Archive for the Reaching Out Category

Come Enjoy the World as it Once Was, at the Williamstown Farmer Market!

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Community News, Food, Green Space, Local Treasures, Neighborhood Noir, Reaching Out with tags , , , , , on August 2, 2011 by laurarobbprh



 By Laura Robb


Don’t have the time to travel to Lancaster County this summer? Like many of our Philadelphia locals, time and money has restricted us from taking our families on as many excursions as we would like.

If you want to see how the world once was, try to travel down the Atlantic City Expressway to Williamstown, home to the Stoltzfus Farmers Market, located on the Black horse pike.

Nicknamed the Amish Market, due to the large amount of Amish that work the stands, you have the privilege to try some of the freshest foods you can get. First stop must be for the pretzels, where several young women make hundreds of different pretzels each hour, and where the line can stretch halfway down the market.

In the center of the market, is the candy shop, where nearly every candy you know of, and some you never have, are sold at a discounted price, and always served with a smile.

The market has tons of fresh meats butchered on premise. For the health conscious people, this is the place to buy your meats! The meats are free range, and have no hormones, and it is so fresh, there is simply no better tasting foods out there.

The butcher offers fresh cuts of steaks, ground beef, ribs, bacon and more and all at a competitive price. This is a go to place if you happen to be planning any barbeques in the near future.

If you do not really want to cook, there is a prepared foods section, ranging from a large variety of salads to pot roast, baby back ribs, and Mac-and-cheese. You can purchase already cooked foods and just take it home and reheat it.

The bakery, along with everything else is simply delightful. Fresh brownies pies and danishes will bring out the sweet tooth in any one.

Go past the market, and you will find tons of shops, not ran by Amish folk, ranging from and incredible irish wares store, to wicker furniture, to a puppy shop. You can purchase books clothing or even get a massage!

This market is only open Thursday 9 -5 friday 9-8 and Saturdays 8-4, so get there early to get the full experience of this exquisite market!

For directions and more information, please go to


Local Farms Featured in South Jersey’s Restaurants

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Community News, Food, Green Space, Local Treasures, Neighborhood Noir, Reaching Out, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2011 by laurarobbprh
  • What: NJ Farm to Fork Week
  • When: July 17-July 23
  • Where: Restaurants across South New Jersey
  • List of Participating Restaurants:
  • Reservations:

 By Laura Robb

 There is no doubt that the economy has effected our local businesses. So many privately owned restaurants and bars have searched for new ways to reach the public and get them to patronize their establishment when they choose to go out.

A local program in New Jersey called SJ Hot Chefs, offer several special dining weeks throughout the year. This groups mission is to get the word out about Southern New Jersey’s  independently owned restaurants, and prove that you may not have to travel outside of your  own neighborhood or even cross the bridge to get a first class dining experience.

This upcoming week,  many South Jersey restaurants are participating in Farm to Fork Week, a week of specially designed menus featuring food and produce from our local farms. This week starting July 17, customers can choose to dine at one of the 33 participating restaurants at an incredible rate.

All of the restaurants are offering four course meals featuring our local meats/fish and produce at a fixed rate of 35 dollars. Several restaurants, such as the authentic Mexican restaurant, “La Esperanza,” are even offering their menu at only 25 dollars.

This week running until July 23, restaurant goers’ can experience a wonderful dinner featuring local produce at its seasons peak. New Jersey is famous for its tomatoes, peaches, strawberries and blueberries, so these items are featured on many of the restaurants menus.

Restaurants that may be pricey on an average day such as “The Chophouse” in Gibbsboro, are giving the public an opportunity to “dine on a dime,” giving us a chance to eat at a nice restaurant with freshly prepared foods, for the cost comparable to your local Applebees. 

New Jersey has way more to offer than all of those ‘Jersey shows, such as great dining and great local foods. For a small fee you too can enjoy a romantic evening, or a family fun night out without breaking the bank.

Tune Up Philly

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Community News, Reaching Out with tags , , , , on June 2, 2011 by nicholeprh

Tune Up Philly director Stanford Thompson aims to help Philadelphia’s underprivileged children one instrument at a time.

