Monday, July 7, 2008

Around Town: Riverfront Casinos...Maybe Not and the NYT Takes a Belated Interest in Penn Gossip

As Philebrity pointed out this morning, it seems that our governor has finally come around with respect to the riverfront casinos. The Daily News reported on Saturday that Gov. Rendell has said he'll meet with SugarHouse and Foxwoods to ask them to relocate the casinos they've been trying to build on the Delaware for a while now. Why they would actually agree to such a thing when the State Gaming Board approved those sites back in December 2006 - thanks in large part to the Guv'ner's aggressive support - is beyond me. But it's nice to see this story coming on the heels of Mayor Nutter's recent announcement that he fully supports and intends to follow the Penn Praxis plan for the riverfront. Maybe the casinos won't totally screw up Philly's eastern edge - or maybe they won't be there at all. We can hope, though that's always a dangerous thing to do in Philadelphia.

Across the river - the Schuylkill, that is - a more gossipy story. Back in March, The Daily Pennsylvanian reported that the University of Pennsylvania was renaming a campus landmark. (Full disclosure: I am employed by said institution.) Logan Hall, which had been known by that name for about a century, would become Claudia Cohen Hall. Cohen, who graduated from Penn in 1972 and died of ovarian cancer in 2007, was known for being a former editor of Page Six, the popular (and highly recommended by JAWNNY) gossip column in The New York Post. She was also known for having married and divorced wealthy businessman (and frequent Page Six topic, natch) Ronald Perelman, also a Penn alum, who contributed funds to renovate the building back in the 1990s and decided to finally exercise his naming rights. The general reaction on campus and among alumni to the renaming of one of Penn's most historic buildings was best summed up by this DP commenter: "Is this the April Fool [sic] issue already?" By now, it seems to have mostly blown over, and it's definitely old - if still intriguing - news, yet The New York Times seems to have only now discovered the story and covers it as though it just broke. A sign of the waning relevance of traditional media, or of the NYT's general disregard for Philadelphia? You decide. At any rate, there are some choice quotes in the NYT story - "totally idiotic," says one professor - and Ivy League intrigue is always good for readership, I guess.

No comments: