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Old Yesterday, 04:32 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
7,003 posts, read 3,364,639 times
Reputation: 4465

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon08 View Post
As I recall, I think you have made other comments to this effect. If I'm incorrect on that, I apologize, but if I'm not: I don't know why you constantly feel the need to dispute the fact that Philadelphians like their hometown (and I'm talking about the entire metro area). I get the same feeling from, say, Pittsburgh folk. As for the survey, anyone can manipulate the question to get the answer they're looking for. For example, ask a Philadelphian in the middle of winter if they'd rather be living somewhere else -- sure, a tropical island! Or, ask someone who's moved to the suburbs because their neighborhood went downhill if they miss living in the city. No, not at all. Do I have any hard data? No. I'm just going by the reaction I get when I run into people from Philly. Everyone gets excited to meet someone from home and ask "where are you from?", "what high school did you go to?"....it can be Philly, it can be Delaware, Souderton, anywhere in the Delaware Valley. No one ever says, I couldn't wait to get out of there...unless they are referring to the weather. Many people that I worked with relocated elsewhere for promotional opportunities, but most ended up coming home eventually. That is just my experience in general...I'm sure you can find exceptions to that norm if you look hard enough.
Some of my dissension, I will admit, comes from my experience with the guy I lived with for 27 years.

He was born here, spent his younger years here, came of age in Claymont, Del., and graduated from Temple in 1965.

He has never lived anywhere else but constantly criticized Philadelphia, which he consideed insular and parochial and still does. (Given that, I wonder why he contemplated moving to Boston to pursue me when I lived there? if anything, that city is even more insular and parochial than Philadelphia. But instead, he dragged me down here kicking and screaming, and the city grew on me quickly.)

Granted, this is a data set of one and thus not probative of anything, but there is a word in the language that's commonly used to describe people like him: "Negadelphian."

Those are the people who led to that now-famous marketing campaign with the slogan "Philadelphia isn't as bad as Philadelphians say it is."

I've since learned that a sizable subset of this group are actually what I'd call the "tough love" crowd: "We can trash this place all we want, but don't YOU dare!" But still, the tendency sticks out, and, it appears, not just in my mind. And given that what I've seen of Philly expats tells me your description of them is accurate, it makes that local phenomenon all the more curious. Kansas City probably produces proportionally more expats than Philly does thanks to its location — I used to joke that after corn and wheat, the Midwest's biggest export is Midwesterners — but growing up there, I don't recall too many people expressing attitudes towards the city they called home like those my ex had towards his hometown.

Edited to add: But after I posted this, I remembered that we do have data backing you up, thanks to the Pew Charitable Trusts. Our hometown philanthropic heavyweight, whose focus in general is increasingly global, runs something called the Philadelphia Research and Policy Initiative which remains laser-focused on the Pew Trusts' hometown.

The program has done surveys to gauge Philadelphians' attitudes about their city. One of the most recent, conducted last fall, surveyed people who left Philadelphia for other regions. Generally speaking, the survey found no one dominant explanation for why they left, but the overarching motivator was the possibility (or actuality) of better job opportunities elsewhere. However: those who left didn't do so because they disliked Philadelphia: 70 percent rated it an excellent or good place to live.

Who's Leaving Philadelphia — And Why | Philadelphia Research and Policy Initiative* | The Pew Charitable Trusts

*The wife of the head of the Philadelphia Research and Policy Initiative hired me into the University of Pennsylvania's communications office.

Last edited by MarketStEl; Yesterday at 04:47 AM..
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Old Yesterday, 01:05 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
4,659 posts, read 6,402,392 times
Reputation: 7881
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Some of my dissension, I will admit, comes from my experience with the guy I lived with for 27 years.

He was born here, spent his younger years here, came of age in Claymont, Del., and graduated from Temple in 1965.

He has never lived anywhere else but constantly criticized Philadelphia, which he consideed insular and parochial and still does. (Given that, I wonder why he contemplated moving to Boston to pursue me when I lived there? if anything, that city is even more insular and parochial than Philadelphia. But instead, he dragged me down here kicking and screaming, and the city grew on me quickly.)

