What's happening in and around Phoenixville, PA.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous 2009!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Terrapin Cafe and the Green Room Open on Main Street

Reader Pete also wrote in to tell about a new Cafe that is Open on South Main Street. Terrapin Cafe, located at 6 S. Main Street, offers "a unique culinary experience, with traditional favorites, (usually with twist) and lots of new and exciting options."

They also offer catering services through their sister company, The Green Room, which is located at 22 S. Main. For more information, including menus for both the cafe and the catering services, please see their site at terrapincafe.com.

Thanks to Pete for the head's up.

The Handcrafted Cookie Company Opens on Main Street

Reader Pete wrote in to tell me of a new addition to Main Street. The Handcrafted Cookie Company is an online retailer of "gourmet cookie dough that is inventive, delicious and convenient." Locals can stop by their store at 24 S. Main Street where they sell "baked cookies and other fun indulgences."

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Wishing everyone a very happy holiday season!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Second Annual Robert Burns Memorial Whisky Tasting

On Friday, January 23rd, the Second Annual Robert Burns Memorial Whisky Tasting will be held at Franklin Commons, 400 Franklin Ave., Phoenixville. The tasting, which started last year, will once again be emceed by Riannon Walsh, world-renowned expert on single malt whisky.

From an email I received last week:

Riannon Walsh, world-renowned expert on single malt whisky, will return for our Second Annual Robert Burns Memorial Whisky Tasting on Friday, January 23 at 6PM. Join us for whisky with cheese and chocolate pairings featuring single malts from around the world and Eclat Chocolate.

We wish to thank our sponsors for their support:
Master Distiller: New Century Bank

Head Stillmen: Cloonaughill Celtic Malts, Inc., Eclat Chocolate, and Phoenixville Hospital

Cask Tender: Centre Grafik

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Please call Mary at 610.917.1228 for more information.

This event can be a great holiday gift for family, friends or business associates. Each attendee will receive the hand blown whisky glass they use in the evening's tasting as a keepsake. These glasses were designed by Riannon Walsh to accentuate the subtle nuances of fine spirits.

This year's event will be held at Franklin Commons in Phoenixville. Click here for a map. Seating is limited to 120. Individual tickets are $100 and can be purchased online via Click & Pledge. Hope to see you on the 23rd!

Open Mike Night On 1/1/09 To Benefit PACS

A Great Way To Start The New Year!

Steel City Coffee House will host an Open Mike Night on Thursday January 1, 2009 from 7:30-10:30PM (6:30 PM signup). The cover charge of $2 will be donated to Phoenixville Area Community Services, PACS. Join your friends and neighbors for an enjoyable evening while supporting a worthy organization.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Outdoor Air Monitoring Device Installed At Kindergarten Center

The Phoenixville Area School District posted a new letter to parents on their site with an update on the steps being taken to test the air quality around our schools. The letter indicates that the Pennsylvania Department of Environment Protection installed an air monitoring device outside of the Kindergarten Center last Friday. Updates will be provided as results come in.

View the letter here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Phoenixville Jaycees Holding Live Nativity on December 21st

The Phoenixville Jaycees will be holding their annual live Nativity on Sunday, December 21st at 6pm in Reeves Park Band Shell, Phoenixville, PA.

“The Phoenixville Jaycees have been holding this event for years. It is a great way to bring the holiday spirit to the Phoenixville Community,” said Jaycees President Shane Dilworth.

The event features a re-enactment of the Nativity, with live animals, singing and readings. The Nativity story will be read by reigning Dogwood Queen Amelia Osterhoudt and singers from the Forge Theater's recent youth production will be present. Candles will be distributed to add to the festive nature of the event.

The Nativity is open to the public and is a great event for the family. Reeves Park is located between Main and Starr Streets and 2nd and 3rd Avenues, Phoenixville, PA 19460.

PACS 2nd Annual Murder Mystery Dinner Show

On Saturday, March 28th, Phoenixville Area Community Services (PACS) is hosting their 2nd Annual Murder Mystery Dinner Show. From an email I received:

Holiday gift idea - PACS' 2nd Annual Murder Mystery dinner event

If you need a unique holiday gift idea, consider tickets to Phoenixville Area Community Services (PACS) 2nd Annual Murder Mystery Dinner Show planned for March, 2009.

"I Love You to Death" invites you to be a guest at a wedding reception. Unfortunately, at this wedding someone is murdered! There will be mystery, drama and lots of laughs! During the investigation, audience members participate by questioning suspects, examining clues and figuring out motives. And whoever solves the crime wins a prize!

Ticket price is $75 per person and includes hors d’oeuvres, three course dinner, non-alcoholic beverages and the show. Wine and beer cash bar available.

Join us on Saturday, March 28, 2009 at Robert Ryan’s Columbia Station, 4 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, PA. The reception begins at 6:00 p.m. Don’t keep the bride and groom waiting!

Proceeds benefit PACS’ charitable mission – connecting Phoenixville area residents with community resources and emergency assistance.

For information and tickets, contact PACS at 610-933-1105 or development@pacsphx.org.

Music for a Cure Fundraiser Scheduled for February 20th

On Friday, February 20th, Steel City Coffee House is hosting the 'Music for a Cure CD Release Party'. From an email I received:

Friday, February 20, 2009
Music for a Cure CD Release to raise funds For Brain Cancer Research

Featuring Performances by:
Dave Saunders
Cliff Hillis
Todd Martin
92nd Street

Doors Open 7:30 PM
Price: $20 minimum donation Includes FREE CD
BYO - Beer and Wine only
And enjoy a cheese platter compliments of Steel City Coffee House

Silent Auction and Wine/Beer Basket Raffle

Friday, December 12, 2008

Update On Air Quality Concerns

Thanks to everyone who has gotten in touch with me over the past couple of days with updates they have received from various places. Here is an overview of what I have learned from these emails:

The PA Department of Environmental Protection had a press release yesterday in which they address the issue. Here are some of the highlights:
In a series of articles this week, the newspaper used data collected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2005 to analyze exposure to industrial pollution at 128,000 schools across the country. The stories cited five Pennsylvania schools where the newspaper’s test showed elevated levels of pollutants and identified 38 others that it calculated were located in high-pollution zones based on EPA data.
Hanger added that while DEP is committed to monitoring the levels through additional testing, its initial evaluation of the newspaper’s methodology found an instance where outdated Toxic Release Inventory data was used, consequently inflating the level of pollution estimated to be around two Philadelphia area schools. Hanger also concurred with the EPA’s assessment that the modeling tool used by USA Today was inappropriate for this kind of analysis. The Risk Screening Environmental Indicators model that was used is designed for point sources and fails to take into account mobile sources that can greatly elevate health risks.

The DEP has already taken air samples outside of some of the schools in PA that fared the worst in the study and plans to do so around several more. According to the press release, however, Phoenixville is not on the list. The full press release can be seen here.

Today, the Phoenixville Area School District posted a letter on their website from interim Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Terry Mancini. In it, the Superintendent notes that USA Today did not take actual air samples from outside any of the schools in Phoenixville but rather used the modeling data as described in my first post. Even still, the school district has requested that the PADEP perform a full air quality study and, should that fail, the district will hire an independant consultant to perform the study. It was indicated that the School Board is fully behind the study and will provide the financial resources needed should an indepedant study be required. A follow up letter will be sent out next week with any updated information the district receives.

For those of you interested in contacting the PA Department of Environmental Protection, click here for their website for reporting Environmental Complaints in our area.

More to come as I get it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Local Schools Score Extremely Poorly In New Environmental Study

Reader Randy pointed me in the direction to some rather disturbing news regarding pollution levels at our local schools. USA Today released a special report called the Smokestack Effect, which "used an EPA model to track the path of industrial pollution and mapped the locations of almost 128,000 schools to determine the levels of toxic chemicals outside."

Sadly, most of the schools in Phoenixville scored very poorly. Below are the results, click the link to see the full details:

Phoenixville Area Kindergarten Center - 1st Percentile (only 149 of 127,800 schools have worse air)

Barkley Elementary School - 3rd Percentile (only 2,037 of 127,800 schools have worse air)

Phoenixville Area High School - 8th Percentile (only 9,497 of 127,800 schools have worse air)

Phoenixville Area Middle School - 8th Percentile (only 9,497 of 127,800 schools have worse air)

Schuylkill Elementary School - 8th Percentile (only 9,497 of 127,800 schools have worse air)

The methodology used for the study can be viewed here.

Its important to note that these results are based on modeled data using information provided to the EPA by industrial and government facilities. Having said that, since all schools were subject to the same methodology, it stands to reason that the results are pretty accurate.

Randy is trying to contact the Chester County Health Department to see if they have done any air quality studies recently to see if things are as bad as this study indicates. I will post any updates that he sends along.

UPDATE: Interim Superintendent of Schools Terry Mancini has posted a PDF on the school district's website addressing the report. Click here to view the PDF.

