Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Breaking: Stephen Starr’s hotel dreams resurface

Stephen Starr talks hotelsRemember Stephen’s plans for bringing an awesome hotel to Philadelphia? We certainly do.

As for Stephen, maybe not so much:
What’s next for you in New York?

We’d like to do one of the Philly restaurants here, Jones or Continental. I’m also thinking of opening a small hotel in New York. I used to just want to do it in Philadelphia, but the more I’m here the more I feel confident I could do one here.
Um, first of all, you already did not one, but two of "the Philly restaurants" there. Duh. Second of all, WHAT THE FUCK? Don’t you even try to pull that shit with us, Stephen. We had a deal. You could go off to New York and do your whole wow-i’m-a-rich-and-famous-restaurateur-weee thing… and we’d be cool
as long as you came back to Philadelphia and built us a goddamn boutique hotel like you said you would.

So we’re going to go ahead and chalk that quote up to you doing a little bit of good-natured flirting with the New York media. And, that, at the end of the day, you do realize who butters your bread. But don’t think, even for a second, that we’re going to let you renege on your half of the bargain.

You need to open a boutique hotel in Philadelphia. And you need to do it soon.

Don’t worry about the W — that shit is corporatized. Oh, and Aloft? Please. Like anyone is going to stay there.

Philadelphia wants a fucking original. An independent. Be the man. Think the James, but even a little more urban. You’ll own the market.

We totally have the locale too: it’s in the Wash-West/Gayborhood neck o’ the woods or, sigh, Midtown Village. (You’re honestly telling us that no one could come up with anything better than “Midtown Village?” Unfuckingbelievable.) So much awesome, vibrant foot traffic already, your hotel will just make it hotter.

Seriously, the locale is sick. It’ll totally kill. (Way better than the cabana-topped Penn Postal Land one you’re cooking up.)

But you gotta move on it. 2007 is, like, here already.

Stephen Starr admits there’s something in Philadelphia’s water [New York Magazine]

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Nordstrom to Market East: believe that when your shit turns purple and smells like rainbow sherbert

Not sure if you all heard ‘em, but we certainly did. Talking 'bout rumors of Nordstrom going into the Gallery at Market East. Of course, we realized they were pipe dreams rumors. And outlandish ones at that.

But PREIT, who purchased the Gallery in 2003, had been actively seeking new anchor tenants. Especially after Federated axed Strawbridges earlier this year.

The courtship notwithstanding, we cannot say we were surprised to hear who the new rumored tenants were
word on the street is that Boscov's and Sears are on the way.

So not exactly Nordstrom but whatever. Market East doesn't need a Nordstrom — it simply needs to be a lot more pedestrian friendly. And we mean A LOT MORE.

The Center City District’s recent report on Market East, not just the Gallery Mall but all of Market Street East, will tell you as much. And as can be expected of the CCD, it’s a good report with a lot of actionable recommendations.

So while it’s great to hear that PREIT is bringing some new department stores to the Gallery, we have to admit, we’d be much more excited if PREIT was moving on some of the more pressing recommendations, like getting the mall to embrace Chinatown instead of blocking it out or making the Mall’s Market Street façade a little less bleak/fortress-like/lifeless.

Open up to Chinatown
Animate the Gallery's façadeOr, actually, we’d be even happier if the city was the one taking the initiative and moving to adopt other parts of the master plan in a timely fashion. You know, like adding density to the area in the form of housing, developing useless surface parking lots, or animating isolated streetscapes between Independence Mall and 13th Street.

