It's begun. If an abundance of lanyard-clad tourists haven't tipped you off, the port-o-potties should have. 3000 portable toilets, to be specific, have been placed along major and some not-so-major routes throughout Center City and the Parkway. If you don't feel like doing your math, that's about 1 for every 250 prospective Papal pilgrims.
If the sight of that many portable crappers isn't funny enough, social media has had a field day with the way-too-easy play-on-word musings:
"Holy Sh*t! Literally."
"It's gonna be a sh*tshow!"
"The streets are looking pretty sh*tty."
...or any of the endless things you can do with the word "Pope."
The projected numbers have been scaled back from a one-time estimate of 2M to somewhere between 800,000 and 1.5M, but with visitors flooding in as early as today, it's pretty clear that the event isn't going to flop. With many tourists already wearing their Papal Passes, it looks like the word of potential headaches got out and visitors came prepared.
Those who arrived today got the special treat of a Philadelphia cleaner than it's been in a long time, and the opportunity to visit the Parkway's museums and the city's restaurants before the rest arrive.
For this Godless Yankee, I have a Hyundai at Enterprise waiting to take me to Rehoboth for an aptly timed beach break.
Michael Solomonov: The Culinary Emissary
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