Granted, this is a data set of one and thus not probative of anything, but there is a word in the language that's commonly used to describe people like him: "Negadelphian."

Those are the people who led to that now-famous marketing campaign with the slogan "Philadelphia isn't as bad as Philadelphians say it is."

I've since learned that a sizable subset of this group are actually what I'd call the "tough love" crowd: "We can trash this place all we want, but don't YOU dare!" But still, the tendency sticks out, and, it appears, not just in my mind. And given that what I've seen of Philly expats tells me your description of them is accurate, it makes that local phenomenon all the more curious. Kansas City probably produces proportionally more expats than Philly does thanks to its location — I used to joke that after corn and wheat, the Midwest's biggest export is Midwesterners — but growing up there, I don't recall too many people expressing attitudes towards the city they called home like those my ex had towards his hometown.

Edited to add: But after I posted this, I remembered that we do have data backing you up, thanks to the Pew Charitable Trusts. Our hometown philanthropic heavyweight, whose focus in general is increasingly global, runs something called the Philadelphia Research and Policy Initiative which remains laser-focused on the Pew Trusts' hometown.

The program has done surveys to gauge Philadelphians' attitudes about their city. One of the most recent, conducted last fall, surveyed people who left Philadelphia for other regions. Generally speaking, the survey found no one dominant explanation for why they left, but the overarching motivator was the possibility (or actuality) of better job opportunities elsewhere. However: those who left didn't do so because they disliked Philadelphia: 70 percent rated it an excellent or good place to live.

Who's Leaving Philadelphia — And Why | Philadelphia Research and Policy Initiative* | The Pew Charitable Trusts

*The wife of the head of the Philadelphia Research and Policy Initiative hired me into the University of Pennsylvania's communications office.
Interesting survey. But it was specific to the city of Philadelphia, not the metro area. As I said, my comment was about the latter.

I wonder how many of the respondents were retirement age. I notice a lot of the destinations were in the Southeast U.S., so you'd think "weather" would've gotten a higher percentage. Or maybe they were the ones who chose "cost of living" as their reason.

I also noticed many of the destinations were Northern and Southern CA; they are probably work relocations. I did that myself, as did many of my other co-workers. None are still there. I've told this anecdote before: When I interviewed in our L.A. office, one of the executives (a native Californian) said to me, "People from Philadelphia don't do well here." I was obviously shocked and asked why. "There's a sense of community in Philadelphia that we don't have here." When I recounted that story later, the SoCal people were insulted but HE said it, not me. I think what he meant was that Philly is big city with a small-town feel. As I mentioned, people can be from Souderton, Delaware, South Jersey and still consider themselves from "Philly". I didn't get that feeling at all about Los Angeles. Before I relocated, I met a guy at work who was from one of the towns within L.A. County -- say, Torrance. But when I asked him where he was from, he said "Southern California". Weird answer, why not just say "L.A."? Anyway, whatever that executive meant, he was right...I moved back after two years. The cultural differences are tough for East Coast people.

I think "Negadelphia" is an old term, before the city was revitalized and we got a skyline to be proud of. I tell ya, every time I come around that curve on the Expressway where the skyline comes into view, especially at dusk, I'm blown away. But yeah, we can gripe about the city. Look what happened with Gritty! We all groused and laughed until the rest of the country started doing the same thing. Oh no, wait a minute, he's OUR mascot and you don't get to make fun of him!
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Old Yesterday, 08:11 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
7,003 posts, read 3,364,639 times
Reputation: 4465
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon08 View Post
Interesting survey. But it was specific to the city of Philadelphia, not the metro area. As I said, my comment was about the latter.
That may also explain why we seem to talk past each other here. My comments about Philadelphians' attitudes are also focused on the city itself.

There was a time before either of us were born when suburban Philadelphians, or so I understand, also tended to regard the core city with something akin to disdain. I do know that the effort to create a unified mass transit system for Southeastern Pennsylvania, which began in 1961 with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Compact (SEPACT), faced hurdles thrown up by suburban leaders (and the owners of the Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company) who worried the city would dominate the organization created to run it; the easily-overridden veto given to the two city appointees to the SEPTA Board was actually one manifestation of this fear.

