Philly Today: PETA Trolls Pat’s and Geno’s, a Shoplifting Surge, and Pricey Eagles Tickets

Plus more of what the city is talking about.

a peta billboard against cheesesteaks has appeared near pat's and geno's in philadelphia

A PETA billboard against cheesesteaks has popped up in South Philadelphia near Pat’s and Geno’s (photo provided)

PETA vs. Cheesesteaks

The world’s most well-known animal rights group would like to remind you that not only are cheesesteaks unhealthy — they also are responsible for the deaths of an untold number of cattle. That’s the message of a PETA billboard that recently popped up at 1357 East Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia, just a block from those steer-slaughtering institutions known as Pat’s & Geno’s.

“A cheesesteak stops a beating heart,” reads the billboard, which also features a cow that looks as cute as it does desperate. “Today hers. Later, maybe yours. Go vegan.”

“You can pick something that doesn’t clog your arteries or involve killing cows,” PETA president Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement that went on to describe in graphic detail how Big Meat kills cows. “PETA is encouraging Philly diners to show some brotherly love to animals and vote for health by opting for a delicious vegan cheesesteak instead.”

(Note that the emphasis on “brotherly love” was theirs and, yes, we cringed at it too.)

Pat’s owner Frank Olivieri, whose great uncle invented cheesesteaks, assures Philly Mag that the billboard hasn’t done anything to thwart his sales.

“100,000 people walk or drive by that billboard every day and laugh at it,” says Olivieri. “I’m pretty sure that the people coming down to get cheesesteaks are going to want cheesesteaks no matter what a billboard says. It’s a joke, really.”

Olivieri says PETA once held a protest outside of his iconic shop some years ago but that the protesters left once he had a chat with them.

“I told them I didn’t think it was a good idea,” he recalls. “And one of them said, ‘Are you threatening us?’ And I told them I didn’t personally have any problem with them. But my customers, well …”

Olivieri points out that Pat’s does have one vegetarian sandwich on the menu — grilled vegetables with your choice of cheese, or you can go cheese-less, of course — but it’s the one thing at Pat’s he just can’t recommend.

“It’s like sex without the orgasm,” he jests.

And Now Derek Green Is Running for Mayor

Yesterday, we told you that longtime City Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez resigned so that she could run for mayor. And today, we can tell you that Derek Green, who has been on City Council since 2016, has done the same. Green was one of the first city officials to call on Mayor Kenney to resign in the wake of Kenney’s infamous words in response to the 4th of July chaos on the Parkway.

If you’re keeping track, that’s Green, Quiñones-Sánchez, and Allan Domb who have resigned from City Council (Domb has yet to announce anything official about running for mayor), and more are expected. So far, that’s three vacant City Council seats out of 17. Special elections will need to be held to fill those seats — Council President Darrell Clarke must decide when they will happen — and those races promise to be as interesting as the one for mayor.

We Never Thought We’d Use the Phrase Skateboard Bench, but…

The big news in the, uh, skateboard world is that a, er, legendary skateboard bench that went missing in Manhattan recently and that has a storied history of being stolen and relocated has surfaced right here in Philadelphia. Apparently, a group of Philly skateboarders rented a U-Haul truck and drove it to New York’s Tompkins Square Park, where they stole the 300-pound thing — alternately known as the Green Bench or the AVE Bench — and brought it to the hotbed of skateboarding known as Philadelphia. The bench is currently up near Temple’s campus, and skateboarding enthusiasts are reportedly driving from all over the region to give it a go. No word on how long the skateboard bench will hang out in Philly before it’s stolen by another city. I never felt old until right now.

Want to Go to an Eagles Game? Save Your Money

Who says journalism is dead? The good people at Axios have released the results of their very scientific study of NFL ticket prices. And their report shows that the Linc is the 7th most expensive place in the country to see a football game. That’s based on the cost of four of the cheapest tickets, parking lot fees, a couple of beers (which, according to Axios, are the most expensive in the league) and soft drinks and, of course, some hot dogs. That will set you back $724, while the national average is $537. All of which just makes my neighborhood bar look that much better.

The Shoplifting Scourge

I was buying coffee at Wawa just the other day when a small group of teens casually strolled right by the cashiers and out the door, their arms filled with various bags of chips, other snacks, and some energy drinks. The one cashier made note of it to the store manager, rolled her eyes, and then told me, “This happens all day long.”

Well, last night, 6ABC reporter Bob Brooks aired this special report from South Philly about a surge in shoplifting there:

As if small business owners didn’t have enough to deal with.

And from the Phillies Desk…

There was plenty of zaniness in the Phils’ return to home field last night, including starter Aaron Nola racking up 10 strikeouts in the game and thus 200 on the season for the fourth time, tying him for second place all-time for the Phils with Jim Bunning and Grover Alexander, the latter of whom played for the team from, um, 1911 to 1917. That’s before even I was born.

One definite highlight: the marvelously laid-back John Kruk, sharing the announcers’ booth with Tom McCarthy, humming the Jeopardy! waiting-for-the-final-reveal tune during a Marlins-called review of whether first baseman Charles Leblanc had been hit by a pitch, then posing his answer: “What is the dumbest rule in baseball?” The umps ruled no harm — only to have Nola’s reliever, Brad Hand, hit Leblanc with his next pitch, no question this time.

Postscript: After Jean Segura, steamed because the Marlins walked J.T. Realmuto to get to him in the bottom of the ninth with (then) two on, smacked a line drive for the walk-off win, Kruk told him: “You’re a very good angry hitter, my friend.” —Sandy Hingston