Once in a while when traveling to work I’ll have the foresight to actually check the traffic report. Sometimes they will report that I-95 north is blocked because of an accident or there’s construction on I-76 east. In these scenarios, I will take Roosevelt Blvd the whole way down into the very end of the northeast section of Philadelphia.
The difference between taking the highways and roosevelt blvd is stark. When taking highways, I cruise through the border of Philadelphia, right through the city, and back around to the border to finally reach my destination. Although it’s geographically longer, the trip takes much less time because without accidents or hiccups, I’m going 80 mph. The skyline is completely different. You see the skyscrapers on your way there, and on your way out it’s in the rear view mirror. This is why I much prefer to take the highway.
Taking Roosevelt Blvd is a descent into the true heart of this country. A 6 lane major artery through the dregs of north philly into the northeast. Where I start from in Manayunk it’s a somewhat wealthier neighborhood college town of white prep kids. Start down the Roosevelt Blvd and you hit inner city blacks pretty quick. The beautiful tire shops and broken to shit row homes with trash everywhere are breath taking. Keep going, and slowly but surely you start to hit poor as fuck white trash that is the heart of northeast philadelphia. Somehow, this area still is battling the black vs white neighborhood battles of the 1950’s and 60s with no end in sight. Either the whites are too stupid to fucking move, or they are stubborn enough to think that neighborhood beefs actually fucking matter.
It’s this white vs black area that you will often find a people in the big grass median of this enormous street asking for donations. They have signs that read “Please help”. Driving down the street I can’t help but wonder how in the hell they ended up in this situation in life. What separates them from me?
Is all of this down to a difference of a few iq points? Is it some kind of autism that exists in the homeless that they refuse to take any shit from anyone, unless it’s of their own accord. Surely they understand that the life they live is not desirable, but they persist every day in their current path despite no hope of change.
Who’s the most realistic in this story? The guy driving to work for a shit wage, being underpaid for essentially running a major part of a drug dealing operation, or the guy in the middle of the street asking for change but knowing exactly who he is?