Culture

Checking In on Philly’s Generation X

In 1995, this magazine profiled 30 of the city’s top Gen Xers (all then age 30 or under). We reached out to a few of them to see how things have changed since those halcyon pre-Google days.


Eric Lindros then (left) and now (right). Photography courtesy of Focus On Sport/Getty Images and Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire/Associated Press

In 1995, this magazine profiled 30 of the city’s top Gen Xers (all then age 30 or under). We reached out to a few of them to see how things have changed since those halcyon pre-Google days.

Eric Lindros
Then: Leading goals and assists man for the Flyers.
Now: After retiring from hockey in 2007 following multiple concussions, he campaigns for concussion reform in the NHL and beyond.

Max Kennedy
Then: RFK’s son; Philadelphia assistant DA.
Now: Arrested and recently facing charges of his own (disorderly conduct — dismissed after he paid a $150 fine) following an out-of-control house party on Cape Cod.

Richard Jones
Then: “Scene” columnist, the Inquirer.
Now: Director, Gallivan Journalism Program at Notre Dame.
Missed Opportunities: “When I think of our generation, I keep coming back to all of the talent and potential that was lost to violence in the city during the 1980s and ’90s. The year I graduated high school, 1988, Philadelphia was closing down a decade that would end two years later with the highest annual murder rate in the city’s history.”

Jeffrey Gaines
Then: Dubbed, by this magazine, the “Next Great Singer-Songwriter.”
Now: Still singing and songwriting, set to release his sixth album, Alright.
Boomer Beneficiaries: “What we had is the hard work of the baby boomers that allowed us free time and imagination. Whereas the millennials, the Internet, those people are consumed with stimulants from the outside in.”

Sara Kelly
Then: Managing editor, Main Line Welcomat.
Now: Journalism professor at National University in San Diego, following many years at Philadelphia Weekly, the venerable paper she helped found.
Tech Neophytes: “Gen X was the last generation to come of age before social media. That made us prematurely old and, now, pretty much forgotten. And even more cynical. We’re probably shaping up to be pretty good old curmudgeons. What we once celebrated as irony and edge is now seen as hostility and insecurity.”

Matthew Curtis
Then: Graphic designer for advocacy groups at his firm, Public Interest GRFX.
Now: Still fighting the good fight, lobbying most recently against antibiotic use in farming.
Chronically Misunderstood: “I don’t spend much time thinking about Gen X as a concept, and I rarely hear my friends or colleagues talking about themselves as being part of Gen X, so maybe it is forgotten. But I think it may be that the descriptors just don’t fit. Certainly, the idea that Gen X are a bunch of apathetic slackers seems completely off the mark to me.”

Ennis Carter
Then: Co-founder of Public Interest GRFX.
Now: Director at her new firm, Social Impact Studios.
Chronically Misunderstood, part 2: “We were often portrayed as cynical slackers, but I think that was a misunderstood version of what I’d call ‘hopeless optimism.’ Older people probably think we still haven’t figured things out and aren’t taking on leadership because we do that so differently than they did.”

Andrew Glassman
Then: Broadcast journalist, NBC 10.
Now: Running his own L.A.-based TV production company, Glassman Media, whose shows include Battle of the Network Stars and The Wall.


» See Also: Whatever Happened to Generation X?

» See Also: Philly Is a Boomer Town (Still)

Published in the February 2018 issue of Philadelphia magazine.