The new Fillmore Philadelphia is barely a couple months old now, but if our great-great-grandchildren go digging around in Fishtown one day, they may come across a little piece of its history. Officials from the venue lowered a time capsule into the ground on the Richmond Street side of the building Wednesday afternoon with items that provide a snapshot of Philly and the venue in 2015. The capsule holds some sports and media memorabilia — and even a reminder of Pope Francis’s visit in September. Here’s what they put in it:
Pope Francis is long gone from Philadelphia, but one New Jersey businessman has found a way to keep the spirit of giving going full force: He’s sending fragments of carpet from the papal events to people all over the world in exchange for donations to St. Jude’s Hospital for Children. Read more »
Business was godawful in Philadelphia during the papal visit, according to a new “economic impact study” by City Controller Alan Butkovitz.
Butkovitz found that 85 percent of the hotels, restaurants and retail stores that his office surveyed “said that revenue this September compared to prior Septembers was either significantly or somewhat less than average.”
Butkovitz added in a statement, “None of the customers that typically frequent these businesses were around, not only on the weekend, but were absent the week leading up to the papal visit.”
Butkovitz’s study has at least one major problem, though. His office surveyed only 108 companies located in the so-called “traffic box” — a relatively small area in Philadelphia where incoming traffic was banned during Pope Francis’ trip.
To get a real understanding of how the papal visit affected Philly, you’d have to survey businesses throughout the entire region. That’s because plenty of pilgrims booked hotel rooms, ate at restaurants, used transportation services, and shopped at stores outside of the traffic box — probably more than they did inside the traffic box, in fact, according to local economist Kevin Gillen. Read more »
Philadelphia was to play host to two of the world’s top spiritual leaders this fall (we got the pope, the Dalai Lama canceled), so, in the spirit of keeping the holiness flowing, the City and nonprofit organization A Day of Kindness have teamed up for “A Day of Kindness” on October 27th. (History buffs may recognize that date as the birthday of Philadelphia—its 333rd.)
“We are working to bring out the spirit of kindness William Penn envisioned when he founded Philadelphia,” say reps from A Day of Kindness. “Our intention is to invite the best of the human spirit to be more present by facilitating acts and expressions of kindness. We are reaching out to the diverse communities, faiths, celebrities and underserved populations of the city to reacquaint each other with the kindness that lives inside all of us.”
Mayor Michael Nutter has heard the critiques of last weekend’s Papal visit to Philadelphia — and he thinks they lay bare some disturbing qualities about the city he leads.
“We have to figure out as a city, how do we declare victory, how do we enjoy success, how can we be more positive about any number of things that go on in this city,” a plainly frustrated Nutter told me yesterday in an impromptu phone
In the mayor’s view, Pope Francis’s visit was a huge success for the city, an event capable of elevating Philadelphia’s profile on the world stage.
“If you were here, it was one of the most spectacular things you ever saw,” Nutter said. “The only people criticizing what went on is us. We pound ourselves, criticize ourselves unmercifully, and everybody else [outside of Philadelphia] is saying it was the best of all events.” Read more »
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 »
We’ve heard a lot of testimony from Philadelphia restaurateurs about how their businesses were affected by the Pope Francis visit, or, perhaps, by how the city handled the Pope Francis visit. And now City Controller Alan Butkovitz is asking restaurants — and hotels and shops as well — just how bad was it?
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 »
Ever since we heard that Congressman Bob Brady stole Pope Francis’ water glass in Washington, D.C. last week (in case you missed the only-a-Philadelphia-Congressman-could-do-this story, go here), we thought that this would be the perfect fodder for Stephen Colbert. And on Tuesday night, Colbert proved us correct with a genius skewering of the congressman. Read more »