Archives: September 2013

Kid Friendly Philadelphia: FISHTOWN

Posted on: September 30, 2013

Fishtown— Fishtown is a Philadelphia neighborhood located North of Girard Avenue and bordering the Delaware River. Though its borders are often disputed, the heart of Fishtown lies within the triangular border created by the Delaware River, York Street and Frankford Avenue. It bleeds into and overlaps with part of Northern Liberties, Port Richmond and Kensington. In the last decade Fishtown has been experiencing a renaissance of sorts. Called by some residents one of the last truly “family neighborhoods,” in Philadelphia, Fishtown is becoming a bastion of nightlife, dining and culture. (Source: About.com)

Parks/Playgrounds:

Penn Treaty Park: Large and lovely park on the banks of the Delaware River. Great place to spend a lazy day. (1199 N Delaware Ave.)

Hetzell’s Field: Baseball Field (Thompson and Columbia Sts.)

Shissler Rec Center: Sitting on 5.6 acres, this recreation facility has a ballfield, a basketball court and a sports field. (866 Moyer St)

Fishtown Rec Center: Across the street from the Fishtown Community Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Fishtown Recreation Center contains a playground, picnic tables and a roller rink. Neighborhood opinion maintains that the adjacent basketball courts are one of the best places to play a pickup game in the city. (1202 E. Montgomery Ave.)

Palmer Park:  Small and cozy park near Frankford and Columbia (1774-1776 Frankford Ave.)

Konrad Square: Plenty of lawn space for a picnic, fun with the dog or a mid-afternoon nap (Tulip & Dauphin Streets)

Swimming:

Fishtown Cione Rec Center: Situated on the north-eastern part of the neighborhood on 4.8 acres.  It has a ball field, 3 basketball courts, large sport’s field, swimming pool, hockey rink, and a well equipped playground. (2600 E. Aramingo Ave.)

Camp:

Philadelphia Summer Camps: A blog dedicated to Philadelphia area summer camp programs.

Attractions/ Things To Do:

Philadelphia Martial Arts and Kickboxing: Kids Martial Arts Classes. (262 E. Girard Ave.)

Angler Movement Arts Center: Dance Classes for All Ages. (1550 E. Montgomery Ave.)

Portside Arts Center: Arts, Acting, Dance, Puppet Classes for Kids and Teens. (2531 E. Lehigh Ave.)

Fishtown Athletic Club: Soccer, Baseball, Softball, Basketball (Berks and Blair Sts.)

Kid Friendly Restaurants / Stores:

Rita’s Water Ice: (2499 Aramingo Ave)

Mugshots Diner: (2424 East York St)

Pizza Brain / Little Baby’s Ice Cream: (2313 Frankford Ave.)

Sketch Burger: (413 E. Girard)

Sulimay’s Restaurant: (632 E. Girard)

More Info:

 

Fishtown.us: All About Fishtown


The Harry Potter Festival Returns to Chestnut Hill October 18th and 19th!

Posted on: September 26, 2013

for more info click HERE


Kid Friendly Philadelphia: GRADUATE HOSPITAL

Posted on: September 23, 2013

Graduate Hospital— “Though the large medical institution that gave this south-of-Center City swath its name is no longer in operation, Graduate Hospital — or “G-Ho,” to fans of brevity — has solidified a reputation independent of its common moniker. South Street West is the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare; it’s clean, well-lit and extremely pedestrian-friendly thanks to a vibrant entrepreneurial energy coming from the neighborhood’s restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and more. Characterized by a mix of single-family homes new and old and thriving places of worship, it’s a remarkably kid-friendly place.” (Source: Visit Philly)

Parks/Playgrounds:

Julian Abele Park: 22nd and Montrose Sts.

Marian Anderson Park: 17th and Catherine Sts.

Catherine Park: 2200 Catherine Street.

Uncle David’s Playground: 15th and Catherine Sts.

