What's happening in and around Phoenixville, PA.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Steel City presents The First Annual Blob Ball

The good folks over at Steel City Coffee House sent me an email about an event they will be hosting along with the Tyler James Pub.

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Steel City presents The First Annual Blob Ball featuring The Rivers Rockabilly Trio.

Location: Tyler James Pub (2nd floor)

Date: Friday, July 11, 2008 @ 9:00 PM

Join us for what is going to be the social event of the summer. Right after the annual "running out" reenactment at the Colonial Theatre, join us for a celebration to kick off BlobFest 2008. Music will be provided by The Rivers Rockabilly Trio which specializes in music of the 1950's. There will be dancing and a thematic menu provided by Tyler James Pub. The night will feature contests for the best 50's dress (men and women), the best 50's hair, the best 50's celebrity costume, the best 50's scary monster, and more . . .

Tickets are only $12.00 in advance and can be purchased at Steel City Coffee House or www.steelcitycoffeehouse.com.
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Steel City is also seeking volunteers to help with the event. For more information, please visit their site.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

New Cafe Coming to old Moose Lodge Building

This comes from an anonymous tipster:

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The old moose building, more recently Destiny brewing Co. at 119 South Main Street has new signs of life as of about a week ago. The sign in the door window says Coming Soon, "South Main Cafe".
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If anyone has any additional information, please post it in the Comments area.

Jaycess Fundraiser at Max & Ermas

The Phoenixville Jaycees have teamed up with Max & Erma's for a fundraiser on Tuesday, May 27th. Megan Thomas, president of the Jaycees, sent me the following:

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What better way to help support a local charity like the Phoenixville Jaycees then to do it while eating a good meal?!? The Jaycees are participating in a fundraiser with Max & Erma's Restaurant. Please come out and support the Jaycees on Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at the restaurant's Oaks location. All you have to do is print out and present the attached flyer to the restaurant. Max & Erma's will donate 15% of the total sales to the Pville Jaycees. The Jaycees have been creating a better community since 1952 by servicing the community, hosting community events, donating to charities and presenting scholarships, and so much more!

So bring your family, friends, or co-workers and share a nice meal knowing you are helping contribute to a charitable cause. It will be nice taking a night off from cooking and I heard the hot chocolate chip cookies are something to not pass up. Hope to see you there!!!

If you are not able to make it but would like to help out please do so by passing this email and flyer on to others. Just a reminder that you must present the flyer to the restaurant during your meal to be included in the donation. Any questions please feel free to ask. Thanks!!!
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Max and Erma's is located at 180 B Mill Road Oaks, PA 19456.

Max & Erma's flyer

Stop Global Warming Campaign Kick-off at Reeves Park

Reader Jillian, a local Greenpeace member, is holding a 'Stop Global Warming Campaign Kick-off' on June 1st at 1:00 PM at Reeves Park. Says Jillian

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*Stop Global Warming Campaign Kick-off* event is free to the public and everyone is welcome to attend. There will be free food, music, prizes, and activities for kids. Join your family, friends, and neighbors in the park to tell Congress that you want them to take action to stop global warming.
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Monday, May 19, 2008

Phoenixville Named To Relocate-America's Top 100 Places to Live

Relocate-America, a site designed to help people find the best places in America to live, has named Phoenixville as one of its Top 100 Places to Live for 2008.

Thanks to reader Erin B. for the tip!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Phoenixville Jaycees Need Your Help

Fellow blogger Karen Johns (http://www.karenejohns.com) wrote and asked I post an announcement that she has also added to her blog. Its in regard to last week's Dogwood Festival and the damage done to Reeves Park due to the wet weather we experienced all week. From Karen's blog

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The heavy rains during several days, including last night, left the ground in our area saturated.

The weight of Dogwood Fair rides created multiple problems during the removal of the equipment, and left numerous ruts and damage throughout Reeves Park.

I spoke briefly with Katie Ciruelos, of the Jaycees this morning and she stated the organization will work hard to restore the park.

