Martina White: The It Girl of Red Philadelphia

Martina White at Aldo’s Pizzarama in Somerton. Photograph by Neal Santos

Martina White knew this was coming.

Less than two weeks before the most shocking presidential election in modern history, the Republican lawmaker was sitting at a gym in Northeast Philadelphia, debating Matt Darragh, a Democrat trying to unseat her from the General Assembly.

Then, just as expected, Darragh said the words that have followed White since day one: Donald Trump. He accused her of exploiting the “same sentiments” as Trump and embracing his “direction for the United States.” An activist in the audience saw a connection, too: Standing between two basketball hoops, she waved a sign that read STOP TRUMPMARTINA. Read more »

The Constitution Center: The Museum No One Cares About

Illustration by Nick Massarelli

When was the last time you were excited about the Constitution Center — the 160,000-square-foot behemoth of a tourist attraction on Independence Mall? We asked ourselves, our friends and some random folks that question. No one had an answer.

Sure, there was plenty of hopeful hoopla back at the center’s July 4, 2003, opening. There were dignitaries. And news cameras. And national raves at a time before the world had caught on that Philadelphia was cool. The New York Times gushed over the center’s “perfect union of function and form.” Read more »

The Best Thing That Happened This Week: We Moved!

Goodbye, 1818.

It’s been a great run for us here at Philly Mag in our longtime Center City home at 1818 Market Street. From our offices on the 36th floor, we’ve looked out across the city and seen so much: the panic after 9/11, the Phillies’ World Series parade, the Occupy Philly encampment, the Black Lives Matter protests, Pope Francis’s visit. We’ve stood in line (forever) at “our” post office at 21st and Chestnut. We’ve bought gyros from the street carts and cheese from Di Bruno’s and fruits and veggies from Sue’s. We shopped at Bonwit Teller and Daffy’s and Nordstrom Rack — all in the same place! We watched as the city evolved around us — as the Market Street porn corridor was torn down, as Vet Stadium imploded, as University City grew higher and higher, as the lights in the Inquirer building went dim. We oohed and aahed at a lot of sunsets. We worked late and looked out on seas of (electric) stars. Read more »

Anti-Semitic Metal Band Duped Us, Says Bensalem Bar Manager

What’s a hate-spewing, anti-Semitic “black metal” band to do when the West Philly bar it was booked to perform at ultimately caves to public pressure and ends up canceling the gig? Use another name, of course, because it seems the show must go on – blood and all.

That’s the type of bait-and-switch that the Texas-based group Nyogthaeblisz pulled on Final Score Bar & Grill in Bensalem on Friday night, according to the venue’s manager — before, utterly sickened by the band’s apparent self-mutilation, he booted them off the stage after one set. Read more »

West Philly Bar Books Anti-Semitic Band a Week After Charlottesville

Nyogthaeblisz’s band logo, left, via Facebook. Millcreek Tavern, right, via Google Maps.

Millcreek Tavern, a West Philly bar that’s a regular venue for touring metal bands when it isn’t serving up karaoke and wings to pop-collared frat bros, is planning to host a controversial “black metal” group on Friday night known throughout that genre’s community for its unequivocally anti-Semitic lyrics and Satanic overtones.

Millcreek owner John Gillespie, a retired Philly cop, confirmed to Philly Mag that his bar booked a band — which turns out to be the Texas-based Nyogthaeblisz — late last night for an open Friday slot after it had been removed from a bill in in the D.C. area. Read more »

Chris Long Joins Malcolm Jenkins’s Anthem Protest

Photo by AP/Matt Rourke.

In all but one game last season, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins stood for the National Anthem with his right fist raised firmly in the air – a gesture symbolizing his displeasure with the continued mistreatment of minorities in this country. (The only game that Jenkins’ protest didn’t occur was the season opener on September 11th, which he said was out of respect for that date’s significance).

Newly signed defensive end Chris Long has been an ardent supporter of NFL anthem protests and in recent weeks established himself as a welcome voice speaking to the issues plaguing his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia. He echoed Seattle Seahawks pass-rusher Michael Bennett’s sentiment that the peaceful demonstrations would hold more weight if white players stepped up and joined in. Read more »

Cheapskates Outraged by the Franklin Institute

Photo courtesy of the Franklin Institute.

The Franklin Institute ran a little social media scavenger hunt promotion on Thursday morning with a prize that seemingly the entire city was clamoring to get its hands on: free solar eclipse viewers.

But after a shipment of the goods reportedly didn’t arrive on time, the Franklin ran out of viewers quickly and people were pissed. Feeling cheated, salty eclipse fans took to Instagram to let the museum know that they didn’t appreciate being given the runaround: Read more »

More Than 18,000 People Have Signed a Petition to Keep the Rizzo Statue

Frank Rizzo statue | Photo by Jared Brey

A petition to keep the city’s Frank Rizzo statue is gaining steam.

As of 4 p.m. Thursday, more than 18,000 people had signed the petition, which was posted on change.org by South Philly resident Marc Ferguson. That’s about 15,000 more signatures than a petition calling for the statue’s removal has gathered.  Read more »

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