Swimming:

Graduate Hospital YMCA: Swim Lessons (1724 Christian Street)

Marian Anderson Pool: Largest Lap Public Pool in The City (740 S 17th St)

Camp:

Philadelphia Summer Camps: A blog dedicated to Philadelphia area summer camp programs.

Attractions/ Things To Do:

Daddis Martial Arts: Classes and Gallery. (1719 Washington Ave)

Philly Dance Fitness: Kids Ballet and Family Classes Available. (1624 South St.)

Kid Friendly Restaurants:

Ants Pants Cafe: Australian inspired but most definitely a neighborhood spot, Ants Pants Cafe tries to blend fresh and healthy with cozy and tasty. Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch, Coffee, Dinners.

Breezy’s Cafe: Looking for a delicious sandwich? Then stop in to Breezy’s Cafe and enjoy one of our tasty soups, salads, or sandwiches today. Breezy’s offers vegetarian, vegan and classic sandwiches using quality ingredients. We strive to use organic and all-natural items in everything we make.

Jamaican Jerk Hut: The Jamaican heritage is traced back to several distinct and varied cultures, in turn, this is reflected in our cuisine. Our native island fruits and vegetables are skillfully fused with the flavors of Africa, England, China and the East Indies, to name a few. Peppers and tomatoes from the New World, curries from the East Indies, ground provisions and stews from Africa and herbs from Europe. The result of these combinations is truly a treat for all your senses!

The Igloo: Frozen Yogurt

Philly Cupcake: Chocolate and Cakes

Festivals:

Odunde Street Festival: The annual Odunde Street Festival, held every second Sunday in June, brings a genuine taste of Africa to South Street and one of Philadelphia’s oldest, historically African-American neighborhoods. (June)

More Info:

SOSNA: South of South Neighborhood Association


Kid Friendly Philadelphia: SOCIETY HILL

Posted on: September 19, 2013

Society Hill— “Society Hill is one of the most pleasant areas in Philadelphia. The neighborhood, loosely defined as the area between Walnut, Lombard, Front and 8th streets contains the largest concentration of original 18th and early 19th century architecture of any place in the United States. A small-town feel in the big city with vigilance, Society Hill keeps itself a family-friendly “little village.” (Source: A View On Cities / Philly.com)

Parks/Playgrounds:

Starr Garden Playground: Sitting on 2.2 acres, this recreation facility has a ballfield, a sports field and two basketball courts. (600-44 Lombard St.)

Three Bears Park: Playground and Sculpture Garden. (319 Delancey St.)

Delancey Park: Quite a nice, upscale, city playground. Snuck into quiet Delancey Street (Cypress St & S 4th St)

Swimming:

Philadelphia Sports Club: (250 S 5th St)

Camp:

Philadelphia Summer Camps: A blog dedicated to Philadelphia area summer camp programs.

Attractions/ Things To Do:

Maxercise: Kids Martial Arts Classes. (707 Chestnut St.)

Society Hill Dance Academy: Kids Classes Available. (409 S. 2nd St.)

Kid Friendly Restaurants / Stores:

Lolli Lolli: Unique Children’s Toys, Books and Clothes

Karl’s: Baby Furniture.

Franklin Fountain: Vintage Ice Cream Shop.

LaScala’s: Homestyle Italian.

Soho Pizza: Authentic Brick Over Pizza.

Cookies By Design:  Cookies, Bakery and Coffee. (268 St. James Place)

More Info:

Society Hill Civic: Society Hill Civic Association


On the House: Brooklyn home buyers, come on down

Posted on: September 17, 2013

(Source: Philly.com)

Brooklyn transplant Christopher Plant is high on Philadelphia, and the Mount Airy real estate agent spends considerable energy trying to persuade Brooklynites that this is the place they ought to be.

Hence, his BrooklyntoPhilly.com website, where he tempts former neighbors who haven’t a prayer of affording a home there with views of what they could afford if they’d only move here.

Plant said that while he can afford a $350,000 stone single in Mount Airy, people in Brooklyn can’t “even approach buying a three-bedroom house in a good neighborhood for under $800,000.”

