Skip to main content

Why Philly?

As my wife and I have contemplated what our futures hold -- now that we're seeking ravenously after full-time employment -- we've had to figure out our priorities. And it's emerged that one of the top priorities is trying to stay in Philly. But why?

Part of it might be inertia: It's expensive and energy-consuming to move. But part of it is that we've become fond of the city. And I don't always understand that: In some ways, the two years we've spent here have been the roughest, hairiest, least-fun years of my adult life. We want to stick it out.

Again, why?

Maybe because -- despite the challenges -- there's a lot to love. I like Philly. I like Cafe Lutecia and Almaz Ethiopian restaurant and the art museum and the orchestra and Rittenhouse Square and Jafar Barron and the Monday jazz jam with Orrin Evans and Cafe L'Aube and Grace Tavern and Shakespeare in Clark Park and Skorpion and Makael and Ekta and Gusto and Paolo's and the Phillies and Andrew's Video Vault and the silly debates over the New Black Panthers and the amateur boxing gyms with "Rocky" posters and Malcolm X Park and Joseph Fox Bookshop and the library and Bill Conlin and vending cart food and not needing a car and the BoltBus and being near New York without having to pay New York prices and having my son grow up some place that isn't 90 or 95 percent white and PhillyGrrl and Brendan Skwire and the Roots and all the farmer's markets and Stu Bykofsky (but not John Yoo) and Mayor Nutter's cute way of acting angry when he knows that's what the public wants and West Philly and South Philly and Fairmount Park and the Schuykill River trail and the skyline -- oh that gorgeous skyline.

And even the Piazza. A little bit. But not the Eagles. I hate the Eagles.

Those are just my reasons. My wife could and would add a few more, I know. But those are the things I know after two quick-but-traumatic years. And I know I've only scratched the surface of what this town holds, and what it can show me. It's not "home" the way that Lawrence, Kansas used to be for me -- but I had eight years to make Lawrence my home.

I don't know if I'll have that much time here. But I kind of hope so. We'll see.


Dennis said…
Go Blackhawks!

Popular posts from this blog


I've been making some life changes lately — trying to use the time I have, now that I'm back in Kansas, to improve my health and lifestyle. Among the changes: More exercise. 30 minutes a day on the treadmill. Doesn't sound like a lot, but some is more than none, and I know from experience that getting overambitious early leads to failure. So. Thirty minutes a day.

One other thing: Yoga, a couple of times a week. It's nothing huge — a 15-minute flexibility routine downloaded from an iPhone app. But I've noticed that I'm increasingly limber.

Tonight, friends, I noticed a piece of trash on the floor. I bent over at the waist and picked it up, and threw it away.

Then I wept. I literally could not remember the last time I'd tried to pick something off the floor without grunting and bracing myself. I just did it.

Small victories, people. Small victories.

Liberals: We're overthinking this. Hillary didn't lose. This is what it should mean.

Nate Cohn of the New York Times estimates that when every vote is tallied, some 63.4 million Americans will have voted for Clinton and 61.2 million for Trump. That means Clinton will have turned out more supporters than any presidential candidate in history except for Obama in 2008 and 2012. And as David Wasserman of Cook Political Report notes, the total vote count—including third party votes—has already crossed 127 million, and will “easily beat” the 129 million total from 2012. The idea that voters stayed home in 2016 because they hated Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is a myth. We already know the Electoral College can produce undemocratic results, but what we don't know is why — aside from how it serves entrenched interests — it benefits the American people to have their preference for national executive overturned because of archaic rules designed, in part, to protect the institution of slavery. 

A form of choosing the national leader that — as has happened in …

I'm not cutting off my pro-Trump friends

Here and there on Facebook, I've seen a few of my friends declare they no longer wish the friendship of Trump supporters — and vowing to cut them out of their social media lives entirely.

I'm not going to do that.

To cut ourselves off from people who have made what we think was a grievous error in their vote is to give up on persuading them, to give up on understanding why they voted, to give up on understanding them in any but the most cartoonish stereotypes.

As a matter of idealism, cutting off your pro-Trump friends is to give up on democracy. As a matter of tactics, cutting off your pro-Trump friends is to give up on ever again winning in a democratic process.

And as a long-term issues, confining ourselves to echo chambers is part of our national problem.

Don't get me wrong: I expect a Trumpian presidency is a disaster, particularly for people of color. And in total honesty: My own relationships have been tested by this campaign season. There's probably some damage…