In other rain-free years in the past, a virtual army of volunteers, Jaycees and others, would gather at one end of the park and walk to the other collecting debris and fixing any problems, leaving the park in pristine condition. The current situation is daunting.

Every year the good people of Jaycees work hard to provide this much enjoyed, week-long entertainment for Phoenixville. The proceeds from the months of work benefit our community in many different areas.

Perhaps this year is the year community volunteers can help our Jaycee organization.

If you have some available time, and the driving spirit to volunteer, please approach any Jaycee and ask what you can do to help.

It's time we help the Jaycees.
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For more information, including email addresses for more information, can be found at the Phoenixville Jaycees website. You can also contact Katie Ciruelos at kaciruelos@yahoo.com

Local Business Spotlight: Simply Taken Photography

AroundPhoenixville.com would like to introduce you all to Simply Taken Photography, a new Photography business that specializes in children's portraits.

Owner Laura DeCarlo describes her new venture:
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“Simply Taken Photography”…the name pretty much says it all. I specialize in capturing the beauty and simplicity that is childhood, through film. This time is so precious and so very fleeting, but through photography we can preserve and cherish the wonder and amazement as seen through a child’s eyes and in their thoughts and expressions, for a lifetime. I pride myself in my ability to do just that through my timeless portraits.

I am a graduate of Antonnelli Art Institute with an Associates degree in Photography. Since graduating I have been a free lance photographer and studio manager. I also specialize in custom framing, hand made albums and personalized greeting cards.

Early on in my career I would sit and talk to young couples in search of a wedding photographer and time and time again I would hear them say that they didn’t want to spend too much on their wedding pictures. My response to that would always be, and still is, “there are two keepsakes that you take with you when the day is done and over, one is the ring and the other are the pictures…as time goes by and memory fades those pictures are forever.” This same sentiment holds true for childhood, these are moments and memories that can never be gotten back…but through the art and beauty of photography they can be cherished for a lifetime.

When a child is in an environment in which they are familiar it shows in the portraits, which is why my studio is nature and life is my back drop. Each pose comes from the wonder that is a child in their natural setting. My business location is simply my gallery, a place for clients to come, view my art, sit and discuss their own personal portrait session and how to best reveal the essence of their child.

I have truly been blessed and am thrilled to have this opportunity to start my own business in the Phoenixville area. The town is quite charming and I am so looking forward to the start of my new venture and a bright and prosperous future here as part of the up and coming Phoenixville.

I love what I do it is my true passion... my heart!
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For more information, please contact Laura at:
Simply Taken Photography
35A East Bridge Street
Phoenixville, PA 19460
484.927.4486
simplytaken@comcast.net

Best of luck to Laura!

Minor League Baseball Idea Gaining Momentun

The idea of bringing a minor league baseball team to Phoenixville is gaining support. From The Phoenix:

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If a couple dozen community leaders gathered at Phoenixville Middle School Thursday morning have their way, Phoenixville could be home to minor league baseball.

A couple dozen leaders, that is, who were quickly joined as of Friday afternoon by a half-dozen others. A citizen’s petition drafted Friday and beginning to circulate promises, its authors believe, to add scores more in a demonstration of wide community support for the proposal.

Borough Council member Mike Handwerk (D-Middle) first suggested that Phoenixville explore collaboration with the Chester County Stadium Project Task Force, a volunteer group formed by West Chester Mayor Richard Yoder and Chester County Economic Development Council President and CEO Gary Smith.

The Task Force’s objective, according to Thomas H. McIntyre, Director of Government & Municipal Services for the CCEDC, “is to explore the possibility of constructing a regional, 4,000-to-5,000-seat, multi-purpose, family-oriented recreational venue that would be the home of an affiliated minor league baseball team.”
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The article went on to say that the steel site would be the location for the stadium. Brandywine Financial Services is currently in negotiations to buy the site and area apparently on board with the idea.

For those interested in signing the petition, it will be available for review and signature through area civic groups including PAPA, Kiwanis, Rotary, and the Phoenixville Community Education Foundation, and others.

