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Two things before you read this post:

1) It's a long one with a lot of words and photos. So grab yourself a cup of coffee, tea, a glass of wine, or a vodka tonic.

2) The photographs are raw and real. I took each one of them over a period of five months, just to show you what it's really like here. 

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For those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile now, know my deep connection to living in a city.  

Therefore, what I am about to share with you is as shocking for me as I'm sure it will be for you. 

I'm OVER city life.

Wait, let me just say that one more time to be sure I heard it correctly and that it was me who said it.

I'm OVER city life.

Yup, it was me. 

My City Living History- 

As you know, I lived in New York City for almost five years and have been living in Philadelphia for the past 21 years. And during those 21 years I continued to visit New York City almost every month. In fact, the only reason I moved back to Philadelphia from Florida in 2001, was to be closer to New York City. 

But something has shifted within me that has changed my entire outlook on city life.

I'm tired of it. What I once found appealing, I now find completely unappealing. 

I know this is hard to believe, but I haven't been back to New York since 2020. And what's even harder to believe is that I don't miss it at all. 

Both Philadelphia and New York have morphed into cities I no longer recognize. 

And to be honest, I can say that about many other cities in America. It's not just here; it's throughout our whole country.

Listed below are five things that are constantly in my face every single day, living in this city.

The Panhandlers and Homeless:

- I want to be able to walk down a street without being harassed by people who sit on the sidewalk with cardboard signs that read: Homeless, while smoking packs of cigarettes and playing games on their newest iPhone. It's much easier for them to make a living panhandling. And there have been many times when those same people have followed me down the street; harassing me. Yesterday, a guy walked up to me while I was waiting to cross the street and screamed at me to give him money. And when I say scream, I mean SCREAM. The panhandling situation is so out of control that you can't even walk half a block in any part of this city, without someone approaching you. And that's why I wear my earbuds when I walk the streets. I use them to cleverly ignore the panhandlers; pretending I'm on a conference call. And I've gotten so good at it that I can carry on a realistic conversation with someone who I'm not actually having a conversation with. So whenever a panhandler starts talking to me, I simply say, "Excuse me...I'm on a work-related conference call", and I just keep walking. LOL!

- It would be such a treat to walk to work in the morning and not have to step over all the homeless people who have made the sidewalk their home by setting up makeshift beds. Oh, and speaking of the homeless, they have now taken over all the parks in Philadelphia by camping out on every single park bench so that no one else can sit on them. And do you know what our brilliant city has done to solve the problem? They had more benches installed to accommodate more homeless people, instead of working on a constructive plan to set up shelters and help them make a better life for themselves.   

Here, take a look...


This is a makeshift apartment that a homeless person made on one of our side streets; using various trash items to create it. Notice the empty liquor bottles on the window ledge...

  

 



 

This guy decided to set up his bed directly in front of the door of a local business...

 
I had to walk around this woman on my way to work one Sunday morning...


Allow me to take a moment here and say that I am not at all heartless when it comes to those who are genuinely homeless. I used to volunteer once a week at a men's homeless shelter and offered free haircuts. So yes, I do care. I do have compassion. However, when homelessness becomes a smokescreen for not wanting to help yourself and expecting everything to be given to you, that's a completely different thing. And I'm at a point where I can clearly see the difference between the two. 

Drug Addicts: 

- I'm tired of witnessing drug addicts on our streets. A few months ago, when I was walking through City Hall on my way to Trader Joe's, I spotted a young man who was obviously an addict because he was bent over and looked as though he was going to fall facedown. And when I turned back to get another look at him, I noticed a syringe hanging out of a vein in his arm.

Here is a guy on heroin, trying to hold himself up using a newspaper dispenser. I took this photograph yesterday afternoon...

And here is another guy on heroin, walking behind me and yelling into his cellphone. He could barely walk and almost fell over...

Garbage and Trash:

Photo of a dumpster in an alleyway, several blocks from where I live. I wish you could experience how it smells in the summer heat. And this is only one of the many dumpsters that look like this. Our streets also look like this. Trash just thrown everywhere...

Crime:

- I can't tell you how many times I've gone into stores, while watching people freely steal products off the shelves and then walk out the front door without the security guard doing anything about it. And these people do it because they know that they can

This is why so many businesses have closed in Philadelphia. 

