Philadelphia’s 2014 featured political feuds, the rise of Uber and one dude who likened women to cheese. At Billy Penn, we catalogued some of the year’s most memorable news in categories like millennials, media, tech, development, viral, transit, and Michael Nutter/Darrell Clarke fights. And here, we’ve organized some of the highlights. It’s our quick wrap-up of 2014.
Philadelphia is a happening place: Pew gave us official confirmation that Center City really is getting full of millennials. The number of people age 20-to-34 in Philadephia grew by 6.1 percent from 2006-2012. That was the highest rate for any big city in the U.S. Now we just have to figure out how to keep the millennials who worry about future job prospects and public schools.
Tetris on the Cira Centre: Childhood dreams came true when Tetris was played on this 29-story building during spring’s Philly Tech Week.
@FanSince09 sleuths alleged gay attackers and city enacts new hate crime measures: After suburbanites Kevin Harrigan, Kathryn Knott an Philip Williams allegedly attacked two gay men in Center City, Twitter user @FanSince09 led a social media charge to ID them and flag down police. In response to the attack, the city also adopted a new hate crime bill that can increase punishment for criminals who commit hate crimes.
The Big Changes
Little Pete’s, gone? The building that houses semi-legendary city greasy spoon Little Pete’s got rezoned in October. Everyone’s favorite Center City diner was going to be replaced by a hotel. But in December, councilman Kenyatta Johnson pulled back the bill. Its fate will be decided again early in 2015.
Millennials take over the 30th Ward in Graduate Hospital: In one of the first signs that some of Philadelphia’s millennials are ready to get civically engaged, 13 of 34 places on the Democratic City Committee in the 30th Ward were won by millennials.
SEPTA’s makeovers: SEPTA added full-time Night Owl service on the Broad Street and Market Frankford lines and is right now testing stations for its electronic SEPTA Key card. The lines are a problem now, but the Key should finally bring SEPTA into the 21st century (or even the 1990s) next year.
The “Only In Philly”
The Swiss Cheese Perv goes for a spin: The guy who police called a “sexual cheese” fetishizer introduced himself to the ladies of Philadelphia by comparing them to cheese and then drove around Mayfair with cheese on his junk. He was arrested twice.
Woman steals leg after putting her butt on dude’s junk: Sonny Forriest Jr. was performing outside of the Eagles game in October, as he often does. And then a woman stole his prosthetic leg, he explained to the Daily News.
“She started wiggling that butt on my junk,” he said, and smiled. “But her wiggling broke my mic. Some of these girls aren’t wrapped too tight, man, especially when they get toasted.
“All of a sudden, she grabbed my leg, ran off and disappeared. No respect for an older person or a disabled person.”
Key Pizza worker tells would-be robber to shove it: If you’re really feeling confident, this is how you respond to an attempted robbery.
UberX launches, and everybody loves it except for cabs and the PPA: Uber launched its UberX service in late October, and the PPA quickly impounded the cars of several of its drivers (horses were used in the sting operations). The aggressive tactics didn’t stop Uber, and the popular ridesharing service has continued, much to the chagrin of cab drivers. Forty-five cab companies recently filed a lawsuit demanding Uber to stop.
Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk brings you atop the river: Philadelphia got its version of New York City’s High Line this fall. Whereas the Schuylkill River Trail takes you right next to the water, now you can run or walk on top of it.
Billy Penn debuts: Yeah yeah, we’re biased and are putting ourselves on the list. Anyway, thanks to everyone who followed us in our first few months. In 2015, we can’t wait to provide even better content and ways to make Philadelphia better for you!