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With the Flyers-Bruins series coming up, Dave Beard at Boston.com wanted to know if I could cook up eight things a Bostonian needs to know about Philadelphia.
I grew up outside Beantown, and while my Rally hockey skates bear Bobby Orr's signature, I've been a Flyers fan since the time I saw Ron Hextall protect his crease with a broadsword. (What can I say, I'm territorial.)
It didn't take long to adjust to this city, where I've lived now for nearly 20 years - longer than anywhere else. These places are not that much different. One might be a bit more pretentious than the other. (You think?) The other could use a little confidence. We share lots of red brick and cobblestones, funny accents, and a love of grinders and gamers who give their all.
So here's what I told my old town about my new one, as we renew a rivalry that began in colonial days and is certain to be rekindled on the diamond this fall:
1. Philly's where Bostonians go to achieve greatness. See: Ben Franklin, polymath, and Bernie Parent, goaltender.
2. If you come, try one of our beloved sandwiches. Just get over Pat's or Geno's or Jim's and find Paesano's. Get the roast suckling pig with broccoli rabe. Leave the yellow and black jerseys in the hotel.
3. Boston may have the Museum of Fine Arts and the Fogg, but we've got the Stoogeum - the world's only Three Stooges museum. We've also got the Insectarium, the Mummers Museum, and the Mutter Museum. The last features a giant colon, the soap woman, and "the Secret Tumor of Grover Cleveland."
4. You'll find your way around here a little easier. William Penn's surveyor laid us out in a grid - an improvement over the cow paths that became your byways. Like you, we've got a lot of Indian names. "Manayunk" still means "the place to go drink." "Schuylkill" is what our rivers used to do to the fish.
5. Don't yiz go asking for directions. We won't understand you, you won't understand us. Practice to yizselves: Fluff-ya Floiers. Still confused? Ha-ow na-ow bra-own ca-ow.
6. Bring cash. The Parking Authority starred in a TV series for a reason - it's brutally efficient. But there are tricks: For some reason (having to do with political muscle) cars park in the middle of Broad Street in South Philadelphia. Don't even try doing that in North Philadelphia.
7. We're no dummies - we've got 65 colleges and grad schools in the metropolitan area, and that doesn't even include Princeton or the Ralph Amodei International Institute of Hair Design and Technology.
8. We hate New York as much as you do.