UPDATE 12/11: Here are the websites for both Senator Dinniman and Representative-Elect Drucker. Both have contact forms on which you can submit a message requesting that they look into the potential issue we are facing.

Senator Dinniman: www.senatordinniman.com
Rep-elect Drucker: www.votepauldrucker.com

UPDATE 12/11 4:45pm: It has been suggested that concerned parties also get in touch with House Members Sestak and Gerlach. Their websites, along with contact info, can be found at:

Representative Sestak: sestak.house.gov
Representative Gerlach: gerlach.house.gov

Monday, December 08, 2008

That Italian Place Ristorante Opening December 16th

That Italian Place, located at 150 Bridge Street, will be expanding to include a dining room starting December 16th. From an email I received:

We are excited to announce the opening of That Italian Place Ristorante on Tuesday, December 16.

As you enter through the doors of That Italian Place Market & Pizzeria, you will have the opportunity to peruse the many DiBruno Bros. gourmet cheese selections, Boar's Head meats, a variety of olives and pepper shooters, coffees and frozen pastas. Head to the back of the market and arrive at the Hostess stand to be seated and prepare to choose from many specialty entrees our chef has put together for you.

We will be opening for dinner beginning at 4 p.m. We do accept Call Ahead Seating. Call us at 610-935-1800.

Looking forward to seeing you there!
Stephanie and Andy Pennisi

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Polish Club Hosting Breakfast With Santa, NYE Party

The Polish Club, located at 328 High St, is hosting two events to help celebrate the holidays.

Breakfast with Santa
December 21, 9am - noon
The Polish Club, on High Street in Phoenixville, is open to the public every Sunday for a delicious and affordable breakfast. Join us on December 21 when Santa stops by to pose for photos and hear Christmas wishes. Please bring your own camera to take your own pictures. For more information, call 610-933-9801.

New Year's Eve Gala
December 31, 6pm - 1am
Say goodbye to 2008 with a festive winter wonderland-themed evening at the Polish Club, on High Street in Phoenixville. Tickets are just $60 per person and include hors d'oeuvres, catered dinner, open bar, champagne toast, light breakfast, and noisemakers! Dance to the music of Geronimo and celebrate the night locally. Tickets are selling fast. For reservations call, 610-933-9801 or 610-506-4172.

Lush Consignment Boutique Opens on Bridge Street

Received an email today about a new store that has just opened up on Bridge Street. Lush Consignment Boutique, located at 164 Bridge Street, is "a ladies resale-clothing boutique that sells on consignment popular department store brands to high-end designer clothing, handbags, shoes, and accessories."

From their website (ishoplush.com):
Not your typical consignment shop.
Our goal at Lush is to allow all women the ability to unleash the inner Fashionista within them. With the help of our in-house wardrobe stylist, you will be sure to leave with the perfect outfit for you! We collect a perfect mix of high-end New York and LA celebrity styles directly to you, at a fraction of the price! At Lush you will find popular department store brands to high-end designers. Lush offers a unique and eclectic selection of designer fashions in a stylish and organized environment that will leave you with an unforgettable shopping experience. Our inventory changes daily, so be sure to visit us regularly for high quality rare finds at amazing prices.

Lush is open from 11am-7pm Monday-Saturday and 12-5pm on Sunday. They will have extended hours for tonight's First Friday and will be serving light refreshments.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Gingerbread House Contest & Silent Auction

Photo by Barry Taglieber, The Phoenix
For some old fashioned holiday fun, stop by Artisans Gallery & Cafe (236 Bridge Street in Phoenixville) to see the gingerbread houses created for the 2008 Gingerbread House Contest & Auction. All the entries are creative and fun. The replica of Phoenixville's Foundry building is spectacular (created by Chef Chad Durkin, Desserts International, who does desserts for Artisans Cafe). From 12/6 until 8 p.m. on Friday, 12/12, a silent auction of gingerbread houses will be held. Proceeds will benefit PACS and their "Holidays from Hunger" campaign.

For more information, see Tuesday's article in the Phoenix.

Citizens for the Train Meeting Recap

Here's a brief overview of what was said at last night's Citizens for the Train meeting.

Due to the economic situation many local businesses are facing, the ability to finance the train study using solely private funds is not going to happen. It was stressed that this does not mean that there will not be any source of private funds as the project goes along but rather it means that public funding would also need to be used.

To this end, PennDOT is providing money statewide to various transportation initiatives. Barry Cassidy and others are in the process of completing an application which, if approved, would see the project receive $300k for the feasibility study which is the next step of this process. The application is due by Dec. 15th, no word on when an answer from PennDOT is expected. Should the money be received, the feasibility study would proceed and take about six months to complete. There was no discussion on what would happen should the PennDOT money not come through.

One additional note of interest was that the extension to Oaks, which was originally described as a possibility, will be a part of the train line should it happen. This will connect 422 to Paoli, in theory relieving a lot of the congestion along that route.

There is an article in today's Phoenix with some more details as well.

Breakfast With Santa On December 13th

On Saturday, December 13th, from 8am-12pm, Phoenix No. 1 Fire House and the Kiwanis Club will be hosting a Breakfast with Santa at the Phoenix No. 1 Fire House.

Don't miss your chance to dine with Santa, Mrs. Claus and the stars of the Downtown
Phoenixville Holiday Parade!

Saturday, December 13, 2008
8 a.m. - noon
Phoenix No. 1 Fire House
177 Church Street, Phoenixville
Tickets are $5

Enjoy breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus

Photo with Santa is FREE!


Write Santa a letter with all your Christmas wishes. Include your name and address so Santa can write you back!

Face Painting and Coloring Activities

See Elmo, Cinderella, Tweety and Sylvester, Scooby Doo, Shrek and many more!

Tickets are available at the following locations:
PACS - 257 Church Street
Chamber of Commerce - 171 Bridge Street
Phoenix No. 1 Fire Company- 177 Church Street
or see any member of Kiwanis!

Proceeds go to benefit the PACS’ Heating Assistance Program.

Philadelphia Premium Outlets Hosting Events Throughout December

The Philadelphia Premium Outlets have several holiday themed events taking place throughout December.

Breakfast with Santa Claus Sponsored by Nathan’s Famous
Saturday Dec 6 & 13: 8am – 9am
Children of all ages are welcome to come and visit with Santa and enjoy breakfast from Nathan’s Famous.

Tickets are available at the Information Center located in the Food Court.

AAA Member Appreciation Day
Part of the Show Your Card and Save Program
Sat, Dec 13
Don't miss this fun-filled event to include:
-Special savings at participating stores for AAA members
-Enter to win great prizes!

No purchase necessary, visit the Information Center located in the Food Court to receive offers and Enter to win.

Strolling Santa Claus
Dec 6: 9 am - 12 pm
Dec 13: 9 am - 12 pm
Dec 21: 12 pm - 4 pm

Victorian Carolers
Dec 6: 12 pm - 3 pm
Dec 14: 12 pm - 4 pm
Dec 20: 12 pm - 3 pm

Live Holiday Entertainment
Dec 6: 3 pm - 6 pm Piano and Saxophone Duo
Dec 13: 12 pm - 3 pm Kromer’s Carousel Organ, 3 pm - 6 pm Jazz Trio
Dec 20: 3 pm - 6 pm Jazz Trio

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Holiday Open House on Sunday, December 7th

On Sunday, December 7, Mill Grove will be hosting a Holiday Open House from 1:00-7:00pm. From their email:

Our annual celebration of John James Audubon's love of nature. We've brought the outside in and decked the halls of the Audubon art museum with natural decorations and whimsical teasel critters. A critter scavenger hunt for the children as well as musical presentations and holiday treats await you. A costumed artist impersonates John James Audubon and draws birds in his studio. Museum gift shop open for holiday shopping. FREE admission.

Mill Grove is located at 1201 Pawlings Road, Audubon, PA 19403. For more information, see their site linked above.

Activate Phoenixville Area Presents 'Yoga Basics Class'

Starting Saturday, December 6th, Phoenixville Area Residents will get a chance to "learn how to use the practice of yoga to bring stillness, strength and vitality to the body and mind."

Classes will be held on Saturdays from 9:00-10:15am and cost $5 per person per class. 1/2 of all proceeds will be donated ot the Montgomery County SPCA.

For more information, please see ActivatePhoenixvilleArea.org.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Phoenixville Area Business Association Unveils DiscoverPhoenixville.com

The Phoenxville Area Business Association (PABA) recently unveiled a new website, DiscoverPhoenixville.com. The site, which was created by local marketing firm Virtual Farm Creative, Inc, highlights the many business in the Phoenixville area as well as provides additional information about the PABA and the town in general.

