Friday, June 30, 2006

City Council: We passed the ban yall — we’re going on vacay

As you prepare for a nice long holiday weekend, take a look at how City Council is doing on their long, um, holiday.

After all, they may be on “summer break” but that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped giving us fodder.

In the Inquirer earlier this week, there was a nice piece on the various vacation plans of our tireless City Council members.
Midway through a 10-day Italian holiday Sunday, City Councilman Jim Kenney had likely seen the Vatican and Trevi Fountain - both a short walk from his hotel near the Spanish Steps in Rome.

Councilman Frank DiCicco was probably on his way to or from his house at the Jersey Shore - "a fixer-upper" in Ventnor. Arecibo, Puerto Rico, is the port of call for Councilman Juan F. Ramos.

More than a week into Council's summer recess, most of Philadelphia's top elected officials were still talking about pet projects and hawking a roster of summer events. But many also were looking forward to recuperating from tight schedules punctuated by a somewhat contentious budget battle with Mayor Street.

"I was like a kid waiting to get out of school," Councilwoman Marian Tasco said. "It was brutal. I'm glad to take a break."
Wait a minute there Marian. I’m pretty sure we heard on KYW News Radio not that long ago that you guys only work 26 days a year. How “brutal” can 26 days possibly be?
Perzel also says Philadelphia City Council members make considerably more than state legislators -- even though, he claims, council members work only "26 days."
Oh wait. We didn’t realize it was Johnny “Hot Air” Perzel talking. Our bad.

Back to Marian.
"It's the constant politics of the job that frustrate," [Tasco] said. "There's so many personalities, so many different agendas... But that's the name of the game, I guess."

Councilwoman Tasco philosophizes on the very nature of politics; other council members work on tans instead [Inky]
Perzel: You don’t understand — Pennsylvania voters elected some serious motherfucking delinquents. I mean these guys can’t get approved for a goddamn Walmart card. We're talking broke ass country folk here. But don't mind that, in the meantime, they're setting fiscal policy for the entire state... [KYW1060]

[Photo via Flickr user randeclip]

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

This is supposed to make you want to vomit

If the sight of this does not make you want to cry, you are a traitor and a fool.

Allen Iverson and the end of the worldSee Billy King — now he’s a fool. Ed Snider too — he’s a giant fucking fool.

But you know what, we’re not. So fuck them both. They're singularly responsible for decline of the Sixers over the past five years.

You know who else sucks? Carlos Boozer — he sucks. He sucks big time. Kenyon Martin — a veritable king of sucking. Wally Szczerbiak — that motherfucker holds the record for sucking.

It’s a monumental fucking travesty that these names are even mentioned in the same breath as Allen Iverson.

The NBA Draft is tonight and if Allen Iverson is not on the Sixers tomorrow (or at summer's end), the proverbial shit is going to hit the proverbial fan.

Long live Allen Iverson.

Pat Croce should own the Sixers. He’s not a complete fucking moron like Ed Snider. Croce and Cuban would have hilarious, attention-grabbing contests when their teams met in the NBA Finals each and every year. It'd be great. [Boston Herald]
Allen loves Philly; does Philly love him back?

Phillies tire of alienating their few remaining fans; make belated effort to save face

A Brett Myers FanAs Philadelphia Will Do astutely pointed out, the Phillies — as of yesterday afternoon at 4 p.m. — still had a Brett Myers giveaway as one of their scheduled promotions for a home game later this season.

On Sunday, August 20, all children 14 and under were to receive a special Brett Myers Back-to-School Pack:
Brett Myers Back-to-School Pack
Get ready for school with a special gift for children 14 and under.
Children 14 and under
The Phillies were quick to pounce, however. Sometime after 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the promotion day was changed to:
ShopRite Phillies Back to School Drawstring Back Pack
Get ready for school with a special gift for children 14 and under.
Children 14 and under
Brett Myer’s loss is apparently ShopRite’s gain.

Oh, and Brett Myers finally issued a long-overdue apology. And so did the Phillies. Kind of.

