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Local businesses team up to serve Thanksgiving community dinner

November 20, 2017

Several West Philly businesses, including Siddiq’s Water Ice, Dynamite Pest Control, Royal Mane Boutique and others, have partnered this Thanksgiving holiday to serve a special “Giving Thanks” community dinner on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23. The dinner will be served at Siddiq’s Water Ice location at 264 S. 60th Street (in a heated tent between Locust and Spruce) from noon to 3 p.m. The food is catered by Ol’ Boys Soul Food.

Siddiq Moore has been serving real fruit water ice, ice cream and frozen yogurt near 60th and Irving since July 8, 2017 when he opened his first brick-and-mortar location, but he has been in the business since mid-90’s when he started running a water ice cart at Temple University. After opening in July, Siddiq’s Water Ice (Facebook page) received its own street marker, “Siddiq’s Water Ice Way”, from the city, recognizing Moore’s efforts to revitalize 60th Street Corridor.

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AnniVIXary X: VIX Emporium to throw a party for its 10th anniversary this Saturday

November 16, 2017

November 18th will be exactly 10 years since Cedar Park’s craft and gift shop VIX Emporium opened its doors to customers at 5009 Baltimore Ave. To celebrate the shop’s 10th anniversary, owner Emily Dorn invites everyone to a party this Saturday from 6 – 9 p.m.

It’s also the opening party for two new 2018 wall calendars by two local artists. One features 12 tiny oil paintings of West Philadelphia architecture by Russell Brodie (see image below), and the other, by Loretta Gary of Radical Hearts Print Lab, highlights 12 prominent social and political activists.

Both limited-edition calendars will be available for sale.

And last but not least, you can head start on your holiday shopping at VIX. Your purchase of $50 or more during the party will be 10 percent off. Also, stay tuned for more details about the annual Go West! Holiday Craft Fest, which will take place at The Rotunda on Sunday, Dec. 10Continue Reading

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UCD’s annual report shows more millennials, more apartments, higher rents and home prices in last year

November 10, 2017

The University City District released its annual “State of University City” report on Thursday night. It shows what most of us already know: home prices are up; new retail spots are opening left and right; and the population is growing and getting younger.

UCD roughly defines “University City” as the area bounded by the Schuylkill River to the east, 50th Street to the west, Market Street/Powelton Avenue/Spring Garden Street to the north and Woodland Avenue/University Avenue to the south.

Here’s what the report, which covers trends through 2016, shows in key areas:

Real Estate Development

During 2016, 28 projects were either completed or made significant strides toward completion. These include academic, commercial, medical and residential projects. Curbed Philly has a handy map with many of the new projects covered in the report.  Continue Reading

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Lancaster Avenue Day will highlight local business and entertain community this Saturday

October 5, 2017

Lancaster Avenue 21st Century will hold Lancaster Avenue Day festivities on Saturday, Oct. 7. The day will include a parade that starts on 35th Street at noon, as well as resource tables on topics ranging from registering to vote to paying your water bill.

The parade will proceed from 34th street until 43rd street, and the day will include a $100 “Best in Show” award. There will also be decorations on hand to “decorate your car, or your bike, or yourself, whatever you want,” said organizer Joel Spivak.

Spivak said the day grew out of Lancaster Avenue 21st Century, a business association he co-founded in 2005. Back then, he was concerned that gentrification in West Philadelphia might harm longtime residents and businesses. Spivak is experienced in this area: In the 1970s, he said, he was part of a wave of artists that gentrified South Street. As the Lancaster organization sought to promote local businesses while also encouraging new ones, Spivak came up with an idea.  Continue Reading

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Marvelous Records to close, Common Beat Music to take over on Baltimore Ave.

July 12, 2017

Here’s a good news/bad news situation for West Philly music lovers, particularly those who dig vinyl or need an instrument or turntable repaired.

Photo from The Marvelous Records & Music Facebook page.

The bad news is that The Marvelous – Records and Music on Baltimore Avenue (formerly of 40th Street) is closing after 14 years on July 14. The good news is that the storefront at 4916 Baltimore Ave won’t really skip a beat as a purveyor of music-related stuff.

The Marvelous opened in a basement storefront on 40th Street in 2003 and in 2012 moved into a former yoga studio at 4916 Baltimore Ave., where they offered a large selection of vinyl, CDs, instrument supplies, and more.

“Nothing could have pleased us more than to spend this time rubbing our cheeks up in your jowls and we deeply appreciate every last crusty 45, guitar pick and even crispy comic which you saw fit to purchase from us over the last decade and a half,” owner Milan Marvelous wrote us.  Continue Reading

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A taste of Argentina – Jezabel’s Studio – opens Wednesday on 45th St. near Walnut

July 11, 2017

Chef Jezabel Careaga, a native of Argentina whose Jezabel’s Café at 26th and Pine has been named one of Philly’s best “under-the-radar breakfast places,” is bringing her empanadas, alfajores, specially made mate tea and coffee to an intimate storefront near 45th and Walnut.

Jezabel Careaga, chef-owner of Jezabel’s.

Jezabel’s Studio will open tomorrow, July 12, at 208 S. 45th St. At only 400 square feet, Jezabel’s Studio will definitely not be a place to park with your laptop. But Careaga is making the most of the space, which includes a small indoor sitting area (there are a couple of seats on the sidewalk too).

Offerings will include a variety of her signature empanadas (yes, they have a vegan option) as well as alfajores, Argentine shortbread cookies that are filled with dulce de leche and rolled in coconut shavings.  Continue Reading

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