Devon Horse Show 2018 is history – but whoa, Nelly.
There’s a move afoot that could change the look of “downtown” Devon almost as much as URBN’s fast-rising Devon Yard.
The horse show’s chairman and CEO wants to put a three-level parking garage between Devon Yard (the new Terrain/Anthropologie complex) and the show grounds.
Because, let’s face it, parking can be a pain at Devon.
The garage would start at the gas station on Lancaster Ave. at Devon Blvd. and extend in an L-shape halfway down Dorset Rd. across from the main gate, says Wayne Grafton, the show’s President and CEO.
It would be entirely on horse show property. Three stories are allowed under Easttown zoning code, and the decision to halt the garage halfway down the block was deliberate, Grafton tells SAVVY. “We want to be sensitive to neighbors.”
Good thinking. You may recall Berkley Road neighbors killed plans to put a three-level parking deck and multilevel apartment building in Devon Yard.
The garage would add well over 300 spaces – all cars, no horse trailers or heavy trucks.
It would also include “some storage” to replace the loss of the gray gas station, where the horse show’s been stashing stuff for years.
“Spectators, competitors and municipal officers have all been saying we have a parking problem,” Grafton says.
He’s been quietly working on the garage solution for a year. Architects have drawn plans, which we saw in his office but weren’t allowed to photograph.
Next step: bring the proposal before the horse show board for a vote. Estimated cost: $13-$14 million. The money’s there, Grafton says, alluding to Devon Horse Show Foundation money “set aside” and other dollars pledged.
The look of the garage would be in keeping with Devon Yard, soon to open next door. “Devon Yard is setting a trend, a certain look,” he says.
The parking garage is just one check mark on the chairman’s list of action items.
Since he took the reins in 2015, Grafton’s been in full gallop.
The horse show had been happily trotting along but losing its competitive edge – falling from a #3 national ranking 15 years ago to #11 or #12 in 2014, according to Grafton.
It’s now back in the top 10, he says, thanks to a five-year, $5 million capital/philanthropic campaign, swelling cash prizes, the lure of “points” that count toward Olympic berths, and crowd pleasers like arena eventing.
Also helping the cause: amenities like the Devon Club, new party-style boxes, this year’s reborn “Groom’s Kitchen” eatery – a hit right out of the gate – and the somewhat controversial crackdown on freebies and late-nite rowdiness at Clydesdale’s Corner. (Yup, those were cops – current and retired – back there tending bar.)
Still, there’s a super-long wait for box seats, with Young Devonaires and Young Friends of Devon champing at the bit already. Grafton’s got answer for that, too: add new box seating by “eliminating obsolete E boxes” near the committee stand.
It’s all a rather delicate balance: regaining top-tier footing means tinkering with tradition.
And ’round here, tradition counts. (Anyone else wonder what onetime horse show chairman Hope Montgomery Scott would make of the electronic billboards now dotting the show grounds?)
But for now, for this chairman, the push is parking: getting his board’s blessing and the township’s OK, then dropping a pre-fab garage down on Dorset Ave.
“This won’t solve our parking problem but it’s one way to make a dent in it,” he says.
**SNACK ON SELECT LADIES DAY ‘EYE CANDY’ after our story on Woodlynde School below****
Dang, where was Goldfish Swim School when we were guppies?
Opening today in the old Staples in Malvern, Goldfish takes all the old-school swim-lesson downers.
And drowns them.
So, sayonara to stinky chlorine, frosty water, immodest changing rooms, sopping suits and hair, and athlete’s foot-inducing floors.
Because Goldfish has a 21st-century solution.
Lapping kiddie aquatics at YMCAs, swim and country clubs, and even swanky Life Time Athletic, Goldfish – a fast-growing national chain – specializes in just one thing: year-round swim lessons with a focus on fun.
And in a ‘tropical’ venue so chipper and well-conceived, your kids will forget it’s freakin’ February outside. You might too.
Plan on $89 for one child per month for weekly, half-hour lessons. Discounts for extra kids.
Malvern too far to swim? The area’s franchisees are already scouting sites in Bryn Mawr, Media and Downingtown.
Goldfish Swim School, 309 E. Lancaster Ave. Malvern, 484-325-551. Lessons for ages four months to 12 years. Family swims, birthday parties, free Grand Opening swim party Sat. June 16, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Bowled over in Wayne
Beachy-keen times keep rollin’ in downtown Wayne. Playa Bowls just opened a seashell’s throw from Pipeline Tacos and Anchored on the Main Line.
