It’s a cloudy start to what will be an overcast day. At least it won’t be that cold as we’re looking at a high of around 54 degrees.

In today’s newsletter, you can read about the long-gone Philly eateries our restaurant critic misses, how a community comes together to help bridge the divide between prison and home, a mystery involving what could be trillions of acorns, and the drama at a New Jersey Senate hearing involving George E. Norcross III.

— Josh Rosenblat (@joshrosenblat,

For trains’ drivers, death on the tracks can mean scars for a lifetime

Many of America’s train engineers share an awful secret. Nearly half have operated a train that killed someone on the tracks. Locally, it’s estimated to be even worse, and many longtime engineers have experienced more than one death.

Afterward, many suffer nightmares, anxiety, and symptoms of PTSD. Some drivers leave railroad work forever. It’s typical for agencies to grant just three days off after a fatality, with additional time granted with a therapist’s approval.

Democrats fear a suburban Philly congressional race is their ‘biggest recruiting failure in the country’

The narrative following the elections earlier this month (and in recent years, too) was that huge wins by Democrats in the Philadelphia suburbs meant the region was turning bluer and bluer. But behind the scenes, Democrats are scared that they might struggle in a key 2020 House battleground: the Bucks County-based 1st Congressional District.

GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick survived the blue wave in last year’s midterms. Dems see Fitzpatrick as beatable in 2020. But they can’t seem to find a top-tier challenger to take him on.

How a Philly neighborhood, where almost everyone has loved ones in prison, is bridging the divide

In the zip code with the city’s highest incarceration rate, almost everyone has someone locked behind chain link and razor wire. One man named Tyreek Dekeyser has been home for 13 months and keeps a list of 50 names, inmate numbers, and addresses that he writes to regularly. They’re childhood friends, cousins, family members, and more.

This weekend, he invited his North Philadelphia neighborhood to join him. He hosted a portrait session and a special installment of a biweekly letter-writing event he runs on the campus of the nonprofit Village of Arts and Humanities. “If the community pulled together, there would be less crime,” he said. “It’s people not getting along.”

What you need to know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

This time of year seems to bring us some really pretty skies😍. Great shot, @d_smoove.

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


“It seems the Philly cheesesteak is going the way of cashmere, china, and tangerines — products that eventually dropped association with the places for which they’re named (Kashmir, China and Tangier).” — Philly-area native Jess Rohan writes for The Inquirer about eating the “exotic” Philly cheesesteak in Cairo, Egypt.

What we’re reading

Your Daily Dose of | Bill Lyon

“There’s an old adage in sportswriting: Be faster than everyone who is better than you, or be better than everyone who is faster than you. That adage did not apply to Bill. He was faster and better," writes Inquirer sports columnist Mike Sielski. Lyon, a sports columnist at The Inquirer for more than three decades, died over the weekend at the age of 81.

Correction: Monday’s edition of this newsletter misstated the amount of money involved in a lawsuit with Taco Bell. The suit was over $2.18, not for $2.18 million.