After all, it has already been two and a half years since CCD’s very similar, earlier critique of Market East (PDF):
Diverse and walkable networks of pedestrian paths characterize successful visitor destinations. The more interesting and lively the sidewalks of a city, the further visitors will venture to explore, to shop and dine, to linger and return.
Despite enormous progress, Center City's transformation into a vibrant visitor destination is still a work in progress. There are significant gaps in the continuity of the pedestrian experience that limit the time that visitors are prepared to spend exploring the attractions and amenities of Center City. Significant gaps of even one block in length that are uninteresting, unattractive or which feel unsafe will deter many visitors from walking between destinations.
Market Street East: With several great historic department stores, the distinctive architecture of the Reading Terminal Headhouse and, with two convention hotels, it should serve as the vital walkway between Independence National Historical Park and the Pennsylvania Convention Center. But undeveloped land at both 8th and 13th streets, unappealing storefronts and the blank walls of an internally oriented shopping mall dominate too many blocks.
OK. Enough reports. Time for some action.

Strawbridges to come back to life as a new hybrid department store / family court [Changing Skyline]
Report: The Next Generation on Market East [Center City District - PDF]
Photo Essay: Steve Ives on the Importance of Market East [Philly Skyline]
The Gallery at Market East [Official Site]

Monday, November 27, 2006

John's Roast Pork, Say Hello to the Sunday New York Times

John's Roast Pork in South PhiladelphiaA couple years back, saying John's Roast Pork was under the radar would have been a bit of an understatement.

Few people outside of South Philly locals knew of it.

Then, four years ago, Craig Laban grabbed four Lower Merion High School seniors and tried to find the best cheesesteak in Philadelphia. What they found was John's Roast Pork.
What we discovered was a rarity in second-generation owner John Bucci Jr.: a cook who knows what to do with a griddle, who plays the searing hot spots and cooler regions of his flat-top like a virtuoso. Frying each batch of meat and onions to order, deftly seasoning his steaks, strategically crumbling and folding his cheese into the middle, Bucci packed the marvelous seeded rolls from Carangi Baking Co. with nearly a pound of explosive flavors.
Since then, a lot more people have been making the trek to the odd-shaped lot amidst South Philadelphia’s burgeoning borough of big box stores.

John's Roast Pork courtesy Holly EatsPhiladelphia Magazine heaped on the praise.

Details Magazine called the Roast Pork one of the 22 best sandwiches in the country.

Earlier this year, the estimable James Beard Foundation gave John's one of its distinguished “America’s Classics” awards.

And now the New York Times has repped John’s in their Sunday Travel Section, in another piece on Philadelphia.
O.K., O.K., two in the afternoon is a bit early to arrive in any city on a Friday, but the cheesesteaks at John's Roast Pork (14 East Snyder Avenue, 215-463-1951), which closes at 3 o’clock sharp, are worth it. […] The 76-year-old luncheonette makes each cheesesteak to order, folding in the cheese and onions as the rib eye spits and sizzles on the grill ($6.25).
Well done. And we agree. John's is indeed money. The sandwiches are fricking huge. And the taste aint no joke, either.

Just do yourself a favor: if you’re heading down there anytime after 12 p.m., call and make sure they still have some bread. They run out of it like their sandwiches are, um, going out of style?

36 Hours in Philadelphia: Steve Wynn, eat your heart out [New York Times]
The Cheesesteak Project [Philadelphia Inquirer]
John's Roast Pork [Official Site]

Friday, November 24, 2006

Washed-up NFL player accuses Philadelphia of poisoning his food, back when, you know, there was a chance he could actually impact the game

Warren Sapp tries to eat Donovan McnabbThis just in from the Department of Paranoid Self-absorbed Prima Donnas:

Warren Sapp has a big appetite. (In the above picture, he actually removed his helmet mid-game so he could try to eat to Donovan McNabb. ) And when something gets in the way of him satiating that appetite, he gets pissed.

Meanhwile, you don’t hear so much about Warren Sapp these days. Old age must be setting in.
Sapp insisted Wednesday his food was tampered with during his nine-year tenure in Tampa Bay from 1995-2003.

"You get your food poisoned," Sapp said at Raiders headquarters. "They don't want you out there on Sunday. You don't think about it. It just got crazy."

He pointed specifically to three incidents: Before the NFC Championship Game in Philadelphia at the end of the 2002 season, which the Bucs won en route to the Super Bowl title; before a divisional playoff game at Green Bay in January 1998; and at New Orleans, where the Bucs played a game during the 1998 season.

