Not Your Daddy's Philadelphia

http://www.uwishunu.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/ucd-parklet-family-680uw.jpgLast weekend's graduation at Penn also brought back alum for their 15th or 20th or 25th or whatever reunion.  (Btw, how crazy is it that my 20th is next year...can I be that old?)  Much of the chatter from Facebook friends of mine from those eras was along the lines of "Wow, I could hardly recognize campus, what with all the new construction!" Indeed, Penn's turned over a lot in the last 15-25 years.  And so has University City and Philadelphia. 

When I travel to California or other parts of the country and catch up with college friends of mine and they find out I still live in Philly, not far from campus, I am often greeted with a sense of patronizing condescension, as if it's "cute" or "noble" that I've stuck it out in such a rat-hole when most of the rest of our peers have moved out and up.  I just smile knowingly back at them, knowing that the next time life brings them back to Philly, whether for a wedding, reunion, or conference, they're going to have their socks blown off by how incredibly great our neighborhood and city is. 

To be sure, we've come a long way.  And to be sure, we still have a long way to go.  But Philly, and University City, has always had a lot going for it.  I feel good that I've seen it all along.  And I feel good that more and more people come back for whatever reason and can see it too.
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