Whatever. If the story and witness accounts in the Boston Globe are even close to accurate, then we’re pretty sure Brett shouldn’t live this down any time soon.

He should, however, be reminded of his newly-attained douche status
on his very first game back from "personal leave" by as many fans as possible wearing these:

Brett Myers Wife-beater[Disclaimer: Wearing of said shirts is intended to remind Brett of the error in his ways, and not intended to make light of the situation.]

Now watch as the promotion people do a little scrambling [Philadelphia Will Do]
Hey Kids, Come on out to the park [Deadspin]
Brett Myers Back-to-school Pack Day [ via Google Cache]
ShopRite Phillies Back to School Drawstring Back Pack Day []
David Montgomery: Come on now, don't yall remember 'Macho Row'? Why such a fuss? We're trying to maintain a certain image... plus we've lost 13 out of our last 16. Seriously, though, the meaning of "too little, too late" is not entirely lost on us []

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Amada on its way west, Almodovar-inspired cocktails to follow

Amada Restaurant PhiladelphiaAmada, the Spanish restaurant which opened last fall in Old City and has been turning heads ever since, has recently achieved Buddakan-esque status. At least in regard to the difficulty involved in securing a reservation:
There’s a new Buddakan in town…

Since it opened in 1998, Buddakan - for this concierge at least - has proved to be my most requested restaurant reservation by my corporate clientele.

… Buddakan has consistently been my biggest ongoing restaurant challenge.

Don’t think for a moment that this Stephen Starr-owned operation is no less of a draw when I state that there’s another restaurant in town, garnering Buddakan-like (Buddakanese?) requests.

That would be Amada at 2nd & Chestnut. [The Loop; Ken Alan]
Bully for them. (No, seriously. It's taken eight years so that's kind of impressive.)

More important, however, is the news that Amada owner / head chef Jose Garces is branching out. He’s working on a second spot and this time it’s in Rittenhouse — a small storefront locale, situated on S. 20th between Sansom and Chestnut, across the street from Capogiro.

Frankly, we’re delighted.

20th Street between Locust and Spruce is great. 20th Street above Walnut needs a pick-me-up. It’s crazy that it’s just one block over from the square, yet it’s devoid of the activity you’ll see on the same section of, say, 18th Street.

We want all of 20th to be the shit. Capogiro's a good start. (Mizu would be fly if it only had some outdoor space.)

Let’s hope Amadito, which means ‘Little Amada” and is the working name for the restaurant in progress, can bring even more success to the hood.

Garces, for one, thinks the location is ripe:
"The market's great for strategically located restaurants."
We'd have to agree the Rittenhouse crowd loves them some Bad Education.

Garces tires of AC, keeps it real in Philly instead [Inky, second item]

[Image via AroundPhilly]

Friday, June 23, 2006

Of high-rises and small-minded, batshit crazzies

Many city “leaders” like Vince Fumo still fail to grasp the concept that density actually improves cities and makes them vibrant, attractive places to live and visit.

The most recent example is the Barnes Tower. Fumo, Councilman Clarke and a bunch of neighborhood "batshit crazies" are afraid of heights. They don’t want a residential high-rise built near their neighborhood. Vows Fumo: “This community has enough funds to litigate this for the next 20 years."

The Barnes TowerWow, that doesn’t sound spoiled and childlike at all.

Unfortunately for them, living in a city means living in an environment of [perpetual] growth and change. (Sustained growth would be ideal.) Oh wait, they must prefer the version of Philadelphia in which new buildings aren’t built, population plummets, schools fail and businesses leave — much like Philadelphia circa 1960-90.

Seriously, bear with us for a minute. Earlier this year, a bunch of residents in 250 S. 17th Street (a high-rise at 17th just south of Locust) almost blocked another high-rise — which incidentally was a model of sound urban development — from being built on a surface parking lot next door to it because, now get this, they didn’t want to lose their views of South Philadelphia.

The gall of you obtuse fucking assholes.

