Happy Sunday, everyone, and happy Father’s Day. The day is especially noteworthy for Bryce Harper, who, on the eve of becoming a father himself, is reflecting on the lessons he learned from his dad. And, in today’s Q&A section we had a chat with columnist Mike Newall, who’s here to remind us that New Yorkers are streaming into Philly to plant their roots and yes, there’s a way for them to mesh with the Philly culture. Trust him, he came from Brooklyn after all.
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Each week we go behind the scenes with one of our reporters or editors to discuss their work and the challenges they face along the way. This week we chat with Mike Newall, who penned a welcome letter to all those New Yorkers who seem to be flocking to Philadelphia at a steady pace.
This isn’t the first time we’re seeing New Yorkers “invading” Philadelphia, but it does make one think: are we seeing any noticeable shifts in Philly’s culture? You mentioned you’ve seen your neighborhood change a lot, what other changes have you noticed and do any of them remind you of New York?
Besides seeing more and more devastatingly good-looking people with great Brooklyn accents running around? (I kid.) Yeah, Philly’s changing. Downtown’s getting shinier and shinier and new people are moving into so many neighborhoods like mine. But I know better than to call Philly’s culture New Yorkified. We’re our own thing. What we have to worry about is being our own best selves — and that’s making sure that the good change our city has seen is for everyone. If New Yorkers want to come here and enjoy it, good for them. Be cool when you get here.
One commenter chimed in to say “Philadelphia doesn’t have an inferiority complex, NYC has a superiority one. ‘It’s the greatest city in the world!’ is a constant refrain from New Yorkers.” Does it sound like there could be some truth in that observation?
Of course there is. New Yorkers are arrogant sorts. But Philly has a way of grinding that out of people. It’s one of our defining traits.
What are a few things in Philly that helped you fall in love with the city?
Its history. Its beauty. Honestly, the neighborhoods most of all. A lot of that charm has been priced out of New York. The local deli, the three bakeries and five hole-in-the-wall bars on a given block. The realness. And that goes for the people, too. As I said in the column, they’re the most honest people you’ll ever meet. One of the great gifts of Philadelphia is that you always know where you stand here. As a storyteller, that helps.
If there’s one good thing you know will never change in Philly, what would you say it would be?
The Eagles will have always triumphed over the Patriots, 41-33, on Feb. 4, 2018. (Please do not forward this last response to any of my relatives in New York.)
Stay connected with Mike Newall on Twitter or via email at email@example.com.
Thanks to our colleague @DaneseKenon for capturing this tender moment!
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Our readers’ latest question: Are flocks of New Yorkers moving to Philadelphia?
The answer: Oh yes, and they’re settling in quite comfortably in our city.
Looks like he is working his way back toward the Ursinus campus. — New Commentator 2 , on Philly’s elusive black bear tranquilized after a day roaming Upper Roxborough.