Newsletter for Tuesday, July 28
INSTAGRAM OF THE DAY
Spotted: Touchdown Pope Francis in an Eagles jersey, on a t-shirt, via @antdelvec on Instagram.
THE POPE MAP MAYOR NUTTER DOESN’T WANT YOU TO SEE
“Pretend it’s a blizzard,” a source told Billy Penn about Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to the city. “Nothing functions normally during a blizzard.” That’s because as far as the city is concerned, no-vehicle boundaries will likely fall as such: Girard to Ridge to Spring Garden to the north, South Street to the south, the Delaware River to the east and 38th Street to the west. Basically, “no vehicles in greater center city/ucity,” the source said. “That’s why we’ve been calling it the traffic box. No traffic.” Here’s what we know now, though that’s likely to change this week. A few hours after we drew this map to illustrate officials’ current plans, Mayor Nutter called a press conference. In the span of an hour, he blasted “little people” for providing information before officials were ready to release it — but offered no specifics where the map we posted was incorrect, other than saying it wasn’t official. Also, he admitted people are freaked out about the extra million-and-a-half people planning to see the incredibly popular spiritual leader of a world religion. That includes a couple of pregnant women who are due during the visit, and were worried enough by the vacuum of information to call his office. Then, basically, he told everyone to calm down, as all the information everyone wants will eventually be released. Someday.
ICYMI, THERE WAS A CAR CHASE THROUGH SOUTH JERSEY AND PHILLY LAST NIGHT
Channel 6 has details this morning about why a South Jersey man led police on a car chase that started in Camden and led in and out of Philly over two hours last night. Police say Robert Ritter of Blackwood, NJ had a warrant for his arrest in connection with an armed robbery by shotgun in Gloucester Township. So when police tried to pull him over in Oaklyn, Ritter allegedly took off over the Walt Whitman Bridge into Philly… and then back over the bridge to Jersey, the start of a looong chase that also included another trip into Philly and a drive by Independence Hall. The chase ended in South Philly when police rammed the van and flipped it over.
BILLY PENN LIKES
INSIDE THE PHILADELPHIA RACQUET CLUB
The Racquet Club of Philadelphia near 16th and Walnut has been around for more than 125 years, and it’s home to squash, racquets and court tennis playing areas as well as a locker room, pool and fitness center. But this place is also home to some of the most exclusive social events in the city — think Caddyshack, y’all — and is complete with bars, high-end food and hotel rooms. With about 800 members, the Racquet Club is looking to grow, but the requirements are stringent. Here’s what it takes, and what’s behind its exclusive doors.
MEET THE SCHUYLKILL’S NIGHTTIME FISHERMEN
From just before dusk until dawn almost every weekend night of the summer, several of them line the Schuylkill River Trail. Dozens stand against the embankment just northwest of the East Falls Bridge, each tending to around three rods at what they call “The Wall.” They fish throughout the year, but mainly at night, during the summer. By evening, the weather has cooled and the catfish are biting — and they’ve caught some big ones. Want proof? They have their own YouTube channel.