Zagar mural on the Painted Bride, slated for demolition (Instagram/@stellaweiss.1)

Environmental leader: Turn vacant lots into new park system

Philadelphia is home to approximately 40k vacant lots, many of which sit unused, collecting trash or growing over with weeds. Jerome Shabazz of the Overbrook Environmental Education Center is working with the Temple, Drexel, the Audubon Society, and city officials on a plan to turn the plots into what he calls a “disconnected park system.”

The idea is “radically new,” one sustainability expert told freelancer Ben Seal, who spoke with Shabazz to learn more about his grand vision.  

Overbrook Environmental Education Center cofounder Jerome Shabazz at a 2022 Earth Day unveiling of a new Mural Arts mural at the West Philly center. (Overbrook Environmental Education Center/Facebook)

Breakfast at Sulimay’s: An ode to the Fishtown diner

On the corner of Berks and Girard, Sulimay’s is a relic of a time gone by. It’s a place for hangover-cure brunch and family breakfast, with servers who ask for your name and know regulars’ orders by heart. You can connect with old friends or meet someone new, enjoy easy conversation or just read a book.

It’s a place for perfect eggs, big stacks of pancakes, and commiserating about Philadelphia in hopes of making it better, writes neighborhood resident Katie Faris in her ode to the Fishtown diner.

Sulimay’s Restaurant at 632 E. Girard St. (Katie Faris/Billy Penn illustration)

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled

• City officials created a gun violence prevention resource guide with 25 pages of housing, education, employment, health, and victim’s services. Unclear how useful it will be for residents in need, since it’s in not-very-accessible PDF form. [WHYY/Phila Gov]

• Until further notice, SEPTA buses are now skipping 6th and Market because of the congestion caused by Greyhound moving its main Philadelphia stop there earlier this summer. [KYW/Billy Penn]

• A new citywide loan program is expected to help hundreds of small landlords in Philadelphia make repairs to their properties while keeping the units affordable to tenants. [WHYY’s PlanPhilly]

• A student-run program at Central High School in North Philly is helping combat hunger not only among students, but also in the surrounding community. [Billy Penn]

• The Phillies launched new facial-recognition technology for entry at Citizens Bank Park. Should fans be wary? Experts say it’s too soon to tell. [Billy Penn]

• The trailer is out for “Kelce,” a feature-length Prime documentary about the Eagles center’s 2022-23 season, created by a local filmmaker couple. [YouTube/Citizen] 


Mayor Kenney joins school district officials and the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park to celebrate next week’s start of the 2023-24 academic year (10 a.m.). He then heads to Dilworth Park to announce municipal employees can get free SEPTA Keys as part of the city’s participation in the transit agency’s Advantage program (1:30 p.m.).


🎙 City Cast Philly celebrates a year of podcasting with a live taping at Indy Hall in Northern Liberties. (6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday. Aug. 30)

🍔 After teasing piles of patties on Insta, Pizza Gutt’s Whatever Forever Burger is doing a Labor Day weekend pop-up at the Philadelphia Sculpture Garden in Kensington. (1 to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1)

💸 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)