Being white in Philly

Seems to be arousing a lot of passions.

Summary: poor blacks commit crimes and won’t dress up for Halloween. White people are uneasy about venturing into black neighborhoods.

(Californians: substitute Latinos for blacks. Except in Oakland, Inglewood-Hawthorne-Lawndale and such select areas.)

I live in Philly near where they were interviewing people. I’m glad it at least started a conversation. Really, the Fairmount neighborhood itself is really pretty diverse and nice and everyone gets along with everyone else. We have couples on my block where both are white, both are black, one is white and one is black, one is white and one is Korean, etc. Everyone gets along and is really investing their time to make it a great place to live with neighborhood clean ups, kids playing together, block parties and things like that.

A lot of the animosity arises from the fact the North Philly is not very far away. There is a place the cops literally call Beirut about eight blocks up. Corner boys left and right and middleschool hodlums trying to act hard. My car window is has been smashed twice (once because I left something that looked valuable in the back seat and once just for the f*ck of it) and my fiance’s windshield has been smashed once (found the brick and now use it as a doorstop). It definitely makes you feel violated and angry. I have no idea if the perpetrators where white, black or Cambodian but I can definitely say that it really pissed me off. Honestly, I believe it comes down almost entirely to parenting or lack thereof.

I’ve never been mugged at gunpoint though. That only happened to me in Pittsburgh. I did see Marvin Harrison get out of a Benz with gull wing doors on my block once. I said “Nice car” and he said “Thanks”. He did not shoot me.

^ Mad hood cred. You have my respect.

We just need a confirmation from stormyhotel now.


Everytime I think about how bad living in NYC is, I picture Philly and all my worries fade.

Putting the matter of race aside, I would hesitate to venture into ANY crime-ridden neighborhood at night. I don’t think that’s a race thing–that’s a common-sense thing.

However, in my personal experience, it so happens that most crime-ridden neighborhoods are predominantly black and hispanic. (This experience is pretty much limited to D/FW and San Antonio. Never spent significant time in other big cities.)

It’s pretty much the same in most cities.

I’ve only been to Philly once, and that was when my friend picked me up from the airport. We went to Tony Luke’s.

I was amazed at how filthy the place was. The ground was completely littered with garbage everywhere. Meanwhile, the trash can was clean enough that you could eat out of it.

Well, to be fair, South Bronx is probably pretty similar to North Philly. I’m assuming you don’t live in South Bronx. Also, I can afford to own property in an area that is developing.

If you live in Manhatten and think it’s bad, you’re actually right: in terms of potential to be a victim of a crime Midtown actually ranks really highly because of the influx of people from all over the city:

“Midtown had 729 major crimes per 10,000 people. That includes a 146 percent jump in rapes from the year before, and a 14 percent rise in felony assault. Serious crimes did fall 7 percent overall in 2010, which is excellent considering its status as the center of tourism and nightlife in the city. However, Midtown is still the most likely place you’ll become the victim of a crime in New York City”

I’ve lived in FiDI for sometime now and I can’t believe it made the list - extremely safe imo. As for owning property, you are spot on. In fact, that is probably the biggest variable factoring into my reasons for hating NYC. When I think about how much I’ve spent on rent, i almost want to grab a rusty…

So you really have no idea what you’re talking about. Dallas, being a very young city, is shiny and new and doesn’t really have an urban feel at all. Of course, I have only been there four or five times and haven’t really searched the whole city, but from what I saw it was shiny new high rises and suburban sprawl. Downtown Dallas has a population of roughly 6,000:

There is definitely a correlation between how dirty a city is and how old it is. If you think Philly is dirty you should go to Budapest…stinks.

P.S. what a cliche it is for the Dallas guy to trash Philly and vice-versa.

Yeah, but it’s gotten a lot nicer in the last 600 years. You should have seen how it used to be… :wink:


I lived in Philly for a couple years and loved it. It’s definitely got a bit of grunge to it though, I guess. My worst hood experience actually came in New Brunswick, NJ. I was there for a year and moved into a super ghetto corner directly across the street from some projects. Mad cochroaches, vomit, urin, homeless people in the stairwells, one guy in our building killed another while I was there and stashed the body in the dumpster. Kinda cray.

Ha, this made me look up a timeline of Budapest history. The most recent entry, in 2010, reads: “Sewage treatment of the city reaches 100% of generated sewage.”

I’m going back in May and I can’t wait!

bchad: you’re really dating yourself!

CFAvsMBA’s photo is me on my way to CFA class in Times Square

And I admitted it when I stated that I have only lived in those two metro areas. I don’t pretend to have lived all over the world, or done an empirical study of crime and race in the top 25 major US cities.

I’m not sure how any of this is a bad thing. And the Dallas-Fort Worth area is bigger than almost every other metro area in the US. How this qualifies as “no urban feel” is beyond me. If you compare it to San Francisco and New York City, everything feels “rural” and “sprawling”.

Unless this is a sports reference, I’m not sure what you’re referring to. Maybe the “youth” of all the cities I’ve spent significant time in (all Texas cities) lend to the “cleanliness” of them.

Sounds like a bunch of self concious victims on both sides.