Source: The Phoenix

Edited 5/19/08: The Phoenixville Area School District has added the petition to their website.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Camphill Village Kimberton Hills and Sankanac CSA Welcome NPR’s Mike McGrath

Reader Bernadette Kovaleski wrote in to tell me about an event that Camphill Village Kimberton Hills will be hosting next month.

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Camphill Village Kimberton Hills and Sankanac CSA Welcome NPR’s Mike McGrath

Bring your gardening questions to Camphill Village Kimberton Hills when NPR's Mike McGrath, host of "You Bet Your Garden," presents a discussion on The Role of Beneficial Insects and Critters in Organic Gardening.

The presentation will be Wednesday, June 11, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. in Rose Hall, 1601 Pughtown Road , Kimberton , Pa. Suggested donation is $5. The Camphill Café, adjacent to Rose Hall, will be open from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for coffee, tea and dessert.

The event is offered through the Sankanac CSA (a community-supported organic and biodynamic garden). For more information, call 610-495-7295.

Mike McGrath was editor-in-chief of Organic Gardening magazine from 1991 through 1997. He is the author of several books, including Kitchen Garden A to Z and You Bet Your Tomatoes. He is also the Garden Editor for WTOP News Radio in Washington , D.C., and his "You Bet Your Garden" column appears in every issue of Greenprints. McGrath was the garden expert for the Saturday edition of The Today Show from 1993 through 1997, and chaired major exhibits that won four consecutive "Best of Show" awards at the Philadelphia Flower Show. His radio program is broadcast on WHYY 91 FM weekly.
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For more information about Camphill Village Kimberton Hills, please visit their website at www.camphillkimberton.org.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Jumboree Players In Town For Two Shows

Reader Blanko Dave wrote in to tell me about two shows that The Jumboree Players will be performing in Phoenixville. The first will be held on Friday, June 6th at EarthMart. The show starts at 6:30 and will go until at least 9:30. The second will be held Sunday, August 3rd at the Colonial Theatre. Showtime for that one starts at 1pm and will go until ~ 2pm at which time the Colonial will be showing Easy Rider.

Blanko Dave describes the shows as such:
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The band is The Jumboree Players. It's a musical collective, more or less. We are a band from South Philly that has about 15 members, and we play many styles of music... rock, pop, blues, country, jazz, and soul, on many different instruments.

For the EarthMart show it will be 6:30 to around 9:30, possibly later depending on the crowd. The show will be primarily acoustic instruments.

For The Colonial Theatre, the band will play an hour of electric late-60's music starting at 1:00, and the movie Easy Rider gets shown at 2:00 (it's the Sunday Classic that day).
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Dave also sent a review from a show they did last year which can be read here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Great Valley Adventure Boot Camp for Women Coming to Phoenixville

Starting May 19th, women in and around Phoenixville can participate in the Great Valley Adventure Boot Camp. The boot camp is being held at Reeves Park and meets five days a week for four weeks. Sessions are held from 6-7pm each night.

From the Great Valley Boot Camp website:
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Women of all fitness levels, sizes and ages are gaining great results with Adventure Boot Camp! You can too! Are you looking for a jump-start to your fitness program? Then this adventure is for you! Whether you are a beginner, an avid fitness enthusiast or just tired of the same routine come try this whole new approach to exercise...fun!

Great Valley Adventure Boot Camp is a four week outdoor fitness program that offers fitness instruction, nutritional counseling and motivational training - packed with fun and energizing activities designed to help you reach your fitness goals. Whether you want to lose weight to fit into that special dress, shed the extra pounds from a pregnancy or just get fit before that special occasion, this is the program for you!
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The camp was recently featured on Good Day Philadelphia with Sue Serio. The video is available here.

The cost of the camp is $300. For more information and to sign up, please visit GreatValleyBootCamp.com.

Thanks to reader Jennifer Brango for the tip.

