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The_Amazing_Emu t1_ixuby1k wrote

It’s also more logical. Manhattan doesn’t use downtown for the middle of their city, they use it for the southern part of their city (with uptown being the other side). For some reason, other cities started emulated New York‘s term without copying the reason it exists. Philadelphia didn’t do that, but recognized the middle of the city is center city.


throwaway4206983 t1_ixv2zlr wrote

Huh, TIL. I guess it complicates it a bit that a lot of people use the phrase "Hey come on down some time" in terms of visiting them from basically anywhere, regardless of the technical direction lol


B-BoyStance t1_ixvn78c wrote

I've always said come on up/down depending on the direction they'd be coming from. If they're West I say over

Which all just further complicates it lol


throwaway4206983 t1_ixvo2s5 wrote

I used to correct an ex jokingly about that and I think it pissed her off haha


Prestonelliot t1_ixvos51 wrote

No, this is what I do so i believe it’s correct


and_another_username t1_ixyiaqi wrote

And downashore. Even if west to east. Altitude lowers. So down the shore from anywhere inland still passes


Prestonelliot t1_iy081li wrote

I see where your heads at. Thanks for validating our phrasings lol. But it’s true


and_another_username t1_iy0sq6t wrote

I always use up/down in relation to direction too. If I’m in south philly it’s come on DOWN. Or UP in Bucks county.

But I’m so used to saying down the shore

Even if I was in South Carolina or something and went straight to the shore it’s still ‘down the shore’.
Always and forever. For better or worse lol


Hib3rnian t1_ixuksdv wrote

Transplants: "It's called Center City because blah blah blah..." Natives: "I know where I'm fucking going and that's all that matters."


jmedennis t1_ixunvp3 wrote

Flashbacks to my mom yelling at me as a child, "It's a GRID!"


1live4downvotes t1_ixvd3g7 wrote

flashback to me on the phone with my dad as he was leaving the city and asked me what was the fastest way for him to get home and said he was going to take 9th to spring garden and me having to tell him 9th gets cut off by 676 lol.


joeltheprocess76 t1_ixurlrk wrote

When you look at the original plans of the city. You’ll see William Penn’s layout of 5 squares with city hall being where the center square lies. It’s all measured in the same distance. In fact. If you stand at City Hall. All the streets reset at 0. So you’ll go 100 South Broad which is one Block away. 200 South Broad is 2 blocks away etc


c4seyj0nes t1_ixv96la wrote

And every block is approximately 1/10th of a mile. So if you need to walk from 3rd St to 8th St, you know it’s 0.5 miles. It works north south too with the block numbers: the 1400 S block is about 1.4 miles south of Market St.


1live4downvotes t1_ixvd33j wrote

which still makes me so mad that we have literally 5 subway stops between 2nd street and city hall, and then none between 15th and 30th. Like come on guys... who really though that was the best option?


MonkeyPanls OP t1_ixvqp5b wrote

When the MFL was built, there wasn't any reason to walk around there. Behold, the Chinese Wall.


1live4downvotes t1_ixvt6vr wrote

huh...ok that makes sense for why there is such a huge gap. What doesn't make sense is why they put 5 subway stops over a 1 mile stretch of the city lol. 2 probably all we need, 3 I guess would be nice for anyone stuck in the middle... but literally 1 every 1/5 of a mile is bonkers lol.


bensh_ t1_ixx0u7i wrote

Originally there wasn't going to be a 13th St station, but one John Wanamaker insisted on having a stop right outside his department store.


electric_ranger t1_ixypgqu wrote

John Wannamaker, the first Philadelphian to show off his massive organ outside a subway stop


Shawna_Love t1_ixvltgk wrote

Only north south blocks start at 0 at City Hall. Market St. is the demarcation for north south blocks. But Broad St. is not the dividing line for east west, Front St is.

So one block north or south of Market is 100, and one block east or west of Front St is 100. Broad st is the 1400 block because it is 14 main blocks west of Front. You only really run into east addresses once you get into Fishtown and Port Richmond because people actually live on the other side of Front St.

What's more is that you only have to address mail east or west if there is a corresponding address. You wouldn't say 200 West Market St because there is no East Market St. But you do have to specify between 200 E or 200 W Girard.


joeltheprocess76 t1_ixvmcdf wrote

Correction but yes . Also before they decided to make 14th street Broad. It was going to be 12th


justanawkwardguy t1_ixx7nmq wrote

Well, not every street. Only north-south streets, East-west streeets reset to 0 at front


SBRH33 t1_ixuduhp wrote

City Hall is built geographically in the center of philadelphia- hence. CENTER CITY.


Wuz314159 t1_ixugjmc wrote

Well.... not Philadelphia county. & Old City may disagree. It just seems that way now.
It is inbetween the Delaware & Schuylkill.


SBRH33 t1_ixup0pj wrote

Open google maps and simply look at the orientation/ location of City Hall.

Its in the center of the city.


Wuz314159 t1_ixuva67 wrote

It's 6 miles from City Hall to City Line Avenue... it's 2 miles to Penn's Landing.


DasBeatles t1_ixuvzxu wrote

But we're talking about a time where the city plan had South Street as the southern most part of the city. With city hall being the center. Hence center city.


