The ESPN announcers couldn't say it enough times: last night's Sixers-Heat game was 48 minutes of simply great basketball. It's easier for Philly fans to appreciate the accolades, because after trading the lead dozens of times throughout the first three quarters, the Sixers pulled away for a decisive 128-108 win. The late surge was led by Embiid, who scored 24 points in his playoff debut while wearing a face mask to protect his recovering orbital fracture. About that mask: it got pretty banged up during play — including one time when Miami's Justise Winslow purposely stepped on it and tried to break it. Embiid's post-game reply: "Little did they know I have about 50 of them." Sixers lead the Round 1 series 2-1. Next game is Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
The city announced Wednesday morning it will close the House of Correction, a Northeast Philly prison nearly 100 years old and notorious for its terrible conditions. Officials cited the prison's age and decaying facade as reason for the closure, as well as a citywide decreasing prison population. But it might not be permanent — Philly plans to maintain the facility, in case the prison population swells again. Which is one reason anti-incarceration advocates say just shutting down the building isn't enough: If the prison is really in such horrible state, it should be demolished.
The two men arrested at Starbucks earlier this month, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, told their story on Good Morning America Thursday. At noon, Philly Police Commissioner Richard Ross offered a public apology to the men, saying his initial Facebook video response — in which he said officers had "done nothing wrong" — had probably exacerbated the situation. He maintains his cops did act "within the scope of the law," but also announced a new policy to guide police actions in circumstances like this. Ross also said he was unaware people often hang out in Starbucks for hours without buying anything, which...ok. Meanwhile, if you're in the market for a barista job, the 18th and Spruce location is hiring.
Over at his fantastic public art chronicle Streets Dept., blogger Conrad Benner has a works-in-progress preview of "Tiny Room for Elephants." The combination gallery show-slash-party is in its third year, and will take over the gymnasium at the Bok building in South Philly with a swirl of giant graffiti writing, various illustrations, photography installations and live DJs mixing music for a weekend of artistic fun. Things kick off with 21+ events Friday and Saturday, and a free all-ages finale on Sunday.
- To help spread the word about the BROKE in Philly collaborative reporting project launched yesterday, Billy Penn joined NBC10/Telemundo62 and Philatinos Radio for a bilingual FB Live chat. Mónica repped well — check out the Spanish-English conversation here, and stay tuned for lots more coverage in the year ahead.
- Our Healthy Honey cooking demo with the chefs from Paradiso Restaurant at Independence LIVE was a total success, with great food and some bonus tips. (Did you know basil is a natural mosquito repellent? Huh.) Check out a Facebook photo gallery here.
- We're hosting another event next week, and it's a good one. On Thursday, April 26, you're invited to join us at Convene's CityView location (17th and Ranstead) to celebrate the impressive young Philadelphians honored in our Who's Next: Public Service feature. Tickets are $20 for a night of great food, drink and conversation.
- If you're a Billy Penn member (aka have made a contribution in the name of local journalism here — thank you!), shoot us an email and we'll send you a discount code for the happy hour party above.
Back when beer gardens were a relative rarity in Philadelphia, this Kensington corner tavern opened one in its back yard. Ten years later, the light-strung picnic tables are just as inviting. New this year: the food truck is gone, so there's more room to hang out and the full menu is available. At this birthday celebration, look for a special lineup of sours and other party favors.
Where: Memphis Taproom at 2331 E. Cumberland St., 19125
When: April 21, 2018 from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
How much: Pay as you go