You live in Center City. The third biggest downtown in America. Just because, the city has been dead for some thirty years, and nothing was built next door, does not mean that nothing can be built there now that the city is actually healthy and trying to grow.

That’s what cities do — they build up.

A 25-story building at 17th and goddamn Locust has no right to any views other than views of the walls of the buildings next to it. It’s in the center of the goddamn city. We’ll build a fortress of high-rises around your fucking building if we feel like it.

In the end, Mayor Street stepped in to mediate and the residents of 250 S. 17th Street not only got a compromise design that preserved their views, they also got a settlement of $350,000 from the developer. The residents of Philadelphia, on the other hand, got figged.

Now if that ain’t the epitome of the backwards-as-shit, moronic-as-hell, clusterfucked-beyond-belief processes and outcomes that consistently plague Philadelphia, we don’t know what is.

But what to do? It’s obvious that the city needs a mayor who recognizes the vital importance of good urban planning. And one that subsequently empowers his planning commission to deliver as much. We've pretty much written off any hope of Street ever realizing this. (The planning commission is currently pathetic.) But he'll be gone soon.

Is it Nutter? Saidel? We don’t know. All signs point to it not being Johnny Doc, that’s for sure.

Hopefully, it will be someone. Maybe Amy Gutmann.

Inga Saffron: Barnes Tower has flaws; height is not one of them [Inky]
The hypocrisy coupled with the batshit crazies is enough to make you cry [Philly Skyline, 6.21]
Vince Fumo to developer: don’t you know who I am? [Inky]
Residents of 250 S. 17th fuck the city like a dirty whore [Inky]

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Neil Stein gets leg up on Starr, Starwood — does it all from the clink

Neil Stein before his time in Sing SingBack to the boutique hotel front.

Alright, so Stephen Starr is busy in NYC and Atlantic Ciy. And Starwood is tied up amidst the trash heaps and smokestacks under the Platt Bridge.

So who’s going to build the hot boutique hotel for which Philadelphia is waiting?

Neil Stein, that’s who.
"Neil Stein, [currently] serving a year in the pokey for tax evasion, wrote in to disclose further details about the boutique hotel which he plans to open in town once he's released and which we reported on exclusively last month.

Stein says his unincarcerated investors have been scouting locations in Old City, Center City, or around Penn's campus…"
Well damn. Judging by location alone, he’s got Starwood beat right out the box.

Neil Stein speaks: Get your face out of my ass! [DN, third item]
Starwood's in-house real estate guru is prophetic

Monday, June 19, 2006

It’s hot out — have a cold one (from Philadelphia)

Philadelphia was recently ranked the fifth best beer town in America by Celebrator Beer News.

That’s certainly not bad, but we humbly contend that Philly could be rated even a little higher, perhaps at three behind Portland and San Fran. Sure, Seattle has some good beer, but with the growth (in both production and quality) from the region’s better breweries in the past ten years, we don’t have any reservations about placing Philadelphia in the top three.

In fact, we think you should get out there and taste them yourself.

Next time you’re at your favorite watering hole, give one of these fine local brews a try.
We think you'll like what you find. (And if you already partake in Philly's bounty of beer, be sure to pass on your wisdom to someone else.)

Refreshing seasonal choices (perfect for cooling down this summer):
Flying Fish Farmhouse Summer Ale
Yards Saison (throw an orange in there if you’re feeling crazy)
Troegs Dreamweaver Wheat or Sunshine Pils
Victory Sunrise Weisbeer
Dogfish Head Aprihop
Stoudt’s Weizen

Old stand-bys:
Flying Fish Extra Pale Ale
Yards Philly Pale Ale, India Pale Ale or Extra Special Ale
Dogfish Head 60 Min IPA
Victory Lager
Stoudt’s American Pale Ale
Yuengling Lager

There are plenty more, but those are some of our favorites and that’s a good start.

Seriously, try a local next time — afterwards you can even give yourself a bat on the back for supporting a local business.

