Archive | October, 2015

Dumpster Derby!: A little mischief on Osage last night

October 31, 2015

Dumpster Derby, a beloved West Philly tradition happening every year around Halloween time, took place last night near 44th and Osage. The event is held on a different street each year (the location is announced the day of the event) and is open to people of all ages, including children. Karts with younger drivers had parental supervision or participation.

DumpsterDerby2The goal is for participants to ride unconventional modes of transportation, go carts made from recycled items on wheels. Rigs this year included a shopping cart, a book case and multiple office chairs.

This year drivers raced down Osage Ave. Participation is more important than victory, and audience members can share the glory with participants and hop on a kart during one of repeat runs.

After sharing a vehicle with a driver or another spectator, the experience often sparks conversation or even a new friendship with other residents in the neighborhood.

Rana Fayez

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Catch Philly Thriller tomorrow at Clark Park

October 30, 2015

Halloween 9

The popular local dance group, Philly Thriller (Facebook page), which holds Michael Jackson inspired flash-mob performances on the streets of West Philly every Halloween, will be entertaining the crowds this year as well. We got in touch with the group director Rashida Holmes to see where folks can catch them this Saturday. According to Holmes, they’ll be at Clark Park (43rd and Baltimore) tomorrow from 5:30-6:45 p.m., so don’t miss their performances. For more Halloween events, go here.


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There’s still time to enter 2015 Pumpkin Carving Contest; advice from last year’s winner

October 30, 2015


Photo by West Philly Local reader Dan Chen.

The 5th annual West Philly Local Pumpkin Carving Contest is underway, and you can still enter it before it closes at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31. Many thanks to everyone who already sent us photos of their pumpkins and jack-o’-lanterns! We hope to receive more though. Don’t be shy, take a snapshot of your pumpkin and email it along with your name and address to: and who knows, maybe you can win some great prizes provided by our sponsors: Curio TheatreGreensgrow Farms, Lil’ Pop Shop, Local 44Mariposa Food CoopRenata’s Kitchen, and VIX Emporium. More info on how to enter the contest can be found here.

By the way, you don’t have to be an artist to win our contest, you just have to be really into it, according to our multiple prize winner Bimal Desai. Bimal is a pediatrician at CHOP and lives with his wife Naomi, also a pediatrician, and 6-year-old twins, Sam and Mauli, in Spruce Hill. We interviewed Bimal last year, but didn’t get a chance to publish the interview then. We’re publishing some excerpts from the interview now and hope Bimal’s excitement about pumpkin carving will inspire you.  Continue Reading

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Here’s where to drop off canned good donations for SEPTA through Monday, Nov. 2

October 30, 2015

If you’re going grocery shopping this weekend, think about picking up some extra canned goods and help SEPTA and Philabundance feed our neighbors in need. SEPTA has been holding its annual “Stop Hunger At Your Station” Food Drive this month, and it has been extended until Monday, Nov. 2.

The response so far from SEPTA customers and employees has been great, according to General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel, but they decided to extend the food drive through Monday to give people a little more time to donate. Their goal is to top the 18 tons of food contributed last year.

SEPTA is collecting donations of canned goods in marked barrels at 43 designated stations throughout the transit system. In West Philadelphia, you can drop off your donations at the following stations:  Continue Reading

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Don’t miss the Halloween parade and these other spooktacular events (updated)

October 29, 2015

halloween8We hope you’re already getting into the Halloween spirit. Here’s an assortment of spooky and fun events happening this Saturday. If you know of any other events that are not included in the list please email: or use the comment section below. Also, don’t forget to submit a photo of your carved pumpkin or jack-o’-lantern for our Pumpkin Carving Contest. UPDATE: On Friday, Oct. 30, The Woodlands Cemetery and Curio Theatre are inviting everyone to spend a Mischief Night with them. The event starts at 6 p.m. Go here for more information.

Saturday, Oct 31 – Halloween!

• The annual Spruce Hill Halloween Parade starts at 45th and Larchwood at 3:30 p.m. (gathering begins at 3 p.m. near 45th and Baltimore). The parade is followed by a party on the 4200 block of Osage Ave.

• The Locust Moon Comics Festival, which will be held at The Rotunda (40th and Walnut) from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., coincided this year with Halloween celebrations. The annual festival, organized by West Philly’s own comic shop, is a celebration of comics, illustration, and the graphic arts.


            Photo courtesy of Penn Museum.

• The Mexican Cultural Center, the Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia, and the Penn Museum present a Day of the Dead celebration at the museum (3260 South St.), from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.. Enjoy Mexican culture and the rich traditions of Día de los Muertos at this family-friendly afternoon filled with music and dance, puppetry and storytelling, and arts and crafts.

• International House Philadelphia (3701 Chestnut St.) is offering two “spooktacular” films. The first is a special Family Matinee showing of “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” at 2 p.m. Tickets are just $5 for kids and adults and free for IHP members. For adult moviegoers, the second film is “Vampyr“, a 1932 horror classic from Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer that screens at 7 p.m. ($9).  Continue Reading

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Residents concerned as Garden Court Plaza sold to developer with big plans

October 27, 2015

GardenCourtPlazaReal estate developer Post Brothers announced recently that it bought the Garden Court Plaza (4701 Pine St.) and is planning upgrades and renovations that has current residents wondering if they will be priced out of their apartments.

Built in the 1920s, the 13-story apartment building, which includes 146 units, was purchased for an undisclosed price as part of Post Brothers $250 million University City acquisition strategy, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal and other news outlets.

A founder of Post Brothers told the Philadelphia Business Journal that there is a shortage of housing geared toward “young professionals” in the area, which he compared to Cambridge, Mass., and that the firm’s strategy is to “upgrade and reposition” properties.

Post Brothers will do substantial renovations to Garden Court Plaza’s interior and exterior and add upscale amenities, according to a press release.

Some current residents who have contacted West Philly Local and asked not be named say they are bracing for big changes, including a substantial rent increase. They said that the new management company has begun asking for tax and pet vaccination information from residents.

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