"West Philly"

No trolley service to/from Center City July 31 – Aug. 17 (updated)

Posted on 30 July 2015 by

The annual Center City Trolley Tunnel maintenance and construction project (SEPTA Trolley Tunnel Blitz) is scheduled for July 31 – Aug. 17, 2015, which means there will be no trolley service in the tunnel during this period. Trolley Routes 10, 11, 13, 34 and 36 will not operate in the tunnel from 10 p.m. on Friday, July 31 through 4 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 17 while SEPTA crews complete a variety of power, track and station improvement projects.

During the 16-day tunnel closure, passengers can use the Market-Frankford Line from 40th Street station to travel to and from Center City. All trolleys will be diverted to 40th and Market Streets where passengers can switch to subway service at no additional cost.

During the Blitz, SEPTA crews will replace almost 7,500 feet (more than one mile) of track on the westbound side of the tunnel between 22nd Street Station and the 40th Street Portal.

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A roaring opening night of The Winter’s Tale at Clark Park (updated)

Posted on 30 July 2015 by

UPDATE (5:05 p.m.): Due to the rain, Thursday’s performance will be held indoors – at Drexel University’s Mandell Theater (33rd and Chestnut). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please note that no picnics are allowed inside.

A new production by Shakespeare in Clark Park (SCP) company, The Winter’s Tale, kicked off on Wednesday in the park’s Bowl (43rd and Chester). A huge crowd gathered for the opening night (see photos below) and enjoyed the great summer night atmosphere, superb acting of both adults and children cast in the show, and a few surprises (including the bear scene on the Bohemian seaside pictured below). A couple of food trucks and carts were also on hand for one of the summer’s best neighbor-watching opportunities.

If you missed the opening, there are four more shows remaining – through Sunday, Aug. 2. More information about this year’s production is available here. Shows start at 7 p.m.





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Woman wanted in connection with hit-and-run that killed 4-year-old in Kingsessing turns herself in (updated)

Posted on 29 July 2015 by Mike Lyons

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Shanika Mason in police custody on Wednesday. Screen shot from CBS3 video.

Police say a woman surrendered this morning in connection with the hit-and-run collision in April that killed a 4-year-old boy.

The black Ford Edge that police believe struck Abdul Wilson near the corner of 57th and Florence was recovered the following day, April 15, in a parking lot under Love Park in Center City, according to reports. Since then, the owner of the vehicle has apparently been negotiating with police through an attorney to turn herself in, which she did this morning.

CBS Philly is reporting that the woman is 27-year-old Shanika Mason of Sharon Hill. According to police, Mason works as a dietary aide in Haverford. Police could not confirm if charges have been filed. We will keep you posted.

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Shakespeare back at Clark Park July 29-Aug 2 with The Winter’s Tale (updated)

Posted on 29 July 2015 by

UPDATE (7/29/15): The Winter’s Tale shows kick off tonight at Clark Park at 7 p.m., and according to a new announcement from Shakespeare in Clark Park (SCP), they will be raffling gift cards from local businesses:

Also, don’t forget to bring your blanket or chairs, some picnic food (and drinks!) and a little bit of cash (if you can) for a donation. Donations help this awesome event return each summer.


Free outdoor Shakespeare in Clark Park shows draw big crowds to the “Bowl” near 43rd and Chester (archived photo/West Philly Local).

Shakespeare in Clark Park (SCP) is celebrating its 10th anniversary this summer with five nights of The Winter’s Tale, a tragicomedy of family and forgiveness. The annual popular outdoor theatre event that draws huge crowds of both locals and guests, returns on Wednesday, July 29 to Clark Park’s “Bowl” near 43rd and Chester.

Those who attended last year’s Henry IV shows must remember the epic battle scenes performed by a crowd of some 100 volunteers from various Philly neighborhoods (it’s truly hard to forget!). This year, a chorus of over 30 Philadelphia-area schoolchildren will perform along the company’s professional actors. Chorus members were selected after spring auditions.

The young performers are an integral part of the show; along with the audience they’re witnessing the triumph and failure of the adults. According to Director Kittson O’Neill, “The Chorus of Children not only helps perform The Winter’s Tale, it also allows the audience a way into this foreign world… It’s a tale of generations and how consequences are often felt most strongly by the next generation.”  Continue Reading

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Big fences, small zines and hands-on learning: West Philly in the news

Posted on 28 July 2015 by

Here’s a round up of some of the latest news coming out of the area.

St. Francis de Sales School photo

St. Francis de Sales School (Photo from

Cool things are happening at St. Francis de Sales, the local Catholic school. The school recently received a $13,000 grant from the nonprofit faith-based Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia to help fund its Science and Arts Innovative Learning on the River (SAILOR) program. The program provides real-world, hands-on engineering experience to participating students who visit the Delaware river, build boats and learn how to operate them. The program has inspired many St. Francis de Sales students to pursue an education in engineering, according to The Philadelphia Tribune. By the way, the school’s highly-acclaimed after-school music program, Play On Philly!, has also been featured in the news many times.


Photo from

Have you checked out The Soapbox yet? Philadelphia City Paper has recently published a nice feature on the West Philly-based independent publishing center. Co-founders Mary Tasillo and Charlene Kwon opened the space at 741 S. 51st St in 2011 to be used as a community studio for book arts and zine-making. Now, in addition to the studio, which is free to use for their members, The Soapbox also hosts a variety of workshops and houses a vast collection of zines (about 1,500!), over 500 of which have been cataloged. In other independent publishing news, the annual Philly Zine Fest will take place at The Rotunda (40th and Walnut) on Aug. 30Continue Reading

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A leaking barrel appears: Hazardous waste dumping on S. 51st Street

Posted on 28 July 2015 by

This leaking barrel of oil has been dumped at 51st and Warrington Streets, according to neighbor reports. There are two community gardens within a block.


Twitter photos by Kate Garchinsky.

Another barrel (not leaking), along with construction waste, has been reported half a block east.


Philly311 has been notified and issued a request to the servicing department:

We’ll keep you posted on further developments. “Drive by” trash dumping often occurs in some areas of the city, and the Streets Department is responsible for the cleanup of illegal dumping found on city streets. If you want to report illegal dumping on your block, here is an online form. You can also call 311 (215-686-8686 for cell phones). If you’re a Twitter user you can tweet to Philly311 (@philly311). Please include the address where illegal dumping was found. Information on proper disposal of bulk items and construction debris can be found here.

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