💌 Want this daily digest emailed to you? Sign up for the free Billy Penn newsletter and it’ll land in your inbox every morning.
Riders get trapped in stations after SEPTA ‘hardens’ the system
When public transit riders vanished with the pandemic, people living on Philadelphia streets increasingly used train tunnels as shelter.
- In response, SEPTA locked doors and cordoned off huge sectors of its downtown stations. Though ridership is starting to return, the gates remain shuttered.
But now people are getting trapped in the maze of impediments, Jake Blumgart reports for Billy Penn, or exit fearing for their safety.
McDonald’s Shamrock Shake vs. Wawa mint matcha
Matcha shakes aren’t new to Wawa, but the convenience store chain has recently promoted them as part of a special St. Patrick’s Day menu.
- But how does Wawa’s offering stack up to the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake, the famed classic that originated with a Philly connection?
RECAP: What else happened?
$ = paywalled
- Legislative redistricting is finally done: the Pa. Supreme Court rejected all nine challenges to the new maps, giving them the all clear for use in May’s primary election. [Spotlight PA]
- The deadline to get on the Pa. primary ballot just passed. Among the candidates: 10 Republicans vying for governor, and 56 people trying for 17 U.S. House seats, including two Democratic challengers for Philly Rep. Dwight Evans (one is Alexandra Hunt.) [NBC10/PennLive$/34th Street]
- The PPA spent $3.6 million on a now-empty towing HQ that was plagued with plumbing issues. City officials say they didn’t know the project’s cost, which likely reduced the amount allocated for the school district [Inquirer$]
- Rittenhouse Row’s Walnut Street shopping corridor is on the upswing, with 13 storefronts opening or expanding. Overall, vacancies are down in Center City compared to last year. [@centercitydistrict/Center City District]
- The city’s first ever polo tournament is slated to take over Fairmount park in late September. It’s organized by Work to Ride, which in 2019 fielded the first all-Black team to win at nationals. [WHYY/ NPR].
- Wild Hand yard shop in Mt. Airy hosts classes on how to knit Teddy bears — and two years ago created a Little Free Fiber Library. [Chestnut Hill Local/Billy Penn].
- The Phillies scored a free agent win and boosted their playoff hopes by signing Kyle Schwarber, a slugger whose deal will be worth $79 million. [MLB/@JClarkNBCS]
Mayor Kenney is out of town on a personal trip this week. His administration is hosting its first annual Newcomer Hiring Month, to encourage hiring of immigrants and refugees. A virtual employer orientation session takes place Friday.
ON THE CALENDAR
🌮 Billy Penn event: Join us for news and history trivia about the city you love! Our monthly Philly Quizzo night is back at Jose Pistola’s in Center City. Free RSVP, happy hour specials, win a $50 gift card if you get the top score. Don’t miss the bonus music trivia round. (6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 23)
🎷 Calling all jazz lovers and happy hour enthusiasts: Brass band and Rittenhouse party starter Snacktime is taking over the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus for a free performance ahead of their first album. (4 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 18)
📰 Billy Penn partner event: Deputy editor Beatrice Forman helps moderate “Shift the Narrative: A Media Panel on Community-Centered Gun Violence Reporting,” presented by PCGVR, PABJ, Young Chances Foundation, and Philly Truce. (1 to 2 p.m. Friday, April 1)