05 July 2011

Philadelphia: home of the 5th of July hangover

Slogging through a tedious to-do list today. Not helped by the transit situation last night after the Art Museum fireworks. I get that holidays are holidays, and transit shouldn't run a weekday, business rush-hour schedule on a holiday; but I sure do wish SEPTA had put a few more buses on the neighborhood trunk lines last night. The fireworks wrapped up shortly after 11:00, but we didn't roll home until after midnight.

My dentist this morning asked, "Why do we even live in the city?" Of course, she had pointy, scrapy things jammed into my mouth at the time, so I couldn't answer. And a huge part of the issue is that SEPTA's governance is based on a Senate-like system, not like a House of Representatives -- that is, Philadelphia and the surrounding counties of Southeastern Pennsylvania are equally represented on SEPTA's board, one representative per county, even though more Philadelphians than residents of the other counties actually ride SEPTA any given day. End result is that Philadelphia gets short shrift sometimes when it comes to SEPTA improvements or scheduling considerations.

But I live in the city so that I can enjoy 4th of July stuff in the city where they have the country's best party for it, and I can go see a movie or music on very, very short notice, and I can run to the grocery store without having to drive, and I can visit world-class museums and other attractions without having to get a hotel room. The local taxes are formidable, but I like having my trash and recycling picked up and street plowed for "free," and I always tell my pals in the 'burbs to do the math: their taxes are certainly lower, but their cost of living is higher in other ways.

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