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Publisher’s Note: Appreciate the Positives.

June 20, 2012

After Jay-Z announced that he would curate the 28 or so acts that will play the Made In America music festival at Eakins Oval in September, I immediately hopped online, looking for the lineup. While searching, however, I stumbled across a Brooklyn-based website and I was incredibly annoyed by the comments I found.

You want to complain that Jigga is coming to Philly rather than holding the two-day event in Brooklyn? That’s fine. Whatever. You want to complain about the cost of tickets or that many of the festival-attendees will stand on asphalt for most of the show? That’s legitimate.

But the bulk of the comments on the website had absolutely nothing to do with the actual event itself.

“Philly is the armpit of America,” an anonymous commenter wrote – without any prodding, only minutes after the original post went up.

Yeah, yeah, I know. The Internet is full of trolls and haters. And sure, this comment is not nearly as bad as most comments about Philly on that crappy website. Just about any time there is info about a Philly event on that site – as well as on many other sites (even locally), people always start chiming in about needing a Kevlar vest for their visit or bitching about how scared they are to come here.

Seriously? Is that all we are to the rest of the world? A place to be feared and ridiculed?
Here’s the deal. I’m from the Greater Philadelphia region and I’ve lived in the city proper for around 18 years. I’ve been a journalist for the entire 18 years and for much of that time, I covered crime. I know the realities of living in Philadelphia.

I’ve had several cars broken into. I caught a burglar breaking into my bicycle shed one time. A kid slugged me with a brick right in my kisser, about a block from my house. Somebody actually took a dump on the side my house a few years ago. We know it was a person because they wiped their ass with their button-down shirt and then left it behind our car. There was a shit stain on my wall for months. A group of teenagers pulled a gun on me once. I ran before they could do anything. It turned out they had just shot a kid on the same block only minutes before. I found the victim sitting on a stoop on my block, smoking a cigarette while waiting for an ambulance.

I’m not saying that we don’t have a lot of assholes and a serious crime issue in this city. What I’m saying is that we’re so much more than that.

Jay-Z is coming here. He’ll play the same location where hundreds of thousands of people will enjoy the fireworks and peacefully watch The Roots play on the Fourth of July. He’ll hold his event in a city where there is incredible music happening in every corner of town, every night of the week, year-round. There is so much awesomeness here – just look at the diversity of talent we feature in the summer issue.

That’s what people should remember when they think about Philly.  That goes for the locals, too. We can’t ignore the negatives but that doesn’t mean we have to harp on them, especially when there is something special happening within our music scene.

  1. June 20, 2012 12:03 pm

    All things aside, the house dump is hilarious. Most people also forget we have the best food you will find anywhere. New York included.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    June 20, 2012 9:10 pm

    Welcome to Brooklyn Vegan!

  3. michellesaya permalink
    June 21, 2012 3:08 pm

    Well said! Thank you for speaking up for Philly… because it is true… although there is a lot of negativity that take place there… it’s not the only thing that take place there… I have performed several free concerts at the Kimmel Center in the (HS) All City Orchestra… played music at Rittenhouse Park and listen to other musicians… have gone to free amazing concerts at the Curtis Institute of music, one of the world’s leading conservatories with an enrollment of 165…and Philly’s public transportation is quite amazing… some of it may be dirty… but it always gets me where I need to go at a great speed… Now that I am in California for the summer… recording an album with my boyfriend… and have to leave open mics early so that we don’t miss the 10:15pm bus back home…. we can’t help but be grateful for the times that Philly’s transportation helped us… If you have time, check out our band’s, gladhappylove, Kickstarter: Thanks.

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