East Falls Local

East Falls for All's!

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Secret Santa

For the 4th Christmas in a row, we’re going door-to-door caroling with the neighborhood. This year we’re spreading maximum cheer with a musical mystery guest who’s the holiday’s biggest fan.

Meet Johnny Chobani – the man, the myth, the mistletoe! An alias, of course, because — like Saint Nick — Johnny’s an undercover dude. We’re coaxing him into the limelight, though, to accompany EFL readers with St. Bridget’s Teen Choir, Metro Presby, and St James School when we sing thru the neighborhood Monday December 18th.

Why, he’s a radiant beacon of holiday spirit! May this festive Fallser’s answers to our Christmas Questions bring you yuletide joy.

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History Matters: Yule Wonder Why

Our favorite historian explains local Holiday oddities from long ago.

Happy Holidays, Fallsers! As we know, the city of Philadelphia has many strange rituals, but there are a few bizarre customs that have been lost to history. Now’s a good time to re-examine those weird and wonderful traditions of yore…

“Der Belsnickel!”

The arrival of Christmas means the yearly visit from jolly old Saint Nick can’t be far behind. But did you know that Santa Claus once had a cantankerous cousin? Belsnickel, the filthy and foul anti-Santa, was a popular means of getting unruly children to behave in the nineteenth century.

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Bowman to Broadway

A citizen artist from the neighborhood aims for Broadway but never forgets where she’s from.

From St. Bridget’s at age 5 to the Kimmel Center, Allison Boyle has followed her singing talent to bigger challenges and performance spaces (anyone remember the national anthem before last year’s Notre Dame/Temple game? That was Allison and her sister Jess bringing down the house). She’s now planning her biggest move yet — relocating to New York City to pursue her Broadway dream — while reflecting on how she got here, where she’s from, and what it means.

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There’s No Place Like Home

Is East Falls the kind of community that would welcome a home for sick kids by our favorite residential park? 

During the holidays, especially, “home” takes on special meaning. We decorate them, make up our own little rituals when to light this, and where to hang that. We welcome friends and family home, even sing about home in Christmas carols. Everyone needs a place to call home.

Here in East Falls, KenCrest at Midvale & McMichael seeks to create a transitional care home for six ventilated/intubated children in their facility by the park (currently providing daycare for disabled adults).

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Fish Story, Wish Story

An East Falls fairy tale for our friends at Frequency Tattoo, and all our neighborhood’s cyclists & art lovers. 

Gather ‘round, kids, here’s a story about a wizard, a woodsman, and a fish who all met one day in a village by a river and a creek and a big green forest. The fish was the first one who spoke,

“Good sir!” he called to the woodsman on his way to work one morning, “If you help remove these plastic six-pack rings wrapped around me, I will grant you a wish.”

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5 Reasons We Chose Mifflin

In a neighborhood where over 90% of parents send their kids to private/charter schools, Lynsey and her husband Dan Larson are thrilled to recommend Mifflin. 

We recently left behind two sets of grandparents and a bursting babysitter Rolodex in our home state of Delaware, and relocated to East Falls. In the past 5 months, this neighborhood has validated for us that home is where you hang your hat…and walk in the park, ride bikes with the neighbors, drink a tremendous amount of coffee, and enjoy a pretty sweet little life.

Just when we thought our parenting record couldn’t look any better, we struck gold. This is the story of why we chose to send our kids to East Fall’s neighborhood public school, Thomas Mifflin, and why we’d do it all over again.

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Wheel Big Winner

Possibly our favorite news all year: a friend in our condo complex won almost $75k on Wheel of Fortune this October!

Photos courtesy Cori Frede’s facebook page

Our neighbor played it so cool. Cori Frede didn’t say a peep to us about applying, auditioning, flying out there… Nothing. Then we ran into her one morning walking her little white dog Benny as usual, except she looked like she was about to burst.

Apparently, Wheel of Fortune forbids contestants to say anything about their experience until the week it airs, and it was finally Cori’s week: “I went on Wheel of Fortune this summer and now it’s airing Thursday and I can’t say one more word about it except to invite you to the viewing party at Chili’s.”

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(Take Another Little) Piece of Our Past

As new construction goes up, older buildings come down. What can Fallsers do to save our architectural legacy? 

East Falls and Allegheny West lost more than lovely architecture last month: the old “Catifsh Café” had been a favorite meeting place for folks from both neighborhoods since it was built in 1875. Back in the 80’s/90’s, it was famous for big, juicy burgers and the occasional Charles Barkley sighting. And we were so close to saving it!

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Missed Connections

Compiled by Karl Von Lichtenhollen. Missed connections are for entertainment purposes only and are not intended to foster a belief in random meetings. Email us your Missed Connections or text 215-498-8874.


Brenda, the good news: I won the new Pa Lottery Fast Play! $95,768! The bad news: I’m breaking up with you because you are a greedy gold digger.

*   *   *   *   *
Dean — I am still just so grossed out that I let you do that to me. I can’t even look at a bowl of stuffing anymore. — Kitty

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Giving Thanks for NovemBEERS

JK talks turkey about the best beers for the season.

November is a time for giving and sharing, and what better to give, or share than some amazing autumnal beer selections that make any Thanksgiving better.

This month’s column will focus on selections that turn even the driest over-cooked turkey or familiar family casserole into fare for the gods straight from a horn o’plenty…OK well maybe not, but they do pair amazingly with the fare of the holiday and can help make even those awkward family arguments over politics, football, or who’s the best cook in the family palatable.

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