The Feast of the Seven Fishes, a Christmas Eve tradition in many local households, probably originated among immigrants from Southern Italy in New York City and, some believe, Philadelphia. Like its origin story, the feast is open to interpretation and innovation. The menu often features more than seven fish dishes, so we’ve left room for additional goodies on our own Christmas Eve List of the Seven Wishes.
We wish Mayor Jim Kenney the best with his second term while wishing he’d hurry up already and announce his pick for a new police commissioner by the end of this term, as he said he intended. We also wish the mayor would at last fulfill another quasi-promise and find a more suitable spot for the Frank Rizzo statue outside City Hall.
We wish City Council members leaving office in January would go quietly into restful retirement, rather than spend their golden years laboring on the city payroll, as Al Taubenberger and Blondell Reynolds Brown have indicated they’d like to do. And we wish the four new council members — Kendra Brooks, Isaiah Thomas, Jamie Gauthier, and Katherine Gilmore Richardson — the best of luck, which they and their fellow members likely will need.
We also wish Wawa would revise its world domination plan and not build a gigantic convenience store and gas station combo on Columbus Boulevard, an idea not quite as terrible as the company’s data breach, but still.
We wish the potpourri of public and nonprofit agencies with a hand in managing Center City traffic would get on the same page to ease congestion in the region’s core. We extend this wish to riders of ATVs and other off-road vehicles, who ought to stay off the streets for their own, and the public’s, safety.
We wish spotted lanternflies and bedbugs would go away. Speaking of nature, we also wish the bear or bears sighted in West Philly, Delco, and Delaware won’t come back. For their own sake. But “Glennie,” the famous wild turkey of Haddon Heights, NJ, should stick around.
We wish the overseers of the bankrupt Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery complex would listen to visionaries with creative ideas for the future of the 1,300-acre site, and at the very least, clean up and then deed some of the portions closest to the surrounding neighborhoods for use as new parks and recreation facilities.
We deeply wish people tempted to shoot another human being in Philadelphia, or anywhere for that matter, will put the gun down — especially if children are present. We also wish that the city join with the community and go all in on an anti-violence strategy, or strategies, with proven results.
And on this Christmas Eve, we deeply wish Philadelphia will establish a supervised injection site to reduce fatal overdoses and help more people leave addiction behind and begin to recover. We hope our city comes to realize there can be room at the inn after all.