The swankest dining destination this side of Center City – Eddie V’s Prime Seafood – just dropped anchor in front of the King of Prussia Mall.
Everything at Eddie’s oozes opulence: the white-coated waiters, the show-stopping chandelier, the caviar tastings, the oyster-and-champagne pairings, the walk-through glass wine cellar.
Not for nothin’ is “Living it up” the chain’s motto.
Indeed, if Eddie were an Edie, she’d be dripping in diamonds.
This is Darden Restaurants’ go-for-broke brand. (Its less exalted establishments include Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, Season’s 52 and Yard House.)
The concept comes from Austin, where Eddie Foles and Guy (“Mr. V”) Villavaso opened the first Eddie V’s in 2000. King of Prussia is the chain’s 20th outpost and its second in PA.
On the menu: beaucoup fresh seafood flown in daily, aged USDA Prime steaks, and live jazz every night in the V Lounge.
Prices are, shall we say, a big swallow.
The average guest spends $98. Per person. Folks slumming it at The Capital Grille, Darden’s sister spot, only fork over $82 pp. Indeed, Eddie’s is so high falutin’, it doesn’t even bother opening for lunch.
With tariffs this steep, it’s no wonder Happy Hour is already a huge hit. From 4:30 to 6:30 seven nights a week, wines and cocktails are $8, chef’s “teasers” are $8 – $9, apps are $17 – $19 and oysters are $2 – $4. (No buck-a-shucks. Sigh.)
Slammed on a recent Sunday, the hostess took us to a high-top booth in the lounge, where a jazz trio played at the perfect decibel. Service was friendly, sure-footed and swift. And our food – Lobster Bisque, Iceberg BLT, Parmesan Sole, Double Breast of Chicken – was uniformly terrific.
At these prices, it better be.
Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, 670 DeKalb Pike, is open nightly. Happy Hour 4:30 – 6:30, dinner begins at 5. Entrees $27 – $89; steaks $42 – $54. Reservations recommended. Private rooms for 8 to 30.
Filet mignon for the masses
Such is the meaty mission of the world’s first Nick Filet, a fast-casual sandwich spot now open in the old Devon Donuts across from Paoli Shopping Center.
“I want to be the Five Guys of Filet Mignon,” says owner Nick Kline, 24, who hopes to roll out 10 more Nick Filets in the next five years.
The Great Valley 2013 grad spent the last four running Quincy’s Original Lobster Rolls down the shore, but, truth be told, he’s a red meat guy.
His bright idea: replace lobster with that other luxury protein, filet mignon, and sell it for 10 bucks or less. Kline played around in his parents’ kitchen in Wayne, eventually settling on 6 ounces of certified Angus filet, butterflied, seasoned, charbroiled for three minutes and served on a toasted bun.
With an angel investment from dad and his own life’s savings (“I risked it all”), Kline launched Nick Filet: Home of the Original Filet Mignon Sandwich on November 10.
“I was tired of eating fatty fast food that cost too much,” says Kline. His signature 6-oz. sandwich is about 500 calories – fewer if the bun’s not buttered – and contains 50 percent less fat than a burger, he says.
On the menu: The 6 oz. Original Nick Filet ($9.99); a 3 oz. Little Nicky ($5.99); a 9 oz. Big Nick ($15.99); Filet Mac ‘n’ Cheese and Filet Grilled Cheese ($9.99); Filet mignon burgers ($5.99 – $7.99), Filet Salad ($10.99); and for monster appetites, the one-pound Saint Nick. Swallow that puppy in store and your mug goes on Nick’s wall of fame.
Order your sandwich plain or snazz it up with free toppings like sautéed onions and mushrooms, blue cheese crumbles, horseradish sauce and béarnaise.
Figure on 15 bucks for a full meal: signature sandwich, plain or parmesan truffle fries, and a drink.
Nick Filet, 111 E. Lancaster Ave., Paoli, is open 11 to 9 daily. Eat-in, take out or order online.
