East Falls Local

East Falls for All's!

Gently Down the Stream

Earlier this summer, Gina Snyder and her family scored a second-hand canoe they couldn’t wait to try out.  Rowing was a dream — but portage hammered home how much we need public river access. 


For over ten years, the EFDC has been working to bring East Falls back to our river. Before my children were born, I took a kayak ride to tour the new river landing site and to better understand the river.

Last week, my husband Dave and I took our two sons out on our “new to us” canoe.  One son wanted to fish, the other was just thrilled to be on an adventure. Dave wanted to give his new toy a whirl, and I wanted our children to experience the river, and how close-by we live.

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No Ordinary Open

Big drama this year at the East Falls Open as Pat McCusker took the title in a sudden death playoff.


Pat McCusker won the 97th East Falls Open Golf Championship in dramatic fashion, pulling even with 13-time champion Chris Kallmeyer on the final hole before edging him out on the first hole of the sudden death playoff at Sandy Run Country Club on September 12th.

Kallmeyer was even par with one-stroke lead going into the final hole, but three-putted for bogey, opening the door for McCusker to force a playoff.

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EFFF: East Falls’ Frank Furness

Coming to Castle on Tap next weekend? You’ll appreciate this Kelly Drive boathouse more when you learn about the architect who created it: a gun-toting, spear-stabbing Abolitionist/Civil War hero with a flair for mad juxtapositions. 


Frank Furness was one sassy architect.

When the rest of Philadelphia (and the US, really) was still into European Revival forms, he looked West to define a bold new style unlike anything seen before — and help lay the foundation for modern American architecture.

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Dance On! Photo-Recap from the Falls Bridge

If you were lucky enough to score tickets to this year’s Dance on the Falls Bridge, you already know what a fantastic time it was. If not, we hope these pics (and video!) help transport you to East Falls’ biggest bash. 


OK so full disclosure (and maybe a little brag, ha): for the second year in a row, East Falls Local scored press passes! <happy dance>

Last year, I was so overstimulated, what with all the costumes, the dancing, the bridge bouncing as 15oo+ people jumped in unison to “I Would Walk 500 Miles.” The flaming-hot sparklers everyone waved drunkenly at midnight — so pretty and so terrifying.

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Continuing in his quest to document and assess East Falls’ current pizza scene, the Pizza Ninja challenges a Ridge Ave fixture. 


Hello, fellow Pizza fanatics.  We last left off with a review of Apollo Pizza.  This month, we order from a Ridge Avenue mainstay that has been a part of the East Falls community for over 12 years:

To recap my current rules for reviews, the shop:

Must be located in the 19129
Have delivery
Have cheese pizza.

I order the largest cheese pizza available, and provide my unbiased opinions for the benefit of pizza-loving Fallsers. OK, Slices, you’re up…

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Back to School: Good Neighbor Edition

The East Falls community council is back in session, but it seems some neighbors still have a lot to learn.


We admit that our favorite part of EFCC meetings is when things go off topic and it gets a little weird or ironic or just plain testy. The September EFCC meeting had a little of that (more later) but we should acknowledge what went right first – they had a fine presentation by the volunteers from the Community Design Collaborative.

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A recent Philly Magazine article claims to know the reason behind Billy Murphy’s famous Bon Jovi ban — but we’ve got other suspicions… 


That “Boycott Bon Jovi” sign on Billy Murphy‘s jukebox — it’s for real. Try to play a Bon Jovi song here, just try. Never happen. Not even live: “If a band starts to play Bon Jovi we walk over and mute their guitars, ” Mike Murphy told Philadelphia Magazine. Because Bon Jovi sucks, he says.

Do we believe him?

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Morte D’Arbor: McMichael Loses a Champion

Say your goodbyes now to our State Champion Paulownia tree — aka the “Princess” tree. How old was she? How did her trunk split? Why can’t she be saved? Some answers in our time of loss. 


Her giant trunk split overnight September 12th, and by morning a Parks & Rec arborist determined she would not survive. We’ll truly miss this beauty, a favorite photo subject thru the seasons.

McMichael’s was a “champion” Paulownia in Pennsylvania, which means it was the largest specimen in the state.  At any size, though, Paulownia trees are fascinating.

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Lasting Links

Next week’s East Falls Open is the 97th anniversary of the country’s longest running neighborhood golf tournament.


The East Falls Golf Championship is not your father’s golf tournament, or your grandfather’s. It might be your great grandfather’s though. Now in its 97th year, the Championship (aka the East Falls Open) is the oldest neighborhood golf tournament in the country.

Although the tournament didn’t begin until 1920, it had its roots in 1893 when the Philadelphia Country Club opened near City Line Avenue (on the current site of Target and the Presidential City Apartments), giving boys in the Falls a chance to work as caddies.

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Appetite for the Arts in East Falls

Who knew we were so hungry for dinner theatre here? Full house both nights at Trolley Car Cafe for “TURNPIKE,” an original play by Fallser Kathy Anderson and the Philadelphia Theatre Workshop. 


When it comes to supporting local theatre, East Falls commits to the part: we show up in droves, we present full attention, we clap out culture-loving hearts out.

“We had an amazing time presenting our new play, TURNPIKE, at Trolley Car Cafe,” said Kathy Anderson, co-writer of the play with Bill Felty, who also directed the play. “The audiences were so wonderful, the best you could ever hope for.”

It was a first for both Philadelphia Theatre Workshop and Trolley Car Café – dinner and live theatre on the restaurant’s outside patio on August 21 & 22.

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