"I know it's real, especially in Philly, come on," said Sapp.
For example, Sapp said that about a month after the Bucs won the Super Bowl, he and a friend traveled from Philadelphia to New York to watch Michael Jordan in his retirement tour at Madison Square Garden. First, they had dinner in Philadelphia, trading plates at the restaurant after their orders came. Then, Sapp said, his friend repeatedly threw up all the way to New York.
Because the friend ate some of Sapp's dish, which the kitchen staff purposefully made gross. We get it.

Actually, on second thought, now we're inclined to believe him — Eagles fans are a bunch of immature dicks.

Warren Sapp thinks he’s too good for a little spit in his food [ESPN]

Monday, November 20, 2006

New York Times piece manages to rep Philly without, amazingly, equating it with some en vogue parcel of Brooklyn

Shocking — we know — but it happened.

The nice little piece on Philadelphia’s contemporary art scene in the Times T Style Magazine’s Winter Travel edition yesterday is, on the whole, well done.

Basekamp, Space 1026, Zoe Strauss, Black Floor, the Fabric Workshop, Cerealarts — they’re all mentioned.

And the overall culture — and relative lack of pretentiousness — that's covered too.
Philadelphia is not the new Chelsea — or the new Williamsburg or the new Lower East Side for that matter. And it probably doesn't want to be.
Holy shit. Thank you. It's about time somebody said that.
The city provides a glimpse of what Baker calls "a community of generosity." This generosity affects the work. Pym says he's seeing "more smart, globally aware, unprovincial work each year" — and it can easily rub off on the viewer. For artist and visitor alike, Philadelphia offers a respite from overheated scenes, unwelcoming galleries and the economy of the latest thing.
Respite indeed.
Yet selling contemporary art to the local population remains an uphill battle, which is a good thing for the out-of-town collector. There's more inventory than in a market like New York. Those with the money to collect here often gravitate toward traditional landscapes and portraits; those with a taste for the contemporary usually can’t afford to buy. "The thing we lack is the hipster with disposable income," Baker says.
We'll go ahead and blame that on the godawful city wage tax. (And our penchant for alcohol.)

But the real kicker here? That Jessica Pressler is still writing smart articles about Philadelphia for the New York Times even when she’s not credited for it.

How an emerging creative class is transforming Philadelphia into a major arts destination [New York Times]
How cheap real estate, creative minds and a scrappy attitude are turning Philadelphia into a happening art town [Philadelphia Magazine]

Friday, November 17, 2006

Allen Iverson wants to help put an end to Murderdelphia

Earlier this week, the heartbreaking yet inspirational story of Kevin Johnson put another face to the sometimes all-too faceless epidemic of Philadelphia gun violence.

Kevin, shot three years ago over an Allen Iverson jersey and a quadriplegic ever since, fell into a vegetative state last week after his ventilator malfunctioned, leaving him brain dead and on life support.

In the three years since the shooting, Kevin had become a fixture in the city’s anti-violence efforts, telling his story at schools whenever he had the chance.

Early Tuesday morning, Kevin’s family took him off life-support, donating Kevin’s organs as he would have wished.
Although Johnson and his family have forgiven the shooters, the decision to take Johnson off life support once again crystallized the gun epidemic gripping this city.

"I'm hoping that everyone got the chance to see Kevin riding down the block in his wheelchair and sucking on that [ventilator] tube and know that's the after-effects of picking up a gun," Jackson-Burke said.

"It's not a joke. I would think that if we were able to put [the procedure of withdrawing the life-support system] on television, I would do it if that would help one more child."

The irony is that Kevin, even in his paralyzed state, would often speak at various schools and panels, discussing the violence that so deeply touched his life while urging the assembled youth to not resort to guns.