By Nichole Baldino

Philadelphia Youth Orchestra’s Tune Up Philly is holding a free concert at St. Francis De Sales on Sunday, June 5 at 2pm. Located at 47th Street and Springfield Avenue, this school holds weekday after school music instruction for students living in difficult social and economic conditions.

Tune Up is inspired by El Sistema, a similar program in Venezuela where professional musician José Antonio Abreu began a free classical music program for children from impoverished backgrounds.The lives of participants in this program have all improved, and Stanford Thompson saw the need for that educational reform here. Just like El Sistema, he is choosing to use music to model social organization and peer development.

According to Thompson’s website, “Tune Up Philly believes that music education is a powerful vehicle for children to master skills that will enable them to acquire valuable tools for cooperative learning, teamwork, academic success and self-esteem.”

The program operates on four core values – (1) that everybody has the right to a dignified life filled with contributions, (2) that each child can express themselves through music and art and therefore reap the benefits, (3) that effective education should be based on love, approval, and community, and (4) that there is no such thing as a musical disability.

For the students involved, music can act as a mode for change within their own lives. It brings a sense of accomplishment and pride, responsibility and possibility, and allows them to overcome their disadvantages in an accepting environment.

A strict class schedule promotes structure and discipline and performances allow the students’ pride to resonate to their family, friends, and neighbors. Having an opportunity to experience this overwhelming feeling  first-hand (for free!) is sure to be an unforgettable and inspiring experience, so don’t miss it!

Equality for All

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Community News, Local Treasures, Neighborhood Noir, Reaching Out with tags , , , , , , on May 5, 2011 by katelynnprh

Philly’s LGBT community gathered at the Piazza in Northern Liberties last Sunday to round out the Equality Forum.

By: Kate Hartman

Philadelphia hosted its 19th annual Equality Forum this past week. The city was a buzz with many different activities designed to raise awareness and celebrate the LGBT community. Throughout the week, there were a series of panels, parties, films, and art galleries. The whole forum ended with SundayOUT @ The Piazza.

The Piazza opened at noon and was packed throughout the day with people coming to see the performances, mill around the tables, and enjoy the Sunday sunshine. Outside the Piazza there were stands selling baked goods, scarves, t-shirts, and photos. There was plenty of outside dining so that patrons could enjoy the festivities like the drag queen karaoke while they had lunch. Restaurants, shops, and galleries lined the Piazza. There was plenty for visitors to see before they even entered the main square.

General admission into the Piazza was $10 and $5 for students. People had access to over 150 artisan tables and food vendors. There was plenty of stands to walk around and admire. There were companies selling t-shirts and artwork. Also, there were rows of tables handing out information on LGBT programs in Philly. There were even STD testing sites and stands that promoted safe sex practices and handed out protection. 

There was a large stage at the end of the Piazza where Kid Akimbo, Kat DeLuna, and Jonathan Bascope performed throughout the day. There was a large screen above the stage that broadcast the performances so that people could wander through the stands and still enjoy the show. The bars that lined the square invited people to wander in and out all day. SundayOut @ The Piazza united Philadelphia’s LGBT community in a large celebration. It was the perfect way to end the Equality Forum.

For more information on the Equality Forum visit their website:

Let’s Get North Philly Reading!

Posted in Community News, Local Treasures, Neighborhood Noir, Reaching Out with tags , , , , , on March 19, 2011 by katelynnprh

Tree House Books in a non-profit organization that is working to build a large network of readers in North Philly.

By: Kate Hartman

Tree House Books started as a bookstore in North Philly back in 2004. Following a Community Development Cooperation revamp to the commercial corridor on Susquehanna Avenue, the store was opened to bring books to the locals. The community members who ran the bookstore quickly realized that the neighborhood needed more than just a place to buy books and from there Tree House Books was born.

“Tree House Books shifted from being merely a place to buy books to a place where life with books is always happening,” says their website. The business exists in a building that stood vacant for years. During that time, a tree grew in the center of the building. Eventually this tree was removed, but Tree House Books decided to immortalize it in their name to remember that their community is always growing.

