Newsletter for Monday, Sept. 28
INSTAGRAM OF THE DAY
Bye, Pope Francis! Thanks for the visit and the selfies! Photo via @newsva on Instagram.
NICE KNOWIN’ YA POPE, BUT WE HAVE A CITY TO RUN
Pilgrims were still giving the sign of peace at the papal mass Sunday when the city began breaking down the Pope Fence. And as the Pope flew back to Rome, Mayor Michael Nutter declared Philly victorious. “If we want to be on the big stage…we have to get used to a certain level of inconvenience,” he said in a press conference last night. “Success gets you more success.” While we wait for the final attendance numbers, commuters will start their Mondays as they usually do; the Ben Franklin Bridge, Schuylkill and Vine Street Expressway are open, and SEPTA is up and running. Crews are breaking down the Pope’s altar and cleaning up the streets. Enjoy that last day off from school or work, because Philly is starting to look like itself again.
POPE IN PHILLY DAY 2: SAYING MASS AND KISSING BABIES
The second day of Pope Francis’ trip to Philadelphia featured everything from a visit to a jail in Northeast Philly to the papal mass on the Parkway — the veritable signature event of the Pontiff’s trip to the Americas. In between, it had some jokes, a surprise visit to a college and a lot of kissed babies. Here’s a recap of how yesterday went.
BILLY PENN LIKES
AFTER SLOW WEEKEND, A GIFT FROM PHILLY RESTAURANTS
Except for the few that set up special stands outside their doors — vending at a (very sparse) city-wide street fair — Center City restaurant owners across the board reported dismal sales throughout the Francis Festival. The lack of business was further exacerbated by two things. Sales were slow the entire week week leading up to the visit, thanks to businesses, schools and city offices closing, city-dwellers leaving town and suburban diners scared off by early parking and traffic restrictions. On top of that, restaurateurs had been encouraged by the city and World Meeting of Family officials to bulk up on supplies for a boom that never came. But there is a silver lining. At least some of that extra food is going to help homeless Philadelphians.
#MOVETHATTENT: A WIN FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT
The tent was innocent enough. It had been placed on the Parkway Saturday night to cover the Philadelphia Orchestra as it played during the Festival of Families. But it was still there Sunday, blocking the views of the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims waiting for the Pope to say mass. The complaints started on the Parkway and quickly found their way to Twitter. And guess what? The city listened. The tent came down, mass went on and one tweeter even said other world leaders need to be as efficient as the City of Philadelphia.