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  #12761  
Old Posted Sep 4, 2019, 10:31 PM
eixample eixample is offline
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Lost in this discussion is the idea of parking minimums - ie that for many at market developments with parking, the developers have to include a certain amount by code or to get the neighborhood association's approval when they would be just as happy building new developments with no parking. That is not the case with PHA. So why do they offer parking? I am not trying to get into an argument anymore as no one's changing cardeza's mind about anything but I am curious about PHA's motivation for offering parking. Is it a HUD requirement? Do they think people living in public housing should get it even if neighbors park on the street? Is it to place nice with Philly council members or bowing down to NIMBYs?
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  #12762  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2019, 2:57 AM
allovertown allovertown is offline
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Originally Posted by Frontst17 View Post
It’s immensely more complex than his point. Your qualms are with the developers telling you what you should be paying for what you get. What’s the difference between PHA offering off street parking with 1500sqft and another developer offering off street parking with 1500sqft? The tax base? There’s complaints about it being too suburban but that’a apparently not the case because they pop up all over the city. There’s complaints about it not fitting in with the surrounding stock but now apparently it’s not about aesthetics. Is it that we should stick poor people in as densely a packed space as possible? Is it that people don’t deserve it because their housing is subsidized? I’m honestly not finding sound counterpoints that are NOT all over the place. There’s a lot of “Make Philly Great Again” going on here
Man you are truly lost in this. Please reread my posts, I'd be really interested to see what part of what I wrote gave you even the remote impression that I thought poor people should be stuck anywhere or that they don't deserve anything; much less any Make Philly Great Again vibes.

My exceedingly simple point seems to be repeatedly lost. The best PHA developments are not identifiable as PHA developments. I'm not sure why anyone would disagree with this point. It's accepted at this point that totally segregating poor people in projects is bad policy. What is wrong with wanting PHA developments that just seamlessly fit into the neighborhood they're built in? That someone new moving into the area would have no idea which of their neighbors lived in subsidized housing and which didn't?

When I said they should fit in with the surrounding housing stock I was never talking about aesthetics, I was always talking about density and use. Building housing that is radically out of place with the context of the neighborhood helps no one.

In one of my posts I pointed out that the PHA development south of Queen Village, with all the out of place green space and parking it has sticks out like a sore thumb. It is readily apparent to all that pass by that it is a housing project and so people avoid it. There are fewer businesses and amenities in that immediate area and the value of the houses immediately adjacent to it are depreciated by the developments' presence. People are afraid of projects and the people who live in them. But as I pointed out, the PHA properties are kept up great and the residents perfectly normal. Another poster pointed out that crime is no higher in the development than in the upper middle class neighborhood that it borders.

There is no real problem with the development besides perception but perception can have a real affect on actual people and their quality of life. If they had built something that looked like it fit in that neighborhood instead of a suburban style apartment complex then these issues of perception would not exist.

Plus, if people really want green space and parking spots, there is no shortage of cheap land in more far flung parts of the city where PHA could build complexes like this that would be right at home with their surroundings. But do you think there will be many opportunities for PHA housing in the core of Philadelphia within good elementary school cachements like this Queen Village development? In what world is it better that 300 families get to live in this totally out of place suburban development instead of 600 or more families living in the type of rowhomes that surround this development in all directions?

I don't believe it is callous to say that people who qualify for subsidized housing should weigh the same things that anyone else weighs when they decide where to live. Do you want to be close to everything in a smaller place with no parking or are you willing to move further from the core to get the green space and off street parking that is important to you?

