Pulse Style: Ragas Report: Trendspotting: Midtown

Philadelphia has long been called a city of neighborhoods, so when Stephen Starr decided to dub his new lounge at 18th and Chestnut streets the Continental Midtown, I did not have visions of denizens from Fitler Square to Chinatown suddenly clamoring, like the flocks outside the rooftop bar entrance, to trade in their respective neighborhood residencies for citizenship in this newly appointed bland, blanket territory. But clamor they did! Soon “Midtown” — designating pretty much anyplace east of the Schuylkill and west of Washington Square — was appearing on message boards, in real estate listings, even in the pages of my old college magazine, Penn’s 34th Street. Not to be outdone, the home store Kellijane, when it moved from Old City to the Rittenhouse area, issued a press release boasting of a new “uptown location.” At the risk of sounding insensitive to groups that prefer their maps drawn with the Solomon Islands at the top, this is just plain retarded. I take solace in the thought that some Old City type will one night hail a cab, shout “Uptown!,” and find himself in that region just above “Midtown” known as North Philadelphia, a.k.a. the real Uptown.