Dept. Of Meaningless Lists & Shameless Hit-Grabs: Travel & Leisure’s Philly Superlatives

Like the saddest version you’ve ever seen of one of those “Hey! People still read magazines!” ads, Travel & Leisure has released its “America’s Favorite Cities” package, and the results, when it comes to Philly, are pretty predictable. One one hand, we’ve got the 4th best pizza in the country — a semi-honor we can live with, it feels fair — but on the other, we take the number 3 slot in least attractive people. Now, there’s a few ways to feel about this, but we’ve got a novel idea: For once, how about we don’t shoot the messenger? Y’all know Philly has some ugly motherfuckers. So let’s not blame the lowly magazine editor who trades in cliché and counts his lucky stars every night that he still has a job. He’s just going along with the impression that he gets whenever Philly goes on the national stage. No, rather, let’s blame… these assholes. For it is they who are the true enemy of beauty and, by extension, of ourselves.

  • chuck63

    While emphasizing the disclaimer that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and, really, on some level, almost impossible to define, let’s just say relative to our #3 ranking….I guess it depends on where you are standing: Rittenhouse Square on a fine spring afternoon? too many to count; beneath the Somerset el stop? eh, maybe not so much.

  • http://theaffectedprovincial.blogspot.com/ lord_whimsy

    If Charleston and Savannah are topping the list of most attractive, then I assume the editors are using the term “attractive” as a broader term including not only physical attractiveness, but dress, deportment, manners, and charm. And since most Philadelphians aren’t even *raised* in the conventional sense (and seem to take a weird pride in it), we’ll remain among our fellow homely Mid-Atlantic brethren for some time to come.

    That said, I agree with Chuck63 that there are parts of town that seem to enjoy an embarrassment of stylish, attractive people, without whom this town would be unbearable. So I thank all of you cute ladies on bikes: you are saving Philadelphia.

  • http://www.noisenarcs.com tsarstruck

    Not that it matters, but these were internet poll-derived, not picked by an editor. Which makes their methodology… worse or better, I can’t tell. Either way, stupid.

    I’d be more concerned about fucking Providence being ranked over us in classical music. C’mon now. And we rank as 22nd in food? No.

  • http://theaffectedprovincial.blogspot.com/ lord_whimsy

    The historical sites category is something of a farce, too. Philly should top this list every year. No other city can touch this town’s historical richness. You can live your whole life in Philly and never see it all.

  • chuck63

    cute ladies on bikes…be still my beating heart!

  • arcticsplasher

    “cute ladies on bikes” is redundant!

  • Walter Sobchak

    This morning I saw a guy on TV named Dan Buettner who wrote a book called “The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest.” He talked about how the things that make people collectively healthy are things like walkable neighborhoods, bike paths that can be used for transportation, access to good food, etc. The people who live in these very healthy cultures don’t diet and they aren’t on workout plans; the health is the result of small things that make healthy living easy. (And, of course, healthier-looking people are better-looking people.)

    He did an experiment in a town in, I think, Minnesota. He worked with city planners to add pedestrian walkways. They established a rule in the schools that kids were not allowed to eat in the hallways, which stopped the all-day snacking. Etc. Health care costs dropped by 48%, among other good results.

    So now he’s doing this in 3 other places, and they’re all around Los Angeles. The interviewer asked him why L.A., people there seem so fitness- and health-conscious, and so forth. He said that yes, that’s the L.A. that visitors see, but you go a few blocks away and they look like the average overweight Americans you’d see anywhere else.

    Which brings me to my point: Philadelphia is a very accessible city; you can get from one neighborhood to another very quickly. It isn’t as socioeconomically segregated as some other places are, like L.A. or New York. A visitor to Philly sees a much broader view of the residents than someone who is visiting a bigger city and only going to the “nice” neighborhoods where they see people who can afford to shop at Whole Foods and pay for Pilates lessons.

  • http://www.southfellini.com tonytrov

    This is just part of a New York conspiracy to keep down Philadelphia. Don’t believe the hype.

  • schmapty

    Right on Walter. Phila keeps it real without even trying.

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