Nor do I see the issue in wanting the PHA to be economical in the planning of their developments. Wasting incredibly expensive land with out of place green space and an overabundance of parking when poverty and homelessness is such a pervasive problem in Philadelphia is borderline unethical.
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  #12763  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2019, 12:06 PM
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^^^^ Good post and from my perspective, you can't make your point anymore clearly than you did here. If some still don't get it, I don't know what to say. I mean, they don't have to agree with it but no one is suggesting packing poor people into ghettos.
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  #12764  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2019, 12:19 PM
cardeza cardeza is offline
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Originally Posted by eixample View Post
Lost in this discussion is the idea of parking minimums - ie that for many at market developments with parking, the developers have to include a certain amount by code or to get the neighborhood association's approval when they would be just as happy building new developments with no parking. That is not the case with PHA. So why do they offer parking? I am not trying to get into an argument anymore as no one's changing cardeza's mind about anything but I am curious about PHA's motivation for offering parking. Is it a HUD requirement? Do they think people living in public housing should get it even if neighbors park on the street? Is it to place nice with Philly council members or bowing down to NIMBYs?
The prior development was totally self contained- it did not have units facing the street. This development is also totally within the property line. Since there are actual rowhouses in this project my guess is they are for ownership and are not low income rentals. In last 20 years several of PHA's redevelopment projects have included for sale units that are subsidized on sliding scale based on the income of the buyer. And yes these people likely have cars. There is no on street parking in this area during the day. Temple would not have been happy with the idea of pushing 30 or 40 residents' cars on to the nearby streets when there is virtually no spare parking as is.
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  #12765  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2019, 12:24 PM
cardeza cardeza is offline
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Originally Posted by allovertown View Post
Man you are truly lost in this. Please reread my posts, I'd be really interested to see what part of what I wrote gave you even the remote impression that I thought poor people should be stuck anywhere or that they don't deserve anything; much less any Make Philly Great Again vibes.

My exceedingly simple point seems to be repeatedly lost. The best PHA developments are not identifiable as PHA developments. I'm not sure why anyone would disagree with this point. It's accepted at this point that totally segregating poor people in projects is bad policy. What is wrong with wanting PHA developments that just seamlessly fit into the neighborhood they're built in? That someone new moving into the area would have no idea which of their neighbors lived in subsidized housing and which didn't?

When I said they should fit in with the surrounding housing stock I was never talking about aesthetics, I was always talking about density and use. Building housing that is radically out of place with the context of the neighborhood helps no one.

In one of my posts I pointed out that the PHA development south of Queen Village, with all the out of place green space and parking it has sticks out like a sore thumb. It is readily apparent to all that pass by that it is a housing project and so people avoid it. There are fewer businesses and amenities in that immediate area and the value of the houses immediately adjacent to it are depreciated by the developments' presence. People are afraid of projects and the people who live in them. But as I pointed out, the PHA properties are kept up great and the residents perfectly normal. Another poster pointed out that crime is no higher in the development than in the upper middle class neighborhood that it borders.

There is no real problem with the development besides perception but perception can have a real affect on actual people and their quality of life. If they had built something that looked like it fit in that neighborhood instead of a suburban style apartment complex then these issues of perception would not exist.

Plus, if people really want green space and parking spots, there is no shortage of cheap land in more far flung parts of the city where PHA could build complexes like this that would be right at home with their surroundings. But do you think there will be many opportunities for PHA housing in the core of Philadelphia within good elementary school cachements like this Queen Village development? In what world is it better that 300 families get to live in this totally out of place suburban development instead of 600 or more families living in the type of rowhomes that surround this development in all directions?

I don't believe it is callous to say that people who qualify for subsidized housing should weigh the same things that anyone else weighs when they decide where to live. Do you want to be close to everything in a smaller place with no parking or are you willing to move further from the core to get the green space and off street parking that is important to you?

Nor do I see the issue in wanting the PHA to be economical in the planning of their developments. Wasting incredibly expensive land with out of place green space and an overabundance of parking when poverty and homelessness is such a pervasive problem in Philadelphia is borderline unethical.
Do you have any familiarity with the area being discussed? Your comments suggest you don't. Check out Google maps. This site is bounded by structures/uses that are far from ordinary for North Philadelphia including a huge block long parking garage for temple and TU's heating/cooling plant. I guarantee you the average person would have no clue that the new project is PHA sponsored if they aren't told. I'm still trying to understand WHAT about the renders clearly suggests this is a 21st century ghetto. It could EASILY be a markerate development based on design aesthetic and it's most certainly not out of scale with the rest of the area. Perhaps you believe this is a newer version of the single family development further south in North Philly- it's not. North central phila has numerous apt buildings, nursing homes and subsidized residential complexes surrounded by grass and/or parking lots north of Fairmount Ave. BEtween that and all the vacant lots and city owned recreational sites the entire area from Broad to roughly 7th street, Fairmount Ave to TU is actually not very dense at all. Queen village this is not.

