Jonathan Papelbon: Philadelphia ‘makes you feel like you are in Paris’

David Brown
Big League Stew

The Baseball Think Factory Newsblog noted an observation that Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon made in Sports Illustrated this past week about his new home city.

Something that would seem to be a ... unique ... observation:

"Philadelphia has a cool feel to it, man,'' Papelbon says. "It's a vibe that the city produces. It makes you feel like you are in Paris. I've never been to Paris, but I've seen it in a lot of movies. I think [Philadelphia] is going to be a great place to live."

Ah, bon, Papelbon. He's "seen it in a lot of movies." Philadelphia is a lot of things — many of them great — but has calling it the Paris of the NL East ever crossed anyone's mind until the speech center in Papelbon's brain decided to blurt that out?

Well, has Papelbon been reading the Philly Post of Philadelphia Magazine?

In a recent post about the Philadelphia International Festival of Arts, blogger Sam Katz made Papelbon's case by bringing up none other than Ben Franklin:

Franklin lived in Paris for nearly six years (1776-1782) and was so beloved by the city that when he died, the French National Assembly mourned him for three days. Philadelphia was the center of the massive political fight over whether to side with the French or the English during their war, and many a Philadelphian lost faith in their country when Washington decided not to support the French.

Nineteenth-century Philadelphia is loaded with Parisian architectural influences. ...

Replacing the neon Liberty Bell at Citizens Bank Park with the Arc de Triomphe would be easy enough. And when Papelbon watches the Philly Phanatic do its thing, he just mentally replaces its head and snout with that of Jerry Lewis. Wasn't the Eiffel Tower there all along in the Philly skyline? Rocky Balboa wore a beret when he knocked out Apollo Creed, of course. And would you like your cheesesteak croissant wit or wit-out? (Patrice's or Jeano's? Jacques? Sacre bleu!)

To me, glimpses of New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., are much more obvious in Philly than the French connection. And I've never been to Paris, either, but I've ... also seen some movies featuring the City of Lights. And if Beldar Conehead comes from France, then Philly can be like "Gay Paris."

And, as the great Mae West is said to have said, "I'd like to see Paris before I die. But Philadelphia will do."

Aside: I've also never been to England, but I kind of like the Beatles.

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