Playa peddles healthy goodness by the lovin’ spoonful. Choose acai, pitaya (dragon fruit), green (kale), banana, oatmeal, chia pudding, coconut and poke bowls ($8 -$11), along with juices ($5 – $7) and smoothies ($7 – $8).
The base of each bowl is a smoothie. Flagship acai bowls blend “pure” anti-oxidant rich Amazonian superfruit with bananas, then tops it with whatever floats your inner tube: organic granola, honey, berries, pineapple, Nutella, chocolate protein, peanut butter, etc.
Vibe is rustic, surfside swell – not that you’ll be hanging ten here. Order at the counter or online. Then close your eyes and say Avalon.
Playa Bowls, 150 E. Lancaster Ave. Wayne, 203-374-3194, is open daily, 8 to 8, Fri. and Sat. 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. New locations in Stone Harbor and on Ocean City Boardwalk.
Unsolved murder making news
On June 17, it will have been two years since widow Denise Barger was brutally slain in her bedroom in Tredyffrin’s Daylesford Estates.
Her killer – likely someone she knew, police say – is out there somewhere.
No arrests to report but that’s doesn’t mean the case isn’t getting LOTS of attention.
The Inquirer ran a story a few weeks ago, the Daily Mail in the UK picked it up, and a national Fox News reporter Andrew O’Reilly (a Devon native) has been poking around, too.
Meanwhile, despite the details alleged in these stories, the trail of hard, actionable evidence remains cold. (Trust us. We check with authorities regularly.)
Both the Tredyffrin detective and the Assistant DA assigned to the case keep Barger’s photo on their desks. Are they frustrated? You betcha. Law enforcement takes this case personally. No one wants an unsolved murder – particularly one so shocking and horrific – hanging around.
BTW, Barger’s isn’t the only unsolved homicide on Tredyffrin’s books. The killer of Wayne resident Michael Caulder back in 2007, also found slain in his bedroom, remains at large.
If you have ANY info that might help break the Barger case, please reach out to 215-546-TIPS.
There’s a huge reward ($100K). Better yet, you’ll give this woman’s heartsick family and friends closure. We gotta believe somebody knows something. If that someone is you, please do the right thing and call it in.
New Nam Phuong Bistro rides Ardmore’s ethnic wave
By Susan Greenspon
Did you know you could travel the world to eat and never leave Ardmore?
Just start at Ardmore Ave. and stroll east on Lancaster to savor flavors of Mexico, Hawaii, Italy, France, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Ireland and more – no passport needed.
Crave Mexican? Try the sopas, smothered with beans and topped with marinated steak at El Limon.
How about a Hawaiian poke bowl bursting with citrus salmon and edamame at PokeOno?
In a French frame of mind? There’s fragrant bouillabaisse at A la Maison, tender steak frites at the new Bercy and decadent desserts, crepes and baguette sandwiches like jambon fromage at Delice et Chocolat.
There’s even a global approach at Local Wine and Kitchen where brews and spirits skip across the pond to France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Scotland and beyond.
Step into Marokko for authentic Moroccan dishes like kefta kebab with marinated beef and lamb over saffron rice – and a side of belly dancing on Saturday nights.
Leaning Asian? Snag a counter seat for the beef gyoza dumplings and veggie Yakisoba at Maido, a “marketplace of Japan.” Try Korean bibimbop in a sizzling stone bowl at Bam Bam Seoul Kitchen. Inhale the curries and coconut-infused Thai dishes at Siamese Princess and Mikado Thai Pepper. For sublime sushi, head down Rittenhouse Place to Jason’s Toridasu. And for something really different, try Taiwanese sweet bubble tea at Yi’s Boba.
“At least a half-dozen new restaurants have opened in the past six months,” says Christine Vilardo, retired exec. director of Ardmore Initiative. When she started back in 2000, Ardmore “was mostly pizza shops and Chinese food, with one Indian restaurant,” says Vilardo as she lunches on Vietnamese vermicelli with grilled shrimp at the new Nam Phuong Bistro on Cricket Avenue.
Today, Vilardo says, there are 50 restaurants around town. Nam Phuong owner Darren Young stops by Vilardo’s table to serve Vietnamese coffee – a bold drip sweetened with condensed milk and poured over ice. He chats about siting his sleek new spot across from “Ground Zero,” the massive One Ardmore Place project.
“When we arrived to look at the space, that was just a parking lot,” says Young, pointing at the now looming façade out his front window. He and his brother and co-owner, Jeff Young, were forewarned of the construction which would bring 110 luxury apartments, retail and a garage for 225 cars. Another 50 apartments are coming to a complex on the same block as their bistro.
