During a rather lovely weekend strolling through the neighborhoods of Philadelphia, I began to take notice of several key differences from each of the cities I’ve visited thus far. For instance, the presence of bike lanes is drastically different in each location. Whereas Cleveland and New York City seem to be pushing to increase their bike traffic, it’s not as easy to locate the same accommodations within Boston and Philadelphia. While I understand that priorities differ, these traits could make all the difference when looking for a place to call “home”. I’ve also seen contrasts in transportation options, green space availability, artistic support and entertain choices. All in all, I’d say it’s about finding the right balance that best suits one’s lifestyle, really
Another key factor I’ve found has to do with commute times. I’ve already come to find I’m much happier when I can get to, and from, work within 15 minutes. For comparison, I had a 30 minute car ride in Cleveland, a 10 minute subway ride in Boston, a 45 minute subway ride in New York City and currently, I have a 12 minute walk in Philly. Given the hours we work in this industry, it can really take a toll on one’s mood if you’re stuck in a long commute, after an already long day in the office.
In NYC, I would leave the apartment around 8:30am and didn’t return until close to 8:00pm. This left me little time (or energy) to make the most of my evenings. Though I was staying with a friend, so I didn’t have much say on my commute time. However, it’s a point I feel everyone should strongly consider when relocating. A job may be ideal, but if you keep yourself from a fulfilling personal life, it will begin to wear on you and eventually the job won’t matter as much.
Quickly, I did want to mention the lovely weekend I had exploring Philly. Even if I was having to avoid the drunken hordes of St. Patty's Day. And no, I haven't the slightest idea why everyone chose Saturday the 8th to celebrate a holiday that falls on Monday the 17th. It boggles my mind. Anyway, what I’ve come to understand is that “City Center” truly is the center of the city. It’s an incredibly handy reference point for anyone trying to find his or her way around town. If you then venture outward in any direction, you’ll come across one of the city’s beautiful neighborhoods. Personally, I had a fantastic time exploring the cobblestone streets of Old City and the very hipster-centric Fishtown. It’s very interesting to see that each area has it’s own personality, much like NYC’s five boroughs. I had a delicious meal at Village Whiskey and spent most of Saturday afternoon reading in the park near Independence Hall. Sadly, I’m still looking for the elusive movie theater though. I’m really starting to wonder if they even exist.