From the Virtual Farm press release:
“We were hired to make the PABA website a useful tool for the organization,” reflects Todd Palmer, creative director at Virtual Farm Creative, Inc. (VFC). The Phoenixville-based advertising agency was selected to rebuild PABA’s website as the association reorganized. “While developing the PABA site VFC identified the opportunity to create a resource for visitors to Phoenixville whether online or on Bridge Street.”

DISCOVERPHOENIXVILLE.COM profiles the categories of businesses that call Phoenixville home by showcasing different businesses with each visit. PABA members receive a full profile page with a link to their site in a compelling interface.

“We were determined to make DISCOVERPHOENIXVILLE.COM the definitive resource for all Phoenixville entities while supplying current event information and positive news about the organization and its member-businesses within a robust database,” adds Palmer. “The custom database and administrative interface behind DISCOVERPHOENIXVILLE.COM will allow it to naturally grow as the Borough evolves.”

Citizens for the Train Meeting Tomorrow Evening

The Citizens for the Train, a local advocacy group looking into the possibility of building a train line from Phoenixville to Paoli, is having a meeting tomorrow night (Dec. 3rd).

From the email that was sent out to past Train meeting attendees:
The economic down turn has affected the way we are going to look at the next phase of the study. The demand study will need to be funded through a government-sponsored program. We have identified the program from which we could secure dollars and would like to get the consensus of the group to move forward, as well as discuss the change in direction.

The meeting will occur December 3, 2008 on the 3rd floor of Molly Maguire's. The presentation will start around 7:00 PM. Same routine as last time... free buffet and cash bar.

The Citizens for the Train is a loosely confederated group of citizens seeking to improve the transportation options in the region. We will vote whether or not seek the funding for the next phase of the study.

Please come a little early so everyone can sign in and we will start promptly at 7PM.

Please note, the location was changed today to Molly Maguire's. It had originally been scheduled to happen at the Columbia.

The meeting is open to the public. For those who cannot attend, I will be posting a follow up either tomorrow night or sometime Thursday.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Kelly Chevrolet Hosting Coat Drive

Kelly Chevrolet, 600 Nutt Rd, is once again holding a Coat Drive. This is the fifth year the drive has been held.

Donations of lightly used coats and jackets can be made at the dealership between now and January 31st. From there, Kelly takes the coats to First Presbyterian Church who distributes the coats among local shelters.

Last year, 500 coats were donated and with 200 donated this year through Thanksgiving, it appears they are on track to meet or exceed that number again this year!

For more information, see today's Phoenix.

Tis the Season

With the holidays rapidly approaching, I will be adding posts highlighting efforts by various community groups to give back to those less fortunate. I will be relying on The Phoenix and you, the readers, to bring these to my attention. If you know of a group that is doing something of this sort, please email me at tips@bridgeandmain.com with as much info as possible and I will be sure to post it asap.



Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

Wanted to wish everyone out there a very happy Thanksgiving. We'll be back next week with regularly scheduled programming.


Holiday Parade to be held December 5th

On Friday, December 5th, in conjunction with December's First Friday's festivities, the Phoenixville Kiwanis will once again be hosting the annual Holiday Parade.

From today's Phoenix:
Seven area fire companies will again be appearing in the parade, along with their lavishly decorated trucks, as well as holiday favorites like Santa Claus and more than 20 popular characters from beloved children's stories will be on hand to entertain kids and adults.


The parade will line up along Church Street near Borough Hall on Friday, Dec. 5. Because of traffic and construction concerns, the parade will travel the wrong way down Church Street, turn right on Main Street and then left on Bridge Street. The parade will be making the right turn onto Main Street promptly at 7 p.m., Marshall said.

Two trucks from each company will be allowed in the parade, and Mitchell said that, as in previous years, there will be a cash prize and other honors for the winning fire company. Last year's winner, the Mont Clair Fire Company, will have the honor of riding last in the parade and transporting Santa Claus through downtown Phoenixville.

Also slated to appear in the parade are a Brazilian drum band and the Phoenixville Area High School marching band.

Once the parade has made its way to Taylor Alley, and the winner of the parade has been named, all parade participants will be making their way back down Bridge Street to Phoenixville's Renaissance Park, where Santa and parade Grand Marshall state representative Carol Rubley will be lighting the borough Christmas tree. Santa will also be available at that time to speak to children and hear their Christmas wishes, Mitchell said.

For more see the article in today's Phoenix.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Local Business Spotlight: Snyder Family Chiropractic

Dr. Jeff Snyder brings his down to earth personality and lifestyle into everything he does, including chiropractic. He focuses on achieving the best possible results for each and every patient while maintaining a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere in the office. His philosophy toward his patients is simple: "I treat my patients the way I would want my family to be treated at any other health care provider's office." This is why his practice is built almost entirely on referrals from happy patients. He strives to help his patients be able to have fun, live well, and feel great!

Dr. Snyder graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise and Sport Science. Upon continuing his studies at the prestigious Life University, in Marietta, Georgia, he graduated with a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree. He is Board Certified by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners in both radiography and clinical assessment and treatment.

Dr. Snyder uses his vast experience in the care of people who have had the unfortunate experience of work related injury or injury due to automobile accidents. His referral network with other doctors and industry professionals allows for the best care to be provided to the patient.

He uses safe and proven adjusting techniques such as Thompson Terminal Drop, Sacro-Occipital Technique, Network, Gonstead, Chiropractic Biophysics, and Activator. Dr. Snyder is educated in the care of pregnant, pediatric, and the elderly as well as the competitive athlete and weekend warrior. Dr. Snyder utilizes the Webster Technique for correction of Intrauterine Constraint (also known as Breech position).

Dr. Snyder utilizes the most advanced technology to assist patients in getting well and staying well. The Insight Millennium technology is certified by The Space Foundation, cofounded by NASA, as a Certified Space Technology and has been used on two space shuttle missions. This technology is being used only in select chiropractic clinics to assess the nervous system and track progress in care in an objective manner.

Dr. Snyder is a member of the Life University alumni association, an active member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) and the Chiropractic Fellowship of Pennsylvania.

Jeff Snyder, D.C.
1003A Egypt Rd.
Oaks, PA 19456
(610) 935-5900

Activate Phoenixville Area Presents Yoga Classes

Starting Tuesday, December 2nd, Phoenixville area residents can take Yoga Classes from 7-8pm.

Yoga Basics Class for Phoenixville Area Residents
(just $5 per person, per class)

Learn how to use the practice of yoga to bring stillness, strength and vitality to the body and mind.

Presented by: Stacey Halstead, Yoga Instructor

Tuesdays 7:00-8:00pm starting Dec. 2nd, 2008

Location: Stepping Stone Education Center at Franklin Commons (400 Franklin Ave. Suite 400, Phoenixville)

Wear comfortable clothes & bring a yoga/exercise mat.

Brought to you by Activate Phoenixville Area.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Phoenixville Hospital Auxilliary Hosting Annual Holiday Bazaar

On Sunday, Nov. 16, Phoenixville Hospital Auxiliary will be hosting their annual Holiday Bazaar. The event, which features "close to 30 crafters, baked goods, 50/50 tickets, raffle items and a visit by Santa Claus" will be held from 10am-3pm at Solomon's Porch on the campus of Valley Forge Christian College.

From today's Phoenix:
"Our crafters will offer a wide variety of items such as jewelry and woodwork gifts, to hand-sewn and crocheted selections," said (Deb)Francis. "Some of the crafters we have coming in are local and some as far as New Jersey and Philadelphia."

Several crafters returning from last year include Joe Pennypacker, who makes cutting boards out of corian, and Ernie Coccia, who does work working and builds birdhouses.
"We're also going to have a classy flea market as well. This is where members of the auxiliary bring in their 'white elephants' — those items that are new but don't serve a useful purpose to those who own it but could assist others. We think it'll be a nice affair."

Francis said that tickets will be sold for two cash prizes.

"First prize is $500 cash, and second prize is $150," she said.

The jolly man from the North Pole, Santa Claus, will be on hand for children to have their picture taken free of charge.

For more information, call call 610-783-5559 or 610-783-5077.

Source: The Phoenix

Friday, November 07, 2008

New Posts on the Soapbox

I have had some emails asking me to put up a post regarding the proposed tax hike for '09. In an effort to keep this blog about events and businesses in town, I have added a post to the Soapbox where this can be discussed.



Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Beer Dinner at Molly Maguires

Fellow blogger Dr. Joel is co-hosting Molly Maguire's first Beer Dinner on Wednesday, November 19th. From his blog:

Beer Dinner at Molly Maguire’s
Wednesday, November 19, 2008 @ 6:00PM
Hosted by Molly’s Chef Robert Cloud
and Joel Armato from New Holland Brewing Co.

Featuring New Holland’s…

Sundog Amber Ale
Golden Cap Saison Ale
Ichabod Pumpkin Ale
Poet Oatmeal Stout
Mad Hatter IPA
Dragon’s Milk Ale

Five courses of delicious fare accompanied by six selections of award-winning brews.

