What If Another Texas City Surpasses Philly’s Population?

10 thoughts on (eventually?) being overtaken by San Antonio. Plus, a fire in New Jersey smokes out the Walt Whitman, a viral dance-off and the mayor's ruling on remote working.

Remember when Ozzy peed on the Alamo? LOL / San Antonio photo by Mike Rapa

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Let Us Briefly Mess with Texas

Recently released U.S. census data says Philadelphia is still the sixth-largest city in the country despite more than 50,000 people moving out during covid. However, several news outlets are pointing out that San Antonio is growing fast and may one day overtake us.

Obviously, despite it being meaningless and inactionable, this news fills me with fear and anger and malaise. I had no idea San Antonio was such a bustling metropolis. It’s not a place I’ve given much thought to. It’s possible I’ve never said “San Antonio” out loud. But all this time they’ve been making sneaky moves, trying to bump us. Who do they think they are?

And who actually are they? I decided to conduct a cursory, cynical search to learn more about the place that bills itself as, no lie, America’s Biggest Cheap City, even though that makes it sound like a Walmart.

Here’s what I found:

1. Seems like one way San Antonio has grown is the way Phoenix has grown, by means of involuntary annexation, aka pointing at nearby land and saying “mine.”

2. The scenic San Antonio River Walk is where they filmed Cloak and Dagger. The 1984 children’s spy thriller is not their Rocky, however, it’s their Sixth Sense, and the big Bruce Willis Twist at the end is [SPOILER ALERT] that the nice old couple are the bad guys, and it was very scary when I was little. RIP Dabney Coleman.

3. Lest you forget, they also have The Alamo. That’s where people laugh at you just for asking a simple question while you’re really upset and just trying to find your bike. RIP Paul Reubens.

4. Sea World San Antonio is home to several orcas with vengeance in their hearts, but mostly it seems like an amusement park.

5. They have a big, colorful springtime tradition called the Battle of Flowers Parade, which looks like Mummers meets the Flower Show and it seems nice.

6. The Spurs were a famous basketball team based in the area.

7. Kind of running out of stuff here. I mean, Tex-Mex? Everybody has Tex Mex.

8. If you go to the North Star Mall you can see 40-foot-tall cowboy boots. You know, like clowns wear.

9. In 2021, San Antonio was named “the least walkable major city in America.” Sheesh.

10. The tallest building in San Antonio is the 750-foot Tower of the Americas, which looks like a churro wearing a hat. Once you’ve taken the elevator all the way up to the observation deck you can do what you can already do from anywhere in Philadelphia: Look down on San Antonio.

Smoke on the Wooder

In case you haven’t heard, a crane caught fire just across the river in Gloucester City (near the Walt Whitman Bridge). At the moment I’m writing this, all these guys are spraying water at the fire, so it should be over soon. Maybe it’s over now? Meanwhile, the Health Department says it could lead to poor air quality, and suggests we stay indoors, close all the windows and “recirculate air with fans to avoid bringing more air pollution into your home.” How will fans do that if my windows are closed?

Now Watch This

A cute video about a video that went viral showing a Kensington second grader and his teacher in a dance off. I heard dancing is illegal in San Antonio.

By The Numbers

1: Large black bear spotted in Bucks County this morning. “He’s just walking me home,” says local woman.

12 years: How long Best Of Philly winner Pizza Brain has been serving up slices on Frankford Avenue in Fishtown, helping to establish a bustling foodie corridor in the neighborhood. Now the pizzeria is looking to move itself (and its award-winning collection of pizza memorabilia, presumably) elsewhere, citing the usual landlord issues.

80 percent: The number of city workers already working in their offices and/or on-site, according to Mayor Cherelle Parker, before her mandatory end to remote working. City employees have said such a move will decrease morale and ruin plans to be with their children over the summer.

100+: That’s how many video games the Free Library is lending out starting right now. The max is three games, for three weeks at a time.

900: This is interesting. Seems like Philly PD retires its guns by selling them to cops. Then sometimes the cops sell them to other people. This happened 900 times between 2006 and 2022. Sometimes those guns get used for crimes and it’s ironic because the cops do not like crimes.

32,000 square feet: That’s how big the French food safety giant bioMérieux’s new innovation center and offices in the Navy Yard will be, according to WHYY. I got excited too, but “French food safety giant” apparently just means it’s a big company from France, and not like a huge mime.

45,000 square feet: That’s how big Ballers, a “state-of-the-art indoor sporting facility,” will be, once renovations of the former PECO Delaware Generating Station are complete. That’s fine, but everybody stay away from the Willow Street Steam Generation Plant. I hope to be a supervillain one day and I’m going to need a lair.

And From the Quiet-Night Sports Desk …

Not much happening on Monday in the local sports world. But the Phils begin a home-stand series with the Rockies tonight at 6:40. They’re in pretty darn good shape, according to ESPN.

Any Doop News?

I should say! Two ex-members of the Union, Brenden Aaronson and  Mark McKenzie, are on the roster of the U.S. Men’s National Team for the Copa Américana in June. Keep an eye out for them on the pitch!

All Philly Today sports coverage is provided by Sandy Hingston.