Philadelphia Story: The Next Borough

I read a great article in the NY Times this morning. Essentially people are starting to move from very expensive NY to much less expensive Philly, and are finding that Philly is actually a cool place to live! Exciting times for Philly.

The article made a point to say that

Philadelphians occasionally refer to their city – somewhat deprecatingly – as the “sixth borough” of New York, and with almost 8,000 commuters making the 75-minute train ride between the cities each weekday, the label seems not far off the mark.

However I have yet, in my 4 years of living here, heard anyone refer to Philly as the 6th Borough of NY. I have heard many other snide comments, but not one like that. Though I did notice, after visiting a friend in Brooklyn, that it reminded me a lot of Philly.

Take a read here at and in the picture are a few of the NY transplants. Welcome to Philly!

13 Comments so far

  1. Marisa (unregistered) on August 15th, 2005 @ 4:17 pm

    I was planning on posting about that article as well. I found it interesting, but kind of insulting. Philadelphia is a unique and vital city and has been with or without transplanted New Yorkers. My family has lived in this city (with the exception of my own parents) for generations, and many of them have been artists, musicians and radicals. It didn’t take a stint in New York for my great-grandfather, a violinist in the Philadelphia Orchestra, to know that this was the city in which to make his home. I understand that the article was written for a New York audience, but there was something about how our city was presented that rubbed me the wrong way.

  2. Jay V (unregistered) on August 15th, 2005 @ 10:07 pm

    Hah. More like Philly, the BEST Borough of New York. No, I’m not reading the article. I don’t need to know how awesome this town I live a stone’s throw from is, and I certainly don’t need no one from NYC telling me, neither.

    Yes, I know I use incorrect grammar even when I write. I prefer it that way.

  3. suzanne (unregistered) on August 16th, 2005 @ 4:02 am

    Yeah, I found this article insulting, too.
    OH WOW!
    Philadelphia can’t have it’s own personality! We MUST be a mini NYC clone! There is some unwritten rule somewhere that says that we have to always be the step-child of someone else instead of standing on our own two feet as a town.

  4. dennis (unregistered) on August 16th, 2005 @ 11:42 am

    the 6th borough? gimme a break. new yorkers are so freakin arrogant. if anything new york can be our 2nd borough. a message to new yorkers: stay up in the toliet bowl where you belong and keep out of phila.

  5. Sherri W. (unregistered) on August 16th, 2005 @ 1:05 pm

    Silly, silly reporter! Doesn’t she know that Hoboken is NYC’s sixth borough? ;)

    I have more thoughts on this all, but it will have to wait until the end of the workday—my lunch hour is almost up, and it’s back to the grind….

  6. Ian (unregistered) on August 16th, 2005 @ 1:39 pm

    Just an update, I was doing some reading and read that Jessica Pressler is in fact a freelance writer for both the Times and Philly Weekly. Her title for the Weekly is a gossip columnist and she actually lives in Society Hill. So maybe this was intended to advertise Philly to NY? Try googling “6th Borough of NY” and see the actuall places people call the 6th Borough of NY.

  7. Nicole J. (unregistered) on August 17th, 2005 @ 8:40 pm

    I’d be interested in knowing how many average Philadelphians know or care how many boroughs New York has. That story was a fluffy invitation for New Yorkers to come colonize “provincial” Philadelphia. The journalism was iffy in that piece. Definitely an insult to any self-respecting Philadelphian.

  8. jimmm (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 3:11 pm

    Heh. New York colonizing the smelly burg on the western half of the Franklin bridge. Quel amusing.

    Nicole: There is NO SUCH THING as a “self-respecting Philadelphian.” Lack of self-respect is why you’re there in the first place.

  9. Brian J (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 5:57 pm

    Jimmm, what a gift you have! I’m guessing you are a frustrated New Yawker wannbe living somewhere in Pennsauken.

  10. Rob of Jersey City (unregistered) on November 8th, 2005 @ 10:31 pm

    Please we all know Jersey City is New York’s true 6th borough. We are building and improving quicker than it’s outer boroughs such as Brooklyn. We have taken more busniess away from NY than any other single city in the surrounding area. Also geographically it makes sense but I rather be a part of Jersey and not generalized into the New Yorker catagory. Jersey strong and proud.

  11. Rob of Jersey City (unregistered) on November 8th, 2005 @ 10:34 pm
    Jersey City is most notably considered NYs sixth borough and this site confirms it as well as the many other sites listed on here.

  12. George (unregistered) on December 4th, 2005 @ 6:57 pm

    Who cares? NYC, Boston, and Washington have all lost a greater percentage of their populations than Philly did last year. Philly lost about 6,500 residents, which statistically is nil. I think the Census Bureau considers this loss due to people having smaller families, not a net loss of people leaving vs. coming to the city. People are realizing Philly is a great place to be, so we are going to, in all probability, see more articles like this. As for Jersey City, I am sure it is a great place to sleep (I slept comfortably there). I spent the rest of the time in Manhattan. I am sure Jersey City has something going for it that I did not take the time to see (time constraints), but no city, whether Jersey City or Philadelphia, should come to appreciate itself because of its distance from NYC. If there is a “sixth borough,” I am sure Jersey City is it because it is so much closer to NYC. But each city has a different feel and a hidden potential, whether its the continuous mix of people who come from New York or elsewhere to populate or re-populate its neighborhoods or the local culture, music, and history of the place that makes it something just as special and unique. Instead of defining a city’s greatness by the number of post-September 11th jobs it has garnered from NYC, it would be best to show WHY a city is great. It doesn’t take much for we Philadelphians to do that (though we sometimes forget). BTW, this is not to pick on Rob of Jersey City; I am using his comments only to show the people of Philly that it is pointless to take offense to Ms. Pressler’s “commentary.” If New Yorkers, or whoever wants to think of Philly as the sixth borough, that is fine by me. Just don’t cheer for the Giants, Rangers, Islanders, Mets, or Knicks at any bar within a 50-mile radius or our city. And I saw enough of Jersey City to realize that that city’s history and future is, and will always be, inevitably tied to New York City’s. There is nothing wrong with that. Take pride in the fact that people who choose to call your city home find something special in it also, whether it is the nice brownstone homes near the waterfront, the new skyscrapers, the people who live there, or its price compared to NYC. And maybe, just maybe, they would rather live in Jersey City rather than NYC because Jersey City, like Philadelphia, is not, and will never be, NYC.

  13. Edward (unregistered) on March 2nd, 2006 @ 8:38 pm

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