Son of Yhency

Thursday, November 03, 2005

West Philadelphia, born and raised

When you attend the University of Pennsylvania, one of the first things you learn is that Penn is not Princeton. Obvious, right? Well, it's drilled into you from the second you step on campus as a freshman, mostly from all the "Puck Frinceton" t-shirts. But you come to learn that it really is true. Better academics, better sports program, better city, better everything. Well, almost everything.

Last I checked, sleepy Princeton, New Jersey doesn't have much of a crime problem. Penn, being in West Philadelphia, does. And this year, from reading, the web site of Penn's student-run newspaper, it almost seems as though things have gotten worse, like they're reaching a crescendo. Then I read yesterday's issue. And a few things caught my eye. Because it's not just crime anymore. It's strange crime. For example:

Undercover cops retrieve student's iPod in sting - The Penn Police actually took the time to run a sting operation to catch two 16-year olds who were holding a stolen iPod for ransom. Do they have nothing better to do? (Although it's strange to think that these kids wouldn't just want to keep the iPod instead of trying to get a $100 for it.) As a bonus, some of the reader comments after this article are ludicrously hilarious.

Crime log - Probably one of my favorite running features in the DP from my student days. Just read through some of these items. Half of them contain the words "unattended" or "unlocked". One actually contains the double-whammy of "unattended" and "unsecured". People, you live in West friggin' Philadelphia. Lock your shit up.

Security concerns - The weekly staff editorial call for more security on and around campus. It never comes. This article is more sobering than anything else. Even the reader comments aren't their normal, outlandish self. Sorry.

Gotta love going to a school where you're afraid to walk home after dark. And now that SEPTA workers are on strike -- we can discuss at a later date how a public transportation system came to be called SEPTA -- transportation options are even more limited. What you got on that, P-ton?