Every city culture has its quirks and Philadelphia is certainly not immune to this rule — the city has more than a few strange obsessions. Certain topics fascinate us to the point of endless discussion and are the cause of lively debates within Philadelphian households and bars. As strange as they may sound to out-of-towners, people from Philly are fascinated and weirdly obsessed with these eight things.
1. The Dallas Cowboys
Philadelphians despise everything about Dallas. We hate the team, the players, the ownership, and the supposed fans. That said, we probably know more about their season than their fanbase. We thrive on their misery. We follow them closely in order to rejoice in their many moments of failure.
We take our food seriously, and many of our most notable delicacies are sandwiches. Cheesesteaks, hoagies, roast pork, etc. — if it’s not on the right roll, you might as well not bother. When you have the extensive choices that Philly has, from Sarcone’s to Amoroso’s, there is no reason to tolerate a less-than-perfect roll.
3. The names of neighborhoods
With over 400 named sections of the city, it’s impossible to find consensus on neighborhood names and boundaries. We argue constantly about the latest-attributed name given and about the gentrification of certain neighborhoods. Will the Gayborhood ever truly be Midtown Village? Is Bella Vista really South Philly or is it Center City? The debates will never die.
4. Being authentically Philadelphian
You live in Philadelphia, but are you really from here? Your level of Philadelphian is always under scrutiny. Only in Philly is your high school affiliation in any way relevant past the age of 19. You’ll be asked which high school you attended whether you’re aged 21 or 71 to ascertain exactly where you’re from. Expect a raised eyebrow if call yourself a Philly local and attended a school out of state.
5. New York City
As two of the country’s largest cities are located just two hours away from each other, there’s definitely some competition between New York and Philadelphia. Philly’s perpetual chip on its shoulder is often measured against New York’s progress. Now that Philly has stepped into the spotlight over the past few years, we like check to see if our neighbors to the north are not faring as well.
6. The Tastykake difference
We love Tastykakes. But we’ve also had many conversations about the fact that they’ve changed. They don’t taste the same as they once did. What exactly is the difference? There are many theories regarding this matter, but which one wins? Pull up a chair, you’ll be here a while.
7. Morbid museums
The Mütter Museum is one of Philadelphia’s creepiest institutions, and that’s part of why we love it. The museum of medical oddities has attractions such as sections of Einstein’s brain and a jar of pickled human skin, and it hosts events as creepy as its contents. The Mütter recently announced plans to double its size, because there can never be enough macabre artifacts to check out.
8. Total Wine
We are haunted by the fact that a few miles south to Delaware, there is a slice of what could await us if we lived in a land of normal liquor laws. A full assortment of beer, wine, and liquor all under one roof. A visit to Total Wine is like a trip to adult Disneyland for Philly folks.