Archive | June, 2014

New pet waste stations installed on 44th, 45th streets

June 30, 2014


New pet waste station on 45th St.

Dog owners who live around S 44th/45th and Pine/Spruce streets have something to be happy about. The area that lacks regular trash cans, now has two brand new pet waste stations on 44th and 45th streets between Spruce and Pine, next to the apartment buildings owned by Campus Apartments.

There was a pet waste basket on 45th Street before but it broke and was removed a few months ago. Earlier this month, we reached out to Campus Apartments to let them know about the basket, that it was broken and asked if they were responsible. We didn’t hear back, but a couple of weeks ago two new pet waste stations were installed near Campus Apartment buildings. That’s a great response! We even noticed bags in the pet waste dispenser.

Wouldn’t it be great to have more such stations installed around the neighborhoods? As part of our research for the recent trash can story, we learned that trash receptacles are a joint responsibility among community organizations, block captains, and the city. So why don’t pet waste baskets and bags fall under their responsibility as well? It would be very helpful to local dog owners and help keep our streets and sidewalks cleaner (we’re talking about responsible dog owners, of course, since there are those who don’t pick up after their dogs).

As for the pet waste stations themselves, they’re supplied by Great American Property Management Products and cost as low as $99 for the starter and $299 for the deluxe.


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Readings at the X: Talking history at Malcolm X Park

June 27, 2014


Click to enlarge.

The Friends of Malcolm X Park and local resident, historian and educator Rhone Fraser are teaming up to bring dramatic readings of seven historical plays to the park located at 51st and Pine Streets. The focus is on dramas dealing with important figures and events in African American history. The series, titled “Readings At The X,” will kick off July 8 and will be presented every Tuesday, starting at 7 p.m., until August 26 (see the flier for more details).

Currently, the organizers are raising funds for this community theater project. $3,000 is being raised to pay the venue, actors (some are coming from New York and Washington, DC), and videographer who will record the readings (not for commercial purposes). A portion of the raised funds will go to the Friends of Malcolm X Park for future events.

If you would like to support this project or want to learn more about it, please visit this Indiegogo page. There is only one week left to help the project with your donation.


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New music video filmed in West Philly as send-off for musician

June 27, 2014

Former West Philly resident, musician and teacher Joshua Marcus and his friend, West Philly artist and filmmaker Nate Johnson, have teamed up to produce this beautiful Appalachian-inflected tour of West Philly – including The Woodlands Cemetery and 30th Street Station – as kind of a send-off for Joshua, who is moving on. Some of Joshua’s friends also join him for some porch jamming to some of his latest songs, available here.

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Pew invests in West Philly skills and area artists

June 26, 2014

We’d like to share some awesome news that came from the Pew organization. A whole bunch of West Philly-based artists, organizations and projects have recently been awarded prestigious and substantial Pew grants.

Here they are:

SkillsInitiativeUniversity City District’s West Philadelphia Skills Initiative

The University City District (UCD) has been awarded an $180,000 grant from Pew Charitable Trusts for continued support of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, a program that connects local employers seeking talent to talented West Philadelphians seeking opportunity. The University City District was one of 45 Philadelphia-area organizations to receive money from the Pew Fund for Health and Human Services, the primary vehicle through which The Pew Charitable Trusts supports the efforts of health and social service organizations in the Philadelphia region. The money will allow the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative to continue and improve its service of providing training and employment to low-income individuals in the district.

This is the second grant the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative has received from Pew. The first was awarded in 2011 and helped launch the program.


The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage (the Center) recently announced its 2014 grants in support of Philadelphia’s arts and cultural community. They include 12 new Pew Fellowships of $60,000 each, 35 Project Grants in amounts up to $300,000, and two Advancement Grants of $500,000 each, according to Nicole Steinberg, Center Communications Specialist.

Pew Fellow Ted Passon

The Center recognized the accomplishments and work of filmmaker and Emmy-nominated director Ted Passon, who lives in the West Philadelphia area. Passon’s recent documentary films unpack complicated social and political issues, while reflecting the underlying human emotions at play.

Here are also some funded projects in the area:

Liberian Women's Chorus for Change Retreat

Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change: Fatu Gayflor, Marie Nyenabo, Zaye Tete, and Tokay Tomah. (Photo by Anna Mulé, courtesy of the Philadelphia Folklore Project)

Philadelphia Folklore Project: Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change

Led by 2014 Pew Fellow Fatu Gayflor, the Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change addresses urgent issues of violence against women in the Liberian community, fostering conversation and generating action through song. The Philadelphia Folklore Project will present the Chorus in local Liberian neighborhoods as well as in concerts at World Café Live and other venues.

Iquail Shaheed: Pushers

Pushers will examine issues of addiction in Shaheed’s neighborhood, the underserved area of Mantua in West Philadelphia. Shaheed will conduct exploratory workshops with youth participants in Mantua, and he will collaborate with outside artists on the script and music for the performances, including playwright and MacArthur Fellow Tarell Alvin McCraney. Shaheed is a first-time Center grantee.

WXPN: Zydeco Crossroads

This yearlong project will examine the evolution of zydeco, a musical form that blends Cajun music, blues, and R&B. Multiple concert performances will showcase celebrated zydeco musicians and explore the genre’s intersections with hip-hop, soul, and rock. Music documentarian Robert Mugge will also create a new film on zydeco, to be screened at a culminating weekend festival in fall 2015.


