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13 Unique Qualities That Could Only Mean You’re From Philadelphia

Life’s not about how hard of a hit you can give… it’s about how many you can take, and still keep moving forward. – Rocky Balboa

It's clichéd to quote “Rocky” in an article about Philly, but it's actually the most Philly thing one can do. Because honestly, the only people reading this are Philly people and people from Philadelphia always appreciate a good “Rocky” quote.

I mean, is there any better representation of Philadelphia, its culture and its people than the only good film Sylvester Stallone has ever starred in?

Yet Philadelphia is so much more than “Rocky.” It’s a blood type that runs through us, the same blood that ran through Billie Holiday, Will Smith and Grace Kelley. It’s a thick blood, a brotherly blood, that courses to the sound of jazz. It’s got deep roots and an even deeper history and all of it is exemplified in its people.

Even as we move away, the blood of our home continues to course through as. For those born in Philadelphia, there are these innate traits we carry with us throughout every move.

We're disposed, but we're not diluted. We go to other cities, but we never lose our identity. While we may change the way we dress, eat and talk, we will never change those characteristics that make us who we are: Philadelphians.

People love us or they love to hate us, but at least they have some sort of feeling about us. We may be known for significant landmarks and rowdy fans, but we’re also known for our heritage and our soul. We’re known for cradling some of the greatest in music, television and comedy.

We gave a welcoming stage to Bill Cosby and Bob Saget. We housed authors like Pearl S. Buck and nurtured the iconic Frankie Avalon. We were home to Wilt Chamberlin, Julius Erving and Charles Barkley. We’re a city rich in culture and history, and most importantly, we gave roots to The Roots.

While we have our impressive roster, like “Rocky,” we’re many times perceived as the underdog. We're a city that doesn't have the glamor and prestige of the great New York or the impressive canals of Chicago, but we’ve got something else. We have tenacity and fight.

As the fifth biggest city in the United States, we're like the younger brother who only wants to take on the oldest. And that’s how our people are. We’re rowdy, obnoxious, tenacious and easy to love. So if you’re ever unsure if you’ve run into someone from the city of Philadelphia, here are the 13 traits you can’t miss.

They’ve got that soul.

Whether you had the opportunity to enter a jazz club or not (shame on you), the roots of Philadelphia’s jazz scene shaped you… even if you don’t necessarily realize it. A city built on jazz, it was home to Billie Holiday and later to John Coltrane and became known as a refuge for jazz musicians all over the world. The spirit of that time still runs strong through the Philly streets.

We’re a city of soul and blues and anyone you meet from there will always be a little deeper.


They know how to spot a real cheesesteak.

Pat’s, Genos, Jim’s. Everyone’s got their favorite but only people from Philly know why. They understand what a real cheesesteak is and whether you’re team wiz or team American, your choice is your own.

But only a real Philadelphian can give you a true critique on a cheesesteak because they know, down to the bun, what the standard is.


They never call cream cheese “schmear.”

New York gets the credit for the bagel and Philadelphia gets the cream cheese. But if we’re being real here, there’s no such thing as a good bagel without good cream cheese. You can have good cream cheese, however, without a good bagel.

They also call it by its dignified name, because, we have some pride.


They have passion for anything.

Call our fans intense, obnoxious, rude, ridiculous… but never say they’re not passionate. Philadelphia sports fans have been cheering on the losing team since before the Phillies got Chase Utley.

We’ve supported Andy Reid through hell and back and let’s not forget Allen Iverson…


They’ll stick with the underdog its whole life.

While we’ve been to the Super Bowl twice, the Eagles have never actually won the title… but you’d never know it. We’ve been supporting our birds like they’re the 76ers back in 1967 or ’83. Or what about the Phillies? We were supporting them for years before they went on to win the World Series in 2008 and we’re still waiting for the next one.

If there’s one thing about Philadelphians, they know a thing or two about loyalty.


They never cancel games on account of the weather.

Tailgates rain or shine. Hot dogs and beers in the snow. Games through a nor’easter… we’ll stick it out through anything.


They can quote all the lines from “Rocky” and “Rocky 2,” but not “Rocky 3” because that one sucked.

Reporter: Where did you get the name, “The Italian Stallion”?

Rocky: Oh I made that up one night while I was eating dinner.

There’s no more honest representation of true Philadelphian than that…


They will always defend Will Smith.

“In West Philadelphia, born and raised,” wasn’t just a catchy line made up for the bomb intro of a bomb show. That’s the story of the Fresh Prince’s life and we’re damn proud to be part of it.

There’s really no better representative of Philadelphia than Will Smith. He exudes that Philly vibe.


They got more than one hood, so they got more than one hard side.

We don’t have Harlem, we have West Philly. We don’t have the Bronx, we have North Philly. We don’t have Boston’s South Side, we have South Philly. We’re as dynamic as any major city like Chicago or New York, and we’ll make sure you know it.


They call their grandfather Bill Cosby.

He’s like that lovable grandfather we all wanted. He was strict, but never stern. He was funny, but never loud. He was a jazz lover and a comedian; what’s a more Philadelphian grandfather than that?


They have a randomly strong appreciation for art.

The Philadelphia Art Museum and the Barnes Foundation are two impressive and culturally important pieces of every Philadelphian’s history. We grow up going on field trips to the museum that sits like more of a palace, residing over the people of the small but proud city.

We have unlimited access to the greatest artists in the world.


They understood street art… before Banksy.

Philadelphia has a notoriously robust street art scene. A large part of the city's cultural identity is captured in the intense murals and glass art mosaics that cover the city.

So let’s just say, before Banksy gave hipsters something to do, Philadelphians were supporting local graffiti artists for years. The streets are a living testament to the soul and vibrancy to a city that’s just got… soul.


They use hard A’s and soft T’s.

It’s not Mar-tin, it’s Mart-in… If we want to get into technicalities of the Philadelphian trademark, then the accent is definitely one of them.

Not as obnoxious as Boston or as deep as the South, Philadelphia has its own subtle and sometimes quirky way of speaking that every Philadelphian hears and immediately feels at home again.

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Lauren Martin

Freelance Contributor

Lauren Martin is a Senior Lifestyle Writer at Elite Daily. After graduating from PSU, she moved to NYC to write fart jokes at Smosh Magazine. Making her way to ED, she now writes riveting commentary on nude pics, condoms and first dates.
Lauren Martin is a Senior Lifestyle Writer at Elite Daily. After graduating from PSU, she moved to NYC to write fart jokes at Smosh Magazine. Making her way to ED, she now writes riveting commentary on nude pics, condoms and first dates.

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