Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy 100th Wrigley Field: Cubs announce plans for new Wrigley Dome--The Friendly Indoor/Outdoor Confines

Chicago--Wrigley Dome, a baseball-only, retractable-roof stadium, to be constructed on the present site of Wrigley Field on West Addison Street, will seat 35,000 fans. The controversial project, set to break ground in September, will require the demolition of the historic field and hundreds of neighboring homes. The organization feels diehard Cubs fans will come to love the sleek, artificial turf facility. "This is SkyDome mixed with a pinch of Veterans Stadium, a hint of Three Rivers Stadium, a dash of Riverfront Stadium, a splash of RFK Stadium, and a smattering of Metrodome. It's a super-baseball park created with elements from some of the sport's greatest venues of the past. Sure, we'll keep the ivy on the outfield wall, but it'll be artificial ivy. You know what I mean?" said one Cubs official. The rooftop bleachers will also survive: in the new Cubs Museum under section 214 as a permanent, virtual exhibit. The dome will take two years to complete, during which time the team will play all eighty-one home games at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Memorial Stadium--a football stadium to be (sort of) retrofitted for professional baseball. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

PATCO to use train ferry service over summer while both Ben Franklin Bridge tracks udergo reconstruction


Above: A multi-car passenger train boards a ferry in Puttgarden, Denmark. The Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO) will use a similar ferry service over the upcoming summer months while the two busy tracks across the Delaware River on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge are shut down for much-needed repairs. PATCO officials say all the details have not been worked out yet, but multiple modes of transportation could be utilized to complete the river crossing. "Going into Philly, we could possibly bus riders from City Hall Station to a waiting train on the New Jersey side of the [Delaware] river, then load the train onto the ferry. Once on the Philadelphia side, unload the train onto refurbished tracks on Columbus Blvd. From here, put the riders onto a second bus that would take them to the 8th and Market [Street] Station," said one official. The transit agency says it "just wouldn't make sense" to simply bus passengers between City Hall (NJ) and 8th & Market Street (Phila) Stations.  

Saturday, April 5, 2014

MLB: Original rooftop bleachers at Shibe Park 'thoroughly' complied with all modern safety standards

Above: Railings and fire exits were "Photoshopped out of the historic 1914 Shibe Park image for aesthetic purposes." A Major League Baseball representative: "Trust me, it wasn't like fans were just climbing onto rooftops chaotically and unsupervised. There was a process: ascend shaky wooden ladders and traverse narrow, unstable wooden planks in the rear of the row home to reach the first level. Then--usually with the help of alcohol--scramble up a fraying rope to hoist oneself up to the top roof level and the awaiting bleachers, which were constructed over the course of a weekend by the homeowner and a neighbor down the street who was recently fired from the local saw mill for stealing wood to make rooftop bleachers."

Esiason: 'Sea section, not C-section. I was referring to a section of the sea to search for MH370. This is about 3-7-0, people.'


Friday, April 4, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

2015 pope visit in jeopardy after Nutter, Corbett present His Holiness with 2-day-old cheesesteak, stale pretzels

The Philadelphia Mayor and PA Governor are in Vatican City to meet with Pope Francis to encourage the catholic leader to visit the city in September 2015 during the World Meeting of Families. The pontiff, wanting to be polite to the visiting delegation--who presented a "satchel of Philly gifts"--broke two teeth while biting into a rock-hard pretzel.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Citing high costs to repair floors, schools across country banning popular bobsled shoe fashion trend

Minneapolis--The XXII Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, ended nearly one month ago, but the games' ability to set global trends is running (er, skating) at full speed. One of the bigger fashion trends to emerge from the seaside resort town, in the shadow of the Caucus Mountains, was the bobsled shoe as casual footwear. Yes, the same shoes designed to provide built, sprinting athletes pushing bulky sleds with traction on ice are being worn by the "average Joe" to carryout everyday activities. One major problem has resulted, however, from school-aged children sporting the spiked gear.: floor damage. "We're not talking a few scrapes here," said Edward Johanson, principal at Bloomington Middle School in Bloomington, Minnesota. "I absolutely love that our children were inspired by the fantastic Winter Olympic Games. I love their passion. But the spikes are wreaking havoc on floors, and nearly all of the flooring in the school now needs replacing. Let's not even talk about the basketball court." This is not an isolated incident, as schools--malls, restaurants, and offices--across the country and around the world have started banning the metal-spiked bobsled shoes.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Not a Pop Up Gas Station: Opportunity for high-density, mixed-use development out as pumps go in at 19th & Walnut St

Fuel, coffee set to flow 
The enormous, long-vacant lot at 1911 Walnut St. in Center City, a stone's thr...er, toss from the northwest corner of Rittenhouse Square, is unoccupied no more. The new tenant--a galaxy way from its summer 2012 use: a Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Pop Up Garden--is a suburban-sized Wawa gas station. In addition to multi-family housing, the lot is zoned for a "five-story refueling station." Wawa, however, went low-density installing only a single level of pumps with an extended covering to protect customers from the elements. Recent reports had Toll Brothers building a mixed-use project at the location, but the construction of the station came out of no where, and, surprisingly, after many downtown Wawas have closed up shop. "This will be our first gas station in Center City," said one company representative. "A prominent location, the size we need to build a first-class fueling center. The smell of gas fumes in Rittenhouse Square will act as a great reminder to folks that they can refuel across the street ... it is exciting." Vehicles must enter the station via Walnut St. and exit onto Moravian St. The store, the second phase of the development, will come next year, forcing current customers using cash to prepay at the 17th and Arch Streets Wawa, a half-mile trek away. There will be a coffee stand on site.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Report: Malaysian officials question Ashton Kutcher, producers of Punk'd

