Saturday, September 08, 2007

Very nice

I don't have time to get into it, but Philadelphia is nice. Very nice. Top city IMO. I loved NY, and I like DC, but Philadelphia is in the truest sense a very, very cool city. NY can be obnoxious, and DC equally so, but Philadelphia is so well balanced and a very, very real town. I will remove the STL and Chicago from the equation for I am overly biased both consciously and subconsciously with those towns, so right now my favorite US cities are bordering between Philadelphia and Memphis. I have spent a decent amount of time in many American cities, but so far Philly has just come out heads and shoulders above these. It is a real town, it is thriving on an organic level from the deep roots it has laid. Walkable, thriving, deep history, strong sense of place, distinct character, and it doesn't seem to be trying too hard to please but just is. Real commercial roots that have developed naturally over the years. It is diverse in more real ways than just a Benneton ad, and is not self righteous or obnoxious. In fact, it is hard on itself which can be endearing and something I identify with being a Saint Louisan. It is a real city, and I don't mean by population, but by balance. Real cities are stand alones. Without gambling, Vegas would not exist. Without government, DC would not exist. Philadelphia exists for many many wonderful reasons which give it a great equilibrium in which to live.

So if I had to relocate, and I am not looking to relocate, but if I did both Philly and Memphis would be on the top of the list.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Marijean said...

Before you complete your fantasy relocation list, consider a visit to Charlottesville, Va. -- a hop and a jump from DC and a whole different world.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Jon said...

Just relocated from St. Louis to Philadelphia for school, but I have honestly not explored it to the extent that your itinerary indicated you did. It's great to see some really positive remarks on my newly adopted home!

7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should we be getting the impression that you think New York is obnoxious?

12:12 PM  
Blogger Steven Fitzpatrick Smith said...

Obnoxious is just one of many descriptions. I can't wait to go back to New York.

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in Memphis but moved to St. Louis 7 years ago. (Strangely enough, I have several colleagues begging me to move to Philly as well.) I am curious as to why Memphis rates as high for you as Philly. Mind you, I love my hometown and miss it a lot, but I'm not sure I want to live there again, family and old friends aside.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Steven Fitzpatrick Smith said...

Memphis is very different city than Philadelphia or Saint Louis. It is distinct. It has a very strong, seemingly overlooked deep rich culture. And much of it passes by our eyes and we never get a chance to experience it. I am sure there is much more to Memphis than I have experienced, but of what I have is precious. Memphis is also a wonderful speed. I appreciate the benefits of hustle, but I also appreciate taking time. All hustle and no appreciation make Johnny a dullboy. If you step into it, Memphis has much to appreciate.

Recently a great man passed in Memphis. Wild Bill created something that epitomized what is great about Memphis. We so often like to glaze over what is wonderful about our towns, ready to seek something elsewhere. It is funny really, especially when we have treasures scattered about our feet. Stoop down and take a look.

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you on Philly.... Went for the first time about a year ago for a work project but took extra time to... what I thought...go to New York or DC while up there. But Philly was so cool in it's own way that we decided to stay there the entire week. I thought the people were cool as hell (makes sense if you've been there), not to mention the men to women ration was in our favor (I'm a lola), and the men were MEN. None of this "metrosexual" just be gay already crap. I went to the market EVERYday. The drivers were patient with my multiple upon multiple u-turns and curb hopping, ate at Terrence Howard's favorite local pizza spot, did the cheese steak comparisons, did architectural tours of the poor urban areas that have some of the most beautiful, historical mansions... Philly is so close to the major world cities yet it’s holds it’s own charm that keeps it full of authentic character.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you on Philly.... Went for the first time about a year ago for a work project but took extra time to... what I thought...go to New York or DC while up there. But Philly was so cool in it's own way that we decided to stay there the entire week. I thought the people were cool as hell (makes sense if you've been there), not to mention the men to women ration was in our favor (I'm a lola), and the men were MEN. None of this "metrosexual" just be gay already crap. I went to the market EVERYday. The drivers were patient with my multiple upon multiple u-turns and curb hopping, ate at Terrence Howard's favorite local pizza spot, did the cheese steak comparisons, did architectural tours of the poor urban areas that have some of the most beautiful, historical mansions... Philly is so close to the major world cities yet it’s holds it’s own charm that keeps it full of authentic character.

3:45 PM  

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