2010-19: #OnlyInPhilly

One last look at Philly from years past before the start of a year anew.

From Pope Francis to the Swiss Cheese Perv to the collapse of the Ritz Carlton awning following an Eagles Super Bowl win, we look at a few of the major events that made up the last decade in Philadelphia. | Image: Kerith Gabriel

As we usher in a New Year, we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a look back at all the unprecedented (and some completely not unprecedented, but without question memorable) events of the last few years.

Some are WTF events, some we are still in shock they went down without serious drama. 

Look, we have no idea what the 2020s have in store, but if any of the following serve as a sign of things to come, then it’s no question Philly will still be on her bullshit. If you thought we missed something please let us know. We’ll run some of your responses in our next issue. 

Explosion execs still cash out

Nothing is more rich that a group of already rich men looking to get richer on the backs of a severe tragedy. That’s exactly what happened this summer when executives at Philadelphia Energy Solutions still gave themselves a retention bonus that amounted to a near $4.6 million split after laying off hundreds in the aftermath of the June 2019 explosion in South Philadelphia. There’s not much that can stop that level of scumbaggery, except…

Seth Williams taught us all how to not work as a city district attorney. | Image: Spark45/Flickr

2010s a record setter for corrupt Philly pols


This just scratches the surface, but here’s a sampling: 

2015: Former U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah is serving a 10-year prison sentence for accepting bribes that included money to buy a home in the Poconos, paid college tuition for his nanny and some walking around money for his kids, the latter of which found Fattah’s son Chaka, Jr. (aka Chip) getting out of prison just last month after a nearly four-year bid for bank and tax fraud. 

2016: Former Philadelphia district attorney used campaign funds for personal use, allows himself to be showered with over $160,000 worth of gifts and looked the other way during a key criminal case because a buddy bought him a $3,200 couch and trip to the Bahamas. 

2018: Former City representative Desiree Peterkin-Bell is alleged to have used city money from the Mayor’s Fund for vacations, expensive dinners, ride shares and new clothes at J. Crew. She was formally indicted by Pennsylvania attorney general Josh Shapiro on said allegations and pleaded guilty to avoid jail last May, where she left the courtroom smiling at media.  

2019: City Councilman Bobby Henon and Union leader John Dougherty are knee-deep in an ongoing corruption trial for, you guessed it, misuse of public funds and making false statements regarding said funds. 

2019: Former Philly sheriff John Green is serving a five-year bid for taking kickbacks that amounted to $675,000 in earnings and a new house. 

We’ll never forget scenes like this provided by our beloved Birds winning the first Super Bowl in team history. | Image courtesy: Aimee Cicero

2017: The year of the Bird

It started when the NFL made Philadelphia the host of its annual draft and dropped the mic on that shit along the Parkway. It ended with another moment along the Parkway as our beloved Eagles won their first-ever Super Bowl, 41-33, over the New England Patriots causing people to lose their collective minds and the Ritz Carlton to lose its awning after scores of wasted, yet elated Birds fans decided to climb on top of it and jump up and down. 

There have been more naked bodies and livestock on Philly’s stretch of I-95 from 2010-19 than we’d perhaps like to admit. | Image courtesy: Flickr

I-95 becomes home of the weird shit

It’s weird enough that there were numerous reports of livestock and other animals running with abandon down the north-south corridor (the 2018 bull that got off the exit and also terrorized parts of Fishtown-Kensington might be the best one, IMO) but there were also two people who also thought it might serve as an ideal place to take a stroll butt ass naked. In 2015, state troopers responded to a call of a woman who stripped down along the 1-95 Aramingo Avenue exit ramp. Not to be outdone was the man who let it all hang out in 2018 who walked in and out of traffic hurling items at passing cars. 

The Philadelphia Flyers marketing department for the win of the decade. | Image courtesy: NHL.com

An ugly AF orange mascot becomes Philadelphia

When Gritty mania hit in 2018, we were actually more happy for the marketing team of the Philadelphia Flyers than we were to have another ugly ass mascot in Philadelphia (sorry, Phanatic but you ugly as hell, bruh). It was a genius campaign that put Philly on the map nationwide as this fool showed up on talk shows, sports channels, you name it, with a fuck you, eat me personality that yeah, we’ll admit personifies most Philadelphians, even if they hate to admit it. We can’t name five Flyers in our newsroom, but we know the impact of their mascot on pop culture – and for that, we thank you. 

When you have no remorse for hiding your penis behind a piece of Swiss cheese then, yeah, we have no words. | Image: Police mugshot

Fat fuck puts dick in Swiss cheese and doesn’t regret it

Perhaps the richest part of Christopher Pagano driving around Mayfair with his dick through a piece of swiss cheese in 2014 is not that he did it, but that he thinks we (cops, prosecutors, society-at-large) all went overboard in our feelings toward it. This is what he told PhillyVoice last summer: 

“Being a jackass and doing inappropriate behavior is not criminal. It’s not appropriate at all, but it’s not criminal. If you’re drunk and say, ‘Hey, you want to blow me?’ they could say, ‘Get the hell out of here.’ That happened. People thought it was funny. Being an asshole is not a crime. “With the whole thing in the car, my genitals were partially covered (by the cheese), but when the media got a hold of it and turned it into what they turned it into, the police had to react harshly … I understand weirdness and kink sells and draws attention.”

His holiness came, paraded, prayed and left without a scratch. Good on ya, Philadelphia. | Image: Wikicommons

The pope was here and NOTHING happened

Look, whether or not you’re a believer, you have to understand religious fanaticism. The fact that the supreme leader of the Catholic church held a mass and paraded through the streets of our city and nothing popped off is nothing short of a miracle in itself.  

Honorable mentions:

People burn down developer Ori Feibush’s properties because they don’t like Ori Feibush (2017) … Joel Embiid draining a deep 3 over a metal fence from the sidewalk at a playground off South Street (2018) … Former Philadelphia sheriff and police commissioner both accused of being sexual harassers (2015, 2019) … The hilarity that is Philly Scoophall becomes an Instagram sensation (2017) … Private pool, Vesper Dayclub, opens up to the public once and a massive fight ensues (2019) … Andre 3000 walks Philly playing wooden flute (2018-19)…Blackface (again) at the Mummers Parade (2018)…Homeless man punks Philadelphia to the tune of $400,000 (2017).

  • Kerith Gabriel's Headshot

    Kerith Gabriel is the editor-in-chief at Philadelphia Weekly but somehow hasn’t figured out that means he doesn’t have to write nearly as much. Journalism has been in his blood since his beginnings as a sports writer over a decade ago for the Philadelphia Daily News.