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Greyhound bus station weirdness; Painted Bride sale closes; Phanatic makes triumphant return | Sunday roundup

Passover feasts and Easter parades 🥚

Mark Henninger / Imagic Digital

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RECAP: Looking back on the week that was

• Philly councilmembers + bribery charges

After the prosecution wrapped its case against Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, accused of accepting bribes from developers via a consulting contract for his wife, the defense began calling witnesses — including ShopRite owner (and rumored mayoral candidate) Jeff Brown. Testimony is expected to end this week. Just in time for the months-delayed sentencing of former Councilmember Bobby Henon for his bribery conviction (co-conspirator John Dougherty’s sentencing has been put off indefinitely). [KYW/Billy Penn/WHYY’s PlanPhilly/Inquirer$/Billy Penn]

• NJ Transit pulls out of Center City

Traffic flow at the bus terminal squished into 10th and Filbert has always been a bit cramped. But after a nearby empty lot was barricaded off, Greyhound moved around exits and entrances. NJ Transit says that makes it outright unsafe, and pulled five routes from the station, switching their endpoints from Philly to Camden — a huge inconvenience to many customers. [Inquirer$/WHYY/]

• Painted Bride sale finally closes

After a 5-year saga that pitted preservationists against the nonprofit that owned the building and wanted to sell, a deal closed for the Painted Bride Art Center in Old City. Atrium Design Group paid $3.85 million for the 3rd and Vine street property, and will construct apartments above it that maintain the facade by mosaic muralist Isaiah Zagar, source of all the agita. [WHYY’s PlanPhilly/Biz Journal$/Hidden City]

• Phillies (and Phanatic) make a triumphant return

In a rivalry with a long history from when both teams were based here, the Phillies took on the Athletics in their season opener — and won! Hard to tell which excited fans more: the return of the original Phanatic after a drawn-out copyright battle, or the arrival of Manco & Manco’s pizza at the ballpark, which apparently drew massive lines. [Billy Penn/Billy Penn/42Freeway/@AH_Pod]


Spring Garden living up to its name

Mark Henninger / Imagic Digital

VISION: Looking forward to the week ahead

• Council preps City Hall but mask mandate likely

Philadelphia may become the first large U.S. city to reinstate an indoor mask mandate. Health Department policy says that happens when average COVID case counts top 100 or rise 50%, both likely once the latest data is counted. Hospitalizations are lower than two weeks ago, but have started to plateau. City Hall was being prepped for a return to in-person Council meetings, Lizzy McLellan Ravitch reports, but that’s now on hold. [ABC News/Billy Penn/Billy Penn]

• Spotlight on funding health and human services

City budget hearings this week focus on health and human services, with testimony from the Health Department (down 2.6% from last year), DHS (up 13.6%, as it faces a workforce shortage at contracted foster agencies), and Homeless Services (up 1%). Councilmember Domb is calling on the mayor to help the latter deal with Kensington’s opioid crisis by declaring a state of emergency that would trigger federal aid. [PHL Council/Billy Penn/Inquirer$/CBS3]

• Tours restart at Yards Brewing

For the first time in two years, Yards Brewing Co. is restarting tours of its impressive beermaking facilities (tickets are $10). The city’s oldest continuously operating brewery moved there in 2017, upgrading from its longtime Delaware Avenue home to a giant taproom at 5th and Spring Garden. [Yards Brewing/Billy Penn]

• Passover feasts and Easter parades

Passover begins at the end of the week, and if you’ve been too busy to plan (or just have a hankering for chocolate-covered matzah), Denali Sagner runs down last-minute options for dine-in or take-out Seders around Philly. The Jewish commemoration of the Exodus falls on Good Friday this year, and Easter celebrations include the return of South Street’s famous Easter Promenade, with extravagant costumes under the expert direction of Henri David. [Billy Penn/WHYY/Billy Penn]

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