It's said that good fences make good neighbors, but when that fence is a shared wall in a gentrifying Philly neighborhood, civility is left at the door as tensions boil and raccoon carcasses are deposited on doorsteps in an all-out war. Meanwhile, tension among Pennsylvania and New Jersey soybean farmers caught in the middle of a tariff trade war between President Trump and China is rising as they ask for free trade over a presidential payout.

On Hamilton Street in Powelton Village, Kenneth Kramer’s brick rental property on the left, and Carlos Colding’s familial home on the right. A dispute about a shared chimney started a neighbor war.
David Maialetti
On Hamilton Street in Powelton Village, Kenneth Kramer’s brick rental property on the left, and Carlos Colding’s familial home on the right. A dispute about a shared chimney started a neighbor war.

For as long as there have been neighbors, there have been feuds. But Philadelphia's fast-changing, densely built rowhouse communities — where next-door neighbors share a party wall but sometimes very little else — can be particularly fraught.

As students pile in alongside third-generation homeowners and young professionals purchase new construction at quadruple the price of the house next door, conflicts too often blossom into all-out wars. The weapons: a call to the cops, a knife to a tire, and even, in one chilling case, a dead raccoon on a doorstep.

As President Trump played his usual rally hits while stumping for Rep. Lou Barletta in Luzerne County on Thursday night, Pennsylvania and New Jersey soybean farmers are finding themselves in the middle of a trade war they didn't start.

And while the president has asked the nation's farmers to "be a little patient" and offered $12 billion in emergency relief, they are repeating a familiar mantra: they want free trade, not aid.

If you're planning on beating the heat by heading down the Shore this weekend, bring an open mind and an empty stomach. Inquirer food critic Craig LaBan has unearthed some of the Shore's lesser-known culinary gems, out of the way but most definitely worth the trip.

If you're looking for more mainstream Shore favorites or where to get sandwiches before you hit the sand, he's got you covered there, too.

What you need to know today

  • A black doll hanging from a noose was discovered on a Queen Village playground sitting atop an African American burial ground Thursday. Later, two preteen boys — one black and one white — came forward and said they had put the doll there as a prank. There was nothing racial about their act, they said.
  • Pennsylvania has joined a group of 18 states vowing to sue the Trump administration over plans to roll back fuel-efficiency standards.
  • Corrected link: Philadelphia officials tried to update the Department of Prisons' data management systems and spent $5 million on a software contract. Officials admit the project has failed and all that money is, well, gone.
  • The Deptford police officer currently under investigation for fatally shooting a strip mall shoplifter in June has a history of using excessive force against women while on the job, records show.
  • Feeling overwhelmed by traveling or need a moment to yourself before boarding? The Philadelphia International Airport now offers a 315-square foot "Quiet Room" open 24 hours every day for just that.
  • Stick to the crosswalks at the University of Delaware's campus. Campus police are cracking down on jaywalking and students are their main target.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Looks refreshing, @denisewalksphilly. (You too can become a Philadelphia maid of the mist this weekend at The Oval.)

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

  • In attempts to entice Philly ex-pats to bring their stomachs and wallets back to the city, a roving food truck is embarking on an East Coast road trip, serving up Philly specials along the way like meatballs and polenta, chicken cheesesteak bites, and an elegant twist on a Tastykake.
  • Market Street's currently underwhelming neighbor is getting a glow up. A massive, two-story winery, barbecue joint, food hall, dueling piano bar and more may breathe new life into Center City's Filbert Street.
  • New Jersey is closer than ever to legalizing marijuana, and now, one of its former governors has joined an artisan chocolate edibles company.
  • It's a widely-held belief that teaching sign language to children who are deaf or hard of hearing will inhibit their abilities to speak. But these hearing Bucks County parents are flipping the script, learning to sign and challenging the notion.
  • Looking for ways to get some fresh air this weekend? In Philly's Fairmount Park, you can soar across a 200-foot-long zip line, swim in a free Olympic-size pool, play at one of the oldest disc golf courses in the country and dance to a live band at multiple open-air venues.
  • You can raise a glass (or bottle) to the Eagles' Super Bowl glory yet again with a commemorative "Philly Special" Bud Light pack on sale later this month. Dilly Dilly, Philly Philly.


Koch Brothers
Signe Wilkinson
Koch Brothers
"Should all airport employees start wearing body cameras – the way more of America's police officers are doing – to balance the scales of justice that currently favor a disgruntled employee's word over a disgruntled passenger's?"
— — columnist Ronnie Polaneczky
  • It's time for cable news to show some journalistic restraint and stop the extended coverage of Trump's rallies, says columnist Will Bunch.
  • Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner is looking out for the rights of the accused over the plights of the abused in the Rittenhouse Square fatal stabbing case, writes columnist Christine Flowers.

What we’re reading

  • When Suzy Greenberg slipped out the door of a University City home and into the wild, her owners thought they'd seen the last of the turtle with a Phish-inspired name and an apparent penchant for freedom. A search-and-rescue mission helped bring her back, and PhillyVoice has the story.
  • Apps like Uber and Lyft allow you to ride in a stranger's car, but a new service coming to Philadelphia allows you into the driver's seat, Philly reports.
  • In sixth grade, Serap Jangbu quit school to become a yak boy. Four decades and 11 Himalayan peaks later, he's working seven-day weeks in Queens, New York. Deadspin tells his tale.
  • When museum visitors step back in time, they're treading on fragile ground. Atlas Obscura takes a look at the damage guests can do to historical buildings, simply by walking around.
Ron Cortes / Staff
Ron Cortes
Ron Cortes / Staff

Your Daily Dose of | Flyin’ 

Beloved former Phillie Shane "Flyin' Hawaiian" Victorino is officially retiring. But before he does, he's returning to Citizens Bank Park on a one-day contract with the team to show his brotherly love for his adopted hometown.