Sprightly Daily News Feature Turns Angry, Despairing of a Broken City

Having been at this journalism game awhile, we’re pretty sure that the “Where Ya From?” feature in the Daily News is intended—generally—to bring a smile to the lips of readers’ faces in the morning. “Oh look, those are my neighbors!” the reader is supposed to say to herself. “Well, gosh, this city certainly is full of odd and remarkable characters!” Today’s edition took something of a dark left turn, by featuring Howard Butler, a 62-year-old panhandler who now lives “near” 18th and Spring Garden. Butler will have none of your community-building sprightliness, dammit. ”I don’t do nothing, but beg . . . panhandle, beg for money,” Butler said. ”Everybody tells me, ‘Get a job.’ A job – where?” The experience has left him with a sour view overall of his hometown. Asked what he likes about Philadelphia, Butler answers: “Nothing. I was born and raised here; I know everything about Philadelphia and Philadelphia ain’t sh–.” Um, well. This city certainly is full of odd and remarkable characters, huh? [Daily News]