Gallery Mall downtown looks like a post-apocalypse scene

Here's a pic from Hidden City Philadelphia's Instagram account: This pic made us wonder about the good old Granite Run Mall, demolished last year. It turns out that "Abandoned Malls" is a thing. We'd heard about "urban exploring" or "decay" seekers wandering around the old Swell Bubblegum Factory in the space now occupied by the YMCA. Apparently "Abandoned Malls" is a popular pastime with these type of folks. A YouTube guy named Dan Bell did visit and tape the Granite Run Mall before it closed, when only a handful of stores were still open. Meanwhile King of Prussia has a brand new wing. The new section's shiny bright newness makes the rest of the mall look like total crap, but hey, that mall is KICKING. Thank god. And Springfield is hanging in there too despite being the bridesmaid for Mall Rats 2.   … [Read more...]

Find the black dog – photos from today’s walk

We went for a little walk today along Pennsy Trail to see the snow before it melts. Shout out to the other dogs we met along the way, including new resident puppy Frank and his sweet mom and dad who know the former Miss Sandowich-now-Coffey (coffee n a sammich, anyone? Can't make this stuff up) who teaches Español at the High School. Welcome to H-Town, A&K and Frank! You are now Townies! Just like the rest of us. Good luck. (#kiddingnotkidding) Pennsy Trail and Veterans park may have "no dogs" sign but once we're on the paved path, you can't see us anyway. :) … [Read more...]

What to do in H-Town if your pet makes a run for it

Dogs and cats are living together, out on the mean streets of H-Town. Well, maybe they aren't living "together" exactly. They insist they're just roommates. Still - what's the procedure if your pet makes a break for his gang banging buds? And what do you do if you find a domesticated animal? Search your surrounding neighborhood and ask your neighbors if they've seen the animal. Call the police (911). The animal control officer will keep an eye out for your pet. They can also lend you humane traps to lure a stray cat. You can also call Haverford Animal Control at 610‐853‐1298 ext. 2205. (Scroll down to see a .pdf from the township site. It has info about various pet issues.) Go to the DELCO SPCA and CHESTER SPCA pages and call or fill out information. Grab a recent pic and write up a great description. If you can, make a .pdf flyer. Think twice about posting flyers to poles. Doing so is actually prohibited in H-Town: "Posting notices upon utility poles, trees and/or public structures and buildings restricted. No person shall post or affix any commercial or political notice, poster or any other paper or device calculated to attract the attention of the public to any lamppost, public utility pole or shade tree or upon any public structure or building, except as may be authorized or required by law." If you do decide to "go rogue" and paper the neighborhood, make sure no identifying info or your home address is on the flyer. An email address or cell number is sufficient. Don't stick any flyers on US Postal Service receptacles. Mail slots on doors are OK to put flyers through. Outside mailboxes are not. USPS does not want you to put any materials in mailboxes, but if the residence has a door mail slot, you can put your flyer in that. Avoid houses with a "no soliciting" sign. From the USPS site: "If you have a curbside mailbox or a mailbox on the outside of your house, Postal Service regulations govern what can and can not be placed in … [Read more...]

Bamboozled: Bucks County town tryin’ to be like us

We're just famous. That's all there is to it. Or else, the Philly.com is obsessed with us like the New York Times is obsessed with Philadelphia. This time, Bucks County folks are planting the seeds of thought for a bamboo ordinance. The article mentions we Townies are pioneers, as we already have one in place. (BTW - did you know bamboo is an "invasive grass?" Makes us think of dorm potheads whose activities kept us from studying. <- That's our story and we're sticking to it.) Here's the article: HILLTOWN - Hilltown Township has a plant problem. One thing it doesn't have yet: a solution. The township is working to draft an ordinance to regulate the growth of bamboo. But the quick-growing grass, township officials have discovered, is more complex than they once thought. When left uncontrolled, certain types of bamboo, most notably "running bamboo," can spread quickly, jumping property lines and invading yards, growing as tall as 30 to 50 feet. After residents complained last year, township officials began pursuing a possible ordinance, said Rick Schnaedter, township manager. An ordinance was introduced during the township's December meeting, and supervisors are to revisit the issue this month. Township officials now are working through many issues, Schnaedter said. Bamboo regulations could be difficult to enforce, and he said officials must determine who is responsible for clearing it - the individuals whose yards have been invaded, the residents who own the property from which the bamboo originated, or even municipal workers. And some residents don't want any regulations at all. "It's a very difficult situation to deal with," Schnaedter said. Hilltown joins other municipalities throughout the region that have considered bamboo ordinances. Delaware County's Haverford Township and Bucks County's Tinicum Township, among others, have regulations in place. - Caitlin McCabe H-Town's ordinance is a 4-page document that has a lot of … [Read more...]

