Monthly Archives: July 2012

Activities in Wallingford, Swarthmore & Media this weekend – July 27-29th, 2012!

It’s another exciting summer weekend here in town!  And now that SRA summer camp is over there really is no excuse not to take your kids out and entertain them!  Below are some highlights, as always I encourage all my readers to subscribe to The Swarthmorean newspaper where you can learn about activities and get the flavor for this geeky, lovable town of ours!  If you’re too shy to stop by their office to pick up a subscription just enter my contest this week – if you win one year’s subscription is on me!

Friday, July 27th:

– Beaufort is offering a FREE Friday Concert at the Community Arts Center in Wallingford (414 Plush Mill Rd) where they will perform selections of the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, etc… There will be hot dogs and burgers available to purchase – just bring a blanket and chair (and maybe wear a tie-dyed t-shirt)!

– Chester Children’s Chorus is performing for FREE at Lang Hall at 8pm.  Prepare to be blown away by their performances of Mozart & Whitney Houston!

Saturday, July 28th:

– The Farmer’s Market will be held in the Swarthmore municipal lot from 9:30am-1:30pm!  Come on out for fresh produce and good company!

– Media Theatre offers its final performance of a musical adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book for children at 11am!  See my review from two weeks ago here.  Visit for tickets!

Sunday, July 29th:

– Take a tour of the Leiper House with a guide to show you all the details of this 1785 house on the National Register of Historic Places! 521 Avondale Road in Wallingford.  Call 610-566-6365 for more info!

– Enjoy a performance of The Cat’s Pajamas at Rose Tree Park‘s Summer Festival!  Free!  610.891.4455 or for more info!

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Contest time! (Guess the location of my new listing in Wallingford!)

Can you guess the location of my new listing in Wallingford?

Showings won’t start until next week, but until then you are free to guess!


– It’s a very easy walk to Strath Haven Middle & High Schools from this house!

– It is on a cul-de-sac!

– The original owners have never offered it for sale before!

– As you can see, it was custom-built with beautiful stone and brick!

– It features three bedrooms, two and a half baths, a full & finished basement, Central Air, two car garage and more….

The first reader to leave a reply below with the correct address of this home prior to MLS listing (Monday, July 30, 2012) will win a one-year subscription to the Swarthmorean newspaper!

(This contest is NOT open to D. Patrick Welsh agents or employees! If you already have a subscription I will extend it for one year!)


Filed under Home Buying Advice, Life in Swarthmore (& Wallingford, Rose Valley, Rutledge & Media), Swarthmore Real Estate

The Big Renovation…Part 2!

As you know, our window is looking a little empty these days without the D. Patrick Welsh doll house!  Last week I posted about the window restoration Gassia was working on.

This week the home’s door frame and window sills were painted.  You can see the blue painter’s tape in the photo!

In our area keeping exterior and trim paint in good condition is extremely important for big houses too!  One concern is preserving the wood beneath the paint.  Another very important concern is the lead based paint which was used for a period of time in the middle of the century before recognizing the danger it poses if ingested or inhaled.  It is best to assume that any exterior or trim paint might have a layer of lead based paint underneath.  Therefore paint should be maintained in good condition and not allowed to chip or peel (which could possibly expose lead layers beneath).  A good rule of thumb is that painted exterior surfaces should be repainted every 8 to 10 years.  Of course certain kinds of weather exposure might mean that repainting needs to be done sooner!  Painting a smooth, well-maintained surface requires less preparation than painting a surface that needs scraping and prep.  So taking care of your painted surfaces before they need it can save you money and of course help keep your home looking its best!

Tune in again to learn about repairs to the doll house’s charming cedar shake roof!

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Psst! You heard it here first! New listing on Harvard Ave in Swarthmore!

Buyer agent detective signing in!

It won’t hit the MLS until Wednesday, but…

Our incomparable Becky Hansen Welsh has just taken a new listing at the corner of Harvard and Amherst!  This is a three bedroom rancher that needs your renovation to make it a showstopper.  Loads of curb appeal, great potential to finish the second floor, Central Air, and competitively priced at $275,000!

The race is on, so make plans for a Wednesday showing!  If you aren’t working with a buyer agent, please drop me a line!  I would love to help you explore this beautiful home!

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Media Theatre Company’s “The Jungle Book” Review

Last Saturday I took my three little assistants – ages almost 3 through 5 (with my big assistant for back-up) to see a musical adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book at the Media Theatre.  

