Sunday, July 03, 2011

Philadelphia: Crappy or Incredible?

Philadelphia: Crappy or Incredible?

Philadelphia's been in the news again for its less than attractive aspects, but it's not that simple, folks. Consider this list of contrasting contenders in our midst and make up your own mind.

George Perrier, Mark Vetri, Jose Garces, Steven Starr and a non-stop parade of great chefs and restaurants.
Joey Vento's tough love (or is it intolerance?) and the world's most lovable 4,000-calorie, foot-long sandwiches.

The buildings where our freedom was written in tyranny turned triumph: Carpenters' and Independence Halls.
The freedom to buy 12 guns per month.

Rittenhouse Square, any day of the year.
The shootings, every day of the year.

$4 per hour to park on the street, Mon-Fri 6PM-9PM, 2-Hour Parking 9PM to 1AM, Loading Zone 7AM-6PM, Except Sunday and Holidays, pay at kiosk if it works, $400 Towing Charge, Cash Only.
Pretzels, 2 for a buck.

The view that many Philadelphians know and love: looking past the dazzling waters of the Swann Fountain, down the flag-draped Parkway, all the way to the Art Museum on a sunny, summer day.
The vistas that most visitors see first: either the sewage-cloaked refineries of the airport approach, or the detritus of post-industrial North Philly via train.

Some of the dirtiest sidewalks you'll ever see, many in Chinatown.
One of the most beautiful sidewalks in the world, Kelly Drive.

The embarrassment-of-riches that will be the new Barnes Museum.
The embarrassment of far too many homeless sleeping and panhandling when you turn any corner.

A contender for World’s Worst Subway Station, under City Hall, no less. Dark, dirty, a dungeon.
One of the most connected regional train systems in the world.

One of the greatest statues in creation, Frederik Remington's only large sculpture, "Cowboy," in a spectacular setting that unfortunately prevents almost anyone from seeing it.
One of the kitsch-iest statues imaginable, "Rocky," becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations the world over. Go figure.

A few of the world's worst sports fans, if that's what you call criminals when they attend a game.
A lot of the world's best sports fans. (Call us when your team gets to 10,000 losses.)

The list is endless, and every Philadelphian and visitor will have his own entries. Which Philly do you live in or visit?

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