New noodle house in Gateway
Hakata Ramen & Sushi is now open in the old Appetite’s Delight space in Gateway. Just don’t show up looking for sushi; it’s not coming until at least December, we’re told.
For now, the focus is on ramen bowls: 12 different ones ($11- $14) made with chicken, pork or vegetable broths whipped up daily. Choose your spice level, and, for an extra buck or two, amp up your bowl with extra veggies or protein.
Noodles not your thing? There are poké bowls ($10 – $13), $5 buns, Japanese tacos ($4- $5), and oodles of small plates ($3 – $10).
We swooned over the Salmon Avocado but everything we tried was fresh and tasty. And portions were rather generous.
Owners are four locals, two of whom also own Sushi Sushi in the food court at the KOP Mall. John Lin runs Hakata’s kitchen; Jenny Ma painted the cool mural on the back wall.
Hakata Ramen & Sushi, Gateway Shopping Center, 484-580-2933, is open Mon. – Sat. 10 to 9, Sundays 11 to 9.
Rustic Brush beckons DIYers to Berwyn
By Rebecca Adler
Pinterest and power tool-enthusiasts rejoice: the Main Line is quickly becoming Mecca for the make-it-yourself set.
The latest “social crafting” spot: The Rustic Brush in Berwyn, a custom wood-working shop.
Like AR Workshop in Malvern and Board & Brush in Newtown Square, The Rustic Brush empowers women (and men!) to pick up a nail gun and create functional décor among friends – a welcome mat, a door hanger, a coat rack, a lazy Susan.
Owner is Teresa Dempsey, a single mom from Devon with a passion for re-purposing.
After 20 years in pharmaceutical marketing and two layoffs, Dempsey decided it was time she worked for herself. She’d long enjoyed painting and furniture-making. Why not open a studio that indulged her creative side?
She settled on Rustic Brush, a new DIY franchise that “wasn’t too cookie-cutter.” The Texas-based chain encourages total customization – from stencils (you can use your own image on a serving tray, for example) to the design of the store itself. “They wanted me to make it my own,” she says of her partners.
The result is an industrial-chic haven dotted with Dempsey’s art and items foraged from around the Main Line: barn doors from Ardrossan in Villanova and the old Fritz Lumber in Berwyn, chicken-coop chandeliers, vintage sinks, a giant wooden spoon-turned-table.
“I love to find treasures,” Dempsey says, pointing out windowpanes re-imagined as frames, a stack of stained glass and drying tables crafted of reclaimed wood. A second barn door pulled from Ardrossan has found a place in her home, as her dining-room table. “It’s a great conversation piece… and we’re decreasing the carbon footprint.”
She’s betting that her new studio, stocked with Main Line memorabilia and projects to personalize, will inspire folks to follow her lead and find their inner artist.
“In this crazy-busy world, I would love for people to come in and slow down and do something with their hands,” she says. “And when you put it on your wall, you can say: I made that. There’s a sense of accomplishment.”
The Rustic Brush, 555 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn, 215-820-6184. Reserve a party or pop in during “open workshop” time to create a custom doormat ($38-$48), a cool wooden Christmas tree ($55) or pallet sign ($45-$65) and other personalized projects.
From red to purple to blue in Tredyffrin
Democrats are officially in charge in Tredyffrin. And it only took 311 years.
Repeating the party’s 2017 sweep, every single D on the Nov. 6 ballot won – by double digits.
Overall turnout was huge: 71 percent. About 38 percent of Democrats voted straight party ticket, as compared to 22 percent of Republicans.
For the first time in the township history, Ds will outnumber Rs on the board of supervisors, 4 to 3. Returning supervisor Mark Freed beat a formidable, experienced opponent in Judy DiFilippo by 2,140 votes and 13 percentage points.
Hard to believe that all seven Tredyffrin supes were Republicans just nine years ago.