"Every time Kevin was invited to talk at a school, he jumped at it," Jackson-Burke said.
More, from the Daily News:
To many, Johnson, 22, became the silver lining in the black cloud of violence that haunts this city when he forgave a group of teens who had shot and paralyzed him over a basketball jersey.

He never gave into the despair of his confinement to a wheelchair or his dependence on a ventilator and his mother to keep him alive. Johnson opted instead to become a fixture at area schools, lecturing kids and adults on the perils of violence.
Though his health forced him to make frequent trips to the doctor's office, his mother said Johnson never gave up on his dreams. He continued to lecture at schools and churches - he was slated to speak at a peace summit in North Philadelphia later this week - and took online college courses that he hoped would one day allow him to work with at-risk kids.

"I was so proud to be his aunt," said Jeanne Jackson-Parks. "He was an inspiration."
And the Inquirer:
For Johnson, the shooting - which many people may have viewed as an ending - became a new beginning. Strapped into his wheelchair, he and his mother spoke at schools and rallies, advising their audience to stay away from guns: One bullet - fired without a thought - could change or destroy a life.

Johnson's family says the injury changed, not ruined, his life. True, his mother had to bathe and dress him. He could no longer lace up his sneakers to play basketball or grab a video game controller. His plans to go to college were put on hold.

But Johnson was the same positive thinker he'd always been, they say. He forgave his assailants, even befriending one of them and giving advice as the man played video games at his bedside. He cherished and teased his sisters while lying prone on his bed. His mother's spaghetti was still his favorite food, although she now had to feed it to him.
Allen Iverson, the man whose jersey Kevin Johnson was wearing when he was shot, quietly contacted the family this week, asking to help and will pay for the funeral.
Iverson said once he saw Johnson's story in the newspaper, he felt he needed to do something. Aided by his wife, Tawanna, who found the hospital where Johnson lay critically ill, he got in contact with Jackson-Burke and spoke to her and Kevin's aunt.

"They didn't have the financial support to be able to have the funeral like they wanted," he said. "So I spoke to her and asked them: Could I do anything to help?

"I didn't want them to think I was trying to disrespect them by doing it for any publicity or anything like that. It was just something that touched me, and I felt I could do something to help. She appreciated it. I was just happy that she let me help."
And now Iverson wants to do more.
"Seventy-seven people a day all across the U.S. Almost 400 people in Philadelphia [this year]. It's just terrible, what's going on in Philadelphia. I just feel like I've got to do something more than I have been doing to try to help this situation as much as I can. If I can reach one person and take one death away, I think I'd be doing something. It's not right in Philadelphia right now."
"There's a lot of good people trying to help the situation in Philadelphia," he said. "Obviously, you need a lot more help and a lot more different ideas to try to make this thing better.
An Inquirer editorial today urges Mayor Street to find a way to try to use Iverson to help.
The Answer just might be one of the answers to this critical question: How can Philadelphia begin to holster gun violence? Philadelphia 76ers star Allen Iverson has said he wants to help. City leaders should jump at his offer.
That background and his sports skills give Iverson credibility with the very young people who need to be reached and steered away from violence. Mayor Street, take Iverson up on his offer.

Let one of Philadelphia's creative minds design a TV/radio campaign so Iverson can address young men. Recruit him to help lead a peace summit for gang leaders.

Iverson may be one of the few who can get street thugs to listen and lay down their weapons. As gun violence continues to rise, seeing what he can do is worth a try.
It is, indeed, worth a try. Please. Try something.

Meanwhile, Kevin Johnson, shot three years ago over an Allen Iverson jersey, will be buried next Wednesday, November 22, wearing an Allen Iverson jersey once again.

Offering help to stop a plague [Inquirer]
An Inspiration to the end [Daily News]
Family to end life support for gunshot victim [Daily News]
Cut down over an Iverson jersey, he'll be laid to rest in one [Inquirer]
Iverson felt need to aid gun victim [Inquirer]

Monday, November 13, 2006

Ed Snider makes us cry

On Saturday, like seemingly everyone in Philadelphia, we were out enjoying an unbelievably warm November afternoon in Center City, when suddenly everything changed.

