Icepack | May 6-13

Image: Niek Verlaan

You never hear about “the nice gossip” in the same way that no one ever gets “the good cancer.”

And yet, there is hidden news, not quite ready for all-around human consumption, that benefits from its brightness rather than focus on its meanness.

This time out, I’m talking about how Philadelphia Weekly’s still fresh-paint-smelling, recently anointed editor-in-chief Jenny DeHuff is exiting the PW roost next week to become the editor at the 11th Street-based City & State PA – 100 percent political coverage from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, 100 percent of the time – with a multi-media outlook. Brava. DeHuff will be missed at the Weekly, but an all-state, all-news site sounds bracing. Good on her, and here’s to me torturing another new ed-in-chief shortly. 

Oh, and if you really want more rumor on the Philly press front, but with no hard topline names on the dotted line to be signed, hear this: A Metro Philly editor or two is preparing to jump ship for another local outlet. What’s that about? And if they, too, wind up at City & State PA, the whole scene gets more curious, we’ll fear for Pirate Jenny’s life, we’ll double check the Kool-Aid, and we’ll be on the look-out for the good cancer.

Stabbings now a big thing

If you paid any attention to the upward mobility of killings in Philly over the weekend, you know that, along with shootings, stabbings are now a big thing. STABBINGS. That’s some quaintly old school murder at work. It’s as if Philly’s bad hombres are taunting Krasner – soft on violent gun crime prosecutions, to begin with – and checking in to see if the DA is willing to forgo sharpened tungsten, too. And hey, can we talk about the Mister Softee stunt pulled by the FOP in front of Larry Krasner’s office at the weekend? The one where the Philly police union was trying to portray how this Dem DA is soft on crime (no joke, that), you know, like the sweet, bell-ringing ice cream custard swirl, but, also managed to throw a weird, creepy dick joke into the mix just in time for the May 16 election? And will other pro-Carlos Vega endorsers portray their candidate as rock hard on crime, long and thick on reduced bails, and stiff on old school justice? Has the local district attorney’s race turned into Cinemax worthy porn? That’s a boner. Duh.

Ron Gallo music

I have been wondering this for a minute. Philly’s Ron Gallo. The one-time Toy Soldier went solo, left Philly, and is making some of the best, soulful-est, quirkiest music of his life on his brand new “Peacemeal” LP. And he’s come back to town for a minute. Which is good. I LOVE RON GALLO. But what is with the outfits – the array of DEVO-like hats and Monkees’ wool caps, the baggy, short bib overalls? It is as if he’s impersonating a Super Mario Brother and a Marx Brother and Pinocchio all at the same time. If you love Ron Gallo as I do, but am closer to him than I, say something. Do something. Quick.

New Eagles 

Sure things were weird between Eagles’ front office workers Howie Roseman and Tom Donahoe during last week’s 2021 draft. Were they supposed to be on a date night? Rock hard on crime, long and…hang on. Anyway, welcome to our nine new 2021 draft class rookies, and up-and-coming, fresh-to-Philly QB Jamie Newman.

School of Rock concert

In a show of confidence, or just a way to get their brats out from their ProTools rigs, Lisa Reilly’s School of Rock students will perform their very first post-quarantine live concert at Race Street Pier May 8 at high noon, behind masks (audience and bandmates) and with social distancing. That’s not totally, you know, rock n’ roll, but it is verrrrry close. Cool on them.

DePaul’s happening now

Months ago, Icepack dropped an early preview that DePaul’s Table was going to happen at 7 East Lancaster Ave. in Ardmore; and that The Bercy’s owners were partnering with local restaurateur Anthony DePaul for a fresh deeee luxe Italian steakhouse in the grand, historic one-time bank building, ye old Haverford Trust. Anyway, DePaul’s is finally happening NOW, and with Mexican exec chef Jose Galicia (late of The Chophouse) at the helm. Look for Chef Galicia in an upcoming Masked Philly – we think he’s going to be a real up-and-comer. 

Image: Courtesy of Tracy Davidson

Masked Philly: Tracy Davidson 

In Icepack’s continuing saga of asking mask-donning local celebrities what they’ve been up to, beyond the pale, during COVID-19 – from lockdown to the current, slow reopening – I reached out this week to the legendary Tracy Davidson of NBCUniversal/WCAU, NBC 10 News Today fame. 

We think we know what Davidson has been up to since we watch her doing her daily, local news reports and see her focused, and dressed up, for her work gig. The at-home Davidson, however, went full-blown pioneer for the pandemic. 

“Of course I baked a lot of bread in the beginning, she said. 

“Then I got into woodworking and stripped, sanded, stained and sealed a huge tree trunk from a tree that had to come down in our yard. It’s now an end table. I also was inspired by a rustic sconce on Etsy and thought, ‘I can do that.’ So, I did. I gathered pieces of reclaimed longleaf yellow pine, went to my father’s workshop to plane and cut it, assembled the sconces, stained them and found a few old keys to decorate them. Both projects gave me so much satisfaction.”

Dag, Tracy Davidson GOT THINGS DONE. 

“There was so much we couldn’t do during the pandemic – projects such as these focused my attention on what we could do.”

The mask? Davidson wears those designed by Philly artist and philanthropist  Dori Desautel Broudy, who does beautiful work, usually on print, canvas and home décor. “When masks became needed, she figured how to collaborate and support other local businesses. For me, her masks spread kindness and love and that’s what I want to personally project by wearing them. And, perhaps the best part – a portion of Dori’s proceeds from her mask sales goes to the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium.” Dr. Ala Stanford’s team has been a total game changer for Philly’s underserved communities, so good on that support.

Along with looking forward to singing in church as a crucial aspect of the worship process and creating a shadow box of used masks, Davidson is excited to spend warm weather months with her family. 

“Like many families, we missed Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Plus, my father passed rather suddenly in March. We were all together briefly, but safely. I cannot wait until I get to spend days on end with my family members and hug my beautiful nieces. I’m also looking forward to my next Lifting Your Voice event in June that I host with Jen Croneberger; always a day of transformation, skill building and support.” (


  • A.D. Amarosi's Headshot

    A.D. Amorosi is an award-winning journalist who, along with working for the Philadelphia Weekly, writes regularly for Variety, Jazz Times, Flood and Wax Poetics, and hosts and co-produces his own SoundCloud-charting radio show, Theater in the Round for Pacifica National Public Radio station WPPM 106.5 FM and

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