I was born and raised in Philly and am nowhere near able to afford buying a house in West. My rent for a tiny 1br here is $1000/mo which is obscene in this town. But ppl who move here after being priced out of NYC or DC or wherever consider it cheap, and it just blows my mind how there is no way for transplants to know about what this place was like before they got here. The city and the University of Penn and Drexel have done their damndest to sell out West to lighter and whiter and wealthier groups, while people born and raised have to leave. West Philly is not a hidden gem. It's gentrified. https://cyborgmemoirs.com/2013/07/gentry/

Please don't forget the sheer amount of privilege you have outlined so briefly. West seems cute, but people are struggling. You missed all the riots and uprisings and police occupation from summer 2020. I'm sure you'll be fine. Just don't encourage your friends to move here.

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Goddamn it, I am waist-deep in Bowling Alone because of your oft-spun recommendation; and then you up and leave us all (read: me) rudderless for further edification over such things as family, motherhood, a husband, travel, a new home, work, making friends, heavy lifting, and the love of your mother. This is madness.


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