Thursday, July 31, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS
THE CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE
It's time for me to weigh in on another debate on which my opinion doesn't matter at all and is obviously ridiculously biased: Philly vs. New York.
The Philly vs. New York debate is a big deal to Philadelphians; less so to New York. It's like how the Colts hate the Patriots and the Pats don't even really notice, but at the same time, the Colts don't realize that folks in Jacksonville hate them. Peyton's like, "Jacksonville? We play them sometimes." The point I'm trying to make here is that when there's a rivalry between two unequal players, the smaller fish tends to make more of the rivalry, and that's the sense I get of the Philly/NY thing. New Yorkers might make a disparaging comment about Philly being the Sixth Borough, but they don't think about it much. Meanwhile, Philadelphians are fuming and declaring not only their independence, but their superiority. (And then, there might be someone out there writing a Lancaster vs. Philly great debate blog entry.)
Well, Philadelphia, I am convinced. I haven't lived in New York, so I am not terribly qualified to speak on the matter, but I now consider myself a Philadelphian and have compiled a list of reasons as to why Philly is better.
1) It's a big city, but it's still small. I live in South Philly, work in Old City (which is as far east as you can get) and go to school in North Philly. I can easily get to any of these locations in half an hour. We have friends in suburbs and in South Jersey, and we can get to them (driving) in a half hour. If you lived in Queens, worked in Manhattan, and went to school in Staten Island, it would be much more complicated.
2) Underdog status. Living in New York's shadow, with perennially losing sports teams, a Philadelphian can always claim underdog status and get some sympathy.
3) History. I didn't pay much attention to the historical aspect of Philly until I started doing Ghost Tours (a woman once asked me where the Liberty Bell was and I couldn't tell her) but I'm starting to realize how significant it is that this is where it all started.
4) Perhaps most importantly, the reason I choose Philly can be best explained by this NY Times article. It's about people who buy houses and end up having to do a ton of work renovating them, a process with which I am familiar. I was reading the article and really identifying with it until the story mentioned some of the price tags for these fixer-uppers: $699,000, $770,000 and so on. Holy cow! I know it's a cliche to talk about the high price of New York real estate, but seriously. In Philly, a beautiful condo in the absolute nicest part of town will run you around half a million. And a fixer-upper in South Philly costs far, far less.