Last year’s protests for racial justice changed Philadelphia politics. Racial equity and systemic racism are now a primary focus in City Hall, shaping policy-making and the electoral calculus for candidates. But disagreements remain. It’s possible that political dynamics have changed forever, but others fear that the current focus could just be momentary political theater. This is how Philly’s protests changed the city’s political landscape.
And, Philly’s Flower Show is outdoors for the first time ever in its long history. And visitors are enjoying the new venue.
The week ahead
It’s hot in Philly, and this heat wave is likely to last well into the week.
Starting in August, Philly police will no longer be allowed to stop, question, or detain people for “quality of life violations,” potentially including panhandling, smoking marijuana, urinating in public, or holding open liquor containers, as ordered by a federal judge.
A West Philly apartment project got zoning approval. No fecal samples were required to develop the so-called “poop building.”
As Citizens Bank Park fully reopens to fans, the Phillies haven’t met the MLB’s COVID-19 vaccination threshold.
The Sixers are playing their first game against the Hawks in the NBA playoffs today. Here’s what our sportswriters predict for this series.
Celebrating Pride Month 🏳️🌈
During June, we’re celebrating Pride Month by highlighting the lives and experiences of LGBTQ people in the Philly region. Please reply to this email if you have an event or story you’d like to share here.
Your Philly Pride Calendar
Philly’s Pride Month is full of events that honor the contributions that LGBTQ people have made to this city and bring awareness to the issues that queer people still face. There won’t be a parade this year (again), but there are still lots of Pride events happening in Philly all month long. Check out your PRIDE event calendar here.
If you need help: You can get LGBTQ-friendly mental health support in Philly. Here’s how to find qualified, affordable, accessible therapy, group support, and peer counselings.
Edith Surreal is a trans pro wrestler from Philly who decided to transition in the spotlight. “Being a wrestler gave me the confidence to transition,” she said. “Once I started meeting fans and they’d come out to me and share their story, it felt like this is so much bigger than myself.”
Kay Lahusen died at 91 in May. She led early LGBTQ protests in Philly that paved the way for the historic Stonewall riots in New York City in 1969. She was one of the first photographers to document the struggle.
And here’s how to support trans people in Philly, according to trans people.
This week’s most popular stories
Behind the story with Jonathan Tannenwald
Each week we go behind the scenes with one of our reporters or editors to discuss their work and the challenges they face along the way. This week we chat with soccer reporter and digital producer Jonathan Tannenwald.
Can you describe your coverage area and responsibilities?
I’m The Inquirer’s soccer beat writer. I cover the Union and the U.S. women’s and men’s national teams, and also try to make the world’s game accessible to the local audience in a city where the sport is growing fast. I’ve also been part of The Inquirer’s website editing and social media crews for nearly 15 years.
What’s the best part for you about covering the Philadelphia Union?
Watching young players come through the team’s youth academy and then become big-time with the club and the U.S. national team. Two recent examples are midfielder Brenden Aaronson, who grew up in Medford, N.J., and defender Mark McKenzie, who grew up in Bear, Del. This past winter, they were sold to European clubs for $6 million each — among the largest transfer fees for players from Major League Soccer in its 25-year history.
What’s something many people may not know about The Inquirer’s digital team?
Much of what you see on our home page didn’t get there by automated feeds. We’re real people who care very deeply about what we do, and how readers respond to it and interact with it. There’s work that gets done just as there is in laying out the print newspaper every night. In particular, our team cares a lot about ensuring that we showcase a diversity of voices from our newsroom and the Philadelphia region.
What are a few stories you worked on recently that you’re proud of?
I am always proudest of my coverage of women’s soccer, a sport community that I’ve been part of for almost two decades now. I have always tried to treat women’s and men’s sports the same — I think that’s one of the highest compliments I can pay women’s sports, whether covering soccer or basketball or anything else.
In the last few months, I’ve gotten to write features on three U.S. national team players: midfielder Sam Mewis, who might be the best player in the world right now; young defender Alana Cook, who went to high school in Mercer County; and do-it-all star Crystal Dunn, who is finally being recognized by fans — and commercial sponsors — as one of the team’s biggest names.
What’s something you learned from your own reporting?
The importance of centering athletes in stories about them, especially when writing about their work in antiracism and other social justice campaigns.
What are you looking forward to this year, with your job or outside of work?
Being around people in person again. Not only in stadiums, but just being able to meet up with friends and relatives again who I haven’t seen in a long time.
Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly
Happy Pride, from Boathouse Row!
Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!
When Philly restaurants can be ‘normal’ again
Normal, or what passes for normal, is on the way. With the Philly region reopening, restaurants are booking up and new ones are opening. But in the short term, at least two issues are presenting challenges. One is the need for additional government relief, says the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association. Many restaurants are still in debt. And labor is likely the chief impediment to the industry’s speedy recovery. Here’s a glance at what “normal” looks like — at least for the short term.
Eating: More than a dozen restaurants in the Philly-area have opened so far in 2021. This is what’s new.
Watching: Will Mare of Easttown get a second season? Here’s what creator Brad Ingelsby had to say.
Listening to: Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album Sour is out and it “marks the arrival of a singer-songwriter to watch,” according to music critic Dan DeLuca.
Question of the week
What are your Mare of Easttown opinions? It’s been a week since the finale aired, so we asked our Instagram followers how they felt about the show, its conclusion and if they want a second season. Here are a few of their responses:
💯 “Good finale. Def support a second season and bringing jobs + recognition to the area.”
😍 “I’m from Philly but live in Texas now. This show brought out my Philly/Delco accent. I loved it.”
👍 “One and done. It ended well and a second season would ruin it.”
💌 “Yes I want a second season. It was outstanding and Kate Winslet is a true Philadelphian.”
🥰 “Love how they embraced all the quirks that Philly has to offer. Yes to another season!”
💖 “Love the characters, would enjoy another season if they come up with a good story.”
Your Daily Dose of | Porchfest
West Philly’s Porchfest came back on Saturday after being canceled due to the pandemic last year. The annual D.I.Y. music festival and mega-block party drew crowds that stood together in clusters on sidewalks and in streets closed to traffic to watch acts perform on rowhouse porches, or walked the shady streets in groups from one mini-concert to the next.