So far, 12 to 15 people – generally artists, writers and others who need to be in New York only occasionally – have either rented or bought here.

“Every third client is from Brooklyn,” he said.

Not a tidal wave by any means. The movement is probably not statistically discernible, except perhaps at census time.

Nor does Plant, an agent with Elfant Wissahickon in Northwest Philadelphia, who moved from Brooklyn a decade ago, think this city is for all New Yorkers.

“If you are a lawyer working from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Manhattan every day, then moving here is not for you,” said Plant, who with a business partner operated a nightclub in the Williamsburg section until the move to Philadelphia.

But one of his clients, an editor with McGraw Hill, bought a house in Philadelphia seven years ago for $350,000 and travels to Manhattan only when required for meetings.

“Ten people I know who live in Philly commute to New York two or three days a week. Most people can’t afford the cost of living in Brooklyn.”

He added that an assistant district attorney he knows just paid $942,000 for a tiny house in Park Slope. Even rents on the south side of a transitional section such as Williamsburg are $2,900 a month, Plant said.

If you think this is just a lot of real estate talk, meet Penn-educated clinical psychiatrist Geoffrey Neimark, who has just bought a house in University City with his wife, Kait Yulman. They have a 9-month-old son, Ezra.

Neimark, who grew up in Park Slope, has never met Plant, but he, too, acknowledged that he touts Philadelphia to his friends.

“The word is spreading, and it is only a matter of time. I live in a house now that I couldn’t even begin to afford there, and I live in a city that has everything I had in Brooklyn.”

Needless to say, however, “New Yorkers are a little headstrong about the city,” Neimark said, “but the fact [is] that you can’t touch a house in Brooklyn for less than $1 million.”

Plant lived in Brooklyn for almost a decade and witnessed the borough’s exponential growth: “Even if you left for just a week, things would be changed.”

He grew up in Washington, but spent two years at Temple. His mother was a lobbyist in Harrisburg, so Plant knew Philadelphia and considered it a place to raise a family in a house he could afford.

He continued to do nightclub work after arriving, even as he became more involved in selling real estate.

“I can live my life on my own terms in Philadelphia,” Plant said. “We own our own home, can afford to send our children to private school, and still have a life.

“I do believe Philadelphia represents the same opportunity for a vast number of Brooklynites,” Plant said.He is trying to establish a portal “to allow people in Brooklyn to understand the value of Philadelphia real estate” and the urban lifestyle here.

“Friends of mine just spent $14,000 renovating a closet in Manhattan,” he said. “You can spend that and get much more here.” (Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer)


Philadelphia Fall Festivals

Posted on: September 12, 2013

Fall is a lovely time to be in Philadelphia. Along with the changing leaves and the crisp weather comes a superabundance of neighborhood and citywide festivals sure to satisfy any age group or interest. Below are some of the very best festivals Philadelphia has to offer:

 

Longwood Gardens Autumn Colors Festival

Dates: Sept 7th through November 24, 2013

Longwood Gardens celebrates the harvest season with Autumn’s Colors, a festive showcase of fall colors, giant pumpkins, unusual gourds and live concerts. Longwood’s landscapes glow with shades of yellow, orange, purple and red trees. Golden honey locusts and ginkgoes, scarlet sweet gums and sourwoods and ruby northern red oaks add bursts of color.

Campus Philly College Day

Date: September 28th, 2013

Philadelphia will welcome back thousands of college students during its annual Campus Philly College Day, a city-wide day of discounts, giveaways, entertainment and free admission to museums and more on September 29. Throughout the day, students will gain free admission to museums and attractions in Historic Philadelphia, Center City and along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Manayunk StrEAT Festival

Date: September 21st, 2013

StrEAT is the kick-off of the five day Manayunk Restaurant Week on Saturday, September 29. Main Street will be lined with some of Philadelphia’s best food trucks with specialties ranging from ice cream to Asian delicacies.