Celebrator Beer News rates the top ten beer towns in America [Beeryard]

Friday, June 16, 2006

Friday Scrapples: City Council has a soul

- So yea, by now you've all heard that City Council yesterday passed the smoking ban. All we'd like to say is... it's about fucking time. (And no, we're not happy about the companion bill that will give neighborhood taverns permanent exemptions if less than 10% of their total receipts come from food sales. But for right now, fuckall.) We credit Stephen Starr, who before shit went down yesterday said all of his restaurants could be smoke-free in as soon as 90 days. Rock, Stephen, rock. [Inky]

- Always late to the party, City Council is talking about restaurant inpections, like, a month after it was cool to. Anyway, they want to see more frequent inspections. Whatever. We guess that'd be fine. [Inky]

- Word comes this week that Scores is pressing on despite their most recent setback at the hands of the Zoning Board of Adjustments. (See, the ZBA will give you a zoning adjustment as long as the adjustment is aligned with horrible urban planning, like, say, building a monsterous parking garage exactly where it shouldn't be, but won't fork over a special-use certificate for a club that would bring a little commerce to no man's land.) Dan Gross admirably throws his weight behind Scores, unconventional reasoning notwithstanding. [DN, third item]

- Meanwhile, there's a rumor that, with the titty-shaking at Signatures being a thing of the past and landlord and Common Pleas Court Judge Frank Palumbo, Jr. looking to hand the spot over, they'll be a dude bar/club coming soon. [CP]

- The Free Library of Philadelphia sold the naming rights of the main computer area in its future main branch
say hello to the Sunoco Internet Center. That's $1 million down, $149 million to go. Should make for a colorful new Free Library. [KYW]

- Penn is knocking down GhettoCineMagic and replacing it with a mid-rise, mixed-use development. In related news, University City is pretty happy Penn lives there. [PBJ]

The bar at Cantina El Caballito- Remember the delivery service? Good thing no customers were prosecuted. [Inky]

- And finally, The Illadelph happily endorses Cantina El Caballito. Good food + great drinks + even greater service = a thoroughly awesome time. We recommend you check it out at your earliest convenience. We know we plan to return early and often.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Rittenhouse Square readies for its ball, to which you're not invited

So the canopy is up in Rittenhouse Square (it went up on Monday), and that means that the annual ball of the Friends of Rittenhouse Square is coming. Oh joy, it's today, Thursday.

Now, granted, we have our gripes with closing down a public square for a private function (doesn’t seem to be that in line with the original, civic purpose of a public park), but we’d cast them all aside and look the other way if it were just for one night.

After all, the Friends of Rittenhouse Square do spend a sizable chunk of change on park maintenance, and do a pretty good job of keeping the grass, which is rather heavily used, alive. All of which is much appreciated.

The problem, however, is that this "gala" shuts down a very sizable portion of the square to the public for much more than one night.

Ever since the tent went up on Monday, the entire interior portion of the square has been roped off. The public probably won’t regain access until clean up is finished sometime on Friday. That’s an entire week.

I.e. too long.

Especially if you take into account that it’s during June in Philadelphia, when the weather is typically gorgeous [look outside] and people, understandably, seek out the park to take advantage of said weather.

That's entirely too long to keep that much of the park closed to the public for a private event, an event which actually only occupies a few hours on a single night.

A tent like that could be put up in a single day — there’s no reason for it to go up earlier than Thursday morning. However, if the Friends (or the city or the unions) insist that it needs to be done over the course of the week, the cost should be a lot higher to the Friends for accommodating them.

Covering the cost of free WiFi
(meaning no nominal daily fees) for visitors to the Square year-round sounds like a good idea to us.

Seriously. Rittenhouse Square should have had WiFi installed in it, like, three years ago. And we’re willing to guess that the Friends have been stalling — if not downright opposing — said installation for fear that it would attract too many people to "their" square.

Well, guess what? The Square doesn’t belong to the Friends. It belongs to ALL the residents of Philadelphia and exists for each and everyone’s benefit — not just those who happen to donate a few thousand dollars a year for tax purposes.

The more, the merrier.

