The 10 Worst Tourist Traps in Philadelphia, Ranked

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer.

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer. Liberty Bell | Jeff Fusco, Visit Philly. Sugar House | G. Widman, Visit Philly, Tourists and Ride the Ducks, shutterstock.com

So, you’re planning a trip to Philadelphia to see the pope, or for a convention, or for the Dalai Lama, or to attend the DNC, or, you know, just to take a trip. There’s a lot to see and do here, but there are also plenty of tourist traps. And since we want you to have the best possible experience while you’re visiting our city, we thought it important to warn you about them as well — and offer some alternatives worth writing home, or at least posting on Facebook, about. Without further ado, here are the worst tourist attractions in Philadelphia — ranked. Read more »

We Want Answers: Vatican Whisperer Rocco Palmo on Pope Francis

Photograph by Claudia Gavin

Photograph by Claudia Gavin

Your blog, Whispers in the Loggia, is one of the best sources of news and insight on the Vatican. How is it possible to do that job from Philadelphia? Well, the Church is more than Rome. It’s a lot of what I call “jet lag without the travel.” You know, making morning calls at 2:30 our time. Every event, every text, is available online. Especially with the logistics of papal visits and whatever, even a lot of the folks who cover the Vatican from Rome end up not going to the events but watching them on the Vatican feed. So I’m basically doing the same thing, just 3,000 miles away. The people I need to talk to over there, I’ve got their numbers. Read more »

Holy Sea Cow! Manatee Spotted in Delaware River

The manatee spotted in the Delaware. Photo | New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

The manatee spotted in the Delaware. Photo | New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

The waters of the Delaware River received an unexpected guest this past week.

A manatee, the large marine mammal known to thrive in warmer waters, found its way into the northern Delaware River next to Bordentown City, New Jersey, the Burlington County Times reported yesterday.

The creature, often referred to as a “sea cow” because of its docile manner, was spotted at the mouth of the Crosswicks Creek on Tuesday, but has not been seen since, the paper reports. Read more »

Report: Phillies Trade Ben Revere to Blue Jays

Ben Revere gives a hand signal to shortstop Andres Blanco (not pictured) after his home run during the eighth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Citizens Bank Park. | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Revere gives a hand signal to shortstop Andres Blanco (not pictured) after his home run during the eighth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Citizens Bank Park. | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

According to MLB.com Phillies beat guy Todd Zolecki, the Phillies have traded centerfielder Ben Revere to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Phillies’ return has not yet been reported.

Revere came to the Phillies as part of a trade with the Minnesota Twins in the 2013 offseason. The Phillies sent Vance Worley (who was just designated for assignment by the Pirates) and Trevor May to the Twins to get Revere.

Revere played just 88 games in his first season with the Phillies, due to injuries, including a fractured food midway through the year that sidelined him for the remainder of the season. He hit .306 in his second season with the Phillies and stole 49 bases; he also hit his first major league home run last season. Read more »

Penn Dropping Essay Portion of SAT Test

Editor’s note: The original headline has been changed to reflect that Penn won’t require the essay portion of the SAT Writing test.

Remember way back in — oh, has it been 10 years already? — 2005, when the College Board created an uproar by adding a new essay-writing component to its longstanding Verbal and Math SAT tests? A spokeswoman for the Board at the time said the move was made in response to demand from colleges and businesses, who hoped that “writing will become more of a priority across the United States.”

Now the University of Pennsylvania is creating its own little uproar by announcing that as of next year, it will no longer require applicants to submit scores from the essay sections of either the SAT or the ACT. Dean of Admissions Eric Furda told the Chronicle of Higher Education that the decision was one that had been “carefully considered”: Read more »

Report: Tom Wolf Is Nation’s Most Liberal Governor

tom-wolf-budget-940x540

Tom Wolf has been ranked as the nation’s most liberal governor by InsideGov, a website that tracks and analyzes government data.

Wolf, Pennsylvania’s governor, achieved the ranking after being compared to peers based on “public statements, press releases, campaign platforms and voting records to score each governor’s view on important issues.” Butch Otter of Idaho was ranked most conservative.

With Wolf, though, it seems, the ranking is a bit premature. Yes, he’s been through a campaign — and barely tested, either in the primary or general elections. But halfway through his first year in office, at least, he doesn’t have much in the way of accomplishments, liberal or conservative, to factor in. Read more »

Victims Identified in Horrific Bustleton Car Crash

Sandmeyer Lane near Red Lion Road, the reported area of the crash. Photo | Google Street View

Sandmeyer Lane near Red Lion Road, the reported area of the crash. Photo | Google Street View

Police say they have identified the three victims — two teenage girls and one man — who were killed by the impact of a car crash on Wednesday night in Bustleton.

In a statement this morning, Philadelphia Police named the two girls — Yvette Gonzalez, 17, of Rhawn Street, and Sabrina Rhoads, 17, of Newberry Street — and the man, 20-year-old Felip Hernandez of Medford N.J., who were pronounced dead on the scene late Wednesday evening when the car they were traveling in reportedly clipped a curb, lost control, smacked into a tree and split in half. Read more »

The Philadelphia Rebound: Philly Politicians Don’t Stay Down Long

Former state Sen. Vincent Fumo leaves the James A. Byrne US Courthouse in Philadelphia, secure in the knowledge that he’ll rise again. (AP | Matt Rourke)

In May 1903, as part of a series about American cities, muckraking New York reporter Lincoln Steffans wrote in McClure’s that Philadelphia was regarded as the most corrupt city at that time. Other corrupt cities eagerly pointed the finger at Philadelphia, he noted, “as worse — ‘the worst-governed city in the country.'” Steffans himself acknowledged Philadelphia’s corruption, but felt what distinguished it was that it took place in a city that had access to and experience with reform. Other cities were just as corrupt, but their citizens might not know any better, while Philadelphians seemed to be making a choice. He wrote:

“The people” seem to prefer to be ruled by a known thief than an ambitious reformer. They will make you convict their Tweeds, Mc-Maneses, Butlers, and Shepherds, and even then they may forgive them and talk of monuments to their precious memory…

Some traditions die hard. Read more »

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