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Free outdoor movies coming to Clark Park; Thursday market update (updated)

June 26, 2014


Photo courtesy Awesome Fest.

This summer, Clark Park is hosting some great arts events. The annual Shakespeare in Clark Park is returning on July 30 with epic performances of Henry IV (more info coming soon), and starting this Thursday, the park will welcome The Awesome Fest, also an annual event happening at various Philadelphia venues. The Awesome Fest was launched in 2010 and since then showcased over 200 Philadelphia premieres from the world’s most prestigious film festivals.

The fest opens tonight at 9 p.m. at Clark Park (43rd and Baltimore) with another Philadelphia premiere – Riot on the Dance Floor. Update: The remaining Awesome Fest movie screenings at Clark Park are: The Wizard Of Oz synced with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of the Moon (July 10), Death Metal Angola (July 17), Jingle Bell Rocks! (July 24), Phantom of The Paradise (Aug 7), and Skanks (Aug 14), all starting at 9 p.m.. Films are presented on a state-of-the-art, 30-foot outdoor screen, and are free to the public. For more Awesome Fest events, click here. The fest closes on August 17.

Clark Park Summer Film Series also kicks off this week, with the first film showing on Friday, June 27, at 8 p.m. in the Bowl (45th and Regent). Gasland Part II will be shown. This showing is also free. Don’t forget to bring your popcorn, blankets and chairs.


Clark Park Farmers’ Market.

Here’s also a quick update on the Clark Park Thursday market events and vendors:

Unfortunately, Tune Up Philly (Facebook page) have cancelled the rest of their dates at Clark Park Thursday, according to Food Trust Market Director Lisa Kelly. West Philly Local reported last week on The Food Trust’s plans to bring Paul Smith of Tune Up Philly and the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra to the market every Thursday throughout June and July for interactive demonstrations on how to make musical instruments out of vegetables. There are no more details available at this time.

There is some good news about today’s market though. To coincide with the kickoff of The Awesome Fest at Clark Park, there will be a free canning demonstration from 4 – 6 p.m., led by local food writer Emily Teel. She will be sharing her knowledge on how to can produce from your favorite farmers’ market. Also, lots of information on home canning as well as recipes and other canning goodies will be offered at this event.

In addition, The Food Trust is bringing several new food trucks to the park today – Poi DogCurbside CreameryMom-Mom’s Polish Food CartPie Stand (2014’s Vendy Award winners!), and Flavor Spot (a food truck spinoff of the popular Jamaican restaurant). The trucks will be on site for the market from 3 p.m. on through The Awesome Fest.

Please don’t forget that the usual market vendors will be there from 3 to 7 p.m. Quaff Meadows, Homestead Gardens, and Frecon Farms are bringing their fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and more to the market.

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West Philly news roundup: Marigold Kitchen update, save The Seven Giants and more

June 25, 2014

Check out some of the latest news, upcoming events and other happenings around the neighborhoods.

Around 700 homes in Kingsessing were still without gas service on Tuesday night due to a water main break near 56th St and Woodland Ave on Saturday, according to NBC10. The water main break caused a disruption to the natural gas line. Initially 60 homes in the area were affected but during the repair work, hundreds more homes were disconnected from natural gas service as far east as 52nd Street, according to reports.

MarigoldKitchen• Good news for Marigold Kitchen fans! The highly-acclaimed Spruce Hill restaurant, whose owner Robert Halpern is moving on (and moving out of the state), is not closing after all, as was initially reported. Well, at least not for good. Halpern sold his business to his own chefs de cuisine, Tim Lanza and Andrew Kochan, both 26, The Insider reports. Halpern’s executive chef, Keith Krajewski, will also continue his work at this location, according to The Insider. The restaurant will serve its last dinner under Halpern’s ownership on Saturday, June 28. After that, it will close for some kitchen refurbishment work and will reopen in early September.


The English elms at The Woodlands (Photo courtesy The Woodlands)

• The Woodlands Cemetery and Mansion is asking the community to help them save seven English elm trees (they’re called “The 7 Giants”), some of the most significant historic trees on the grounds thanks to their size and age (they date back to the late 18th century). The trees are suffering from Dutch Elm Disease, which may kill them if left untreated. Treatment and monitoring of the disease is costly, so the Woodlands has started a fundraising campaign to help cover the costs. The initial goal is $20,000. For more information and to donate, click here.

Little Baby’s Ice Cream has created a new flavor called the Works, now available at LBIC’s Cedar Park location (49th and Catharine). Proceeds from the sale benefit Neighborhood Bike Works, a non-profit that offers youth bike education programs and bike repair classes for adults.

• deathofsamuelmillerWest Philly based art rock band The Chairman Dances will present their new album, The Death of Samuel Miller (out 6/27 via Grizzly Records), on Friday, June 27 at The Rotunda (40th and Walnut). Spelling Reform (Facebook page) and Vita and the Woolf (Facebook page) will also take part in the album release show, which begins at 8 p.m. ($10). The Chairman Dances’ song “Prophetess” was No. 2 in WXPN‘s list of the 5 best Philly songs of 2013. The music video for the new record’s single, “Dance to the Neighbor’s Stereo,” is streaming on Vimeo.


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