New Hope Arts and Crafts Festival

Dates: September 28-29, 2013 Sat 10-6 / Sun 10-5

The New Hope Arts & Crafts Festival highlights the work of premier artists and artisans specializing in photography, watercolors, oils, pastels, pen and ink drawings, silver and gold jewelry, ceramics, wearable art, glass, wood, sculpture and furniture. Exhibitors sell the works on display in booths lining Union Square.

Downingtown Fall Fest

Date: September 29th, 2013 12-4pm

Come for the local foods, crafts and entertainment and stay for the beer garden with craft brews from Victory Brewing Company during the Downingtown FallFest.

Chinatown Night Market

Date: October 3rd, 2013

It’s time for another round of Night Market Philadelphia, the roving outdoor food truck bazaar that visits neighborhoods throughout the city to dish up mobile eats, live music and crafts. Centered around 10th and Race Streets will be dozens of the city’s best mobile food vendors plus live bands, local artists’ crafts and much more.

Old City Seaport Festival

Dates: October 11-13th, 2013

Independence Seaport Museum is launching the Old City Seaport Festival, a weekend-long fest with Tall Ships, live music, crafts, vendors and activities along the waterfront plus refreshments from food trucks and a beer garden area on the museum’s outdoor second floor balcony.

Revolutionary Germantown Festival

Date: October 5, 2013 10am-5pm

On October 4, 1777, the Continental Army attempted to fight the British out of Germantown. Washington and his troops lost the battle and were forced to retreat to Valley Forge for the winter. Germantown commemorates the event on October 6 during the Revolutionary Germantown Festival with a battle reenactment, tours, food vendors and more.

Philadelphia International Dragon Boat Festival

Date: October 5, 2013

Stroll up Kelly Drive along the Schuylkill River for Philadelphia’s colorful annual celebration of an ancient Chinese tradition, the Dragon Boat Festival. The boats, festooned in brilliantly colored dragon heads and tails, are manned by teams of 20 paddlers and compete against each other in several heats throughout the day.

River City Festival

Date: October 5, 2013 12-5pm

The Fourth Annual RiverCity Festival is presented by the Fishtown Neighbors Association at historic Penn Treaty Park. The festival reinforces friendships in the community, promotes exciting local businesses and showcases everything that makes Fishtown stand out as a neighborhood with tremendous history and vibrancy.

Midtown Village Fall Festival

Date: October 6, 2013

The six-block outdoor party is back, with food samples from Midtown Village restaurants, sidewalk sales, handmade items from artisans and crafters and the “Little Villagers” family-friendly area complete with a free moon bounce, sidewalk chalk and pumpkin painting.

Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival

Date: October 6, 2013

Germantown Avenue is transformed into a festive outdoor arts and crafts marketplace at Fall for the Arts, with more than 150 artists displaying their works. Meanwhile, markets, restaurants and bars set up shop outside on the street serving festival-goers delicious eats and drinks. There will also be children’s activities, including face-painting and amusement rides, as well as live music on two stages and lots of alfresco dining.

Outfest

Date: October 13, 2013

Don’t miss Philadelphia’s Outfest, a National Coming Out Day (NCOD) Festival that attracts more than 20,000 people to the region. The annual block party embraces the GLBT lifestyle and freedom. Philadelphia was one of the first cities to organize around NCOD on a large scale by creating a block party to showcase the many facets of the community.

Design Philadelphia

Dates: October 10-18, 2013

Approximately 200,000 people are estimated to explore the world of design during more than 150 events held throughout the city. Design Philadelphia aims to celebrate and promote Philadelphia as a design capital and destination. It’s awesome.

Blocktoberfest

Date: Saturday, October 19, 2013 12-8
Time: Noon-8 pm

Rounding out the city-wide celebrations is the four-block South Street Bloktoberfest festival inviting guests of all ages to flock to the annual festival for beer, food and live music. Featuring multiple stages, beer from around the world and neighborhood resto’s and food trucks, the free-to-attend event marks its fourth year of beer chugging traditions.