Let’s all jump in the fountain — which was drained for our party — and take a fabulous group photo [FORS]

Monday, June 12, 2006

"G-Ho" repped by Inquirer, now officially poppin its collar

G-Ho got endorsed by the Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday. Not the neighborhood of Graduate Hospital, but the name "G-Ho" itself. So "G-Ho" got endorsed as the name for the neighborhood, if you will.

Philly Skyline has been pushing the name for just a few months now (for what is formally known as Southwest Center City and what had previously been unsuccessfully labeled SoSo [South of South]) and, evidently, it’s catching on. Craig Laban, the Inquirer’s, restaurant critic had this to say:
Welcome to the newly minted nightlife scene of G-Ho, the neighborhood south of Graduate Hospital that is in the throes of cyclonic transformation. Gentrification has long been promised for this zone between South Street and Washington Avenue. But with the Naval Square development finally a high-end reality on nearby Gray's Ferry Avenue, rebuild fever has taken hold of these blocks with a vengeance. The Christian Street sidewalks practically tremble from the pace of construction replacing blighted shells with $600,000 townhouses.

And the Sidecar is poised at its nexus, a friendly outpost on the shifting urban frontier where the old and new guards have paused to mingle over grilled "toastie" sandwiches and waffles with ice cream.
Holy Shit. He didn’t even qualify the moniker as "the newest nickname for a neighborhood desperate for one" or something like that.

Which is good.

It means that unlike “B3,” which still requires explaining after more than two years, G-Ho is already an accepted nickname for the hood, or, at the very least, that Craig Laban (and his editors) like the name and are doing their part to get others to embrace it.

See the hopeful ending of the review:
Fresh handmade burgers, Ritter said, were already in the plans. So the Sidecar's story is far from done. But when I do eventually return, will it have evolved from its role as pioneer to its full potential as destination pub? And when that happens, will the Cowboy still be there?

One can only hope for G-Ho.
Awesome. Big ups to Philly Skyline. Big ups to Craig Laban. And big ups to G-Ho, you sexy beast, you.

Yall need to hook it up with some fly-ass burgers, yo [Inky]
It’s G-to-the-mothereffing-hizzo [Philly Skyline]
Get the fuck down, the bullets are flying [Philebrity]

Friday, June 09, 2006

Jim Thome vs. Ryan Howard: the numbers don’t lie

So it’s pretty safe to say that not too many people would have predicted, before the start of spring training, that Jim Thome would be leading the American League in homeruns more than two months into the season. (Sure, no one was writing him off entirely, but to foresee him busting out of the gate as strong as he did and then continuing the momentum would have been hard, to say the least.)

It’s also pretty safe to say that — even despite his monstrous showing in the grapefruit league (11 HR) — not many would have predicted that Ryan Howard would be on a pace to hit some 56 homeruns this deep into the season.

And if you take a closer look at the numbers of these two, you start to see some crazy similarities.

James Howard Thome has 21 HR, 53 RBI and he’s batting .294.

Ryan James Howard has 21 HR, 53 RBI and he’s batting .293.

Definitely makes you wish there had been some way for the Phillies to figure out a way to get both of them in the daily line-up. We’re talking the likes of a David Ortiz-Manny Ramirez, one-two punch. It could have been nasty.

But enough daydreaming. The Phillies can definitely hang their hat on one stat comparison that heavily favors the Phils:

2006 Salary:
Thome: $14,166,667
Howard: $355,000

Yahtzee. Howard is killing it for peanuts.

James Howard Thome on ESPN
Ryan James Howard on ESPN

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Philadelphia shuns its Greek roots

There appears to be a disinformation campaign going on and we don’t know what to make of it.

Judge for yourselves:

1:’s FAQ page: a typo is one thing, however, misleading who-knows-how-many people seeking an answer to an honest and seemingly harmless question on the city’s official website is another entirely:
Q: Why is it called the city of brotherly love?
A: Because it's the city that loves you back, And it's the birth place of our Nation.
Seriously. That is the website’s answer. No mention of a meaning in ancient Greek or anything.