And grow is exactly what the business did. Today Tree House Books is a bookstore, an after-school program for children, a homework support center, a writing workshop, an open-mic venue, a theatre, and so much more. It is the perfect place for anyone who loves to read regardless of age. The program supports creativity and imagination, so the walls are covered with homemade art created by the kids who frequent the shop.

One of Tree House Books’ main priorities is the children of the community. The Tree House runs a program called Tutoring Time four afternoons a week to help children complete their homework. Kids can stop by the shop Tuesdays through Fridays from 3:00pm to 5:00pm for tutoring, reading time, craft time, and a healthy snack. Tutoring Time is run by Junior Staff members and volunteers. The volunteers come from the surrounding neighborhood, and some come from Temple University. The program partners with a class called Education in the Global City at Temple.

“The kids run to the Tree House right after school,” says Elizabeth Malazita, a Temple junior and volunteer at Tree House Books. “I think they enjoy the individual attention they get from the tutors. They may not get that kind of attention while in school.”

Tree House Books values the opinions of children and want to give them an opportunity to be heard by the community. Tree House Books is reaching out into the neighborhood in many different ways. They want to help clean up North Central Philadelphia and inspire everyone to discover a love of reading.

Tree House Books is located at 1430 W. Susquehanna Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19121


Haven for Those in Need

Posted in Community News, Local Treasures, Neighborhood Noir, Reaching Out, School Yard with tags , , , , , , on March 10, 2011 by antonioboone

In only a few short years the Haven Youth Center has become a beacon for youth in need.

By: Antonio Boone

In a city where so many people are afflicted by the pains of the world the Haven Youth Center serves as an ailment to the citizens of Philadelphia. The mission of the Haven Youth Center “is to provide educational, social, and recreational services to HIV youth to support healthy, age-appropriate development and transition into adulthood.”

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is not a foreign issues and has impacted the lives of many of Philadelphia’s youth. The founder of the Haven Youth Center, William Brawner knows the impact a positive status can have on young lives because he  has lived with HIV for his entire life.

Inspiring those around him with messages of hope, Brawner states on the Haven Youth Center website that “my goal is to provide others with the knowledge and skills necessary to stop AIDS!” The program goals of Haven include Acceptance, Preservation, Integration, and Service.

The center promotes sexual awareness for everyone of all ages. In addition to the awareness programs Haven’s programs include:life skills training, community service activities and a numer of recreational activities for those youth who participate in the centers programs.Haven is a beacon of hope for youth in Philadelphia that are in need of assistance to fight and conquer an beatable disease!

Keller Williams Live at Theater of Living Arts

Posted in Music and Film, Reaching Out with tags , , , , , on February 12, 2011 by Mike Revak

Musician Keller Williams brings his unique blend of music to Philadelphia and helps out the city in the process.

By Mike Revak

Keller Williams performs. Courtesy of

Musician Keller Williams will be performing live at the Theater of Living Arts tonight at 9pm, with an early matinee performance at 3pm. Performing music off his latest album, Kids, Williams will also welcome Ken Crampton of Everybody Drum on-stage for a drum circle.

Williams, who is originally from Fredericksburg, Virginia, began playing in the early 90’s and works to combine multiple instruments and styles into each of his performances. Williams will also frequently record and loop sections over the course of his performances, earning him a reputation as a “one-man jam band.”

In addition to primarily touring solo, Williams also works on various side projects with other musicians. One of the most recent collaborations has been with close friends Larry and Jenny Keel, with whom Williams produced two albums as “Keller and the Keels.” Taking previously recorded songs by artists such as Amy Winehouse and Kris Kristofferson, the albums “Thief” and “Grass” took these popular hits and put a classic Williams spin of Bluegrass, folk and reggae onto them.

As an added promotion, Williams will also be partnering up with Philadelphia’s Spruce Foundation for a donation drive that will precede the main performance. In honor of his latest album, Williams is helping to sponsor a similar drive in each city in which he’s performing the songs of the album. For tonight’s show, Williams asks for donations of new or gently used children’s clothes, toys and school supplies.

The Theater of Living Arts is located at 334 South St., tickets may be purchased through or