Newsletter for Wednesday, Feb. 4
FITLER SQUARE: THE NEIGHBORHOOD WHERE ‘THE SIXTH SENSE’ WAS BORN
For the next installment of Billy Penn’s neighborhood project, we look at a tony section of Philadelphia — Fitler Square. Between its residential restoration and its revitalized park, the Square is much more than Rittenhouse’s western little brother. The neighborhood has seen growth in the last several years, and residents are proud of its rich history of fighting urban blight in the name of becoming a housing destination. Also: It’s got a little bit of Hollywood in its recent past.
POT IN PHILLY: HOW’S DECRIMINALIZATION GOING?
Since Philadelphia officially decriminalized the possession of a small amount of marijuana in October, pot-related arrests have plummeted and the city anticipates to save millions of dollars in policing and court costs. But that doesn’t mean public officials are telling you to get super baked all the time. Soon-to-be-announced mayoral candidate Jim Kenney joined representatives from Philadelphia and Temple police (and the University) on-campus Tuesday for an open forum. Here’s what we learned. Oh, and which of the six chandidates for Philly mayor have smoked pot? Inquiring minds want to know! So The Inquirer, uh, inquired — the answer’s here. (Spoiler alert: NOT Lynne Abraham.)
THE 2015 MAYOR’S RACE IN 5 CHARTS
Mayoral candidates — as well as candidates for other city races — had to file their first campaign finance reports Monday, showing how much money they have in their coffers as of December 31, 2014. In five charts, Billy Penn explains how money is so far affecting this year’s race.
TO DO: SIBLING MUSIC IN PHILLY
WHAT: The Berhardt Family Band
WHERE: The Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad Street
WHEN: Doors, 8 PM; show 8:30 PM
HOW MUCH: $10
BILLY PENN LIKES
WHATEVER HAPPENED WITH TEMPLE BUYING WM PENN HIGH?
For five years, William Penn High School has been something of an eyesore on North Broad Street. No one’s fixed it up and inside it’s pretty bleak — but there are still signs, bulletin boards and photos there that show what it once was. Temple University swooped in last summer to purchase the 14-acre property at the intersection of Broad and Master to much protest by community members in the surrounding area. And since the sale closed on Sept. 5 for just $15 million (well below the $25M Drexel spent buying a district school), Temple has yet to start construction or demolition on the property. So what’s going on? Billy Penn looked into it.
JOSE GARCES HAS A SECRET PHILLY RESTAURANT
Can an Iron Chef open a secret restaurant? Philly.com’s Michael Klein has the scoop: Jose Garces is working on a Distrito-ish establishment called Buena Onda (Argentinian slang for “cool vibe”). Garces’ company registered the URL; Klein hears tacos will be a specialty, and there’ll be a bar. The full story is here.