Citizens Bank Park: A Decade in the Stadium We Didn’t Want


Out at home? CBP attendance dropped last season. Photograph: Aero-Imaging, Inc./Newscom

The first 10 years of Citizens Bank Park, I think we can all agree, have been pretty great. Five division titles. Eight winning seasons. One magical night in October 2008. Many fans will claim 11th and Pattison as hallowed ground long after global warming turns it into a beach.

But do you remember when the decision to build in South Philly seemed like not just a defeat — but a complete failure of civic imagination? In the early days of the debate on replacing Veterans Stadium, folks were hot for a Camden Yards-style retro park smack-dab in the middle of downtown. Fans whimsically debated putting a new park at the old Schmidt’s brewery, near 30th Street Station, even on the waterfront. Politicians talked more realistically about two locations: North Broad at Spring Garden, and in Chinatown at 12th and Vine.

But each proposed site was eventually sunk by some combination of community or political NIMBYism and logistical or infrastructural clusterfuckery. So the new stadium arose in the shadow of the old one, in the expanse of parking lots and nothingness we call, as if it were an affliction, the “sports complex.”

When the Phils were the best team in town, it didn’t much matter where their stadium was. But last year, attendance dropped by half a million fans. And we may face another dismal August in South Philly. It’s worth asking: Did we blow it?

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Police Marine Unit Pulls Body from the Schuylkill

According to the Philadelphia Police Department, the marine unit recovered a body from the Schuylkill River Friday afternoon.

No identity has been released, though lieutenant John Stanford in the department’s public affairs office says the body of a white male was pulled from the river near the Walnut Street bridge.

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The Scariest Storm Prediction Images on Facebook

Storm Snow arrival times via

Storm Snow arrival times via

For many of you planning to turn President’s Day weekend into a quick get-away from this winter o’ cold ’n’ doom ’n’ horrors, the impending nor’easter has likely thrown a big clunky wrench into your travel plans. 

While on hold last night trying to swap a Thursday morning flight for a Friday departure, a scroll through my Facebook feed filled me with abject dread. We’ve all had our share of terrifying (and vaguely/not-vaguely phallic) storm front imagery this winter, but there’s something about this latest batch of storm prediction shots that’s especially terrifying (and not-vaguely phallic).

The Scariest Storm Prediction Images after the jump »

Philly Ice Storm Taking A Toll on Trees and Roads of Chestnut Hill and Northern Suburbs correspondent Larry Mendte, who rounded up a bunch of Emmy nominations last night, is celebrating by pounding the icy pavement to document the toll the Philly ice sorm and freezing rain have been taking on the region’s trees, roads and power lines. We’ll add more photos as we get them. 

Photo | Larry Mendte

Photo | Larry Mendte

More of Larry Mendte’s photos after the jump »

Cecily Tynan: 3 Possible Storms Next Week


Graphic via Accuweather.

Our friends at Be Well Philly have tipped us off to the fact that Philly weather juggernaut Cecily Tynan is warning of snow on Monday. Sayeth Tynan:

What we get depends on track. A southern track (scenario #1) would keep most of the precipitation south of us, bringing us nothing more than flurries. But a northern track (scenario #2) would give us rain changing over to several inches of accumulating wet snow. UGH!

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Two Former Closers, One Former Catcher Possible Replacements for Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews


The first major ripple from the Phillies’ new television deal with Comcast sees longtime television broadcasters Gary “Sarge” Matthews (seven years) and Chris Wheeler (37 years!) ousted from the booth (but not the organization).

Todd Zolecki is reporting that Comcast wants one color commentator to replace the duo.

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Snowstorm Hercules Shuts Down Schools; Philly Remains Officially Pumped About Playoffs


While the lead story over at the school district is that thanks to Snowstorm Hercules, all Philly public schools are closed, along with what seems like every other school in the Delaware Valley

And the Office of Emergency Management has declared a Code Blue, meaning that if you see a homeless person who appears to need some help getting out of the snow and blistering cold, please call the Homeless Outreach Center at 215-232-1984 …

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Jon Solomon’s Top 5 Hip-Hop Christmas Songs

Jon-Solomon-400x400For a quarter of a century now, WPRB DJ Jon Solomon has been staying up all night playing holiday music from Christmas Eve deep into Christmas evening. This year, to celebrate 25 years of 24-Hour Holiday Radio marathons, Solomon’s actually kicking things up a notch: He’s hosting a 25-Hour Holiday Radio Show.

Starting at 5 p.m. on 103.3 FM (and streaming on on December 24th and running through 6 p.m. on December 25th, Solomon will play unusual, off-beat and otherwise non-traditional Christmas, Hanukkah and other winter holiday music interspersed with listener-submitted radio stories. (As for what’s in store for that extra hour, Solomon says, “More show = more Christmas. I want to try and get to as many favorites as possible! This extra hour gives me some additional opportunities to do so!”)

We asked Solomon — who spun a set of Christmas-themed hip-hop at South Philly’s Boot and Saddle a couple of weeks back — to list his five favorite Christmas hip-hop cuts. He was happy to oblige.

“I love ‘Christmas In Hollis,’” says Solomon, “but there’s so much more to Xmas hip-hop than just Run-DMC.”

Jon Solomon’s Top 5 Hip-Hop Christmas Songs After the Jump »

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