Remember the sun? (Instagram/@kslouf)

Air quality is getting worse before it gets better

The Phillies game was canceled. Incoming flights to PHL were delayed. Philadelphia is experiencing its worst air quality since 2008, thanks to the smoke wafting down from Canada. The dangerous haze threatened the first night of Center City Sips, Ali Mohsen reports — frustrating bar owners who’ve had a rough three years.

And it’s not over yet. AQI readings hit 375+ on Thursday morning (“code maroon“), with the National Weather Service saying smoke might clear a bit midday, but then get more dense. Even more worrying, writes an advocate from the Clean Air Council: the measurement is part of a downward trend.

The Ben Franklin bridge connecting Philadelphia, Pa., to Camden, N.J., in a haze of smoke from Canadian wildfires on June 7, 2023. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Three centuries of change in Millbourne

If you get off the El at the stop between 63rd and 69th Street, you’ll find yourself in Millbourne — a 1,200-resident Delco borough home to a tight-knit, largely Bangladeshi American community and a sparkling new CHOP supply center. Never been? BP freelancer Sunny Morgan has the scoop on Pa.’s most densely populated town.

Perzan Auto Radio, operating on Market Street in Millbourne since the 1940s. (Photo: Sunny Morgan for Billy Penn; Illustration: Mark Henninger/Imagic Digital)

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled

• Spotted lanternflies have been a scourge on Pa. for half a decade, and now the U.S. government is taking action. Sens. Fetterman and Casey signed onto an act to designate the destructive bug as a high-priority research target. [BP 2019/PennLive]

• Newly released architectural renderings of 76 Place provide a glimpse of what fans and passersby might see inside and outside the proposed Center City arena. [WHYY’s PlanPhilly]

• Work is slowly advancing on a $10 billion plan for a new commercial and residential neighborhood around 30th Street Station. [Governing]

• Thanks to a FIFA format change, Philly could end up hosting up to nine World Cup games in 2026, rather than just five or six, making for a longer and more economically impactful event. [Biz Journal$]

• A Pixar-themed mini-golf popup is coming to Penn’s Landing. Players will hit balls through a giant wedge of cheese at the Ratatouille-themed hole, and navigate a creepy Benson dummy in the Toy Story 4 section. [Philly Mag$/Pixar Putt]

• Philly newcomers Andra Hem and Superfolie made Esquire’s 2023 “Best Bars in America” list. [Esquire]


Women-focused reentry nonprofit Ardella’s House honors activist Susan Burton at a luncheon with Mayor Kenney in attendance (12:30 p.m.). The mayor then heads to the Mike Hinson Resource Center, newly named after the late LGBTQ community leader, to announce $1.9 million in grants to overdose prevention and trauma healing groups (2 p.m.). Evening brings Kenney to the Free Library’s Community Impact Awards at the Parkway Central Library (7 p.m.).


🎮 Celebrate gaming, anime, hip-hop, and all things nerd culture at the second annual Blerd Bash Philadelphia in Callowhill, with a cosplay contest, live music, and a dance party. Tix start at $25. (2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, June 10) 

🍫 Make a flag using M&Ms, learn how to sew flags, and get into all things banner at the weeklong Flag Fest at the Betsy Ross House in Old City. (11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 11 through Saturday, June 17)