Tickets are $45.00 (including Tax and Gratuity)

To purchase your tickets, please see a member of Molly’s staff or call (610)933-9550.

For more, including the dinner menu, please see Joel's blog. Note that the date on his site is incorrect.

Monday, November 03, 2008


On the eve of the elections, I wanted to provide some general information to make it easier for everyone to get out and vote!

First and foremost, where to vote. Pennsylvania has, in my opinion, done a nice job with their site in providing information on where and how to vote. To find you polling location, fill out the form on this site.

Chester County will be using two types of voting machines. You can view a demonstration of each here.

Finally, for those undecideds out there, the League of Women Voters has put together a comprehensive site breaking down each of the races in Chester County.

Polls are open from 7am-8pm. Make your voice heard!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Activate Phoenixville Area Presents Tai Chi At The Civic Center

Beginning this weekend, Activate Phoenixville Area will be presenting weekly Tai Chi classes at the Phoenixville Civic Center, 122 S. Main Street.

Join other residents for a “pay-as-you-go” one-hour class ($5 per person per class).

Presented by: White Eagle Martial Arts

Instructor: Tammy Rosebrook

Three sessions to choose from:
Saturdays (Nov. 1st – Dec 21st)
9:00am- Beginner’s Class
10:00am – Intermediate Class

or Wednesdays 7:00pm (Nov. 5th – Dec. 17th)

New students will be accepted through the third class. The class will then be closed so that participants have the opportunity to improve in their practice.

Location: Phoenixville Civic Center - 122 S. Main Street

Please note: Classes will resume in Reeves Park in the Spring.

Wear comfortable clothes and sneakers.

Firebird Festival Scheduled for December 13th

On Saturday, Decemeber 13th, Phoenixville will play host to the 5th Annual Firebird Festival. From the festival website (www.firebirdfestival.com):

Starting at 4 in the afternoon, the Downtown District will be transformed into a performance art venue with storytellers, choruses, dancers and musicians, all performing and relating stories of Winter and of the Phoenix – the mythical bird and namesake of Phoenixville.

Located along the 200 and 300 blocks of Bridge Street, the festivities will take place in the Colonial Theatre, the Phoenix Village Art Center and Steel City Coffee House, as well as in the parking lot next to the Justice Building.

At the conclusion of the performances in the Theatre, the Arts Center and the Coffee House a community Drum Ensemble accompanied by dancers will lead festival goers in a procession down Bridge Street to the giant, wooden Firebird sculpture just west of the Justice Building.

Two huge Peace birds - each carried by three people - will circle the Firebird, followed by Fire spinners and dancers. At 8 PM the Fire Master - selected by raffle to light the Firebird [tickets available at the event] will be handed a torch and will then ignite the phoenix. As it burns, the Firebird will act as a kiln and will fire a cache of clay birds hidden inside. These birds - created weeks before by members of the community - will be exhibited at the Phoenix Village Art Center February 6th thru March 4th .

The Firebird Festival helps form a bridge between the old and the emerging communities, bringing people together to see the vibrant, artistic side of Phoenixville. One of the goals of the festival organizers is to bring art to the community, making it "accessible on the street." Art by the community, for the community.

The Firebird Festival is a FREE event enjoyed by festival goers of all ages. Many of the performances are interactive - inviting audience participation.

Schuylkill Canal Association Hosting Annual Holiday Luminaria

On Saturday, December 13th, the Schuylkill Canal Association will be hosting their annual Holiday Luminaria. From the flyer I was sent:

The Schuylkill Canal Association invites you to the Holiday Luminaria

Saturday, December 13th, 6:00 to 9:00 PM, at the Locktender’s House, Lock 60, Mont Clare

Come see the most spectacular light show of the holiday season, hundreds of luminary candles lining the towpath up to the house. Enjoy the joyful music played by Meadowlark; Elisa & Jansen, and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus between 6:30 & 7:30 PM with your little ones.

Partake in holiday treats and hot cider and join in with SCA as we toast our friends with best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season.

All are welcome, donations will be gladly accepted.

Ample parking is available at Lock 60.

A steady rain only cancels this holiday event.

For more information and directions, please visit SCA’s website at www.schuylkillcanal.com or you can always contact SCA at 610-917-0021 or via email at info@schuylkillcanal.com.

Happy Holidays to all!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Soroptimist International of Phoenixville Holding 61st Annual Art Show and Sale

Beginning Saturday, November 15th, the Soroptimist International of Phoenixville will be hosting their 61st Annual Art Show and Sale

Soroptimist International of Phoenixville - 61st Annual Art Show and Sale
Center for Arts & Technology – Pickering Campus. Charlestown Road, Phoenixville, PA.

Art Show and Sale
Saturday, November 15th from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday, November 16th from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Artists’ Dinner Reception (open to the public)
Saturday, November 15th from 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
$25 per person payable at the door

Paintings, sculpture, jewelry, photography

Empty Bowls Campaign Returning to Artisan’s Gallery & Café

For the second year in a row, Artisan’s Gallery & Café will be participating in the Empty Bowls Campaign:

In 1990 a high school art teacher in Michigan helped his students search for a way to raise funds to support a food drive. What evolved was a class project to make ceramic bowls for a fund raising meal. Guests were served a simple meal of soup and bread, and were invited to keep the bowl as a reminder of hunger in the world.

By the following year the originators had developed this concept into Empty Bowls, a project to provide support for food banks, soup kitchens, and other organizations that fight hunger. Since then, Empty Bowls events have been held throughout the world, and millions of dollars have been raised to combat hunger. For more information about the Empty Bowls Campaign visit their website at www.emptybowls.net.

For a $20 donation, you can help fight hunger in our area, and enjoy artisan’s bread and homemade soup served in a ceramic bowl created by a local artist.

Friday Nov. 14, 2008 - 5 pm to 9 pm

Eat-in or Carry-out

Tickets are $20

Artisan’s Gallery & Café
236 Bridge Street, Phoenixville

Tickets Available by calling PACS at 610-933-1105 or e-mailing development@pacsphx.org.

Country Charm Furnishings Opens on Main St.

Reader Mary wrote in to inform me about Country Charm Furnishings, a new store that has just opened at 28 S. Main St. (between Brown's Cow and The Best Friends' Boutique).

From Country Charm's website:

I sell Country Primitive Style Furniture,Handbuilt Country Farm Tables, Hutches, Pantries, Armoires and many accent pieces such as wreaths, country pictures, candles, etc. Most furniture is handbuilt by an experienced craftsman and his family who has been building furniture for over 20 years out of fine quality knotted pine wood.

For more information, you can visit their site at countrycharmfurnishings.com or give them a call 484-924-8136.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Special Performance of Nunsense to benefit Phoenixville Area Time Bank

Reader Margo Ketchum wrote in to tell about an upcoming event to help raise money for the Phoenixville Area Time Bank.

Mark your calendar for Sunday afternoon, November 9th, 2pm, for some pure fun. The Forge Theatre, at 241 First Avenue in Phoenixville, has offered Phoenixville Area Time Bank a special showing of the popular musical comedy Nunsense to benefit the organization.

Now in its 25th year, Nunsense has gained a big following across the country and around the world, with a fan club, sequels, and a special website. The story features five rather diverse and somewhat wacky nuns who take over a high school stage set, to raise money for the burial of their poor sisters who the cook accidentally poisoned. They sing, they dance, and they get you, the audience, involved!

Tickets are $20, available by reservation (610-608-9261 / timedollar@verizon.net), or picked up at New Century Bank in Kimberton.

The non-profit Phoenixville Area Time Bank offers local individuals a chance to help each other out, one-on-one or with group projects. They help rebuild neighborhood networks and strengthen the community. The Time Bank was recently featured on the front page of The Phoenix as an alternative economy (Oct. 4th 2008 edition). To find out more, go to www.pa-timebank.com.

Halloween Spooktacular at Philadelphia Premium Outlets

The Philadelphia Premium Outlets will be hosting a 'Halloween Spooktacular' on Friday, October 31st from 4-7pm.

Halloween Spooktacular
Fri Oct 31: 4pm–7pm

Children of all ages are invited for this fun filled event.
- Trick or Treat at participating stores
- Children can register for our Halloween Costume Contest* located near the Food Court from 4pm – 6:30pm
- Special treats can also be enjoyed courtesy of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
*Children must be accompanied by an adult; winner to be announced at 7pm.

The outlets are located just off the Sanatoga Exit of Route 422. For more information, please call (610)495-9000 or visit their site at www.premiumoutlets.com/philadelphia

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Halloween Party At Phoenixville Public Library

Halloween Party

LOCATION: Phoenixville Public Library, 183 2nd Ave, Phoenixville, PA 19460

DATE: Thursday, October 30, 2008

TIME: 8:00PM to 11:00PM

COST: $50.00 per person


BYOB & Refreshments and beverages will be provided.


