Mayor of Philadelphia Camps Out For An iPhone

NBC 10 in Philadelphia had some people camped out for an iPhone when what did they see? Wait, is that… the Mayor? It was:

Donning a white baseball hat and warmup suit — complete with an iPod strapped to his arm — a casual Philadelphia Mayor John Street patiently sat on a lawn chair on a South Philadelphia sidewalk, hoping to get his hands on the new Apple iPhone Friday morning.

Street said he was No. 3 in a line of about six people, but said he was sure things would pick up later in the day.

“I’m out here with the rest of the gang, and we’re all waiting for the iPhone,” said Street, a self-proclaimed technology advocate. “This is the latest and I’m going to have it.”

Reader Nicole remarks: “Apparently, not too many people like this guy.” Well, Apple probably likes him. AT&T probably does, too.

What’s Mayor Street Doing? Waiting In Line For iPhone [NBC 10]
(Photo: NBC 10)


Edit Your Comment

  1. cindel says:

    Well umm at least he’s waiting instead of using his position…

  2. cgi5877 says:


    seriously, come on, just post it, it’s ok if it’s just a rough cut i’m totally fine with that (even though I am an editor myself)

  3. josh1701 says:

    From a KYW-AM 1060 Newsradio report:

    KYW’s Mike DeNardo reports that another person waiting in line early Friday morning was Philadelphia’s own mayor.

    Mayor Street got up in the wee hours, grabbed a patio chair, and began his encampment outside the AT&T store on 16th Street in center city at 3:30am:

    (Street:) “This device is supposed to be very special. And so, I’m going to see it on the first day. The very first day, I’m going to have it.”

    (DeNardo:) “Mr. Mayor, with all due respect, this is kind of geeky.”

    (Street:) “Well yeah, I guess so. I mean, that’s okay. We live in a kind of a geeky world. I mean, there used to be a time when the athletes were the ones everybody had so much respect for. I think the geek has come into his own nowadays.”

    The mayor says he would have someone hold his place in line, while he left to tend to a little city business. But otherwise, he planned to spend the day in his patio chair, waiting for his iPhone to go on sale at 6pm.

  4. lhutz34 says:

    Why are people with bad credit able to get the iphone on a prepaid/no contract plan, while those of us with good credit are forced to sign up for a 2 year contract? Consumerist, get on this!

  5. Hoss says:

    A boston pol would send a “hack” and pay overtime

  6. mopar_man says:

    As if there isn’t enough iPhone over-coverage at Gizmodo, we really don’t need this story here.

  7. faust1200 says:

    Here in Detroit mayor Kilpatrick would probably have some thugs go down there and beat up some dude and jack his phone. Then fire anyone investigating him. And take some tax dollars and fly to Hawaii or some such place. Then deny deny deny to the point where everyone looks around and wonders if they are in the Twilight Zone.

  8. In Chicago, they would send a bunch of people to get the phones who would, later on, turn out to have been dead for years.

  9. dvddesign says:

    Here in Houston, they’d just pave the Apple store to make room for more SUV lanes. The news that night would do a report on Sex Predators, and the world would move on.

  10. The Ghost of Tom Gordon says:

    Oh don’t worry…it’s not like more than 300 people have been murdered in Philadelphia so far this year.

    More important things in life…Mayor Street will be able to dial 911 in style now.

  11. The Bigger Unit says:

    Shouldn’t he, ummm, be running the city instead of sitting around for a goddamned PHONE?

  12. Tallanvor says:

    Er… Yeah… So a mayor ends up wanting an iPhone and is willing to wait in line for one.

    This is a big deal why?

  13. rbb says:

    It’s. Just. A. Phone.

    Who cares…

  14. The Bigger Unit says:

    @Tallanvor: Probably because taxpayers expect him to do mayor-like things related to what they pay him for. I don’t think sitting in a chair all day to buy a phone is benefiting Philly. Maybe it is though, I don’t live there.

    Maybe it’s addition by subtraction…I don’t know anything about this mayor.

    I think sending a minion to buy it actually would’ve been better for the guy.

  15. bnet41 says:

    Hold on, I want to join in this. Ummm…In New York, our mayor would just buy Apple. The company.

    Eh, that was weak.

  16. josh1701 says:

    @Chest Rockwell:

    It’s actually 200 as of last night but the point is the same.

    Breaking news from, “Street out, aide in, in quest for latest phone”:

    Street, an unabashed fan of new technology, said he had sent about 30 e-mails while waiting outside the store on 16th and Ranstead Streets.

    “I think it’s not a bad a thing for a person who needs that device [the iPhone} to sit and wait. I could have used influence to get one, but I don’t work that way.”

    Just before his remarks, 22-year-old Larry West of Mount Airy confronted the mayor.

    “How can you sit here with 200 murders in the city already?” West asked.

    Street announced that “I’m doing my job.”

