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West Philly weekend: Just a few more Dining Days; free 40th Street concert Saturday

Posted on 25 July 2014

There are a couple of things we wanted to mention as the weekend rolls in.

There are only three days left for University City Dining Days when you can enjoy dinner at 27 area restaurants for three fixed prices: $15, $25, and $35. The annual Dining Days will run through July 27. More info and the list of participating restaurants is available here.

julysumserWEBSITEThe second concert in the 40th Street Summer Concerts series is scheduled for this Saturday, July 26. Bring your blanket or chairs to the lawn behind the Walnut Street West library at 40th and Walnut and enjoy live music by Avalon String Band and the fusion act - Raphael Xavier W.O.R.X. Meets Bobby Zankel & The Warriors of the Wonderful Sound. The show, which begins at 6 p.m., also features free treats from Ben & Jerry’s and face painting and balloon animals for kids.

The next 40th Street Summer series concert is on August 30, featuring Nation Beat. More details are available here.

 

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3 Courses, 3 Prices: University City Dining Days return July 17

Posted on 15 July 2014

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Photo courtesy University City District.

Are you ready for University City Dining Days? The popular annual 10-day event when you can enjoy dinner at a number of local restaurants for pre-fixed prices, returns this Thursday, July 17. Participating restaurants are now accepting reservations.

Through July 27, 27 University City area restaurants will participate in this year’s “3 courses, 3 prices” promotion, from craft beer bars to celebrity chef restaurants to cozy BYOBs, featuring traditional and international cuisine. The participating restaurants offer a pre-fixe three-course dinner specials for $15, $25 or $35. This is a great chance to visit your favorite local restaurant or try a new one without taking a big bite out of your wallet.  Continue Reading

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Farm share opportunity for low-income families starting this week

Posted on 08 July 2014

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Photo via Greensgrow.org

On Thursday, July 10, Greensgrow Farms, one of Philadelphia’s most successful urban farms, is launching their second year of the SNAP Box Program, a low-cost weekly farm share. As many of you know, Greensgrow recently opened a West Philly location, Greensgrow West, at 4912 Baltimore Ave, so now West Philly residents participating in the program can pick up boxes filled with farm-fresh produce in or close to their neighborhood.

The SNAP Box program gives low-income families using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits access to top-quality fruits and vegetables from local farms. SNAP Box participants visit the farm weekly and use their SNAP benefits to pay $6.50 for an assortment of five to eight produce items. The Food Trust will be contributing Philly Food Bucks, giving families the opportunity to stretch their SNAP benefits by providing an extra $10 in coupons per session.

SNAP box pickups will begin July 10 and run in three four-week sessions throughout the summer. In addition, participants are provided nutritional information and are encouraged to attend free cooking classes after picking up their share. They also receive recipes corresponding to the contents of the week’s produce, and information about the farms who contributed to the share.

The SNAP Box is a product of Greensgrow’s Local Initiative for Food Education (LIFE) program, conceived as a remedy to the lack of fresh food available to low-income communities.

Greensgrow provides two farm share pickup locations in West Philadelphia. Here are the schedules:

Greensgrow Farms Mobile Market, 37th and Lancaster Avenue • Thursdays • 3:30–6:30 p.m.

Greensgrow West, 4912 Baltimore Avenue • Saturdays • 12:00–2:00 p.m.

Interested families can sign up here.

For more information or if you have questions, contact Deirdre Sheehy at SNAPbox@greensgrow.org or 215-430-0556 or visit the SNAP Box program website.

 

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Ramadan closings, hours, specials

Posted on 01 July 2014

This is a  reminder that the fasting month of Ramadan began on June 28 and some local businesses will be closed or will have limited hours of operation in observance of the holiday.

Saad’s Halal restaurant at 45th and Walnut is closed until Saturday, Aug 2, according to the signs posted on its windows.

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Photo from Manakeesh Facebook page.

Manakeesh, a Lebanese cafe and bakery located across the street from Saads, is closed during the day to observe Ramadan, but opens in the evening, from 8 p.m. to midnight. The special Ramadan hours are in effect until Tuesday, July 29. Manakeesh is inviting residents to try their special menu during this month: specialty burgers, stuffed grape leaves with lamb and more (see their Facebook page for more info).

Kabobeesh restaurant (42nd and Chestnut), a great Pakistani food joint, will have regular hours during Ramadan and will be serving free Iftar Sampler plates to everyone fasting during this month, according to their Facebook page. No purchase is necessary.

“Ramadan Mubarak” to our Muslim neighbors!

 

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

Posted on 26 June 2014

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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.

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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

Posted on 25 June 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.

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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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