In a second semi-shocker, feisty Dem Melissa Shusterman easily ousted four-term PA Rep. Warren Kampf – also by 13 percentage points. (Another stunner in neighboring Paoli/Willistown: Six-term Republican Duane Milne lost his PA house race to Kristine Howard, a single mother of seven and a child welfare activist.)
What prompted the blue crush? Congressional and anti-Trump coattails, for sure. But local Dems also worked like hell, says TT Dems Chair Kathy Keohane. Canvassers blanketed the township for weeks; every college-age voter was mailed an absentee ballot back in July; everyone who asked for an absentee ballot received info on Democratic candidates; sample ballots were mailed to 1,000 households with inaccessible addresses; and volunteers made thousands of get-out-the-vote phone calls. Shusterman herself knocked on 25,000 doors in two years and raised over $500K.
We reached out to Tredyffrin Republican Chair Neill Kling for comment but never heard back. If you’re out there, Mr. Kling, we’d love to talk to you.
Now you see them, now you don’t
Jeeze. About 100 of these yard signs were posted around Tredyffrin and Easttown and now – poof – most of them are gone. Either there’s a nasty vandal out there or someone REALLY wants a giant digital billboard at the corner of Rte. 252 and Lancaster Ave.
Some background: More 3,300 folks signed an online petition opposing plans to knock down the historic clock shop at Paoli’s busiest corner and erect a giant flashing – and distracting – billboard in its place. A GoFundMe then raised enough to pay for 250 lawn signs. Organizer Pattye Benson waited until the election signs came down then diligently delivered the signs to residents who requested them. A few were posted in high-traffic public areas but most went on private lawns. And then they started disappearing – first a trickle and then a gush. Some 60 signs – worth more than $500 – have been stolen in the last few weeks.
All kinds of signs are posted in public places around town: ads for new homes, firewood, painters, bus drivers and political candidates. But, as Benson notes, no one’s touching them. They stand undisturbed for months. And then 60 signs on private property go missing? Hmmm.
While Tredyffrin police investigate the thefts, Benson vows to continue the fight. “The issue has really taken hold,” she says. “It’s nearly impossible to find anyone who supports the notion that we should have two blinking billboards and a reflecting pool at the intersection of Rt. 252 and Lancaster Ave.”
Neighborhood groups have been sounding the alarm internally and Benson says she’s fielding calls from Villanova to Ardmore. “People are concerned if Tredyffrin Township falls to the digital billboard, it’s only a matter of time before the entire Main Line does!”
In what appears to be a typical company tactic, Catalyst Outdoor Advertising has threatened to sue Tredyffrin if supervisors don’t approve its proposal. So far, supervisors have stayed mostly mum. Stay tuned on this one, folks.
Holly jolly happening in Malvern on Saturday, Dec. 1 (Sponsored)
Skip the mall mob and mosey on over to Malvern on Saturday.
’Cause Christmas on King is coming to town.
A noon-to-night Yule festival, it’s all new, (almost) all free, and (very) family friendly.
After 19 years, Malvern’s Victorian Christmas celebration had been sagging a bit, losing folks to Friday night tree lightings in Wayne and West Chester held the same night. Time for a refresh.
King Street merchants put their heads together and settled on an all-Saturday extravaganza. Get a load of this (partial) lineup:
*free pony rides and a petting zoo in Burke Park.
*a bounce house and, after 4 p.m., a video-game trailer (near Scoops ‘N Smiles).
*a chainsaw-wielding ice carver (near Malvern Federal) and inside the bank: a “selfie-elfie” photo booth, ornament making and a hot chocolate bar.
*street entertainers, crafts and games, including a stilt-walker, illusionist, Polar Express ride, Canine Christmas Corner (pose with your pooch), and Santa letter-writing stations with manual typewriters. We hear Santa just might write back.
*live music and dance performances on the Main Stage near Restaurant Alba.
