http://uproxx.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/will-driving-the-lane.jpegRe: West Philadelphia, I was neither born nor raised, unlike the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  But it has been my home for 23 (!) years, and I'm quite fond of it.  Twice in the past several weeks, I've expressed what my 'hood is like through Twitter, using the #ThisIsWestPhilly hashtag:

Do you see the common theme in these two tweets?  West Philadelphia is a confluence of things you might not otherwise see juxtaposed.  In the first case, it's crime on the one hand and a robust civic info network on the other.  In the second case, it's the presence of crime once again, not far from the presence of one of the world's truly elite institutions.

And that's my 'hood in a nutshell: a quirky mix of university and city, blight and beauty, crushing poverty and conspicuous affluence.  And hipsters, lots of hipsters...but also lots of baby carriages, skaters, Muslims in full garb, college professors, Chinese grandmas, and ambitious upper-middle class families.  We worry over drug corners, partake of Halloween parades and farmer's markets, and revel in historic architecture and transit access.  I wouldn't have it any other way. 

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