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🍂 Why we don’t have fall leaves yet | Morning Newsletter

And, the Columbus statue in South Philly can be uncovered immediately, a judge ruled.

Good morning, y’all. This is your Sunday Inquirer Morning Newsletter, with all the news you need to get ready for the week. Today, we’re looking at why fall foliage hasn’t quite started yet in the area, and what’s going on with the Columbus Statue on Marconi Plaza.

We’re a week into October and ... there still aren’t many color-changing leaves in the region. (Fall is my favorite season, so I’m just as disappointed as you are.) While temperatures are definitely cooling off, it’s still a little warmer than usual in the area. And that’s causing a slight delay for the fall foliage season. Reporter Tony Wood broke down all the science and tree biology involved for you.

Now, on the rest. Hope you have a decent week!

— Lauren Aguirre (@laurencaguirre,

The week ahead

  1. The Broad Street Run is happening this morning. Here’s what roads will be closed and when they’ll reopen.

  2. A judge approved an emergency order to remove the plywood box covering the Christopher Columbus statue on Marconi Plaza in South Philly.

  3. Columbus Day is now Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Philadelphia. Here’s how that happened.

  4. Vanguard’s CEO said the company got it “dead wrong” when it cut a key medical benefit for retirees and current employees.

  5. SEPTA is following through on employee suggestions that could save $117 million a year. This has new urgency because ridership hasn’t rebounded as much as SEPTA thought it would by now.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Honoring Philly LGBTQ activist Gloria Casarez

Gloria Casarez, the Philly LGBTQ activist who died of breast cancer, was honored with a historical plaque on Friday. Casarez was appointed as Philly’s first director of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender affairs in 2008. A fierce advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, affordable housing, and AIDS awareness, Casarez dedicated most of her life fighting for the social and economic well-being of marginalized communities in Philadelphia.

Late last year, the mural of Casarez on the old 12th Street Gym was painted over without warning ahead of the demolition of the building. Read more about how the community reacted here.

More Stories:

  1. During the pandemic, several of Philly’s Latino leaders were lost when they were most needed. Here is a look at their legacies.

  2. Meet Penn Museum’s first artist in residence: Pérez Sámano. Since August, he’s hosted a series of workshops called “Una raíz compartida,” designed to reflect through poetry on the concepts of immigration, identity, loss and belonging in diasporic communities.

  3. Philly-area Latina moms shared their inspiring stories about love and empowerment around Mother’s Day. They also shared some recipes, which you can cook year-round.

We’re celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, which ends Oct. 15, by highlighting the lives and experiences of Hispanic and Latino people in the Philly region.

This week’s most popular stories

Behind the story with Jamila Robinson

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 Food Editor Jamila Robinson about The Inquirer’s 2021 Dining Guide and Philly’s food scene.

What are a couple of things that really drove this year’s Dining Guide?

The Tasting Menus. The trends stood out as chefs were focusing in on the dishes they did best, opening the creative door. The menus also allowed chefs to manage the labor shortage.

What was it like thinking through a dining guide after the past tumultuous year for restaurants?

It was exciting to think about bringing back Craig LaBan’s critical voice, without giving ratings or rankings, yet explaining why the restaurants mattered.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from the 2021 Dining Guide?

Dining guides don’t have to be all fine dining. There are plenty of special restaurants where a sandwich is just as wonderful as a Michelin star.

What would you say is one of the best parts about Philly’s food scene?

The diversity — in the background of chefs, in styles of cuisine, in the neighborhood, and price points. Philadelphia is a very special dining city.

What are you cooking at home lately?

I’m cooking mostly plant-forward at home to save time.

What do you do for fun when you’re not on the clock?


Email Jamila Robinson at and follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @JamilaRobinson.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

I hope this sunflower brings a little light to your day. Thanks for sharing, @gerardrunsphilly!

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!

What we’re…

  1. Eating: Here’s where to get pumpkin spice treats in Philly.

  2. Exploring: There are a few (supposedly) haunted spots in Philly, the ‘burbs, and New Jersey. Read on, if you dare.

  3. Anticipating: John Legend is coming to Philly for his “Bigger Love” tour. We talked to him about the tour and his roots in the city.

Question of the week

What do you look forward to for Halloween? For many, October is all about the run-up to Halloween, so we asked our Instagram followers about their favorite part of the holiday. Here’s what a few of them said:

🍬 “The front yard decos and of course, the goodies ✌️”

🎃 “Everything pumpkin.”

🦸 “Seeing all the kids dressed like their heroes.”

🚫 “All the bugs start to disappear.”

🎄 “Another holiday closer to Christmas.”

☀️ “Nothing! Bring back summer! 😂”

Remember to follow us on Instagram at @PhillyInquirer so you can share your answer next time.

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