Yowza, that was some year, Main Line!
Before we turn the page to ’24, hope you enjoy this recap of last year’s year’s biggest stories – with direct links in case you missed a few the first time around.
Prompting the most buzz: our in-depth, exclusive investigation of “the swift rise and abrupt fall” of Wayne boutique owner, Hillary White Jean, whose purported rich-and-famous lifestyle crumbled under a barrage of personal bankruptcies, contentious lawsuits and criminal arrests.
Engendering the most good will: Our account of Stoga ’21 grad Patrick Hoey’s tragic accident and the guardian angels who’ve saved his life and lifted his family. As we had hoped, our story boosted the grassroots fundraising efforts of #hope4hoey. Yay!
Making us smile most: our profile of Sonny DiMartini, perennially sunny Hall of Fame Conestoga football coach and former player who, oh yeah, has Down’s Syndrome.
Biggest story we shared on social media: Villanova’s plan to purchase Cabrini. We were the first media outlet to report it. Runners up: Eataly’s plans to open at the King of Prussia Mall and Gov. Shapiro leading a huge rally in support of Israel in Wynnewood.
Main Line real estate developement was front and center once again. Among the nuggets we broke: a second mixed-use proposal (after the Louella Ave. project) that would change the streetscape of central Wayne and groundbreakings for the swanky Coulter Avenue Assemblage in Suburban Square and The Metropolitan Narberth Square at the old Albrecht’s. We visited the newly opened Ember Berwyn and The Fritz, the lux apartments at the old lumberyard and tried to get answers about the construction holdup of Berwyn Square. (We’re still trying…) We explored the Main Line’s “millennial squeeze”: a tight home market and a pervasive child-care crunch. And yeah, we beat the drum for our local merchants. Want those vacant storefronts filled? Patronize nearby mom-and-pops. (Sorry/Not sorry to keep flogging that old horse.)
And we didn’t shy away from the tough stuff: the police traffic stop gone horribly wrong in Lower Merion and its aftermath; ugly eruptions of anti-Semitism in Tredyffrin; a beloved Malvern Prep teacher/coach and rapper filing a civil rights claim after he was fired; and a T/E student’s hair-raising epilepsy journey and her family’s work to educate us all about this widely misunderstood brain disorder. All the while, we’ve been keeping an eye on the ever deafening campaign to spare Stoneleigh sister Oakwell from Lower Merion School District bulldozers; evolving plans to build a new T/E elementary school; the growing teen mental-health crisis; Tredyffrin and Easttown joining hands to improve emergency services in both townships; scuffles over off-leash dogs in Radnor and LOTS more.
As usual, we ate our way up and down the Pike, checking out virtually every eatery that opened in 2023 including Amada (Radnor), The Blue Elephant (Wayne), Villa Artigiano (Ardmore), Joey Chops (Malvern), Motto Sushi (Berwyn), Exit 13 Gastrobar (Rosemont), Le Mignon (Devon), At The Table (Wayne), Takumi (Wayne) and The Vanilla Bean (Wayne).
We also scoped out new ventures that nourish our bodies and spirits, among them: DTXFY renewal studio; The Happy Mixer GF bakery; and SPENGA fitness (all in Gateway Shopping Center); Hotworx workouts (Wayne); The Living Room & Cricket Café (Ardmore); and Colonna Contemporary and Peter Strid art galleries (Wayne).
We said good-bye to third-generation “riding boot and shoe” cobbler Joe Quici (Berwyn), Aux Petite Delices, Wayne Jewelers, Cowan’s Flowers, and Pat’s Barbershop (all in Wayne), Bernie Robbins Jewelers (Villanova), Diane’s Sidewalk Deli (Chesterbrook), and Dink City, the pickleball courts that arrived amid much fanfare on VFMAC grounds only to be closed by Tredyffrin zoning officials.
And we tried to do our part for local nonprofits: judging Ladies Day Hats at the Devon Horse Show & Country Fair and a floral contest at Surrey’s first Garden Party; playing Alex Trebek with former Jeopardy contestants at Main Line School Night; and talking up Main Line Health’s Women’s Heart Initiative at Waynesborough CC and Women’s Emotional Wellness Centers in KOP and Newtown Square at DiBruno Bros. We love building community and meeting our readers!
Sooooo, what’s ahead for SAVVY in ’24? Funny you should ask. Here’s a sneak peek:
Let’s just say Team SAVVY has been busy … very busy.
Looking back, we simply can’t thank you enough for:
And in every way, cheering on our little (OK, not so little) experiment in engaging, relevant local journalism.
Happy, healthy New Year! We’ll catch you again in a few weeks.