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About gratitude

Penn’s Angela Duckworth is an expert on gratitude—among other important character traits—and has a handbook to get you on the path to being your most grateful self.

We summarize it here:

Thank you, Philly!

Philadelphians on what they’re most grateful for about their city—and how they love it back

Thank you, Philly!

Philadelphians on what they’re most grateful for about their city—and how they love it back

Philadelphians love their city, and it shows—in the way we fiercely defend it from critics, join together to champion our heroes, work as neighbors to make it a better and more livable city, in big and small ways.

And why not? There is so much to appreciate about the place we call home.

In honor of Thanksgiving, we asked some fellow Philadelphians to tell us why they love their city—and what they do for it (and all of us) in return.

Michael Mimes, PhD,Marine Corps Vet

What are you most grateful for about Philly?

I’m passionate about the city. I’m not always happy about our reputation, but it’s built on the fact that we are hard workers—we’re no-nonsense, work hard, as indicated by the Rocky statue. I love being a Philadelphian—I wear it as a badge of honor. I love some of the restaurants, like Rose Tattoo and Max’s Steaks, which has some of the best steak sandwiches in the city. I’m proud of our basketball team and our football team most of the time, just the camaraderie that you have. I love the atmosphere. People just want to do the right thing, get their kids through school, own a home, and just be left the heck alone.

How do you love Philly back?

I’m volunteering for the American Diabetes Association. So many people, especially people of color, are unfortunately diagnosed with diabetes and it can be a really devastating disease if you are diagnosed and don’t take care of yourself.

Jay Meadway with his rescue dog, Sam

What are you grateful for?

I really like that Philly has such a vibrant residential area mixed in with its business district. There are many cities that don’t have that. I haven’t seen another city that I would be as happy in.

How do you love Philly back?

I’m fairly recently retired. I volunteered for a while with the Center for Literacy, working with adult literacy issues and English as a second language.

Jon Jones

What are you most thankful for in Philly?

I’m thankful for the good people. And the fact that they let us rock out and skate!

Felice Fischer, Curator of East Asian Art at PMA  

What are you grateful for in Philly?

I’m in my 47th year here [at the Philadelphia Museum of Art]. It’s a beautiful building, and it has a wonderful collection, and I have wonderful colleagues, so I’m thankful for all three. I also love Chestnut Hill—it’s like a village within a city; you can walk to everything and it has almost every kind of store you would want, and the food co-op and clothing stores. The park is another thing I’m grateful for; I grew up in New York City, but Central Park isn’t like Fairmount Park—Fairmount Park is really natural, you feel like you are not in a big city.

Ryan Dixon, Drexel Student

What are your most grateful for?

I like the city atmosphere; I like how it’s laid out, it feels very organized and I can get anywhere I want to with minimal problems.

How do you show your Philly love?

I throw my trash away.

Suzanne Fisher 

What are you thankful for in Philly?

I’m thankful for the Phillies and the Eagles. I’m from Roxborough originally and I’m thankful to see that people are coming back into the city to live. It’s good to see the housing and how people are coming back and enjoying it. It’s very vibrant, there’s a lot going on, and the recently-redone 30th Street Station is beautiful!

How do you show your Philly love?

By paying my taxes. And I try to be a good driver—I try not to be aggressive on the Expressway.

Phill Trotter, Wawa employee

What are you most thankful for in Philly?

The people and atmosphere—especially on the weekend, there’s always something to do if you find the right place. I love going to Sto’s Bar—they have great drinks, great atmosphere and you can play games while you’re drinking. Barcade around Northern Liberties, Frankford Hall, those places are great. J1-Con and its founder, Jason Richardson, is doing great programming for comics in the city.

How do you show your love for Philly?

I work at Wawa. I try to bring people a nice atmosphere, 30 seconds of happiness.



Rebecca Lanolla, Temple University student

What are you most grateful for in Philly?

It’s a humble city! And the city has an amazing art programs and Mural Arts is a great way to get parts of the city that don’t get arts funding. Arts and community engagement is so important.


Chris Levey, 30th Street Station help desk employee

What are you most thankful for in Philly?

I’m thankful for my booth. I get to help people.

How do you show your Philly love?

I do a lot of volunteering, I’m a Red Cross volunteer and a volunteer firefighter for 52 years.

All photos by Kiersten A. Adams.

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