Before the Bridge Music Festival

Date: October 12, 2013 12-10pm

Before the Bridge continues the long time tradition of Collingswood’s support of independent music, bringing artists from as far away as Brooklyn and Virginia.

Downingtown Friends Fall Festival

Date: October 12, 2013 9am-4pm
Celebrate fall with a full day of music, delicious foods, activities for children, as well as plants, crafts, and a silent auction.

Philadelphia Film Festival

Dates: October 17-27, 2013

Now in its 21st year, the Philadelphia Film Festival is 11 days of cinematic splendor, with more than 250 screenings of independent, feature, documentary and short films.


Volunteers give Jenks art room a face-lift before opening day

Posted on: September 11, 2013

(Source: Chestnut Hill Local)

When students at J.S. Jenks Elementary School visit their art room next week, their jaws will hit the floor.

Thanks to the generosity of many community members, led by Chestnut Hill Rotary and Elfant Wissahickon Realtors, the Jenks basement art room has undergone an amazing transformation.

Calling the project a “face-lift” doesn’t seem to do it justice. Imagine a very dark, dirty, basement art room with a scattering of supplies, dried paint bottles and scraps of paper. “Depressing” and “pathetic atmosphere” were the words used by Rotarian Carol Tyler to describe the art room during a June Rotary meeting.

Denise Chapline, fellow Rotarian and member of Elfant Wissahickon’s DiFranco Team, was touched by these words and leaped into action. Together with professional photographer and Rotarian Carol Bates, Chapline launched the renovation project.

Appeals when out to Rotarians, community members, Elfant Wissahickon realtors and brokers and local businesses. As is often the case in Chestnut Hill, if you ask, people give.

Chapline’s first donor was Old City Paint & Decorating (Benjamin Moore). After writing a solicitation letter to manager Thomas Donnell, she stopped in the store to follow up. He told her he would happy to give everything she requested and he promptly responded with paint, drop cloths and brushes for the entire project.

Later that week, Bates bumped into Handyman on the Hill John O’Donovan, while shopping at Kilian’s. She told him about the project and O’Donovan jumped at the chance to help out. He dedicated three full work days and helped the volunteer crew prep for painting and repair furniture.

Chapline put out a call to fellow realtors and brokers and collected $1,000. Combined with donations from Chestnut Hill Rotary and individual donors, more than $3,000 will be dedicated for the purchase of art supplies throughout the school year.

Perhaps most stunning is the efforts of the volunteers over the last few weeks. More than 275 hours have been dedicated to clean, prime, paint, repair and organize the room.

“It took a lot of elbow grease as we cleaned, sorted papers, reorganized, and repainted,” Chapline said.

Large oak art tables were carefully refinished by Frank McCarthy, of Artisan Restoration and Remodeling, who is also making four large wooden display boards to mount students’ art work. Like so many of those involved, McCarthy was happy to contribute.

“Carol asked and I said ‘yes’ – plus, if there’s any chance to give back, I always try to do that,” McCarthy said.

For most of the last two weeks there has been a flurry of activity in the art room as volunteers from Rotary, Friends of Jenks, Jenks Beautification Committee, Elfant Wissahickon and community residents worked feverishly to complete the project before school opens.

“What makes this project so great is the collaboration between so many members of the community,” said Chapline. “Everyone is keeping the students at the heart of the project, this is so very heartwarming.”

When Central High freshman Abby Gordon saw the email requesting volunteers, she responded to earn community service hours. She arrived with her mother, Nicole, who, after seeing the project, decided she would stick around to help. Nicole just completed her degree from La Salle University and wanted to give back to the community. The mother/daughter pair worked together each day and was usually the last to leave.

“I just can’t believe how dedicated they are,” Bates said . “They keep showing up and working hard all day. We have so many amazing volunteers. That’s the only way we could have gotten this done.”

Chapline agreed. She believes that everyone in the community wants good things for Jenks but often are uncertain of how or where to act. This project was an appealing endeavor that touched people in many different ways. It was small, manageable and had a very specific outcome and time line.