We pulled up in a misting rain and the little guys were transfixed by the rows of theatrical lights below the marquee.  The theater was built in 1927 for vaudeville and even occasionally featured the “talkies”!  It became a plain old movie theatre for a time.  (I saw my first movie there, The Black Stallion in 1979! We had to leave in the middle, though,  because there was a snake in the movie!)  Through many transformations and an extensive renovation, through the take-over of non-profit management when a for-profit theater group disbanded, and after the adoption of a new mission to produce great American theater here in Delaware county, the building has retained its classic beauty and an air of sepia-toned magic.

The criteria for a great children’s production is a bit different for the adults buying the tickets than it is for the little audience members!  The parking was super-easy.  In spite of a few harmless Muppet Theatre type back-ups (running out of programs, confused patrons trying to figure out ticketing, etc.) we were deeply impressed that the theatre thoughtfully provided booster seats for our little guys and that the line for the bathroom somehow didn’t seem too long!  The lights went down and out came the theatre rep for a rather long speech about the education program.  A toddler girl then volunteered to go onstage, and was coaxed to sing to everyone’s delight!  The talk wrapped up and the show began before anyone’s little angels began tearing the place down, so we were off to an excellent start!

Perhaps I was spoiled by the SRA Shakespeare kids (see last week’s SRA Shakespeare Review) but the story seemed to take a bit to get rolling.  The student actors were adorable and cleverly paired with experienced professionals.   Tim Haney was a funny and affable Baloo.  JD Triolo as the ten year old Mowgli had a very pleasing voice and relaxed presence.  Amber Duncan quietly gave Mowgli’s wolf-mom an Aunty Em-like quality that I liked very much.  Aaliyah Michael had great charisma as one of the three silly hyenas.  The little monkeys were appropriately mischievous!  Patrick Murray anchored us with his narration as the adult Mowgli, with the help of  Kristen Arbutina’s straightforward Bagheera. Roger Ricker, as King Louis, the monkey, kept the fun in the thing and danced, sang, and ribbed on the audience with with abandon!  We would have loved to see this group get their paws on those expensive Disney rights as the music was not as engaging as the performers.

After the show, the actors gamely lined up in the lobby to be pawed over (or blinked shyly at)  by their little fans.  They let us take pictures with our iPhones. Not one main player was too cool to offer a paw to a child – no matter how small or sticky!  Programs were available for taking home!  The car was right out front and our three under 6 were buckled into the car without incident – a parents’ theatre dream!

We went home like nothing had happened.  But this morning one little helper asked me plaintively, “Are we going to see The Jungle Book play again today?”

Tickets to the final performance, next Saturday, July 28th at 11am, are available at or by calling 610.891.0100.  You can also learn more about the company, the history of the edifice, kids programming, the season for grown-ups and even the Delco Idol contest!

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Activities in Wallingford, Swarthmore & Media this weekend – July 20-22nd, 2012!

It’s another busy weekend in the area!


Don Jones is offering a free concert at 7pm tonight at the Community Arts Center in Wallingford.  There will be hot dogs and & hamburgers available for purchase – just bring a blanket and a chair and get ready for a fun night of rock, blues, doo-wop, country and beyond!

Swarthmore Methodist Church begins its run of the Pulitzer prize-winning play Proof !  A great play about great math (yes, it’s about math – and also life and love and loss and bad rock bands)!  610.328.1079 or for more info!


The Farmers Market offers fresh produce and goods as usual from 9:30am-1:30pm at the Swarthmore municipal lot (next to the library)!

At the Rose Tree Park Summer Festival the Upper Darby Summer Stage Shooting Stars perform at 7:30pm!  Bring your blankets and chairs! for more info!


There will be a violin concert at the Swarthmore Presbyterian Church.  Violinist David Kim  of the Philadelphia Orchestra will perform Sonata No.2 in A Major during the worship service.  Free performance.  10am

The Sierra Club is meeting for a free hike at Smedley Park.  Join everyone above the trolley tracks at the Paper Mill Road entrance.  Email for more info!

Lots more activities can be found in this week’s issue of the Swarthmorean!  I hope to see you around town this weekend!

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The big renovation…Part 1!

As many of you know, the large Victorian doll house featured in our window has been a fixture for years!  You’ve probably seen it with Santa on the roof and snowy trees outside too! We love it for its charming Swarthmore character and because, of course, it has provided hours of amusement for our clients’ children (so that they can talk about the big houses with us)!  Over the years it has certainly suffered some deferred maintenance and a recent broken window was the impetus for a renovation!  Please stay tuned for updates on our progress!

