- Chestnut Hill - Might be an ok place to live. Has a lot of charming stores and good neighbourhood feel. Merits another trip to explore more throughly; I need to make sure that the whole place doesn't shut down in the evening. Better than Narberth.
- Mount Airy - Once I passed through the border, I found myself in a big fields/woods area, which was kind of neat, but it began to feel shady and had a lot less charm than Chestnut Hill. Nay.
- Germantown - Fuck no. Horrible place (or I was sampling a particularly unpleasant part of it). This was a terrible slum, and worse yet, practically every block had a little slumchurch (some two), some with pretty threatening or offensive names (convert them all ministries! sword of god ministries!). If there had been a quarter of them, I would've thought "man, this neighbourhood has a lot of churches". As-is, there is no way I will consider living anywhere near the place (apart from it otherwise being a lousy neighbourhood).
- Walked on to Wayne Junction, which went right through shady and out the other side to being wicked cool. Pretended I was in a post-apocalyptic wasteland until the train showed up. While on the train, I decided on where I'd spend my evening (yay Android-based browsing), and rode my way to...
- Market East, which felt like a different take on NYC. Cleaner, and the train stop was in the basement of a gimongous mall. Left, to find myself in a downtown-y area (at least, what would be downtown for Pgh). Walked a fair ways, and went to...
- The Good Karma Cafe. This is the first entirely acceptable teahouse/coffeeshop I've found in Philadelphia. It is open late (10pm). They have a cute patio in the back (reminds me of my favourite 24-hour place in NYC). They have the Ginger Beer I love, good tea, and decent little snacks. They have reliable wireless. They're small enough that I might get to know the regulars (maybe a bit on the smallish side). w00t. I might come here pretty often while I'm still living in the area. I will have to get used to the walk to the train stations needed to get back home, but that'll be fine. This probably isn't enough to keep me in the city, but it will make my time here a lot more comfortable.
Recently I had another brutally frank conversation with someone in an online community I'm in, relating to how I was acting presumptuous and pushy. Some of this is not directly a character fault - I don't normally believe in authority or power structures, and see communities as having goals and philosophies that define how they approach those goals. When I join such a community, I wait for awhile to discern the philosophy, and when I can, from "first principles", derive the existing rules, I feel vested in exercising independent judgement and taking part in mutual nudging with others towards our shared goals. Anyone with formal authority gets the last word, but I expect that to be a reserve power and for everyone to generally "get it" enough that that's rarely necessary. This doesn't work very well with people who expect/run a different kind of power structure; they might feel that I'm disrespecting *them*. There's that, and that I often assume I'm better at doing this kind of derivation (it being a philosophical task) than most other people and that unless I hear other people reasoning out loud on these matters, I don't tend to respect their judgement as much as my own (and so I might try to nudge them more on what to do). This might rightly be considered arrogant. In general, my respect is not the easiest thing to earn, and because I'm fairly (but not entirely) focused on intellectual development and cultural production as how I measure people, ... this might play a role in how I tend to be more respected than liked. At least, this is how I'm thinking now, after having sufficient time to consider that long conversation. With regards to that specific community, I need to push my inner workings enough to be comfortable with the authority of its leader, and in general, I should probably try to gradate how I treat people a little bit less steeply. I care about everyone, and do want to see everyone flourish culturally and intellectually (I want to fund and reform the hell out of the educational system), but I should give people the benefit of the doubt more often, and try not to be as dismissive of even people who are not necessarily thinking at levels I think they should. I don't expect this to be enough to make me popular or get me invited to parties, but it might make me at least a bit more likable.
Unrelated, Elizabeth Warren is preparing to run for Senate in Massachusetts. Awesome! ... in an ideal world, I'd like to see her and Bernie Sanders on a presidential ticket, but that's a pretty wild fantasy.