Our heart literally sank when we saw Ed Snider’s mug and the accompanying headline staring up at us from the cover of Saturday’s Daily News.

What was going to be a great change for the Sixers and Philadelphia was no longer happening.
Months after enlisting the expertise of Galiatoto Sports Partners in New York to review, evaluate and sift through the qualifications and resources of a flurry of suitors, Snider said "No sale." Just like that, the team was off the market.
"The 76ers were a prize acquisition for anyone," he said. "The team could have been sold at a record price. We just decided we wanted to keep it."
Snider said he also wanted to dispel any perception that he didn't care about the Sixers, either because of lack of interest or because he was founded the Flyers and that his expertise was in hockey.

"Not true," he said. "I talk to [King] every day. We're hoping the fans will stay and support us and believe in what we're doing. I'd love to win a championship. I really enjoy the games. I don't think we're boring anybody."
You thought wrong, Ed. Please, please reconsider.

Comcast-Spectacor realizes it enjoys torturing Philadelphia fans, decides not to sell Sixers [Daily News]

Thomas Jefferson University to sell Eakins masterpiece for $68 million, use money to build more parking garages

(We can only assume they’ll also ramp up their awful advertising in which they insinuate their hospital, or “Jeff,” can become one of your closest friends.)

On Saturday, Thomas Jefferson University announced the impending sale of Thomas Eakins’ masterpiece, The Gross Clinic, to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC and some fucking Walmart museum — in Arkansas of all places — for $68 million.
Officials at Jefferson said that money from the sale - which was privately brokered by Christie's auction house and pursued quietly over the last three months - would help finance an ambitious expansion plan mapped out for the next decade. Jefferson envisions a radically altered campus on the fringes of Washington Square, replete with new buildings…
Why? Because they haven’t already fucked up the neighborhood enough? There are entire blocks in Washington Square West that are routinely devoid of activity on account of Jefferson’s nightmarish planning abilities and urban vision. (Kudos to them for the recent completion of their latest big project, the massive Chestnut Street parking garage. Excellent use of real estate. Really. A bang-up job all around. Those pretty banners hanging on the side totally make all those variances it got for hundreds of extra spaces et al. totally worth it — they look fantastic.)
The deal gives Philadelphia cultural and governmental institutions 45 days to match the price; failure to do so will see the painting taken down from the walls of Jefferson's Eakins Gallery on Locust Street and shipped from its only home.
Local cultural officials, however, said 45 days was not nearly enough time to begin putting together a consortium to match the enormous sale price.

"It's not enough time, since nobody had any forewarning," said Penny Balkin Bach, executive director of the Fairmount Park Art Association. "This kind of time frame does not respect the city's relationship to the painting. Absolutely not."

Bach characterized the sale as "a tragic loss to the city's cultural history."
Yea, this whole thing definitely sounds pretty fucking shady.
Should the sale reach finality, it would be the second high-profile acquisition of a work deeply rooted in a local cultural environment by the cash-rich Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark.

Last year, Wal-Mart heiress Alice B. Walton (net worth of $18 billion, according to Forbes magazine), using the Walton Family Foundation as a vehicle, paid a reported record of $35 million for Asher B. Durand's famous Kindred Spirits (painted in 1848), considered one of New York City's most beloved cultural icons. That painting was on view at the New York Public Library for a century. Kindred Spirits will now hang in the Arkansas museum when it opens in 2009.
Wow. We can't imagine why Walmart gets such a bad rap.

Back to The Gross Clinic.
The painting in question depicts Dr. Samuel D. Gross, a celebrated surgeon and teacher at Jefferson, demonstrating removal of a tumor from a patient's thigh. Dozens of Jefferson students look down intently on the scene. Eakins, who studied anatomy at Jefferson, painted himself into the tableau.