What drew the brothers to make the leap to the burbs from their South Philly flagship? The “international restaurant scene here,” Young says.
He shakes his head when asked about the process of rehabbing and opening the space. “It took us over a year to get it ready.” Nam Phuong had to jump through extra architectural hoops because it’s in a historic district.
Despite Cricket Ave.’s parking crunch, the joint’s been jumping since its auspicious Friday the 13th April opening. Train commuters phone Nam Phuong for takeout and locals walk over, Young says.
“People find the parking,” says Howard Lavin, a real estate broker who stopped in to Nam Phuong. He sold the building the Youngs occupy, as well as the one with Bam Bam Seoul Kitchen and the new Ripplewood Whiskey and Craft. “By next year” when construction is finished, “no one will remember there was a problem with parking,” Lavin adds.
Uh, if you say so. (Until then, check out this map.)
Lavin’s jazzed about Ardmore’s renaissance. He’s involved in more deals for more eateries, he says, but wouldn’t share specifics.
“Ardmore’s got great diversity now,” Lavin says of the food scene. “The town was sleeping, just waiting to wake up.”
T/E bullying victim spreads kindness campaign to community
The victim of hate speech at T/E Middle School, Nora Nissenbaum, 12, has struck a chord.
After our story about the school district’s response to the Nissenbaums, several friends of the boy’s family have asked us – and others – to “tell the other side.” (We herein renew our offer to speak to the boy’s family and share their story.)
In the meantime, Nora is expanding her kindness campaign. She plans to ask local businesses to post her “Bullying Stops Here; Commit to Kind” posters in their windows. At press time, A Go Fund Me campaign to pay for the posters, posted ten days ago, had raised more than double its goal.
Wayne Music Festival’s a free for all (literally)
‘WXPN Presents Wayne Music Festival’ rocks it to us again this Saturday, June 9.
Joan Osborne (“What if God Were One of Us”) headlines at 9 pm – followed by fireworks and after-party bands at North Wayne Ave. watering holes. But the party starts hours earlier. Transistor Rodeo and Matt Santry take the stage at 2 – actually, they’ll take two of the festival’s three stages.
Admission is free but do patronize Wayne restaurants and vendors. (And consider training or Ubering in.)
Music to our ears: this year’s fest is helping sick kids at CHOP. Seems festival organizer Kenny Kearns and Charlie Houder created a new nonprofit, the Music Is Love Foundation, which raises funds for pediatric care at CHOP through music events. (You may recall Kearns from our story about downtown Wayne’s hoppin’ new music venue, 118 North.)
And to think it started in little old Malvern…
A golden apple to … The Malvern School, founded 20 years ago this month and now the largest, privately owned preschool provider in Greater Philly.
Malvern School made waves – introducing college-degreed educators and innovative programming to the childcare world. From two locations in Malvern and Frazer, the school’s exploded to 26 sites across Southeastern PA and Jersey.
Accents on Main leaving Wayne for points west
Stop in while the sales are hot at Accents On Main.
After two-and-a-half years next to the Gap, the women’s resale clothing store will fold into Berwyn’s popular Chic and Simple for Her shop at June’s end.
Until then, it’s 50 percent off store-wide in Wayne. “It’s been busy but there’s lots of good stuff left and jewelry boxes are being refilled all the time,” owner Diane Wulk tells SAVVY. Berwyn’s going bonkers, she said. On Tuesday alone, Wulk had 22 appointments with people looking to sell her their castoffs.
In another tweak, Wulk also folded Last Chance into the adjacent Chic and Simple Resale, her original home furnishings store. The store’s been a treasure trove for years: selling gently loved items from downsizing homeowners as well as furniture from model homes and factory closeouts in North Carolina.
A one-woman machine, Wulk has become a force in the resale world. She’s consulted with owners of new resale shops in Maryland, Pittsburgh and beyond.
This and That
Yet another reminder not to leave valuables visible in your car. Radnor Police report several car break-ins this week at Overbrook Golf Club, Skunk Hollow Park and Dittmar Park. And the Felony Lane Gang just hit up Bucks County.
Haven’t yet taken advantage of SAVVY’s half-price tix ($15!) to a Friday night comedy show in King of Prussia? What are you waiting for? Love that shows start at 8 – so it’s not a super late night. We also hear Joey Kola (this Friday’s show) is a hoot. Venue is The Vault inside Radisson Hotel at Valley Forge Convention Center. Order any show here. Use promo code SAVVY. See ya there!