Several months ago there was a shooting on South Street. We have a lot of shootings in this city; yet, Philadelphia doesn't always highlight them because they want to create the illusion of "The City of Brotherly Love" to keep the tourists coming. 

Here are two photographs of a riot that occurred in front of my apartment building back in June. The riot lasted over an hour and took what's left of our police officers to defuse it.

And just for the record, I couldn't find a single mention of this riot online the next day. It's as if it never happened, even though there was a news station helicopter flying above; filming it... 



I could go on and on about about city life, but it would take me three more posts. 

So after reading this, is it any wonder why I escape the city every week and want to relocate to a more civilized and conscious community with some peace and quiet, and closer to nature?  

Trust me, I'm working on it. I've been looking at apartments outside the city. 

Each week, I see more and more people exiting Philadelphia because like me, they are tired of it. Eventually, this city will consist of primarily students attending our colleges and universities. Those are the only ones who are moving here. But even they exit after college. 

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In conclusion-

I always try and look for positivity in a situation, even if the situation does not appear to be positive. And although it's been extremely challenging for me to seek the positive in Philadelphia, I have. It's also taught me how to be joyful and grateful within my heart, because those are two things you have to find within yourself and carry them throughout your life. 

I continually remind myself of this quote:

"Being joyful is a choice." 

And here's something ironic. When I was in Ardmore last week, I spotted this in Suburban Square. 

Yes, it was definitely a reminder to myself...

Have an awesome week, everyone!

 💗

28 comments:

  1. Oh lordy...I completely understand!! There are amenities in city living that we think we'd miss, but in actuality, living peacefully in a small TOWN is glorious. Each time we go to Houston(6 million people there & suburbs), I wonder how all survive happily in such congestion. I'm not a people person!!! And panhandlers?!!! They make more money than a lot of hard workers ...and tax-free! I must tell you of one that was on the news ..he had his sign..."will work for food". A gentleman offered him a good paying job...the panhandlers turned it down!!!!

    http://hootin--anni.blogspot.com

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  2. Morning, Anni!

    "There are amenities in city living that we think we'd miss, but in actuality, living peacefully in a small TOWN is glorious."

    Yes, it sure is! And I am at a point in my life where I crave peace; particularly after being surrounded by the images above.

    I'm both a people person and not a people person. I enjoy working at a job, interacting with people. However, I also crave my "alone time." I am such an introvert!

    "And panhandlers?!!! They make more money than a lot of hard workers ...and tax-free! I must tell you of one that was on the news ..he had his sign..."will work for food". A gentleman offered him a good paying job...the panhandlers turned it down!!!!"

    Yup! You hit the nail on the head! And that's exactly how it is in this city - it takes much less effort to panhandle than to actually GET A JOB.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Hope you're having a faaaaaaabuous week!

    X

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  3. Ron, one of my close friends lives in Manhattan and she said the same as you. The city is unrecognizable. She's disgusted. And what really bothers her is that the price of apartments have gone sky high again, and yet the city has gone down so low. She really likes NY, but is seriously considering moving to Long Island.

    I've never been to Philadelphia, but I can see why you want to leave. I couldn't live like that either. Does it frighten you to live around all that crime and aggressive panhandling? It would me.

    I admire the way you seem to be able to stay positive, by focusing on the good, Ron! x

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  4. Hi Candice!

    Yes, I know! It's funny how NY apartment rentals went down during COVD, to keep people in the city. But I KNEW I would be only temporary and eventually jack the prices up. I like Long Island too. I had a few friends in NYC who grew up there, so we would take the train out there. New York is such a beautiful state.

    No, it's doesn't frighten me at all. I think from all my years living in a city, I don't frighten easily. However, what it does do is sadden me. It's very hard to look at the decline and deterioration of this city. It's depressing.

    Thanks so much for stopping by this morning, Candice! Have a terrific week!

    X

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  5. I get what you are saying, Ron, and can understand your frustration. As you know, we live in a city too and while Nashua, NH, is smaller than Philadelphia, there are similar issues of panhandlers and homeless. We have seen the same elderly “homeless” man with a walker and homeless sign since we moved here 7 years ago! He is always stationed near the traffic light near the exit from a shopping center. Similarly, there have been several men, who all look younger, who position themselves near a nearby highway exit with similar signs and often are smoking or using a cell phone. In the past, I have given $ to panhandlers, but no longer do so as for some this is their full-time job.

