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How Philly is eating now | Morning Newsletter

This year is burning people out

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

Good morning from the Inquirer newsroom.

First: Each year, our food team puts out an annual dining guide, but as we began to imagine what a 2020 guide could look like, one question kept coming up: How are Philadelphians eating now?

To answer that question, we have put together the 2020 dining guide — Let’s Eat, Philly! — celebrating the people who define Philadelphia’s world-class food scene and continue to need our support. It’s not just about eating out.

Then: News about the pandemic, the election, and unrest — for starters — is pressing in at every turn at a breakneck pace and burning people out. We talked to people who have felt tossed about emotionally.

And: Philadelphia’s new safety restrictions to help prevent the spread of coronavirus are expected at the city’s news conference this afternoon. Get the latest information on COVID-19 in Pennsylvania at

— Ashley Hoffman (@_ashleyhoffman,

In a year of evolution, workers have put themselves on the front lines to help feed us. So at a time of frequently changing guidelines for the hospitality industry, we’ve curated a different kind of annual guide that’s not just about dining out. Consider it a guide to who’s doing what to help you navigate our “new abnormal.”

As Food editor Jamila Robinson puts it, these changes have helped us to have “deeper conversations about the financial struggles and inequities endemic to the restaurant business. But even as the Philly food scene evolves in real time, what has remained are the people: the community of farmers and chefs, butchers and servers, mixologists and bakers who help us get food to our tables.”

From such people as Omar Tate to the cheesecake lady, the Inquirer Food Team is bringing you a package that celebrates the ingenuity and resilience of the many people of the food and service scene keeping Philly’s restaurant landscape vibrant. And, yes, from restaurant critic Craig LaBan, who has seen it all, we have the best takeout.

Philly-area people who have lost sleep and patience during a tense election, upheaval and a global pandemic are just exhausted. We talked to some of them about how the pandemic has ushered in a time of unease.

What you need to know today

  1. This election just proved that 2016 was no fluke. Pennsylvania is going to keep its swing state, a.k.a. “purple state,” status.

  2. Get all the latest news about coronavirus on our live blog that we’ll keep updated at

  3. Parents denounced Montgomery County for reverting to online instruction temporarily due to COVID-19 in two weekend protests.

  4. “She made it through, and now she’s gone.” A vigil for a Northeast Philly hit-and-run victim who survived breast cancer recalls a troubling trend of fatal hit-and-run accidents in the city.

  5. Financial adviser Dean Vagnozzi created a brand built on trustworthy advice until his involvement with Par Funding drew the interest of the SEC. His pitch? Ordinary investors could be “like the big boys.”

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

We love nothing more than a stroll along the Schuylkill. Thanks for sharing @tikreeti.dmd.

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!

That’s interesting

  1. 🐕 America’s love affair with the Biden dogs is inevitable. We’ve always been fixated on the animals close to our presidents.

  2. 🎄 Permission to string up your joyous holiday lights immediately is hereby granted. These people aren’t waiting for some future date to let Santa know where he is most welcomed. It’s self-care.

  3. 🦅 The Eagles' 27-17 loss to the New York Giants has led Mike Sielski to draw a parallel between our relationship with the team and one of the worst girlfriends from a Seinfeld episode ever.

  4. 🏡 Just how bad is the “Black tax”? Brutal when you look at a lifetime of higher prices.

  5. 🏚️ First, neighbors shamed a mature couple for their house that needed more than a few coats of paint. Then, hundreds of people stepped up and chipped in to fix it.

  6. 🌉 We asked 12 mayors from every corner of Pennsylvania from Philly to Erie and in between what the Joe Biden administration needs to do to improve the lives of their constituents. Their thoughtful answers may surprise you.

  7. 🗳️ Pennsylvania voters convened for our final round table. After a period of reflection following this historic election, they had a meaningful discussion about Biden’s ability to get things done. One of those things? Heal divisions, some of which were evident in this very group. A few themes emerged.

  8. 📖 It’s time to curl up with a disaster that’s not really happening. A Penn senior’s buzzy first novel is a Romeo-and-Juliet story set in 1920s Shanghai appropriately titled These Violent Delights that casts the happy couple as heirs of dueling crime families.


“Trump’s campaign to overturn the popular vote would have Pennsylvania reach the opposite conclusion and instead not “We the People rule,” but we the politicians, or even we the (mostly unknown) members of the Electoral College. Nothing could be more offensive to our constitutional tradition.” — Supreme Court Elections Lawyer Jason Harrow writes about how there’s no reason to think the Electoral College would undermine the will of the people.

  1. Infectious disease physician PJ Brennan writes that civic leaders need to take charge and issue mandates for restrictions necessary to keep the virus in check.

  2. Columnist Jenice Armstrong writes that a Philly influencer’s COVID diagnosis should get us to think more seriously about staying safely at home as much as possible.

What we’re reading

  1. Philly Mag takes us to a rural northeast Pennsylvania town transforming into a hot spot that already has a craft brewery and is getting hipper by the second.

  2. Billy Penn chronicles the rise of the newly elected Pa. House minority leader who became the only Black woman to ever hold a party leadership post in Harrisburg.

  3. NPR has a story on the Scotland illusionist who gets a lot of gasps with his interactive online show full of tricks.

Your Daily Dose of | Compatibility

We find your lack of faith that “the one” is out there disturbing. (Reference!) These two pictured above just had a socially distanced autumn wedding outdoors. This story involves a chewie koozie at a party, a kiss at a Star Wars movie, and a Death Star disco ball.