Prizes for individual, pair and group costumes.

Silent Auction items to be available. (Costumes are optional.)

Tickets are available at The Phoenixville Public Library or Barto Pool & Spa

For questions, please contact Kelly Deveney (610-917-0293) or Amy Barto (610-842-8038)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Global Warming Discussion To Be Held This Saturday

Reader Jillian sent this in:

Eco-Moms Alliance of Chester County join together with Scientists, Business Owners, and Candidates for Congress to discuss the local impacts of Global Warming. ALL ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND!!

What: Local moms bring together a Union of Concerned Scientists presenter, “green” business owners, candidates for Congress, and a speaker from Al Gore’s Climate Project to discuss the impacts and solutions of global warming here in Pennsylvania.

Where: Camphill Village Kimberton Hills
1601 Pughtown Road
Kimberton, PA 19442

When: Saturday October 25th 2008 from 1pm – 3pm

12:45 PM to 1:00 PM Event Registration
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM Climate Change Forum
2:00 PM to 2:30 PM Q&A
2:30 PM to 3:00 PM Meet & Greet Reception

Featuring: James F. Thorne, Ph.D. presenting the Union of Concerned Scientist report “Climate Change in Pennsylvania: Impacts and Solutions for the Keystone State”, invited guests Rep. Jim Gerlach and Bob Roggio, and Richard Whiteford, a presenter with Al Gore’s The Climate Project

Monday, October 20, 2008

Local Business Spotlight: Mike McWhirter Consulting

Mike McWhirter Consulting is a small consulting and service business. We specialize in Macintosh and using Macintosh in the home, small business and large business areas. We are located in Phoenixville, PA, in beautiful Chester County. Our service area includes Harrisburg to the Jersey Shore and from Northern Delaware to Scranton, PA.

Our specialties are Macintosh computers, wired and wireless networks, consulting on new equipment purchases and installs, assistance with packing and moving sensitive equipment and performing upgrades. We can also setup Microsoft Windows on your new Intel based MacBook, MacBook Pro, or Mac Pro computers. Have the best of both worlds in one computer... Advantage Apple! Have an iPod? We do them as well!

About the owner...
Mike McWhirter has been working with Macintosh computers for over 20 years. Starting with the very first Macintosh Computer through the very latest super computers, the Mac Pro and Mac Book Pro, Mike has been on top of the Mac scene. Mike has certificates from Apple certifying him as an Authorized technician on Macintosh, PowerBooks and older LaserWriter printers. Mike is also is a Systems Engineer and has been a President and founder of an Apple User Group, owned an Apple Dealership and currently supports many Macintosh users and businesses with their networks and systems. Mike is an Apple Certified Help Desk Specialist and a Hubbell Certified Category 6 Mission Critical Installer.

To contact Mike, please visit his website at macmaniacs.com or give him a call at 610-656-1599.

Majolica Unveils New Website, Farmhouse Table Dining Option

Chef Andrew Deery and Sarah Johnson are the husband and wife team behind Phoenixville's innovative Majoical restaurant. The Bridge Street destination BYOB just added a festive 8-seat farmhouse table.
Majolica, one of Phoenixville's most well regarded restaurants, has unveiled a much needed new website. In addition, they have added a new Farmhouse Table option for their diners, allowing groups of 6-8 to enjoy a prix fix menu in an environment completely unique to Phoenixville.

From their press release:
Like dining at a fine French farm

October 15, 2008– Phoenixville, Pennsylvania’s Bridge Street is quickly becoming known as the region's 'Restaurant Row'.The former steel town in Philadelphia's Northwest suburbs has reinvented itself as a dining destination with bright bistros from end-to-end on the historic street, but no culinary light shines as brightly as Andrew Deery's Majolica.

With an innovate Autumnal menu making its debut this month; Phoenixville's Majolica is properly prepared for the festivities of fall. Every season, in fact, the original creations of acclaimed Chef Andrew Deery continue to draw visitors to the destination eatery from throughout the Delaware Valley and beyond.

Read More!

Majolica, one of Phoenixville's most well regarded restaurants, has unveiled a much needed new website. In addition, they have added a new Farmhouse Table option for their diners, allowing groups of 6-8 to enjoy a prix fix menu in an environment completely unique to Phoenixville.

From their press release:
Like dining at a fine French farm

October 15, 2008– Phoenixville, Pennsylvania’s Bridge Street is quickly becoming known as the region's 'Restaurant Row'.The former steel town in Philadelphia's Northwest suburbs has reinvented itself as a dining destination with bright bistros from end-to-end on the historic street, but no culinary light shines as brightly as Andrew Deery's Majolica.

With an innovate Autumnal menu making its debut this month; Phoenixville's Majolica is properly prepared for the festivities of fall. Every season, in fact, the original creations of acclaimed Chef Andrew Deery continue to draw visitors to the destination eatery from throughout the Delaware Valley and beyond.

This season, however, there are several exciting new changes that are creating a buzz about the Bridge Street eatery.

Majolica, named for the colorful pottery that was part of Phoenixville's past, recently launched a brand new web site developed by the award-winning advertising agency, Virtual Farm Creative, also headquartered in Phoenixville. The stylish site features colorful representations of Deery's innovative dishes as well as all of the information potential visitors to the restaurant would ever need.

"The attitude and personality of the new website exemplifies Majolica, our atmosphere and our creative cuisine," says manager Sarah Johnson. "Things are constantly changing, improving and evolving here at Majolica and now our Internet presence has that same capability."

Majolica's vibrant site also includes an application to help the manager administer reservations.A "Call Back" form posted throughout the site allows visitors to request a reservation date and time that is followed up with a return telephone call confirming or adjusting the request. Reservation makers using the web form can even request Majolica's popular tasting menu or the Farmhouse Table.

What's the Farmhouse Table? Another sensational idea from the minds of Deery and Johnson, the Farmhouse Table is borrowed from the European tradition of eating in or near the kitchen.Majolica's Farmhouse Table is a warm antique, long enough to comfortably seat eight guests.

Positioned directly across from the kitchen, Farmhouse Table guests will enjoy prix fix offerings while delighting in watching one of the region's most inventive chef's prepare and present his creative cuisine. Even better, the Farmhouse Table allows friends to gather and experience the magic of a gregarious meal. Eclectic chairs filled with friends or family surround a table designed to make people happy.

"The right friends, the right wine, the right table can contribute to an incredibly joyful evening," agrees director of elegant eating, Sarah Johnson. "We're always experimenting with ways to combine joy and food and the Farmhouse Table is a natural extension of the Majolica offering."

To reserve the Farmhouse Table at Phoenixville's Majolica restaurant call 610-917-0962 or visit their new web site at www.majolicarestaurant.com.

Pickering Creek Inn Opens Its Doors

The former Mansion House Restaurant and Bar has reopened under new ownership. The new restaurant is named, strangely, the Pickering Creek Inn, despite its proximity to French Creek. From last Friday's article in the Phoenix:

"People are pleasantly surprised with how the Inn looks," [co-owner Jeff Feulner] said. "Everyone loves the food and the Sunday Brunch is really popular. This has succeeded my expectations. I had no idea what went into everything."

Kaufmann said the Inn's menu is his, and the influence is on comfort food with a twist.

"I like to work with comfort food," he said. "That's why we have sandwiches on our menu. I want people to feel like they are at home. Our food is classic with some contemporary flair, such as Yankee pot roast and roasted corn soup. We support local farmers and local cheese. I feel it's important to support local farmers. The Phoenixville Farmers Market is awesome."

Feulner said that with good comfort food should come reasonable prices.

Read More!
The former Mansion House Restaurant and Bar has reopened under new ownership. The new restaurant is named, strangely, the Pickering Creek Inn, despite its proximity to French Creek. From last Friday's article in the Phoenix:

"People are pleasantly surprised with how the Inn looks," [co-owner Jeff Feulner] said. "Everyone loves the food and the Sunday Brunch is really popular. This has succeeded my expectations. I had no idea what went into everything."

Kaufmann said the Inn's menu is his, and the influence is on comfort food with a twist.

"I like to work with comfort food," he said. "That's why we have sandwiches on our menu. I want people to feel like they are at home. Our food is classic with some contemporary flair, such as Yankee pot roast and roasted corn soup. We support local farmers and local cheese. I feel it's important to support local farmers. The Phoenixville Farmers Market is awesome."

Feulner said that with good comfort food should come reasonable prices.
"We wanted things to be reasonable," he said. "We want people to come in two to three times a week instead of coming here for a special occasion. We have one of the best filets around."

Looking around the room, Henzler said the Inn looks "absolutely gorgeous."

"The original dining room is still in the back, and we have six wood-burning brick ovens we want to bring to life," said Henzler, who is referred to as "The Captain."

With new hardwood floors, local artists' paintings hanging on the walls, and a well-lit, brighter atmosphere, Kaufmann said the Inn is how he envisioned it.

