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Mike D'Onofrio
Nov 23, 2022 - News

Inventory woes hit Pennsylvania's Christmas tree industry

Illustration of Christmas trees formed from Axios logos.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Live Christmas trees may be harder to come by this year due to low inventory.

Driving the news: The Christmas tree-growing industry has been plagued by challenges in recent years.

Mike D'Onofrio
Nov 23, 2022 - News

Everything you need to know about Philly's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Floats in the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadlephia

Floats in a previous Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of Daniel Burke Photography

Parade floats will take over the Ben Franklin Parkway once again on Thanksgiving Day.

State of play: 6ABC Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade gets underway at 9am on Thursday.

Isaac Avilucea
Nov 23, 2022 - Sports

Eagles face Packers in playoff-defining Sunday game for Green Bay

Eagles QB Jalen Hurts and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

Eagles QB Jalen Hurts squares off against Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers in this week's Sunday night showdown. Photos: Patrick Smith/Getty Images; Stacy Revere/Getty Images

It's not a great week for turkeys or the Eagles, who have a tricky Sunday matchup with a Green Bay Packers team trying to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Why it matters: This could be a "trap game" for the Birds, who relied on late heroics from QB Jalen Hurts to escape last week with a 17-16 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Mike D'Onofrio
Nov 22, 2022 - News

How PHL stacks up against other airports

Illustration of an airplane's contrail forming a smiley face

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) flies in the middle of the pack when it comes to the nation’s busiest airports.

Yes, but: Customer satisfaction is in a tailspin.

Why it matters: We’d guess that the user experience at PHL is going to be top of mind for many of you over the next month and a half.

What’s happening: The Wall Street Journal ranked the 20 busiest U.S. airports this year on 19 factors, including on-time performance, ticket prices and J.D. Power’s customer-satisfaction scores. PHL ranked 13th overall, besting Chicago’s O'Hare (14th) and Orlando (15th).

  • The best: San Francisco
  • The worst: Newark

Of note: Airline reliability carried the most weight in the ranking.

By the numbers: PHL’s on-time arrival and departure rates are 78% and 80% respectively, per the Journal.

  • Delays average 15 minutes for arrivals and 14 minutes for departures.
  • The average ticket cost for a domestic flight is $334.

Zoom in: Philly ranked almost at the bottom — 19th — on its customer satisfaction score.

What they’re saying: High rankings don’t mean the perfect flying experience, the WSJ’s Dawn Gilbertson wrote.

  • “It says a lot about the complexity of air travel that airports at the top or bottom of our rankings didn’t shine or stink in every area,” she said, noting that San Francisco had among the highest domestic ticket prices in the country.

Heather Redfern, a spokesperson for PHL, told Axios that the airport is investing in improving passengers’ experience, such as renovating bathrooms and testing new seating in certain terminals.

💭Mike’s thought bubble: I’m thankful that I’m traveling via car this Thanksgiving.

🧠 Be smart: Check out these travel tips for PHL during the busy holiday season.

Isaac Avilucea
Nov 22, 2022 - Sports

Ben is back in Philly

Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons drives past the Sixers' Montrezl Harrell.

Yes, we mean Simmons. Photo: Elsa/Getty Images

Ben Simmons is back — and perhaps better than ever.

Why it matters: Expect the rims to shake as an extra raucous crowd at the Wells Fargo Center breaks out its best stuff while heckling their former star.

Driving the news: Tonight’s Sixers game is the first time since Simmons was shipped out of Philly that the Brooklyn Nets guard will take the floor as a visitor.

The intrigue: Simmons is playing his best basketball since being traded in February for James Harden, who will miss tonight’s game because of an injury.

  • Simmons scored a combined 37 points in his last two games for the Nets and missed only two shots in a 127-115 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.

Catch up quick: Simmons was mercilessly criticized during his time in Philly for his lackluster jump shot and refusal to take big shots in big moments, which he admitted gave him a complex.

What he’s saying: Simmons laughed when asked if he expects to encounter anything less than a hostile crowd at his homecoming.

  • "I know what's coming,” he told ESPN. “That's part of the game.”

Heads up: You can still buy tickets for as little as $43 on StubHub and Vivid Seats. The game will also be on TNT.

💭 Isaac’s thought bubble: The Sixers’ star center Joel Embiid is out with a sprained foot, taking some of the excitement out of this one. But what an intriguing story it’d be for Simmons to torch the home team for 30 points and power the subpar Nets to the win.

Your 2022 holiday markets guide

Illustration of Christmas trees formed from Axios logos.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The holiday hustle and bustle starts anew, and in that spirit, we’re back at it with our list of where to find unique gifts in Philly this year.

Black Holiday Pop-Up: Shop for clothing, books, candles, skin-care products, home decor and more.

  • Nov. 11-Jan. 15 — 26 S. 52nd St.

Holidays in Manayunk: With more than 50 shops, it could be your one-stop destination for everyone on your list.

Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market: This market at Dilworth Park outside City Hall features local artisans, designers, crafters and other vendors.

