Saturday, March 31, 2007

What's up, Philly?

Poor Philly's in the doldrums at the moment.

First, it's recently been downgraded from fifth largest city in the United States to sixth, the usurperer being Phoenix, Arizona. Admittedly Phoenix's claim to the title is a bit dubious because it's based on a seeming voracious appetite for including its very, very far-flung suburbia into the city for determining size. If Phoenix had a lot of snow in Winter, I wonder would it be as keen to include these towns and villages for purposes of determining high efficiency at keeping the roads clear and costs of doing so.
Hmmm, I wonder!!

I landed in Phoenix to change planes to San Francisco when on an author tour and I have to say it looked a bit too 'deserty' for my liking--a bit too hot as well. Philly's greener, but then again we have the dratted snow.

Another more disturbing Philly record is that it recorded its 100th homicide in 2007 last night and we're only just done with March. It's a record and a bloody terrible one at that. The murders are occurring in the poorest neighborhoods and involve African American drug gangs. And its anguished African American families that are suffering, their kids and mothers being shot as they gather on their porches or make their way to school. These gangs possess guns that one would expect to find in a theater of war.

They're now in the middle of a campaign to determine who the mayoral candidates will be from each party--Republican and Democrat--and I just hope the new major will do something after he's elected. Philly is, after all, a city with proud working-class roots, the City of Brotherly Love.

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