Northwest Philadelphia: Five Things To Indulge In This Spring
Philadelphia may be known as the City of Brotherly Love, but a little spring-time wandering through neighborhoods and you might think of it more as “the city of hidden gems.” The spring season certainly brings about a lot of movement and fun to be had throughout, and this year is no different. From a family-friendly block party to an old-fashioned ice cream parlor, the city has your spring time fun covered.
Bike Race Block Party
You may want to check out the second annual Parx Casino Philly Classic. It’s a grueling twelve-mile cycling race, connecting East Falls, Manayunk and Fairmount. But the big payoff is the Bike Race Block Party that runs consecutively with the “Philly Classic” at Midvale Avenue and Kelly Drive in East Falls (pictured above). The block party is sponsored by the East Falls Development Corporation and offers a slew of activities from trike races for kids to live music and good foods for everyone else. The 2014 block party is still in the works, but the event is scheduled for Sunday June 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Neighborhood Walk, Ending At a Local Cafe
If your boots were made for walking, then you may want to get up to the East Falls neighborhood. Every Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m, the East Falls Village welcomes people to join them at the Falls of Schuylkill Free Library for a walk through the quaint flower-filled neighborhood, permitting you can drag yourself out of bed. After all of that walking, the group stops at a local café destination, where you can get your fair share of coffee and treats to fully knock you out of that early morning slumber.
Ten Thousand Villages
Ten Thousand Villages is more than just your average gift shop. As a fair trade retailer, the store features unique artisan-crafted products from more than 35 developing countries across the world. Store manager of the Chestnut Hill location, Melody Mora, explained the founding goal of the non-profit organization. “Ten Thousand Villages is a mission-based retailer,” said Mora. “We want to eradicate poverty, and the way that we are helping to do this is by fairly trading with artisans in underdeveloped, underemployed and unemployed regions of the world.” The eclectic mix of goods range from home décor made from recycled newspapers to handmade onyx jewelry imported from Niger. The store will be displaying items from their new spring collection, during the annual Chestnut Hill Home and Garden Festival on Sunday, May 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Chestnut Hill Flower and Garden Shop
If you’ve ever been to Chestnut Hill, chances are you’ve zoomed past the flower shop at the bottom of the hill at the intersection of Cresheim Road and Germantown Avenue. The Chestnut Hill Flower and Garden Shop offers a wide variety of fresh flowers and plants, all locally grown and sourced from the shop owner’s farm in Blue Bell, Pa. On any given day, the sidewalk in front of the shop is lined with flower pots, hanging plants and flats of flowers. It’s your one stop shop for everything flower related. With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, stop by for a bouquet of fresh roses!
Trolley Car Ice Cream Shoppe
Functioning out of a fully restored trolley car from the 1940s, the Trolley Car Ice Cream Shoppe is reminiscent of the old-fashioned parlor days. While the shop may seem small, the lengthy menu includes a wide variety of locally produced Nelson’s Ice Cream, soft serve ice cream, sundaes, shakes, $1 treats and signature homemade water ice that will be sure to entice your taste buds. Seasonal worker, Pilar Stapleton Carroll, recommends the raspberry cheesecake ice cream as a refreshing spring-time treat.
“It practically tastes like cheesecake, but in an ice cream form,” Carroll eagerly explained.
– All images and text by Imani Abdus-Saboor and Charles Watson