In Philadelphia, there’s always something to argue about. Whether it’s the Phillie Phanatic, the clientele at Center City Sips or the worthiness of Wawa, we are a people who love to gripe. All the time. No matter what.
Or at least that’s how it was until Spruce Street Harbor Park opened this summer to universal praise — and justifiably so. The revitalization of the waterfront is a no-brainer when it comes to things that should happen in this city. By adding hammocks and floating gardens and brightly colored chairs and, perhaps most importantly, food and booze, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation has given us good reason to go somewhere besides Penn’s Landing when we want to gaze across the river at New Jersey.
But the thing about being universally loved is that Spruce Street Harbor Park brings out all types of people — people who do not usually interact on a day-to-day basis. Here, a roundup who you’ll see when you venture down to the waterfront.
1. Instagram Contortionists
Who they are: The people with cell phones glued to their hands.
What they’re doing: Yoga poses while holding up the line to get into the beer garden.
You’ve overheard them saying: “Which filter do you think brings out the blue lights on the water?”
2. Anyone Who Has Ever Been Nominated for a Philly Geek Award
Who they are: Like Spruce Street Harbor Park itself, the happily monikered geeks are young, bright, new, and shiny.
What they're doing: Outdoor laptopping.
You've overheard them saying: “Are you still using Snapchat?”
3. Sticky Toddlers
Who they are: The short people taking up all the space at the fountains.
What they’re doing: Screaming!
You’ve overheard them saying: [SQUEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]
4. Jersey Moms
Who they are: The moms who have their children on leashes.
What they’re doing: Slathering their children in hand sanitizer.
You’ve overheard them saying: “MacKenzie, did you just touch that?”
5. City Moms
Who they are: The moms who do not have their children on leashes.
What they're doing: Socializing with other urban mamas.
You’ve heard them saying: “Ya wanna get ice cream?”
6. Dirty West Philly Hippies
Who they are: You will know them by their dreadlocks and their Birkenstock sandals.
What they're doing: Reading philosophy books while lying in hammocks.
You’ve heard them saying: “According to Nietzsche …”
7. Slightly Cleaner South Philly Hipsters
Who they are: These are the people who choose to wear jorts and Vans.
What they're doing: Complaining about the beer selection.
You’ve heard them saying: “I wish they had PBR.”
8. Pop-Up Hoppers
Who they are: The women are wearing heels and the men are wearing pastel-colored linen shorts.
What they're doing: Everything. They want to be sure they can tell people they’ve been there.
You’ve heard them saying: “Last year, at the Pop-Up Garden …”
9. Couples Who Are More in Love Than You
Who they are: The people canoodling in hammocks regardless of how humid it is.
What they’re doing: Swapping sweat and saliva.
You’ve heard them saying: Sweet, sweet nothings.
10. Kevin Hart Groupies
Who they are: The fanatics who know that the Hyatt Regency is the comedian’s favorite hotel.
What they’re doing: Camping out, hoping for a peek at the celeb.
You’ve heard them saying: “Is that him?!”
Follow Erica Palan on Twitter.