & Aug 16

July 29, 2013


Little Green School House teachers (from left to right) Tyler Colvard, Dionne Wright-Chambers, and Rowan Machalow.

Rowan Machalow and her partner Tyler Colvard, both teachers, are opening a new preschool this fall, called The Little Green School House, at their home located near 45th and Walnut (219 S. Melville St). Apart from teaching music, art, yoga, science, reading readiness, math, and drama, the school will have a special emphasis on living green – kids will also be learning things like “composting in a worm bin, planting and growing food they can eat, preparing and eating local veggies, cleaning and beautifying our block, visiting a local chicken coop, sorting materials for recycling, and using recycled materials to create art.”

The preschool will have full-day and half-day options and will only have 12 spots available, since Rowan and Tyler would like to “keep it pretty small.” Besides them, there will be two other qualified teachers in the program. Kids from almost 2 years old through 3rd grade (for after school programs) are welcome to apply. You can check out the space and meet the teachers at one of the Open Houses – on Tuesday, July 30 and Friday, Aug 16, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit, email or call 215-222-0208.

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Adopt-a-Dog: Solo

July 26, 2013

SoloSolo is a 1-2 year-old male pit bull terrier mix, weighing about 36 lbs. He has had a rough start, being underweight and found tied to a tree. But his tagline should be “The past belongs in the past, and the present is a present.”

This gentle boy not only loves to cuddle, he walks like a gentleman on the leash and has no issues with other dogs. He can be a bit nervous in overwhelming environments, but in a quiet and gentle home, he will quickly open up and could potentially live with other dogs.

Due to his young age and former “life,” Solo’s coat looks crazy with a mix of browns. Once he is on a steady diet and less stressed, his coat should become a deep chocolate brown (a lovely contrast with those golden eyes!). Once comfortable, Solo enjoys curling up for a nap or giving sweet kisses to anyone willing to offer a belly rub. This boy has quickly won the hearts of many volunteers and shouldn’t have to spend another day in the shelter.

If you’re looking for an easy companion animal, Solo is your dog. Please come to ACCT and meet Solo. If you are not ready to commit to adopting Solo but would like to help, fostering him and helping him find his forever family is a wonderful way to save not only Solo’s life but also the life of the dog who gets to move into Solo’s kennel at the shelter.

The shelter is located at 111 W. Hunting Park Avenue in Philadelphia. Please check for hours. Come in and take home a forever friend today! To check the status of an animal, call 267-385-3800 or email

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Mexicali under construction for a new restaurant space

July 26, 2013


Photo by Annamarya Scaccia / West Philly Local.

After we posted our food and booze updates in West Philly earlier this month, readers started asking about what’s happening with the shuttered Mexicali Cafe at 110 S. 40th Street, and a couple of readers heard through the grapevine that the former Mexican joint is turning into a Korean restaurant.

Well, we did a little digging and found out that the University City space is, in fact, under construction, and it seems another restaurant will take its place. According to Licenses and Inspections records, Mizu Sushi Inc., which is listed as the applicant, was issued a renovation permit for the existing restaurant on March 15. The work described for the permit includes “interior renovation to an existing restaurant”–meaning interior upgrades, ceiling work, and construction of an ADA-compliant bathroom. A separate electrical permit was issued to Mizu on April 10.

West Philly Local stopped by the site multiple times, but was unable to connect with the owner. We did drop in Mizu, which is collecting packages for 110 S. 40th St according to a handwritten sign on the door, and the workers we spoke with were tight-lipped, declining to give out the owner’s contact info per his request. When asked about whether the space will open as a Korean restaurant, the worker said he heard the rumor but couldn’t confirm if it is true. We’ll post an update as soon as we have more info.

-Annamarya Scaccia

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Thanks for your contributions for Ja’Briel

July 25, 2013

Dear Readers,

Thanks to your efforts we raised $744 to help the family of Ja’Briel O’Connor, who died tragically on Saturday. Ja’Briel’s funeral will be held Friday at The Church of Christian Compassion (6121 Cedar Ave.). The viewing is from 9-11 a.m. and the service will begin at 11 a.m.

Your contributions went to help offset funeral costs and other expenses – things like clothes and food for the services –  Ja’Briel’s mother, Aisha Watson, incurred. Ja’Briel also has three brothers and sisters who range in age from 9 to 14. The youngest in the family, Ja’Briel was a first grader at the Henry C. Lea School and often helped neighbors on Melville take their garbage out and weed their gardens.

We would also like to thank Katie and Yasser from Café Renata, who lent us a table in their shop as we collected dollars from people ranging in age from 5 to 75. Katie and Yasser also donated Café Renata’s the money from their sales during the period that we were there.

If you want to contribute but haven’t had a chance to yet, there may be additional collections from folks connected to the Lea school. We will let you know.

 – Mike Lyons

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