*Snow-globe ballet at The Buttery (4 p.m. – 5 p.m.). Dancers from Ballet 180 perform “Nutcrackers Sweets” inside; the audience watches from the windows.
*Dueling Brushes at Gallery 222 (noon to 6 p.m.) Ten local artists compete in three rounds of timed paintings of fruit, flowers and possibly a live animal (!). The public picks the winner.
*King Street merchants will offer nibbles and surprises from 10 a.m. Or shop for arts and crafts at the Mistletoe Market at the fire station.
Festivities hit high gear at 5, when Santa parades through town. Jingle your bells as the big guy rides by.
Then head to Burke Park where Malvern Prep and the Academy of Notre Dame choruses will perform while Santa holds court in the gazebo. At 6 p.m., Fox 29’s always effervescent Jennaphr Fredrick will light the town tree – a 50-ft. blue spruce, professionally decorated this year.
As always, parking is free. Or, better yet, take the train to town. A free trolley will take revelers up and down King Street.
Refuel at any Malvern eatery or try a visiting food truck. Wet your whistle at the Christmas Cheer Cocktail Lounge, hosted by Christopher’s in the lot near Wolfe’s Baldwin Brass. (Free cocoa for the kids.)
Staged by the Malvern Business and Professional Association, Christmas on King caps off a year of monthly Malvern “strolls” (on third Thursdays) and seasonal festivals like Malvern Blooms and Oktoberfest (rained out this year but returning next fall).
King Street is thriving and “great new blood is coming into town,” says MBPA President David Campli of Campli Photography. Case in point: After a detour to Exton, Malvern Flowers is returning to town.
The days when mostly Malvernites shopped in the quaint borough are long gone, Campli says. Visitors from Downingtown to Devon are becoming regulars, drawn by the easy parking, the renovated train station, and the town’s rejuvenated east end.
“Wayne used to be the go-to town,” says merchant Jodie Levenson, owner of 12 West Boutiques. “Everyone knows where King Street is now.”
Christmas on King runs from noon to 8 on Saturday, Dec. 1 on King Street in Malvern. Click here for the up-to-the-minute schedule.
More holiday hoopla
Wayne lights its Christmas Tree at the train station this Friday, Nov. 30. 6-ABC’s Vernon Odom flicks the switch at 7:30. Joining him: Radnor High School cheerleaders and the Valley Forge Military Academy chorale. Festivities start around 5:30 with strolling carolers on North Wayne Ave., a train display at Wayne Senior Center, face-painting/ornament-making at Radnor Fire House and horse-drawn carriage and trolley rides. Stores stay open ’til 8. The merriment continues the next morning at 10 when Santa parades down Lancaster Ave. before taking up his post on the porch at the Wayne Hotel.
Ardmore’s popular Cricket Kringle – a white-tented winter wonderland – returns to Cricket Ave. Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Live music, hot drinks, open-air shopping from 40+ vendors and more. Santa arrives via fire truck Friday night. Free coco and cookie-decorating by The Bercy on Saturday.
Bryn Mawr celebrates the season a week later. On Friday, Dec. 7, gather at the gazebo by Ludington Library at 7 p.m. for the town’s 30th annual Carol Sing led by Sacred Heart Academy. Santa arrives on a fire truck for the tree lighting around 7:15. He’ll be back at Bryn Mawr Trust the next morning (Dec. 8) from 9 to 11:30. Face painting, holiday balloon art, a kiddie craft, music and more at the Farmer’s Market, 10 til noon.
Gladwyne mom’s mini-miracle
Your trash gets hauled away, you figure everything’s a goner, right?
Not if you’re Rachel Spiegel.
A few weeks back, the Gladwyne Elementary School teacher did something she never does: she took off her wedding rings and put them on a paper towel while she was cooking. She’d cleaned the rings the night before and wanted to keep them sparkling. In a rush to tidy up before work, she pitched the paper towel in the trash.
