Survey: Philadelphia is one of America’s snobbiest cities

The barnes foundation museum
Philadelphia’s Barnes Foundation. A measure of snobbiness? Credit: Rikard Larma/Metro

Philadelphia is one of the country’s snobbiest cities, according to a ranking compiled by Travel + Leisure.

The travel magazine used reader responses to its 2012 America’s Favorite Cities survey to calculate so-called “snobbiness” metrics in each of the country’s major metropolitan areas.

Factors included the availability of high-end shopping, artisanal coffeehouses and “highbrow cultural offerings like classical music and theater,” along with measures of each city’s tech-savviness and “reputation for aloof and smarty-pants residents.”

The city of Brotherly Love ranked 14 out of 20 on the list, tying Kansas City, Mo., for the dubious honor.

San Francisco was ranked the nation’s most stuck-up city due to its foodie reputation and highbrow gallery and boutique scene, followed by New York City and Boston (apparently, intelligence and a sense of history are two key traits of the snobby.)

Houston, Portland and San Juan rounded out the bottom of the list, coming in 18th through 20th, respectively.

Travel + Leisure in its ranking of Philly’s hauteur cited the city’s “historic pomp” – as displayed throughout the Historic District – and cocktail lounges in hot ‘hoods like Rittenhouse and East Passyunk Square.

That aspect is unsurprising – Philadelphia was in the Favorite Cities survey rated the country’s second best city for historical sites and monuments, second only to Washington, D.C.

Philly also ranked number one in the Favorite Cities survey when it came to sports fans, which, per the hoity-toity cities list really stoked its snooty status.

The magazine stated Philly’s “most prevailing ‘haughtiness’” involves “face paint and foam fingers: The locals ranked highly for being sports-crazed.”

Tailgating and beer pounding doesn’t sound like the stuff of snobbery?

Perhaps why Travel + Leisure in its prologue to the list noted, “Locals can be ‘snobs’ about one local feature – say, the music scene in Austin – and then blase about another (a casual fashion sense, also in Austin).”

In other words, don’t expect to see Louboutins at the Linc anytime soon.


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