Atlantic City Is The Drunkest City in New Jersey (Well, Tied For 1st)

Tony's Baltimore Grill bar sign

A sign in the window at Tony’s Baltimore Grill in Atlantic City. (Photo | Dan McQuade)

It’s no surprise that a city where the booze flows freely at all hours is the drunkest in New Jersey. What might be surprising is Atlantic City is not alone at the No. 1 drunkest place in New Jersey: It’s tied with Belmar, Monmouth County.

The new rankings, compiled by RoadSnacks, rank New Jersey cities based on the number of bars/pubs/liquor stores/wineries per capita, plus the number of recent drunk tweets and the divorce rate. (Okay, that’s pretty clever.) And A.C. and Belmar — not to be confused with Camden County’s Bellmawr — came out tied for the No. 1 spot. Read more »

UPDATE: Hurricane Joaquin Upgraded to Category 4

National Weather Service prediction for Hurricane Joaquin as of October 1st at 5 p.m.

National Weather Service prediction for Hurricane Joaquin as of October 1st at 5 p.m.

[UPDATE 7:55 P.M.] The National Weather Service has moved Hurricane Joaquin’s “cone of uncertainty” east, dropping the chance of a costly, destructive storm. Most of the region’s outdoor events remain on.  [The NWS’s most recent briefing package is here.]

[UPDATE 2:42 p.m.] The National Weather Service has upgraded Hurricane Joaquin to Category 4 storm, “extremely dangerous” as it passes through the Bahamas.

“We don’t know what this hurricane is going to do, what impact it’s going to have on Pennsylvania, but we’re doing everything we can do” to be prepared, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said at an afternoon news briefing. He urged residents to have three days of food and medication, and to stay in their residences unless evacuated. [The NWS’s most recent briefing package.]

[Original 12:04 p.m.] Hurricane Joaquin is currently hitting the Bahamas hard, with max sustained winds of 120 miles per hour. But is it going to hit the mainland U.S.? And will it effect Philadelphia?

Whatever happens, the area is buckling down: N.J. Gov. Chris Christie today declared a state of emergency, readying itself for the first major storm since Superstorm Sandy hit coast three years. Read more »

District Announces School Closures, Charter Conversions

Philadelphia School District Building

Photo by Jeff Fusco

In a move that will affect more than 5,000 students in the district, Philadelphia Superintendent William R. Hite today announced dramatic changes involving 15 schools.

The moves are a familiar list of school consolidations, charter conversions and closures. Among the actions: Dimner Beeber Middle School in West Philadelphia will be phased out over a two-year period. In Northwest Philly, Morris E. Leeds Middle School and Hill-Freedman World Academy would merge, with Leeds students starting to go to Hill-Freedman. Both Beeber and Leeds, though closed, would still house district schools in their buildings.

“This is an exciting step forward in achieving our mission of having great schools in every neighborhood,” Hite said in a statement. “These recommendations address parental demand for better academic programs in safe, familiar environments while presenting rigorous and engaging opportunities for students.” Read more »

WATCH: Ratmobile Invokes Pope Francis Outside Comcast Center

Last Thursday, NBC 10’s technicians and photographers went on strike. On Friday, IBEW Local 98 leader John Dougherty said two union members picketing were hit by cars driven by NBC 10 employees. Later that night, the Giant Inflatable Union Rat was spotted outside the Comcast Center.

Today, it’s back. And along with it, an appearance of the Union Ratmobile, an actual car tricked out to make it look like a rat. And they have a message for Comcast. Read more »

City Paper Shutting Down, Merging Operations with PW


The Philadelphia alt-weekly wars are over.

Today Broad Street Media today announced it had acquired the rights to the City Paper intellectual property. As a result, City Paper will cease print publication on October 8th; its website will be merged into the operations of Philadelphia Weekly.

The Northeast Times, which Broad Street Media also owns, first reported the story. “Sev­er­al of the part­ners of Broad Street Me­dia are also part­ners in R.P.M. Philly, which owns Philly Weekly and South Philly Re­view,” Broad Street Media publisher Perry Cor­setti told the Times. “While we re­spect the his­tory Phil­adelphia has with City Pa­per, we have made a com­mit­ment to Philly Weekly that we in­tend to hon­or. It doesn’t make sense for us to com­pete with ourselves.” The paper reported that it’s expected that City Paper‘s operations will be consolidated and its best features will be be incorporated into PW. Read more »

Hurricane Joaquin’s Projected Path Looks Bad for Philly


[UPDATE: 12:00 P.M., October 1st] Hurricane Joaquin Moves North; Will It Make Landfall? No matter what Hurricane Joaquin does, it looks like we’re in for a wet next couple of days. N.J. Gov. Chris Christie today declared a state of emergency, readying itself for the first major storm since Superstorm Sandy hit coast three years.

[ORIGINAL] The forecasted path for Hurricane Joaquin is not looking good for the Philadelphia area.