It wasn’t until early afternoon that Spiegel realized her rings weren’t on her fingers and the bins in her garage were empty. The trash truck had come – and gone.
Panicked, she hopped in her car and drove to the Lower Merion transfer station, where she prevailed upon the township’s Refuse and Recycling crew to a) find the truck that served her neighborhood (Hint: check discarded mail) b) unload it off the 18-wheeler headed to the trash-to-steam plant and c) dump out and search the contents.
For two hours, Spiegel and crew picked through hundreds of white trash bags. Even if she found her rings, she was sure they’d be broken because the bags had already been compacted.
Tired and dirty but determined, she tore open yet another bag. And – eureka! – there they were, rolled up in the paper towel, intact and still shiny.
“I screamed and hugged everyone and jumped into their arms,” Spiegel tells SAVVY. “It was the end of their shift. They could have gone home but they stayed to help me. Not once did anyone say: ‘This is silly; she’ll never find it.'”
Bursting with gratitude, Spiegel promptly raved about her helpers on social media, dropped off gift cards for the gang, and hopes to launch a GoFundMe to pay for a ventilation system (“if that’s what they need”) at the transfer station. The township got wind of the men’s selflessness and honored the guys last week.
For the record: they’re Eddie Byrd, Alan David, Charles Gregory, Tyrone Burrell, Tony Debarberie, Dan Griffin, Darold and Joe Przybyszewski. If you see them on your street, tell ’em they done good.
Wynnewood woman’s 10-year kindness campaign
By Lisa Kazanjian
Drive along busy Penn Road in Wynnewood and you just might om and aah.
Perhaps you’ve seen the signs: You Can’t Heal if You Can’t Feel, We are Human Beings, not Human Doings, See When You Look, How Did Your Childhood Affect You? Kindness is the Philosophy of Life and many more.
Well, meet their maker: Meg Miller, PhD, psychologist, spiritual healer and soon-to-be certified divorce mediator.
Miller’s lawn campaign began back in 2008 when a nasty school redistricting debate divided her neighborhood. She started jotting down words of unity and inspiration, took them to Fast Signs, and her first batch of mini-billboards was born. Her collection now totals 45; signs rotate in and out of her garage every two weeks.
Aside from a few thefts and a neighbor’s complaint that led to a knock on her door from police, the community response has been overwhelmingly positive. Miller says she’s received numerous notes of appreciation in her mailbox – some scribbled, some on formal letterhead. Passersby have thanked her for helping them through time times and for encouraging them to see another point of view.
With our politics so polarized, Miller’s messages may be needed now more than ever. “We’re so divided,” she says, “I simply want to promote an environment in which people listen to each other and care for each other.”
After ten years, Miller admits she’s due for some new signs. So don’t be surprised if you see Let Your Voice Be Heard and R-E-S-P-E-C-T one day soon.
Flowers, gifts, holiday décor and more at The Argyle Bouquet (Sponsored)
Story and photos by Susan Greenspon
Heather King is sizing you up – in a good way. The owner of The Argyle Bouquet makes it her business to know what you like even before you do.
“We like to soak it all in: Your hairstyle, your shoes, your eyeglasses, maybe your eclectic jewelry,” says King, an Ardmore Farmer’s Market merchant who opened a second store in Haverford in May. Then the questions begin.
Favorite color? Favorite flower? Favorite style?
“Our job is to take [a client’s] story and create a look,” King says of her creative team of floral designers.
Enter her soaring, two-level Haverford space and enjoy a visual smorgasbord. Part rustic, part industrial, it’s the perfect backdrop for a plethora of unique crafts, candles, jewelry, cards, botanical prints, soaps, ceramics and more. Shelves, ablaze with fresh flowers, divide a work station where the magic happens. Weddings, private and corporate events are a mainstay of King’s floral business.
King laughs as she talks about customers who enter “like deer caught in headlights.” They may not know what they want, but they’ll quickly home in on a look they love.