    We also have homeless people on some of the city benches and streets, but not to the degree in Philly. There are several who regularly walk in the downtown area and approach people asking for $. It can seem cruel to ignore them, but I rarely carry money with me so have none to “spare.”

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  6. I used to live in Detroit, same thing Ron. It looks like a ghetto. I know some of it has to do with the pandemic, but Detroit (and other cities) has been on the decline for years and years. The panhandlers drove me nuts. There wasn't a street you'd walk down where I wasn't harassed. We had issues with crime and drugs as well. I eventually moved for work, but I would have moved anyway because, like you, I got tired of city life.

    So many of the photos you shared resembled downtown Detroit. So depressing.

    Glad to hear you're looking to move, Ron. It gets to a point where you just can't take it, so I don't blame you one bit.

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  7. Hey there, Daniel!

    Yes...I've seen things online about Detroit as well. Like you said, some of this has to do with the pandemic, however, Philly has been on a decline for years and years as too. I've seen this happening 5-6 years ago.

    And good for you for moving. I'm at a point where I'm spending more time OUTSIDE the city than I am inside because I have to get away from it all. Not only depressing, but sad as well. Philly has a very dark/heavy energy hanging over it.

    I used to enjoy going to our parks and being with nature, but I can't even do that anymore because the parks are literally covered in homeless people.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, Daniel. Always great to see your comments. And thanks for sharing about our city experience. Have a fabulous week!

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  8. Hellooooooooooooo there, D!

    It's blows me away that you said that about Nashua because from your photographs, it looks like such a beautiful, clean, and far so away from what cities look like here. But I TOTALLY believe you.

    "Similarly, there have been several men, who all look younger, who position themselves near a nearby highway exit with similar signs and often are smoking or using a cell phone. In the past, I have given $ to panhandlers, but no longer do so as for some this is their full-time job."


    A-MEN! Me too, I used to give a few dollars now and then, but no longer do so because I began to realize it WAS their full-time job! And it's the same people over and over again. And like you, I RARELY carry cash with me anymore, so I have none to spare.

    Like I mentioned, I used to volunteer at a Catholic homeless men's shelter/hospice (Saint John's), offering haircuts. So, I do have compassion for the genuinely homelessness.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your city experience, I really appreciate it. Have a terrific week!

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  9. My friend says the same, Ron, she doesn't frighten easily. She's a very street-wise person. And I guess you have to be to live in a city, right.

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  10. Yes, you sure do, Candice. When you live in a city (like Philly or NY), you become very street-wise because you have to. You learn to also multitask, by being aware of your surroundings and at the same time, go where you need to go without fear. City life teaches you a lot.

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  11. Oh, dear lord, Ron!!!! I had no idea it was that bad and I didn't realize you hadn't been to NYC since 2020. That is just awful! You should be a photo journalist with these pictures. The makeshift apartment is unreal. I'm really disturbed by the first picture, where the person is basically blocking the crosswalk. Obviously, the police are doing nothing about it. We do not have nearly that many homeless in Cleveland, probably because they wouldn't survive the winter (I barely do, HAHA!). The worst I've ever seen is Las Vegas and San Francisco. I was scared in SF with the homeless drug addicts walking around like zombies and yelling obscenities at everyone. My son's college roommate only lasted 3 years in SF before he couldn't take the homeless situation anymore. He would tell the panhandlers, "No thank you. I have a job!" which would confuse the hell out of them! LOL! I love your cover of being on a conference call.

    The newest thing here is for panhandlers to stand in suburban shopping areas and pretend to be playing a (real) violin, but it's just recorded music that they have the speakers hidden (probably on an expensive phone in their pocket!) I get so pissed when I see people handing them money!!!! Um, if they can afford a violin, they don't need my money.

    Yes, the retailers don't do anything anymore, probably because security knows they'll get shot if they intervene! And let me guess . . . the riot had NOTHING to do with anything in Philly?? That is common in CLE to riot about something that happened halfway across the country. Let's damage small businesses and steal their stuff to protest something we don't like in Minneapolis. Drives.me.insane!!!

    Well, I'm anxious to hear what you end up doing, Ron. I'm sure you will be much happier once you find a more pleasant place to live. I'll say a prayer for you to find something soon. XOXO

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  12. Yeah, I know...Philadelphia currently looks like a Third World country. And it got MUCH worse once summer kicked in because more and more people are outside now. I can't WAIT for Fall and Winter because I won't have to look at this as much.

