Thursday, August 18, 2005


I'll have to go back and find the Times article that has sparked the furor over at the Philly Sound site, but the argument there is a resonant one, and hearing impassioned poets expound upon how, why, and every which way they love their not-New-York-city echoes many conversations had in this little part of flyover country as well. Just last night in fact, as J and I were driving up from the limitless south side- not what most would consider picturesque (great sign on a hotel marquee by Ford City: "God Bless America..Free High Speed Internet"), but the kinetic, neon cowboy sign for Mattson's Steak House and Saloon on Cicero conjures my enchantment with said sign at age 6 from the backseat of grandp's towel-covered (as in slipcovers) interior of ye old '80 Caprice...makes me think that every ugly place I encounter and potentially dismiss as an adult does possess something that enchants, and will always be enchanting, to a child growing up there.. And of course we've thought a lot about living in NY at some point- though most of what I love about NY is here only cheaper- and I have lived/visited extensively other places and I don't think it's the lifelong indoctrinization of local public television programming (tonight at 8, the best city by a lake, or, the building of the 19th century engineering marvel that would be our el system (and still is, a 19th c. marvel)) that's made me such a hometown booster... So I often ask myself, what is this thing that is regional/civic pride all about? It feels so blind that I easily suspect it and myself of something awry.. but CA Conrad captures what forms this compelling connection in his response to the Times article (the gist of which, I'm understanding, is that NY has charitably lifted Philly out of its rusticity by annexing it as the 6th borough and Phillians may now benefit from the wealth of culture gushing their way via papa apple): "I've loved more people in many different ways in this city than I have anywhere else on this planet..." CA C.


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