Mike Jerrick Is the Future of Philadelphia’s Digital District

Picture yourself walking toward City Hall. Traffic zooms past you and as you stroll down Market Street, you dodge rushed business people texting and walking clumsily. The first thought that runs through your mind: Gosh, I wish this felt more like Times Square!

Oh wait.

No one has ever thought that in the entire history of Philadelphia.

But if a new proposal goes through, Philadelphia might just be one Naked Cowboy and a fancy New Year’s Eve party away from the bright lights of Midtown Manhattan.

Read more »

The Joy of a Phillies Game, Even When They Stink

phillies

One of my favorite memories of attending a Phillies game was on September 4, 1999. I was a senior in high school, and a group of us traveled down I-95 to the game. It was a Saturday night. I probably had a cross country meet that morning. This was a chance to relax.

More than 14 years on, I’ve forgotten many of the details. I just remember being so excited. School must have just started, and I was finally coming into my own senior year. Or, well, at least I thought I was. I was eager for my final year of high school. That night at the Phillies, my friends and I goofed around in a mostly-empty 700 Level. We went to a friend’s house in Oxford Circle afterward and hung in her basement. I probably stayed out too late for a cross-country runner. You know, high school stuff. It is just a fond memory.

The Phillies did not have their best day. The Reds set a still-standing National League record for most home runs in a game (9!) in a 22-3 thrashing of the Fightins. (After the first inning, the Phillies were ahead 2-0.) When the Reds’ 9-run fifth inning finally ended, the fans erupted in a standing Bronx cheer.

It didn’t matter that the Phillies were 17 games back after the game. We had a good time. We had all grown up in Philadelphia, so we were used to the Phillies stinking. The Phillies were 68-67 after that 22-3 loss. That’s not so bad!

What’s nice about baseball is it’s a picnic. The Phillies may have given up three home runs to Ryan Braun in a 10-4 loss in their home opener, but I still had a good time at the game yesterday. I tailgated with friends in the parking lot beforehand. I met my uncle, a man who’s taken me to scores of Phillies games in my life, and we sat in his season ticket seats. I listened to him wax nostalgic on Phillies teams in games past — ”Since the Vet opened, I’ve only missed about three home openers,” he bragged — and we drank beers and sighed as the Brewers scored another run. I ran into friends I hadn’t seen in forever. I updated an old boss on my life. I actually walked back to downtown up 10th Street because it was nice out, and a friend suggested we walk. Why has no one asked me to do this before? I wondered aloud.

The Phillies lost, 10-4. Nothing especially notable happened; most of the things I did yesterday weren’t new. They were routines I’d done before and will do again. But it was just so great to do them all again. The Phillies don’t look like they’ll be very good this year. But trips to the ballpark seem like they’ll be just as good as ever.

Follow @dhm on Twitter.

Our Five Favorite Parts of the Chris Christie New Yorker Profile

You’ve already heard about the Joy Behar incident. There are a lot more golden tidbits in this week’s New Yorker profile of Chris Christie. Here are five of our favorite:



  Follow @JoelMMathis on Twitter.

Six Unfortunate but Real Reasons Women Are Paid Less Than Men

Photo | Shutterstock

Photo | Shutterstock

To all women: Yes, you are paid less than men.

There is no doubt. I see this with my clients. I see this at other companies I visit — both large and small. You are being discriminated against. You are being treated unfairly. You are still not considered equals in many workplaces — not everywhere, but in many, many companies. Why is this still the case, even in 2014? From my observations of the business world, I can list these six common reasons cited:

Read more »

Willie Brown Is a Changed Man

An observation: The Willie Brown of 2014 is not the Willie Brown of 2009.

Don’t misunderstand: They’re similar enough that it won’t really be a surprise if Brown eventually leads his union, TWU 234, on a strike that ends up shutting down SEPTA and inconveniencing tens of thousands of commuters sometime in the next couple of weeks.

But whereas the Willie Brown of 2009 seemed like he couldn’t strike fast enough — remember, TWU waited only until the World Series was over, then went on strike without any notice to the commuting public — the Willie Brown of 2014 genuinely seems like he’d like to avoid a work stoppage.

Read more »

The New Jersey Casino Experiment Has Failed

AtlanticCityHow low can Atlantic City casinos go? The numbers for 2013 aren’t looking very good — for N.J.’s gambling resort, or for casinos across the country.

Last year, Atlantic City’s casinos brought in $235 million in gambling earnings. That’s bad — 35 percent less than 2012 —and even worse given the following:

  • The 2013 number includes the introduction of the much ballyhooed Internet gambling that was supposed to be the latest and greatest thing to save Atlantic City. Apparently not.
  • The 2013 earnings are still down 35 percent even when being compared to those of 2012, a year that included Superstorm Sandy. The storm shut down casinos entirely and slowed business for months after.

It’s not getting any better this year, either.

Read more »

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

citizens-bank-park-aero-imaging-newscom-940x540

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?

Read more »

Normcore? More Like “Momcore”

The Thursday Styles section of the New York Times last week contained a big bloomingarticle on the fashion trend known as “normcore,” which the article helpfully defined in the following way:

 A fashion movement, c. 2014, in which scruffy  young urbanites swear off the tired street-style clichés of the last decade — skinny jeans, wallet chains, flannel shirts — in favor of a less-ironic (but still pretty ironic) embrace of bland, suburban anti-fashion attire. (See Jeans, mom. Sneakers, white.)

Accompanying the article were a lot of photos of my clothes. Specifically, there were Nike sneakers, cargo shorts, t-shirts, a hoodie from a random college, Champion sweatpants … Well, hello, old friends!

Read more »

Let’s Teach Philly Kids to Use Guns — Properly

shutterstock_128038661

Over the weekend, a 2-year-old boy in West Philadelphia shot and killed his 11-year-old sister. The gun —a .357 Magnum — had been stored on top of a fridge; according to reports it was then moved to a master bedroom in the family home. One way or another, it ended up in the toddler’s hands. He fired it, of course. Now both of their lives are destroyed.

It’s a stupid, senseless tragedy. It never should’ve happened. We can all agree on this, right?

So I want to offer a proposal I believe might well reduce the number of gun deaths in Philadelphia. It’s also a provocative proposal. I suspect our gun debate is too polarized for it to become reality, at least for now. But I suspect it would reduce the number of stupid accidents we see — and, by teaching respect for the deadly power of firearms, might even lead to better behavior overall among this city’s criminal elements.

This proposal: Every junior-high student in Philadelphia public schools should take a gun-safety class.

Read more »

Dear Chris Christie: It’s Time to Give Up on 2016

AP Photo | Julio Cortez

Chris Christie. AP Photo | Julio Cortez

Dear Governor Christie:

It is over. For the good of the Republican Party, the State of New Jersey, you, and your family, it is time to put to rest all speculation that you may run for president in 2016. Have one of your famous news conferences — call us all idiots if you’d like — but officially announce that you’ll not be running for president.

Read more »

« Older Posts  |  Newer Posts »