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Baltimore Ave Credit: Michael Chien

The dollar store faces some mean competition.

On June 10, fifteen vendors located on Baltimore Avenue between 42nd and 50th streets took part in the first of three Baltimore Avenue Dollar Strolls, offering select goods for just a buck.

The monthly deals, hosted by the University City District are scheduled to take place from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of June, July and August (July 8 and August 12).

At Green Line Cafe on 42nd and Baltimore streets, patrons at the front of the line could be heard ordering “the dollar tea,” as the coffee shop sold tea and coffee at reduction from the typical $1.65.

Brett Feldman, a local father and 1998 Penn Law graduate, met his wife and two young children for $1 scoops of Ice Cream at Milk and Honey Market, normally $2.

After receiving UCD e-mails and postcards about the stroll Feldman said his family “had it on our calendar.”

A line wove around the aisles and out the front door of the gourmet shop at 45th Street and Baltimore avenue. The market specializes in locally grown and produced foods.

Christopher Eaton, one of Milk and Honey’s managers, said he had “never seen most of the people in the store before.”

Gerry Johnson of Germantown made the trek south to make up for the lack of food in his refrigerator and fill his stomach with $1 raw food from Attica Ola’s Spirit First Foods at 4505 Baltimore Avenue.

Stephen Fisher, a co-founder of Studio 34 at 4505 Baltimore and post-doctoral fellow in the biology department at Penn, was enthusiastic about UCD’s efforts to make what he and other vendors call “the avenue” a destination akin to South Street.

The studio, which offers yoga and pilates classes and hosts various community events, used the stroll to introduce new customers into their twice-weekly “pay what you can” yoga classes.

Fisher said that in comparison to most weeks the 6 p.m. class was “two to three times bigger and [had] a lot of newcomers.”

In line for Ethopian finger foods at Dahlak Restaurant, on 47th Street, rising Engineering senior Cameron Smith-Rapoport, explained what brought him to the stroll.

“I have been trying to move West more, get out of the typical Penn options,” he said.

Rising Engineering junior Greyson Gregory agreed, but noted that while the event is “good for the summer” he doesn’t think adventuring west “will have much appeal” come the school year.

From a small table outside their 4740 Baltimore Avenue converted church theater Curio Theatre Company sold tickets to attend preview runs of any one of their next season’s productions. Theater lovers who wait until fall to buy tickets will pay $10 to $15 to see Oleanna, Great Expectations or Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

Also taking part in the stroll were restaurant and bar Queen of Sheba with cans of beer; the Baltimore Avenue Pet Shoppe with toys and treats for cats and dogs; the Vientiane Cafe with bib chicken and tofu skewers; The Gold Standard Cafe with sandwiches and pastries; Elena’s Soul Lounge with soul yams; gift shop Vix Emporium with note cards and hand printed West Philly patches; Dock Street Brewery with pizza and logo pint glasses; Satellite Cafe with cookies; and Younglove’s with clothing and records.

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