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Looking for the Heart
of Brotherly Love

By Bruce Buschel
Simon and Schuster





"Personally, it helped clear up a few things. I always thought you fucked up my life because you were raised in an orphanage. Now I know it's because the orphanage was in Philadelphia.” --Marin Buschel, author's son


"Like the Phillies, Walking Broad will give you great joy and then break your heart." --Steven Levy, Newsweek writer

"Walking Broad is a 13-mile journey filled with personal insights, a joyous overview, and a Marx Brothers attitude." --Robert Downey, filmmaker

"A gem. Very Philly. And great fun—jaunty, highly engaging, fast but never superficial. We all have family members like Buschel's, shadowy memories lost in time forever. Okay, the book made me wistful." --Tim Whitaker, Philadelphia Weekly editor

"It's clearly the best thing ever written about Philadelphia, as it finally locates the city not as some colonial relic at the confluence of two rivers, or as a culturally ineffectual grid between D.C. and NYC, but as an urban metaphysic that tracks from north to south along the unique spine that is Broad Street, the spine that supports and defines all Philadelphians' relationship to the city, to themselves, and to each other." --Matt Damsker, author of "Rock Voices" and former arts critic for the L.A. Times and Hartford Courant

[reviews and quotes]

"Walking Broad is an honest, furious, funny meditation on Philly life—an autobiographical travelogue, with pain." Alfred Lubrano, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Your guide is perhaps the greatest barstool companion you never had, garrulous and glib, witty and wise, unafraid to annoy with persistent questions some of the unhappiest people on earth, be they furniture salesmen or funeral parlor directors toughing out changing neighborhoods and ways of life." --Baylis Greene, East Hampton Star

"Interviews with quirky Philadelphia characters aren't unexpected in a book subtitled "Looking for the Heart of Brotherly Love." Nor are evocative descriptions of the urban landscape. What does surprise about Buschel's chronicle is its complexity and elegance. His walk down Broad serves a larger psychic purpose. As Buschel concedes, the plan to find oneself by walking Broad Street can be "baby boomer perdition or Walt Whitman rapture." I tore through Walking Broad and laughed at almost every page. That I was pissed off when I put it down is a testament to how rich it is." --Liz Spikol, Philadelphia Weekly

""In this charming book, Bruce Buschel returns home to the Philly of
his youth to look back and remember those times of yore.
Walking down the city's main drag, Broad Street, Buschel not only
recollects the stories that defined him, he goes on to examine
the soul of the city and the evolution that continues to change it to
this day. Laced with humor and full of heart, Walking Broad
is at once a history of a city and a passionate declaration of love
to the place he called home." --The Strand Bookstore

“This painfully honest and blunt memoir reveals how Buschel's love-hate relationship with the city is inextricably connected to his painful Broad Street youth: the death of his father when Buschel was three, his troubled relationship with his hard-working and hard-drinking mother and the abuse he suffered after being sent at age seven to a city boarding school for orphans.” --Publisher's Weekly

"Buschel is an amusing companion who successfully avoids the folksy lovability of, say, Studs Terkel. But ultimately, Walking Broad is not so much a coherent whole as a series of entertaining pit stops. Then again, as he might say, so is Philadelphia." --Los Angeles Times

"Bruce Buschel has made a signficant hypothesis that Philadelphia owes much of its boom to September 11, at which point America realized that Philadelphia was 'close enough to anywhere, and far enough from everywhere.'" --Ju Kea Kim, University of Pennsylvania, in his book
Philadelphia's Renaissance


[bonus track]

Top 10 Philly Pop Albums

  1. Hall and Oates -- Abandoned Luncheonette | Atlantic, 1973
  2. The Spinners -- The Spinners | Atlantic, 1972
  3. The Roots -- Phrenology | MCA, 2002
  4. O'Jays -- Back Stabbers | Epic/Legacy, 1972
  5. Laura Nyro & LaBelle-- CBS | Gonna Take A Miracle, 1971
  6. Todd Rundgren -- Something/Anything? | Bearsville/ Rhino, 1972
  7. The Delfonics -- La-La Means I Love You | Bell,
  8. DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince -- He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper | Jive, 1988
  9. Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes -- Wake up Everybody | Philadelphia International, 1975
  10. Pink -- Missundaztood | Arista, 2001

Read more of Buschel's Philadelphia Top 10 Lists.

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