One woman spotted a vase filled with feathers. So taken with the display, she bought every last feather in stock – as well as the vase, King says.
And what better time of year to dazzle patrons than the holiday season? The front parlor of this former house (formerly Saxby’s Coffee) is chock full of everything Christmas.
Baskets and bins overflow with ornaments and seasonal greens. Folk dolls and Argyle Bouquet-designed wreaths adorn the walls. A macramé window panel hangs in the background.
“We have people who walk in and say, ‘This is just like the old Waterloo Gardens,’“ King says. And like the old Waterloo, King and her team will cut, deliver and decorate Christmas trees and design festive interiors for clients who’d rather leave it all to the pros.
Through the store and up the back stairs a sunlit loft is a study in natural colors – the perfect spot for Hanukkah, Winter Solstice and Kwanzaa celebrants. Glass, wood, metal and textiles abound as King points to a customer favorite – white tapestry reindeer with fabric antlers (from $49). Up here, find silver partridges, sisal trees, pine cones, wreaths, stemware candle holders, tin stars, lanterns and cozy throws.
Stop in for a special something or pop in for a special event. Recent offerings include a class in pavé floral arranging and workshops on winter “mantel scaping” and wreath-making.
On King’s holiday wish list: getting even more folks to be dazzled by The Argyle Bouquet. “I want to make this a retail destination,” she says.
The Argyle Bouquet, 346 W. Lancaster Ave., Haverford, 484-422-8553, and 120 Coulter Ave., Ardmore, 610-642-4644. Open weekdays and Saturdays, 10 to 6, Sundays 10 to 4. Closed Mondays in Ardmore.
Banner night at the Barrymores for Malvern’s People’s Light
More proof you don’t need to schlep to town for top-shelf talent. Our homegrown theatre company, People’s Light, cleaned up at this year’s Barrymore Awards (aka Philadelphia’s Tonys), besting the field of mostly city slickers with eight trophies.
Dulé Hill (The West Wing and Suits) and Daniel J. Watts (Hamilton) tap-danced their way to wins as Nat King Cole and Sammy Davis Jr. in the sold-out smash, Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole. The show’s choreographers won, too.
Last year’s other must-see show, Morning’s at Seven, won for best play, best director, best ensemble and best scenic design. And Melanye Finster was named best lead performer for her role in Skeleton Crew.
Now on stage at People’s Light: Cinderella: A Musical Panto. Think glass slippers and godmothers but set in the roaring 20s. Should be a hoot if it’s anything like the pantos People’s Light has staged for the last 15 years.
New life at old schoolhouse
For the first time in, oh, 200 years or so, kids are using the Old School House of Valley Forge. A private nonprofit has taken over the circa-1820 structure on Gulph Rd. near the Memorial Arch and turned it into a cozy gathering spot.
“For years, I watched people press their faces up to the glass of the old schoolhouse, to see what was going on,” says Tony Peterman, a Wayne dad who formed the nonprofit, Old School House Valley Forge, four years ago and serves as board president. “It seemed a shame that there was no use for the building.”
Peterman’s group signed a 10-year lease in 2016 and spent the last year and $40K bringing the neglected building into the 21st century, adding electricity, a new roof, shoring up old plaster walls and refinishing floors. The 450 sq. ft room has a stage, big-screen TV, new curtains and seating for 35. Alas, there’s no running water or heat; restrooms are a short stroll away.
No doubt General Washington would approve of the new look. Décor was dictated by his navy-and-buff coat, black boots and brass buttons, Peterson says.
The plan is to host free educational and community events – most geared to children – and to rent the space for ticketed programs. “That’s how we’ll keep the lights on and the building in good repair,” Peterman says. Two Girl Scout troops and at least one local board have already signed on to hold meetings there. Saturday open houses and an American Idol-style creative writing contest for kids are planned for spring.
