Friday afternoon, word spread that a Monday hearing had been scheduled for Meek Mill, the Philly-based rapper whose imprisonment for probation violation has become a cause celebré among criminal justice advocates and high-profile African Americans. Thing is, that Monday hearing was a mistake. "It was an administrative error," a Philadelphia Court spokesperson told Billy Penn, "and it’s been corrected in the system."
So yes, Meek Mill is getting all the attention, but as a Pennsylvanian sent to prison during a probation stint, he’s not alone. About one-third of Pennsylvania’s 50,000 state prisoners are people like Meek Mill, and Philadelphia’s probation recidivism rate is arguably worse than anywhere else in the state. From judges too quick to send offenders back to prison to lengthy probation sentences to overworked probation officers, here's why it's a real mess.
According to multiple reports, the scammer who tries to trick people into refunding her cash for a non-existent lunch or dinner order — the same woman Billy Penn wrote about on Oct. 30 — is still out there trying to cop cash for meals she didn’t have. The problem, according to a Philadelphia Police representative, is that she hasn't done anything that breaks the law. But there are still steps restaurant owners can take to protect themselves.
Feeling nostalgic for the old LOVE Park? Good news: When the Christmas Village opens on the site of the park's almost-finished reincarnation this Thursday, you'll be able to buy a keepsake from the old one. Philly Parks & Rec teamed up with SkatePhilly to salvage 15,000 lbs. of granite from the old central basin, Curbed Philly reports, and had small chunks engraved with an image of Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture. (Only the front face, so there wasn't any debate over whether to use blue or purple.) The souvenirs will run $50 each.
On the Calendar
It's opening day for "Bearing Witness: Four Days in West Kingston," an art exhibit explores the aftermath of the violence that rocked a community in Kingston after a May 2010 standoff between Jamaican security forces and a local gang leader wanted for extradition by the U.S. government. The affair resulted in the death of at least 75 civilians. The exhibit is art installation, part memorial and part call to action, and includes video, photos, written bios and audio accounts. It's on view through July.
Where: Penn Museum at 3260 South St. 19104
When: November 18, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
How much: $15 museum admission (kids $10)
The Northeast Philly Food Truck Festival is bringing 16-plus mobile vendors out for a day of fun and games. In addition to the trucks, there'll be a bouncy house and prizes for kids, a pumpkin chucking contest and prizes for adults, plus a DJ spinning tunes. In food land, look for faves like The Cow and the Curd, The Tot Cart and Waffles & Wedges.
Where: Roosevelt Mall parking lot at 2329 Cottman Ave. 19149
When: November 18, 2017 from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
How much: Pay as you go
If you're looking to stock up on fish for the week, take note: the best time to do it is Saturday night. Each week, it turns out, the South Philly retail outlet of Samuels Seafood offers a slew of unbeatable deals. Shrimp are $2 off, other shellfish is $1 off, oysters are $1 each and you can get lobsters and shrimp steamed for free (usually $2/lb.). There's also rotating deals on fish filets, two-for-one deals on prepared items, as well as $1/lb. off on produce from Green Meadow Farm. Why? The shop is closed Sundays, and would rather take the hit than sell something less fresh.
Where: Ippolito's Seafood at 1300 Dickinson St. 19147
When: November 18, 2017 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
How much: Pay as you go
If you're into swish styling on Sunday mornings, check out the recently renovated restaurant in the lobby of Le Meridien hotel, which is launching brunch this weekend. Local musicians will play live jazz throughout the afternoon, to accompany a menu that has drinks like blood orange screwdrivers (move over, weak mimosa) and mezcal-sparked Bloody Marys. The kitchen is supposedly French-inflected, but there's plenty of classics available to eat, from buttermilk pancakes to steak and eggs.
Where: Amuse at 1421 Arch St. 19102
When: November 19, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
How much: Pay as you go
This cafe at the Allen's Lane Regional Rail stop is showing an exhibition by local artist Dani Finger. Titled "Passing the Torch: From Obama to Trump," the series is an exploration of the rhetoric that has divided our country and humanity at large, and its origins and consequences. Works will be displayed through the end of the year, but on Sunday, Finger will host a reception and answer questions about her art.
Where: HighPoint Cafe at 7210 Cresheim Rd. 19119
When: November 19, 2017 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
How much: Free