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In the News: DNC highlights Philadelphia's vibrancy

By Jeff Gammage Julia Terruso, and Mari A. Schaefer | July 29, 2016

Convention delegate Joshua Clennon realized this place was different when he happened to cross the street at 12th and Market.

"Some dude said, 'Welcome to Philadelphia,' " the 23-year-old Bernie Sanders supporter said, certain no such courtesy would be extended in his Manhattan neighborhood. "It'd be like, 'Get out of my way.' "

Count one for the home team.

After a week of being critiqued, analyzed, and reviewed by thousands of visitors from across the country and around the world, how did Philadelphia come across during the Democratic National Convention? How did it fare, in the language of politics, in the optics?

A general consensus: Not bad.

Maybe because the city news was generally positive or at least neutral. Nobody died of heatstroke, despite oppressive temperatures. While there was some pushing and shoving among protesters and police, it was hardly Chicago '68 or even Miami '72.

Out-of-town journalists' views of Philadelphia often differed sharply from those of delegates and visitors interviewed on the streets.

"It really does not seem like Philadelphia was prepared to hold a political convention," tweeted Yahoo News political columnist Matt Bai.

"Worst. Convention. Ever," tweeted the Washington Post's Dana Milbank, complaining of gridlock outside the Wells Fargo Center.

Mayor Kenney's response?

"You're always going to have somebody that's cranky," he said. "I had so many people stop me on the streets and say how friendly Philadelphians really are, and that's the best advertising in the world."

The government-run China Daily suspected something sinister in Philadelphia - questioning whether "Made in China" labels had been deliberately removed from DNC souvenirs. Pravda ignored Philadelphia, asking its Russian readership, "Will Hillary Clinton plunge the world into nuclear apocalypse?"

An anxious world awaits.

Meanwhile, the Informador newspaper in Mexico credited Philadelphia's late 20th-century renaissance to Rocky Balboa.

Other visitors saw a spirited, engaging city.

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