    " I'm really disturbed by the first picture, where the person is basically blocking the crosswalk. Obviously, the police are doing nothing about it."

    Yup, totally blocking the crosswalk. And you see that everywhere. We are made to walk around them. The police do work at clearing up the streets, however, there are so many homeless that they can't keep up with it. The other morning I watched four officers (1 woman and 3 men), remove a homeless women from the front door of an apartment building because the tenants couldn't even open the door to get out. And the homeless woman was naked!

    "The worst I've ever seen is Las Vegas and San Francisco. I was scared in SF with the homeless drug addicts walking around like zombies and yelling obscenities at everyone."


    I worked with a girl who was from SF and she said that it is the WORST city for that kind of stuff. She moved and has never been back. She said SF is a nightmare.

    "The newest thing here is for panhandlers to stand in suburban shopping areas and pretend to be playing a (real) violin, but it's just recorded music that they have the speakers hidden (probably on an expensive phone in their pocket!"

    OMG...I have never heard of that or seen that before. UNBELIEVABLE!

    And you're right, retailers don't do anything because security knows they'll get shot. I honestly don't know what the riot was about, but it was insane. Those people just appeared on the street one night in June, chanting something that I couldn't hear clearly. They surrounded a car and attempted to attack the driver. That's when the police showed up and assisted the driver to move forward. This went on for almost an hour! I literally couldn't find anything online about the riot the next day.

    I've been getting out of the city 1-2 times a week, checking out apartment availabilities. I would love to live in Ardmore, but if that's not possible there are two towns on either side that are also very nice. I'll keep you posted, for sure.

    Thanks for your prayer, my friend. Have a faaaaaaaabuous week!

    X

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  13. Ron, this post makes me sad on so many levels. First, of course, is the tragedy of having that many homeless living on our city streets. Practically every place around here is advertising for Help Wanted (though I realize lots of these homeless have drug problems and are basically unemployable). Another reason for my sadness is the crime and filth. C'mon, surely sanitation crews can remove all that trash, can't they? Isn't that their job??


    But I totally understand your frustration with city life. Domer, who at least lives in the suburbs, has to go into the "city" regularly and complains of the same things -- particularly the homeless on their cell phones being dropped off at choice corners by vans. I guess it's easier to panhandle every day than to find a decent job and work. It's become such a huge problem, and I don't see anybody trying to find a solution to it. Throwing money at it isn't helping. Maybe we need more facilities to get them off drugs, provide a *temporary* place for them to stay, and then transition them into gainful employment.


    I know I couldn't stand seeing all this every day. I guess I'd rather look at corn and bean fields, ha! At least the crops aren't talking and littering. Good luck with your search, my friend. You deserve something better -- and yes, it's probably because of your cheerful spirit that you've been able to put up with it for so long! xx

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  14. Hey there Debbie!

    I know what you mean about making you sad on so many levels because I feel the exact same way - utterly sad when I walk past all of this. And it's only gotten worse each day. I started taking photographs five months ago, however, it's been going on longer than that.

    Same here, so many businesses here are willing to hire people, but they can't find anyone to work. Yes, I agree...lots of these homeless people have drug problem and unemployable. However, it's the panhandlers (particularly the younger ones), who would rather take money from others than work.

    "C'mon, surely sanitation crews can remove all that trash, can't they? Isn't that their job??"

    Yes, it sure is. And yet it sits there. And you should see the streets. Trash thrown everywhere. It's embarrassing when I see tourists visiting this city; having to look at it.

    " It's become such a huge problem, and I don't see anybody trying to find a solution to it. Throwing money at it isn't helping. "

    You're absolutely correct, throwing money at it isn't helping. It's only making the ones who don't want to work (and are able) to continue not working.

    "Maybe we need more facilities to get them off drugs, provide a *temporary* place for them to stay, and then transition them into gainful employment."

    My feelings as well. Find a way to empower people to get back on their feet and make a better life for themselves. New York City used to be more proactive when it came to assisting their homeless, but not anymore.

    "I guess I'd rather look at corn and bean fields, ha! At least the crops aren't talking and littering."

    LOL! I would LOVE that right now! I crave being closer to nature.

