Three months ago, I left my beloved California for this foreign land called Philly. Everyone asks, “How’s Philadelphia?” and all I can say is, “Oh, it’s… different.” I can’t even muster up the necessary enthusiasm to lie politely and say it’s nice. It’s not all Philadelphia’s fault, though. The truth is that I miss Berkeley so much I think I would hate anywhere else just a bit. Three months is plenty long enough to develop likes and dislikes, so here is a love/hate list Philadelphia style.
- Reading Terminal Market & Amish goods
- Cookie deliveries to my doorstep until 3AM.
- It’s just a short train ride away from NYC.
- Museums & art culture
- The Kelly Writers House
- Ivy League campus (i.e. UPenn)
- UPenn students wearing shirts that say, “NOT PENN STATE”
- Beautiful architecture
- Standing out in my Berkeley sweatshirts
- People are almost universally and unbelievably rude. No one says, “please” or “thank you,” ever, and if you say it, they will audibly scoff at you. Were these people reared by neanderthals‽
- The food sucks. Try getting a decent piece of sushi delivered to your doorstep in Philly. It’s just not going to happen. A salad here consists of limp iceberg lettuce, a chunk of tomato, a singular slice of green bell pepper, and, if you’re really lucky, a couple of cucumber slices. Plus, too many things are “dill pickle-flavored.” You know what should be dill pickle-flavored? Dill pickles, and that’s about it.
- All the sandwiches are called “hoagies,” which is a word that makes me want to vomit, so you know I’m not eating sandwiches anymore. “Hoagie” sounds like something you cough up when you’re dying of the plague.
- The Indigenous Peoples (of the Northeast) think that all Californians are lazy, incompetent bums. As an interviewer said to me, “Out here we take things more seriously than you do in California.” Oh, ok, you fudging jackass. Don’t think I didn’t notice the egregious typos in the interview itinerary you gave me. Then a doctor asked me about my drug history, but before she let me answer her question, she said, “Well, you went to Berkeley, so…” So, what? I just gave her an indignant eyebrow raise.
- Everything out here has ridiculous, unpronounceable names like “Schuylkill” (skoo-kəl). I had an easier time learning to pronounce Russian. Oh, and some of the names are just stupid. There’s a store named “Wawa.” That’s what I called water before I could pronounce “agua.”