Is Philly ready to accept building a new sports stadium in the middle of Rittenhouse Square? If not, perhaps people should reconsider their willingness to plop one down on North Broad near Temple's main campus. That was the underlying message from Philadelphia NAACP President Rodney Muhammed, who called a press conference in the square this weekend to discuss the university's plan to erect a new stadium. There has been intense, organized pushback against Temple's proposal to take over a multi-block area with a 35,000-seat arena. "[I]t would further disrupt the community from Temple's expansionist policies that have already taken place," Muhammed told 6ABC.
This year, the annual "running of the greenholes" that is the Erin Express fell on St. Patrick's Day itself. That may have made for even more raucous shenanigans, but when it's your first time, there's nothing to judge against. It's Billy Penn reporter Michaela Winberg's first St. Paddy's of legal drinking age, so we sent her on the bar crawl to explore its nature. Here's what the Erin Express is like through the eyes of a 21 year old. (Spoiler: Lots of port-a-potties.)
It's the oldest bridge still used in the United States, so it deserves a little downtime. Holmesburg's 321-year-old Pennypack Creek Bridge is getting a big makeover this spring, per an announcement from Gov. Tom Wolf about a project that includes seven bridges across the region. Starting a week from today, PennDOT will begin work on the stone arch structure, also known as the Frankford Avenue Bridge. Workers will rebuild one wall, excavate and backfill the arch with lightweight concrete, repoint masonry, reconstruct sidewalks and generally make lots of improvements. Construction is expected to last through August, per the Northeast Times, so if you drive through that area regularly, be ready for some detours.
Tomorrow is supposed to be a joyous day. It's the first day of spring — Zitner's are back! — which means all outposts of Rita's are giving away free cups, just like they've done for the past 23 years. Except this year, the region is slated to get slammed with the fourth nor'easter of the month. The forecast calls for anywhere from 1 to 5 inches falling Tuesday into Wednesday, mixed with rain and wind. Welp, that sweet free ice will make it dealable. We've put in a request with Rita's to make sure the giveaway will still happen, stay tuned. And did you know the company serves 10 flavors that have been around more than a quarter-century?
- We're excited for the first installment in our series on Afrofuturism in Philadelphia. Freelancer Alex Smith, who is also a musician and artist, will ease into things with a list of great Black Panther-adjacent works. He'll then delve into the movement's roots in Philly, its role in community building, and the potential it holds for African Americans and the African diaspora in the region.
- If you really want to come to our free members-only Philly Wine Week preview tasting tomorrow night, but didn't get a ticket, send us an email. We might have a spot. (If you're not yet a member, join up here — you'll get access to other cool events, plus help us keep our lights on.)
- Wednesday night, we'll be participating in a flash talk happy hour called "Misinformation and the media" at MilkBoy. Danya will join Dan Schultz of Truth Googles and Kristina DeVoe of Temple to discuss how (and why) we act as PolitiFact Pennsylvania.
Corresponding with National Meatout Day, PMN vegan columnist Vance Lehmkuhl has organized Vegan Cheesesteak Day in Philly. Around a dozen spots that sell cheesesteak alternatives — HipCityVeg, the POPE, Tmoms, etc. — are offering daylong discounts, like $1 or $2 off each sandwich you buy. If you've never tried a meatless cheesesteak, never been a better time.
Where: Restaurants at various locations around Philly
When: March 20, 2018 from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
How much: Pay as you go