Last edited by cardeza; Sep 5, 2019 at 12:37 PM.
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  #12766  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2019, 12:30 PM
cardeza cardeza is offline
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Originally Posted by allovertown View Post
What I'm saying is simple: Pha developments should look like their neighbors. Not in terms of aesthetics, but they should be of similar scope. If the pha housing is being built in the northeast, then fine, whatever, parking spots for everyone. In and around the core though, where hardly anyone has off street parking, pha should similarly have very limited if any off street parking.

The Southwark pha development may not be at home in the suburbs, i honestly don't care about that. What i care about is that it is not at home just south of queen village where they built it. If you want to commend that development as sound urban design than let's just move on because I have no interest in debating something that is plainly obvious to anyone who looks at it.
Never mentioned sound urban design. Ever. I said any development with parking included is not automatically suburban- which is the point that has been inferred by several. I.e. real "urban" design must equate to housing with little to no parking. Interestingly enough when I pointed out several examples of for profit market rate developments with tons of parking someone says I am way off base- without actually commenting on the fact that the parking is being provided. Reality and urban design theory are not always in alignment- the problem is too many are up in arms over their precious design principles being violated while ignoring the reality of how this city is already built and how residents outside of CC live.
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  #12767  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2019, 4:40 PM
3rd&Brown 3rd&Brown is offline
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Originally Posted by eixample View Post
Lost in this discussion is the idea of parking minimums - ie that for many at market developments with parking, the developers have to include a certain amount by code or to get the neighborhood association's approval when they would be just as happy building new developments with no parking. That is not the case with PHA. So why do they offer parking? I am not trying to get into an argument anymore as no one's changing cardeza's mind about anything but I am curious about PHA's motivation for offering parking. Is it a HUD requirement? Do they think people living in public housing should get it even if neighbors park on the street? Is it to place nice with Philly council members or bowing down to NIMBYs?
The reason why PHA developments look suburban is because the people who run the PHA think that all poor people have an aspirational perception that if you "make it" to the suburbs, you've escaped poverty.

But to be fair, it's not just poor people (or the PHA). There are plenty of regular people who think that way too. They think their quality of life is lower in a 3 bedroom airlite in Mayfair than a vinyl everything McMansion in Sewell NJ.

The average people who run the PHA and the average people who design housing for the PHA ascribed to this believe as well, which is clear, so this is why you get surburban looking homes in dense, urban gentrifying neighborhoods.

Remember, Darryl Clarke once said it's "normal" to drive to the corner store.

He probably looked at the plans for Sharswood or wherever and proclaim "ITS BEAUTIFUL". And then it was done. Because if he weren't making $180K a year to hold this place back, he too would be in a vinyl everything house somewhere in South Jersey. In fact, once he gets his triple DROP payment, he'll double down on a vinyl everything house likely in Bear, Delaware or Cobb County, Georgia with no trees and no landscaping and everyone around him will declare he "made it".

Spot the lie.
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  #12768  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2019, 5:09 PM
Frontst17 Frontst17 is offline
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Originally Posted by cardeza View Post
Never mentioned sound urban design. Ever. I said any development with parking included is not automatically suburban- which is the point that has been inferred by several. I.e. real "urban" design must equate to housing with little to no parking. Interestingly enough when I pointed out several examples of for profit market rate developments with tons of parking someone says I am way off base- without actually commenting on the fact that the parking is being provided. Reality and urban design theory are not always in alignment- the problem is too many are up in arms over their precious design principles being violated while ignoring the reality of how this city is already built and how residents outside of CC live.
Precisely
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  #12769  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2019, 7:16 PM
cardeza cardeza is offline
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Originally Posted by 3rd&Brown View Post
The reason why PHA developments look suburban is because the people who run the PHA think that all poor people have an aspirational perception that if you "make it" to the suburbs, you've escaped poverty.

But to be fair, it's not just poor people (or the PHA). There are plenty of regular people who think that way too. They think their quality of life is lower in a 3 bedroom airlite in Mayfair than a vinyl everything McMansion in Sewell NJ.

The average people who run the PHA and the average people who design housing for the PHA ascribed to this believe as well, which is clear, so this is why you get surburban looking homes in dense, urban gentrifying neighborhoods.

Remember, Darryl Clarke once said it's "normal" to drive to the corner store.

