This is an open letter to the citizens of Pennsylvania who live beyond the limits of Philadelphia. It has come to my attention that a certain geographical misunderstanding has been floating around for quite some time. If I may, I would like to clear things up for you in just six words:
YOU DO NOT LIVE IN PHILADELPHIA.
That’s right, contrary to the lines you used to pick up chicks in college, living in a cushy little suburb on the fringes of Philly’s shadow does not make you a resident of that city. It makes you a resident of a small town in PA. If you’re unclear as to where exactly you live, there’s a very simple way to find out: check the last piece of mail you received. If the address label ends with “Philadelphia, PA” then congratulations, you live in Philly. If, however, it reads “Wayne, PA”, “Westchester, PA”, “Lancaster, PA”, “Wilmington, DE” or “Camden, NJ,” then you do not. No, you don’t get props for being able to find Pat's and Gino's. The mere fact that you eat that crap is a good indication that you’re from somewhere else.
You might think I’m being an elitist bitch, but I’m not. See, the people who actually do live in Philly bust their ass to get by. They put up with a horrendous crime crate, a dysfunctional transit system, a Draconian parking authority, and a cut-throat job market. They pay city taxes, high rent rates, ridiculous insurance premiums, and insane parking tickets. They deal with fines, assholes, pollution, gunfire, vandalism, and harassment, all while forfeiting any right to personal space. It’s a great place to live, but it comes at a high price. You claiming to be from Philly is tantamount to me saying that I understand what it means to be a woman because I wore a dress one Halloween.
Granted, I get the appeal of Philly street cred. There’s something to be said about being a part of the city that nurtured Ben Franklin, Betsy Ross, John Barrymore, David Lynch, and the Dead Milkmen. But if those bragging rights are so goddamned important, then start walking the walk. Move to the big bad city, pay city taxes, give up the twenty-foot comfort zone between you and your neighbors, risk your ass going to work every day, and put up with two million tourists on South St. who couldn’t parallel park to save a dying baby.
If city life isn’t for you, well, nothing wrong with that. Drop in once in a while, see the sights, hit up the shops, and have a few drinks. Despite her flaws, Philly really is a fine city, rich with history, culture, fine restaurants, bumping nightlife, and limitless good times. But remember, there are over a million people working their fingers down to the bone to keep that city running. It’s an insult to them when you pretend to be a grad from the School of Hard Knox when all you’ve done is audit a weekend course.
See you at the Troc!
See you at the Troc!