? Want this daily digest emailed to you? Sign up for the free Billy Penn newsletter and it’ll land in your inbox every morning.

New Rittenhouse benches: hostile or accessible architecture?

After a two-year fundraising campaign, Rittenhouse Square has 160 new benches. They’re longer — and have a controversial central armrest built in.

  • Helping people with mobility issues is the center bar’s purpose, per the park’s friends group. But when the centerpiece was intro’d back in 2008, the group said it was “to discourage the use of the bench as a bed.”

People involved with the homeless population are not fans of the new furniture, Angie Bacha reports. Meanwhile, a donation to Project HOME is in the works.

Phillies add more fun: ‘Thor’ plays baseball here now

Noah Syndergaard, the pitcher acquired by the Phillies just hours before the MLB trade deadline, is quite a character.

  • Nicknamed ‘Thor’ after his long hair (and his proclivity for the Norse god costume), the native Texan is known as much for his jokes as his stinging pitches, which softened a bit after a recent injury.

In advance of Syndergaard’s debut tonight at Citizens Bank Park, Jordan Levy runs down some fun facts about him, like that time he stole the Phanatic’s ATV.

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled


Mayor Kenney joins Parks & Rec officials and reps from the local YMCA to announce this year’s Camp Philly, a scholarship that sends city kids to a week’s sleepaway camp in the Poconos (10:30 a.m.). Later he meets other scholarship recipients at a reunion of new and returning Catto Scholarship CCP students (1:30 p.m.).


? BP Quizzo lands in South Philly at the Sports & Social bar, where we’ll swoop into the Live! Casino with fun trivia about all things Philadelphia. Prizes include gift cards and beach chairs, all free with RSVP. (6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17)

? Kick it old school at the Betsy Ross House for a free First Friday screening of “It Conquered the World,” a campy 1968 alien thriller. (8:45 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5)

? Add a new brunch spot to your rotation as Old City’s Amina debuts its weekend daytime offerings. Chef/partner Darryl Harmon’s menu features Southern cuisine that incorporates African ingredients. (10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 6-7)