Biggest Day Yet

Wanted to thank all of you for making yesterday AroundPhoenixville.com's biggest day yet. We had 374 unique visitors and almost 600 page views. These #'s bested our previous high of 283 visits and 398 page views on July 4th of last year. It also represents an increase of 355 visitors and 552 page views over May 12, 2007.

I wanted to thank all of you for taking a moment out of your day to stop by. And, in particular, a special thanks to those of you who contribute to the comment areas, its great to hear the different views that the people of our town have.

Jim

Monday, May 12, 2008

Dogwood Festival Cancelled This Evening

Due to inclement weather, the Dogwood Festival is canceling tonight's activities. The musical act, Cat's Pajamas, which was scheduled to play tonight will be playing tomorrow. There will be another Family Night on Wednesday.

Thanks to Shane at the Phoenixville Jaycees for the update.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Main Street CDC Seeking Clerical Assistant

Barry Cassidy, Executive Director of the Main Street CDC, is seeking a clerical assistant to assist him on a part time basis. Hours would be 9am-12pm, Monday-Friday and the position pays $12/hour. Interested parties should send a resume with their qualification to PO Box 64, Phoenixville, PA 19460.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Get out and help around town this weekend

SoloFloyd, who maintains the Phoenixville Environmental Volunteerism Blog, wrote to let me know about two events that are happening this weekend that could use your help.

The first is a workday for the new Borough park next to Iron Hill by Church Alley. The work day is planned for May 10, 2008 at 10 AM. Click the link for more information from the PEV Blog.

The second chance to help out around town is during the Celtic Street Fair, also being held on Saturday the 10th. The event, which runs from 10am-7pm, needs volunteers to help empty and reline trash cans along Bridge Street. If you are interested, continue to check the PEV Blog as Solofloyd will be providing additional information over the next couple of days.

Phoenixville Farmers Market Starts up this Saturday


On Saturday, May 10th, the Phoenixville Farmers Market starts up again. The Market will be open every Saturday from the 10th through Nov. 22nd from 9am-1pm. To usher in the new season, the Farmers Market has unveiled a new website which has a ton of information. Be sure to check it out as it has a list of all of the vendors who will be there this week as well as a full calendar of events.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Traffic on Main St. in the AM

Last Friday morning, I took High St. over to Main fully expecting traffic to be backed up to that intersection as it has been since the closing of the Gay Street Bridge. Much to my surprise, and pleasure as I was running a bit late, there was no traffic at all. Making the turn onto Main Street, I was able to get to the light at Bridge and Main without stopping. It was then that I noticed that PennDOT wisely took the advice of people in town and fixed the turning lanes. Whereas before the right lane was for right turns only, they have now changed it so that lane is used for going straight or turning right and the left lane is for left lane turns only.

Still, being that it was a Friday and that traffic is generally lighter anyway, I was not yet convinced that our traffic problems were solved. So, it was with a certain amount of optimism I set off this morning along the same route. Much to my surprise, and pleasure, I encountered the same (lack of) traffic.

I bring this up for two reasons. First, I only go this way a couple of times a week so I wanted to see if this is indeed the experience many of you are having on a daily basis. Second, I know a lot of people had been driving down to Township Line Rd. to avoid Main Street who may now want to reconsider their route.

Monday, May 05, 2008

New Restaurant Openings

In addition to the Creep Store, Phoenixville will be welcoming several new restaurants/shops in the next month or two.

PJ Ryan's, owned by the same group that owns Ryan's Pub in West Chester, has 'Coming Soon' signs up in the old Hotel Washington and should be open later this month or early June.

Marly's, which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, is set to open at around the same kind of time. I found some more information about it in the Inquirer which had this to say:
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Marly's, an American BYO bistro (entrees: $17 to $28), is under construction at 106-08 Bridge St. Chef Michael Favacchia, formerly of West Conshy's Gypsy Saloon, is partnered with Gypsy Saloon/Stella Blue veteran Anne Zimmerman and Samantha Hall, an alumna of Teresa's Cafe in Wayne.
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Baxter's is set to open in mid-June in the old Superintendent Building. This will be their fifth location, joining establishments in Paoli, Malvern and Great Valley.

