- Hello! Quick note: We're moving this section to the top of the email. Like it? Hate it? Let us know.
- Mea culpa: The top blurb in yesterday's newsletter, about the Pew State of the City report, was missing a single adjective — but that mistake ended up changing the entire meaning of a sentence. No, Philly's population is not 400,000. It's just over 1.5 million. What does number 400,000, sadly, is poor people in Philly, half of whom live in deep poverty.
- We're excited to start a slate of new freelance columns soon. Stay tuned for two repeating features on Philly's underground arts and theater scene, a running series on what makes Philly special and a regular dispatch on the District Attorney's Office. If you're also excited for these, thank a Billy Penn member! (Thanks, members!!) Their contributions are how we're able to continue our coverage. You can join here.
"I don't think we should put a ceiling on our team." That was JJ Redick, talking up the Sixers postseason chances after the team pulled off a thrilling 132-130 victory over LeBron James and the Cavaliers last night. The win moved Philly to third place in the Eastern Conference, half a game ahead of Cleveland, and was the Sixers 13th straight, the first such streak since 1985. Friday's point total was also the highest of the season, stocked in part by star guard-forward Ben Simmons, who notched his 12th triple-double, contributing 27 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists. He also had 4 steals. Remember when Billy Penn had a story tag called "LOL Sixers"? LOL, indeed. The playoffs are gonna be fun.
The huge construction site around 10th and Market streets is impossible to miss, but it won’t be a mess for much longer. If developers stay on target, the area will reopen for business as Fashion District Philadelphia by the end of 2018. It’s been a few years since the revamp of The Gallery began, and some of the details have changed along the way. As a refresher on where it all started and what’s planned for launch, here’s a comprehensive timeline highlighting the milestones of the $325 million project.
Former Philadelphia Chief Information Officer Charlie Brennan, who was ousted from his position in January after a tumultuous couple of years in the position, is now suing Mayor Kenney and other officials. The suit alleges that as CIO, Brennan was pressured to engage in illegal hiring practices that prioritized race and ethnicity over qualifications. Among other things Brennan alleges he was told, per a Philly Mag report, is that the IT department was “too white" and had "too many Asians." The Mayor's Office said in a statement it would "aggressively defend" its record on these matters.
For several months, the Friends of Catharine Park had been working to get a new mural put up on the wall at their tiny pocket park in Graduate Hospital. They solicited community feedback, reached out to the city and applied to work with Mural Arts. Then, without any warning, someone started to paint on the wall. Turns out it was a young developer/property owner, who believed — and still believes — he was doing the neighborhood a favor by commissioning an artist to refresh the image. Without asking anyone. After heated discussion in a neighborhood Facebook group, a truce has been reached, but it's an uneasy one.
Hundreds of art, jewelry, clothing and other craft vendors will set up at this repeating market that's much more than a flea. Look for food trucks, fresh squeezed lemonade and live music, too.
Where: Chestnut Hill at 25 W. Highland Ave., 19118
When: April 8, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
How much: Pay as you go