A Philadelphia Christmas List

What this city needs, what it wants, and what it probably wouldn't bother returning.

monica weymouth

I have no reason to believe that Philadelphia made Santa’s list this year. If he checked it even once, he’d probably realize that we don’t do a lot of good for goodness sake around these parts.

But just in case – because Christmas is a time for miracles, and Santa seems like a pretty solid dude – it wouldn’t hurt to have a wish list at the ready.

In my experience, when you ask the Big Man Up North for really expensive or unusually difficult gifts, you receive an ill-fitting cashmere sweater. So, sorry giant pile of magical cash that can only be used for the school system – we’ve got to keep these requests somewhat reasonable.

Here’s what Philly needs (or at least probably wouldn’t bother returning) this Christmas.

More Waterfront Development

Photograph by Jeff Fusco

Photograph by Jeff Fusco

Because every time we construct even a shoddy pop-up bar on the Delaware, we flock to its shores like we’ve never seen booze or hammocks before. I’m not going to hold my breath and wait for anyone to actually follow through with ambitious plans to sink I-95 and connect the city with the riverfront again. But I am going to throw this out there: If we sink New Jersey, we have an oceanfront.

A Celebrity Ambassador


Now that Bill Cosby is seemingly not the kindly, no-nonsense grandfather we thought he was, we’ll need a new A-lister to make Philly look good – which is difficult, considering our lack of A-listers and good. Bradley Cooper and Kevin Hart: If you could please make your way under the Christmas tree, it would be appreciated.

An Eagles Playoff Spot

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

When the Eagles win, my grumpy bartender is nicer. My grumpy bus driver is nicer. My grumpy little dog is (ever-so-slightly) nicer. Would a more sustainable solution be that grown adults stop throwing tantrums every time a team that they don’t play on fails to advance a ball over a line? Yes, but refer to the Cashmere Sweater Clause. An Eagles playoff spot is the closest thing Philly will get to peace on Earth.

A Topshop



Now that we have a Century 21, it’s time to scope out New York’s less-sloppy retail seconds. Topshop, we think you’ll find that Walnut Street is just as cozy – and glitter-hungry – as Fifth Avenue.

An (Adopted) Puppy


A pony is pushing it, but we could likely bargain for a puppy. Nay, we deserve a puppy. If you have a cozy, empty space under your tree this year, the PSPCA is running holiday adoption specials.

One Screening of The Interview


Until recently, my Christmas Day plans looked like this: dinner at Han Dynasty, a screening of The Interview and a side of special popcorn. (How’s that for glory, Herald Angels?) I don’t care if this movie is released in the name of free speech or creative integrity or good old-fashioned ‘Merica, but if I have to see Night at the Museum, the terrorists have won.

A Royal Visit



The Pope’s 2015 visit is, indeed, exciting. But Princess Kate? Jesus Christ himself would be excited to get a whiff of that woman’s hair.

A Just Sentence for the Gay-Bashing Suspects


It doesn’t happen often, but every once in awhile Philly comes together for a resounding “Oh hells no.” In the wake of the September attack on Zachary Hesse and his partner, Andrew Haught, the message was clear: keep that hateful nonsense in the ’burbs. After an early Christmas present last week from Judge Charles Hayden, the three suspects are scheduled to be formally arraigned on January 6th.

A Giant Pile of Magical Cash That Can Only Be Used for the School System


I changed my mind – let’s risk the cashmere sweater. Santa, baby, if you can hook it up, we promise to do better next year.