Over the past few years the western end of the Baltimore Avenue commercial corridor has seen considerable improvements. These changes were anchored by the relocation of the Mariposa market on the 4800 block in 2012, and since then, we've seen the openings of Little Baby's Ice Cream, The Marvelous, and Greensgrow farm on the 4900 block. among other new businesses. The latter appeared at the site where Elena's Soul burned down on Christmas Eve 2012

Greensgrow, last summer

The most recent is Spirited Tattooing Coalition, set to open this month at 4918 Baltimore Ave., a location last occupied by a market. The tattoo parlor will double as a local art gallery, and will be run by Jasmine Morrell. Morrell will be the proprietor of "the first queer-owned tattoo shop in Philadelphia."

Spirited Tattooing Coalition location

“The tattoo industry can be a very unfriendly and unwelcoming environment for folks outside of certain societal structures and systems,” Morrell writes on Spirited Tattoo's IndieGoGo site. “As a queer person of color, I have found myself in positions of either being the target of or being around so much misogyny, racism, transphobia, fatphobia and classism that it’s time to make space away from all that. It’s time to take the reigns instead of being the 'killjoy' or the 'PC' one. It’s time to create and hold space for folks and allies who want to say that they too, are sick of it and want to have this be another place where that can be nurtured.”

According to its IndieGoGo site, the vision is “to build a space for artists from the immediate community of West Philadelphia and all over the world to be a part of the shop and have the tools and platform they need to express themselves, where they otherwise might not have one. We want marginalized voices, artists and identities to have sanctuary while making those connections and baring down to their deepest layer.”

This area of West Philly is know for its artistic and alternative to approach to Main Street. The addition of Spirited Tattooing Coalition will be a fine one to the diverse Baltimore Ave. in a community that's been seen its commercial corridor take some big steps in recent years.