Growing Up in Center City in the ’70s and ’80s

It was a different Philadelphia back then.

Children playing in the Art Museum fountains, August 1973.

Children playing in the Art Museum fountains in August 1973. Photograph by Dick Swanson/The National Archive

Well, I did it. I finally wrote about what it was like growing up in Center City. I think I’ll carry the article around (it’s in the August print edition of Philly Mag) so when I’m faced with the below exchange — usually at a bar — I can just hand it out. Here’s how it goes:

Random Person: Where are you from?
Me: Philly.
RP: Born and raised?
Me: Born and raised.
RP: What part?
Me: Center City.
RP: That’s unusual.
Me: I guess so.
RP: Where in Center City?
Me: Mostly 22nd and Spruce.
RP: Oh, wow – in Center City.
Me: Yup.
RP: What was that like?

Here’s my answer.

Growing Up in Philadelphia: The Lost City