Top stories

Former speaker of the House, school choice advocate still practicing law

Political junkies will most likely remember the name Bob O'Donnell, a Chestnut Hill resident (near Valley Green Inn) for the past 29 years. O'Donnell, 77, a long-time resident of Northwest Philly …

Philly NOW to host panel on reparations bill

Philadelphia NOW, Pennsylvania NOW, and the Philadelphia Commission for Women will sponsor a virtual Town Hall, “Moving Forward on Racial Equity” on December 6 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. …
Community

Running 24 miles to Forbidden Drive and back at 4 a.m.

From 2008 to 2012, at least once a week on a Saturday or Sunday, Phil Clark would run from Northern Liberties to Henry Avenue in Roxborough or to Forbidden Drive in Chestnut Hill and back, about 22 to 24 miles all told.

Planting trees: Good for the planet, good for you

Overwhelmed by climate change and not sure what you can do? Planting trees is a small, simple way to help the planet.

The little café on Forbidden Drive is a family affair

If you’ve walked in the Wissahickon Woods lately, you probably noticed a change at Cedars House, the historic property on Forbidden Drive at 200 W. Northwestern Ave. Since last May, the …

More News
When the new health safeguards were introduced just before Thanksgiving, there was concern that all shopping would move online this holiday season. Stores have worked out strategies.
A fundraiser is now on for desperately needed renovations and repairs of the Chestnut Hill Community Center, 8419 Germantown Avenue. This historically certified building has a long and rich history …
Since 1981, Mount Airy Learning Tree (MALT) has used the “neighbors teaching neighbors” approach to tie the Mt. Airy community together.  Since most of this involves offline, hands-on experiences, they have decided to pause all programs until Fall 2021.
While the continued impact of Covid-19 has made headlines – both for its unchecked spread and the businesses forced to close in its wake – many are finding the now nine-month-old pandemic …
Business
Walter Lapidus learned about Bahia Bowls Açaí Cafe on vacation to Nashville and New Orleans. Its "fast casual" healthy dining stores offer an assortment of all-natural “Superfruit” bowls, Smoothies and other specialty products.
Crime

Crime Report: $20 taken from Hill home break-in and an armed robbery in Mt. Airy

The following crime report is for crimes reported in Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy from Nov. 23 to Nov. 29. Chestnut Hill  Nov. 23 Burglary on 100 block of W. Mermaid Lane. Security camera …

Chill Local
Food for Thought

This year I have discovered a game-changing secret, one that will finally kickstart some cookie making traditions of my own, and it’s all thanks to one lady, the lady who changed the way I will think about holiday cookie making forever.

So you sprung for the 20-pound turkey because you couldn’t find a smaller one. Better yet, you earned a free turkey at your local grocery store, and you happily loaded that 25-pound prize into …
Flix

Set in contemporary New York City, it's a provocative and stylish romantic fantasy suspense thriller with a Big Brother theme. And if its “Inception”-like ambitions aren't quite realized in terms of originality and execution, it's nonetheless intellectually stimulating, emotionally enveloping, and thoroughly engrossing.

Arts

Andrea's newest musical release, "Out of My Dreams," a collection of 10 songs dedicated to the musical genius of Rodgers & Hammerstein. Over 50% of the proceeds of the CDs' sale will go to #SaveOscarsHome.

The weekend leading up to Thanksgiving Day presented me with the opportunity of hearing two virtual concerts of sacred choral music. I took in Matthew Glandorf and Choral Arts Philadelphia’s …
Ira Levin's “Deathtrap,” produced by Allens Lane Theater and directed by Ryan Walter, will stream online Dec. 4, 5 and 6.
The Academy of Vocal Arts continued its virtual season with its most hopeful program of the year: the New Artists Recital. The Philadelphia Orchestra’s most recent series of virtual concerts featured three scores focusing on woodwinds.
Worth Reading
John Steinbeck, a native Californian, went to Stanford University hoping to find someone who'd teach him to write. He didn't. What he found, according to William Souder’s new biography of the …
BOOKS