As the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 entered its 10th day, investigators followed up on "the best lead we have so far." The lead? A tweet sent late last night by @TheBeerKeg6401 read: "Yo, what if miss plane part of upcoming Punk'd season? #370 #notcool"

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sixers coping: Team treating losing streak like winning streak, but not the good kind of winning streak

"We're trying to look at this losing streak like a winning streak...so that it's a little bit easier to deal with," said one player about the club's sixteen losses in a row. "But, it's the kind of winning streak that you want to end. I know that sounds weird, but it helps...a little bit. It makes us sound like we've won sixteen straight. Does that make sense?"

Sunday, March 9, 2014

City: 'There are no potholes, only thousands of archaeological digs'

Did the city officially declare all potholes to be historic excavation sites in order to skirt repair responsibilities? 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Temple reinstates crew; baseball to play upcoming (and final) season at (baseball-unfriendly) Lincoln Financial Field

Having the baseball team play at the football-only Linc will save the school thousands of dollars in transportation costs to Ambler, PA, but will make for some very high scoring games. "It's gonna be a wild home campaign," said one player, referring to the "pathetically short" distance down the left field line.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Real potholes force city to abandon $10M fake pothole speed reduction program


Philadelphia-- The synthetic potholes quickly unroll onto the street and appear as authentic potholes, which was supposed to be a cost-effective approach to slow down motorists on targeted city streets. "The problem now is that there are just so many real potholes because of this winter's need for constant snow plowing and the freezing and thawing. So...when one of our fake holes sits right next to a real pothole, there just is no comparison. They just look silly...really silly. The real potholes have ruined our fake pothole program. [The City] is in the process of removing all the fake holes and will be auctioning them off on eBay. As soon as all the fake holes are removed and sold, we will begin repairing the real holes," said Gary Bensonton, an official with the Roads and Streets Division of the Philadelphia Association of Streets and Roads.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Latvian bobsled team blaming 5th-place finish on Latvian film crew's 'enormously impractical' front-mounted camera

"The documentary crew had an all-access pass to [the team] while in Sochi, we just had no idea the camera would be that large. It absolutely slowed our run times, but, to be honest, some of the footage is breathtaking," said one team member. "It was all worth it."
                            


Friday, February 21, 2014

City, state reminding residents that fishing license still required for pothole fishing

Philadelphia--City and State officials "sternly" reminded residents that fishing in potholes is no different than casting a line from a lake or river's edge: you need a fishing license. For nearly fifteen years Pennsylvania has stocked sizable potholes throughout the state with a healthy variety of fish to "make the best of often horrible winter road conditions." The plan aimed to extend the fishing season, attract more anglers, and, in turn, increase license numbers, which would help pay for pothole repair during the spring season. "Fishing enthusiasts are forgetting or ignoring fees when it comes to potholes," said Doyle Grey, a representative at the PA Fish and Boat Association & Commission. "Sadly, people are like, 'Oh, it's a pothole, I don't have to worry about a license. Look at me, look how I ignore the rules.' It's frustrating. This money will help smooth out the potholes in the warmer months." A PA license runs $22.70 for adults between the ages of 16 to 64.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014

47th floor, open-air 'skywalk' to connect new Comcast tower to existing Comcast Center

Philadelphia--Nearly one month after Comcast announced plans for the 59-story Innovation and Technology Center, the mass media and communications giant, along with architects at Foster + Partners, revealed one final detail to the impressive project: a dramatic, 425-foot "skywalk." The cable-supported "bridge in the sky" will connect the new tower to the original, 58-floor Comcast Center at the 47th floor. The open-air walkway will be accessible year-round, providing employees and tourists with breathtaking, inimitable views of the city and beyond. Some predict it could become one of the city's most popular tourist attractions. The steel skyscraper connection will allow executives, primarily located in the Comcast Center to the east, to "pop-in" on the "techies and app guys," and provide easy access to the new hotel. "Though the top floors of the new building will be a hotel, the bridge will reduce the effort to go from, say, the 50th floor in the Comcast Center to the 37th floor in the Innovation Center," said Jane Filmore, an engineer with Thom+Jimz Engineering. "You know, going all the way down to the lobby, walking to the other lobby, and going up again could get to be a total drag." Comcast chose to exclude the "skyway" element from the January tower announcement due to unfinished negotiations with the Arch Street Presbyterian Church for air rights.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Major ice, snow storm topples Quinnipiac University pole

The twenty-foot pole had stood on the campus of over 8,000 students for several decades. The university promises to conduct a poll on whether or not to bring the pole back.

Power company reminding public to 'use extreme caution' when moving downed, live wires

"If the wires are sparking and smoking, please--I cannot stress this enough--use gloves or an old rag when grabbing the lines," said one local power company official. "Make sure the gloves or rags are dry."

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

New skyscraper interior rendering portrays 'very relaxed' atrium atmosphere

"This is extremely embarrassing, as we don't know how that particular publication made it into the rendering," said a representative from the firm that designed the tower. "I have a weird feeling, however, that it was this one intern that just might do something like this."