She considers the art room project to be a great model for community improvement.

“We need to take bites, like this, into things that need to be done,” she said. “If we do that, and work together, we will get a lot accomplished in our community.”

The transformed art room will be enjoyed by students all year. Despite Philadelphia School District (PSD) budget cuts, students will receive art instruction from volunteers David Green Laura Eyring, a Jenks parent. Green is a PSD retired art teacher who teaches Jenks art classes three days a week, and Eyring will assist in the planning and instruction. Additionally, a group of 15 Jenks students will participate in the Fresh Artists program.

When asked about the art room renovation, Principal Mary Lynskey was silent for a moment, then took a breath and said, “This is absolutely unbelievable – they gave that room an extreme, extreme makeover. It’s just another example of how people come together when we need it most.” (Paula M. Riley)


Actual Value Initiative (AVI) Information

Posted on: September 9, 2013

WHAT IS AVI?

AVI is a program for the assessment of all real property—land and buildings—in Philadelphia, effective Tax Year 2014, at their current market value. Market value reflects the approximate amount a property would sell for in today’s real estate market. The purpose of AVI is to make sure that all values are assessed fairly and in compliance with state laws, statutes, and industry standards. It will ensure that properties of equal value get the same assessments.

HOW DOES THE CITY ESTABLISH A FAIR ASSESSED VALUE ON PROPERTIES?  To establish an assessed value for a property, the OPA (or the Office of Property Assessment) considers a number of factors, including:

  • Size and age of the property
  • A property’s location and condition
  • A property’s use (home or business)

To determine the characteristics of a property, the OPA uses information from field inspections for building size and condition, aerial photography, data from other City departments (such as permits and deeds), and commercial sources, like property listings.

For residential properties, the OPA analyzes recent sales of similar properties to set the value, making adjustments for differences in the characteristics between the homes that sold and your property.

For commercial and large multi-family properties, the OPA considers the income approach, market approach, and in some situations, cost approach, and utilize the approach that is most appropriate based upon property type and use. The income and costs of operating the property to determine its value, or considers the cost of construction and land.

ARE THERE ANY RELIEF OPTIONS FOR PROPERTY OWNERS?

Yes, there are a few forms that may help protect homeowners from the crippling effects of the tax hike:

1) Senior Tax Freeze (filing deadline January 31, 2014)- Your real estate taxes are “frozen” at the 2013 amount. To be eligible, you must be low income (less than $23, 500 in annual income if single; $31,500 if married) and over 65 (or be a widow/widower over 50 whose deceased spouse was over 65).

2) Homestead Exemptions (filing deadline September 13, 2013)- $30,000 is deducted from the assessment from owner-occupied residences. Applications were sent to all homeowners late 2012. You can check to see if you have applied by visiting:

http://avicalculator.phila.gov

Type in your address and under Property Information, verify that “YES” is under Homestead. If “NO” then complete attached form.

3) BRT Appeal (filing deadline October 7, 2013)- If you believe that the assessment is truly inaccurate as determined by the OPA (office of Property Assessment) you can appeal to the Board of Revision of Taxes. While on appeal, you will pay your real estate taxes at the 2013 rate with no interest and penalty accruing until the BRT rules on your case.

All Three Forms Can Be Found HERE

WHAT IS THE GENTRIFICATION RELIEF BILL AND DOES IT PERTAIN TO ME? 

The bill, which PDQ has dubbed “Gentrification Protection,” would cap and freeze assessments for 10 years for longtime owner-occupants whose assessments have risen more than 300 percent under the Actual Value Initiative and whose income falls under a certain threshold – specifically, 150 percent of the Area Median Household Income as defined by Census Bureau figures. For a four-person household, that figure is currently $118,750, so the cap would take in the great majority of homeowners in Philadelphia.

The bill defines “longtime owner-occupant” as anyone who has owned a home and used it as his or her principal residence for at least 10 years (five years if the owner acquired the property with help from a government or nonprofit housing program).