CAN’T WAIT to eat, drink and be brainy with you June 19. Tickets are going fast for our SAVVY Gathering on “BRAIN FOG” at the Saturday Club in Wayne. Count on a little chat ‘n chew, then some smart talk. Our lineup of heavy hitters – experts in neuroscience, holistic health, longevity, nutrition, even exercise – will each take a swing at brain fog, those confounding memory blips that make us think we’re losing it. Seating is limited and the price goes up June 12. So don’t you be dallying. Order here. (P.S. Yummy food by Aneu Catering & Simply Good Jars salads. Wine by us. P.P.S. Some guys are coming, too.)
Hope you’ll do us a solid and show our late-spring sponsors some love. We couldn’t bring you SAVVY without fine folks like: Great Valley Pet Hotel in Malvern, KingsHaven and Village Square Townhomes in Paoli, Devon Horse Show, The Camera Shop and Danley Townhomes in Bryn Mawr, HunterReed Fine Homes and Estates, Solutions4Health in Wayne, Campli Photography, St. David’s Episcopal Day School and Woodlynde School in Wayne, Friday Night Comedy in The Vault KOP, Mulholland-Perracchia Team at Berkshire Hathaway, Restore Cryosauna in Wayne and Haverford, newly expanded Day Spa by Zsuzsanna in Wayne, Realtor Sue McNamara, Hope Chest in Haverford, Your Organizing Consultants/Anna Sicalides, Friends’ Central Summer Programs, ThePureBag (for yoga), Austin Hepburn Installs Windows and Doors, Mission 5 & 2 Camps and Mojo Fitness in Wayne and Paoli. Want to join them in supporting relevant and real community news, contact [email protected] or call 610-304-4996.
Tucked next to Trader Joe’s, Solutions 4 Health seems a mere sliver of a store.
But good things come in slim packages, right?
In an age of sinking retail, Solutions is sailing along with the wind at its back. Because it’s rocking – no, capsizing – the medical boat, one satisfied patron/patient at a time.
Owner Chris Conway has long sold healing in a jar: physician-formulated vitamins, oils, protein shakes and the like. (He’s been selling in the same spot for 24 years.)
But what he’s really peddling of late is personal service – the kind you can’t find online.
“I think this is the future,” he says. “I call it an integrative retail clinic. Business has never been better.”
Tell Conway what ails you – either in person or in an online-scheduled 15-minute “mini-consult.” (Text him anytime @ 610-291-8152.) Then he offers supplement advice – but only “if the data supports it.”
And not data from any old lab. Conway only trawls research from the big boys at, say, the National Institutes for Health.
He’ll even order lab tests for you – the same blood, nutrient and allergy tests that a functional medicine doc might charge you hundreds to order.
“The challenge in functional medicine is that it’s cost prohibitive for a lot of people,” Conway says. “I give you the identical testing [at your local LabCorp] at a more economical price.”
Of course, he knows his limits. If your issue has him stumped, he simply calls on his stable of integrative MDs –– among them pre-eminent integrative cardiac thoracic surgeon, Gerald LeMole (Dr. Oz’s father-in-law) and renowned functional medicine oncologiest Dwieght McKee and Paoli internist and integrative medicine specialist George Steele MD.
Indeed, Conway will be the first to tell you he’s no doctor. (He majored in finance at UNC-Wilmington, where he went on a soccer scholarship.)
But when your son is born a congenital heart defeect, hypoplastic left heart symdrome – a trauma like that, well, it changes you.
It makes you ravenous for information.
It makes you respect the doctors at CHOP who hold your boy’s life in their hands – even as you question them. Repeatedly.
And yes, it sets you a path, a calling to share what you’ve learned and to learn more.
For the record, Conway says he has a “very good relationship with CHOP and they’re supportive” of what he does, despite his history of, er, second-guessing. “I was always pushing them to think outside the box. Take this medicine; take that medicine. That’s not the world I live in.”
No over-the-counter pill pusher, Conway will tell you straight out that the cornerstones of health are diet and exercise. But supplements fill the gaps, he says. Heavens knows, our genes and our lifestyle choices aren’t perfect.
“You don’t wake up one day with cancer or Parkinson’s or MS or other chronic disease. It develops over a period of time,” he says. “They’re all preventable or addressable even if there’s a genetic predisposition. We might not cure it but we can improve quality of life immensely. That’s life altering.”
Younger generations don’t want all those meds they see their parents taking, he says. As a society – especially here on the well-educated Main Line, “we tend to be proactive. There’s a tremendous self-care shift going on,” Conway says.
His top-selling supplements? Thrive shakes (sold out when we visited), plant-based calcium, DIM (eliminates “bad estrogen”), inflammation-fighting turmeric (a no brainer), and CBD oil (a new but proven stress-fighter if formulated and dosed properly), he says.
