Thursday, May 13, 2010
Twenty-five years ago to the day I arrived in Philadelphia, having been hired as an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania. As I flew in a Piedmont Airlines jet over the city, I looked below me and saw huge plumes of black smoke rising up from a neighborhood west of the west bank of the Schuylkill River. What the hell is going on? What is this city I've come to? The mayor and police had firebombed the MOVE house on Osage Avenue. Welcome to Philly, Al. Now, a quarter century later, I live on Osage Avenue.