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Old Posted May 20, 2015, 2:43 AM
VTinPhilly VTinPhilly is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 13
Originally Posted by philatonian View Post
Wow, you've got me beat by one year with almost the exact same experience. I know I came to Philadelphia in the early 80s but only remember the zoo. The first trip to Center City I really remember was in 1994. We were supposed to go to the Outer Banks for my high school graduation, but the island got washed away in a hurricane so we spent a week in New York, Philly, Baltimore, and DC. I was obsessed with Philadelphia for the rest of the summer and kicking myself for not having applied to a college here. It was so gritty and raw, even compared to 1990s New York.

Anyway, I ended up moving to DC after college because - well, when you're from Virginia - that's what you do. Three years later, a rent hike, and a layoff, I decided to move to the weirdo's dream city and haven't looked back.

As much as I loved the grit it's been so wild to watch Philadelphia transform, especially its skyline. But it's also transformed on the street. It's not just the CITC that will be the city's center piece, but Comcast's "campus." Before Comcast Center was built, there was nothing in Center City like it. Every other skyscraper butts right up to the sidewalk. Comcast used the footprint for another skyscraper on very pricy land to build a large plaza to showcase their presence.

I assume you went to VA Tech? My sister went there. I went to Longwood. When I look back on DC I wonder why I didn't move to Philadelphia sooner. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Philadelphia is a sleeping giant about to wake up. Between the Convention Center, the Universities, Comcast, the hospitals, and the creative industry being priced out of New York, Philadelphia is poised to take over the northeast.
I like your term "gritty and raw" when describing Philadelphia. The term I use is "great gritty Northern industrial city". I was born in the District of Columbia and lived and worked there for 22 years. Washington is a beautiful city, but it was planned and built to be a government town full of white collar bureaucrats (nothing wrong with that--I was one myself). Consequently D.C. always struck me as being somewhat one-dimensional, and rather stuck on itself--you know, the political capital of the Universe, and all that.

In contrast, Philadelphia is very much a blue collar town, and I find most people here to be hardworking, no-nonsense, and very "down-to-earth". Bottom line, I feel a "hometown" connection with Philly that I never felt for Washington. As a city planner (yes, graduated from Virginia Tech) , I always hoped that I would connect with an affordable city somewhere in America where I could live comfortably without an automobile. Well, Center City is THE perfect place in that regard!
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