"West Philly"

Spirited Tattooing Coalition to open at 49th and Baltimore next week

Posted on 06 March 2015 by ranafayez

SpiritedtattoosBody-art fans will be happy to learn about a new business coming to Cedar Park. Spirited Tattooing Coalition (Facebook page) will be opening at 49th and Baltimore Ave next week. Shop owner and tattoo artist Jasmine Morrell said she set out to open the shop as the first openly queer and a person of color to open a business like this in the city of Philadelphia.

“I wanted to be able to create a healthy and safe environment around tattooing people’s bodies and dismantle the abrasive and sometimes harsh environment that comes with the industry standard,” said Morrell.

The mission is to create a safe space where the staff will be trained in tolerance and inclusiveness to battle sexism, racism and homophobia that has been present in the tattooing industry. She completed her apprenticeship in 2004 and has been tattooing ever since. With a little over 10 years of experience, she felt ready to have her own space.


Jasmine Morrell (photo by Sarah Mackenzie).

“The industry is dominated by one type of person, it tends to be very male-white-centric. When there are women in the industry or the shop, it’s almost like they’re being commodified and not being valued as a person. I mean that’s a lot of industries. But I think American tattooed culture is bred as this American tough guy attitude. The reality is that it’s an art form, it stems from a different culture that does not relate to that,” said Morrell.

Spirited Tattooing Coalition began a month-long IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign in November, but only hit a little over one-third of the fundraising goal. “I’m a first time business owner and it’s definitely scary but I’ve had so much support though, it doesn’t feel like I’m doing it completely alone,” Morrell said.

Spiritedtattoos1Spirited Tattooing Coalition is located at 4918 Baltimore Ave. The space was previously occupied by the A.M.S. International Market, which closed in June, but has since been transformed into a different type of retail space. The space above will remain a residential apartment space. The current space will not only run as a tattoo shop but also a fine arts gallery, with portion of the floor dedicated to being consignment goods.

Friday, March 13th will mark the official Grand Opening – the shop will be open from noon-9 p.m. Regular business hours will resume the following day: Monday-Saturday noon-9 p.m. The shop will be closed Sunday.

Rana Fayez

Comments (4)

Public schools closed on Friday, March 6

Posted on 05 March 2015 by

Another snow day at the Philadelphia public schools! The School District has announced that all public schools will be closed on Friday, March 6 due to the inclement weather. All pre-kindergarten and after school programs will also be closed. Administrative offices will be open two hours late.

This will be the second day in a row when public schools are closed as a result of heavy snowfall in the region.


Comments (0)

Study shows that not all parklets are created equal

Posted on 05 March 2015 by Mike Lyons

manakeesh parkletThe numbers are in for “parklets,” those little curbside, pop-up platforms with tables and chairs found outside a few local businesses, and it turns out that people, and businesses, seem to like them.

The University City District studied parklet use in 2013 – observing and counting who used them and how – and released a report this week detailing what they found. The study included six parklets outside the Green Line Cafe on Baltimore Avenue, Honest Tom’s/Lil’ Pop Shop, Fu-Wah Market, Manakeesh Cafe, Little Baby’s Ice Cream in Cedar Park and Ramen Bar at 4040 Locust.

To get the data, the UCD parked an intern at each spot during the operating hours of the host businesses on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the spring and summer of 2013.

It shows that most of the people who use the parklets are patrons of the “host” businesses (you don’t have to be, but most were). In terms of daily unique users, the Honest Tom’s/Lil’ Pop Shop parklet (which both offer very portable products) saw the most traffic (just over 140 per day) with the Green Line spot second at about 60 visitors. The parklet outside of Manakeesh, which sits curbside along a busy section of Walnut Street got only a few visitors per day.

Use at the Honest Tom’s/Lil’ Pop Shop location spiked at about 2 p.m. and then again at about 6:30 p.m. Green Line’s parklet was busiest at about 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. and Little Baby’s parklet saw most of its daily use between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The others spiked during lunch and dinner times.  Continue Reading

Comments (3)

Some mayoral, city council candidates at forum in West Philly this Thursday. Update: Cancelled due to snow

Posted on 05 March 2015 by


Mayoral candidate Jim Kenney (Facebook photo).

UPDATE (3/5/2015): The event has been cancelled due to the inclement weather and will be re-scheduled. Stay tuned for more information.

