Since March, the Philadelphia region has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic in many ways, including infections and deaths as well as layoffs and business closures. The full impact is still being measured, but initial numbers, unfortunately, show hundreds of small businesses permanently closing in the area.

But there is at least one that’s sticking around, for now. This week, we chatted with Michael Klein to learn more about Philly 10-year-old Micah Harrigan, who is selling lemonade — with his own debit card and LLC.

The week ahead

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Behind the story with Michael Klein

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 Michael Klein about Micah Harrigan, the 10-year-old entrepreneur with his own official lemonade business.

How did you find out about Micah’s story?

A friend tagged me in an Instagram post of his (@Micahsmixx). I liked the genuineness. People were rooting for him. We’ve all shared his hopes and dreams when we were young, and so many of us remember our first lemonade stand. His innocence is refreshing. When you realize the obvious — that his childhood is playing out among these difficult times — you can’t help but support him.

How are you keeping up with Micah’s business developments?

Simple. I keep an eye on Instagram and just check in with his mom, Danielle. I have to keep in mind that he’s 10 years old and that she is not some media strategist or pushy “stage mom.” There are no PR people or consultants involved here. This is Micah.

What is something you learned while reporting this story?

This was an eye-opener: Danielle told me when we first met how happy she was to see a reporter in their neighborhood who wasn’t there to cover something grim, like crime news.

What is one thing you’ll never forget about Micah and his life? What keeps you coming back?

I absolutely love his tenacity and his innocence, and I admire his mom for encouraging him and not saying “no” to his ideas, like becoming an LLC. She wants him to figure things out for himself, within reason.

What drew you to reporting and to food reporting in particular?

I like to tell stories about people, and I’m the son of restaurant owners who decided many years ago that the restaurant life was not for me. I don’t consider myself a food reporter, per se. And I am certainly not a critic. I write about the food business and the people in it — not so much about the food itself. I leave the quote-fingers “food” writing to the experts.

What is one thing you wish more people better understood about your job?

I’ve always likened the restaurant/food beat to standing at Niagara Falls with a cup. There’s just so much worth writing about, but lots of it will get away. I’m trying to show readers what’s new out there — those quick hits, like a new business — while also painting a big picture that is changing constantly. (I’m also trying to limit my use of similes and metaphors.)

Email Michael Klein at and follow him on Twitter at @phillyinsider.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

This is an incredibly wicked shot. I don’t know another way to describe it. Nice work, @datelib!

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!

Is your trash piling up? Here’s where you can take it.

Philadelphia has fallen behind on trash and recycling pickup during the coronavirus pandemic, leaving residents waiting for days as it piles up. Other cities have faced similar challenges, too. Collection schedules in Philly are one to four days behind. But you don’t have to wait impatiently for the next garbage truck to head down your street. There are six centers throughout the city where you can dispose of your own trash. Here’s the list.

What we’re…

  • Eating: pound cake. But this cake features some very distinctive purple swirls that come from a yam that’s often used in Filipino cuisine. Yep, it’s very Instagram-able.
  • Watching: Mighty Writers. This Philly educational nonprofit, founded in 2009, has launched a video series that features musicians performing songs and talking about their favorite teachers and writers. They have a pretty impressive lineup on YouTube.
  • Exploring: day trips for photo buffs. We’ve got a list of the most picturesque places that you can visit in Pennsylvania. Even without photos, these look like some decent spots for a getaway.

Comment of the week

“Really going to miss Gunner and his after game interviews with the Eagles because it was so obvious that he connected with the players. The pandemic has taken such a toll on people and their jobs everywhere.” — lyric, on Gregg Murphy, Derrick Gunn among those laid off at NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Your Daily Dose of | Zoo animals

When Tropical Storm Isaias hit, zookeepers in Norristown had to carry a 200-pound alligator uphill to safety, away from potential flood waters. As many as 30 other animals also had to relocate. Not long after, the zoo flooded from a nearby overflowing creek due to the heavy rainfall. Here’s the story of how zookeepers handle a flooding zoo to keep their animals safe.