Giant’s A+ Rewards Program Not A Point-Stealer

Both Chatham Park and Haverford Middle School PTOs sent emails asking for us to sign up our Giant cards to the A+ Rewards program. The emails pleas have been a bit on the desperate side, containing reports of low sign-up numbers so far. We here at Havertownies are typical Haverford Township residents, which means, we aren't about to do a bunch of investigative journalism and market research to figure out the reasons why the sign up numbers have been so low. We'd rather conjecture. Here are 3 reasons we imagine (read: made up) that the numbers are apparently a big FAIL: Everyone is afraid that the Giant shopping center will sink into the ground the exact moment they shop there. We all think that signing up our cards will mean we don't get our discounted gas or our free Turkeys! We're lazy as sh*t. Numero UNO We can't begin to Snopes out the urban legend underlying #1. We can tell you that more than 3 people have reported hearing the rumor from someone like their cousin's sister-in-law's boyfriend's niece. The story goes somewhat like this: The developer was in a big hurry to develop the quarry, and filled it in too quickly and shoddily. In fact, Lowes opened late because the foundation cracked! The whole shopping center will soon go up in a whole mess of Carrie-like into-the-depths-of-hell suckage (eeww, remember that scene at the end? *shudder* Wonder if the remake has that in it?). We haven't investigated the validity of the crack in the Lowe's foundation other than a Google search, which turned up bupkis. Havertownies are townies, after all, so we throw as much caution to the wind as is possible without pissing off the neighbors. So we go. We are particular to Chipotle and Panera... Numero DOS This concern is a bit more legit. None of the emails from the schools explained whether or not we Giant shoppers would be donating our accumulated shopping points to the school. Don't know about you, but we here at Havertownies like our shopping points … [Read more...]

Lending E-Books from HTFL

A question came up in Facebook about how to lend e-books from the Haverford Township Free Library (HTFL). We're here to help. Here's what you need to know to get yourselves all up & e-booky today. Things You Need: An Internet connection (doesn't have to be great. HTFL has free wireless) Library card (take a proof of residence to the HTFL to get a card; they're free too!) E-reading device/software like a laptop, iPad, Kindle or Sony E-reader 5 minutes Things You Do: Step 1: Whip 'em out. (Your library card and your computer, that is. What did you think we meant?) Get online. Step 2: Go to the digital books download page. Side note: you are technically lending books from the Delaware County Library System, not HTFL. Step 3: Click on Account in the upper right corner. Put your library card # in the box on the left. Spaces or no spaces; it doesn't matter. But it's Ms. Jackson if you're nasty. Step 4: Browse for books. (click on the MENU button by account if you don't see a list of all the sections). Smartie friend and fellow Havertownie Karen Campbell Vitale suggested this tip for browsing: "Advance Search by Format and Books Available, then filter results by 5 star reviews... You still have to wade through a ridiculous amount of bodice-rippers, but your results are narrowed down to about 200-300, which makes it easier to browse." Step 5: Find a book you like. The upper right corner of the bookcover appears dog-eared. It reveals an open book symbol that is either light or dark gray, indicating the book has a slight wait or is available for download immediately, respectively. Click on the book and download your preferred format or place the book on hold. Step 6: Go back to your machine, open up the doc and read away! Follow the directions to transfer the file to your reader that are found at your reader's website. Our fun and fabulous steps aren't doing the trick? Well, HTFL has their own helpful page dedicated to the reluctant … [Read more...]

Women and Wine

Mommies Playgroup One nice summer morning back in 2007, I went over to a lady's house in the Oakmont section of town for a playgroup set up by a mothers support network. I had met the playgroup ladies, all with 1 year old sons like me, a few times previous at other events. I was looking forward to some adult interaction with people in my same boat. I'd say Lucas was looking forward to it too, judging by his insane amount of drooling and valiant attempts at escape. I walked up the steps to the beautiful stone house just when the other moms and babies arrived. Inside, we put the babies down. I could swear I heard "Release the hounds!" as those adorable little monsters attacked every toy, cabinet, piece of furniture and architectural molding in sight. Once those piranhas were safely penned in, the adults settled into the kitchen. I was the last one to peel off my progeny and get over the baby gate. When I arrive on the other side, a full glass of red wine was waiting for me. It was 10 a.m. It's Drink O'Clock All I could think of was the Mr. Mom scene. Isn't there some rule about not drinking before noon or something? I soon came to realize that Havertown has replaced "None before noon" with "It's 5 o'clock somewhere!" When we moved out here to Havertown in 2000, I was woefully unaware of the Drinking Habits of The Typical Suburban Adult Female. I grew up in the Poconos with a teetotaling mother and a father who'd go right to sleep after just one glass of wine. We didn't see much alcohol use or abuse in our neighbors or friends' parents. Some teens would drink, obviously, but not us. My brothers are both teetotalers still. Me... well not so much. As many a Havertown mom friend of mine knows, I'm no stranger to a glass or two of wine. But the levels of drinking in the 'burbs really threw me. I figured that if anywhere, people in the isolated  areas of the Poconos would be heavier drinkers than these suburbanites. And after living in Philly for 7 years, I thought … [Read more...]