    Thank you, my friend. Every week, I am investigating different areas outside the city to live. And I feel positive about finding one.

    Have a terrific week, and thanks for stopping by!

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  15. Ron, I didn't realize just how bad it was in Philadelphia, but I'm not surprised. Like you said, it's happening in so many of our cities. These photographs are such a contrast to photos you've posted in past years of Philadelphia and what an attractive city it is. I'm not surprised that you're looking to move and no longer enjoy being in a city environment. It has to be depressing to look at this everyday. Those images of the riot in front of your apartment building are sobering about the reality. You see images like that on the news, but it's a different thing seeing them from someone you know. I have a few friends who live in Chicago and they say the same thing about the homeless. The city officials need to get serious about addressing not only the crime, but the homelessness and drug addicts as well. I don't understand why they are not being more proactive about it?!?

    Your commentary about using your earbuds to deflect the panhandlers made me laugh out loud. LOVE that! And very smart of you.

    Thank you for being honest and sharing what's going on in your city. I know it has to be hard to see everyday. And I understand why you're spending more time outside the city and seeking relocation.

    Stay safe, Ron!

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  16. "The city officials need to get serious about addressing not only the crime, but the homelessness and drug addicts as well. I don't understand why they are not being more proactive about it?!?"

    I agree, Daniel! Here is Philly, the officials act as though it's not happening and ignore it; leaving everyone else to deal with it. But that's always been Philadelphia's problem - DENIAL. And it's sad, because it's a city with a lot of great history and stunning architecture. I can't tell you how over the past several months, it's all gotten worse and worse.

    HA! I discovered the "earbud" thing one day when I was sitting in the park and a panhandler walked up and started harassing me. I have my earbuds in while listening to some music, so I just pretending that I was on a conference call and told him that I could not talk to him. And then he walked away.

    I spend 1-2 of my days off taking the train out of the city, just to be in a different environment. And it really helps!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, Daniel. Have a great rest of your week!

    X

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  17. Wow Ron, I didn't realize just how bad it was in Philadelphia, but I'm not surprised. As you said, it's happening in so many of our cities. These photographs are such a contrast to photos you've posted in past years of Philadelphia and what an attractive city it is. I'm not surprised that you're looking to move and no longer enjoy being in a city environment. It has to be depressing to look at this everyday. Those images of the riot in front of your apartment building are sobering about the reality. You see images like that on the news, but it's a different thing seeing them from someone you know. I have a few friends who live in Chicago and they say the same thing about the homeless. The city officials need to get serious about addressing not only the crime, but the homelessness and drug addicts as well. I don't understand why they are not being more proactive about it?!?

    Your commentary about using your earbuds to deflect the panhandlers made me laugh out loud. LOVE that! And very smart of you.

    Thank you for being honest and sharing what's going on in your city. I know it has to be hard to see everyday. And I understand why you're spending more time outside the city and seeking relocation.

    Stay safe, Ron! x

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  18. "The city officials need to get serious about addressing not only the crime, but the homelessness and drug addicts as well. I don't understand why they are not being more proactive about it?!?"

    I agree, Clair! Here in Philly, the officials act as though it's not happening and ignore it; leaving everyone else to deal with it. But that's always been Philadelphia's problem - DENIAL. And it's sad, because it's a city with a lot of great history and stunning architecture. I can't tell you how over the past several months, it's all gotten progressive and aggressively worse..

    HA! I discovered the "earbud" thing one day when I was sitting in the park and a panhandler walked up and started harassing me. I have my earbuds in while listening to some music, so I just pretending that I was on a conference call and told him that I could not talk to him. And then he walked away.

    I spend 1-2 of my days off taking the train out of the city, just to be in a different environment. And it really helps!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, Clair. Have a great rest of your week!

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  19. Ron, being from NY, but now living in Philly, you are spot on about both. It breaks my heart to see NY in the state it's in and how Philadelphia is right there beside it. The only difference is the NY is bigger than Philly. NY reminds me of what it was like back in the 70's, which is what Philly looks like now.

    And you're right, this is what we see in our faces all day long. It's to the point where my husband and I don't want walk the streets. We have a big dog, so the only time we don't get approached by the panhandlers is when we take our dog for a walk so he can do his business.

    I didn't hear anything about the riot in front of your apartment on the news, but damn, that looks intense. How did you get such closeup shots? Thank God you were inside when it happened and not walking home. We have a lot of homeless in our neighborhood as well. And the trash situation is pretty bad here too.