Today Gassia began by restoring the doll house windows.  Windows are a big concern for efficiency these days.  Did you know that restoring older windows can render them nearly as efficient as newer windows without sacrificing their lovely character?  Clients of mine with a beautiful home on Princeton Avenue in Swarthmore recently employed the services of John Lindtner of Building Preservation Services to restore their dramatic Victorian windows.  The results are stunning.  I called him to learn more about the process.  Here is what John has to say about his unusual job:

My company is called Building Preservation Services, LLC.  We combine traditional methods and new technology in our mission to help save old windows.  We do full restorations on window sashes and window frames and utilize different types of weatherseals to make windows more energy efficient.  For repairs, we do putty reglazing, replace broken sash cord/chain, replace broken panes of glass, and replace or repair rotted sills.  Building Preservation Services, LLC is also an authorized dealer and installer of Mon-Ray high performance storm windows.  We feel that a restored window coupled with an efficient storm window is as efficient as most of the energy efficient replacement windows being promoted today.  With restoration, you can retain the original character of your home and not have to settle for a window that will only need to be replaced again and again. 
I feel the best approach in keeping your old windows is by starting with a good storm window.  In most of my projects, the old storm windows have outlived their functional lives.  Once I install new storm windows, I can remove the primary sashes to begin their restoration.  On most windows over 100 years, I recommend a full restoration due to excess paint build up and gaps in maintenance that have caused parts of the windows to fail or not function properly.
I was particularly delighted to hear about the efficiency of restored windows as described above since I am a big fan of preserving our community’s older homes.  (And of course it makes sense to know that one hundred year old windows can be restored and last forever, whereas vinyl windows tend to need replacement every 15 years or so!)   You can reach John at (302) 983-4056 or if you would like to learn more about restoring rather than replacing older windows.
Thanks for tuning in today!  I’ll continue to update you with our progress on the doll house!

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A visitor at Little Crum Creek Park…

Check out these beautiful photos of a buck in our very own Little Crum Creek Park!

some little crum creek

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Here’s how it looks

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to reason with the bucks

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about eating from a garden.

. . .



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SRA Shakespeare Review & Other Offerings!

Friday night one of my small assistants and I checked out SRA’s free performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream! The hour-long adaptation was beautifully crafted and cast by director, Thomas Emerson. Twenty-one characters were portrayed by a delicious ensemble of ten middle and high school students.  Minimal costumes were used and no set pieces were required for this talented group to transport the audience to Athens!  Jenny Wei brought life to the often forgettable Theseus and played a masterful Oberon – effortlessly managing the verse and the gender-bending!  Emily Harkness handled both pentameter and sword nicely as Demetrius.  Maya Kapur’s appreciation for Lysander’s silly side was infectious.  Sabirina Caputo made a perfect Hermia – type A, petite, and fierce!  Sophie Everbach’s Helena was lyric and lovely – a professional quality performance.  Emma Burke made an earnest and helpful Puck.  Amy Crouch brought an exquisite geeky quality to Bottom that made him both lovable and familiar, I’ve seen lots of Midsummer productions but this interpretation was new and Crouch made it  her own.  Newton’s Wall was funny and well-paced.  Will McCullough’s Quince made a nice foil for the other mechancials and held their scenes together. The highlight of the evening was Maryrose Zuppo’s totally uninhibited character role performances.  Her Hippolyta was nostril-flaringly indignant, her Titania was steamily hilarious, her Flute was appropriately rough, and her Thisby’s high-pitched death scene brought the house down!  In all it was a magical evening, and my five-year old companion was as wholly entertained as I was – I am very very glad I brought him, it was a perfect introduction to the Bard!

Swarthmore Recreation Association offers a generous variety of sports, arts, and other camps in the summer and throughout the year!  Check out their website at:!


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Activities in Wallingford, Swarthmore & Media this weekend – July 13-15th, 2012!

Study for The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania by...

Study for The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania by Noel Paton: fairies in Shakespeare (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tonight (Friday, July 13th) only – Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be presented by middle and high school students at Swarthmore Rutledge Elementary School on College Avenue in Swarthmore!  This event is FREE!  7pm.

As usual, the Farmers Market will be held at the Swarthmore Borough parking lot Saturday (July 14th) from 9:30am-1:30pm.

Two offerings of children’s theatre are available Saturday:

– Media Theatre presents Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” at 11am Saturday.  Call 610.891.0100 or visit for more information. (My family will be attending this week’s performance – please join us!  We can even talk real estate during intermission!)

– Hedgerow Theatre presents “Snow White and the Little People” at 11am Saturday.  Call 610.565.4211 or visit for more information!

On Sunday the Blackbird Society Orchestra will perform as part of the Rose Tree Park Summer Festival.  Check out for more info on these outdoor summer performances!

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