New Hill children's author has ducks lined up in a row

Ed. Note: Chestnut Hill native Elspeth Lodge, 33, is the author of “The Garden Ducklings,” a children's book published in August of this year by Archway Publishing, a division of  …

'Battles of Germantown': addressing the past honestly

History belongs to the victors, Winston Churchill said, referring to what is recorded in books, enshrined in museums and commemorated with parades — at best, an incomplete version of events. In …

Calendar
Liner Notes

Gorillaz new album is the ultimate pandemic playlist

There’s really nothing like Gorillaz. The virtual band began in 1988 as a side-project of Blur frontman Daman Albarn and his good friend, the animator Jamie Hewlett. It started primarily as …

Homes & Home
Gardening

There’s no way to avoid attention-seeking begonias

Valerie, my wife, has diagnosed me with Selective Attention Disorder (SAD).  One could say that I suffer from SAD, if in fact the condition was in any way painful or debilitating. But I do not …

Garden visits from traveling hawks

We see birds at the feeders whenever we look out the back window. Valerie, my wife, fills feeders with shelled sunflower seeds three or four times a week. In early Fall, after the babies have fledged …

Features

How architecture makes us happy

Chestnut Hill was developed by incorporating design elements found in the Cotswolds of England. The consistent use of stone, wood and slate, intimate scale, and homes grouped around a common courtyard or near the sidewalk, creates a close-knit and walkable neighborhood. So, when architects and developers propose constructing a building that does not contain these characteristics, we get concerned that the surroundings we love will in some way become marred.

Firehouse proposal challenged Hill’s sense of surroundings

Working in the field of design, my interests are quite varied, especially in how we are all affected by our surroundings, both interior and exterior. It has always been fascinating to me how people …
Real estate
An architect’s rendering shows what the entryway to 7111 Germantown Avenue, a new condo development, will look like once complete. By Pete Mazzaccaro Local developer Ken Weinstein has made a …
Alex Aberle and Violette Levy stand in front of their 16-room, 6,724-square-foot structure with 12-foot-high ceilings, revitalizing one of Mt. Airy’s most historic homes into an airy modern …
Mimi represents this property at 28 West Abington, a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, brick twin that was the home of one family for over 50 years. Asking price is $349,900. By Stacia Friedman Magnolia, …
Lifelong Mt. Airy resident Tamika Nealy-Farmbry, an associate broker for Elfant Wissahickon Realtors in Chestnut Hill, points to one of the company’s local billboards. by Len Lear Growing up in …
Sports

College NLI signings proceed as usual for area athletes

For high school athletes in the area, it was a normal November in at least one sense; top performers officially committed to the colleges of their choice by signing a National Letter of Intent during …

Patriots and Devils don masks for final field hockey outing

Earlier in the brief 2020 field hockey season, Germantown Academy and Springside Chestnut Hill Academy had each beaten the Penn Charter squad by one goal. That led many people to expect a very close …

Aside from skipping a few multi-school invitational meets during the regular season, the cross country team at Mount St. Joseph Academy carried on pretty much as normal during this unusual autumn.

Just minutes before they took the field for last Tuesday's Inter-Ac League soccer match, the girls of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy were informed that this would be their final game of the …
For Mount St. Joseph Academy's tennis team, the 2020 pandemic affected the season schedule, but the final outcome remained the same as in years past. The Magic won the Athletic Association of …
Schools

SCHConnex rolled out a ZOOM cooking class featuring master Chef David Jansen.

