Creating "Finally on 13th," a mural about Philly's ballroom scene. (Instagram/@karenbenson.eyeful)

Port Richmond neighbors still recovering from gas explosion

Eight months after a New Year’s Day explosion in Port Richmond displaced dozens of people, it’s still unclear what caused the destruction. Residents have reported break-ins at boarded-up houses, and say the city has provided little coordinated response. 

In the meantime, Jordan Levy reports, a neighborhood group raised $20,000 to help people with repair and recovery.

A vacant lot and boarded up homes remain on Miller Street in Port Richmond, where a New Year’s Day explosion rocked a neighborhood. (Jordan Levy/Billy Penn)

Tomato pie triumphs in Herr’s ‘Flavored by Philly’ contest

Inspired by the signature food at Montco’s Corropolese Bakery, the Tomato Pie potato chip has been crowned Herr’s best “Flavored by Philly” variety of 2023.

The snack beat out the Korean BBQ Wing and John’s Roast Pork flavors, though the competition was apparently “closely contested.” Asha Prihar has more about the prizes, the chips, and snackers’ impressions of them here.

Corropolese Tomato Pie owner Joe Corropolese and Herr’s CEO Ed Herr celebrating the “Flavored by Philly” win. (Courtesy Herr’s)

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled

• Starting with this November’s election, Pa. counties will have to publicly report voting machine malfunctions, per a settlement between the commonwealth and a coalition of election security groups. [Spotlight PA]

• After the state ended extra SNAP payments for 485k Philadelphians earlier this year, food insecurity increased among those families, according to a new Penn study. [Billy Penn/WHYY]

• Philadelphia Orchestra musicians authorized a strike if they don’t reach a deal on a new contract, which expires Sept. 10. They’re negotiating on pay (current starting salary is $152k) and asking for 15 vacant spots to be filled. [AP]

• RIP Bobby Eli, a songwriter and guitar player known for his “Sound of Philadelphia” work. He was 77. [PhillyVoice]

• On the heels of Temple introducing a new athletics logo, St. Joe’s University unveiled its own redesign, revamping its iconic hawk mascot. [Billy Penn/SJU]

• Right before the Phillies turned things around last weekend, and Trea Turner had his historic two-homer inning, Hittin’ Season host John Stolnis tweeted about the Phils’ dismal performance — and promptly got roasted. [Billy Penn]


The Today Show Australia — not related to NBC’s U.S. show, btw — is broadcasting from the Art Museum steps from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m as part of an effort to promote Philadelphia as an international destination. All are invited to attend, alongside Mayor Kenney, Philly sports mascots, and other figures.


🍹 This week! BP Quizzo trivia night lands at the annex. at the Divine Lorraine, in partnership with the North Broad Renaissance. We’ll have happy hour specials and prizes for the winners. A few spots remain, RSVP here. (6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24) 

🚢 A pop-up called the Shipwreck Saloon offers a pirate-filled interactive show off the coast of Spruce Street Harbor Park. Tickets are $45. (Thursday to Sunday, Aug. 24-27)

📚 Book signings, author visits, tote bag giveaways — there’s a lot in store for the first ever Philly Bookstore Crawl, happening at 20+ indie bookshops in and around Philly. (Saturday, Aug. 26)

📖 Billy Penn is proud to headline the inaugural Philly Story Fest, joining journalists from media outlets around Philadelphia to tell the city’s best stories on stage at the Bok. Tickets are $25. (7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5)