Oh, so now Philly is the rudest city? Yeah? What of it?

Stephanie Farr
The Philadelphia Inquirer

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia was ranked as the rudest city in the United States in  a recent study by the jabronis over at Preply, a language learning app, who said they surveyed 1,500 residents of the 30 largest metro areas in the nation and asked them to rate the rudeness of their own cities.

Obviously, they’ve never seen the iconic Philly billboard that read: “Philadelphia isn’t as bad as Philadelphians say it is.”

In an article outlining its incendiary findings, Preply said it conducted the study to “help travelers determine what to expect when visiting.”

Listen, we’ll tell you what to expect when visiting Philly — cool sites, great food, and a level of honesty from the city’s people that some whiny babies are obviously not prepared for.

In Philly, we’re not going to smile to your face and talk trash behind your back. You’re going to know what we think of you the minute you look at our faces, which are creased with the lines of all the fools who’ve tested us before.

That’s not being rude, that’s just being straightforward, as Twitter user

@HeckPhiIIy said:

“If your breath stinks, Philly will be like ‘your f---- breath is hot as f---, dawg.’ Whereas, Louisville, or somewhere, might just offer you a piece of gum.”

Pedestrians cross 10th Street in the Chinatown neighborhood of Philadelphia, Friday, July 22, 2022. Organizers and members of Philadelphia's Chinatown say they were surprised by the 76ers' announcement that they hope to build a $1.3 billion arena just a block from the community’s gateway arch. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

No. 1: In the survey, residents were asked to rate the rudeness of their city on a scale of 1 to 10. Philadelphia came in first with an average rudeness of 6.43, just ahead of Memphis, Tennessee, which rated 6.05, and New York City, which was rated 6.0.

“If you’re familiar with American culture, this may not come as a shock to you,” said the brash article outlining the findings. “Although nicknamed the ‘City of Brotherly Love,’ Americans typically stereotype Philadelphians as rude, but locals tend to attribute their behavior to a feeling of insularity in the city.”

If you’ve spent any time at all in Philly, you’ll know that the people here are far from insular. Perhaps nowhere else in the world are you more likely to be hit up for a conversation by a random stranger.

Last year, I was talking to myself at a City Hall crosswalk (it was a long day) and an older gentleman came up and asked me if I was talking to myself.

“Yeah, I make pretty good company,” I said.

“I do that too,” he said, and then he talked with me as we waited for the light to change and we walked across the street together.

This man literally started a conversation with me so I wouldn’t just be having one by myself, and in doing so, he reminded me why I love Philly so much.

Mariah Wetherby, 4, and Tyler Wetherby, of Pitman, New Jersey, feed a giraffe at the new giraffe feeding encounter at the Philadelphia Zoo. (Monica Herndon/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)

No one does it better’: Five months ago, a post on Philly reddit, titled “Philly people are the warmest people I’ve ever met,” highlighted this point and denounced the “‘people in Philadelphia are rude’ stereotype.”

“Sure, if you act like an a— then you’re going to get called out for it, like you should. But if you just act like a normal considerate adult, so many strangers are happy to have a conversation about anything at all,” the reddit user wrote. “Godd— I love this town. Thank you Philly for another wonderful visit and great conversations with random strangers. No one does it better than you.”

But it’s not just conversations. I’ve sung with strangers on the streets of Philly more times than I can count now. Once, while walking down Market Street, I encountered a guy pushing a cart who was singing “Looovin’ you is easy cause you’re beautiful” at the top of his lungs. I couldn’t help but sing back “do do do do do dooo AAaaah!”

“Yeah, that’s right! You like that song?” he asked.

“Who doesn’t?” I said.

FILE - Pop artist Claes Oldenburg's "Clothespin" sculpture is displayed in the Center City section of Philadelphia on Friday, March 1, 2002. Oldenburg died Monday, July 18, 2022, in Manhattan, according to his daughter, Maartje Oldenburg. He had been in poor health since falling and breaking his hip a month ago. He was 93. (AP Photo/Dan Loh, File)

Maybe a little much: According to respondents in the Preply survey, Philly’s biggest faux pas is talking on speaker phone in public.

OK, this, I can confirm. I’ve been in way too many public bathrooms in Philly where the person in the stall next to me is having a full-on conversation on speaker phone. Ma’am, you may somehow be OK with the person on the other end hearing you pee, but I was not prepared to have my trip to the bathroom broadcast to strangers.

The survey also claims that Philly’s locals (people born and raised in the city) are ruder than non-locals who moved here later in life. They were ranked the rudest locals nationwide.

But it’s all about how you approach locals here in Philly. As Twitter user Bill Hangley Jr. said earlier this year: “Wot I like about Our Town is that people come back at you the way you come at them. Come hard and you’ll get hard back. Come loving and you’ll get love back.”

Twitter user @jplus gave a real-life example in May, when they wrote: “If someone nearly runs me over and i yell ‘watch it’ or ‘pay attention’ they lose their sh— but if i just go ‘YOOOOOO’ they’re like ‘sorry my bad.’”

Is Philly a perfect city? Far from it. Can people be incredibly rude here? Oh yes. But it’s not all people. It’s not even most, not even close. There are incredible acts of kindness between strangers and friends happening in Philly all the time.

And don’t let some stupid survey tell you any differently.

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