When the El goes out, Philly slows down. If you’re a commuter, a patient headed toward the doctor or a student on the way to class, SEPTA can absolutely ruin your day. We’ve seen it during strikes, weather delays and equipment problems. But the crises on an overworked, aging infrastructure underscore how valuable the Market-Frankford Line is to Philadelphia. The creaky, overburdened MFL has as important a place among millennials, immigration and swanky restaurants as keys to the city’s early 21st century turnaround. Its cars carry more people than they have in decades. That’s why Billy Penn and the Philadelphia Inquirer decided to team up to write about how important the El has become to the city’s continued growth — and examine why the fruits of that growth have not benefited more stops along the way.
Stonemasons, experts and cemetery employees continue work today to restore the desecrated headstones at Mount Carmel, the Jewish cemetery in Northeast Philly that was vandalized last month. Richard Levy, the cemetery’s administrator, is also hoping the donations he's received can cover more than repairs, and help preserve the long underfunded cemetery. No part of this process is going to be simple. A monument specialist from the National Park Service said the goal is to use the same techniques that the headstones would’ve been mounted with originally. Here’s more on the work that lies ahead.
State Representative Martina White plans to reintroduce a bill in the House this week regarding sanctuary cities like Philadelphia. The bill would withhold all state funds for such cities except funds that, like education, are constitutionally manadated. In other words, it would cost Philly a ton of money. Here's how White's bill could work and why she says the onus is on Mayor Jim Kenney to save the city from a nine-figure punishment.
Penn Law is hosting a public forum with all the candidates for Philadelphia District Attorney, who'll answer questions posed by criminal justice experts and Penn profs regarding their platforms, policies, positions and ideas. Audience Q&A follows the panel, and the night will close with a light reception.
Where: Penn Law Levy Conference Room at 3501 Sansom St. 19104
When: March 27, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
How much: Free
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There's a soon-to-open new building in Philadelphia unlike anything the city has ever seen, so luxurious there was a rumor Jay-Z and Beyonce were interested in the top floor. It's 500 Walnut, and the cheapest — we use the term lightly — it will cost to get a piece is $3 million. That's more than almost every other luxury condo in the city. See pictures of what it's going to look like and why Mayor Jim Kenney believes this playground for 1-percenters will be good for Philly overall.
How do you get your own custom blend of whiskey? Unclear, really, but we do know that Billy Penn culture editor Danya Henninger ended up with one from Dad's Hat Rye. The Bucks County distillers let her help in the bottling process — which takes quite a lot of math, it turns out — and now it's ready to purchase. Here's what makes it taste special and how you can lay your hands on a bottle.