10 Places to Mooch Free Air Conditioning in Philadelphia


It was Thomas Jefferson who famously wrote that the core of American identity rides on the preservation of life, liberty and the ability to blast every cell in our sickly bodies with frigid artificial air the second the weather gets slightly hot. But what Jefferson failed to consider when penning his seminal treatises (note to stoned high-school students: He didn’t actually write that, head elsewhere to plagiarize) was just how much the cost of energy would rise along with the republic.

Not sure what kind of setup T-Jeff had at Monticello, but it was likely more efficient than the junkbox ‘80s-era window units most of us rely on to chill our sweatbox South Philly apartments. There’s no more defeating feeling than swimming through sauna-like, ice-on-neck surroundings, only to be steamrolled by an insane PECO bill whose total resembles Chase Utley’s batting average (good Chase, we mean). What’s a stinky, sticky, sans-central-air citizen to do?

Mooch off other peoples’ AC, of course.

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Philadelphia Named 6th Best City for Singles

Pat yourself on the back, single people. According to rent.com, Philadelphia is the sixth-best city for singles in the country. Before you get too excited, please note that the list includes Jersey City (Jersey City!) at No. 9 and the usual suspects (Seattle, Boston, D.C., New York, San Francisco) in the top five. But, hey, sixth-best is pretty good!

Per the site, 26 percent of Philadelphia’s population is single (and the median one-bedroom rent is $1,295 — and, yeah, you can live for much cheaper than that if you look around a bit).

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Philadelphia Is One of 20 Most Walkable Metros

night market old cityNext City reports today on Foot Traffic Ahead: Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America’s Largest Metros, a report by the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at George Washington University School of Business.  The report’s authors, Christopher B. Leinberger and Patrick Lynch, come to some pretty interesting conclusions about the way cities are changing when it comes to walkable urbanism. From Next City:

Leinberger and Lynch’s operating premise is that Americans with options are increasingly moving away from what they call “drivable sub-urban” in favor of walkable urban places, which they call WalkUPs — basically, places where offices and stores are walking distance from homes and where those spaces are beginning to fetch higher rents because of demand.

The report on the 30 largest metros in the country divides results into current walkable urbanism and future walkable urbanism; and then demonstrates the way walkability is related to education and wealth.

Charts below.

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The 10 People You’ll Meet at Center City Sips


You’d think in America’s best beer-drinking city, we’d be about to put up a united front in our appreciation for cheap weeknight booze. But alas, this is Philadelphia and we are nothing if not contrarian. Every summer we become a city divided.

Half of us love Center City Sips, claiming that the Wednesday night happy hour version of Restaurant Week is the perfect way to celebrate Hump Day — even better if you can find a spot that serves booze outdoors. It’s an amazing reason to socialize on a Wednesday and a great way to meet other people in the city, we say earnestly while clutching a $3 Coors Light can. The other half of us grit our teeth and grumble at the watered-down cocktails and lukewarm appetizers. Half-priced cheesesteak spring rolls are not enough to win over the naysayers of Sips! We would rather pay full price on Tuesday, we exclaim, eyebrows crinkled with condescension.

Sips detractors have a valid point: Just like Restaurant Week can sometimes make perfectly acceptable eateries unbearable, Sips can turn your favorite bar into a business-casual nightmare. But week after week, I watch the bars fill up with excited swillers. Throughout the city, cabs circle popular Sips spots, knowing that tipsy imbibers will not have the energy to walk home to Fairmount after two hours of guzzling $4 Cabernet and stuffing their bellies with sliders and hummus plates. Just like we can count on Santa to be at Macy’s on Black Friday and Bill Cosby to be at Temple’s graduation, there are certain characters at every iteration of Center City Sips.

Behold, the 10 people you’ll see every Wednesday from now through August:

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Springfield, PA Ranks High on “Most Like The Simpsons” List

Bart Simpson messes with your head, via Estately.com

Bart Simpson messes with your head, via Estately.com

Estately Real Estate Search analyzed 11 different data sets to arrive at its rankings of which actual cities most resemble the fictional Springfield portrayed on “The Simpsons.”  The chart below shows the criteria as well as each state’s ranking in each category. As you’ll see, Pennsylvania does well not only with power plants, which we knew, but with businesses named “Moe’s,” which I would not personally have assumed.

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Philly Ranked 7th Best Vacation Spot for the Health Conscious



When out-of-towners think of Philly, the first thing that comes to mind is usually a gigantic, greasy Philly Cheesesteak. Delicious? Yes. Healthy? Not so much. So imagine our surprise when we heard that Philly came in seventh on a recent list of Best Vacation Spots for the Health Conscious. I’m not complaining, but … huh?

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10 Tourism Campaigns Here for the Mocking


Since May, the Inquirer‘s Karen Heller has been covering the humorously bureaucratic scrap between the city’s two civic marketing firms and their conflicting efforts to “brand” Philadelphia with an official come-hither tourism slogan.

Launched in early 2014, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce and other outfits, debuted a new campaign: “PHL: Here for the Making.” The tagline’s meant to puff up Philly’s status as a hotbed of hands-on entrepreneurs, as well as hip-ify the city by slanging up its airport code, a la Portland, Oregon’s popular use of “PDX.” It hasn’t gained too much day-to-day traction just yet, due at least in part to skewering by critics like Heller. “Perhaps it was a late-night gambit where the exhausted branding experts, having jettisoned a thousand previous ideas, threw it up against the wall to see if it would stick,” she wrote.

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Howard Eskin’s 5 Most Memorable Feuds

howard eskinSurprise, surprise. Howard Eskin is in a tiff with a prominent Philadelphia athlete — again.

The target this time? Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon, who reportedly got in Eskin’s face before the team’s 5-3 win over the Dodgers last weekend after the WIP host claimed that the pitcher missed an earlier game against the Mets due to a hangover.

This is far from the first time that Eskin (recently inducted into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame)  — and his ego — has been at odds with the athletes he covers. Here are five of his greatest hits:

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