    He then left for City Hall, and it was not clear when he would return to the line. He assigned his spot to a male aide, who declined to be identified.

  17. Nice to see citizen’s tax money at work.


  18. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I’m starting to miss the Nazi t-shirt stories.

  19. cde says:

    I’m sure the mayor is allowed to do whatever the fuck he wants at 3am, including waiting in line for a iCosttoMuch, er iPhone. Now, assigning a (obviously paid) aide to sit in for him, that’s a bit fucked up.

  20. MeOhMy says:

    @The Nature Boy:

    I don’t think sitting in a chair all day to buy a phone is benefiting Philly. Maybe it is though, I don’t live there.

    Well at the very least it’s hard to award no-bid contracts sitting in line outside a store.

    Also, the Feds hadn’t bugged the store yet. He probably left after he saw a white van parked across the street.

  21. cgi5877 says:

    Other than showing us that the mayor is, indeed, a consumer–I fail to see the significance of this posting.

  22. itmustbeken says:

    That is so cool!
    The first call he should receive is from the group leading his recall election. Idiot.

  23. mopar_man says:


    I have to agree. I’m assuming he’s already got a cellphone so I’m sure he can do some of his daily duties from where he is. Not really a big deal at all.

  24. TomK says:

    It’s not just a phone. Somewhere on these interwebs I heard it put like this.

    “The iPhone is the flying car anyone raised on sci-fi has been waiting for.”

    It’s not just a phone. It represents the collective hopes and dreams of a generation raised wanting tricorders.

    It’s not just a phone. It’s like a marriage between technology and zen. It’s a representation of all the potential that technology offers us to make our lives better. We aren’t geeking out over the iphone because we’re excited about some stupid handset. We’re excited because it’s the cutting edge of what technology can offer us to make our lives less frustrating and confused.

  25. Asvetic says:

    @The Nature Boy: Never taken a Personal Day before?

    I don’t agree with Mayor Streets choice, but he’s a geek and you have to respect a man with hobbies. He might not be the greatest mayor ever, but who really is? He told his Deputies to take the helm. Anyway, Fridays are always slow in the office.

  26. protest says:

    “Fridays are always slow at the office…”

    In Philly yes because everyone is out on the street killing eachother. he’s done such a good “job” screwing this city that I think maybe it’s better for us that he sits there for a damn phone.

  27. foghat81 says:

    In Cleveland, the mayor would go after sitting around getting fatter, dumber, poorer, and watching our teams never win.

    Cleveland rocks :)

  28. foghat81 says:

    Oh wait, I forgot a reference for having the #1 zip code in the country for foreclosures. meh, I’ll let it stand

  29. Dustbunny says:

    In Portland, the mayor would drive to the Apple store in his Prius and….erm…ok, I got nothing. Never mind.

  30. Trackback says:

    We’re only a few minutes away from iPhone launch time. Stay tuned for some photos of the madness. Local · Why you shouldn’t laugh at that Toto Washlet billboard [UnBeige] National · eBay pulling iPhone listings [Gizmodo] · Philly’s major camps out for an iPhone [Consumerist] ·…

  31. Well, atleast he’s waiting in line rather than trying to use his politcal alliances to garner one, unlike a certain person whom will go unnamed who tried to obtain a PS3…

  32. pissamist says:

    I had heard about this via TV reports yesterday and I’m very happy I got to chime in on this matter. In the TV report it was noted that a lady had seen the Mayor in line awaiting his iPhone purchase (which is another subject all together), but the part that caught my attention is how she seemed to be disturbed by the fact that he was waiting in line yet there were, and I’m not sure of this number, 200
    murders in the city, as she sarcastically told him to remain in line. The report said he left the line immediately following the conversation.
    Now, I don’t live in Philly, and I am not trying to stir up trouble, but I don’t see anyone, at least observing his side of this story. The guy is a Mayor of a major city, and probably doesn’t have much time to himself. Unlike the abusive Paris Hilton chronicles, he’s under a public flashlight, compared to her ‘spotlight’. I’d venture to say he has to go to many public events promoting this and that, and works longer hours than many of us, without overtime pay, and takes the heat for every little thing involving the failure of the city, and presumably gets no credit for the good. Is he not allowed to have a few minutes to himself? Even though, there he is with the public, at 3:30 am, while most of us were sleeping..and is he allowed any luxuries? It seems the “no oral sex” Clinton made 10 million dollars last year…he probably has a few fancy things, (wife apparently not one of them, since he’s so promiscuous). And let’s mention the Edwards campaign, since running with Kerry, has he ever apologized for telling reporters to ask Cheney about same-sex relations, since Cheney’s daughter was a lesbian? I mean it seems we need to lighten up, not get our shorts in a bundle, and as they say, “Don’t sweat the dumb sh*t”.
    I gotta ad, isn’t Philadelphia the city of brotherly love…..?