Vickie Fernandez starts her Metropolis piece somewhat unexpectedly—on the toilet:
Mid squat, in the basement bathroom at the Pub on East Passyunk, I overhear a statuesque hipster girl in a granny frock and oversized black rimmed glasses (that albeit aren't prescription) say, "I'm so glad we moved here, this nabe is like, so much more choice than Brooklyn ever was." While we're not sure we needed to know she was peeing when she heard that (nor that she "giggled and wiped" afterward), it's a revealing moment. A girl who moved to East Passyunk from Brooklyn overhears another girl who moved to East Passyunk from Brooklyn—and both of them have embraced the neighborhood, and the city, in all its sixth-borough glory, wholeheartedly.
And why shouldn't they? East Passyunk has become a mini Brooklyn in so many ways, though still marked by insistent juxtapositions that keep things interesting. Listen to the way Fernandez describes the small moments that define her everyday:
The hipsters are now my friends they cut my hair at Fringe Salon and sell me coffee at Black and Brew. I pay way too much for produce at the Acme and when I'm sad I walk down to Adobe on my own and sing karaoke with the regulars. ... On nights when I need to get out but don't have the wherewithal to cab it to Center City, I grab a six pack of assorted ales at The Bottle Shop and sit outside the Green Olives Café and smoke hookah with the staff. They teach me words in Arabic while teenagers sit on the benches of the now vacant Colombo's sipping beer from paper bags shirking their curfews.
... I feel safe but know that beyond the parameters of this quaint thoroughfare lies danger for a girl in skinny jeans and heels at this hour. Closer to home, I watch bearded boys with tattooed knuckles cling to their tiny girlfriends sporting asymmetrical haircuts and hear snippets of musings from the mixture of rockabilly girls and popped collar wearing Jerseyites spilling out of Adobe and Lucky 13.
My Philadelphia: East Passyunk [Metrolpolis]