"West Philly"

Live jazz returns to West Philly parks

Posted on 27 May 2016 by

Summer brings many cool events to West Philly neighborhoods, including street festivals, outdoor music, art and movies, farmers’ and flea markets, and food-centered events, so we’ll be posting this information as it becomes available. Today’s post is dedicated to a popular summer event in the area – jazz in local parks.

cedarparkjazzWe’re happy to report that two West Philly parks, Cedar Park and Malcolm X Park, will once again be hosting jazz nights featuring well-known local musicians and guests throughout the summer.

Friday Night Jazz in Cedar Park (49th and Baltimore) will kick off on Friday, June 3, with a performance by Bernard Samuels Trio. Performances will be held every Friday, 6 – 8 p.m.. Here’s the lineup through July 29 (additional performances may be announced later):

June 3 – Bernard Samuels Trio
June 10 – Progressive Movement
June 17 – Gretchen Elise & Friends
June 24 – Clef Club Youth Ensemble
July 1 – Rich Tucker & Friends
July 8 – Dendê Mercado/Brazilian artist
July 15 – Bobby Zankel & The Warriors of the Wonderful Sound IV
July 22 – Glenn Bryan
July 29 – Philadelphia Clef Club/ Tribute to Donald “Chappy” Washington Band & Friends

Cedar Park Jazz is hosted by Cedar Park Neighbors and is made possible thanks to donations from local organizations, businesses and individuals. If you would like to support this event and help bring more performances to the park, click here.

West Philadelphia Jazz Heritage Series are held at Malcolm X Park (52nd and Pine) every other Thursday, beginning at 7 p.m. The series is hosted by Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell and Friends of Malcolm X Park. Here’s the lineup through Sept. 15:

June 9 – The Jazz Lab Project
June 23 – Vocalist: The Barbara Walker Story
July 7 – Bassist: Bill Booker & Trio
July 21 – Vocalist: Shirley Lites
Aug. 4 – Budesa Brothers
Aug. 18 – Perfect Solution
Sept. 1 – Napoleon Redeemer & The 61st St Band
Sept. 15 – Angel Baby Music  Continue Reading

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West Philly teen competes in National Spelling Bee

Posted on 26 May 2016 by


A West Philadelphia 7th grader, Saif Siddiquee, participated in the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee, being held this week in Washington, DC. 13-year-old Saif is a Penn Alexander School student. On Wednesday, Saif competed in the Preliminary Rounds 2 and 3 (onstage oral spelling) and spelled correctly both words (“crudités” and “recrudescence”) presented to him by the Bee’s official pronouncer, Dr. Jacques Bailly.

Only 45 kids out of the 285 who entered in this year’s competition made it to the Finals, and, unfortunately, Saif wasn’t one of them. Nevertheless, we congratulate Saif on his great performance and for representing his school and Philadelphia in this prestigious contest.

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Clarkville covered in graffiti… again

Posted on 26 May 2016 by

Vandals have struck again at Clarkville at 43rd and Baltimore, painting walls and windows and writing “Gentrifiers Go Home” on an outside wall. The restaurant was tagged shortly after its opening in December 2015 in the former Best House Pizza location.

Co-owner Brendan Hartranft scraped paint from Clarkville’s windows on Thursday morning.

“I wish they knew what we were about,” Hartranft, a native Philadelphian, said of the vandals.





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Zoning meeting Thursday on proposed changes to single-family home at 4606 Spruce St.

Posted on 25 May 2016 by


Single-family home at 4606 Spruce St.

A four-story single-family old Victorian house on the 4600 block of Spruce Street has new owners, who are proposing to convert it to a multi-unit property. The Garden Court Community Association’s zoning committee is hosting a community meeting on Thursday, May 26, at the property in question – 4606 Spruce Street.

The owners have proposed to convert the building to include: a professional office on the first-floor front; single-family apartment in the first-floor rear; and three units on the second through fourth floors. The 3,360-square-foot 6-bedroom house was built in 1909.

Many community organizations in the area have been reluctant to support proposals to convert single-family homes into multi-family buildings.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m., and attendees are asked to bring folding chairs, as seating will be limited.

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Neighbors Helping Neighbors: Cedar Park Scholarship Fundraiser coming up; Metropolitan Café’s gift to PIC

Posted on 25 May 2016 by

We’re happy to pass along information on two local causes that support community education.


Metropolitan owner Jim Lily and PIC executive director Debbie Green (photo courtesy PIC).

The Parent Infant Center (PIC) at 42nd and Locust recently received a generous and heartfelt gift from a local business. Metropolitan Bakery & Café’s owner Jim Lily sent a touching letter to PIC’s Executive Director Debbie Green and presented a $600 donation for PIC’s Cindy Fund. In his letter, Lily wrote about his close relationship with PIC (his daughter participated in the after-school program there) and about his friendship with former executive director Cindy Roberts who passed away in February. Roberts and Lily were also neighbors; they lived across the street from each other.

University City’s Metropolitan celebrated its 12th anniversary on April 26, and a portion of sales on that day made up this donation. Read more about this wonderful gesture on the PIC website.

The Cindy Fund was established in memory of Roberts, who was passionate about children and families and believed in equal access to quality preschool for all families, regardless of income. To learn more about the Cindy Fund, go hereContinue Reading

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Good Day Philadelphia coming to Cedar Park

Posted on 24 May 2016 by


We always knew that Cedar Park is one of the best neighborhoods in West Philadelphia, and next Friday (June 3), it will be featured on Fox 29’s Good Day Philadelphia! Fox’s TV crew, including Alex Holley, Bob Kelly, Sue Serio, and Quincy Harris, will be broadcasting live from the neighborhood from 7 to 10 a.m.. There will be music, food, special guests, and a chance to be on live TV!

Local community organizations or businesses are invited to set up a table at 49th and Baltimore to be featured in the show. If you’re interested to participate, email Berlinda at by 12 p.m. on Thursday, May 26, and let her know your organization or business name and what you would feature/do on the show.  Continue Reading

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