Northwest Philadelphia

 By Ayisha Arshad and Morgan Ashenfelter

Ridge Avenue: Gravediggers Raise Money for Cemetery

Ridge Avenue: Gravediggers Raise Money for Cemetery

Swashbuckling hats, carnival masks and wizard hats pepper the ball room. On the dance floor skims the turquoise crinoline of Sarah Hale, who is being twirled around by Capt. Percival Drayton, dressed in his Civil War best. In the corner leaning against the grand pillars of the ballroom is a gravedigger’s shovel. This unusual scene […]

 By Marco Dorazio and Shane Fox

The Surprise at Germantown

The Surprise at Germantown

[vimeo 20372093] It’s almost hard to imagine bustling Germantown Avenue being the foggy, smoke-filled scene revolution that it was in 1777. Yet on Oct. 3, muskets again were ablaze and thundering canons shook the nearly 1,000 people estimated to be in attendance to witness the reenactment of the Battle of Germantown at Cliveden. “It is […]

 

Germantown: Still Waiting for Answers

 By Meggan Kole and Lena Kravets

Germantown: Still Waiting for Answers

Germantown: Still Waiting for Answers

Syed Alam opens his Germantown store Rahman Body Oils, Beads and Variety every morning just as he has for the past 13 years he has owned it.  In some ways, nothing much has changed over the years at the store.  In other ways, everything changed last year.  Alam used to run the store with his […]

 By Meggan Kole and Lena Kravets

Germantown: Finding the Way Through Service and Prayer

Germantown: Finding the Way Through Service and Prayer

They come in broken and addicted. Twelve months later, they leave as happy, productive members of society.  Teen Challenge, a faith-based rehabilitation program in Germantown, is providing a place where lives are completely turned around.  But there are no twelve steps to overcoming your addiction here.  In fact, little focus is placed on the addiction […]

 By Sande Friedman and Sydni Grant

Germantown: Art Therapy for Prison Inmates

Germantown: Art Therapy for Prison Inmates

[vimeo 18637551] Making quality of life for people in prison easier isn’t exactly at the top of many people’s to-do lists. In fact, it probably wouldn’t even be a consideration to many people. However, a recent trend among quality-of-life advocates has appeared with the use of art therapy for prison inmates, including people with life […]

 By Chris Zakorchemny and Ashley Campbell

Ridge Avenue: Foundation Seeks to Stop Violence

Ridge Avenue: Foundation Seeks to Stop Violence

On a spring afternoon in 1992, Sultan Jihad Ahmad got into a fight with two youths close to his age. With a shotgun in their possession, the opposing youth shot 15-year-old Ahmad six times–once in each leg, once in his side, once in his back and a final shot in the back of his head. […]

 By Ashley Campbell

Ridge Avenue: The Arts Garage

Ridge Avenue: The Arts Garage

The area around 15th Street at Ridge Avenue is practically vacant during the middle of the day. Aside from a few people who live in the area and walk the streets or those who own the few businesses at that end of Ridge, there usually isn’t much activity. Now fast forward to the hours after […]

 By Sande Friedman

Germantown: Teen Challenge Initiative

Germantown: Teen Challenge Initiative

When John Blaufuss checked himself into the Germantown Teen Challenge Initiative years ago, he was hoping that the program would be the help he needed to get his life in order and not be dependant on drugs and alcohol anymore. Two decades later, he can confidently say the program was a success for him. Not […]

 By Kelly White

Ridge Avenue’s Giant Brain

Ridge Avenue’s Giant Brain

It’s now the Marketplace at East Falls, but 3747 Ridge Ave. is the birthplace of something bigger. Outside, there’s an inconspicuous, blue historical marker. Think of the cell phone pulsating next to you, the car that whizzed by a second ago, and the platform you are on at this very moment. Philadelphia played a massive […]