Philly on the rise

POSTED BY Ted Youngs on Dec 12, 2008

When Ben Franklin died, Philadelphia's biggest booster disappeared. Ever since, this metropolis has seen its share of dark days. Historically, it has been financially and culturally eclipsed by New York, its citizen's bombed by their own police force (see MOVE), and its government renowned for its corruption. It remains a city for high-contrast living, where a 2-block walk can take you from regal mansions to boarded-up row houses.

That said, Philadelphia’s civic and cultural pride are on the upswing. The Phillies won this year’s World Series for the first time in 28 years (as this Shalgo t-shirt proclaims).

And Comcast installed the world's largest LED display in the lobby of its new headquarters in Center City. Beyond being big (85' x 25') and beautiful, this wall is also a reminder of the way digital experience can draw people together.

While watching the wall's programming morph from sky scraper window cleaners (at top) to the intricate gears of a clock to a traversal flute to a view of the sky surrounded by a canopy of leaves (below), I also saw the people of Philadelphia using the lobby as a new meeting point--and point of pride--in their lives. I'm a bit jealous.


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