Good morning.

First: There’s a bright spot. There are 16 shiny new shops that recently opened in Old City after 26 stores in the neighborhood shut down this year.

Second: In the case of President Donald Trump’s continued efforts to contest the official election results, Sen. Patrick Toomey is officially done listening.

And: And Trump’s efforts hit yet another wall. U.S. justices dismissed the latest GOP congressman’s effort to upend Pennsylvania’s results in just two very terse lines.

OK, let’s get into it.

—Ashley Hoffman (@_ashleyhoffman,

Philly’s Old City opens 16 new shops after more than two dozen close during the pandemic

A promising lineup of new shops has recently opened in Old City after roughly 26 businesses there shut.

Before the pandemic, the unique organism of Old City was an attractive place to operate an eclectic boutique on any of the narrow side streets full of tall, slim buildings. Old City shops have always offered the kind of curated selection of things like antiques and clothing that an Amazon truck could never deliver. But the pandemic put small business owners in the historic neighborhood in a challenging position as foot traffic dwindled. And it wasn’t just COVID-19–specific economic trends. Family matters and real estate prices led some owners to leave.

Now this new medium-term outlook for a neighborhood with a lot of potential is a bright spot. Retail and real estate reporter Katie Park has the story on how Old City’s business scene is faring.

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey calls Trump’s campaign to overturn Pennsylvania election ‘completely unacceptable’

In our interview, Sen. Pat Toomey had a message for President Donald Trump’s campaign to overturn the results of the election: give it up.

“It’s completely unacceptable and it’s not going to work and the president should give up trying to get legislatures to overturn the results of the elections in their respective states,” he told political writer Jonathan Tamari in a phone interview. The wide-ranging conversation happened only a day after news surfaced that Trump called the Republican state House speaker to seek his assistance in overturning the outcome. Pennsylvania’s most prominent Republican had plenty to say about Trump’s groundless campaign that has proceeded despite the formal rubber-stamp of the result. It’s a rare public stance for Republicans.

But the conversation took a look forward too. Toomey also spoke about his recent talk with President-elect Joe Biden. And Toomey told Tamari about what else he feels has gone wrong with trust in our electoral system. Toomey unloads it all..

Helpful COVID-19 resources

What you need to know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Let’s get seasonal. Thanks for sharing this sweet scene making spirits bright, @fairmounters.phl.

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


“Why is voter fraud a crime? Not because the “wrong” candidate might win, but because it is theft from another American. The feeling of national brotherhood — that being an American is something special, something that transcends party affiliation — is nowhere to be found in these shameful efforts to disenfranchise thousands of Pennsylvanians. It is an attack not only against our system, but against our people.” — Murray Dickman, former official at the Justice Department under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, writes that Pennsylvania Republicans used to be — and should be better than the allegations of illegitimacy in the election.

  • Writer Natalie Hope McDonald describes how fear of flying ruled her life for a long time until a fuzzy nine-pound pal became the key to finding the support she desperately needed.

  • Daniel R. Taylor, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children director of community pediatrics, writes that to battle distrust, he tells patients he’s getting vaccinated as soon as he can as a physician who understands the science behind it.

What we’re reading

Your Daily Dose of | Wheels

Every kid should feel like everyone else. And now kids with spinal muscular atrophy can feel like the rest of the biker gang because a Bucks County bicycle business is providing electric tricycles. Kids can pedal as much or as little as they want to get where they’re going. They just do it with a sweeter ride than others. Talk about transportation goals. These kids, who may not have been able to bike before this, have the most touching stories.