First, let’s say this: There’s a lot of things that we’re grateful for, things we’ve already got (our parks, our playgrounds, a new Home Goods … and everything on this list!) and things that we’re getting: easier bus transit for strollers, for instance; the dissolution of the SRC; a new movie theater; Nibble & Squeak, which sounds cool; and about a million new places to eat this year. So don’t take this letter the wrong way: We’re happy with Philly. Mostly. Most of the time. But since you’re taking requests, well … we have a few. Like, for instance:
Schools that are well-funded and more ardently, passionately supported by the city government, city businesses and city neighbors.
Hey, why not start with the biggest ask!? This would be the gift to end all gifts — and not just for parents, but for the future of Philly. So consider this an ask from everyone in this city. Thank you.
Sidewalks that don’t suck.
Not only did this recent op-ed from Philly.com get it totally right, but if people wanted to get better at picking up their garbage, dog poop and other detritus that makes navigating this city both difficult and disgusting for those of us with small children or strollers … well, that’d be an awesome bonus.
A mega-pass for museums and attractions.
Here’s the dream: A mega-membership option that would allow one lump sum ($300? $400? $500?) to cover access to, say, the Please Touch Museum, the Academy of Natural Sciences, The Franklin Institute, the PMA, the Barnes and the Zoo. Or maybe just all the museums on the Parkway. Or all the Old City museums. You get the idea. Maybe memberships don’t even need to be unlimited access — maybe three or four trips a year to each place. Just spit-ballin’ here.
More kids’ shoe stores in the city.
Have you ever tried to guess a kid’s size and order on Amazon, Santa? Our delivery-based carbon footprint (no pun intended here) triples every time our kid outgrows his or her shoes. Oh, for more brick-and-mortars where they can actually try shoes on before we buy them. You know. Like the olden days.
More public places with areas that allow for breast-pumping.
Bathrooms don’t count.
Better child tax credits for working families.
I suspect even you can’t pull this off at this particular moment in time. But hey. Maybe a Christmas miracle?
More speed bumps and more stop signs in residential neighborhoods.
I would like to stop screaming at strangers in my neighborhood to SLOW DOWN like I’m some sort of crazy person yelling in the street. (Actually, no, like I’m my mother, who also used to do this, embarrassing me to no end.) (But also, seriously, SLOW DOWN.)
More places where we can drink coffee and/or work while our kids play.
PlayArts and Nest are great for this. Can we get about 15 more of these places, please? Or a new model: Quiet cafes or co-working spaces for women with children … with babysitting?!
A kinder, gentler city.
Forgive the schmaltz here, please. But quoth my four-year-old: “Why is everyone always honking so much?” Santa, the gift of a little more patience for one another — while very un-Philly — would be great.
That’s all for now, Santa. Thanks for the consideration. We’ll be sure to bake you some sort of awesome cookie this year (assuming we find the time to make them?). Otherwise, you’ll get these, which are also pretty awesome.