Newsletter for Friday, March 4
INSTAGRAM OF THE DAY
Greetings, from Fairmount’s version of Lady Liberty; photo via @robblim on Instagram.
BIG GULP? COUNCIL DIGESTS KENNEY’S SODA TAX PLAN
In Mayor Jim Kenney’s first budget address Thursday, he said and did what he could to make sure his big proposal — putting a 3-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks — doesn’t fizzle out. The mayor has ambitious goals, specifically to improve education here in Philly, but he says none of them will be realized if City Council doesn’t pass his soda tax plan. And while most members of council said they’re open to considering the plan, some concerns were raised. A coalition clearly backed by the food and beverage industry has already popped up, while other members of council have expressed concern that the tax will be paid for by the city’s poorest residents.
FACT CHECK: WILL UNIVERSAL PRE-K HELP PHILLY’S ECONOMY THAT MUCH?
Universal pre-K is one of Mayor Jim Kenney’s top priorities the next four years. He hopes to expand kindergarten to 10,000 more children by 2020, calling it the most important investment Philadelphia can make to change schools’ academic outcomes. To help convince business leaders they can benefit from pre-K as well, he made this claim during a speech given to the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce: “An economic impact study found that for every $1 invested in pre-K in Pennsylvania, a total of $1.79 is generated in total spending within the state.” So is that true? Sort of. We looked into it.
WXPN's Robert Drake will host an evening devoted to David Bowie, with artists playing their renditions of some of his most iconic tracks and Philly music professionals telling Bowie tales.
Where: The Hard Rock Cafe at 1131 Market Street
When: March 4, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
How much: $12
BILLY PENN LIKES
INSIDE THE ATHENAEUM, IN THE SHADOW OF INDEPENDENCE HALL
The Athenaeum — pronounced Athen-ay-um and named after the Greek goddess Athena, who represented wisdom — on South 6th Street is one of less than 20 remaining membership libraries in the country. As public libraries sprouted up, these members-only paid affairs became largely obsolete. But this one holds a special collection of literature related to arts and architecture, and includes a secret basement room with some of the most important blueprints in the nation. Here’s what you can find behind its doors.
SHOO FRY: THE ‘CLASSY FRY BAR’ COMING SOON TO RITTENHOUSE
Poutine is hot, and it’s not just because a record number of Americans are considering a move to Canada. Earlier this year, Smoke’s Poutinerie announced plans to open eight East Coast locations, at least one in Center City. And soon — likely before that Toronto-based chain gets here — Philly will get a homegrown option for loaded fries. Shoo Fry, which began life as a pop-up in the King of Prussia Mall, will go into 132 South 17th St. Just south of Sansom Street, the below-ground space was home to Underdogs. Here’s what you can expect when it opens.