Zora plays and we all get a lesson on West Philly playgrounds

April 4, 2012


West Philly resident Michael Froehlich and his 2-year-old daughter Zora love playgrounds. No wait, they really love playgrounds.

What began as the occasional bicycle excursion from their home on 48th Street to nearby playgrounds like Malcolm X. Park has turned into a full-on quest to document a bunch of playgrounds in this part of the city – 31 playgrounds in all.

“We went a little overboard,” said Froehlich, a legal aid attorney.

The result, the website zoraplays, is an invaluable guide to playgrounds that includes photos of equipment, sketches of the playground’s layout and a map showing the location. Each playground was within a mile of their home.

Froehlich said he and Zora’s goal is to help convince people that there is fun beyond the usual spots like Clark Park and Cedar Park.

“I hope that this project will show people that there are a lot of great playgrounds in our community so they should get on their bicycles and ride out and explore them,” he said.

The big question, of course, is which is Zora’s fav?

“I’d like to say that Zora has developed a discerning eye for quality playgrounds,” said Froehlich. “But the truth is that she loves all playgrounds. Tall slides, wide slides, single slides, double slides: she digs them all with the same gusto.”

As for Froehlich himself? “Malcolm X. Park,” he said. “There’s so much there.”

A map of the Christy Recreation Center playground at 56th and Christian from (click to enlarge)

– Emma Eisenberg contributed to this story

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Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunts

March 27, 2012

There are a few Easter egg hunts being held in the neighborhood this and next weekend. If you know of any others, please drop us a line at: editor [at]

Saturday, March 31, 3:30 p.m. – Parent Infant Center lawn (42nd & Locust)
This egg hunt is organized by the Woodland Presbyterian Church. Eggs filled with candies and a chance to win prizes for the little ones to hunt!

Saturday, April 7, 1 p.m. – Walnut Street West Library (40th & Walnut)
Children will receive books and stuffed animals. There will be an egg hunt for very young children in an area separate from the older children.

Easter Egg Hunt at St. Mary’s Church (2011).

Saturday, April 7, 3 p.m. – Clark Park (43rd & Chester)
For kids ages 0-8. Rain or shine. The event is free, but the egg hunt spaces are limited. There will be crafts and refreshments for everyone and a raffle prize at the end. There will also be a couple of bunnies to see and pet.

Saturday, April 7, 4 p.m. – St. Mary’s Church (3916 Locust Walk)
On the Nursery School steps (West side). All children and their families are welcome. This is a BYO basket event.

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Space available for Spring’s Clark Park Youth Soccer

March 19, 2012

Photo courtesy Friends of Clark Park (

There is space available in the spring Clark Park Youth Soccer Program. Kathleen Turner, the program coordinator, has sent us this information:

“Clark Park Youth Soccer still has space at all age levels — 5 to 11 — for more kids. We’d be very happy to have more girls to balance out the teams, so if there are any future Abby Wambachs or Alex Morgans out there, sign them up!

You can still download registration forms, but please do not mail them! Walk-in registration to fill the remaining slots on all teams will take place Saturday, March 24 beginning at 10 a.m., at Rosenberger Hall (43rd Street near the basketball court).”

For more information about the soccer program, including the Spring schedule and fees, visit:

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Two more West Philly Girl Scout cookie tables this week

February 13, 2012

If you didn’t get a chance to buy girl scout cookies during their January – early February sale, there will be two more cookie tables set up this week, so come by and stock up!

Wednesday, Feb. 15 – 39th and Locust Walk, 3:00-6:00 p.m. (weather permitting)
Saturday, Feb. 18 – Clark Park “B” (43rd & Chester), 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (weather permitting)

For more information or to order cookies, contact Amy Kwasnicki (Brownie Troop 93273) at: kwaszilla [at]

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Mentors needed for Walnut West Chess Cadets

February 10, 2012

Volunteer Staff assist players during recent mini-tournament at the Blackwell Regional library.

The Walnut West Chess Cadets are in need of volunteer staff to assist in conducting a weekly class and acting as mentors to our young student players. You do not need to be a “Master” chess player, but knowledge of the game would be very helpful.

Kids range from 1st to about 8th grade in age. The club is going into its fourth year and has experienced rapid growth and recognition at the city-wide tournaments where we compete during the school year. It is a very rewarding experience for the right person. The club meets on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the library, 201 S. 40th Street.

You can contact Joe Clarke, 215-626-7332 or philly.joe.c [at] or Ms. Susan Ben at the Walnut West Library, 215-685-7671.

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Author Monica Carnesi to present ‘Little Dog Lost’ at Blackwell Library

February 10, 2012

If you’re looking for something to do with your little ones tomorrow, stop by the Lucien E. Blackwell Library (52nd & Sansom) for the “Little Dog Lost” storytime with local author and illustrator Monica Carnesi. The event will begin at 2 p.m. at the Children’s Department.

Little Dog Lost is a picture book about the true story of Baltic, a dog who was lost on an ice floe in the Baltic Sea. As a special treat, Dandie and Gus, the library’s very own Certified Therapy Dogs (who are local West Philly residents), will be attending this storytime. Dandie & Gus visit the library once a month, and this month Gus (pictured) is also celebrating his birthday!

Books will be available for purchase and signing. For more information about the author and “Little Dog Lost,” go here.

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