The weather’s looking downright confusing, with a sunny, cold start transitioning to clouds, a dash of snow, perhaps icing and then rain and wind. Something for everyone.
Today we’ll hear from our architecture critic Inga Saffron about a rare opportunity to build more public housing in Philly.
And our restaurant critic Craig LaBan raves about the genuine hospitality of an ambitious South Street restaurant that pays tribute to the Great Migration in a review that starts with muffins.
📪 We want to know what you think. What’s your favorite restaurant in the Philly area? Email-us here.
Also, we know that noted strawberry hater Tom Brady admits he finds the Eagles challenging. He should. After all, we’re bringing the NFL’s best rushing attack and the 10th-ranked defense against the Bucs today. Our columnists Marcus Hayes and David Murphy debate whether we can come out on top.
And, as a treat, this week Kerith interviewed columnist Elizabeth Wellington about how Philly fashion evolved over the years.
🎤 And now, I’m passing the mic to Inga: “I had been looking into the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s redevelopment plans for an aging public housing project in West Philadelphia when a family of 12 perished Jan. 5 in a raging fire in a Fairmount duplex owned by the same agency.
Many Philadelphians were shocked to learn about the overcrowded conditions in the converted townhouse and wondered why PHA hadn’t done more for the residents. From years of covering PHA, I knew that the tragedy had its roots in decisions made three decades ago during the Clinton administration. I realized that I couldn’t write about PHA’s plans for West Park, a trio of towers at 44th and Market, without delving into that history.
The redevelopment of West Park is a rare chance for PHA to create hundreds of new apartments for low-income residents. But the success of the effort depends on the agency’s ability to break out of an outdated approach to public housing.” — Inga Saffron
Keep reading for more from Inga on the perfect site in West Philadelphia.
What you should know today
Lynn Yeakel, unrelenting advocate for women’s equality who nearly unseated longtime Sen. Arlen Specter over his treatment of Anita Hill during Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court confirmation hearings, has died at 80.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled a new map of congressional districts Saturday. Unsurprisingly, Republicans promptly pushed back.
Omicron is walloping workers, with absences canceling SEPTA buses and trolleys, delaying trash pickups, and temporarily closing postal offices, among the many disruptions.
What was that smell around the region the other day? We sniffed around for the perfectly reasonable, meteorological explanation.
Philly’s 311 app is on the fritz.
The city’s vaccine mandate for city employees was delayed 10 days.
A firefighter has 3 tips for preventing fires.
As our local economy recovers, sales are up but the labor supply is down.
After the omicron surge closed almost half of Philly public schools, here’s what parents are saying about the 136 schools still open.
And peanut butter-topped hot dogs are on the intriguing menu at this New Jersey restaurant.
Local Coronavirus Numbers: Cases have been rising. Here’s your daily look at the latest COVID-19 data.
Meet our insider on all things Philly style
For over two decades, Elizabeth Wellington has been keeping close tabs for The Inquirer on the evolution of style, the tastemakers, and what’s hot and not.
This week, we sat down with Wellington to discuss what’s evolved, the Philly people part of the evolution and of course, what defines her style.
How would you say Philly fashion has evolved? And what is it today?
So much has changed, not just in Philly but across the globe. Fashion was at the height of its celebrity status when I first came here. Labels mattered. Boutiques mattered. Department stores still had cachet. Prices were high and [it] didn’t matter, shopping was entertainment.
Today less is more. Our emphasis is on the joy of being rather than the joy of doing. Many of the boutiques I covered in the early years were closed. Fashion weeks are all virtual. We want to be comfortable. But fashion is still important. How we access it today, however, is different.
You recently did a piece on Joan Shepp and her iconic fashion boutique. What was that experience like?
Writing about Joan was awesome. I knew that fashion was a part of her Sheppy soul when I met her back in the day. Joan is creative. She knows labels. She understands history. And she knows how to make the structured, hard-to-wear looks work for Philly fashionistas. Joan is the heart of Philadelphia fashion. I was honored to tell her story. I’m all about giving people their roses while they are alive.
With the iconic series Sex and the City returning to HBO, are you 👍🏾 or 👎🏾 about its return?
I am all about HBO’s Sex and the City reboot. I watched a lot of [it] in my late 20s and early 30s, so Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha hold a special place in my heart.
The cool thing about the reboot is that we see our girls as middle-aged women who are living really messy lives. They give me hope. I don’t have it all together. And you know what, I don’t have to.
What’s Elizabeth Wellington’s style?
It’s very yoga pants-centric right now. But I feel like my style is very much in transition. Less is definitely more. I’m leaning toward classic silhouettes: tailored wide-legged pants, blouses, and blazers. I still love dresses — especially A-lines. Black jumpsuits are my go-to. My favorite color of the moment is kelly green. I can’t find enough items in kelly green!
Follow Elizabeth’s fashion exploits and more on Twitter at @EWellingtonPHL.
Know the farm show champions, my friend. Kerith highly recommended the excellent 106th Pennsylvania Farm Show comeback video this week. Do you remember the grand championship title collector who stood out from all the other animals prepped for greatness?
A) a charismatic chick
B) a “grand champion large” chicken
C) a bull who won over spectators
D) an objectively prize-worthy pig
See if you know the right answer here.
What We’re ...
Watching: Ronnie Spector telling us “everything will turn out alright” when she sings “Don’t Worry Baby” by the Beach Boys.
Listening to: More Ronnie thanks to the Ronettes, of course, because Ronnie’s voice is forever.
The night we met, I knew I needed you so. And if I had the chance, I’d never let you go. So won’t you say you love me, I’ll make you so proud of me. 🎶