Why should doors be boring? (Instagram/@tympanum)

RECAP: Looking back on the week that was

• This year’s first mayoral attack ads

With ballot positions set — and unknown (and possibly not-meeting-residential-requirements) candidate John Wood at the top spot —  the mayoral race is shifting into a new gear.  Allan Domb is airing this year’s first attack ads, going after Jeff Brown, who may be facing an ethics investigation. The two self-funded campaigns are the only ones so far to go big on TV, with Cherelle Parker making a smaller spend. Pundits think Helen Gym and Rebecca Rhynhart are likely to join the airwaves soon. [BP/Inquirer$/@jongeeting/PhillyVoice/Broad + Liberty]

• SEPTA halts controversial KOP Rail project

In a dramatic about-face announced late Friday afternoon, SEPTA is pulling the plug on the plan to build a rail line to King of Prussia. Federal officials passed it over for a New Start grant, expressing doubt the agency could afford the $3 billion-plus extension, which was expected to serve 10k riders daily. Transit advocates have fought against the spur, arguing the money would be much better spent on projects like the Roosevelt Boulevard Subway, which could see 100k daily riders. [Billy Penn/BP 2022 x 2]

•  Affordable internet awareness campaign

In advance of this summer’s expiration of PHL ConnectED, which helped thousands pay for broadband service during the pandemic, the city launched a campaign to let residents know there’s another option for financial assistance. Called the Affordable Connectivity Program, the federally funded initiative offers eligible households a $30 monthly discount on bills and $100 towards the purchase of a laptop. [Phila Gov/BP 2021/Phila Gov/US Gov/Comcast/]

• O’Grimacey myth goes viral (whoops)

Alongside our ode to Irish potato candy, St. Paddy’s Day saw Billy Penn publish a debunking of the Uncle O’Grimacey myth. The story goes that McDonald’s discontinued the mascot after a Philly actor’s pro-Irish Republican Army sentiments — but Jordan Levy found it’s likely spurious. Despite that, cropped screenshots that made it seem like the story was true were shared many thousand times. [Billy Penn x 2/@Twinkie_Defense]

Art Museum with Philadelphia skyline (Mark Henninger/Imagic Digital)

VISION: Looking forward to the week ahead

• Boathouse Row lights going dark 

Evenings along the Schuylkill won’t have the same visual magic this summer. Starting Monday, the iconic lights that outline Boathouse Row will go dark for an expected 8-month renovation. Using funds from the city and the Joanna McNeil Trust, the $2.1 million upgrade will replace 6,400 individual LEDs and install a new system that’ll allow for colorful animation along the row. [AP/Fairmount Park Conservancy]

• Turning a junkyard into apartments

This week brings the groundbreaking for a planned 535-unit residential complex at Tulip and Somerset on the edge of Kensington and Port Richmond. The former scrapyard is being developed by the Riverwards Group, which specializes in mixed-income housing. Dubbed Somerset Station, the project is one of Pa.’s first to take advantage of carbon-reduction funding program C-PACE. [Rising Real Estate/YIMBY/RWG/Phila C-PACE] 

• Free grocery store in West Philly

The mutual aid food org West Philly Bunny Hop is piloting a new model: a grocery store where everything is free. A similar supermarket called Greater Goods was launched last year in Kensington by the Sunday Love Project, which also briefly operated a free grocery in Rittenhouse. The Bunny Hop outpost will be open at 53rd and Rodman from noon to 6 p.m. this Tuesday through Friday. [Bunny Hop/Sunday Love/BP 2017]