He probably looked at the plans for Sharswood or wherever and proclaim "ITS BEAUTIFUL". And then it was done. Because if he weren't making $180K a year to hold this place back, he too would be in a vinyl everything house somewhere in South Jersey. In fact, once he gets his triple DROP payment, he'll double down on a vinyl everything house likely in Bear, Delaware or Cobb County, Georgia with no trees and no landscaping and everyone around him will declare he "made it".

Spot the lie.
I agree that many Americans prefer suburban living. I do not agree that the PHA development in question represents typical suburbia. 133 units within a modest sized urban square block isn't exactly the same as a Chester County cul de sac. If we are talking about design- well I think much of what is rolled out by modern developers is cheap looking. Don't see much difference between "high quality" developer housing and the PHA stuff from the outside. At least this PHA property isn't covered in metal panels and stucco. A lot of current urban design isn't attractive or remotely comparable to older urban housing stock. I get the impression that some folks are OK with any thing proposed or built as long as it's sufficiently dense and lacks parking. Can look like crap and be clad in Dunkin Donuts caliber exterior materials- but as long as it's lacking parking and has enough height it's supposedly a Godsend.
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  #12770  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2019, 7:31 PM
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hammersklavier hammersklavier is offline
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Originally Posted by summersm343 View Post
CDR Submission - Large mixed-use development coming to 10th & Berks

Located between Temple University and the Temple SEPTA station

View PDF here:
https://www.phila.gov/media/20190822...10thStreet.pdf
Okay. Let me weigh in here because this discussion is going off the rails. Nobody disagrees that 10th and Berks is an improvement over the postwar barracks that were here, because those were straight trash. But this project just isn't as good as it could be, which is made all the more obnoxious because two of the best subsidized-housing projects in the city -- Paseo Verde and the Norris Towers redevelopment -- are literally right next door.

The Site Plan



The site plan consists of three buildings: a large apartment building occupying the lower half of the block and two smaller rowhome structures around a parking lot on the north side. Parking is almost certainly a financial requirement to make this project work -- it is subsidized and reliant on various public moneys, and public moneys often fail to take local conditions into account. If we look at the PHA's recent redevelopment of the Norris Towers site just north, for example, it clearly has a ton of parking (in fact, it's relatively low-density on its site); it's just that the parking has been consolidated around the back of its site, facing Warnock, a glorified alley in any event.

What we are really objecting to is that the parking faces 10th and is one of the dominant features of this site when looking from the Regional Rail station.

There are plenty of ways to better integrate parking into the site. One can, for example, make use of its steep grade and have most of the parking slipped under the apartment building with an entrance on 10th -- it's not like the site won't need to be cleared and regraded anyway -- and change the style of the rowhomes to better match the ones across the street, with a drive aisle and small lot around back that is comfortably hidden behind the housing. Perhaps the apartment building's parking entrance can come off this drive aisle as well.

In any event, we can agree that the current parking situation is subpar for the site, and rectifying it really should not cost much more than what they're currently spending on the project.

Berks Street

This...



...should not be acceptable. Yes, they've put a retail space on the corner. But they then proceeded to make nearly the entire Berks Street frontage -- by far the busiest frontage on the entire site -- a long blank wall. That's not just poor design, that's stupid design! Even if it was just cut-outs to the basement parking I suggested above, you need something -- anything -- to relieve the blankness. Otherwise ... well, there's ivy.

So in summary: This building has problems because it's not a very well-designed building. Sure, it's subsidized, but remember that Paseo Verde, an extremely well-designed subsidized-housing building lies just across the train tracks:


Source

and that the PHA redevelopment literally across the street to this one's north has none of the problems it does. So yes. It's fair to critique this project for what is quite evidently bad design. Doing otherwise makes you look like a fool -- or 1487, and believe you me, nobody wants to look like 1487.
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  #12771  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2019, 10:58 PM
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^ Yep.
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  #12772  
Old Posted Sep 6, 2019, 11:49 AM
eixample eixample is offline
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Brutal design takedown from the well-tempered clavier (forgive me for the classical music joke)! That Paseo Verde development, which I had completely forgotten about, is really nice. That is definitely something PHA should be aspiring to duplicate.
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  #12773  
Old Posted Sep 6, 2019, 12:19 PM
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The lengthy commentary touched on design issues that weren't even part of the initial gripe about the property. If the discussion is about personal opinions on the design choices made, that is very different and obviously totally subjective. FYI, government agencies rarely design or build anything. They fund projects and then hire private sector vendors to design and build what is needed. I know it's far fetched, but often the design team is full of professionals that actually care about their work and the final product is often the result of accounting for all kinds of factors that may or may not be readily apparent after spending 90 seconds looking through a powerpoint slideshow. IN other words, I don't really think the design team would intentionally create a subpar project ONLY because the client is PHA. Nor do I think PHA would instruct a registered architect to create something half ass simply because they are a public entity and aspire to achieve mediocrity with their projects. This simplistic notion that projects funded and initiated by public entities are half assed by default and for profit projects are properly urban by default is interesting. Inga Saffron has ravaged many a private sector development project over the last 15 years for being lackluster from a design and urban integration standpoint. The great irony is in reality, owners that don't have to generate profits are MORE likely to endorse design features that add cost or reduce unit count- which in one reason why many university projects are expensive and more likely to feature higher grade materials and design flourishes. It's also why a large % of the buildings that strive to hit the higher LEED ratings are public- the owners are not concerned about achieving ROI numbers and are willing to spend extra for the prestige and benchmark setting associated with LEED certification.
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  #12774  
Old Posted Sep 6, 2019, 1:15 PM
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Knight Hospitaller Knight Hospitaller is offline
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Are we there yet?
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  #12775  
Old Posted Sep 6, 2019, 2:18 PM
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From Sept 4
Girard and Palmer Sts.

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  #12776  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2019, 4:27 PM
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This fell under the radar. But, it looks amazing. The execution looks flawless. And the campus looks amazing. I haven't been back in so many years. Go Owls!!!

Temple's new library: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq8QrrWAOcE
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  #12777  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2019, 4:47 PM
eixample eixample is offline
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Warning to mute before you click on that link and be ready to fast forward. So that project is done, I guess? I am not an architectural person but I know the firm behind this project is a big deal, Snohetta, and I love the designs. Would love to see this in person if I ever had a reason to go to Temple's campus. I'm surprised Inga has not reviewed this yet
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  #12778  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2019, 7:04 PM
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She just visited it this past week, the review/commentary should be in the Inky very soon.
https://www.instagram.com/p/B2FfteIja8y/
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  #12779  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2019, 1:30 AM
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It looks like (most) of the "screens" at Fashion District are going to be good old fashioned LED-lit billboards - not digital signage/video. There looks to be 3-4 digital displays but the other 5 or 6 will be static - basically the same thing you get along a highway. At least that's what it appears. Damn, where's those lunatics at SCRUB when you need them. Huge disappointment to me. PREIT cost-cutting?

The buildings have definitely been cleaned - but the street-side landscaping is now a mess. It's not irrigated or maintained and are now weed pits.

The Israelites and tougher-looking individuals were posted up on the South side from the Wawa down to the courthouse - the whole experience is pretty surreal. I just can't imagine what tourists are thinking walking there right now. The good news is these spaces are definitely flagship size and will be the largest this side of NYC.
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  #12780  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2019, 11:11 AM
reparcsyks reparcsyks is offline
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It looks like (most) of the "screens" at Fashion District are going to be good old fashioned LED-lit billboards - not digital signage/video. There looks to be 3-4 digital displays but the other 5 or 6 will be static - basically the same thing you get along a highway. At least that's what it appears. Damn, where's those lunatics at SCRUB when you need them. Huge disappointment to me. PREIT cost-cutting?

The buildings have definitely been cleaned - but the street-side landscaping is now a mess. It's not irrigated or maintained and are now weed pits.

The Israelites and tougher-looking individuals were posted up on the South side from the Wawa down to the courthouse - the whole experience is pretty surreal. I just can't imagine what tourists are thinking walking there right now. The good news is these spaces are definitely flagship size and will be the largest this side of NYC.
This isn’t a Philly-specific problem. I’ve seen absolutely insane stuff in NYC when exiting Penn Stn. I’ve seen eye-opening stuff in SF and LA which makes me want hug the Israelites when I return to Philly. And I’ve also seen some shocking shit in Paris.

Tourists either get it and are used to the urban environment, or they are the type that are scared of the world in general.

Until this country places a premium on mental health reform, education reform, pay disparity, and just the overall well-being of its citizens in general, the state of Market Street will be the norm.
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