As to the curious name:

The name "Pickering Creek Inn" has been a source of comments, said Kaufmann, as he explained how the trio came up with the name.

"I did some history on Phoenixville," he said. "We are on the French Creek, while Pickering Creek is miles away. We know this. We've had so many comments about why we named it this."

Feulner said, "The Pickering Creek needed an inn. We have rooms here so we wanted to keep the inn part."

The Pickering Creek Inn is located at 37 Bridge Street, Phoenixville. Their phone number is 610-933-9962. Happy hour, with free food, is Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday buffet brunch is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at $15.95 per person.

Source: The Phoenix

Friday, October 17, 2008

First Annual “Salute-A-Vet” Veterans Day Luminaria Ceremony

The Freedoms Foundation, a national, non-profit organization that provides citizenship education programs for students, will offer citizens across the country a unique opportunity to honor and thank military veterans they know with its first annual Veterans Day “Salute-A-Vet” Luminaria Candlelight Ceremony on November 11th. The event ties in with the 90th observance of Veterans Day, which was initially known as “Armistice Day” to recognize the end of World War I on November 11, 1918.

Between now and Veterans Day, the Freedoms Foundation is selling “Salute-A-Vet” Luminaria (for a $10 donation) to allow people an opportunity to recognize veterans they know- a friend, family member, co-worker or neighbor. The Luminaria will be lit at a solemn candlelight ceremony on Veterans Day night at the organization’s Valley Forge campus. The names of all veterans honored with a luminaria will be announced as part of the ceremony’s solemn roll call.

Click here to download a luminaria order form.

Read More!
The Freedoms Foundation, a national, non-profit organization that provides citizenship education programs for students, will offer citizens across the country a unique opportunity to honor and thank military veterans they know with its first annual Veterans Day “Salute-A-Vet” Luminaria Candlelight Ceremony on November 11th. The event ties in with the 90th observance of Veterans Day, which was initially known as “Armistice Day” to recognize the end of World War I on November 11, 1918.

Between now and Veterans Day, the Freedoms Foundation is selling “Salute-A-Vet” Luminaria (for a $10 donation) to allow people an opportunity to recognize veterans they know- a friend, family member, co-worker or neighbor. The Luminaria will be lit at a solemn candlelight ceremony on Veterans Day night at the organization’s Valley Forge campus. The names of all veterans honored with a luminaria will be announced as part of the ceremony’s solemn roll call.

Click here to download a luminaria order form.

Michael Di Yeso, the President of the Freedoms Foundation, said, “Veterans Day is the day of the year when Americans can recognize and thank all veterans who have served America in war and peace. It is an opportunity for us to do our small part in keeping the flame of eternal vigilance alive in the ongoing challenge of keeping America free and the world at peace.”

Teacher-turned-talk show host Dom Giordano of WPHT (1210 AM) Radio in Philadelphia, the Honorary Chairman for “Salute-A-Vet” 2008, added, “I believe it is critical that citizens, especially children, realize that Veterans Day is more than just a day off from school or work, or a retail shopping promotion. From Valley Forge to the present day, our military and their families have endured great hardship and sacrifice. Whether it is lighting a luminaria, saying thanks to someone in uniform, or helping a family who has a loved one deployed in the service, we have a responsibility as Americans to keep the spirit of Veterans Day alive every day of the year.”

According to Di Yeso, staging the inaugural Salute-A-Vet Luminaria event at the Foundation’s Valley Forge, PA campus is fitting because “when people think of the historical significance of Valley Forge, it represents the hardships and challenges our military faces every day- cold places, hot places, dangerous places, lonely places- wherever they are needed in the ongoing quest for peace and freedom. The tradition of Valley Forge is acted out whenever American men and women in the armed services stand up to defend freedom and keep our country safe.”

Salute-A-Vet Luminaria can be purchased for a $10 tax-deductible donation. Proceeds will support the Freedoms Foundation, which provides low-cost and scholarship based citizenship education programs to students from all 50 states. For more information, call (610) 933-8825 (extension 210 or 221) or visit www.freedomsfoundation.org.

Financial Optimism Talk at Phoenixville Public Library

Fred Hubler, President of Creative Capital Wealth Management Group, will present “The Case for Optimism” at Phoenixville Public Library on Monday, October 27 at 7:00 PM. During this time of volatility in the financial markets, Fred will explain the benefits that patience can provide and show opportunities that shouldn’t be passed by. He will share some good news about the bear market and provide you with key ideas for the future.

This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required. For more information or to reserve a seat, stop by the Reference Desk at the Library, call 610-933-3013, Ext. 32, or e-mail mpinto@ccls.org. Phoenixville Public Library is located at 183 Second Avenue in Phoenixville, PA.

Stephanie Nilles To Play At Steel City Coffee House Next Wednesday

Reader Stephanie Nilles will be performing at the Steel City Coffee House next Wednesday, October 22nd. Stephanie provided this description of her music:

Stephanie Nilles' music was perhaps best described by a friend as "Ella Fitzgerald beating the sh*t out a Regina Spektor." Born in Chicago to a chemical engineer and an architect, Stephanie is an active musician of various genres by sheer accident. At 17, she was a finalist at the Young Concert Artists' International Competition. At 22, she was a finalist at the Corpus Christi International Piano Competition and had graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music with a BM in classical piano performance. These days, rather than complaining about outdated copyright law and waiting around for a record-deal-to-nowhere, she's performing her own politically-influenced jazz/folk/punk tunes in her adopted home in North Harlem (NoHa) and out on the road in a hatchback with a Roland and a small sound system. She has performed at such venues as Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, The Bitter End, and The Cutting Room, and she has collaborated with artists like Bobby McFerrin, Christian Howes, and Billy Contreras, in styles ranging from free improv and funk fusion to bluegrass and burlesque accompaniment. In 2008, she released a full-length album, ReDemo, on her own label, Sudden Infant Death Hut Records.

You can hear some of Stephanie's work at www.myspace.com/stephanienilles.

The concert is part of Steel City's "Steel City Sessions" and is free to the public. Also on the bill that evening is Fusionhouse. For more information on the concert, visit the Steel City event schedule.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

PABA presents A Progressive Dinner

The Phoenixville Area Business Association will present its first Progressive Dinner on Tuesday, November 11, 2008 from 5:30-7:30pm. The dinner will feature a four course meal (aperitif, appetizer, entree, and dessert) at four different locations within a short walking distance in downtown Phoenixville. Two tracks are available with the capacity for a total of 60 Progressive diners. Track A will feature an aperitif at Hipster Home, followed by a starter course at Franco Ristorante, entree course at 101 Bridge and the dessert course at Steel City Coffee House. Track B will feature an aperitif at Fashionista's Salon, starter course at Le Creperie Cafe, followed by an entree at Columbia Bar and Grille and ending with dessert at Artisan's Gallery and Cafe. What better way to discover the cullinary offerings of Phoenixville.

Tickets are $65.00 per person and do not include alcoholic drinks (other than the aperitif) or gratuity. Group rates apply for groups of 6 or more. The full menu from these restaurants can be viewed at http://steelcitycoffee.stores.yahoo.net/prdi1.html.

Tickets can be purchased at the above site or at Steel City Coffee House (203 Bridge Street) or Fashionista's Salon (219 Bridge Street) or by calling 484-686-7792.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pasta Dinner This Weekend For A Great Cause

On Saturday Sunday, October 12th, the Kimberton Fire Company will be hosting a pasta dinner, bake sale and raffle. The proceeds from the event will go to the family of Trey Love, a 23 month old who has been diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma, one of the most aggressive forms of childhood cancer.

The event runs from 1 to 6 p.m. Tickets for this benefit are $10 for adults, and $5 for children (12 & under) and are available in advance and at the door. For tickets, please call Joanne Love at 610-935-4946 or Shelly Smith at 610-933-1019.

For those who are unable to attend and would like to help, please send your donation to: Trey Love, 414 Virginia Avenue, Phoenixville, PA 19460.

Source: The Phoenix

Great Valley Boot Camp Moving Indoors For The Winter

Reader Jennifer Brango, a certified personal trainer and instructor for the Great Valley Adventure Boot Camp, wrote in to tell about its programs for the coming winter months.

I wanted to let you know about the new location and upcoming camps for Great Valley Boot Camp. Previously we held camp at Reeves Park, we have now found an indoor location Sports Extreme in Oaks to continue camp through the winter months. Currently a new camp for women only, just started Oct 6th at 9am 5 days a week for 4 weeks and we are still taking registrations. An evening camp will be starting Oct 27th at 6:30pm for men and women. Also another morning camp will be starting Monday November 3rd at 6am for women only.

Just a little note about Great Valley Adventure Boot Camp, we are unlike any other boot camp, we are open to all fitness levels and you will find only Certified Trainers teaching our Boot Camps. Our Boot Campers gain an overall sense of health and well being in a safe, fun, motivating environment.

