Cheese steak lover complains Philadelphia sucks so bad it's way less world class than Boston

Some writer in the burg the New York Times once declared the sixth borough whines about what a hellhole his city is, and drags us into it:

Since London is in a class by itself, let’s look at Boston - another older, East Coast city - to see why it’s a thriving, vibrant metropolis, while Philly remains stagnant. And for the record, you know things are bad when you’re getting whipped by a city that happens to be in the most liberal state in the country.

But really, Philadelphia truly sucks when compared to "Beantown" (dude, stop):

Its public transportation is top notch, and its infrastructure is being improved at an aggressive pace. And the entire downtown area is remarkably clean.



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      I was in Philly last year and

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      loved it! It is what a city should be in all its wonderful grittiness. Perhaps the writer should move to Boston (if he/she can afford the rents)?

      It also appears that the writer has not experienced our "top notch" public transportation in quite awhile.

      Lived in Philly for 10 years

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      Philly has better Museums, better restaurants, cheaper housing, but city is about 10 times as corrupt as Boston, ridiculous city wage tax (and dividend tax!), way more crime, highways are terrible, gritty as hell. Tragically, it has an even worse public transportation situation than Boston.


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      Can't comment on it being about 10 times as corrupt as Boston (we also have our problems in that area). How does one qualify that? Probably more crime but again I don't have stats. I personally like the grit. Do you mean the roads in Philly and/or the highways in Philadelphia in general? And some think not on your last sentence.

      Some think lots of things

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      Um, 10 was "hyperbole", should have labelled it with a disclaimer, but probably not so far off. Corruption: The Philly DA is under indictment, the Congressman for Philly is in Jail, a sting operation nailed about 7 officials a few years ago, they had to clean out most of their municipal judges. 76 and 95 around Philly are horrible. Philly relies on busses more than Boston, their subway/light rail is much more limited than Boston's (Half the ridership for a City twice as big, you do the math). The SEPTA (the T equivalent) went on strike in 2016, 2014, 2009 (as well a 1977, 1981, 1983, 1986, 1995, 1998, 2005).

      Much is in the eye of the beholder.

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      Um, hyperbole is not the way one should go in having a discussion. Lesson learned.

      If we are comparing apples and oranges, Mass had three speakers of the house with three straight felony convictions. If you want to play "how corrupt is my city", I think Chicago still takes the #1 spot (but I would need to verify that). Interestingly, neither Philly nor Boston may this list from a few years back:

      So we can agree that both cities have "issues". Whether one is more "corrupt" than the other, and in what areas, I can't say.

      Yes, if you have unions, you may have strikes so that is a mute point. And comparing bus routes (Boston has around 177 routes) has nothing to do with my original comment regarding the state of our MBTA and commuter rail systems and the writer's comment in his opinion piece that we have "top-notch" service. Unless you are living in a shell, you should know that this is not true.


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      I don't see a link to the piece.


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      He looks pretty humorless. After reading his rant, I think he should really run for city government.

      It's boring

      I grew up near Philadelphia. It's not a bad town (well, minus the drugs and poverty) but you run out of things to do quickly.

      Boston is a more interesting place with more to do year round.

      I guess the grass is always greener

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      Every time I go to Philly I end up wondering why Boston can't be more like them! Their train doesn't break down every day, they know how to throw a parade, their down town is nicer....
      It IS dirtier though, I'll give them that. Does Philly not do street cleaning?

      Philly public transit

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      The problem is that while the trains work, they don't go anywhere most people want to go. I lived there for two years and took the subway a handful of times. People I know who live there drive constantly.

      I lived in Philly for two

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      I lived in Philly for two years and liked it a lot, but there is no possible way anyone can make the claim it's public transportation is better than Boston's. It has two separate and unconnected rapid transit systems (the SEPTA and the PATCO) and whatever one wants to say about the MBTA, unless we don't have that.

      right and wrong

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      compared to other old and large North American Cities, Boston is impressively clean. However, the transportation is a huge blackeye, so i'm not sure what he is talking about.
      To Philly was disgustingly dirty, but the train worked!

      Dude, stick around Beantown

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      Dude, stick around Beantown to become a regular daily paying customer of the MBTA. Dude stick around Beantowm a little longer so you can get the full experience of the infamous corruption of Boston politics and government and its failed promises. Dude, stick around a little longer so you can stuck yourself by the numerous hypodermic used needles in our public parks. Dude, I wouldn't have it any other way. Ok, kehd??


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      I don't know when was the last time I heard someone who lives in Boston call it "Beantown".

      Longtime resident and I don't

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      Longtime resident and I don't call it Beantown. I was quoting the article to give the full effect of my response. Just like natives don't call it the "T". We just say "I'm gettin' on the train".


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      My friends and I always call it the T... normally "train" is referring to the commuter rail (though sometimes T and train are used interchangeably with us, too).

      T vs train

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      The T is the T and the train is the commuter rail or Amtrak (used to be the same thing at one point) which you take to get elsewhere, such as out of state.

      For the record, I grew up here, maybe not in the City, but I'm in here now.

      I'll take my FIL over you

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      He worked for "The T" for 35 years.

      He still says "I worked for the T for 35 years".

