Archive | October, 2013

“This is thriller, thriller night”: Catch up with Philly Thriller tonight

October 31, 2013


Philly Thriller dance group performing on the streets of West Philly. Photo from Philly Thriller’s Facebook page.


You’ve probably heard about the Philly Thriller “zombies” group, which dances at various locations around West Philly on Halloween night. But it’s hard to catch up with them because they show up flash mob style, perform their routine and move on to the next location. So here’s the Philly Thriller performance schedule for tonight that their leader, Rashida Holmes, kindly shared with us:

“Weather permitting, we’ll be doing a dress rehearsal performance on The Rotunda Plaza (40th & Walnut) from 4-ish to 4:30-ish, then we’ll be “flashmobbing” a couple spots along Baltimore Ave around 5-ish then we will be stationed at the Haunted Gym at St. Francis de Sales (47th & Windsor) from 6-ish to 7-ish. If we are totally rained out, we’ll make our way to the gym earlier (5-ish or so) but that doesn’t seem likely.”

For more info about today’s activities in the neighborhood, including the Halloween Tot Parade and Haunted Gym, check out this page.

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Wishbone opens in Lee’s Hoagie House’s old home

October 31, 2013

Growing up, my late Nana would always make fried chicken. Thighs, breasts, wings…no part of that bird was left out of our frying pan. And her fried chicken was delicious, crispy, and addictive.

Up until last night, I thought I had lost my taste for fried chicken after my Nana passed away in 1999. None of the fried chicken could compare to hers—whether from a fast food dive or “upscale” home-cooking joint, the crispy coated birds were just grease-bomb artery cloggers. Then I tasted Wishbone‘s classic craft fried chicken and it was like I was eight years old, chomping on a thigh during holiday dinner. With each bite I understood why the line at Wishbone, which opened last week in Lee’s Hoagie House’s former home at 4034 Walnut Street, was almost out the door when I stopped by on Tuesday night. And this person agrees.

wishboneWishbone is co-owned by veteran chefs Alan Segel and Dave Clouser who spoke with The Insider back in June about their plans to open a shop with a “takeout, delivery, some seating, a small menu… and no pretense.”

Battered in buttermilk and pretzel crust, Wishbone’s classic fried chicken, available in dark or white meat and offered at $8.95 a pound, was tender, crispy and juicy and had a minimal aftermath of grease (there’s also a Thai coconut curry & basil special offered, which I didn’t try due to food allergies). A variety of dips are offered at $0.50 each (I tried the pimenton aioli and modern BBQ), but—while good on their own—they lack the kick necessary to a proper accompaniment to the delicious (albeit slightly salty) chicken.

While the chicken’s a production, Wishbone is not. It’s nothing more than a “quirky” take out joint done cafeteria style with an upstairs seating area and decked out in a simplified country-inspired decor (think ceramic roosters and tin watering cans with flowers). It’s in its evolving stages as the general manager Erica Hope told me, so expect a few bumps like waiting 10 minutes for more chicken or stopping by to a closed shop because the chicken’s run out. As of Thursday, Wishbone is tentatively open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., with possibly later closing hours during the weekends.

– Annamarya Scaccia

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Black & white male cat found near Presbyterian Medical Center

October 30, 2013


A young black & white male (unneutered) cat was found this morning on the grounds of Presbyterian Medical Center at 39th and Filbert and taken to Morris Animal Refuge. He was found wandering around outside “wet and sad” and appeared to be lost, according to a West Philly Local reader who works at the center. The cat is very friendly. He was wearing a flea collar.

For more information, please contact Darcy at or call Morris Animal Refuge at 215-735-9570.

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SEPTA gets more WiFi and an app

October 30, 2013


SEPTA announced this week that it is expanding wireless service to many more stations, including most along the Market-Frankford and Broad Street lines. Today SEPTA launched free WiFi access at the 69th Street Transportation Center used by thousands of people every day.

SEPTA is partnering with Comcast on this thing (in exchange for some free advertising), so the WiFi is Xfinity. People who already subscribe to Xfinity just need to log in as usual. Non-subscribers should click on the Xfinity network on their device and follow the prompts.

Other stations where you can use WiFi include Market East, Suburban, 30th Street, Temple University, and University City. The rollout of free WiFi at all the stations on the El and Broad Street lines will take up to two years, according to a press release. WiFi will also be expanded to regional rail and airport train stations. It seems like it won’t, unfortunately, be onboard trains and buses. That’s OK, SEPTA has bigger fish to fry – like making sure it actually stays in business.

SEPTA also announced the release of a new app. It is pretty good, but it doesn’t go much further than the better third-party transit apps available (though it looks better). The app includes current schedules for all trains, trolleys and buses and up-to-the-minute info on regional rail. Using GPS, it will also list the closest stops etc. One not-so-intuitive thing is that when you want to return to the main menu of transit options, click the transit symbol (the trolley, bus, or train) in the upper left part of the screen (see screen shot).

The app is only available for the iPhone as of today, but we’re told that an Android version is in the works.

Mike Lyons

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Short story by West Philadelphia expat chosen by Maile Meloy for 2013 Montana Fiction Prize

October 30, 2013


Emma Copley Eisenberg / Photo by Keith Alan Sprouse.


The short story “44 True Things About Being Gone,” written by Emma Copley Eisenberg while she lived on 45th and Springfield in 2011, was chosen by writer Maile Meloy as the winner of the 2013 Montana Prize in Fiction and appears in the current issue of CutBank Literary Magazine. The story is set in West Philadelphia and features a friendship between a young, queer, white woman from West Virginia who works at a coffee shop in Center City and a young black male PhD candidate who’s recently left a Rastafarian community in Germantown.

The Baltimore Avenue corridor features prominently as well as other notable Philadelphia locales, and the piece benefited from feedback from the members of local Kelly Writers House-affiliated Backyard Writers club. Eisenberg says, “West Philadelphia is essential to this story. I wanted to highlight the connections and friendships I saw springing up in the neighborhood that crossed lines of geography and class and sexuality and race. People living in close proximity make these relationships more likely, but there is something about West Philadelphia that makes them magic.”

By the way, Eisenberg also contributed to West Philly Local while she lived in West Philly.

To read the story, click on the link below.

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Less than 12 hours left to help free concert series at The Rotunda

October 30, 2013

gate13-14There’s still a chance to support GATE 13:14, a monthly concert series presented by Bowerbird Concerts at The Rotunda. A Kickstarter fundraising campaign is underway, which would allow this free community program to continue. As of 11 a.m., $8,694 has been pledged and the project will be funded only if at least $10,000 is pledged by 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct 30.

From the Bowerbird project page on Kickstarter:

“Since 2006, Bowerbird has presented nearly 400 of events – concerts, workshops, small concerts, community art projects, and huge festivals. 

We believe that Philadelphia is hungry for something more than “just another gig.” We believe that there are wonderful artists living right in our own community and that some of the greatest historical work deserves more attention.  And most importantly, we believe in your curiosity.”

GATE 13:14 is a monthly series of concerts that aims to bring “experimental, outsider, avant, unknown, forgotten, futuristic, and rediscovered types of music” to the community. It also “strives to build a space for conversation and discovery, an incubator for new ideas and an opportunity to explore extraordinary ones, and a place to cultivate new audiences and communities around this work.”

To learn more about this project and to donate, click here.

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