@dhm

Ranking Philly’s Best Malls. In what he calls “A Very Serious, Not Even Slightly Humorous Ranking of the Best Malls in the Philadelphia Area,” The20’s @dhm votes for The Gallery in Center City as his favorite in a column today for The Philly Post. As he says:

“Quiet, haters. The Gallery at Market East is awesome. The ultimate mall product is sneakers, and The Gallery has a million great sneaker shops. (Mini-ranking of Gallery sneaker stores: 1. Ubiq. 2. Villa. 3. Kicks USA. 4. Finish Line. 5. City Blue.) There are two video game stores, a surprisingly decent Old Navy and a surprisingly cheap Burlington Coat Factory.

The place is stuck with tacky early-80s art and a decent amount of vacant storefronts, but even that turned out pretty neat: The mall donated studio space for JJ Tiziou’s How Philly Moves mural, now installed at the airport. Sometimes you hear New Order over the sound system. There’s a pizza place that serves dollar slices. Also, there’s a train station and three subway stops.”

Note, he doesn’t include malls in New Jersey or Delaware (sorry, Cherry Hill, Christiana and more). But The Gallery? The same place where mallgoers were peppered with flying trash and flash mobs organized? And over Franklin Mills, of which @dhm notes “If you simply must shop at a mall with a giant Ben Franklin head, this is your only option.”

The full rankings:

  1. The Gallery
  2. King of Prussia Mall
  3. Willow Grove Mall
  4. Plymouth Meeting Mall
  5. Oxford Valley Mall
  6. Neshaminy Mall
  7. Springfield Mall
  8. Franklin Mills
  9. The Shops at Liberty Place

What are your thoughts? Favorite mall in the area?

-LD

[@dhm, The Philly Post]

Photo: Getty Images

It’s a Wawa World…Forget Comcast and Sunoco—the most powerful economic force in Philadelphia these days is the one making your Shorti.
— 

It’s a Wawa World; We Just Eat In It. The quote above is the opening to a great read in Philadelphia Magazine’s August issue from Don Steinberg about how the local hoagie, gas and coffee joint is taking over the world, developing the type of consumer loyalty that most brands would pay big money for. Some classic (or Shorti, depending on your hunger level) Wawa stats from the story:

  • It’s now the number eight seller of cups of coffee in the entire U.S., and sells one of every five cups in the region
  • Wawa sells 80 million hoagies a year
  • It’s third in the Delaware Valley in terms of overall grocery sales (behind ShopRite and Acme)
  • Wawa’s annual per-store average is $5 million (excluding gas sales)
  • It is the country’s 50th largest private company

The stats go on and on, so just read the story. But another great takeaway is from Wharton marketing professor Stephen Hoch, who says of the store’s evolution from a convenience store to a one-stop shop: ““Wawa has become a fast-food restaurant with a gas station.”

A quick Facebook search for Wawa turns up multiple fan pages of those who love the chain and Philly transplants who miss it. The branded page itself has over 760,000 fans. It remains only in five states for now (PA, NJ, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia), and selfishly we’d like to keep it that way.

As The20’s @dhm said this morning about the business that we all love, ”“Wawa is part of our culture. It’s part of our way of life.”

-LD

[Philadelphia Magazine, Facebook, @dhm]

Was up at Joshua Tree a few weeks back and forgot this, my #NikonJ1 camera, at the Joshua Tree Saloon. The cast & crew of #DHM had dinner & drinks there to celebrate our final day of shooting! The folks at the restaurant were kind enough to mail my camera back to me. So glad to have this back! Now I can continue with my regularly scheduled street photography and vlogging. Also had a ton of timelapse on the SD card that I would’ve hated to lose.

D'oh! Let’s Play Two. The Phils are entrenched in a day/night double-header with the Florida (er, Miami) Marlins and Game 1 is looking promising, despite an early gaffe (that had The20’s @dhm cracking up).

In the first inning, Shane Victorino was plunked by Marlins catcher Brett Hayes in the head as the ball went back to the pitcher (video via @The700Level).

It’s not the first time the Flyin’ Hawaiian has had someone go after his head. There was this moment in the 2008 NLCS and the Cubs fan who thought Shane needed a drink. What gives?

-LD

[@dhm, Philthy Stuff, The 700 Level, The Fightins, MLB by FanDome]

Dark Hall Mansion To Release Popeye The Sailor Meets Sinbad The Sailor Prints By Tom Whalen On January 29, 2016

Dark Hall Mansion To Release Popeye The Sailor Meets Sinbad The Sailor Prints By Tom Whalen On January 29, 2016

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Dark Hall Mansion is so very pleased to finally reveal a project that’s been in development for well over a year, DHM’s officially licensed “Popeye The Sailor Meets Sinbad The Sailor” limited-edition prints by leading contemporary artist, Tom Whalen, and on sale this Friday, January 29th. Dark Hall Mansion, in partnership with  Warner Bros. Consumer Products, King Features Syndicate and Fleischer…

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Cash-Only Cab Rides In Philly’s Future? If you’re traveling by taxi in Philadelphia, you may need to start carrying more cash. As reported by Newsworks,

“Philadelphia taxi drivers and owners are divided over a proposal only to accept credit cards for fares $10 or more.  The Philadelphia Parking Authority is considering imposing the $10 minimum for putting that fare on plastic.”

The reason? The transaction fees associated with credit card purchases (on top of rising gas costs and rental fees on the taxi itself) are creating “immoral” working conditions, according to Ronald Blont, who represents taxi drivers as part of the Taxi Workers Alliance of Pennsylvania. 

On the other side of the argument is Jeff Hornstein, Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Taxi Association. He says:

“I believe that it will dissuade younger riders from getting in cabs, for example the hundreds of thousands of students that don’t carry cash around in this city,” Hornstein said.

