has written 1 SperlingViews. Currently, Colin is living in Philadelphia, PA and has a little something to say:
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Thinking of moving to Philadelphia? The worst mis Posted On: 7/29/2010 1:05:34 PM
On the outside, it looks and sounds like the ideal place to live. Glossy marketing brochures and videos proudly display "Philly" with happy, smiling, good natured people and touts the city as the birthplace of the nation with a rich historical past! If you are tourist, visiting for the weekend, then hopefully that is exactly what you see. There is real history, great restaurants and affordable housing as well.
However, if you plan on moving to this city you will be in absolute shock by the end of your first year. This is the worst city I have ever lived in and I have lived in many, in different countries. As for background, I am a middle income person with a professional degree. I don't really know where to start, since so many other people have covered many of the issues this city is plagued with in previous posts.
I will stick to the people. Philadelphia is a city of segregation, aggression and hate, which stretches across race and socio-economic status. The two largest ethnic groups are white and black and I think Sperling has it at about 52% and 43%? In Philadelphia, the majority (NOT ALL) of blacks and whites do not get along and violence runs rampant. Intimidation and outward aggression should be expected in your daily routine. Look at someone the wrong way and you had be prepared for a confrontation for "disrespecting" someone. Accidentally bump into someone on the bus or sidewalk, be prepared to be cursed out or challenged. Dare to say something about what is happening around you (like when I witnessed a woman openly beating her child in a supermarket) and you can expect to become VERY involved. The motto in this city, is "do not get involved" - which is counter-intuitive everything I know.
People are beaten and killed in the decrepit subway system (weekday, mid-day) by gangs of angry black youths, so much so, that they have fully armed "school police" to try and curb the problem. Large groups of teens participate in "catch n' wreck", a game where 50-100 teens meet at a common location and then run through the city, stealing, trashing stores, smashing cars and beating people up, in a uncontrolled rage. This has occurred so often that the mayor had to try and impose a curfew for young people 16 and under. The same type of violence occurs in the public school system and many parents who can't afford private school, home school their kids (a simple search in youtube will document this).
Let's not forget the massive number of white, drunken, union-types (NOT ALL). These groups of guys in their mid 20's-30's, rregularly beat fans of visiting sports teams to a pulp and murdered two people last year in the parking lot of the Phillies baseball stadium. There is a real jail in each of our three sporting arenas, if that gives you an underlying sense of how this city operates. The strong union, back-bone in this city has fallen from the noble job of protecting the worker in unsafe conditions and fair wages - to ensuring a worker can never be fired, (ever). This partially contributes to the all-day, drinking sessions that occur in many of these groups and fuels aggression and out-of-control behavior.
White on white crime is just as bad as black on black crime in this City of Hate. We are second in violent, shooting, deaths, only to Camden, NJ (located just across the bridge in New Jersey, a 5 minute ride). More police officers are murdered on the job than in ANY other city. Many people carry guns, both legally and illegally. Most people carry a weapon of some kind. The mindset is hatred.
Underlying racial tension persists most of the time, but you never fully get used to it. It makes you feel as if you need to be "on guard" 24/7. There exists a feeling that something "bad is going to happen", so you try and avoid anyone who appears like they might be "trouble". Philly has taught me to say nothing, be prepared for the worst and second guess everyone.
Philadelphia is a city with such major attitude and you had either be willing to argue and have it escalate OR take the abuse on a daily basis. People do not respect each other, the city or themselves and therein lies the problem. It is very common to see people walking down the street and simply tossing their trash along side them without looking back. People roll down the windows of their cars and routinely throw out whatever fast-food trash (cups, bags, wrappers, boxes, etc) they have finished with. If you plan on saying something, like a normal citizen might, please go back to the top of this paragraph and begin reading again.... I am going to guess that about 85% of the people in this city regularly spit on the sidewalk, streets or out car windows. Most city sidewalks are covered in dog poop, as many do not pick up after their animals. The best part about all of this is that the same people who throw trash, spit and let their dog defecate on sidewalks, LIVE in the same neighborhoods.
Yes, there are good people in Philadelphia and please come for a visit, but then go back home. I would never, ever, tell anyone to move here. The saddest part about it all, is that is appears to be such a great place to live. Bad people outweigh the good, 100-1. If you are considering a move, please reflect on what I have written.
Do you feel you need a fact-check for a lot of what I am saying? I agree and I really do encourage it. Simply Google some of what I have outlined above and discover for yourself, through major news outlets or legitimate community websites. Although, you will notice that most of the violent news is normally buried, to try and downplay the time bomb that is "Philth-a-delphia", (a common slang name associated with this city).
Be sure to look for the online maps that outline the murder and violent crimes by neighborhood; as well as the ones that show the 40,000 abandoned properties (most owned by the corrupt city), so you can understand why things in a glossy brouchure, are not always as they appear.