South Philly residents are no strangers to having big events in their backyards, from concerts to football games.
And while out-of-towners complain about traffic snarls and long waits for Uber rides to and from the Wells Fargo Center, walking down Packer Avenue during the day, you might not even know there’s a major political convention going on closeby.
“No complaints. So far, so good,” said resident Marlene Tenuto, who was the only person out walking in her Packer Park development.
Tenuto and others say the Philadelphia police, who are sitting in tents along the roadway, are helping to keep the peace.
“When the stadium first opened for the Eagles, there were some rowdy fans and they were parking in our driveways… and then they were urinating against my fence and they were leaving their trash,” said Daniel DePalma. “That all stopped. I haven’t seen any rowdiness or anything.”
DePalma was sitting on a bench outside Chickie’s and Pete’s in a strip mall that was mostly ignored by delegates and protesters, leaving locals to get their hair and nails done at a salon and drink iced coffee at Termini Bros.
Inside Celebre’s Pizzeria, chef Joseph Silvestro said business has been a bit slower and he’s been serving mostly cops.
“It’s kind of like the pope situation, it scared a lot of people away from the neighborhood,” he said referencing last September’s Pope Francis visit from, which resulted in a mass exodus of city residents during the two-day event.
Michael Botta, who works at a magazine stand, said the only problem he’s seen is some of the street closures around the Wells Fargo Center, where the convention is being held, and the demonstration zone in FDR Park. One of Botta’s customer’s told him he had trouble getting to a nearby CVS to pick up a prescription for a heart condition.
And then, there are the occasional Bernie Sanders supporters who hassle Botta for wearing his Donald Trump t-shirt. And on this day, he did not stop himself from giving them some South Philly attitude.
“Grow up and get a life and get a job,” Botta called out from the window of the stand. “You got screwed — he sold out!”
“We did get sold out,” protester Faith Dooley called back.
After a few minutes of arguing politics, and agreeing on a disdain for Hillary Clinton, the group parted ways.
“You guys got plenty of water there?” Botta asked them as the protesters turned toward the demonstration zone. “Stay hydrated in this heat!”