Fall foliage and football weather is rapidly making way to slush, savesies, slippery rails, and deepened potholes in Philadelphia. But the temperatures and massive holiday light displays are just two of the unmistakable signs that winter is coming to Philly.
1. Cones start appearing in South Philly parking spots.
The Philadelphia Police Department can do all of the clever campaigns surrounding “No Savesies” that it wants — we’re not buying it. If you shovel it, it’s yours. Time to get your premium, spot-saving orange cones, folding chairs, and milk crates ready for the season.
2. The ratio of Eagles jerseys around town are changing.
With three of the four major Philly sports teams heading into winter, the Eagles jerseys have some competition. The proportion of Flyers and Sixers to Birds gear increases with the excitement of the new hockey and basketball seasons. Scanning the crowd to see how well a team is represented textile-wise is a good way to know what season it is.
3. Road crews prepare for winter precipitation.
You’ll undoubtedly notice a complete absence of PennDOT trucks fixing all of the treacherous potholes from last winter. ‘Tis the season to busily ignore them in preparation for a winter of bigger, deeper holes that will further destroy your car.
4. Entire blocks coordinate elaborate Christmas light displays.
Whole blocks of houses are decorated with as many lights, blow-ups, and outdoor decorations as you can imagine. Everyone wins — PECO, kids, and neighbors who don’t have to put on their own lights because it looks damn near daylight outside.
5. The trash collection gets spotty.
With the onset of nasty winter weather comes spotty trash collection. Everyone in Philly has seen collectors passing by to leave their trash because they don’t touch the “frozen” stuff.
6. Santa’s not the only one getting cookies.
We all win when Tastykake puts another item on the shelves. It may not be our favorite, but we will mindlessly eat the heck out of its holiday cookies anyway.
7. Seasonal brews fill our bellies and help keep us warm.
An influx of winter beers fills local taps to give us the joy that the weather won’t. Mad Elves and Festivus celebrations inside distract us from the steady march of winter.
8. It’s the only time we don’t fully hate Comcast.
As sure as the salt trucks won’t hit the roads on time, Comcast will hold its holiday light show. For a few moments, our dark hearts are warmed, and we forget about how much it screwed up our last 15 consecutive bills. We hate to give it credit for anything at all, but the holiday show is pretty delightful.
9. Slippery rail season rears its ugly head.
You missed having your train delayed for days at a time due to a predictable weather event, but winter’s coming so you won’t have long to wait. Rain and leaves combine to create a SEPTA-induced nightmare. Why no one can remove the leaves is a mystery. Our fall foliage may be beautiful to look at, but when those leaves come down, they take an entire transit system with them.