People who live or work in Center City & south to the Wells Fargo Center will feel the most impact, with 50,000 visitors expected.Add the current SEPTA Regional Rail troubles & the heat wave, & "interesting" might be the nicest way to describe things. BUT.... there will be many fun special events & activities open to the public during the DNC, even if you're not that interested in politics. These include shopping & dining deals, & special exhibits at some museums & historic sites. For a full listing, go to www.phldnc.com . Some parking & driving restrictions will be in place, but on a much smaller scale than during the Papal visit. The City expects normal services (like trash & recycling collections) to go on as usual during the Convention. Any changes will be posted at www.phila.gov
Speaking of the heat wave......... An extended period of potentially record-breaking temperatures has begun. Combined with oppressive humidity, the heat can pose very real health issues, especially for elderly people, people with underlying medical conditions, pregnant women & young children. Information about dealing with the heat is being broadcast through all media. We're familiar with suggestions about avoiding strenuous outdoor activities, drinking plenty of water, staying in air-conditioned places as much as possible (or at least, using a fan if there's no A.C.). More suggestions about dealing with heat can be found on the City's website: www.phila.gov . There, you'll also find info about the symptoms of heat exhaustion & heat stroke, a list (& interactive map) of the locations of public pools & cooling centers, & more. In our area, there are public pools at Pleasant Playground (Chew Ave. & Pleasant St.), Awbury Rec Center (Ardleigh & Haines Sts.), & Pickett Pool (Wayne & Chelten Aves.). Most are open during daytime hours. Pleasant Playground's an especially good choice, because of the wonderful Pop-Up Pool that's there this Summer! Libraries & most rec centers are air-conditioned, & you are welcome to just sit inside. It is important to check on elderly friends & neighbors during difficult weather, especially if they live alone. If you are concerned about someone, the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) has activated its Heat Hotline: 215-765-9040. Please remember that our companion animals depend on us to keep them safe & healthy. NEVER leave a pet inside a parked car, not even for a few minutes. Heat build-up happens fast, & can have devastating health effects. Pets will be better off indoors, but if that's not possible, make sure your usually-outdoor dogs have shade, & plenty of cool water.
Neighborhood Activities Although things are slow in the Summer, there are a few fun activities in the neighborhood, no matter how hot it is. "Moonlight Movies" are being shown outdoors at 2 locations, through August 13th. The movies are free, & food is available for purchase. Bring a blanket or folding chair, & join neighbors for family-friendly film showings. Pleasant Playground is the site for Friday night movies. Come early for a children's story time & book swap. Food trucks will be selling goodies starting at 6:30. Head to Trolley Car Diner on Saturday evenings, where movies will be screened on the parking lot. (There's plenty of nearby street parking, so no worries there.) And there's a whole diner's-worth of food available, as you know. For a complete listing of the movies, & other info, go to: www.Gomtairy.com All movies start at 8:30 PM, & in case of inclement weather, movies will not be shown.
Our partners at Awbury Arboretum have several special programs coming up, including a free showing of the film "Kombit the Cooperative" on July 28th at 7:00 PM, with a discussion (& light refreshments) after the film. Visit www.awbury.org for details on this & other events. (Word is that there are 4 Pokemon lurking on Awbury's grounds.....)
Congratulations are In order.............. To Peggy Zwerver & Tom Baker, proprietors of Earth Bread + Brewery, (& among the most loved people in the 'hood), for having their new Bar Hygge named "Best New Brewpub" by Philadelphia Magazine! The new place may be in Spring Garden, but Tom & Peggy have been Mt. Airy cheerleaders since they opened Earth Bread, (& they've won awards here, too). They're known for their generosity to, & support of, community nonprofits & arts organizations. It's always nice when truly good people get recognition & success.
We would be remiss not to note the passing of long-time Northwest Philly activist Jim Foster, most recently the publisher of The Northwest Independent/Independent Voice. Jim died last weekend, following a brief illness. The Oxford Dictionary of American English defines "gadfly" as "a person who annoys or criticizes others in order to provoke them into action." And gadfly is the first word that comes to the minds of many people who knew him. Whether you agreed with Jim or just wanted him to be quiet, you had to admire his tenacity, his attention to detail, & his fearlessness in taking on people in positions of power. Jim lived in East Mt. Airy for many years, & was always interested to hear what EMAN was doing (& to offer suggestions). He supported Mt. Airy Day by bringing his collection of antique cars to the Avenue. He happily answered questions about them (& let people sit in them to pose for photos). He also supported businesses & restaurants in the neighborhood, & could be seen regularly at local theater productions. His death leaves an empty space for many.
Try to stay cool................