    I love your idea about using your earbuds to escape having to stop and talk when you're approached. My husband and I laughed at that and said that we're going to try it. LOL!

    I agree with Bijoux, you should be a photo journalist with these pictures AND your commentary. And your spot on, I can vouch for that.

    It's tough to stay positive at the moment, but I'm happy to hear you're able to look at the positives. You've inspired me to do that same.

    Thank you for sharing, sir. I always enjoy your posts. xo

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  20. "NY reminds me of what it was like back in the 70's, which is what Philly looks like now."

    You are soooooooooooo right about that, Elaine. That's exactly what this city looks like - NY in the 70s!!!!

    And yes, you do have to look over your should (and be aware of what's going on around you) because you never know. I walk with my earbuds, but I don't play my music when I walk the streets so I can hear all around me. And I hate having to be that way.

    I didn't see a single thing online the next morning after that riot. And like I said, I could SEE a news helicopter flying above, so I know that the city was aware of it. But noooooooooo...not the thing was said about it. I had worked that day (which was a Sunday) and got home about an hour before the riot started. I was on my computer, when I started hearing all this noise outside, so I grabbed my camera took photos. I used my zoom lens to get those closeups.

    Everyday I say to myself, "I'm grateful for all the blessings in my life" and try to stay focused on the GOOD. This a time when I'm learning how important it is for my to stay joyful. I can't always do it, but I try.

    Always great to see your comments, Elaine. MUCH thanks for stopping by. Hope you're having a FAB week and enjoying this much cooler weather. I'm LOVING it!

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  21. Ron, the photographs you captured looking down at the riot from your apartment are OUTSTANDING! I mean, I know it's a riot and that's not what I mean when I say outstanding, What I mean are the photos themselves. I can't believe you were able to get THAT close.

    We both have friends who live in cities and what you said it true, this is happening all over America, but cities more so. I guess it's because of the population and people living close to each other. My girlfriend and I both cringed when you spoke of the guy at City Hall with the syringe hanging out of a vein. YIKES! And that's a lot of homeless people sleeping on the sidewalks.

    For as long as I've been reading your blog, you've always shared the positive side of Philadelphia. So it's shocking to see what's happened to it. I'm surprised to hear that you haven't been to NYC since 2020 because I know how much you loved it. You have so many great posts and photographs. But seeing what's been happening there, I can certainly understand why.

    Your 'earbud trick' cracked us up! I'm sure having been a professional actor, you ARE good at making it seem as though you're really taking to someone!! LOL!

    Hopefully you'll find a place outside the city for a change of scenery. Well-presented post, dude! Have a great way with words.

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  22. Hiya, Matt!

    Thank you. I took those photographs using the zoom lens on my camera. I took so many, but a lot of them came out blurry. I was happy to get about four good (clear) photographs because I took them so fast.

    Yes you're right, this is happening more so in cities because of the dense population and people on top of each other. I talked to a customer a few days ago who was visiting Philly from Baltimore, and she said it's the same in downtown Baltimore.

    I know, when I saw that guy with the syringe, I cringed too. I did a doubletake because I didn't believe what I was seeing.

    There are many positive things about Philadelphia, but over the past 4-5 years, I've seen increase in everything you see in my photographs. It's been the most intense these past two years, though. I'm surprised myself that I haven't been back to NYC in two years, and that I don't miss it. I may go back for a visit someday, but not anytime soon.

    HA! I created that 'earbud trick' out of desperation. One day I suddenly did it when a panhandler walked up to me while I was sitting on a park bench. I just started pretending someone was on the phone...and VIOLA...it was created!

    Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have a great rest of your week!

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  23. My husband and I visited Philadelphia in the spring for a wedding we attended and as much as we enjoyed various things such as, the historical spots, architecture and the restaurant scene, we were very surprised by the condition of the city. We found ii not especially clean, and the homelessness pretty disturbing, as well as the panhandling. We spent the afternoon down by Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell areas and couldn't believe the amount of people sleeping (camping out) on the benches and grassy areas. Honestly, there were some areas where we didn't feel safe.

    I'm compassionate about the homeless too. But our city officials should be creating ways to assist the homeless to reboot their life situation by offering temporary shelters, employment opportunities so that they can contribute to life. That's empowerment. But leaving them on the streets is only perpetuating homelessness.