2. And then there’s this:
Award-winning directors Jonathan Demme and Philadelphian M. Night Shyamalan are particularly fond of Philadelphia and have made movies in Philadelphia and its countryside.

It was after the completion of the production of Philadelphia that Demme decided to name the movie after the city with which he was so enamored.
Yea, right. Jonathan Demme decided to name his parabolic movie about AIDS and gay men after the city he filmed it in... because he loved it here so much.

No, really, it was
pure coincidence. He had such a great time here, he just randomly decided to name his movie – which followed a storyline of prejudices afflicting the male gay community in the 80s and 90s – “Philadelphia” because it had nothing at all to do with the actual meaning of the word Philadelphia or the coinciding message of the movie.

For the record, in case any of you are wondering, the word Philadelphia, in ancient Greek, means “brotherly love.” Philadelphia, Pennsylvania got the nickname “the City of Brotherly Love” from said meaning.

Wow. That was real difficult to say.

No. No it wasn’t.

Related: Go ahead, ask us anything, our magic 8-ball is money []
Running Numbers [City Paper]
Phila Film Office: Movies and Philadelphia; they go together like guys and guys dolls [PCVB]

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Hotel Hotwire: more on Starwood’s plans for Philadelphia

Way back when, we reported that Starwood was evaluating four sites for expansion in Philadelphia for either a W Hotel or one from their new Aloft line.

The speculated sites included the Architects Building on 17th and Sansom, which we felt would make for a mighty fine location for a W.

This Sunday, the New York Times reported that Starwood has indeed narrowed their choices to one location — and that location is at the Philadelphia International Airport:
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide announced a similar concept last year, geared toward the Gen X crowd, with the name Aloft. The company expects to open the first of those hotels, in Lexington, Mass., Lincolnshire, Ill., and at the Philadelphia airport, with loftlike rooms in 2007 and have 500 Aloft hotels worldwide by 2012.
A sphincter says what? We would sooner recommend a visitor stay at the Holiday Inn Express Midtown, than at any hotel near the Philadelphia fucking airport.

What the shit is Starwood thinking? More importantly, who the hell do they have spec’ing their real estate moves? They’d have to be uber-fucking-incompetent to propose that a hotel aimed at Gen X be placed at the Philadelphia Airport.

Seriously, this is one of the all-time worst ideas we’ve ever heard. Right up there with building an effing 11-story parking garage on Rittenhouse Square – (thank christmas that got blocked).

We hope Starwood gets their head out of their ass — like, immediately — and rethinks the location of their planned Aloft.

They should also work on finding some new talent for prospecting locations in Philly — and make a permanent note to self that the airport is not one of the city’s flashier neighborhoods.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, the news has just been corroborated (we’d been hoping it was a reporting mistake):
According to Ted Darnall, President of Starwood's Real Estate Group, … the company plans to break ground later this year on aloft hotels at Philadelphia Airport and in Lexington, Massachusetts. [Smith Travel]
Starwood plans to open one of their first Aloft hotels at PHL in 2007; thinks oil refinery odors/visuals will keep hipsters coming back for more

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Trade Billy King

The Sixers are starting to workout potential draft picks and they brought in their first four candidates for a workout yesterday.

Billy is really optimistic about the draft:
"Really, deep down, I'd like to get two more 6-6 or 6-8 athletes," he said. "Just in watching the playoffs, you watch Dwyane Wade, you watch LeBron [James], you watch Shawn Marion, you need more athletic 6-6, 6-8 guys. Now in the league, a lot more teams are going small, playing a 6-8 small forward at the power forward position."
He said that with a straight face. We shit you not.

Billy King thinks he can get two Lebron/Dwyane-caliber players with the 13th pick in the NBA draft later this month.

Humor us. Seriously, just for a minute. Put aside everything else ludicrous in that statement, and you’re still left with the fact that Billy King is only now realizing that quick and athletic swingmen are great assets for a NBA team to have.

How lucky we are to have such a visionary for a GM.