The National Hurricane Center upgraded Joaquin from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane earlier today, and now says it is strengthening. It’s currently moving southwest toward the Bahamas, but by early next week appears destined to hit the Philadelphia area. The NHS says that “additional strengthening is expected, and Joaquin could become a major hurricane during the next couple of days.” Per the NHC, parts of the East Coast could be under a hurricane watch as soon as Thursday night. It’s looking like Joaquin would hit the area on Sunday or Monday, if it does.

At noon today, the National Weather Service’s Philadelphia/Mt. Holly bureau released a daily briefing: “A dangerous weather pattern is developing for our region. Threats include very heavy rainfall, inland river flooding, as well as major coastal flooding with heavy surf and beach erosion. These impacts will be felt this week from a storm system affecting the region. There is now also the potential for major impacts from Hurricane Joaquin affecting the region this weekend into early next week.”

The NWS says 4-10 inches of rain could soak the region, and that weather will complicate preparations if a hurricane hits us early next week.

A word on the above forecast track, provided by the National Hurricane Center. The “cone” in that image is not the storm’s projected size; it is the possible path it could take. Either way, we’re going to get a lot of rain. Right after Pope Weekend (Live 8 plus a snowstorm), we’re headed for a disruptive weather event. Read more »

Donald Trump on Pope Francis: “I Don’t Like The Little Car”


There’s a good profile on Donald Trump in Forbes this week, based around the obsession Trump and other billionaires have with their position on the Forbes 4001. It’s mainly about Trump, though, and his personal, decades-long push to get up the list.

Editor Randall Lane, a Penn grad who was managing editor of the Daily Pennsylvanian in college, hung with Trump last week for the profile.

During an interview, the Pope is about to pass by the Trump Tower — now there’s an image — and Trump asks to cut the interview short so he can go see the procession. Makes sense. Then there’s this awesome section: Read more »

PHOTOS: 85 Signs Seen During the Philadelphia Papal Visit


I remember the spring of 2001 fondly. It was the end of my freshman year of college. I was glad to get the first year over. I was excited to intern in Center City. And the Sixers were in the NBA Finals.

They lost, but for a few weeks the city was galvanized. It was all my friends and I could seem to talk about. I owned like 10 bootleg Allen Iverson shirts. And every store in Philadelphia seemed to have a “Go Sixers!” sign in the window.

I thought of that this weekend, when Center City was just covered in signs. Tons of businesses had signs up, welcoming Pope Francis or telling you their pope specials. The government had signs telling you where you could or couldn’t go. This is what pilgrims to Philadelphia were reading about us!

I spent the weekend chronicling pope signs in Philadelphia. In a way, I think they tell some of the story from the weekend. I also did a t-shirt round-up and wrote about my thoughts in general.

Including the one above, here are 85 signs (some are “text on things other than signs”) seen during the pope’s visit to Philadelphia. Read more »

WATCH: Sixers 2015-16 Hype Video

It is almost October, and that means we are getting very close to Sixers season. While the Sixers have not exactly been very good recently, we hoopheads are excited that pro basketball (or some facsimile of it) will return to Philadelphia. Read more »

It’s Always Sunny in Popeadelphia

Streets FUSCo015

Photo | Jeff Fusco

The pope has left Philadelphia. You can stop sucking in your guts.

The most important news from the weekend, of course: Nothing catastrophic happened. Philadelphians have a general uneasiness — perhaps paranoia is a better definition — when big events hit our town. This is not so much an inferiority complex as a realistic preparation for the worst. We are frequently terrified we’re going to screw something up; sometimes, we do. It’s one of the reasons so many people left town this weekend (a rollout from the city that scared off people was another, but that probably comes from some of the same mindset). Several of my friends mentioned that something bad was definitely going to happen.

In the 10 years I’ve been living here, Center City has never looked like it did this weekend. It was Live 8 plus a snowstorm plus a whole bunch of priests and nuns. There were national guardsmen on nearly every corner, sometimes in seemingly odd locations (10th and Lombard, for instance, nowhere near any of Pope Francis’ stops). There were a variety of fences around the city, from pro wrestling-style side guardrails to giant, eight-foot screens that really did make you feel like something bad was going to happen.

And yet. The mood in Center City Philadelphia was good. The setup for the pope’s visit was often called a police state. But are people really this happy in a police state? (Maybe, if the evil dictator or super-smart child is forcing them to smile.) The set-up looked ridiculous. It did not appear to dampen the crowd’s spirit. When large crowds gather in Philadelphia, they’re usually drunk and angry because the Eagles just lost. The crowds in Philly this weekend were upbeat and cheerful. The pope — with a chain of succession that goes back to St. Peter himself — is such a symbol of kindness now that people do seem to act a little nicer to each other. A papal visit is kind of bust-proof, as long as the pope actually shows up. Read more »

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