It’s that time of year again. Here we are in the dog days of summer. Philadelphia summers are brutal. It’s hot, it’s humid, and people just seem more hostile and easily agitated than usual.
Tonight on the news it was announced that Philadelphia now has 201 murders throughout 2012. Not only is this a high number, but the year isn’t even over yet. Keep in mind, this is just the number of people who have been murdered. This number doesn’t even count the other violent crimes that occur such as attempted murder, robbery by gun-point, rape, aggravated assault…you get the idea. Add those crimes in and we’re looking at a city with a serious problem with its violence.
Philadelphia is a weird city. The purpose of this blog is to highlight elements of its weirdness in a quirky light-hearted way. It’s interesting how quickly neighborhoods change in appearance, how there are many areas of the city where trash litters much of the street and sidewalk, and how there are areas of unspeakable beauty and unfathomable urban blight and depression within a mile of each other. One cannot lose sight of the fact that like many cities, there are a lot of assholes out there who like to commit heinous acts for one reason or another.
Be safe and be aware of your surroundings, whether you’re in Philadelphia or elsewhere. I’m all in favor of helping/assisting strangers, but use good judgment and rely on your instincts. These murders of a 13 year-old and his 17 year-old brother have hit hard for me. This is becoming a feeling of sadness that I feel as though I’m becoming way too accustomed to…seeing our youth fall victim to violence on the streets.
I’ve experienced some of the greatest kindness one can ever receive while wandering along the streets of Philadelphia, and also experienced a lot of sadness on these very streets. I think most people who have spent considerable time in this city can speak to that point regardless of the neighborhood. Take care of yourselves and each other.