I was driving in downtown Struggledelphia the other day when I came upon a deeply perplexing sight. Cold the wind was, and icy breezes blew through the city. Wrapped in fleece and down, the noble inhabitants of my fair struggle hurried on their way, faces turned from the bitterness of the day. None of this, of course, is surprising, it's been insanely cold here in Struggledelphia, the kind of weather that makes you understand why so many Colonial beverages mix hot liquids and alcohol (Have you had mulled wine lately? A hot toddy? Cider? It's all working for me right now). But what WAS surprising was the large typically vacant office building at the corner of Market and StruggleFirst street which was festooned with pictures of actor Bradly Cooper's face in some kind of pseudo political campaign. But the weirdest part? That political campaign was for the city of New York.
Now, I'm fairly certain that Struggledelphia is not, in fact, New York. I know for a fact that there are at least 5 people in our Chinatown who speak English, which is 500% more then New York has. Also, we barely have a subway system. Also, a bottle of water costs under 5 dollars. So it seemed unlikely that the two cities had in fact fused together overnight and that I was at the corner of Struggledelphia and Broadway. Although that would be an awesome Twilight-zone....
And then it occurred to me, none of this was real! It was, in fact, a movie. A movie being shot in here in Sturggledelphia but set in New York. Right, Because the two cities look EXACTLY alike. We have a Statue of Liberty as well. It's called the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Looks exactly the same, if you squint. And have glaucoma. And it's nighttime. And raining. And all the power is out. Right?
And then I realized, as I dodged Bradley Cooper fangirls (and boys, let's not be heteronormative) and tried to make it to my pilates class in something approaching on time, they have been shooting a lot of movies in our fair city. Last summer they shot the completely unsuccessful "How Do You Know", and the as yet unreleased "The Best and the Brightest". The movie that has prevented me from punctuality recently is called "Limitless". And apparently the trailer for "Ceder Rapids" features the Struggledelphia skyline, even though the movie is supposed to be set in, well, Iowa. Thanks, guys, that was kind of you. Next time you are here, we are spitting in your stupid cheesesteaks.
So what does this add up to, pray tell? Why, it's obvious! Struggledelphia is the new Prague! Think about it, Prague is the stand in for every European city ever. Movies are shot in Prague all the time, because it's cheap, it's beautiful, and stupid American movie audiences will never figure it out. Unless they actually go to Prague...but of course that's crazy talk. Americans don't travel. We are literally incapable of being outside of a 50 mile radius of a Starbucks and/or a McDonalds. Everyone knows that. But really, think about it some more. Prague has never been bombed. Struggledelphia has never been bombed. Prague is famous for it's history. Struggledelphia is famous for it's history. Prague was the capital of Bohemia. Struggledelphia has a naked bike ride! Prague has had not one, but TWO defenestrations. Struggledelphia recently got a Barney's co-op! I could go on like this all day, but I think you all get the picture. Struggledelphia is the new Prague. Come visit us quickly before we convert to the Euro and all the cigarette prices go up.
Leah Franqui is a fairly interesting person/director/writer/reader/eater/drinker. She likes ugly dogs and dislikes her hair in the morning. She's a sucker for environmental causes and plays hardball with deals on chewing gum. She is a struggle.