Everyone has a happy place. For me, it’s Brooklyn. I have never been so content in a place. The thought that moving to Philadelphia has been a huge mistake has crossed my mind more than once. Thankfully, Brooklyn is pretty close. In less than two hours, I can be back where I probably belong.
Philly could be a wonderful place. Most of the time, I can totally concentrate on the good here and get along OK. But there are some rather annoying things we have to put up with here.
A – Everyone is cranky. Well, probably not everyone but enough locals are less than polite and well mannered that Philly has a well-earned reputation for having a chip on its shoulder. I’ve never been yelled at for no reason, so often.
B – The crime is ridiculous. Enough said. It really doesn’t do well for one to be subjected to news about violent crime every single bloody day. The worst is when it’s kids committing the crimes. Breaks my heart.
C – The local government/policy makers are arse-backwards. I’ve been here for seven years and I still can’t figure out what’s going on. For example, you can retire and collect and pension while you hold down a full-time job, which means you aren’t really retired. The public school system should be much more important than it is. Schools were closing and the parents seemed to throw a fit but the truancy and drop-out rates are still sky-high. The business-privilege tax seems counter-productive to supporting the small businesses that make this city interesting. The Pumpkin got called for jury duty when she was eight. The only institution that seems to have it’s act together is the Parking Authority and they are scary efficient.
D – It’s all about the 80%. The husband and I figured out that people here give exactly 80%. Just a little more oomph and things would be awesome. 80% of the garbage makes it into the can. 80% of the homes are kept up. 80% of the time, people are getting proper permits. 80% of the time people pay their property taxes. 80% of the streets are clean. 80% thought was put into home renovation. More or less. Both the Liberty Bell and the LOVE sign are sized at about 80% of what I thought they would be. It’s hard to really pinpoint but everything seems like only about 80% effort was put into it.
E – There is no rhythm. No one observes stay to the right. No one looks over their shoulder before turning. Only people who’ve gotten tickets stop at stop signs and even then, no. For that matter, lights are fairly optional as well. Thank goodness it’s not crowded because otherwise there would be more fatalities. Beyond that, there just isn’t a flow.
I’m pretty sure some of this malaise is due to the fact that growing up in New York and living there for so long has probably ruined my brain and soul. And, everywhere has suck; I’ve just been removed long enough to be able to forget about the Brooklyn suck. And, if I’m not happy it’s really my own damned fault for not being more creative and imaginative.