Theo Ratliff look-alike gets Billy’s juices flowing [Inky]

Dealbreaker behind Urban Outfitters’ move to Navy Yard revealed

Remember when, back in 2004, Urban Outfitters signed a deal to move all of their corporate offices (and those of their sibling companies — Anthropologie and Free People) and 500+ employees to the old Navy Yard in South Philadelphia over the next few years?

Yea, well today we learn the motivator for said decision:
"We have a number of people who wanted to bring their dogs to work," Mr. Hayne said. "So when we first started looking at high-rise buildings downtown, even if dogs were allowed, which they weren't, I thought, 'Where would they walk them?' "

The Navy Yard's green space, waterfront and historic buildings passed Mr. Hayne's test.

"On one side, you have these gigantic warships," Mr. Hayne said, referring to the Navy's mothballed cruisers and destroyers on the Delaware, just outside what will become his office windows. "And on the other side, you have these bucolic green fields and historic red brick buildings, and I thought it was an extraordinary juxtaposition."
Awww. Isn’t that sweet.

We do empathize with the employees who now have to “drive” if they want to go to lunch. It is/will be a drastic change from Urban’s current cushy location on Rittenhouse Square.

Oh well, the high price of success.

Dick Hayne: Sure I heart Santorum, but look, I’m also trying to do good by Philly with this whole abandoned-Navy-Yard-redevelopment-thing [NY Times]
Santorum and Hayne sitting in a tree… [Philebrity]

A tree grows in South Philadelphia (and this is news why?)

Judas priest. Never have we ever heard of idiocy like this before.

Apparently, some people in this fine city oppose planting new street trees.

What you say? No, it's true.

Now, we know Gingkos can get a little smelly, but come on — how could anyone possibly be against a greener city?

Allegedly, there are a number of longtime Philadelphia residents who have convinced themselves that trees are undesirable on their blocks.
Looking down 13th Street, trees are conspicuously absent from the sidewalk in front of homes belonging to lifelong Italian residents and their relatives. During the 15 years Kelly and Ryan have lived here, old-timers have told them trees are dirty and attract unwanted birds. "If there's a new tree," Kelly says, "you can assume it [was planted by] a new person."

... Mindy Maslin, who runs the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's Tree Tenders program, has encountered similar resistance in Fairmount, some pockets in West Philly and wherever older residents mix with new ones. Maslin tells them trees clean the air, reduce storm water runoff and temperatures, elevate moods, increase a sense of safety and slow traffic. Her program teaches volunteers how to properly plant and care for trees and refute complaints that trees bring rats, are dirty, attract birds, break up the sidewalk and tangle power lines.
Thank. You. Mindy.

We’ve heard of idiot corporations tearing down trees on Walnut Street because they’re corporations and worthless, but we had no idea there were a bunch of old coots
out there slandering trees.
Trees are for the suburbs, a few neighbors told Brown. They aggravate allergies and make a big mess when the leaves drop. And everyone with a rowhouse resume knows tree roots ruin sidewalks and sewer pipes, right? [Inky]
For fuck’s sake — who are these people and what the shit are they smoking?

Earth to Matilda: adding trees to your street in Philadelphia will do nothing. Nothing except clean the air you breath, cool your house when it’s hot out, increase the beauty of your block, keep your kids safer, increase the value of your property and enhance your overall quality of life. But you're you're right — that sounds like a terrible idea.

Judging from what Chi-town has done, we’re going to go ahead and say the current $8 million, statewide, tree-planting initiative is a step in the right direction. A step.

Luckily, the TreeVitalize folks weren’t born yesterday. After noticing that some of the newly planted trees in South Philadelphia were being vandalized, the Passyunk Square Civic Association responded:
On May 5, they dedicated the trees to the city's living police officers, giving the force much-needed thanks and ensuring the trees' protection. Planting organizer Geoff DiMasi sees it's working. While he was pruning, a cop stopped him and asked, "Can I see your Tree Tender card?"

Seriously. That’s smart.

If lunacy befalls South Philadelphia, does it make a sound? [CityPaper]