In summary, I don’t think Philly is an angry city. I think people in Philly are actually very nice for the most part. Every city has nasty people in it, ours just get a lot of attention (most likely due to Eagles fans). My belief is that Philly is probably the most “real” city in the country. People in the Midwest cities (Kansas City, Cincinnati, etc) are really nice, but repress a lot of anger. Pacific coast cities (San Francisco) have people that are nice, but are completely phony about it while repressing anger. Philly doesn’t have phonies or repression. If people are pissed, they’re going to tell you. People also need to realize that there’s just a certain way to talk to people from Philadelphia in that people from Philly don’t like being talked down on, treated like they’re stupid, being told what to do by an authority who lacks power, or being double-crossed. Translation: Philadelphians hate all the things that everyone, regardless of city hates. We’re just open about showing emotions about these triggers.
I do like Philly. And I agree, the people here are very genuine and diverse. But the comment about SF really touched a nerve.
San Francisco is one of the most un-pretentious, open-minded, curious, freethinking, ‘genuine’ cities in the country. From SOMA to Marina to Pacific Heights to Cole Valley to Inner Richmond to Sunset to Chinatown to Presidio to Bayview….people are gonna tell you what they think, if they feel like it. What exactly about SF is phony? The manner of speaking? You don’t need to yell or use four-letter words in excess to get your point across (though many do, just like in Philly). There is repressed anger, you say? Not from what I’ve seen in the nearly two decades I’ve lived there. Maybe people who don’t seem to express themselves angrily often really don’t have very many deep-seated repression of such angry feelings. This could be because a) they are truly happy living in such a magnificent place (and why wouldn’t they be? Economy? Better than numbers would predict. Location? Great. People? Great. Weather? GREAT.)—just like in Philly. Or b) they address their concerns and thankfully have said concerns fixed, even if doesn’t happen a lot—just like in Philly. Or c) they just don’t care and let it roll off their back and move on—just like in Philly.
SF is every bit as “real” as Philadelphia, or NYC, or Boston, or Houston, or Seattle, or Atlanta, or Denver….or any other city out there. There are simply too many people in these large cities to make such a brazen generalization like that. I get defending your own city, but there isn’t a need to bring down others in the process. I’d really like to know where in SF you went and how long the duration of your stay was to arrive at such a (wrong) conclusion. It’s like me going to Wharton and declaring the entire city of Philadelphia privileged and money-hungry. No way, man.
People from SF—and every other part of the world—don’t like being talked down to either. Just so we’re clear.
(For the record, I’ve never heard this question asked about/of Philadelphians. Not since I’ve moved here and never before that, either.)