After Natalie Shaak bought her house in Olde Richmond last winter, she began to notice that the playground next to it was too run-down to be attractive to kids, and was usually strewn with trash and drug paraphernalia. She started trying to clean it up manually, but then thought of something that would change the whole atmosphere: A mural. She reached out to VURT Creative, the team behind the "Fishtown Cats" and "Token Squirrel" murals, and got them on board to create an image of a big raccoon nibbling on a Philly soft pretzel. The idea struck a chord: Her GoFundMe for the project was three-quarters funded within seven days.
For the ninth year running, hundreds of people from around the city stripped to their birthday suits and jumped on their bicycles to participate in the Philly Naked Bike Ride. Some folks rode their own wheels, but a good number were on Indego bikes (PSA: Maybe do a wipe-down if you ride one today). For TimeOut Philadelphia, photographer HughE Dillion captured lots of scenes from the tour through Center City, which is meant to raise awareness for bicycling and positive body image. Some people wore nothing but shimmery body paint, others donned leopard robes and rainbow tutus, but one thing is certain — these pics are definitely NSFW.
The lawsuit to compel the Philly Police and the PPA to enforce parking laws on the South Broad Street median has been tossed out of court, rendering it essentially dead. Meanwhile, North Broad Street — where median parking is enforced — just held a ribbon cutting for seven new parking spots. It was quite the week in auto storage news. Catch up here, including a roundup of the best parking tweets.
Center City District Restaurant Week returns today for another run, with 120 spots participating in the offer of three-course (or more) dinners for $35 per person. This time around, the promotion only runs 10 days, instead of 14 (the last night is Tuesday, Sept. 19), but the intervening Saturday night is included. Also new this edition is a "fashion plate" Instagram contest, intended to "introduce the people who love us for our food scene to the unique fashion and shopping in Philadelphia," per the CCD (which just launched a new retail shopping campaign with the tagline "This Is In"). How it works: Tag #fashionplate and #shopccphilly and you'll be entered to win a $1,000 shopping spree.
On the Calendar
On the anniversary of one of the largest terrorist attacks on US soil, former NSA contractor and whistle blower Edward Snowden will discuss the status of the surveillance state with Jeremy Scahill, investigative journalist, author and co-founder of the online journal The Intercept. (Snowden will appear via closed-circuit TV from an undisclosed location.)
Where: Parkway Central Library at 1901 Vine St. 19103
When: September 11, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
How much: $15
The Chestnut Hill Conservancy is celebrating its 50th anniversary with an exhibition of historical photographs demonstrating the long and varied history of Wissahickon Valley Park. Beer, wine and some light refreshments will be served.
Where: Friends of the Wissahickon at 40 W. Evergreen Ave.
When: September 12, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
How much: Free
Veteran journalist Edward Eisen will share the story of his career on the front lines of history. He'll talk about how a Jewish kid from Brooklyn became the spokesman for two popes (!), discovered the underbelly of the Philadelphia Mafia and more.
Where: Gershman Y at 410 S. Broad St. 19147
When: September 13, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.
How much: $12
The restoration of the lobby at the Divine Lorraine is finally complete, and the building is hosting an open house viewing with live music, cocktails, appetizers and tours. All are welcome.
Where: The Divine Lorraine Hotel Apartment at 699 N. Broad St. 19123
When: September 14, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
How much: Free
Every 3rd Friday in September since 2011, activists, artists, architects and other citizens have transformed metered parking spaces into temporary public parks. The annual event takes over 170 square feet of public space that's usually used for car parking, to raise awareness of parks and other public spaces in cities across the country. Each one is unique and worth checking out.
Where: Philadelphia parking spots
When: September 15, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
How much: Free