All this information can be found on my website www.JMBootCamp.com.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Halloween Parade planned for Tuesday, October 21st

The annual Phoenixville Halloween Parade is scheduled for Tuesday, October 21st. The parade begins at the Borough Hall at 7pm and makes its way through downtown, culminating at the Family Dollar. The rain date for the parade is Thursday the 23rd.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Kiwanis Chicken BBQ To Benefit Destinations Program

On Saturday, October 4th, Phoenixville Kiwanis will be holding a Chicken BBQ to benefit Destinations With Direction, a program at the Phoenixville Area High School that gives students with high academic potential the opportunity to explore their dream – attending college.

Karin Williams sent in the following:
Kiwanis Chicken BBQ To Benefit Destinations Program

We all have dreams. Some dream of starring on Broadway, some dream of walking on the moon and some have the simpler dream that some day they will be able to attend college.

The Destinations With Direction Program at the Phoenixville Area High School gives students with high academic potential the opportunity to explore that dream – attending college.

Not only does the Destinations program, developed by PAHS Assistant Principals Craig Parkinson and Amber Gentile, put students on the right path for their future by promoting academic achievement and a sense of self-worth, it puts them on the bus for a three-day college tour to prove to them that yes, they can further their education.

In order to help these students, who otherwise would not have the opportunity to attend college, the Destinations program needs your help! Proceeds from this year’s Kiwanis Chicken BBQ – a delicious meal of chicken with all the fixins – which will be held during Community Day in Reeves Park on October 4, will go to Destinations. Tickets are $9 each and can be purchased by contacting

Mr. Parkinson at
Larry Gubanich at

PAHS Class of '88 Reunion Planned

Reader Laura wrote in looking for fellow Phoenixville Area High School Class of 1988 graduates. Says Laura:

Save the Date!
The 20th year Reunion will be held on Friday, November 28, 2008 at the Columbia Station on Bridge Street in Phoenixville.
Time: 6:30pm-11:30pm

Please visit www.pahs1988.com for more info and send us your address so we can invite you!

MyFoxPhilly Hot List Award Winners

Updated 9/29 with full results
Fox Philadelphia has started to post the winners of their annual Hot List awards and, once again, Phoenixville is well represented.

Hipster Home - 1st Place Best Housewares
Wolfgang Books - 1st Place Best Bookstore
The Columbia Bar and Grille - 1st Place Best Romantic Restaurant
Black Lab Bistro - 1st Place Best New American Restaurant
Prestige Chocolates - 2nd Place Best Chocolate
One 2 One Productions - 2nd Place Best DJ
The Colonial Theatre - 3rd Place Best Indie Theater
Ramondo's Cheese - 3rd Place Best Cheese Shop
Spiedie Bistro, Inc. - 3rd Place Best Sandwich Shop
Molly Maguire's - 4th Place Best Irish Pub
Inspiration to Movement, Inc. - 5th Place Best Pilates Studio

To see the full list, see MyFoxPhilly's Hot List Awards site.

Congrats to all of the businesses above!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fireworks last weekend (9/20)?

A reader emailed me earlier this week asking about a firework display that he saw over the north side of town last Saturday night. He, like myself, had not heard anything about this either before or after in The Phoenix. I was wondering if anyone out there could shed some light on the performance.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

James Deoria Memorial Chess Park to be Dedicated in Reeves Park

Reader Kris wrote in to tell about a new addition to Reeves Park:

The James Deoria Memorial Chess Park will be dedicated in Reeves Park on the Second Avenue side in Phoenixville on Saturday, October 11, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. Please join us to celebrate the life of Jim Deoria Sr and his dream of making the game of chess accesible to everyone.

This chess park was made a reality by the graduates of the Phoenixville Community Health Leadership Academy.

Thanks Kris.

Harvest Market Fair On October 4th

On Saturday, October 4th, get out and enjoy the fall weather by attending the Harvest Market Fair in nearby Audubon. The fair is being held from 10am-4pm at Mill Grove, 1201 Pawlings Road, Audubon, PA 19403. Says reader Melissa about the event:

Our annual fall festival is a fun-filled day for the entire family with demonstrations of apple cider pressing, crafts, scarecrow making, creating gourd bird houses, storytelling, and more! Vendors selling local produce, native plants, organic baked goods, and more. Refreshments available for purchase as well as cider, apple butter, and more. This festival as well as museum admission is FREE.

For more information, call 610-666-5593.

Phoenixville High School Class of '73 Reunion Planned for this Weekend

The Phoenixville High School Class of 1973 will be celebrating their 35 Year Reunion this weekend. On Friday, September 27th there will be a pub crawl & scavenger hunt from 5-12 on Bridge St and on Sunday, the 28th, there will be a BBQ at St Mike's Field (Mont Clare) from 1-6. Walk-in's are welcome. Call Sally at 267-968-0765 for more info.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Camphill Café Grand Opening features Casa de Venezuela

Camphill Cafe, at Camphill Village Kimberton Hills, will be celebrating their Grand Re-opening on Sunday, October 19th. Reader Bernadette wrote in to describe the event:

On Sunday, October 19, 2008, Camphill Village Kimberton Hills will celebrate the grand reopening of the Camphill Café with a concert and reception featuring Ensemble Casa de Venezuela, the Delaware Valley ’s premier Venezuelan musicians.

The concert begins at 2 p.m. in Rose Hall. Following the concert, guests will have the opportunity to meet the ensemble at a reception in the newly renovated Camphill Café. The reception is sponsored by Kimberton Whole Foods.

The café’s renovations include an expanded seating area, including an outdoor terrace, and sustainable building elements including geothermal heating and cooling, Solatubes, and Silestone countertops. Camphill architect Joan Allen partnered with Carnevale Eustis Architects, Inc., on the design and construction documents.

The Camphill Café, which in addition to serving locally-grown, organic food, provides vocational education and training for adults with developmental disabilities. Village residents with disabilities who work there enjoy interacting with customers, and learn valuable skills of customer service by working in a restaurant environment.

Ensemble Casa de Venezuela will share the roots and love for Venezuelan music, folklore and traditions.

Ticket prices are $20 for concert only; $35 for concert and reception. Seating and reception tickets are limited. To purchase tickets, contact Bernadette@camphillkimberton.org or 610-935-0300 ext. 12.

Hipster Home Joins the Blogosphere

Dave Friday, owner of Hipster Home, has started a blog for the store. Says David about the blog:

The blog is about the store and the product lines we offer. I started it to keep people up to date on the new products we introduce and what they can look forward to in the future. I also wanted an effective interactive medium to educate my consumers about our products and so customers had a voice to express their thoughts or information regarding the store.

The blog can be seen at hipsterhome.blogspot.com.

Stay tuned for more info on Hipster Home and some other local business coming later today.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Phoenixville Area Time Bank's Dance And Silent Auction Moved To New Location

The Phoenixville Area Time Bank's 3rd Annual "It's About Time" Dance and Silent Auction has been moved from the South Main Street Cafe to the Moose Lodge at 920 Township Line Rd. For reasons unknown, the South Main Street Cafe has closed its doors, seemingly forever, necessitating the move.

Click here to read more about the event
The Phoenixville Area Time Bank's 3rd Annual "It's About Time" Dance and Silent Auction has been moved from the South Main Street Cafe to the Moose Lodge at 920 Township Line Rd. For reasons unknown, the South Main Street Cafe has closed its doors, seemingly forever, necessitating the move.

Margo Ketchum from the Time Bank sent me the following describing the event:

World Class Musicians Perform at Local Dance Party

For the third year in a row, “Chico Huff and Friends,” a trio of internationally-acclaimed performers and recording artists, will be providing the music at the Annual Dance Party and Silent Auction for the Phoenixville Area Time Bank (PATB), to be held Saturday, October 11 from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Moose Lodge, 920 Township Line Road , Phoenix ville.

“I was blown away by the music at our first dance two years ago,” said an enthusiastic PATB member at last year’s dance. “I just wasn’t expecting this quality and variety of dance music in my hometown at a function of our fledgling non-profit organization. I wouldn’t have missed this for the world!”

They may be local residents, but all the musicians have far-reaching recognition. Chico Huff has performed on electric bass in recordings with James Taylor, David Crosby of Crosby , Stills, and Nash, and with Jefferson Starship. He also accompanied Carley Simon on a movie soundtrack. Having performed throughout Europe as well as in Japan and Morocco , Huff does frequent tours with the Celtic ensemble Solas and other Irish groups. Closer to home, he has CD’s with artists Susan Werner and Liz Longley. Dave Cullen, winner of a Grammy for “Best Pop Instrumental Recording,” has performed throughout North America for classical guitar societies, jazz festivals, and performing arts series. His recordings on the acoustic guitar have been featured on NPR stations across America . Paul Jost, vocalist, drummer, and composer, can be heard nationally, performing jingles he has composed for Johnson & Johnson, American Air lin es, Nissan, Anheiser Bush, Subway, and Dow Chemical.

