State of Our City | Oct. 15-22

Shoutout to Philly photographer Chris Henry for gracing us with this image to kick off this week’s rundown of life in Philadelphia. | Image: Chris Henry

Overheard in Philly

“This city is already a fucking powder keg. I expect it to blow one way or another the first week of November.”

— We were made privy to this premonition by way of Kyle McCabe, a reader who shot us a text saying that this would be perfect for SOOC. The context regarded the Nov. 3 presidential election and fears that a final decision one way or another could cause turmoil nationwide, including right here in the City of Brotherly Love. Here’s hoping that’s not the case and also, thanks Kyle for thinking of us. If you hear something you want us to share, send it our way via

He said it…

“What’s harder to locate is any official explanation as to why the image — of a person in a Native headdress — is on the ground in the first place, or how it came to represent the area.”

– This is writer Imran Siddiquee, a South Philadelphia resident baffled as to why there are images of Native Americans on manhole covers throughout the East Passyunk corridor. Two years later, it appears that Siddiquee’s comments didn’t fall on deaf ears. On Monday, which was also celebrated in Philadelphia as Indigenous People’s Day, the East Passyunk Business Improvement Association announced that it is beginning steps to remove the manhole covers and signage that depicts the well-known orange-brown Native American plastered all over the area. 

Speaking of which…

If the shift in Philadelphia is to move the city from removing what’s deemed racist, oppressive or bigoted, then why is it still honored? Monday was Indigenous People’s Day in Philadelphia, a holiday the city has recognized for the past four years. However, according to the Inquirer, city employees who had a paid day of rest did so under the observance of Columbus Day. Philadelphia has gone to lengths of removing the statue of Christopher Columbus in Marconi Plaza and denouncing the explorer, yet city employees are still given Columbus Day off? We’re not seeing the logic here, someone help us out. Yo, Mayor Kenney, either keep Columbus or keep IPD, just keep some consistency in your messaging for Pete’s sake. 

Are you ready for snow?

We don’t want to strike fear and mobilize the 25 members of local network StormWeather teams, but an email we received on Tuesday from AccuWeather noted that we’re in for a nasty weekend, one that could bring our first snow to the region. Now, we already know to not believe everything we read but we’d be lying if we say that the best part of the first snowfall was not watching all of the local news teams lose their minds over the first snowfall and the all of the round the clock coverage that comes with it, especially from the guy with the bow tie. We’re ready for ya, Glen.


Philadelphia is among a list of counties with a surge in cases per 100,000 people, according to Secretary of Health Rachel Levine. At the time of this report, Philadelphia County had 163 cases. Delco? From 94 to 125. Mask and hand sanitizer, all day y’all. All day. 

  • Kerith Gabriel's Headshot

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

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