Springside Chestnut Hill Academy alumna Nilah Jordan '20 recently donated $1,500 to Operation Smile to help pay for six cleft palate surgeries, antibiotics for 30 children, and a new exam station for …

We all need the reminder to take a deep breath, especially in today’s world. Taking a moment to breathe and reflect is the driving impetus behind BREATHE, a new program in Springside Chestnut …

Vote for me until I can. Those were the words LaTosha Brown, award-winning organizer, co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund, and jazz singer, shared with middle and upper school students at …

Not to be deterred by the inability to perform on stage for a live audience, this fall Springside Chestnut Hill Academy’s high school drama group,  Players, will be performing and …
Obituaries
Judy Meisel, Holocaust survivor, activist, dies at 91
A Holocaust survivor whose relatives were virtually all murdered in concentration camps during World War II, Judy never let hatred sully her moral compass. She spent her entire adult life speaking to audiences about the need for love, kindness, mutual respect and reconciliation.
Marjorie von Moschzisker, painter and educator
Marjorie von Moschzisker, 98, an accomplished portrait artist and icon maker, known late in life as Mother Brigid, died in her sleep Tuesday November 17 at Cathedral Village in Roxborough.
Vera Louise Glassman, public school teacher, Bird-in-Hand volunteer
Vera Louise Glassman, a longtime resident of Mt. Airy in Philadelphia, died due to complications from breast cancer on November 8 at home with her family in Greenville, Pennsylvania. She was …
Valerie Wunder, past president of the CHCA
Valerie A Wunder, of Tucson, Arizona, a former resident of Chestnut Hill, died on October 9 at St Joseph’s hospital. Born on July 30, 1941, in Philadelphia, Wunder attended Lincoln High …
Mt. Airy peace activist dies of brain cancer at 47
Mt. Airy resident Emile Bruneau, a lecturer who served as director of Annenberg’s Peace and Conflict Neuroscience Lab at the University of Pennsylvania, died of brain cancer on Sept. 29
Opinion & letters
Enemies of reading

So long chumps! I'm taking my Burkina Faso money and hitting the road.

Thanksgiving may be over but it's never too late to be grateful. In this time between White House administrations, nobody's looking if you want to get some international business done. You can't …

Opinion

Career Column: Discouraged by associate’s degree classes

I am writing about your advice regarding the fact that I dropped out of community college in the general studies program (pre-Covid last fall) since, in my mind, I really have no idea what I wanted …

Kicking Covid: Hopes hinge on vaccination

As we all finish off what’s left of turkey leftovers this week, public health officials are nervously eying Covid-19 data with reasonable fears that Thanksgiving celebrations are likely to kick off what will easily be the worst wave of infections we’ve seen since the pandemic began in March.
Letters
David Cantor, Executive Director, Responsible Policies for Animals, coined the term “biocaust” to define the widespread destruction of animals and the living world.  Closer to home, …
Whatever the solution, I hope we as a community may gather our resources to make changes to spare our deer population from unnecessary suffering.
 Please take a bow. Don’t be bashful, you deserve it. Four years ago, in the wake of the Trump victory, 87 Cathedral Villagers came together in two organizing meetings held on …
About Chestnut Hill
Discovering Chestnut Hill: Women’s Equality Day observed
This photograph from the Chestnut Hill Conservancy’s Archives appears to show women heading to the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession held in Washington, D.C., in protest of the lack of voting rights …
Discover Chestnut Hill: remembrances of Chestnut Hill Past… (Part 1 Of 2)
This April 1940 photograph shows Alessandra Cartelli’s mother and sister, Rose and Louise Cartelli, before boarding the ship to Philadelphia to join Pietro Cartelli. By Molly Murphy Anyone who …
In celebration of International Rock Day
This circa 1924 photograph shows a large outcrop of Wissahickon Schist being quarried in the 7500 block of Germantown Avenue, later the site of the Trolley Car Diner. Vito Benvenuto of Benezet …
Discover Chestnut Hill: Documenting our history and the pandemic
SEPTA’s “Lifeline” map of Chestnut Hill and Mount Airy is shown here, with lines in operation highlighted, as well as the locations of “life-sustaining” businesses. By Alex …
Discover Chestnut Hill: Earth Day turns 50
This photograph from the April 26, 1990, Chestnut Hill Local shows John Story Jenks School teachers and students celebrating the 20th anniversary of Earth Day by planting a flowering crabapple tree. …