There is an important catch: The property must be current on its tax payments, or the owner must be making installment payments or in a payment agreement.

Those who qualify will have their assessments frozen at 300 percent of the property’s former assessed value for 10 years or until the house is sold or transferred to a relative, whichever comes first.

(Sources: PHILA.gov, GPAR.org, Philadelphia Real Estate Blog)


Kid Friendly Philadelphia: ROXBOROUGH

Posted on: September 9, 2013

 

Roxborough— “Sandwiched between the Schuylkill River and Fairmount Park, Roxborough is a superb place to settle and experience a satisfying life in northwest Philadelphia. Over 38,000 middle-class residents live in Roxborough in over 16,000 housing units. Families stay in Roxborough from one generation to the next and welcome new residents with open arms. Crime statistics rank the Roxborough community as the safest neighborhood in the city where children play in the street and elderly residents relax on the porch on summer nights.” (source: Roxborough.us)

Parks/Playgrounds:

Gorgas Park: The site of many concerts, festivals, movies in the park, flea markets and other family oriented events. (6300 Ridge Avenue)

Kendrick Playground: Kendrick Recreation Center is a Full Service Community Recreation Center located in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia. It is a City of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation facility. Kendrick Recreation Center has many classes, activities and sports events. (5800 Ridge Avenue)

Swimming:

Roxborough YMCA: The Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA offers a wide range of programs for children and teens including swim lessons, youth sports, gymnastics, karate, fitness, child care and day camps. For adults and seniors, the Y has personal training, a variety of group exercise classes, yoga, zumba, water aerobics, wellness orientations and free babysitting services. (7201 Ridge Avenue)

Kendrick Rec Public Pool: Kendrick Recreation Center has many classes, activities and events. (5800 Ridge Avenue)

Camp:

Philadelphia Summer Camps: A blog dedicated to Philadelphia area summer camp programs.

YMCA Summer Day Camp: YMCA Summer Camp programs are fun for children of all ages. Summer camp activities include field trips, swimming, sports and activities that campers discover the importance of living a life full of fitness and nutrition.

Pinemere Camp: Pinemere Camp’s mission is to provide campers and staff members with a group living experience rooted in the religious and social traditions of Judaism. Pinemere defines its identity by means of group processes and opportunities for personal growth. Our goal is to provide each camper with an individualized, progressive, and diverse program designed to foster new skills and to refine old ones. Pinemere is committed to offering our approximately 250 campers and 100 staff members the opportunity to become integral members of a caring Jewish camp community. At Pinemere, each person is offered a summer of fun and a lifetime of memories. (4100 Main Street, Suite 301)

Attractions/ Things To Do:

Boy and Girl Scouts: Roxborough Baptist church houses Boy Scout Troop 114, Cub Pack 114 and the Girl Scouts (Daisy Troop, Brownie Troop, Junior Troop and Cadette/Sr. Girl Scout Troop), who have been meeting at this location for more than ten years.

Children’s Sporting Teams: Roxborough Eagles, 21st Ward Junior Baseball and Softball Leagues.

Wissahickon Skate Club: This skating club is open to the public for open skating sessions year-round and weekly hockey games in the winter. Private lessons and teams also available.

Roxborough High School Tennis Courts: 3 tennis courts available (Gate Street and Manayunk Avenue)

Manayunk / Roxborough Art Center: Classes and Gallery. (419 Green Lane)

Jeannette’s Dance School: The curriculum covers a full spectrum from Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Pointe, Hip Hop & Lyrical accommodating children ages 2 through adult. (536 Green Lane)

Kid Friendly Restaurants:

Daiva’s Diner & Grille: 6750 Ridge Avenue

Bob’s Diner: 6053 Ridge Avenue

Mel’s Kitchen: 5001 Umbria Street

Custard and Cakes Creamery: 5461 Ridge Avenue

Nick’s Ices and Ice Cream: 5925 Ridge Avenue

Sweet Frog: 8500 Henry Avenue

Stores:

Worn Yesterday: Gently used children’s and maternity clothing.