This Thursday, March 5, the 27th Ward Democratic Executive Committee will host a forum with candidates contending in May’s primary. Mayoral candidate and former city councilman Jim Kenney and city council candidates will be present, including Blondell Reynolds Brown, William K. Greenlee, Ed Neilson, and W. Wilson Goode, Jr.

The public is welcome to attend this meeting, which will take place at Rosenberger Hall at the University of the Sciences (600 S. 43rd Street, near Woodland Ave.), starting at 7:30 p.m.

The primary election will be held May 19 and the general election is slated for Nov. 3. You can get up to speed on the council and mayoral candidates on the Committee of Seventy website.


Comments (0)

The Enterprise Center awarding up to $50,000 to Philly food entrepreneurs; apply by March 11

Posted on 05 March 2015 by

cooking_up_success_logo_featured_initiativesHere is an awesome opportunity for local food entrepreneurs to get financial and technical support for their growing businesses. The Enterprise Center is awarding selected businesses up to $50,000, including 15 hours (valued at $450) of kitchen time at the Dorrance H. Hamilton Center for Culinary Enterprises (48th and Spruce). Applications are currently being accepted for the Cooking Up Success! culinary competition in the following categories: Innovative Food Creation, Emerging Food Business, and Innovative Collaboration. Applicants’ businesses must be located in Philadelphia and Emerging Food Businesses must be within 0-6 months of operation in order to be considered for the award.

The Innovative Food Creation category is for entrepreneurs who have an innovative food product to be sold wholesale or in the form of a catering business. Applicants can select one of six sub-categories when they submit their business summary entry.

The Emerging Food Business category is for new or established brick-and-mortar businesses, including coffee shops, cafes, restaurants, and food trucks.

Finally, two or more entrepreneurs working together on a collaborative food product or business are welcome to submit their application in the Innovative Collaboration category.

All applicants must submit their business plan online by March 11, 2015.

Local culinary experts and professionals will select top finalists in each category, based on entrepreneurs’ business sustainability and product quality. Friends, family and associates then will vote on these finalists as they show off their dishes or products at the Cooking up Success! Philly Made event at the Culinary Center on May 19, 2015.

For more information and to submit your application, go here.

Comments (0)

Snow emergency starting at 6 a.m. Thursday, March 5; Schools closed, trash pickup canceled Thursday

Posted on 04 March 2015 by

Snow emergency: In anticipation of a heavy snowfall expected to hit the Philadelphia area overnight and in the morning, the city has declared a snow emergency in effect starting at 6 a.m. on Thursday, March 5. If you parked your vehicle along one of the emergency routes the city wants you to move it. All vehicles remaining parked along the emergency routes after 6 a.m. will be towed. If your car is towed please call 215-686-SNOW.

Here are the snow emergency routes in West Philadelphia:

• Chestnut Street from Cobbs Creek Parkway to 20th Street
• Walnut Street from Broad Street to Cobbs Creek Parkway
• Woodland Avenue from Cobbs Creek Parkway to University Avenue
• 34th Street from University Avenue to Grays Ferry Avenue
• 38th Street from Walnut to University Avenue
• 63rd Street from City Avenue to Walnut Street
• University Avenue from 38th Street to 34th Street
• Island Avenue from Woodland Avenue to Enterprise Avenue
• Cobbs Creek Parkway from Walnut Street to Woodland Avenue
• Schuylkill Avenue from Market Street to Walnut Street

Trash collection: Snow emergency also means that there will be no trash and recycling pick up this Thursday because garbage trucks will be used for snow removal. If your trash collection day is Thursday please hold it until next Thursday. The Streets Department also announced that only trash and recyclables set out curbside will be picked up this Friday (no rear drive pick-up).

Schools: All public and Archdiocese schools will be closed on Thursday due to the snowstorm.

SEPTA: The following bus routes are currently on detour: 7, 9, 14, 19, 27, 28, 31, 32, 38, 44, 48, 52, 55, 56, 58, 62, 65, 84, 88, 90, 92, 93, 95, 97, 98, 99, 103, 104, 107, 109, 110, 111, 112, 114, 115, 117, 118, 119, 120, 125, 126, 131 and G. Information on the detours for specific routes will be published on the System Status section of the SEPTA website. Click on the weather icon next to the route for complete details.

Comments (0)