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How to Confuse Someone From Philly

by Alicia Raeburn Jun 10, 2019

If you’re not from here, you might think we’re rough. Rugged. A bit, shall we say, edgy. All of this to say, we just think we’re being honest. So when people come here and visit with a certain perception of Philadelphia, or act a certain way in this city, we tend to have a few questions. If you’re trying to get a bit of a rise out of us here, these are 14 ways to confuse us or throw us off-guard.

1. Suggest we grab a quick brunch on a Saturday or Sunday morning

Um, you mean to go to the restaurant, put your name down, and then wait a minimum of two hours, right? Because we’re not getting into any brunch spot worth eating at on a weekend morning without a lengthy line.

2. Wear a suit or a jacket for your nice dinner out

Where do you think you’re going, a wedding? Unless you’re going to one of a handful of old school-style fine dining spots, aka Vetri, you’re never going to need an outfit that fancy to eat out in Philly. That entree may cost a casual $57 but that doesn’t mean we’re changing our casual wardrobe to eat it.

3. Mentioning the champs in any other reference than the Eagles

Yes of course other teams and states win things. Or so we hear. It’s just a bit strange to us that you think we’d want to talk about it or celebrate it with you if it’s not in reference to the Eagles.

4. Subtly explain your feelings

We communicate in one way and one way only: loudly and honestly. If you’re beating around the bush we’re not going to have any idea what you’re talking about.

5. Try to leave for the airport four hours before your flight boards

Be easy, friend. The airport is small and 20 minutes from the city center. No matter where you’re staying in Philadelphia, you can be at the airport within half an hour and trust us, there’s not much happening once you get there. There’s no need for all that hustle, leave that for trying to get yourself to LaGuardia in a timely fashion. Unless, of course, it’s rush hour. In that case, and in that case only, plan to give yourself double the time.

6. Plan an outdoor meetup on an August afternoon

No self-respecting human being is leaving their house in summer humidity between the hours of 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM. It’s your birthday? Cool, we’ll gladly go out…after the sun sets.

7. Say hello on the streets to strangers

Are you trying to scam me? Is this a religious pitch? Should I be worried? If you say “Hi” unprompted to a Philly resident and they don’t know you, they’re going to be in a bit of minor, internal panic.

8. Believe that the time Google Maps suggests is actually the amount it takes to get somewhere

Sure, it’s only 0.7 miles away, but it’s 5:30 PM and off I-76. There is no algorithm that is advanced enough to accurately predict how long you will be sitting in that horrendous traffic.

9. Question Cheez Whiz

Whether you’re a believer in this as the more authentic cheesesteak topping or not, this is a staple in Philly culture. It’s basically liquid cheese, and honestly, we don’t need to know anything else beyond that. No one around here is peeking at that ingredient list.

10. Ask us where to park

Good luck and Godspeed. No matter how long we’ve lived here, we still have no idea if there’s a safe space to park in this city. We’ve long ago been pacified into accepting the PPA’s rulings, whether they’re fair or not. We suggest you do the same.

11. Let the words “What’s a Wawa?” leave your mouth

At least not in public. If you don’t know, whisper it quietly to someone in a safe space and let them show you the way to the best meal under $5 you’ve ever had.

12. Order a sandwich

Oh, you mean a hoagie? Sure, we’ll grab you an Italian when we’re out.

13. See if we can stop by Pittsburgh while you’re here

Getting to the other side of Pennsylvania will take well over five hours. You’re better off hitting up Baltimore or even DC for a day trip from here.

14. Say it doesn’t matter when we ask where you want to drink

In other parts of the world, a bar may just be a bar. In Philly, your favorite bar says a lot about who you are as a human being. Choose wisely.

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