Philly and Me


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I have always said that I would only live in five places: Easton, Phillipsburg, Bethlehem, New York City, or Philadelphia. While I did not move to Philadelphia, I’ve spent the last four months at work there, and in a week I’m done with that. In a week I’ll be done with my most extensive time in Philadelphia in my lifetime.

I have always loved Philadelphia’s “every man” personality. It’s blue-collar to the core, something I’ve always loved about the people. I’ve always loved the sports teams, the food, and the history of the city too. I lovingly refer to it as America’s “real capitol” to spite our current seat of government. It’s a great city.

So after working here every day for four months, I have a few observations about the city. Here are my five favorite things about the city:

  1. The parks and public spaces- Philadelphia is full of places you can just hang out. People think of the Art Museum and Love Park, but the city has grand parks like Fairmount as well. The physical layout of the city is amazing.
  2. The sports fans- The blue-collar, die-hard nature of the sports fans in Philadelphia set them apart from most of the country. People actually care in Philly when their teams lose, and I love that.
  3. The history- Independence Hall is a surprisingly moving place. When you comprehend the history of what happened in Philadelphia in 1776, you realize how amazing it is. In parts of the city you can find cobblestone roads, and yes, historic buildings. It’s a truly historic place.
  4. The food- I love cheesesteaks, especially from Pat’s. I also love Chinatown though, and the Italian Market area. Philadelphia is full of great food, and I enjoy it.
  5. Solid bars- I was introduced to some great bars in Philadelphia. Bob and Barbara’s, Oscar’s, and the Tavern on Broad all were solid places.

And, what I hated about Philadelphia:

  1. The traffic- The highways are totally inadequate for a city of 1.5 million people. The drivers also have a tendency to just stop for no reason. It’s just lunacy.
  2. The sports fans-  As much as I love them, my God the stupid talk is plentiful. From loving Chip Kelly and Chase Utley to bemoaning the Sixers and LeSean McCoy, some of the stupid talk I’ve heard on the radio has made me want to scream. No, Mariota wouldn’t have made this team great, and no, Chip had no shot to “make it happen.”
  3. The bicyclists and walkers- This is more a knock on the city than the bikers, but the bikers are really annoying. There just isn’t enough room on these roads for them. The walkers having the right away makes center city almost intolerable.
  4. Parking- You might as well sign over your first born to park in the downtown, which I know many urban-enthusiasts cheer as a good thing, but those of us in the real world hate it. The garages cost a ton, there isn’t enough street parking, and they ticket like crazy. In short, it’s stupid.
  5. The pace- There are a lot of people not in a rush. The subway can sometimes not be quick to arrive. It’s hard to find taxis the further from Center City I go. In short, a New York Minute is just seconds in Philadelphia.

So, with all of that said- do I still regard Philadelphia as one of my favorite places? Yes. I still like the people, I still love the skyline, and I still can have a good time. For me, that beats 99% of the world.

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