Besides dancing and socializing, attendees at the October 11 event will be able to enjoy food, soft drinks, as well as a cash bar, and can participate in a Silent Auction, bidding on an array of attractive items, services, and unique offers contributed by local merchants and professionals, as well as members and friends of Phoenix ville Area Time Bank, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

Tickets for the PATB Dance Party and Fundraiser ($25 in advance, $30 at the door) can be obtained by visiting www.pa-timebank.com, or by cal lin g 610-608-9281. The Phoenixville Area Time Bank, now in its fifth year, is part of a world-wide social-change movement that builds community through members sharing their skills and services in exchange for Time Dollars. Each Time Dollar represents an hour of service. Typical services include: rides to the airport, gardening, pet care, household construction, food exchanges, and computer help. For more details visit the time bank website (listed above) or call 610-608-9281.

Free Yoga Demo On September 29th

Activate Phoenixville Area is hosting a free yoga demo on Monday, September 29th.

Learn how to use the practice of yoga to bring stillness, strength and vitality to the body and mind.

Presented by:
Jason Coffman, Certified Yoga Instructor

Monday – Sept. 29, 2008
7:30 PM (if rain, event will be rescheduled)
Location: Reeve’s Park - 2nd Ave side between the baseball field and band shell.

Wear comfortable clothes & bring a yoga/exercise mat or beach towel.

Please pre-register by email activatepville@pasd.com or phone 610-917-9890 ext. 25

Bomb Threat at Phoenixville High School

Update 11:40am. Good news, the police have swept the entire school and students and faculty have been cleared to return to the building.

This morning, a bomb threat was called into Phoenixville High School. From the PASD website:

9:43, 19 Sept 2008-Emergency Situation At High School
Earlier today an anonymous person called the High School office and posed a bomb threat. All of the HS students were immediately evacuated and relocated to the Middle School. The police have been notified and are currently on site. Trained canines will sweep the building in the next hour. Our first priority is the safety of our students and staff. Please do not come to the High School to pick up your student as the traffic may interfere in the police investigation. Again, the students are safe. I will update every hour to inform you of the progress of this situation.

UPDATE 10:45, 19 Sept 2008-Emergency Situation At High School Update 1
The police canines have swept the stadium stands and the field house. They are proceeding to the High School Building. Again, all of the students and staff are safe. We are waiting for further instruction and information from the police officers on site.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

10th Annual Kimberton 5K Run Scheduled for September 27th

The 10th Annual Kimberton 5K Run/Walk is being held on Saturday, September 27th. The run, which benefits the Lions Club of Kimberton, PA starts at 9am with a 1/2 mile Kids' Fun Run starting at 10.

If you register before Sept. 22nd the cost is $13 for the 5K and $6 for the fun run. Both prices include a free t-shirt. You can register the day of the run (cutoff time is 8:45) for $15 and $8 respectively.

For more information and to register, please visit kimbertonrun.com.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Reminder, Pasta 4 PACS Being Held Next Monday, September 15th

A quick reminder that Phoenixville Area Community Services is holding a Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser next Monday, September 15th. For more information, see my original post.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Phoenixville Area Time Bank hosting its 3rd Annual "It's About Time" Dance and Silent Auction

Reader Margo K. wrote in to tell me about an event the Phoenixville Area Time Bank is hosting on October 11th.

"It's About Time" to Dance the Night Away

The Phoenixville Area Time Bank will hold its 3rd Annual "It's About Time" Dance and Silent Auction on Saturday, October 11 from 7 to 11 p.m. This year's event will be at the newly opened South Main Street Cafe, 119 S Main (and Hall) St, in the heart of downtown Phoenixville.

Chico Huff and Friends, a trio of internationally acclaimed musicians, will offer the evening's entertainment. BYOB, food, and soft drinks will be provided.

The annual silent auction will offer a variety of desirable items, including donations and gift certificates from area stores and restaurants, fine artwork, and handmade crafts.

Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. For ticket purchase information or silent auction donations, call 610-608-9281 or email timedollar@verizon.net.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the Phoenix ville Area Time Bank, a local non-profit 501(c)(3) group that builds community through members sharing their skills and services in exchange for Time Dollars. Each Time Dollar represents an hour of service. Typical services include: rides to the airport, gardening, pet care, handyman services, food exchanges, and computer help. For more details, visit the organization’s website at http://www.pa-timebank.com.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Activate Phoenixville Area Presents Tai Chi In The Park

Activate Phoenixville Area will be offering 'Tai Chi in the Park' through the end of October.

TAI CHI In the Park

Join other residents for a “pay-as-you-go” one-hour class ($5 per person per class).

Presented by White Eagle Martial Arts

Instructor: Tammy

Two sessions to choose from:

Saturdays 9:00 AM (Sept. 6 - Oct 25)
or Wednesdays 6:30pm (Sept 10 – Oct 29)
* new students will be accepted through Sept. 24th

Location: Reeves Park – Starr Street side between 2nd and 3rd
Rain location: St. John’s UCC – 315 Gay Street

Wear comfortable clothes.


As of today, I am going to start deleting any comment that contains name calling or other offensive content, regardless of the validity of the rest of the comment. I am pretty disappointed, although not surprised, that it has come to this but it is what it is. The purpose of this site is to keep people informed about what is going on in and around town, not to provide a place for people to vent their frustrations with life. I encourage everyone to voice their opinion and I will continue to allow anyone to post anything they want, just use a bit of decorum while doing so.



Friday, September 05, 2008

Jaycees Organizing Second Date Auction

Following the success of their last date auction in February, the Phoenixville Jaycees are in the process of organizing another one that will be held at Tyler James’ Pub on Oct. 18 and will be recruiting participants during First Friday festivities this weekend.

Just like last time, some of the money raised will go to a good cause. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Phoenixville Hospital Cancer Center in honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The event is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. and while there is no cover charge, donations will be accepted. There will also be live entertainment.

If you are interested in participating, please send an e-mail to jayceesdateauction@yahoo.com.

Local Business Spotlight: Iron Town Productions

Anyone who has been downtown knows of the Steel City Coffee House. More than a coffee shop, Steel City is one of the better places in the Philadelphia area to see live music, bringing in bands from around the country. Well, the owners have decided to parlay that experience into a new company. Says Jane Tucker of their new venture:

Iron Town Productions (www.irontownproductions.com) is a full-service booking and event production company. We provide first-class artist booking, sound production, event management and promotional services. Iron Town Productions staff has booked and produced over six-hundred events, including musical concerts (our specialty), benefits, grand openings, seminars, book signings, comedy acts, plays, birthday parties, bridal showers, graduation parties, theme parties, receptions, and weddings. See our website for all services and contact us through our contact page.

Iron Town Productions is located at 203 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, PA 19460 (Steel City). They can be contacted at info@irontownproductions.com or by phone at 484-686-7792. For more information, please visit their website at www.irontownproductions.com.

Best of luck to Jane and the rest of the Iron Town Productions employees!

Summer Music Series Comes To An End This Evening

September's First Friday marks the end of what has been considered another very successful Summer Music Series. As they have in the past, Splintered Sunlight will headline the series' final evening, bringing to Phoenixville a chance to enjoy the music of the Grateful Dead. Elsewhere throughout the downtown, ten other groups will be performing from 6-8pm.

For more on tonight's festivities, see yesterday's article in The Phoenix.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Flower Power Music Festival Scheduled for October 26th

The New Century Bank Flower Power Music Festival will occur at The Colonial Theatre in downtown Phoenixville on Sunday, October 26, 2008 at 8:00 PM. This festival will feature folk jam bands Hoots & Hellmouth, Old School Freight Train, Tin Bird Choir and master fiddler Matt Brown will be performing.

This event is a fundraiser for the Phoenixville Area Business Association's (PABA) Street Beautifcation Fund (providing flowers and seasonal decor on the streets of downtown Phoenixville). Tickets range between $15-$25-depending on seating choice. Tickets are available at Steel City Coffee House and online at www.steelcitycoffeehouse.com.

In conjunction with the Music Festival is a scooter raffle. PABA will be raffling off a brand new 2008 Roketa Carpi 150 cc scooter, red in color ($1259.00 value). The scooter will be raffled off during the concert. 2nd place is a "Dining in Phoenixville" basket containing gift certificates for area restaurants. 3rd place is a "Shopping in Phoenixville" basket containing gift certificates to various retailers. Scooter raffle tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20.00 and can be obtained at many PABA member businesses, like . . . Steel City Coffee House, Diving Cat Studios, Artisan's Gallery and Cafe, Earth Mart, Hipster Home, Wolfgang Books, Creep Industries, Franco Ristorante, Ellie's Choice, Fashionista's, Spiedies Bistro, Phoenixville Federal Bank and Jaworski's Music.