It seems my whole life is being gentrified right out from under me. I have ruminated about this before. Millennium, the homo home room, was rent increased into oblivion. The coffee never was any good. Silk City Diner and its adjacent band /DJ venue has been sold to a resstauranteur who will sweep away the Formica countertops and P. A. system and replace it with - I don't know what exactly, but I'm sure you won't be able to get out of the place for less than thirty bucks. Their coffee wasn't any good either, but they DID have real maple syrup, corn cakes, and homemade chocolate bread pudding.
The payoff for living in a dirty provincial city with an inferiority complex and totally dysfunctional public transportation system, was that it was cheap and convenient, and easy to get around. Now traffic is backed up everywhere around luxury condominium construction sites and all the parking is taken up by the people who live in the first wave of recent development or have driven in from elsewhere to buy expensive clothes in the mall and chain stores which now line Chestnut and Walnut streets. They choose from any number of former diners and coffee shops transformed into cafes for their lunch break, while I now have to travel a mile from my studio to find a not yet closed down hardware store.
Philadelphia had always been kinda crummy - the scruffiness and lack of pretentions was its charm. It used to feel like a particular place, with a specific if slightly hostile attitude. More and more it's becoming just like anywhere and everywhere; sparkling with a veneer of plenty and the well scrubbed and dramatically lit banality of controlled environments and manufactured experiences.
I miss my city.