30th Street sunrise (Instagram/@jimfriedlich)

College graduates are on the rise in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is leading nationally in college graduate retention growth rates, according to a new report that shows the city’s “brain drain” dilemma is now firmly in the past. Since the turn of the millennium, the number of college-educated 25-to-34-year-olds in Philadelphia has jumped 155%, far outpacing the city’s overall 4% population growth. 

Philly’s growth rate is more than double that of Boston, Chicago, and New York, BP intern Julia Merola reports, with rising strength in STEM careers.

Temple University in North Philadelphia (Mark Henninger/Imagic Digital)

Inside Jim’s West, Philly’s busiest new cheesesteak shop

A self-taught film producer who grew up in West Philadelphia, Cortez Johnson always dreamt of revitalizing a neighborhood corner. That’s what he’s done with the opening of Jim’s West, where the new incarnation of the shop is garnering daily lines out the door after being closed for years.

Customers rave about the lard-fried cheesesteaks and banana pudding, Ali Mohsen reports, and only occasionally raise an eyebrow at the armed guard standing outside.

Jim’s West has reopened at 62nd and Noble streets to the delight of neighborhood customers who long patronized the original. Owner Cortez Johnson grew up in the area, and returned to revitalize a corner and give back to his community. (Ali Mohsen/Billy Penn)

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled

• State law currently prevents legislators from becoming lobbyists for a year after leaving public roles, but a bipartisan bill would extend that window to two years. [Spotlight PA]

• The Philadelphia Citizens Police Oversight Commission enlisted a recruitment firm to find an executive director. A previous hiring decision was reversed in the wake of the May resignation of three commissioners on the police watchdog board. [Axios/Billy Penn]

• The Fashion District owners have a hefty loan to pay off soon, possibly forcing the mall into bankruptcy. If that happens, the Sixers’ arena plans could be greatly complicated — or even fall apart. [Inquirer$]

• Meanwhile, Ross Dress for Less is moving into the vacant, 26,000-sq.-ft. former Marshall’s on 10th and Market, directly across from where the arena would be built. [BizJournal$]

• Constance Clayton, the first Black person and first woman to serve as superintendent for Philly schools, died this week at 89. [Chalkbeat]

• Phillies announcer John Kruk — as all good announcers do — totally freaked out over a pivotal play that required a high stakes, gutsy throw by Nick Castellanos. [Billy Penn]

• Fanfic dreams come true: Yesterday Phillies player were wearing pink “Schwarbie” t-shirts created by the team behind the City Pigeons podcast. [@jimmygorecki/@RobTornoe]

• In advance of Korshak Bagels closing on Monday, lines out the door are even longer than usual. [Billy Penn/Terry Maher]

MAYOR WATCH: Sep. 22, 2023

Mayor Kenney is in D.C. today to attend President Biden’s announcement establishing the first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention


❓Halloween comes early to the Red Rum Theater in this murder mystery featuring the beloved Golden Girls. Tickets start at $37. (8:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22 and weekends through Sunday Nov. 12) 

🍻 Fishtown kicks off fall with a FeastivALE along Frankford Ave., featuring live music, brisket, Bavarian pretzels, cocktails, beer, and 50+ local vendors.(12 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23) 

🎞️ Watch a lineup of short films exploring the theme of skin in the South West Asian North African (SWANA) region and its diaspora at the Batikh Batikh Film Program in Callowhill. Donations requested. (6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23) 

🏝️ Celebrate Latino culture at Concilio’s Puerto Rican Day Parade on the Ben Franklin Parkway. Free. (12 to 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24) 

📘 Billy Penn is participating in 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)

Catch up on the previous week

Receive Billy Penn’s free daily roundup in your inbox every morning