  • Nov. 19-Jan. 1 — 1 S. 15th St.

Christmas Village in Philadelphia: Love Park is transformed into a traditional German Christmas market offering ornaments, arts and crafts, food and drinks.

  • Nov. 19-Dec. 24 — 1500 John F. Kennedy Pkwy

Holidays on the Hill: Shop Chestnut Hill's boutiques and specialty stores for Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26 when Philadelphia mummers, carolers and horse-and-carriage rides will be on the scene.

  • Stag & Doe Nights on Wednesdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas feature extended hours, holiday specials and free drinks at many stores. A brass quartet roams from 6:30-8:30pm.
  • Catch Santa at Market at the Fareway on Saturdays 12-2pm (8221 Germantown Ave.).

Handmade Holidays: This annual event at Bartram's Garden offers family-friendly festivities, a marketplace of local artisans and vendors, food and more.

  • Dec. 3 — 5400 Lindbergh Blvd.

West Craft Fest: More than 130 vendors will sell jewelry, ceramics, prints, candles and more.

  • Dec. 3-4 — The Rotunda; 4014 Walnut St. (Masks required in indoor spaces.)

Luciafest & Christmas Market: The American Swedish Historical Museum's outdoor market includes gifts, baked goods and holiday deli items. Admission is $5 for non-members 12 years old and up.

  • Dec. 3-4 — 1900 Pattison Ave.

AAI Community Fair: Enjoy arts, crafts, activities and food at this event at the Asian Arts Initiative.

  • Dec. 3 — 1219 Vine St.

Mt. Airy Art Garage's Holiday Art Market: This annual event returns with fine art, handcrafts, music, food and more.

  • Dec. 10-11, 17-18 — 7054 Germantown Ave.

Holiday Pop Up Market: Shop local vendors inside North Bowl in Northern Liberties.

  • Dec. 10 — 909 N 2nd St.

Punk Rock Flea Market: Shop clothing, records, crafts, arts and "old punk junk" at the 23rd St Armory. Admission is $10.

  • Dec. 17-18 — 22 S 23rd St.

Chef’s Table with Alison Fitzpatrick of Fitz on 4th

Fitz on 4th chef Alison Fitzpatrick.

The Fitz on 4th chef Alison Fitzpatrick. Photo courtesy of the restaurant

We asked Fitzgerald a few questions for a holiday edition of our culinary advice series.

Tips for at-home cooks? Prepping ahead is key. Doing things last-minute causes stress and doesn’t enable you to enjoy your family and friends.

  • Make sure everyone brings a dish.

Must-have tools on Thanksgiving? A sharp knife and ricer for the potatoes.

Most overlooked spice? Sage, especially if you make an oil out of it and drizzle it over salad greens or even soups.

Favorite home cooked meal, both meat and vegan? Short ribs with mashed potatoes was my go-to for many years.

  • On the vegan side, I make a mean mushroom pasta.

What's your go-to dish at your favorite local restaurant? Suraya. I love their confit potatoes.

What do you tell meat-eaters about plant-based lifestyle? We’re not angry vegans. We’re people who want to have Philadelphians enjoy one more vegan meal per week.

  • I don’t want to be judgmental for what anybody eats because it’s not my business.

What are you thankful for? Number one, my health because without it I wouldn’t be good to anybody. Secondly, my family, and third, this neighborhood that has so graciously embraced us.

How do you unplug from holiday madness? I walk my dog, and I walk to work. I refinish furniture, too.

  • My garage is not for my car, it’s for me picking dressers out of the trash and refurbishing them.

Football rooting interests this weekend? Go Birds!!!

How to do Vegan Thanksgiving

The vegan Thanksgiving spread at Fitz on 4th in Philadelphia.

The holiday spread at Fitz on 4th. Photo: Dan Knoll, courtesy of the restaurant

Alison Fitzpatrick is making sure this Thanksgiving isn’t just for the birds.

Catch up quick: The chef and owner of Fitz on 4th — the vegan stalwart (and new favorite of Isaac’s) in Queen Village — was a “huge omnivore” before switching to a plant-based diet in 2018 for health reasons.

What’s happening: Her experience on both sides of the holiday table inspired an eight-course “Friendsgiving” menu that’s a 100% plant-based spin on everyone’s favorite fixtures.

  • Main course: Fried “turkey” made from enoki mushroom rather than more traditional seitan or “tofurky” options, paired with vegan “sausage,” pear stuffing and homestyle gravy.
  • Fixings: Cranberry relish, confit garlic potatoes, rosemary focaccia with vegan butter, green beans and delicata squash with basil aioli.
  • Dessert: Apple crisp and graham cracker ice cream made with oat milk that’s a riff off Fitzpatrick’s grandmother’s recipe.

If you go: Closed on Thanksgiving Day but open before and after the holiday. Friendsgiving menu available through Saturday ($45/person, plus $30 for a wine pairing).

  • Reservations at OpenTable or call 215-315-8989.