Chris' Jazz Cafe mural in Center City (Instagram/@bookczuk)

New BigBellys for North Philly? Biz owners are skeptical

North Philadelphia just got 65 solar-powered BigBelly trash cans. They’re a new model, with better sensors, software, and radio transmitters — plus foot pedals so you can open them without dirtying your hands. The upgrades are being rolled out across all 1,000-plus BigBellys in the city, but some are skeptical that’ll fix the chronic problems. 

After the trash cans were installed, that’s when people started piling up trash,” one business owner told Meir Rinde. 

Newly upgraded Big Belly solar trash compactor bins on North 5th Street in Olney — with trash dumped next to them. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

New coffee shop American Grammar opens in Kensington

What does it mean to be American? It’s the question at the heart of a tranquil Kensington cafe recently launched by educators and married couple Terrance and Terri Wiley. Called American Grammar, the space holds over 500 books, mostly by American authors, plus furniture designed by the duo and made by local makers. 

Ali Mohsen has the scoop on the Wileys’ background and motivation, and what to expect at the cafe, including a series of art and reading events. 

Terri Wiley, who runs the cafe with spouse Terrance Wiley, behind the counter at American Grammar in Kensington. (Ali Mohsen/Billy Penn)

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled

• After hitting a snag in 2021, Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia completed six new rowhomes in North Philly. A dedication ceremony will be held Saturday. [WHYY’s PlanPhilly]

• St. Joe’s is proposing a six-story dormitory on City Avenue as part of the university’s plan to move undergrad housing out of West Philly’s residential neighborhoods. The Civic Design Review committee evaluates the project on Sep. 5. [Biz Journal$/PhillyVoice]

• If you smelled smoke in the city yesterday, it was from the massive wildfire burning in South Jersey’s Wharton State Forest. Dubbed the “Dragway Fire,” it’s now 100% contained, but the cause is still undetermined. [CBS3/6ABC]

• Six weeks after they were first installed, the Philly Phlush public restrooms seem to be working quite well, and are generally still clean and stocked, per an Inky columnist who tried them out. [BP/Inquirer$/@FarFarrAway]

• The inaugural East Passyunk Music Festival is coming in September with more than two dozen bands, musicians, DJs, and live performers. [South Philly Review]

• Allen Iverson will be in Philly over Labor Day weekend, stopping by Port Richmond’s Rise Dispensary to promote a new marijuana strain named in his honor. [NBC10]


Mayor Kenney speaks at the graduation ceremony for Police Academy Class 399, held at Temple University (10 a.m.).


🐶 This National Dog Day, get a paw-trait of your precious pup while fundraising for PAWS at Dock Street Brewery. (2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26) 

🧑🏾‍🤝‍🧑🏾 Celebrate and remember during the 60th anniversary tribute reenactment of the March on Washington in North Philly. (3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27) 

💸 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)