November 21, 2002

The Best and Worst of the City of Brotherly Love

Arranged in Thoroughly Random and Unrelated Pairings

PHILADELPHIA - LOVE IT: Philadelphia is blessed with an abundance of beautiful, narrow, quiet, tucked away streets -- alleys, almost, which is what some of them are called -- that seem to pop up where one least expects them. Elfreth’s Alley, this country’s oldest street, its homes nearly demolished in the 1950s, by the way, is just one of many.

A View of Elfreth’s Alley, Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA - HATE IT: Other than Chinese restaurants, it often seems as if no one in Philadelphia delivers. The pizza place one block over, to cite a particularly jarring example, does not deliver. The deli around the corner doesn’t deliver. Nor does the dry cleaner. Nor the supermarket. The people at the liquor stores -- which are state-owned here, for reasons not clear -- won’t budge. The pet store doesn’t deliver. Rite-Aid doesn’t deliver. Nor McDonald’s, not even at breakfast. This is all either very, very strange, or I lived in Manhattan for too long.


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