Wuz314159 t1_ixuw6b2 wrote

No one said that. :(


Away_Swimming_5757 t1_ixwu6lu wrote

It’s implied. We understand that Philly is an old city that has annexed and grown into areas that were previously not-Philly.


beachape t1_ixu5mwg wrote

Paywall. Any chance for a summary?


Queeb_the_Dweeb t1_ixutfas wrote

It is in the center of the city


Zujaz t1_ixx7rbs wrote

Turn off javascript, close browser, reopen browser, load article. Read. Turn on Javascript, close browser, reopen browser, continue with day.


0716718227 t1_ixuhr9t wrote

Excited to use this to continue to upset people by saying that the stadiums are “downtown”


APettyJ t1_ixukuva wrote

Find it interesting that Allentown refers to theirs similarly.i get a kick out of being on 309 up there and seeing signs for "Center City".


bushwhack227 t1_ixxrw5o wrote

Maybe the signs say it, but everyone who lives there calls it downtown


phillysleuther t1_ixvb7ju wrote

I grew up in Bridesburg. It’s always been Center City to me. I was a huge All My Children fan and that was set in the Philly suburbs because the creator of AMC was from Wallingford. It was always called Center City on there, too.


cathie2284 t1_ixxumkr wrote

We are showing our age. I always loved the slight Philly references in All My Children and One Life To Live!!


trostol t1_ixxxh2a wrote

i was today years old learning that lol


hvacthrowaway223 t1_ixujtod wrote

This is silly. It’s center city because it’s the center of a planned city. Even the article only says “people just referred to it as the Center of the City”. It’s the obvious and correct name. I find it so silly that other cities refer to a “downtown” when there isn’t any obvious “down” (unlike Manhattan). Be


tsarstruck t1_ixunpg8 wrote

It's the entirety of the city planned by Penn, not the center of it.


brk1 t1_ixunin1 wrote

I used to dislike the name “center city” but it grew on me. I used to prefer “downtown” but it’s pretty generic.


Von7_3686 t1_ixuon8p wrote

Yeah a lot of actual Philadelphians in the neighborhoods call it downtown still as well.


Mr_Fraunces t1_ixurpo8 wrote

Growing up in the Far Northeast many people called it downtown.


Von7_3686 t1_ixury8u wrote

Shoot North and West Philly. Only the media really said center city when I was younger. It makes more sense why some call it downtown based on the side of town you are on.


APettyJ t1_ixvf992 wrote

Makes since for North Philly, but not for West. Glad I grew up in North, because I can see myself getting into countless petty, time-wasting debates with people calling it downtown if I spent a lot of time in West around people calling it that, much how I challenge people who talk about going "down to New York" while in Philly, or "up to DC".


Von7_3686 t1_ixvfvtd wrote

I mean you are literally going downtown , the numbers of the streets are getting lower. So makes sense, people calling areas uptown is a thing as well, not just in North Philly.


f0rf0r t1_iye8azw wrote

You go down to NY bc it sits at the bottom of the cultural gravity well that the entire rest of the world slowly gets sucked in to.

Like black holes bending space time.


Major_Zucchini5315 t1_ixwyn9h wrote

I grew up in west Philly and everyone called it downtown. If you really want to start a debate ask why there are neighborhoods north of market st referred to as ‘the top’ and ‘the bottom’. 😁


brk1 t1_ixuox1c wrote

If I can change and you can change, everybody can change.


watermelonuhohh t1_ixvqsc0 wrote

Or I’ve heard lots of south Philly people say they have to go “into town” when they mean going to Center City. Like “I have to go into town for this doctors appointment”


KnightMareInc t1_ixwyt3s wrote

Growing up we called it center city but we would always say we were heading downtown.


Frankjc3rd t1_ixw15bh wrote

I grew up with the definition of Center City being River to River and then Vine to South Street. Going by that definition and living in the Spring Garden area / art Museum I thought I was north of Center City but apparently I live in Center City.


thecoffeecake1 t1_ixxmjly wrote

Fuck that, developers don't just get to decide to expand the boundaries of Center City so they can inflate the value of their shitty condos. North Philly starts after Vine and South Philly starts after South.


f0rf0r t1_iye7vkw wrote

Speaking of west poplar lol. All the ads telling you it's center city.


amanor409 t1_ixvsk4s wrote

I visited Charlotte last spring and found out their call their central business district Uptown because it was on the top of a hill. Everybody has to go up to get there and they said they were going up to town.

As for Philly I like how it’s called Center City. It’s pretty much in the center of the city so it makes sense.


CozyMoses t1_ixvzsmo wrote

It's in the center of the city. Center city. Seems pretty straight forward


12kdaysinthefire t1_ixxkbsd wrote

When I was little I thought every big city had a “Center City” and was surprised to find out the term is native to our own. After that relaxation I thought it was kind of cool.


f0rf0r t1_iye7e58 wrote

But "the city" will always be Manhattan, regardless of where in the world you are. I don't make the rules.


Master_Winchester t1_ixvfu1k wrote

Yeah I use downtown as a shortcut of saying I'm going into the city (from a suburb or outer neighborhood). I think of it as the dense urban area inclusive of most central neighborhoods. Then center city is literal the neighborhood known as center city. But that's just my personal use


Academiabrat t1_iy2k9ub wrote

I guess Reading and Allentown followed the term the big city used. Rochester though?

Some big city downtowns are in the center of their city, but many are not. Many are at the edge of their city by the water, like in Chicago and San Francisco.