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  24. Hi Charlotte!

    We have many who people visit Philadelphia for the first time and say the same thing. Where I work, I talk to a lot of tourist who are surprised by the condition of the city and say that it's not what they expected. Like you, they point out the positives like, the history, food, architecture, and also being a city that's conveniently walkable. However, they are surprised by the amount of homelessness, aggressive panhandling, drug addicts, and trash all over the streets.

    What you shared here is spot on..

    "I'm compassionate about the homeless too. But our city officials should be creating ways to assist the homeless to reboot their life situation by offering temporary shelters and employment opportunities so that they can contribute to life. That's empowerment. But leaving them on the streets is only perpetuating homelessness."


    Totally agree with you!

    Thank you for stopping by and sharing your feedback. Appreciate it. Hope you're having a great weekend!

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  25. Ron, for as much as I miss living in the state of NY and being able to go into Manhattan, I've seen what's happened to that city and it's not only sad, but disturbing. I'm a true New Yorker, I don't get scared. But with everything that's been going on, I'd be very apprehensive about walking around. From you photos, Philadelphia looks a lot like the condition of Manhattan at the moment - deterioration.

    Tell me, how is the overall temperature of the people in Philly? The reason I ask is because my friends in NY said that the people there are very on edge at all the chaos. And it's no wonder.

    When I saw the two photographs of the riot in front of your apartment, I was like, "WOW!!!"

    I understand why you want to get out of the city every week and I'm happy that you're able to do so, because I'm sure the change of scenery keeps you sane and positive. Hope you find something outside the city soon.

    Keep the faith, Ron! ox

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  26. Hola Denise!

    Me too, I don't get scared. However, I have become more aware of my surroundings when I'm out and about because I have to be. And yes, Philly does look a lot like Manhattan, I agree. And that's why I haven't had the slightest urge to visit. I used to go to NYC because it was so different than Philly (which it still is in many ways), but the condition of the cities is pretty much the same.

    Same here, the temperature of the people is very "on edge." Also, they are very angry, so you see a lot of people yelling at each other on the streets and inside stores. The energy here is very heavy and dark, so it takes everything I have inside of me to not get involved in that and stay positive. But I won't lie, it's not easy.

    I feel soooooooooooo lucky to have my fare pass so that I can freely get out of the city during the week. In fact, I have plans to do it this coming week. I'm so looking forward to Autumn, so that I can see the changing of the leaves.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Hope you're enjoying a great weekend!

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  27. Ron, thank you for bringing this problem to light on your blog. This is an epidemic that doesn't seem to have any cure in sight. I'm not sure any amount of government programs can fix this problem, and throwing money at the problem doesn't seem to help anything...in fact, it seems to make it worse. Even in the heartland, we have lots of panhandlers who have their "corners" and seem to be organized in their efforts. And, they look completely competent to hold a job. Some of them panhandle not 100 feet from stores with hiring signs in their windows. And you are right about crime. Criminals know they won't be charged or held so where is the deterrent to crime? Law enforcement is discouraged and they have every right to be when their lives are on the line yet the criminals seem to get a pass while police officers are vilified. So.....where are you going to go now? X

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  28. You're right, Lisa...it's an epidemic that doesn't seem to have any cure in sight. I was talking to a woman who is a concierge at one of the apartment buildings on Walnut Street and she believes that our city officials our importing these homeless people into our city. To be honest, I never even thought of that before, but it gave me something to think about. You can even believe what I see on the streets here. Much of it I couldn't share on my blog because it's truly indecent. I don't shock easily, but even these things shocked me.

    "...we have lots of panhandlers who have their "corners" and seem to be organized in their efforts. And, they look completely competent to hold a job. Some of them panhandle not 100 feet from stores with hiring signs in their windows."

    YUP...same here! Like I said, I do have compassion for anyone who is genuinely homeless. But what I see here are people who feel entitled to be taken care of.

    "Law enforcement is discouraged and they have every right to be when their lives are on the line yet the criminals seem to get a pass while police officers are vilified."

    I feel the exact same way.

    I will be looking for areas (towns) outside Philadelphia to relocate. I'm at a point in my life where I crave peace and quiet, and being closer to nature. I'm over city life. Particularly this city and NYC. Done.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing, my friend Appreciate it!

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