That attitude is now thankfully long past. The gradual political realignment of the suburbs to the point where their residents vote much like city residents do has probably helped this along.

Quote:
I also noticed many of the destinations were Northern and Southern CA; they are probably work relocations. I did that myself, as did many of my other co-workers. None are still there. I've told this anecdote before: When I interviewed in our L.A. office, one of the executives (a native Californian) said to me, "People from Philadelphia don't do well here." I was obviously shocked and asked why. "There's a sense of community in Philadelphia that we don't have here." When I recounted that story later, the SoCal people were insulted but HE said it, not me. I think what he meant was that Philly is big city with a small-town feel. As I mentioned, people can be from Souderton, Delaware, South Jersey and still consider themselves from "Philly". I didn't get that feeling at all about Los Angeles. Before I relocated, I met a guy at work who was from one of the towns within L.A. County -- say, Torrance. But when I asked him where he was from, he said "Southern California". Weird answer, why not just say "L.A."? Anyway, whatever that executive meant, he was right...I moved back after two years. The cultural differences are tough for East Coast people.
I express this same sentiment with the phrase "Philadelphia is a small town masquerading as a big city."

I don't consider this a defect; in fact, I think that it makes the place a lot more comfortable as a place to live. It also manifests itself in an everyone-knows-everyone-else quality I find in most of this city's professional circles, including the one I work in. But I do think this same quality can be limiting in some ways. I've remarked that while this is the nation's fifth-largest media market, the Philadelphia mediaverse in some ways feels like the Triple-A farm club of a major league baseball team. Anyone who wants to grab journalism's glittering prizes, unless they're fortunate enough to snag a position with a national magazine or periodical that lets them work from here, eventually hits a point where they must leave Philadelphia in order to rise further, with only a few exceptions. Once you've landed at the Inquirer, PhillyMag or the network TV stations, that's it; if you're not satisfied with those, your next career move will be to New York or DC.

Quote:
I think "Negadelphia" is an old term, before the city was revitalized and we got a skyline to be proud of. I tell ya, every time I come around that curve on the Expressway where the skyline comes into view, especially at dusk, I'm blown away. But yeah, we can gripe about the city. Look what happened with Gritty! We all groused and laughed until the rest of the country started doing the same thing. Oh no, wait a minute, he's OUR mascot and you don't get to make fun of him!
"He's a hideous monster, but he's our hideous monster." —City Council President Darrell Clarke, on Gritty soon after he was unleashed on an unsuspecting world

The funny thing is, the rest of the country soon embraced Gritty as we did: he's the first and only sports team mascot ever to appear on the cover of ARTforum, the highbrow visual-arts magazine, and a Washington Post feature writer wrote a great interview with him (it helped, however, that this writer was a native Philadelphian — what was that I was saying about our media scene?). In it we learned that he calls everybody "Allen."

We at the Pen & Pencil Club even gave him an honorary Philadelphia News Award that year.

Frankly, I think that the addytood the Flyers gave the Orange One helped him gain acceptance. His debut was in a way pure Philly: After introducing himself with the admirably terse Tweet "It me.", he responded to a taunt from the Pittsburgh Penguins' mascot thusly:

"Sleep with one eye open tonight, bird."

Thus proving that he had Broad Street Bully blood in him.
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Old Today, 06:51 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
4,659 posts, read 6,402,392 times
Reputation: 7881
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
That may also explain why we seem to talk past each other here. My comments about Philadelphians' attitudes are also focused on the city itself.
Good point. I'll just tell you one quick anecdote. I'm on this Facebook group that has nothing to do with Philly and has members from all over the world. Today, I was commenting back and forth with one person and I happened to notice she was from the city...I said, me too....she asked me where, blah blah the usual. And then she said she was born and bred, came back several years ago and can't wait to get out. I said WHY? Her answer: "Philly is HORRIBLE now!". I didn't go any further as to not hijack the discussion, but it was just funny since I had just been claiming we all love our hometown! Score one for your side! She is a minority so she probably didn't mean it in a racial manner...maybe she meant crime, dirt, who knows.
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