It is no secret that our neighbor to the north, the Emerald City of Seattle, has had enormous difficulties of late with homelessness, rampant crime and public disorder.
The results of the recent general election, however, may provide a stronger foundation for stability and renewal.
In three key races for positions in the city administration, the more sensible and moderate candidates prevailed. Seattle's new mayor, Bruce Harrell, was massively preferable to his extreme left wing opponent, Lorena Gonzalez.
Even more welcome are the victories of Ann Davison over Nicole Thomas-Kennedy in the election for city attorney, and of Sara Nelson over the indecipherable Nikkita Oliver for council position 9.
Thomas-Kennedy would eventually have ceased most prosecutions for misdemeanor crime and actually abolished the police department. As recently as last year, she publicly admitted her "rabid hatred of the police" and defended at least some property destruction by rioters as a "moral imperative."
For reasons not entirely clear, Oliver prefers to refer to themselves with the plural we/they/them rather than I/she/her. Thus do these tribunes of the downtrodden comport themselves.
Nikkita lost in one of the biggest landslides since the Denny Regrade. No doubt Nikkita are not amused.
I recently had the good fortune of visiting Philadelphia, my first visit to the City of Brotherly Love in 20 years. Within walking distance of my hotel were the iconic warship U.S.S. "Olympia," Admiral George Dewey's flagship at the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898, and such great historic sites as Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.
In the same general area are the more recent National Constitution Center and the Museum of the American Revolution. Both of these fine institutions tell their timeless tales with a flourish of modern technology.
Not to be missed is the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, a boulevard as beautiful as it is broad, justly reminiscent of the Champs-Elysees. Here in the Philadelphia Museum of Art are Picasso's "Three Musicians," numerous masterworks by Monet, Degas, Rembrandt and El Greco, and an array of Rubens tapestries that must be seen to be believed.
On my final evening in the city, I journeyed through Little Italy to Geno's restaurant, legendary for its Philly cheesesteaks. These are the streets on which Sylvester Stallone ran while filming his signature role as Rocky Balboa. This poor but industrious neighborhood retains all of the zest and color it had then.
Later, I chanced upon the 19th-century home of Joseph Bonaparte, onetime king of Naples and then of Spain, older brother of Napoleon. Who would have imagined that this deposed imperial monarch would find refuge in the cradle of American democracy?
Unmistakable are the cleanliness and good management of this city. I never once saw a homeless person huddled in a doorway, and tents on sidewalks were conspicuous by their absence. There were no shattered windows, no boarded-up storefronts, no abandoned automobiles, no scar of graffiti.
Philadelphia is a vibrant and intoxicating city, well worthy of an extended visit — and a model for the renewal of Seattle.