      Aaron Hernandez had a serious mental illness

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      personality disorder. He also was a regular user of hard drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines. Both these things made him arrogant, violent, lack empathy, and prone to committing impulsive acts...such as murder and suicide. He was not murdered by other inmates or 'racist' guards, he murdered himself because of the reasons I stated above.


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      The city once (and maybe still) had its own income tax. That chased a lot of employees, businesses and institutions out to the suburbs. Keep that in mind City Council.

      One more

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      Convention tax - but maybe you meant that through the hotel tax?

      Which I think gets added on to ZipCar memberships, too?


      I like Philly. Philly has some fine museums: the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Barnes, the Rosenbach is an interesting little literary museum and the Mutter is unlike anything you've ever seen, or wish to see.

      no idea what this says about us

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      One wonders how many cities on the receiving end of this comparison would be responding with, "Aw, shucks, you guys aren't so bad! Look at your museums! And really, the T stinks!"

      I'm not at all sure what that says about us


      It's all subjective. We walked by City Hall in Philly about 11:30 PM the week after Christmas. They had a skating rink which was full of people. A week or so later I walked by the rink in Government Center around 7 on week night, there was no one using it. Does that reflect how many people were using either rink? Not necessarily.

      It is difficult to compare a city you live in with one that you have visited a few times, but based on my visits I think Philly is not a bad city to visit. To live there? I couldn't judge.

      Skating rink

      My guess is that most of the ice skaters were a few blocks away at the Frog Pond on the Common, which is a far more pleasant place to be than Government Center.

      Boston has some dang fine

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      Boston has some dang fine museums, too! The Isabelle Stewart Gardner, the MFA, the ICA, Harvard's Natural History Museum, Museum of Science, the Children's Museum, the JFK Library, the Athanaeum...

      Funny... you must not have

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      Funny... you must not have ever bothered to step foot in the athenaeum. To see their exhibits and have access to the first floor, it's only $5. Furthermore, a year's membership is not as 'pricey' as you say: it's $210 which is much cheaper than a gym membership. I'd advise a simple google search before you post an uninformed comment.

      Philly has a SEVERE random violent

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      street crime problem. FAR worse than Boston.

      As for 'gritty' , Boston and surrounding metro area cities has 'gritty' areas and people, just like Philly or other large urban areas.

      I was specifically referring to Boston proper

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      and not its surrounding areas. Boston proper was more "gritty" way back when (when one did not walk down towards the red light district if she/he knew what was good for him/her) now, for better or for worse, it is more like mini Manhattan.

      Yes, Philly is a big city with a lot of problems, including violence of various sorts just like Boston.

      Why is he surprised that a

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      Why is he surprised that a city in "the most liberal state" is "thriving"? Has he ever been to a conservative state? They are all plagued by obesity, illiteracy, poverty, corruption, incredibly short lifespans, pollution, terrible public transportation, awful schools, racism, homophobia, christian extremists etc.

      And he brought a tourist to Pats and Genos for crappy meat with canned "cheese" on top? Philly has better food offerings than that.

      I agree...

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      Boston thrives partly because it's in a liberal state -- gives you healthier, better educated people, better (relatively) public transportation, more social services/less crime, etc.

      All the high crime cities

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      in the the U.S. have had 'progressive' leadership for a LONG time. This includes cities with serious, endemic issues with poverty and an intransigent 'lower class'. Cities that are hardcore 'progressive' are universally very expensive to live in, and highly stratified along, especially, socioeconomic lines.

      I think you're spot on,

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      I think you're spot on, except for the racism part. Boston is still pretty racially segregated, and I know we like to think of ourselves as above racism but we sure aren't there yet. More integrated southern cities have a lot less racism. Whereas I know black men who've walked through Davis Square or Brookline/Newton and gotten yelled at, scared looks, etc.

      So we still have a ways to go in that regard.

      Not to excuse it,

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      Yeah, Boston and environs is super high on the pearls-clutching variety of racism, where people think a black guy walking around their neighborhood is suspicious, which you don't see in integrated southern cities. But it's a hell of a lot lower on the endemic, systemic racism that the south has, like consolidating huge numbers of black voters into a couple districts and then closing half their voting locations the second the Voting Rights Act, which forbade you from being racist, is repealed. Two different levels, really.

      Plus, I mean, there's plenty of parts of the south that aren't their handful of integrated urban areas.

      On the other hand...

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      A HUGE benefit of being a "second-rate" and "not-world-class" city is that housing costs, whether renting or owning are a HECK of a lot more affordable. So he should be careful for what he wishes for....

      Is This Real?

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      Philly's straight grimey. I do like the ppl from there. They are no bs. But theres large parts of Philly that have the look of the Bronx in 1973 (hyperbole, dix). But it's no joke there. I found myself for some dumb reason at the pj's in philly at 3am on a weekend in the summer. Sketch sketch gutter grimey.

      Drugs and Poverty

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      FTR, "drugs and poverty" are not a unique feature of old cities.

      Nor are they a unique feature of cities.

      Drugs and poverty are a feature that characterizes the landscape of the ENTIRE UNITED STATES.

      Raise and salute the flag folks - drugs and poverty are now in the same league as baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet.

      (Baseball, hot dogs, rampant drugs and poverty?)