East Falls Local

East Falls for All's!

Castle on Tap is Back

Parks, schmarks — in East Falls, we take over CASTLES! Join guests and neighbors for a pop-up beer garden at Undine Barge Club’s historic boathouse aka Castle Ringstetten.

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Hold Your Beer

Feats of strength & great prizes from Victory Brewing at Castle Ringstetten. With Billy Murphy’s Beer Garden and the behemoth Tapasaurus!

Masskrugstemmen – or, beer stein holding – is a Bavarian competition that’s pretty self explanatory: you see who can hold their beer in one hand the longest. A full liter glass stein. Straight out in front of you. Parallel to the floor or you’re out.

How long do you think you could last?

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Fall Fest Feasting

We must apologize and correct a grievous mistake: last year’s Oktoberfest buffet was not as authentic as we thought. This year, a Bavarian boy helps us set the menu straight.

We’re terribly sorry, East Falls. We had no idea sauerkraut has no place on a Bavarian menu this time of year – that’s a winter thing, evidently. “If you ask for sauerkraut at Oktoberfest in Munich, they will shoot you!” Karsten Haigis joked when we called him about the menu for Castle Ringstetten this month.

Karsten should know. He grew up in Rottweil – “like the doggies” — a small town in rural Southern Germany where his family started in the food biz 350+ years ago.

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Big F for A-Plus

Neighbors demand answers about aggressive panhandlers at this local gas station/mini market. 

Have you seen the kids hanging out at the Sunoco/A-Plus mini mart on Ridge? We don’t usually get our gas there, but on a few Ben & Jerry’s runs this summer we encountered some teenagers with their hands out for spare change. “Nope,” we said, and they told us to have a nice day. Shrug.

Then Nextdoor started buzzing with comments from neighbors who’d been pressured by these kids to let them pump gas, hang up the pumps, buy them something in the store… There were reports of them stealing items from cars and even throwing things at customers. “The kid literally took the pump out of my hands and I had to ask him quite a few times to leave,” a woman wrote. Yikes.

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Wee Made It!

Finally! After four years of litigation, the kids of Wee Care Daycare can play outside again.

Hard to believe the “hostage situation” on Midvale Avenue is over at last!

The school’s children had been banned from their own play yard as lawyers wrestled over Wee Care’s right to land they legally purchased and then almost lost when the seller reneged on the contract. While the grownups duked it out in court, the kids were stuck inside all day, every day.

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Covers at the Castle

You probably know these non-siblings from the best live music venues around town: The Grape Room, McGillicuddy’s, Bourbon Blue, Dawson Street Pub to name a few. Catch them playing all our rock/pop favorites at East Falls Oktoberfest

TRUE STORY: The Duke Brothers are not really brothers. They’ve really only known each other since 2011 — and within a year they were performing as a duo.

No relation, though. They took their name from the grumpy old villains in “Trading Places,” a 1983 Eddie Murphy/Dan Ackkroyd movie that both Joe Holz (vocalist) and Andrew Geigert (guitar) were big fans of — especially the Duke Brothers, who were so funny & so horrible simultaneously.  Plus, “It’s a Philly-based movie, and we’re a Philly band,” Andrew explained.

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EFL Traveler: Kiwis in the Falls

New Zealanders find a touch of home in our ‘hood.

Where in the world is Kihikihi? You might not be familiar with the small town on the north island of New Zealand (FUN FACT: Kihikihi means “cicada” in the Māori language: the name imitates the sound made by the insect) — but there are plenty of New Zealanders who’ve heard about East Falls, thanks to the Merson family.  We encountered them in July at Billy Murphy’s, as they were grabbing lunch and planning the rest of their vacation in the States.

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EFFF: East Falls’ Frank Furness

Come to the Castle for East Falls Oktoberfest! This historic boathouse is one of the few remaining buildings by Frank Furness, a gun-toting, spear-stabbing Civil War hero with a flair for mad design. 

You’ll see this September 30th — Frank Furness was one sassy architect!

When the rest of Philadelphia (and the US, really) was still copying Europe, he looked West to define a bold new style unlike anything seen before. He’s also the only famous architect ever to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.

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Sometimes you just have to follow your gut and hope the Universe has your back. 

What do you do if you see a dog running down Allegheny Avenue, chased by dirt bikes? If you’re Lorena Wilson, you pull over. Immediately.

“Leaving her in traffic damn sure wasn’t an option,” she said in a moving Facebook post on Sept 3rd, the day she found this frightened shar-pei mix:

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HISTORY MATTERS: The Amazin’ Weightman

William Weightman made his name in the pharmaceutical game as the “Quinine King,” and left an indelible architectural legacy in East Falls & surrounding Philadelphia.

East Falls’ William Weightman (1813-1904) was one of the wealthiest men in America at the time of his death, amassing a fortune worth over $51 billion in today’s money — CNN rated him #20 of the all-time richest Americans.  Yet he is far less famous than his fellow fat cats like John D. Rockefeller and the Cornelius Vanderbilt.

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Falling into Great Beers

Beat the summer blues with our autumn brew review. 

Summer is ending, and I hope everyone was able to make the best of the warm weather and a certain columnist’s beer recommendations for the vacation season — if you were unable to do either, here’s a chance to reboot with some tasty fall beers!

Fall is the time to say goodbye to all the fruity wheat beers and lighter fare that have crossed our parched mouths over the hot summer months, but it is also the time we welcome back beloved Oktoberfest lagers, heartier malted ales, bigger, darker stouts and porters, seasonal sours, and yes, the highly anticipated and equally cringeworthy pumpkin spice beers.*

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