September 7, 2022
An underground cultural moment that took 25 years
Text version for screen readers:
Expect a high of 74 and some scattered showers throughout the afternoon. After a pretty brutal summer, I’m appreciative of the lower temperatures.
Some housekeeping: I’ll be playing around with the newsletter format this week. If you notice something is different (like the absence of today’s anagram), that is why.
- We’re looking to switch up some of our segments of the newsletter, so if you have any suggestions, please reply 📧. If you want us to add a segment (or kill one), I’m all ears. We want to make this the best newsletter for you, so feel free to contact us.
In today’s newsletter:
🏹 Indoor archery: We’ll share the beginnings of the only indoor archery range in the city.
🗳️ Midterm battles: Retiring Sen. Pat Toomey and Mehmet Oz teamed up to press Democratic nominee John Fetterman to commit to a debate, while also questioning Fetterman’s ability to serve as a senator because of his health.
🎤 Bad Bunny appreciation: What his headlining performance at Made in America meant for Latinx people in Philadelphia.
If you see this 🔑 in today’s newsletter, that means we’re highlighting our exclusive journalism. You need to be a subscriber to read these stories.
— Taylor Allen (@TayImanAllen, firstname.lastname@example.org)
LABOR DAY SALE: You deserve a break! Get unlimited access to Inquirer.com, The Inquirer App and e-Edition, subscriber exclusives and more – all for just 10¢ a week for 2 months. You’ve earned it. Subscribe now.
This luminous art space is worth the quarter-century wait 🔑
[Image of a museum space with Calder sculptures hanging form the ceiling and on the floor]
Herzog & de Meuron
The Calder museum project has been resurrected.
- It’s been 25 years since former Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell made a cold call to Alexander S.C. Rower, head of the Calder Foundation in New York. He offered to build a museum dedicated to the work of his grandfather, Alexander Calder, the innovative modernist sculptor who invented the mobile.
- They reached a deal and Philly officials chose a site on the Ben Franklin Parkway, benefactors pledged money, and an architect was chosen. But then…nothing. And in 2005, the project was declared dead.
But now, philanthropists plan to go to the Art Commission next week with a new $50 million concept for the site, rebranded as the “Calder Gardens.” It’s more of a sculpture garden than a formal museum.
A sneak peek: The exhibition spaces will be almost entirely underground in a series of chambers and sunken gardens.
After passing through the pavilion lobby, visitors will descend into a partially submerged gallery with 35-foot ceilings. The room, called the Tall Gallery, can accommodate the biggest of Calder’s works. It will also offer views into the two sunken gardens, which will bookend the room.
The architects carved out tiny exhibits in what would normally be considered throwaway space: one under a curving a staircase and another in a rocky outcrop in the so-called Vestige Garden. The spaces feel cavelike.
Columnist Inga Saffron 🔑 details how this could change how we can think about the Parkway and how the architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron will restore Calder’s connection to Philadelphia.
== Advertisement ==
What you should know today
- A brain-injury scientist at the University of Pennsylvania left the school amid an investigation into “inconsistencies” in five experiments that involved injuring the brains of piglets and juvenile pigs. The results of those experiments have now been retracted by the scientific journals that published them.
- Sen. Pat Toomey said Lt. Gov. John Fetterman seems “not up for the job” of senator because of his lingering speech issues after his stroke.
- A Capitol rioter from Delaware County who was turned in by his ex-girlfriend after he called her a “moron” was sentenced to nine months in prison.
- Bucks County nixed a proposed $1.1 billion sewer sale to Aqua Pennsylvania after public outcry. It would have been the largest privatization ever of a U.S. public wastewater system.
- Audacy, the parent company of KYW and WIP, has lost $1 billion since 2018, but executives say it can survive.
At his parents’ former tofu factory, he runs the city’s only indoor archery range
[Image of a man drawing back the string on a bow while aiming an arrow]
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
Yuan Jie Wen, a former mechanical engineer, fell in love with archery for the first time in 2019 when a friend took him to a range in New York.
Roughly two years later, Wen opened Philadelphia’s only indoor archery range, Callowhill Archery. It’s at the same location where his parents once spearheaded their own business, a tofu factory.
Notable quote: “Archery is literally the ballet of shooting,” Wen said. “On stage you make it look graceful and easy, but behind the scenes it takes a lot of practice and discipline.”
In the latest “We The People,” reporter Stephanie Farr shares Wien’s passion of sharing his love of the sport.
🧠 Philly Trivia Time 🧠
You couldn’t miss the rain yesterday across the Philadelphia region. Which county got the biggest rain totals?
A. Cape May
Find out if you know the answer.
What Bad Bunny’s performance meant for Latinx people in Philadelphia
[Photo of Bad Bunny on stage]
ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer
Flags from Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and El Salvador filled the crowd at Made in America on Sunday night as Bad Bunny headlined the festival’s second day.
In a city where 15.1% of the population identifies as Latinx, having the Puerto Rican artist as a headliner was much more than seeing an award-winning performer. It was about feeling represented.
Some notable quotes: “It’s so hard for Boricuas to be recognized in America, so seeing him highlighted like this means a lot of pride for the community,” said Alejandro Longo.
- “No matter the Latin country you are from, it’s nice to see someone that speaks our language succeed on a stage previously dominated by English speakers,” said Alondra Cuahuizo.
Continue reading Michelle Myers’ reporting to see more reactions from Philadelphia’s Latinx community.
🏠 Reading: The Atlantic’s “ What’s Causing Black Flight?”
🍴 Anticipating: 23 new restaurants open ing this month.
🦩 Sharing: This cute Philly Zoo picture of 1-year-old flamingo Rowan.
Photo of the day
[A cyclist commutes through a water-main break along Cottman Avenue during the morning rush hour Tuesday. The heavy rains didn’t help.]
ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / Staff Photographer
And that’s your Wednesday. I’m off to start the day with an everything bagel and cream cheese 🥯. See you the same time, tomorrow morning.