And what should everyone take – if anything? According to Conway, a good multi-vitamin, a healthy-fat fish oil and a probiotic. Be sure you check your vitamin B12, Vitamin D and magnesium levels and supplement if needed. And if you have a specific health problem, make sure to understand why you have it and what you can do to stop its progress. “The proof’s in the plasma,” he says.
Solutions 4 Health, Gateway Shopping Center (next to Trader Joe’s), Wayne, 610-293-8152.
By Rebecca Adler
Choosing the right school can be daunting – especially on the Main Line, where there’s no shortage of first-rate public and private schools.
But if your child learns differently, look no further than the Woodlynde School, an independent, co-ed K-12 college prep school in Strafford.
For over 40 years, Woodlynde has been accepting children who, in their previous schools, were defined by their test scores. Instead, the focus is on potential – In a warm nurturing environment that gets results.
Point of pride: A 100 percent college acceptance rate, including Woodlynde’s Class of 2018.
For a group of students with learning differences, that’s a big deal.
While public schools and some independent schools may provide support services, Woodlynde’s ability to educate the whole child – academically, socially, emotionally – is in the school’s DNA.
The student body includes kids with language- and math-based learning differences (e.g. dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia), executive function disorder, ADD/ADHD, and auditory processing disorders – as well as kids who learn best in smaller settings with easy access to teachers.
Woodlynde’s distinct education model is completely personalized:
- Everyone gets an individual learning profile that’s shared among teachers, counselors, administrators and parents. It’s a dynamic document that grows with your child.
- Instruction throughout the school is multi-sensory: students see, say, hear, write and feel what they’re learning. Woodlynde is a nationally recognized Wilson [Reading System] Accredited Partner School. Literacy is taught daily in grades K-5 and as needed after that.
- The Responsive Classrooms approach combines social skills with academics. (Think group problem solving and re-charging “brain breaks.”)
- Metacognition strategies helps kids hone in on their unique learning strengths as well as challenges, while affirming that they are indeed intelligent, talented individuals. Woodlynde helps level the playing field for college by teaching students to advocate for themselves.
“We come across so many kids who, as they get older, have no idea how to learn,” says Dorinda Shank, an assistant head of school, grades 9-12. “No one taught them how to organize a paper, study [for a test] or take notes. Many people … need to explicitly be taught how to do these things.”
Which is why Woodlynde accepts students at all ages and stages, even as late as senior year. “It’s never too early to come to Woodlynde,” says Lisa Ketcham, director of advancement. “But it’s also never too late … we will help you be successful.”
On the flip side, the school provides exit points for students who’ve met Woodlynde’s benchmarks for success and want to transition to another school.
Because you don’t leave your learning disability at the classroom door, teaching philosophies – and teachers! – are ingrained in extra-curriculars, too.
Woodlynde offers 17 varsity sports, wide-ranging school trips, and a plethora of after-school and weekend activities in which students are encouraged to try new things and take leadership roles that boost self-confidence.
Another huge Woodlynde plus: its concierge-style college guidance program.
Students write college essays in school, they work on applications during college guidance period (an actual class!) and meet with the director of college guidance as early as eighth grade to help students choose schools that match not just their criteria, but also their likelihood for success.
A few more reasons to love Woodlynde:
- A free before- and after-school program (grades K-6) for working parents includes snack, homework help, and plenty of play-time.
- A free after-school Homework Assistance Program (grades 6-12) all but eliminates kitchen table clashes. “Our son is empowered with the tools he needs to help himself when he gets stuck,” says one current parent. “We no longer need to supervise daily assignments.”
- Qualified seniors can take classes and prep for college life at Cabrini and Landmark College through Woodlynde’s free college dual enrollment program. Seniors take those college credits with them when they graduate.
- The College Assistance Program pairs graduating seniors with Woodlynde teachers who serve as mentors during the first year of college (and often beyond). “It shows how passionate the faculty is about what they do,” says Ketcham. “They want the kids to be successful at every stage, even beyond this school.”
Since the school’s founding, Woodlynde alumni have graduated from over 140 national and international colleges and universities and are leading successful careers in law, business, technology, education and more.
The Woodlynde School, 445 Upper Gulph Rd, Strafford, PA 19087. Pop in for a visit this summer. Open house Sunday, July 17 or call 610-293-6554 to schedule a personal tour.
Celebs and ‘pro-am’ hatmakers revel in ‘Rosé All Day’ at Ladies Day at Devon Horse Show