Festivals:

Roxtoberfest: The event aims to draw families with a variety of carnival activities with face painting, live music and a moon bounce. (October)

Manayunk Arts Festival: The tri-state’s largest outdoor, juried arts festival.


13 autumn gardening tips

Posted on: September 5, 2013

(Source: Rightathome.com)

Autumn is the time to visualize your spring garden and plant accordingly. Here are our outdoor “to-dos” that reap the fruits of fall, plan for spring and keep your autumn garden aglow.

Flash some color. 

Replace spent annuals with fall-blooming hardy mums; these showy perennials will provide color for many weeks. Properly planted, maintained and winterized, mums will colorfully enhance your landscape for years to come.

Check out Dutch treats.

Fall is “now or never” time to plant spring bulbs. Daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, crocus and other fall bulbs will arrive soon from Holland. Shop early for the best selection. Then dream up a new color scheme or enhance the old.

Give a tree a chance. 

Fall is the best season to plant fruit trees such as apples, pears, plums, cherries, peaches, apricots and figs. Young trees should be staked to prevent roots from being pulled by fall and winter winds.

Protect the weak. 

As perennials fade away, mark their locations with small sticks. Some might not be apparent after the winter and could be disturbed by spring cultivating. If you haven’t brought in your house plants yet, do so before you heat your home to give them time to adjust. A thorough washing first helps get rid of pests.

Cook up a garden.

Some veggies can be sown in fall to overwinter, resulting in earlier crops the following year: peas, fava beans, hardy spinach, spring cabbage, Calabrese, leaf beets, or Swiss chard. Spring onions can be sown in late summer and early fall for overwintering. Sow hardy lettuce in a cold greenhouse.

Herbs on the go.

Dig up your rosemary, basil, tarragon, oregano, marjoram, thyme, parsley and chives to grow them inside as house plants. Keep them in a cool, sunny spot, and allow the soil to dry out before watering. Snip off the leaves as needed in the kitchen, but do not strip them completely. For herbs that have grown vigorously through the summer, cut them back about halfway and then dry or freeze the extra harvest or share it with friends. Herb crafts such as lavender soap and sachets are great as gifts.

Tomatoes in reverse.

If unripe tomatoes are still hanging on the vine and frost is fast approaching, pull the vines out by the roots and hang them upside down in a cool, dark place to finish ripening.

Fruit plants. 

Transplant rhubarb, strawberries and raspberries well before the first light frosts so they can develop roots. Rhubarb and strawberries can quickly deplete the soil of nutrients, so find new locations for them every three or four years.

Cider rules.

Harvest those apples now for a delicious cider brew. You can use blemished apples, but avoid adding too many with open wounds or bruises. If rot has already set in, it could affect the taste and longevity of the cider.

Munchies.

Sunflower seeds are best dried on the plants. The seeds will be difficult to remove if you harvest the plants before they die naturally. If birds are a problem, cover the heads with cheesecloth for protection.

Seed grass now.

Fall is the best time to seed new grass. Warm days and cool nights supported by regular rainfall or irrigation make for ideal growing conditions. Spruce up spotty patches or plant a full lawn.

Raking it over.

Know which leaves to rake and which to “leave” behind. Must-rake: leaves on sidewalks (too slippery); perennial beds (cause crown rot); and lawns (attract fungi insects). Leave-behind: leaves under trees and shrubs, and on sturdy ground covers (over time they self-destruct into needed compost). Invest in a clog-free rake with a wave-shaped tooth design to keep leaves from sticking. Use an electric blower only when it is absolutely necessary, such as on the roof. And protect your back from strain while raking by moving your feet rather than bending over continuously from one spot.

Go pro.

Hire a landscape designer this fall! Scheduling is less chaotic than in spring, and designers have more time to answer questions and develop smaller projects. Start early to avoid missing the planting season, because considerable lead time is necessary (visiting the site, drawing up plans, making estimates, etc.).