Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Around The Way

My Hallway.
First impressions are EVERYTHING. So, I had some trouble deciding on the topic of my first post. I knew it had to be about something I held close to my heart, but nothing too revealing. It had to be something a large enough group could relate to, but not too many...just enough to establish an intimate, more exclusive vibe. And also, something that allowed me to express the variety of emotions I sometimes feel...

Was that last line believable?

Here goes nothing...

Billy Penn sits, or stands rather, at the top of a city that has been coined the "City of Brotherly Love," but is more known for the gritty, down and dirty demeanor...its citizens work so hard to maintain. Philadelphia is one of the most historic places in the world, but also one of the most vibrant. From the Phillies to the Sixers. From Broad & Olney to Fernrock to 69th Street to Frankford. From The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to Urban Xpressions. Yup, Urban Xpressions. We cover it all. I've been a few places...Grenoble, Aliquippa, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Atlanta, Tallahassee, New York, Geneva, Canada, Lancaster, Yeadon (no, it's not Philly...ask the tax payers), and even Paris. None of them could ever graze Philadelphia, and the tone we provide. We, the noble natives, have managed to create a place that is a reflection of the concept of family.

Remember during your adolescent days, you would engage in non-stop bickering sessions with your younger sister named Jessica? The two of you would argue to the point where your mother would make realistic threats to utterly thrash you until your skin complexion resembled the same color of the Louisville Slugger she was going to beat you with. Yeah, it got that real sometimes.

But the moment ANYONE else approached Jessica felt Dr. Bruce Banner's pain. You were ready and willing to snap on anyone, at the drop of a dime. That was your little sister and only you could pick on her, push her around, break her toys, and hide the remote from her just before Rugrats (her favorite cartoon) came on every night. No one else could do anything like that to her. No exceptions.

That's how we are here in Philly. Yeah, we talk crazy about it. "Philly girls are the worst, this..." "This city can't win, that..." But as soon as we step outside those lines and become PHI ambassadors, the first person to say, or even gesture, anything crazy about most likely going to get scourged.

I remember my freshman year at Lincoln University. Any outsider would have thought we got paid for the way we represented our zip codes. Heated arguments and debates would occur on a daily basis, between us and "them." "Them," varied from time to time, most frequently though, New York held that spot down. And no shade, they were built for it, and sometimes left us speechless...depending on the topic at hand...SOMETIMES.

And when the Phillies won the 2008 world couldn't tell us a damn thing. I'd never seen that many Phillies new eras floating around campus. Then when we went back in 2009, against "America's team..." we all sat on the edge of our seats. Reminiscent of the 2001 NBA Finals, where our beloved home team was the clear underdog...we fell short. It was cool though. So what? We'll be back next year...

All that, to say this...our L-O-V-E for this place extends beyond a piece of art in a Center City park. It's genuine. It's untouchable. It's ALMOST unconditional (Nutter, if you pop up in another movie, when your ass could be working...I swear...). It's just how it is...