As you know, Howard Eskin is a very biased individual. When he’s not carrying water for the Philadelphia Eagles, he’s ripping the Philadelphia 76ers, and has a particular disdain for the proposed Market Street arena. In a past instance of tomfoolery, he lamented the possible loss of the nonexistent basketball tailgating scene, now he’s back with a suggestion that there are no good restaurants in the vicinity of 10th and Market:

If I had to guess, Howard hasn’t been to this part of Philadelphia since Bill Clinton played the saxophone on Arsenio Hall’s show. Maybe he’s just not familiar with the scene.

Walking distance to 10th/11th and Market, you’ve got:

  1. the entire Reading Terminal Market
  2. every restaurant in Chinatown (Dim Sum Garden, Pho 20, Sang Kee, Terakawa, etc, all 2-4 blocks)
  3. Iron Hill and Hard Rock Cafe (1 block)
  4. that corner with El Vez, Sampan, and Barbuzzo (about 4 1/2 blocks)
  5. Morimoto, La Scala (4 blocks)
  6. Talula’s Garden and that Italian place around the corner (5 blocks or so)

So on and so forth. There’s no shortage of restaurants. There are some higher-end specialty types and some touristy generic types for the blue collar guy who would look ridiculously out of place at Sampan, but to me you’re hitting various ends of the Sixer fan socioeconomic spectrum. And if you really wanted to hoof it, I don’t think seven blocks in October or March, depending on the weather, is terrible if you want to go down to Old City where Big Ass Slices and Campo’s and those spots are.

(I’ll add a caveat for Reading Terminal Market, because it closes at 6 p.m., so I’d be curious to see if there’s an adjustment in hours should the arena in fact be built, seven years from now.)

There are legitimate reasons to oppose the Sixers’ arena plans, but a lack of restaurants within walking distance is not one of them.

As an aside, I am aware that it seems like Crossing Broad is in the bag for the Sixers and the arena proposal. I promise you we are not! Ask Pagan, he’ll tell you that he doesn’t give a shit if the thing gets built or not, he just wants a decision. I’m finding myself in the same boat.

The perceived bias is because we have to keep shooting down outrageous takes that lack merit, and arguments that aren’t being made in good faith. Overwhelming Jefferson Hospital with drunk and injured Sixers fans is not a legitimate concern. Homophobic and rowdy basketball fans descending on The Gayborhood is not a legitimate concern. Let’s keep this thing on the rails and talk about stuff that actually matters, like parking, traffic, SEPTA, and gentrification along 10th/11th street in Chinatown. Those are real concerns worth talking about.