This and That
Hallelujah: Stoneleigh has been spared. All 42 acres of the former Haas estate in Villanova will remain a public garden. Lower Merion School District found a new spot for playing fields, taking Stoneleigh off the table at long last. The school board last week voted to buy 7.5 acres a few miles away – at 912, 916, 920 and 922 Spring Mill Rd. Price tag: $5.2 million. (Sources tell us the property owners, Warren and Penny Weiner, first planned to sell the land as home sites.) The ball fields would be a five-minute bus ride from the “21st-century middle school” the district plans to build at former Clothier estate on Montgomery Ave.
HipCityVeg is hitting the burbs. The vegan fast-casual eatery will sprout up in two spots come spring: next to Gap Kids in Suburban Square and near Estia in Radnor.
Jacuzzi Hot Tubs of the Main Line opens this weekend in the old Incline Running space in Haverford.
A year and a half after Recovery Centers of America debuted at the old Devon Manor, folks still have questions. Among them: how did a swanky addiction facility end up in Easttown anyhow? What actually goes on in those buildings? (A second one just opened, with more to come.) And how is RCA affecting emergency and community services? Get answers at a Dec. 5 public forum at 7 p.m. at the Easttown Library hosted by the board of supervisors. Joining Supervisor Jim Oram will be police chief David Obzud, Berwyn fire chief Eamon Brazunas and Steve Wicke, CEO of RCA Devon.
Like to run your dog at Teegarden Park? Better get Rover registered. Tredyffrin Township just passed an ordinance that allows registered dogs to run off-leash at Teegarden – but only when sports leagues aren’t using the fields. Translation: from the third weekend in March until the third weekend in November, dogs must be leashed after 4 p.m. on weekdays, after 8:30 a.m. on Saturdays, and after 11:30 a.m. on Sundays. And all pooches who run free – Tredyffrin residents and otherwise – must be registered at the township. The plan’s not perfect, says Supervisor Murph Wysocki. Still, he calls the new rules “a fair and reasonable compromise for a safe and welcoming Teegarden Park for enjoyment by all.”
Overflowing with good vibes: Our Closet’s sold-out “Fashion for All” fundraiser at Neiman Marcus. More than 300 turned out for the Nov. 14 event, including emcee Morrisa Jenkins, wife of Eagles’ safety Malcolm Jenkins, who’s been on the receiving end of charity herself. She told the crowd she was given a box of free clothes after Hurricane Katrina but says, sadly, many didn’t fit. She applauded Our Closet’s pop-up shops, which solve the fit problem.
Launched by Bryn Mawr’s Jill Aschkenasy just five years ago, Our Closet collects gently used clothes and distributes them to vulnerable people in the Philly area. It has since merged with Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia.
Not the same old song and dance: Upper Main Line Community Theater. Never heard of them? Neither had we – until parent volunteer Natalie Hoffman clued us in. Inclusion and quality are UMLCT hallmarks. More than 150 locals, ages 5 to 75, have roles (some behind the scenes) in this week’s production of Disney’s Newsies The Musical. If you try out, you get a part. Director Janelle Brandberg somehow pulls all the generations and skill levels together and stages one heck of a show. Rehearsals emphasize kindness and camaraderie as much as stagecraft. Nice. Newsies The Musical will be performed at 7 p.m. Nov. 29, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. at T/E Middle School. Click here for tickets ($10 – $12.50).
Kudos to Tracey Specter, daughter-in-law of the late Senator Arlen, who just took home the 2018 Visionary Service Award from the Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools for her leadership of the Perelman Jewish Day School. Among her accomplishments as board president from 2013-2016: raising the school’s profile, shoring up its governance and finances, and helping to create a tuition-affordability program, junior kindergarten and the Specter Civics program.
And finally, a shoutout to Curtis Schelling, DMV, MS, DACVR, top dog among diagnostic veterinarians. The Haverford School/Rice/UPenn alum is now expertly reading ultrasounds and x-rays at Hope Veterinary Specialists in Malvern.