Hello, dedicated readers of The Inquirer Morning Newsletter.
First: Hop on a preview tour of the results of architect Frank Gehry’s $233 million expansion project at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This guy loves a swooping curve.
Then: The FDA could be making vaccines available for kids as soon as next week, and that has Philly teens and doctors optimistic.
And: Anna Russell Jones, the unsung American artist with an extraordinary backstory, is getting overdue recognition as the African American Museum reopens today to visitors.
Back in 2007, architect Frank Gehry promised to sneak a big surprise into his expansion of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which rattled more than a few preservationists. And now, architecture critic Inga Saffron has a message to deliver to the Philadelphians who have spent the last 15 years concerned about what the man best known for the paradigm-smashing Guggenheim Bilbao might do to the iconic building: You can rest easy.
“Instead of wreaking havoc, the 92-year-old architect has played against type and given museum officials precisely what they wanted: clarity, light, and space,” Saffron’s review begins. Most important, he has endeavored to improve accessibility and overhauled the less-than-ideal lighting and floor plan.
Museum-goers should expect two shiny new galleries devoted to American and contemporary art, along with a soaring public room. But while the big concern was that Gehry would do something wild and crazy to the iconic museum, Saffron worries he may have actually been too well-behaved.
Read on for her review of the streamlined and modern new look with photos.
The FDA is expected to expand the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include adolescents ages 12 to 15 as early as next week.
Though kids are less likely to get sick from COVID-19, public health officials have said that vaccinating kids will be necessary to tame the virus. In Philly, the expanded FDA authorization would make about 80,000 youths eligible for vaccination, Thomas Farley, the city’s health commissioner, said this week. (It will increase immunity levels for the general population, and bring down the death rate and hospitalizations for those at greater risk of severe illness.)
Reporter Bethany Ao has the whole story on what Philly teens and doctors are saying about the eligibility expansion, and the best source for soon-to-be available vaccines for families right now.
Helpful COVID-19 Resources
Here’s when you need to wear a mask, according to CDC guidance. We broke it down with our expert-informed guide, whether or not you’re vaccinated.
This is what we know about rare “breakthrough” COVID-19 infections in vaccinated people.
Here’s what you need to know about taking allergy medicines before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Where can you get a COVID-19 vaccine in the Philly area? Use our lookup tool.
What you need to know today
Anna Russell Jones, the artist with an extraordinary backstory, is having a bit of a moment as she is reintroduced to the world at the African American Museum.
We’ve got the 4 key takeaways from last night’s heated debate between Philly DA Larry Krasner and challenger Carlos Vega.
Philly should commit to an official reopening date already, City Council members are saying.
As unemployment levels stay high, companies in the Philly region say they can’t find workers: “We’re desperately trying to get people.”
A Philly detective was recently arrested. But for two full decades, none of the citizens complaints, internal police investigations, or lawsuits alleging erratic behavior were enough to arrest him until now.
After a student push, Pa.’s state university system is adopting a strategy to address racism on campuses by building a more diverse staff and curriculum.
A hygiene truck will deliver personal items to Philadelphians experiencing homelessness and low-income individuals. There will even be a touch screen for requests for things like toothbrushes and socks.
“Okay ladies, let me tell you what happened as my husband was there inside the Capitol.” A wife’s efforts to defend her husband on Facebook has led to the arrest of a Bucks County man charged in the Capitol riot.
Through your eyes | #OurPhilly
The good old Boathouse Row is looking really good right now. Thanks for sharing.
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!
🌡 Start freezing the popsicles now. In 2050, Pa. will be quite a few degrees hotter, a state report says.
📚 The threat of spreading coronavirus via a book may be low, but library books are still in quarantine.
🌆 How much clout does the Philly DA have to influence policy? What does the district attorney do? Let us address those and other questions, one by one, ahead of the May 18 primary.
🍦 Political writer Chris Brennan has always served up scoops on the battle between Philly DA Larry Krasner and the Fraternal Order of Police, and its recent “soft on crime” stunt aimed at the incumbent was no exception. Now, Ben of Ben & Jerry’s has waded in to deliver the iciest possible blow at Mister Softee for parking its truck right in the middle of the Philly DA’s race.
📺 During a regular Fox & Friends segment called “Failing our children,” a Philly sixth grader surprised the host by defending Biden’s pandemic response.
✈️ This is how Philly is prepping for a possible tourism comeback.
“The MOVE children deserve peace. Instead they were lost and shuffled in transit,” organizer Abdul-Aliy Muhammad writes about the right to rest in peace, raising an unanswered question about this painful saga: Why did academics keep the remains in the first place?
Janice Ford Benner, a formerly more frequent flier with a 30-year career in the travel field, writes about why vaccine passports will make her feel safer before she’ll get on the next plane out of Philly.
What we’re reading
A new art exhibit in North Philly pays tribute to women helping others survive long Pa. prison sentences, The Philadelphia Tribune reports.
Enjoy an interesting tale of stuffed cabbage leaves from Food & Wine.
Scientists tried unsuccessfully to stop a hypothetical asteroid from crashing into the planet, and it didn’t go so hot, VICE reports.
Not content to be just Pennsylvania’s record holder for girls’ pole vaulting, Central Bucks West High School senior Chloe Timberg has set her sights on something even higher — the national mark. She says she sets no limits, and she’s determined to vault herself into a category of her very own. ”I think pole vault is less of a competition between the other competitors and more of a competition between you and the bar,” she told us.