Real talk: Whatever you think of the general-interest blog scene in this town, and outlets such as the one you are reading right now, and all the ways they are compromised, and could be better, and the antipathy you may feel towards the medium in general, they are nothing compared to the real estate blogs in Philly these days. Ever since the dearly departed Brownstoner came around for one year and tried to show everyone how it’s done — apparently to no avail whatsoever — each and every Philly real estate blog that has come in its wake has sucked big fat bleeding donkey dicks. They’re either shadow PR mouthpieces for people who are realtors themselves (suck it, Naked Philly) or they’re Olive Garden-esque chain blogs with no real presence in town other than a poor editor locked up in a room somewhere (Spikol, we’re gonna try and have a job ready for you when Curbed goes all Phillyist on us), or, most often, they just plain suck at life.
Over at 22nd and Lombard in the Fitler Square sub-neighborhood of Rittenhouse, you’ll come across a hideously unfortunate-looking commercial building on the intersection’s northwest corner. For the longest time, the space, which was clearly an operating bar, judging by its outdoor patio furniture, was nameless. Or at least it was to those that never frequented the establishment. I’m sure the dive has always had its regulars who likely knew the name of the place they frequented, but the space’s uninviting facade, characteristically closed off to the public realm, wasn’t exactly screaming for newcomers to come in and grab a drink or meal. To put it mildly, the bar, judgment on its atmosphere and food/drinks aside, has been known as an eyesore in a neighborhood known for its quaint corner stores and outdoor eateries.
Greg Meckstroth! Yes, you, the author of this post! We’re calling you out because this shit needs to be in your Google results! What, have you been here for like five fucking minutes? DO YOU KNOW THE LEGACY OF TRUE SCHOOL DEEP PHILLY WEIRDO VIBES THAT IS CONTAINED WITHIN THE WALLS OF DOOBIES? Well, of course you don’t. We’ve got PECO bills laying around for longer than you’ve been here. Doobies is a landmark (a landmark, by the way, THAT HAS NO APOSTROPHE. BECAUSE IT’S NAMED IN HONOR OF SMOKING JOINTS). Of course it’s filthy. So is your mom. And so is the bougie nature that threatens this thing about which we all need to get a little more protective: Philly’s longstanding beautiful weirdness. We don’t mean to harp on this, but it’s true: For every transplant that comes here with their Rubbermaid tub filled with laptop chargers and Dwell magazines and copies of the PDT Cocktail Book, essential particles of that weirdness are squeezed out. We are speaking of matter and space. There is only so much. And yes, the transplants bring many good things. We are not xenophobes. But this shit needs to be managed. Otherwise, it’s… this.
And I guess we can’t leave it up to everyone to just get around to doing the right thing. So between the Call Me Maybe Real Estate Lady and this, it’s like, fuck you. We’ve been baited enough. I guess we really are going to have to start a real estate blog now. Inquiries welcome.
Update: Follow-up post here.