End The Philadelphia Inferiority Complex Now!

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

I’d only lived in Philadelphia for about three years when The New York Times published the article everyone is still pissed about. Yes, the one that, despite its largely positive portrayal of Philly as an attractive urban destination, contained the phrase “sixth borough.”

I’ll take a brief pause here to allow you to dust off your pitchforks and light your torches.

That piece came out in 2005 and it’s still brought up in casual conversation, usually preceded or abutted by some half-muttered, bile-filled variation on “FUCK NEW YORK.” Though I’m of the mind that the statute of limitations on such traced-back hostility should probably be shorter than a near-decade, I understand why. Without using the R-word, it’s a byproduct of that locally cultivated chip on our shoulders, the same geographically granted spirit that motivates us to wear shirts like this and post that Coach Kelly clip on Facebook.

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Bill de Blasio’s Big Ideas

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Philadelphia’s well-documented inferiorty complex regarding New York City can often manifest itself as simple imitation. Stop-and-frisk, bike share, elevated train park: These are all ideas that got started — or were popularized — in the Big Apple that later got traction here.

So the ascension of Bill de Blasio to the NYC mayor’s office could be a big deal for Philly — and soon.

De Blasio, you see, isn’t just a Democrat: He’s a real-live liberal, the kind who might actually deserve the “socialist” slur when it’s applied to him. And he’s so determined to fight poverty and income inequality in his city that he should be able to provide a rough guide to Philadelphia and other big cities on what works, what doesn’t, and what’s worth the cost.

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Morning Headlines: Pennsylvanians Go to Barneys in New York!

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“Left unsaid was an ever-so-slight inferiority complex: The Keystone State is grand, but the Empire State, grander.” This is an actual sentence penned by the New York Times’ Trip Gabriel in an article about Pennsylvanians and Philadelphians going to New York, which, as Simon Van Zuylen-Wood notes, perpetuates rather tired stereotypes that all we want for Christmas is a trip (Trip!) to Barneys in the Big City.

Additionally, Gabriel misquotes his own newspaper when he says, “If Pennsylvanians were inclined to feel a little like a sixth borough when contemplating New York City…” The article to which he refers was not about the state as a sixth borough, which would be the largest borough in known history, but the city of Philadelphia as a sixth borough. And its point, actually, was that New Yorkers were moving to Philadelphia because it was more affordable and manageable than New York is. It had nothing to do with inferiority.

And there’s more…

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Morning Headlines: Jim Kenney Has a Rental Idea to Help Philly Schools

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Photo of Mayor Nutter in Citizen’s Bank skybox by Bradley Maule

Everyone has some kind of novel or desperate idea to get money for the schools; at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn Mayor Nutter had been to Lourdes. The latest pitch comes from Councilman Jim Kenney, whose own novel idea involves city rentals — at the stadiums.

After the mayor asked for donations so students could get school supplies (I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence), Kenney suggested the city rent out the skyboxes it controls at the Linc, Citizen’s Bank Park and Wells Fargo Center. As it stands now, the tickets for those boxes go to schools, non-profits, staffers and friends of elected officials,” according to CBS 3. Ah, “friends of elected officials.”

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Property’s Morning Obsession: Video Profile of a 78-Square-Foot Rental in Manhattan

This is a unbelievable. This young gent, who studies architecture, lives in Manhattan in 78 square feet. Not only that, but he likes it, is good-natured about it, and with some sweat equity and a few trips to Home Depot, has made it pretty darn livable–even a bit enviable. There’s not really any reason that human beings take up so much space, if you think about it.

On the other hand, it’s shocking to hear how much he pays for the place. Only in New York.

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