Replacing Scioli's Antiques will be a new Italian deli called 'The Italian Place'. There is a sign up in the window but I am not sure what the opening date is.

The Italian Restaurant I first wrote about here has a name. Ciao, which will be owned by the owners of the Black Lab Bistro will feature Northern Italian "fusion". Ciao is scheduled to open some time this summer.

Finally, there are strong rumors that the old Superior Beverage warehouse behind Molly Maguire's could soon be sold. Stay tuned.

New Record Store Opens its Doors on Bridge St.

The Creep Industries Store, a music store specializing in items such as posters, turntables and knick-knacks, along with current, collectors’ and used CDs and vinyl records, opened its doors last Friday during May's First Friday festivities. The store located at 239 Bridge Street, is run by the owners of Creep Records, a music label based out of West Chester.

The official Grand Opening is not until June 2nd so you may want to give them a call at 484-927-4390 before heading over.

Best of luck to Arik and the other owners of Creep.

For more information, including a full write up of last week's First Friday, see The Phoenix article.

Website setup for the Summer Music Series

Molly Maguire's, this year's main sponsor of the Molly Maguire's Summer Music Series, has setup a website for this year's festivities. The site is at http://www.phoenixvillesummers.com/ and has a complete schedule of headlining bands as well as some additional information about the music series.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Citizens for the Train Update

Last night I attended a meeting for the Citizens for the Train group. The meeting was to bring everyone up to speed on the results of the initial feasibility study and to decide whether or not to continue with the project.

A presentation was made by T.R. Hickey who was representing Gannett Fleming, the firm hired to do the initial study. His recommendation is to build the line along Route 29 down into Great Valley, eventually terminating at the Paoli train station. The line would use pre-existing tracks until it reached the Great Valley Corporate Center at which point new tracks would need to be built. The train would run along Route 29 until it reached Valley Stream Parkway. It would then follow the parkway and loop down next to Vanguard and the new Worthington development, and then on to Paoli. Also mentioned was a possible extension out to Oaks since the rail lines that would be purchased to connect to Great Valley include tracks to Oaks. There would also be a possibility of future lines connecting us to West Chester, Pottstown and the pharmaceutical companies in Collegeville. For the time being, however, the project is focusing on connecting Phoenixville to Paoli (and possibly Oaks to Paoli).

All of this comes at a price. The initial estimate, which does not take into account the cost of land that may need to be purchased, is for 110-120 million dollars. This puts the project at about $11,000,000 per mile. This is a relatively low number compared to other similar projects in the region. For example, the NJ Transit line built from Trenton to Camden came in at over $30,000,000 per mile.

The hope remains that this project can be completed without government funding. This would allow the project to continue unencumbered by the kinds of bureaucratic nonsense that has delayed the Schuylkill Valley Metro for all of these years. It would also mean the project will have no effect on our taxes!

Once the presentation was complete and questions were asked, a vote was held to continue the project. With nary a single No vote, it was decided to continue with a much more extensive feasibility project which will gauge the interest around the region by all effected townships. It will also take a much closer look as to what the costs will ultimately be and whether there would be enough riders to make it worthwhile. This study will take at least six months but there should be updates throughout the process. Stay tuned for more information.

Progress Being Made on the Steel Site?

The Phoenix added a blog posting with updates on a number of projects the CDC is working on. The part I found most interesting was regarding the steel site. From the post:

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After a long drought, it may soon begin to rain. Bruce Moore’s Brandywine Financial, negotiating purchase of the property from our old friends at the Phoenix Property Group, appeared to be at last resolving property judgment debt problems. Brandywine’s choice would then be to develop the property or to resell. CDC director Barry Cassidy reported that he had shopped the property to two potential buyers.
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Barry Cassidy Talks About Tonight's First Friday

The Phoenix did a video with Barry Cassidy describing tonight's First Friday events.