Newsletter for Tuesday, Dec. 30
INSTAGRAM OF THE DAY
Symmetry at City Hall. Photo via Instagram user @dillonlrhodes.
MUMMERS 101: THE SEQUINS, BLACKFACE AND BINGE DRINKING BEHIND PHILLY’S NEW YEAR’S TRADITION
Did you know the Mummers’ parade is older than America? That it once involved guns? That it took a court order for blackface to stop being used, far later than anyone ought to be comfortable with? In a couple of days you’ll see photos or a broadcast of Philly’s annual Mummers Parade, and hear words like “Fancy Brigade” and “strut.” We went deep on the history and tradition of this signature Philly event, so you can show off what you know for family and friends.
MEET THE MILLENNIAL WHO’S RUNNING FOR CITY COUNCIL
Jenne Ayers is 26; she’s a Harvard grad who’ll finish Yale Law this May. And she’s vying for a seat on Philly’s City Council. Here’s how the daughter of ex-fire commissioner Lloyd Ayers summed up her candidacy to NewsWorks: “We need fresh leadership. We need someone who is going to be in City Council to have new ideas, to bring along the millennials, and I know I’m the perfect candidate to do that.” If she wins, she’d be the youngest Council member ever. (Buuuuut she probably won’t win.)
AP’S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: PHILLY’S OWN MO’NE
She beat out Serena Williams — and nobody outside Philly had heard of her before the Little League World Series this August. But now Mo’Ne Davis, fresh off hanging with everybody from the Obamas to Jimmy Fallon, is the Associated Press’ Female Athlete of 2014. As usual she’s totally whatever about the honor: “A lot of adults around me help out, taught me to be respectful, to be calm during everything and not let anything get to you.” Indeed.
TO DO: PLAN YOUR NEW YEAR’S EVE
WHAT: Figure out where to go when the ball drops!
WHERE: There are literally a ton of choices; it’ll be cold outside, so make them wisely. Just (for the love of Pete) please don’t watch Ryan Seacrest, because ugh.
WHEN: Fireworks at 6 PM over the Delaware if you don’t feel like staying up late; they repeat at midnight.
HOW MUCH: Really, it varies.
BILLY PENN LIKES
ULTIMATE FINAL 4: FRANKLIN, CHEESESTEAKS, MUMMERS, READING TERMINAL
You, the voters, have spoken. The Ultimate Philly Thing bracket has reached the Final Four, and here are your matchups: It’s Ben Franklin vs the cheesesteak, and the Reading Terminal Market vs the Mummers. Despite our own Billy Penn not making it past the Elite 8, we’ve decided to keep voting open all week — so get started on that poll votin’ now, people.
2014 IN TRANSIT: NIGHT OWL SEPTA, THE KEY IS COMING
The Great Uber Horse Bust. SEPTA’s Night Owl turned permanent. Market East became Jefferson Station. It’s been a busy year for getting around in Philly; we looked at the year that was right here.