The artist, who was born and raised in Philadelphia, believed The Gross Clinic portrayed the city's technical and cultural preeminence. But when he submitted it for inclusion in the art exhibition of the 1876 Centennial Exhibition, the art jury rejected it, arguing that the bloody imagery would offend viewers.

Jefferson alumni, however, found the painting and its subject tremendously powerful. They purchased the canvas and bequeathed it to their alma mater.

The story of The Gross Clinic, then, is almost a metaphor for Philadelphia cultural history. The painting, like the painter, who was famously dismissed from the Pennsylvania Academy faculty for employing nude models in classes with female students, was rejected by a squeamish establishment. Yet The Gross Clinic's very existence and Eakins' enduring legacy are evidence that the city's often derided cultural environment is a breeding ground for great achievements - almost despite itself.

Kathleen Foster, curator of American art at the Art Museum, said: "To let this painting go, the city would be letting Eakins down all over again... . Are we going to do this again? Are we going to turn our backs on him once more?"
Kathleen A. Foster, curator of American art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, called The Gross Clinic "Eakins' greatest painting" and one that is inseparable from Philadelphia, the city where he was born, raised and died in 1916. His ashes are interred in Woodlands Cemetery in West Philadelphia.

"It's not a generic painting that can be hung anywhere," Foster added. "It is all about his life, the life of the city, and the life of one of the city's greatest heroes, Dr. Gross. It is about the connections between the science, education and art of the place where it was made."
So, JEFF, looks like you’re going to be the bad guy on this one, huh?

Thomas Jefferson University does its best impression of a rat — and is incredibly convincing [Inquirer]
Walmart bitch heiress steals art from New York, learns lesson, adds bullshit “clause” to next theft in Philadelphia to feign fairness [Inquirer]
Only 45 days left to see Philadelphia masterpiece on view in Philadelphia [JEFF]

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Still Always Sunny in Philadelphia

FX has renewed It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia for a third season. Look forward to 15 new episodes next summer, more than double the amount in the show’s first season.

Despite being possibly the funniest show on television, Sunny’s renewal for a third season was never guaranteed.
Though its ratings improved 15 percent over the previous season, Sunny averaged only 1.3 million total viewers last season, and didn't bring in big advertising dollars. Still, FX Entertainment chief John Landgraf has faith in the show.

"The bottom line is that I believe in it creatively," he says. "I think it's really funny, a comedic expression of FX's brand. I love working with the guys. We just had to figure out how to produce it more cost-efficiently."

To that end, creator-executive producer McElhenney and his costars agreed to no salary hikes until (or if) FX orders additional seasons.
By comparison, two new sitcoms on CBS and Fox this fall, The Class and Til Death, which claim to be “set” in Philadelphia… the extent of which is a character eating a cheesesteak or another dating an ex-Eagle, prove just how good a show Always Sunny actually is.

FX to cut costs on third season of Always Sunny, better still film on location [Inky]

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

On the roulette wheel of life, Atlantic City bets on GREEN

FOR almost a year, five turbines on New Jersey’s first coastal wind farm have been generating electricity in Atlantic City, their slowly revolving 118-foot-long blades making the turbines resemble gigantic upright roulette wheels.

They are the first full-size turbines along the coast in New York and New Jersey and the region’s first working examples of a clean-energy technology that supporters say will one day ease dependence on oil and gas and begin to address concerns about global warming.

They may also be a forerunner to more ambitious, far larger projects now under discussion for the coast of New Jersey…
Shit. We hadn’t noticed. (Has it really been that long since we’ve been gambling?)

Regardless, it’s about fucking time.
Europe, led by Germany and Spain, is in the forefront of wind energy, producing two-thirds of the 59,000 megawatts generated worldwide, the Global Wind Energy Council said.
But now, we’re going to catch up right?
Yet, despite the operation of New Jersey’s small wind project since January, there is uncertainty about whether wind farms, particularly gigantic turbines positioned off the region’s coastline, will be embraced here.
[A leading opponent] contends that the turbines would be a waste of customers’ money; a poor alternative to repowering existing fossil-fuel plants to boost capacity while greatly reducing emissions; a killer of birds and fish; and an eyesore.
Whaa? An eyesore?? That’s like saying green recycling bins in city parks are an eyesore because they contain refuse.

