Is it a message to the coronavirus? A silk-screened missive from our collective id? Our answer to “Don’t Mess With Texas”? Whatever it is, the “Leave Philly Alone” t-shirt from the tattoo-and-design outfit True Hand Society — purchasers of which have the option of donating $10 to one of numerous local businesses hamstrung by the shutdown — is the perfect fusion of cause and mantra. It’s struck a chord, raising more than $40,000. And we look pretty damned good in it, if we say so ourselves.
The hoops being played in South Philly when the pandemic struck were maddeningly inconsistent. The Philly hoops being played farther south were consistently euphoric. The South Carolina Gamecocks’ women’s team — helmed by Philly legend Dawn Staley — went 32-1, won their last 26 games, and in a season without a tournament were the consensus national champs. Staley rightly won the prestigious Naismith Coach of the Year award, making her the first such winner to have also previously won the Naismith Player of the Year award (which she did in 1991 and ’92). One wonders what madness March might have wrought.
This loose affiliation of 19 of Philadelphia’s most talented women writers was in full ascendency when the COVID-19 crisis descended. How great, then, that when we retreated into our bunkers, we did so with new, powerful works by Kiley Reid and Carmen Maria Machado and Liz Moore and Emma Copley Eisenberg. Even better: We have so many more to look forward to.
Secretary of Health Rachel Levine saved Pennsylvania — and became an accidental icon in the process. See the full write up here.
The stay-at-home order issued in March was a shock to the system for many Philadelphians, and children responded through art, posting homemade rainbows in their front windows. Inspired by this show of solidarity and expression of optimism, Florescio — whose couture balloon installations deliver excitement and wonder to intimate gatherings and corporate fetes alike — used her talents to craft a rainbow garland on her home’s front stoop and those of others in her Fairmount neighborhood. For everyone feeling unsteady or alone, Florescio’s doing her part to make sure hopefulness stays afloat.
Through its tree giveaway program, TreePhilly — launched by Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy — is working toward a goal of 30 percent canopy coverage in the city. That will not only be better for the environment; it will improve the city’s urban heat islands. They’ve given away more than 21,500 free trees to Philadelphians thus far — and even hosted a contact-free yard tree giveaway in May amid COVID-19.
Look, we love Rocky, but there comes a time in every city’s life when it needs to diversify its film reel. Jason Segel’s Dispatches From Elsewhere, with its sultry montages from Rittenhouse and Fishtown and South Philly, helped us do just that, at a time when we couldn’t actually experience our city because of lockdown. Segel may have chosen Philly over other cities in part because of tax incentives, but we’re tickled by the results, regardless.