March 30, 2003

Given that TRR has published three lists of "100 Things" ("100 Things About Me," "100 Things I've Never Done," and "100 Things About Mildred"), and that TRR runs an irregular series under the heading "Philadelphia: Love It or Hate It," I welcomed the appearance of Philadelphia Weekly's latest issue and its cover story, "103 Things We Love About Philly."

It's a good list and an interesting list, and a list about which the editors of Philadelphia Weekly in introducing the collection expressed a specific desire to hear not one word of complaint from the give-away paper's readers.

Yeah, like that was going to stop me.

The Philadelphia Daily News several months ago ran a contest among local ad agencies seeking suggestions for a new advertising and public relations campaign to draw visitors, and even new residents, to Philadelphia. Easily the best, in my opinion at least, was the submission from an agency, the name of which I cannot now recall, built around the tag line, "Philadelphia: The Strangest City You'll Ever Love."

Brilliant. A piece of genius, that was.

And now this week Philadelphia Weekly is promoting to readers both local and worldwide its own version of Philadelphia, one I will call, "Philadelphia: The Straightest City You'll Ever Love."

Down as the street paper's almost uniformly lilly-white editors and writers are pretending to be -- what with "hip-hop" this and John Chaney that -- they virtually ignored Philadelphia's huge gay and lesbian community, the very same people that for years kept substantial portions of Center City -- the core downtown area the Weekly's professes to love -- from dying what many might have called a well deserved death, there apparently being nothing about gay Philadelphia worth loving.

I beg to differ and not solely because I am personally offended -- Love me! Love my Philadelphia! -- but because the Weekly's editors have displayed, through their own indifference and ignorance, a gleeful willingness to overlook a large swath of Philadelphia's best.


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