The20’s @dhm, obviously pointing to another issue many deal with regarding taxis around town, says the following:

@dhm: “Cabbies want cash for rides under $10. Better than current "machine is always broken” policy!“

The Philadelphia Parking Authority, which regulates cabbies, says the idea is under "legal review.” What do you think?

-LD

[Newsworks, @dhm]

Photo: Getty Images

Remembering Maurice Sendak With His Quotes. Maurice Sendak, the children’s book author and illustrator who saw the sometimes-dark side of childhood in books like “Where Wild Things Are” and “In the Night Kitchen,” died early Tuesday. He was 83. Sendak has received an outpouring of support around the web and on social media channels. The folks at Buzzfeed pulled together “The 20 Greatest Maurice Sendak Quotes,” and there are some very good ones. A few of our favorites:

“I think it is unnatural to think that there is such a thing as a blue-sky, white-clouded happy childhood for anybody. Childhood is a very, very tricky business of surviving it. Because if one thing goes wrong or anything goes wrong, and usually something goes wrong, then you are compromised as a human being. You’re going to trip over that for a good part of your life.”

“Live your Life. Live your Life. Live your Life.”

“It is a blessing to get old. It is a blessing to find the time to do the things, to read the books, to listen to the music. … I have nothing now but praise for my life.“

“There must be more to life than having everything.”

“Kids don’t know about best sellers. They go for what they enjoy. They aren’t star chasers and they don’t suck up. It’s why I like them.”

And one from The20’s @dhm on Twitter:

@dhm: Maurice Sendak: "Grown-ups are afraid for children. It’s not children who are afraid.” RIP. bit.ly/Jcg3Sk

Did you read “Where Wild Things Are” when you were younger? How will you remember Maurice Sendak?

-LD

NBC10, BuzzFeed, @dhm

Photo: Getty Images

2

HOU HSIAO-HSIEN

“At the heart of everything that is vigorous and genuine in contemporary film culture”, R.I. Suchenski

The book / Table of contents 

A retrospective with Hou’s films is running in Berlin at Zeughaus / Deutsches Historisches Museum till Feb. 11, 2016

Papelbon: Phillies Fans ‘Know More’ than Red Sox Nation. We have a feeling that Phillies fans are going to like their new closer if he keeps this up. Jonathan Papelbon, the former Red Sox finisher who signed a healthy four-year, $50-million deal with the Phils in the offseason, has already found the way to our hearts: by dissing other cities. And we’re still only in Spring Training.

In an interview with SportsRadio 94WIP this morning, Papelbon compared his old home to his new one:

“The difference between Boston and Philadelphia, the Boston fans are a little bit more hysterical when it comes to the game of baseball. The Philly fans tend to know the game a little better, being in the National League, you know, the way the game is played.”

Maybe a bit indirect, but we get your point Paps and we love it. Why the bad blood? Perhaps it started earlier this week when he was informed by the Dropkick Murphys that his entrance song, “Shipping Up to Boston,” was not to follow him to Philly. Lead singer and bassist Ken Casey told ESPN Music this week that Papelbon cannot use the song now that he pitches for the Phillies.

“That’s not Pap’s song,” Casey said. “That’s the [Red Sox] closer’s song.”

So first, we applaud Papelbon for speaking the truth about Red Sox and Phillies fans. And two, we need a new entrance song for our closer. Any suggestions? Oh, and while you’re at it Jonathan, perhaps you could say a word or two about Washington Nationals fans.

-LD

(Sportsradio 94 WIP, USA Today, MLB.com, h/t The20’s @dhm)

Photo: Getty Images

Linsanely Overhyped? If you haven’t heard the story involving New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin, you’re one of the few. In short, he’s the biggest story in the National Basketball Assocation right now, and probably in a long while. The 2010 Harvard graduate who went undrafted and who has been waived by the Warriors and Rockets in his short NBA career, has taken the Big Apple by storm. Since scoring 25 points February 5 against New Jersey, it’s been a 16-day media storm and Lin has continued to impress, contributing 28 points and 14 assists Sunday against the defending champion Dallas Mavericks. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only four players since the NBA-ABA merger – Bernard King, Shaquille O’Neal, Brandon Jennings and Michael Jordan – have scored more points in their first eight career starts than Lin’s 200.

But it’s more than basketball. As one of the few Asian-Americans in NBA history, his story has become a global sensation. He’s already been on the cover of Sports Illustrated, Time Magazine (international edition) and more publications, featured on every major news outlet and even parodied on this week’s Saturday Night Live. Oh, and there’s that rumor that Kim Kardashian wants to date him (a rumor that Lin denies, but which Bodog has put 5/1 odds on before the end of the NBA finals, via The20’s @dhm).

As SI’s Pablo Torre put it in last week’s cover story,

“Nothing, anywhere, has ever resembled the ascendance of Jeremy Shu-How Lin, a legend seemingly pulled from the imagination of a goosefleshed David Stern, if not Disney’s most hyperbolic global marketing exec.”

But is Lin being overhyped? Philly sports analyst Garry “G” Cobb weighed in on his blog Friday, essentially saying that because Lin plays in New York City and ESPN wants to hype him up, he’s getting too much attention.

“I am telling you Lin is going to have his own update on the bottom line by next week on ESPN,’ Cobb writes. ‘Lin has just woke up from his nap and peed for 10 seconds. Then he had some Alphabets cereal right after.”

And Cobb is far from the only pundit in this conversation. Lin has played big minutes in only nine games to this point, and while his numbers don’t lie, is that too small of a sample size for all of this attention? Or is it deserved?

Weigh in below in the comments.

-LD

[ESPN, Saturday Night Live, @dhm, Sports Illustrated, GCobb.com]

Photo: Getty Images