Hi, Thursday!

⛅️ Clouds will give way to sunny skies with temps in the upper 50s. Chance of showers in the evening.

Situational awareness: The city will hold a commemorative ceremony today at Chelten Hills Cemetery to honor the 12 victims of last year's Fairmount fire.

Today's newsletter is 885 words, a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: The elephant in the room

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner's scheduled impeachment proceedings in the Senate are two weeks away. But state legislators won't say whether the process will move forward after a recent court decision found part of Republicans' case on shaky ground.

Driving the news: After the state Legislature started a new session this week, Erica Clayton Wright, a spokesperson for Senate Republicans, told Axios that members are reviewing the Commonwealth Court's Dec. 30 ruling and deciding on an "appropriate response."

  • Last week, Judge Ellen Ceisler ruled that none of the impeachment articles filed against Krasner rose to the level of "misbehavior in office" — the legal standard required by the state constitution to justify Krasner's removal.
  • Judge Ceisler also rejected Krasner's argument that the Legislature lacks the authority to remove local officials.

Why it matters: The ruling, which stemmed from a lawsuit Krasner filed last month, doesn't explicitly halt the Senate trial, slated for Jan. 18.

  • But the decision has thrown a wrench in the process, a legal expert told Axios, and may set the stage for an appeal that could end up before the state Supreme Court.

Catch up fast: In November, the GOP-controlled House approved seven articles of impeachment against Krasner, a Democrat who's faced calls for removal from Republicans over the way his office prosecutes violent crime in Philly. The case was then sent to the Senate.

  • Krasner's legal challenge argued that legislators don't have authority to remove him from office, that impeachment proceedings shouldn't be allowed to stretch over two legislative sessions and that the claims against him don't amount to such action.

What they're saying: UPenn law professor Claire Finkelstein told Axios the court's decision has left the "impeachment process hanging and members of the Pennsylvania Legislature baffled." She expects it'll be appealed.

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2. What we're eating: Pearl & Mary

The rotating list of oysters vary from small to large. These were from Prince Edward Island. Photo: Alexa Mencia/Axios

👋 Alexa here. I'm perpetually searching for the city's best spots to share a plate of freshly shucked oysters.

  • So I dragged the Axios Philly team to the new Center City oyster bar Pearl & Mary for our end-of-year dinner last month.

State of plate: At the corner of S 13th and Sansom Streets, the restaurant from Michael Schulson — of Double Knot, Sampan and Via Locusta — serves a menu that seafood lovers dream of:

  • A raw bar with selections from lobster and snow crab to oysters from both coasts;
  • Decadent appetizers, such as deviled eggs and oysters topped with caviar;
  • And hearty entrees, including lobster rolls, tuna burgers, and grilled branzino.

Plus: There's a large, dimly lit bar fit for a quick bite or an intimate date night.

Patrons sit at an intimate bar at Philadelphia's Pearl & Mary.
The hottest seats in the house! Photo: Alexa Mencia/Axios

The highlights: The hamachi crudo topped with potato crisps and ponzu ($12) packed a crunch, while the uni baked oysters with yuzu and aioli ($17) were loaded with flavor.

  • The steamed red snapper ($23) and the branzino ($24), served alongside lettuce cups and pickled veggies, were our favorites of the large dishes.
  • And I loved the refreshing twist on a mint julep, served with tequila ($12).

Hot take: Skip the shrimp toast ($17). A bit bland.

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3. News Market

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

🏈 The Eagles and other Philly sports teams are showing their support for Buffalo Bills safety and Pennsylvania native Damar Hamlin after his cardiac arrest on the field on Monday night. (Billy Penn)

🎼 Philly Pops launched a campaign to raise $2 million to save itself from shutting down at the end of the season. Leaders said the funds will be used to pay off debts and meet future obligations. (Inquirer)

🗑️ Parks in Philly remain a magnet for construction debris, tires and household waste, despite decades of efforts to prevent illegal dumping. Few violators appear to face penalties while park maintenance crews spend the majority of their time removing trash instead of maintaining the public spaces. (Grid)

🏠 A Philadelphia homeowner learned that scammers were trying to rent out her Fitler Square home through Airbnb at Christmas. She later learned the fraudulent listing, which took the company a week to remove, had been up since at least 2020. (Inquirer)

4. Quote du jour: Schools' confidence slump

Philadelphia School District Superintendent Tony B. Watlington. Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia School District

"We absolutely have a crisis of confidence in terms of how people feel about this eighth-largest school district in the country. … There are a lot of things that this district does do well, and we have to do a better job of telling our story."
— Philly School District superintendent Tony B. Watlington after his first months on the job, via the Inquirer.

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5. Weekender: Goats, Bowie and free museums

The Luminature light display. Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Zoo

Tomorrow is First Friday, so watch out for special programming and events at art galleries, shops, museums and bars throughout the city.

  • Here are a few other ways to spend your Philly weekend:

🐧 Act fast! This is the final weekend to catch the Philadelphia Zoo's LumiNature holiday light display. The immersive spectacle will run on Friday and Saturday evening before wrapping up until next year. Tickets: $18-$25.

🍷 Stroll through the Museum of Art after hours tomorrow from 5-8:45pm. The pay-what-you-wish event features drinks and live music.

Philly Loves Bowie Week is back. The annual event kicks off Friday, starting at noon with WXPN's free concert at World Cafe Live. The Bowie Masquerade Ball at Johnny Brenda's in Fishtown follows at 9pm. $15-$20 a ticket.

🐐 Feed your Christmas tree to a goat: The Philly Goat Project's annual family friendly Tree-Cycle fundraiser is at Farm at Awbury Arboretum from noon to 3pm on Saturday. $20 per tree donation.

More events

📚 Isaac is setting a goal to read at least 12 books this year.

👟 Mike bought new running shoes from Philadelphia Runner with the aim of sticking to his New Year's resolution of exercising more.

Today's newsletter was edited by Alexa Mencia and Kristen Hinman.