Dan Rubin — Inquirer columnist/beta-blogger and all-around friend of Phawker — knocks one out of the park today. He takes all the real, quality-of-life issues that just float around in the abstract in all the casino controversy coverage — easily lost amidst news of this lawsuit and that counter-suit — and puts a human face on it. Two faces, to be exact, as well as an address — which will soon be deserted for the suburbs. Thank you, Ed Rendell:

Bob and Maureen have been experiencing the sort of revisionist view of their relationship with theirrubincouple.JPG city that you see in those trying to convince themselves they never really loved something in the first place. “The traffic is getting to me,” Bob said the other day. “I used to be able to stomach it. The litter. The crime. I can’t imagine any other place where they’d allow anyone to put these casinos so close to people, where they’d have such utter disregard for the middle class.”

Bob, soft-spoken and hulking at 6-foot-3, stood in the kitchen of the duplex he bought three years ago, with its long, deep backyard filled with twigs, leaves and regret.

“I have a vision for here, and it will be awesome,” he said, pointing to where he’d like to see stone pavers, a picnic table and a small umbrella. “I just won’t be living here.”

He and Maureen are to be married in March. Instead of moving into either his place or hers, they’re packing up their St. Joe’s degrees, their good incomes (he’s a middle school counselor in Berwyn; she’s gamblor.gifa medical writer at Merck), their dreams of children and community, and heading out of town. They’re eyeing the suburbs.

Betrayed is the word Bob used over and over — betrayed by the courts, by the politicians, by the regulators, by the city and state. “It’s all been insulting,” said Maureen. “We had no say from beginning to end.” MORE

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