It’s Thanksgiving Week! That means — it addition to some well-deserved time off for most of us — it’s time to actually contemplate what makes us thankful. Let me offer five suggestions for Philadelphia in 2014:
U.S. News and World Report has a new ranking of the Top 500 colleges and universities in the world — and a half-dozen Pennsylvania schools have landed on the list.
Penn leads the way at No. 19. Other Pennsylvania schools on the list, along with their world ranking:
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Bankrate.com is reporting that Philadelphia has the highest bank overdraft fees in America — so, you know, it might be a good idea never to overdraft your account.
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This can’t be right, can it?
Online food delivery service GrubHub has crunched all the numbers in its database to determine the 10 most-caffeinated campuses in the country — and four of the top six are in Philly. Three others in the Top 10 are within 100 miles of here. Really?
I’m not (necessarily) proud of it, but I spent most of my weekend with The Simpsons. At best, I’m a casual fan, but on a rainy Saturday, FXX’s 24-hour, 552-episode Simpsons marathon proved to be a pretty seductive mix of cozy nostalgia, surprisingly timeless writing, and non-judgmental hangover company.
Then, things got weird. After six or so uninterrupted hours in Springfield, it became apparent that the allegedly fictional town is based on none other than Philadelphia.
Officially speaking, series creator Matt Groening claims that Springfield is inspired by a number of generic small towns, and the ambiguity of where, exactly, it could exist is a long-running joke on the show (trust me — I haven’t got off my couch in days). Briefly, the honor went to Springfield, Vermont, when Fox held a contest promoting The Simpsons Movie.
However, Philadelphians will recognize the mix of casual corruption, enthusiastic alcoholism, rabid fandom, and blood-sucking, soul-crushing monopolies as, well, home sweet home.
Personally, I’m OK with this — I can get down with a place where my jeans stay in style for 25 years. My issue is that Springfield has, over the years, figured out how to do Philadelphia better than Philadelphia.
Here’s what we could learn, or at least stand to remember, from our four-fingered friends.
Revel is bankrupt (again!). Casinos are closing. Property taxes are going up 29 percent. And now this: Conde Nast just named Atlantic City one of the most unfriendly cities in the entire country. A.C. just can’t catch a break. Read more »