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Philadelphia’s rising, but the mayor had some stumbling blocks

There are positive signs for Philadelphia going into 2023 — a budget surplus, a growing downtown — but also continuing pervasive crises.

  • It’s Mayor Jim Kenney’s job to lead the city forward, but it’s been a rough go. And while there may have been speculation before, this is the year the second-term exec made it clear he’s tired of the job.

From a stone-faced first day of school to cursing out a critic, we recapped five of Kenney’s worst moments in 2022. (Mayoral candidates, are you watching?)

Mayor Jim Kenney at a press conference in October 2022 Credit: Tom MacDonald / WHYY

Philly’s oldest Black-owned book shop to get historical marker

After 64 years providing books and culture in West Philadelphia, Hakim’s Bookstore is being commemorated with an official state historical marker

  • A staple on the 52nd Street corridor since the 1950s, the shop is now run by the namesake founder’s daughter, who recounts decades of spreading Afrocentric knowledge and joy.

The shop was a center during the civil rights movement, BP intern Clifton Jackson reports, and even drew the attention of the FBI.

Yvonne Blake, second-generation owner of Hakim’s Bookstore Credit: Raymond W. Holman Jr. for Billy

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled

  • With nearly 50 first-timers, the Pa. House gets one of its largest infusions ever of new members next week, along with six new state senators. [Spotlight PA]
  • A Commonwealth Court panel is considering shutting down the impeachment process of DA Krasner, who sued to halt the Senate trial set to start next month. [AP]
  • A dive into how Philadelphia’s eviction diversion program became a model for cities around the nation. [NextCity]
  • Philly’s warmest year on record was a decade ago in 2012, but this year is likely to match 2021’s metrics and be tied for the third warmest in history. [WHYY’s PlanPhilly]
  • Planning Dry January, or just looking for sips without the spike? Zero-proof drinks are trending, and several Philly bars are upping their menus. [PhillyVoice]
  • Eagles QB Jalen Hurts returned to practice yesterday. It’s unclear if he’ll play Sunday, when a Birds win could give Philly the No. 1 playoff seed — and a good pick in next year’s draft. [NBCS Philly/Sportscasting]


No public appearances today for Philly’s 99th mayor. Yesterday his social media accounts shared…our story on developments you can look forward to hearing about in the year to come.


? Looking to fuel up in advance of NYE partying? A King’s Cafe in Germantown hosts an all-you-can-eat buffet brunch for $40 per person. (11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31)

? If you’re looking for sustenance after NYE — or maybe between the Mummers Parade and the Eagles game — Standard Tap hosts a holiday edition drag brunch, with a menu of champagne cocktails. (12 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 1)

? Beat the January blues with a comedy show in the middle of Philadelphia as City Winery hosts a standup night called “Loft Party.” Advance tix are $10. (7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5)