In reality, however, it’s quite the opposite. These are actually indicators of progressive government and forward-thinking urban initiatives that have positive connotations to people that see them.

Think about it. Which image is more appealing to potential residents, businesses and actual visitors?

1. Trash bins overflowing with various kinds of trash (as can often be seen around Rittenhouse Square) OR a comprehensive citywide system of recycling bins in parks and other high traffic pedestrian areas?

2. Public transit buses lurching down city streets and, with each stop and start, spitting out clouds of poisonous, smog-inflicting exhaust (Septa) OR clean, hybrid/bio-diesel buses painted green gliding down city streets, inducing envy in cities across the country?

3. Driving from the airport into Center City and staring out the window at pollution-spouting smokestacks at South Philadelphia oil refineries OR crossing the Platt Bridge in a hybrid taxi and admiring a small, serene windmill farm on the banks of the Schuylkill River producing clean energy for the city and the state?

All three of these questions are really, really, really simple
. Do you want your city's image to be old, dirty and negatively-industrial OR modern, clean, environmentally-friendy and progressive?

Apparently, Philadelphia digs the former.

Atlantic City and the Jersey Shore pushes for wind power, Donald Trump contends massive coastal hotels/condos/casinos are much more picturesque [NY Times]

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Philadelphia Business Journal can’t help itself, ditches “news” coverage in favor of, what else, the Eagles

Hey, if the Daily News and the Inquirer are plastering sports coverage all over their front pages (and obviously to great effect), then who’s to say that Philadelphia Business Journal shouldn’t toss their hat into the ring?

It’s not like there’s anything important happening this week — at least not anything that could impact the region's economy.

Duh, the Governor lives in Harrisburg.

Philadelphia Business Journal: What elections? Come on, this is Philly — people only care about the Eagles [PBJ]

Breaking: Lee Daniels hates success, casts Mariah Carey for next movie

Wynnewood’s favorite son du jour, Lee Daniels, has cast the Beyonce-channeling Mariah Carey in his latest project, Tennessee, scheduled to begin production soon.
He's gearing up to begin production on "Tennessee," which stars Mariah Carey. He says Carey, widely dissed for her work in "Glitter," is "a survivor" who is going to prove her critics wrong.

"The studios don't believe in her," says Daniels, who is producing the film. "They think I'm crazy for hiring her…”
We have absolutely no idea why they'd think that.

Hope you enjoyed it while it lasted Mr. Daniels [Daily News, Third Item]

Friday, November 03, 2006

City Council finds secret stash; Harrisburg bond company stooges say no to celebratory kegger

Apparently, economic growth does in fact lead to an increased tax base — as evidenced by the $255 million budget surplus the city of Philadelphia is now staring at… more than $50 million greater than previously estimated a few months ago.

Naturally, City Council members are jockeying for the spotlight, offering various ways to “appropriate” the cash.

Marian Tasco wants to give additional funds to the chronically under funded Police and Fire Departments. Well, shit, we can’t really argue with that.

Darrell Clarke thinks the School District and their $75 million deficit should come first. Uh, again — and we’re as surprised as you are on this — we’re going to have to say we agree… he’s absolutely right.

So what’s up? Council run out of crazy pills or something?

Actually, no. Apparently, they’re all just pipe dreams. A state agency is actually charged with overseeing the city’s finances and said agency wants to use the surplus to, wait for it, “reduce the city’s unfunded pension liability.”

For fuck’s sake. We finally get a few council members to put forth actual substantive proposals and now we have to deal with bureaucratic pencil pushers from Harrisburg??


Hey Harrisburg, that’s sweet of you to offer and all, and we’re flattered, honest, but the thing is, you’re ass is huge [KYW1060]

Wednesday, November 01, 2006