Ridge Avenue

 By Rebecca Arden and Matthew Beck

Ridge Avenue: Catering to Philadelphia.

Ridge Avenue: Catering to Philadelphia.

Originally from Manhattan, David Simms visited Philadelphia for a baby shower and never left. He began working in culinary arts and “came up through the ranks” as a banquet chef. Simms then owned a catering company with a business partner, located in Lehigh. After 14 years, they parted ways and Simms changed the name of […]

 By Sacsheen Scott and Melissa Poe

Francisville: Thrift Store Stays Well Kept

Francisville: Thrift Store Stays Well Kept

In the neighborhood of Francisville, it is rare that many small businesses succeed. Once a place where popular stores and nightclubs thrived on Ridge Avenue, Francisville now stands desolate having maybe two or three stores on one single street. But one exception to the amount of stores left is Well Cut Thrift Store, established in […]

 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 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 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 […]

 By Ashley Campbell and Chris Zakorchemny

Ridge Avenue: Hopes for Housing

Ridge Avenue: Hopes for Housing

The principal at John F. Reynolds Public School near Ridge Avenue see the transient nature of her students and their families as a significant problem for the children’s education.“We’ll have kids in September, they’ll leave in December, and then they’ll be back in June,” says Principal Cheryl Hackett. It’s obvious that housing isn’t great along […]

 By Chris Zakorchemny and Ashley Campbell

Ridge Avenue: Share A Blessing Ministry

Ridge Avenue: Share A Blessing Ministry

It was 11:30 a.m. and people were waiting to to go inside Miller Memorial Baptist Church on North 22nd Street off Ridge Avenue. This isn’t uncommon for  a Thursday afternoon because this is when the church hosts the Share A Blessing Ministry. Created 14 years ago by Deaconess Sarah Lynch, the ministry serves lunch to […]

 By Holly Otterbein

Learning from the Dead: Laurel Hill Cemetery

Learning from the Dead: Laurel Hill Cemetery

On Ridge Avenue—right before Strawberry Mansion hastily transforms into East Falls—on 78 acres of lush, tree-filled and flower-spotted land, sits the home of many important men and women. Their names aren’t always easily recognizable, but what they’ve done is. The founder of Breyers Ice Cream, the first American ballerina, the man who invented denim, the creator […]