With the holiday season in high gear, it’s a good time to reflect on the good fortune bestowed on Philadelphia this past year.
From well-deserved accolades — being named one of the top 10 destinations for 2013, and home to the Best Sandwich in America — to exciting development projects — the opening of The Barnes Foundation, renovated Rodin Museum, Hotel Monaco, redesigned Philadelphia History Museum and Sister Cities Plaza, Philadelphia has had a banner year.
That being said, no major city would ever claim to have an empty wish list. And what better time of year than New Year’s to work up a list of resolutions?
We went on a quest to find out what New Year’s resolutions some prominent Philadelphians would make for the city.
Interested in the answers? Read on to learn what New Year’s resolutions some of the city’s top chefs, shop owners, public figures and more would make for Philly. And hit the comments with your own ideas.
• Stephen Starr, restaurateur: “To maintain optimism despite any great obstacles that come our way, eat healthier, have more fun and have my daughter meet One Direction.”
• Amy Gutmann, President of the University of Pennsylvania: “A great education for every Philadelphia student and the unimpeded ability to pursue their dreams.”
• Isaiah Zagar, founder of Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens: “Philadelphia’s most unique quality is its incredible public art. My resolution for the city would be that more people not only stop to appreciate the city as a giant plein air museum, but add to it as well!”
• Jane Golden, Executive Director of Mural Arts: “My New Year’s resolution for Philadelphia is that every school provide quality art and music instruction — arts education has a positive impact on overall achievement and academic success, and our young people crave and deserve outlets for their creativity and passion.”
• Phillie Phanatic, Phillies mascot: “The city should collect double wage tax on the Mets when they come to town. ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ should be adopted as the official song for the city. And Phillies Opening Day should be declared an official holiday in Philadelphia with all schools and businesses closed for the day.”
• Paul Levy, founding CEO of Center City District: “Seeing the retail vibrancy on South 13th Street come around the corner onto East Chestnut Street. Watching the exterior of the Gallery at Market East be transformed in 2013 with restaurants and outdoor cafes. Starting construction on phase one of the Reading Viaduct project. Entering the homestretch on Dilworth Plaza reconstruction by the end of 2013. And seeing a major commercial office building break ground in Center City in 2013.”
• Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation: “Philadelphia would say: calling all students, all artists, all entrepreneurs, all Philadelphia lovers — I want more people to love back! Come to where it all began. With Love, Philadelphia XOXO.”
• Joseph Syrnick, CEO of the Schuylkill River Development Corporation: “To make the Hidden River more accessible by extending Schuylkill Banks to the South.”
There’s a lot more where those answers came from, below. Hear from Chef Guillermo Tellez, Martha Graham Cracker, Yards head brewer Tom Kehoe and many more.
• Monique Mason, owner of organic beauty studio Moko: “I would love for everyone in Philadelphia to have great hair. Think about it — The Best City For Great Hair. We need to be number one!”
• Steve Duross, owner of Duross & Langel soap shop: “Scrub the city from top to bottom until it shines like the top of Liberty One.”
• Abby Kessler and Katie Loftus, co-owners of Smak Parlour boutique: “We’d like to see some signage to promote the free parking incentives, like on “Make It A Night Wednesdays” where parking is free after 5 p.m. It’s not written on any of the signs or kiosks.”
• Guillermo Tellez, Executive Chef at the Hotel Monaco’s Red Owl Tavern: “More neighborhood festivals celebrating the local farmers and wine producers.”
• Jonathan Adams, Executive Chef at Pub & Kitchen: “My wish for Philadelphia is to continue our support of small, local businesses. There is a generation of young entrepeneurs who are handcrafting their goods and making their wares from scratch.”
• Audrey Taichman, owner of Audrey Claire, COOK and Twenty Manning Grill: “Some more great art festivals and more international artists to come perform or exhibit their work.”
• Albert Lee, Communications Manager for the Independence Visitor Center: My resolution for Philadelphia is that all residents should know that you don’t have to be born and raised in Philly to proudly call it your own.
• Eli Kulp, executive chef of Fork Restaurant: “To continue to improve the education system as well as the nutritional education of our children by using local chefs and farmers to increase the efficiency of our local supply chains.”
• Bill Covaleski, Founder and Head Brewer of Victory Brewing Company: “My New Year’s resolution for all of Philly would be for everyone to take a Malty Meditation. That would be 45 minutes immersed in mental conversation with a delicious, characterful beer of their choice. Immediately thereafter they need to discuss the results with someone. I think the time ‘alone’ with great beer would be great social set-up for deeper conversation and understanding.”
• Sarah Van Aken, founder of SA VA clothing: “I wish prosperity for everyone in Philadelphia in 2013. I think it is our year for fashion, food, tourism and most importantly innovative business. We have a lot of it here and I hope it keeps on coming! So I guess that my New Year’s resolution is for Philadelphia to support and cultivate even more innovative entrepreneurship.”
• Emma Carpenter, owner of Three Sirens Boutique: “To continue to grow the local fashion design and manufacturing that’s happening right here in Philly. So much great fashion and talent from this great city!”
• Tom Kehoe, founder and head brewer of Yards Brewing Company: “More progressive incentives for local businesses to enhance sustainable urban renewal in this great city.”
• Pete Angevine, founder of Little Baby’s Ice Cream: “Be more excited about being in Philadelphia!”
• Martha Graham Cracker, Drag Queen King of Philadelphia: “Be the freak you want to see in Philadelphia. Purchase art this year! Consume it and it will give back to you. And also: put down your phone and reach out and touch another live human.”
• Ali McCloud, owner of Arcadia Boutique: “I’d love to see more visitors come to Philadelphia to shop, eat, and play at our locally owned businesses. We have so many great ones to offer!”
• Rakia Reynolds, fashion icon and owner of Skai Blue Media: “I’d love to see more FREE festivals in Philadelphia that are iterations of PIFA and Made in America. I’d love to see more parks in Center City or pop-up parks that I saw throughout the summer in Midtown Village. And I’d love to see more original content be produced here for reality television series. Touting our awesome streetscapes, architectural sexy, and city sidewalks is something every TV junkie should see.”
• Drew Becher, President of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society: “That upcoming greening efforts at the Philadelphia International Airport and other gateways to the city will make these landscapes among the most beautiful in the country, providing visitors a warm and proper welcome to Philadelphia.”
• Terrence J. Nolen, Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Arden Theatre Company: “Continue to have the arts flourish in Old City with the new Live Arts building breaking ground and the opening of the Arden’s new Hamilton Family Arts Center.”
• Drew Crockett, owner of the Hub Bub Coffee Truck and impending Hub Bub Coffee Bar at 1717 Arch Street: “My resolution would be for Philadelphia to introduce electric power and meters that food trucks would have the ability to use in certain areas of the city.”
• Terry Berch McNally, co-owner of London Grill and Paris Wine Bar: “My resolution would be to introduce more venues to enjoy live music throughout the city.”
• Brian Dwyer, founder of Pizza Brain: “Lots and lots and lots more greenery. Trees rule! Oh, and consider moving on from cheesesteaks and embracing pizza as your new official food. Just sayin’.”
• Elena Brennan, owner of Bus Stop Boutique: “When I travel to Europe I love going to markets where you can meet local and upcoming designers and buy their creations before they are readily available. My New Year’s Resolution wish for Philly is that the city had a regular European-style market on the same day of the week, a similar concept to our farmers markets, but focusing on new fashion trends, by local designers.”