My Mom is coming to visit Philadelphia this weekend for the first time since we moved here. Here’s the thing: I really want her to love it. I want her to see the life that we’ve built here and be proud of me. I want her to see what I see when I walk around my neighborhood. And I want her to think I live in a really cool place. Because I do! In fact, according to the New York Times, Philadelphia is #3 on the list of 52 Places to Go in 2015.
So if you were coming to Philly, here’s what I’d want to show you. Here’s what I’d want you to see in this beautiful city of mine.
1 // It’s safer than its reputation.
There are neighborhoods you don’t go to at night, just like any city. But overall, I feel safe here. In doing research for this post, I checked out some of the crime stats in Philadelphia over recent years and crime by neighborhood. I found that no murders or rapes have happened in my neighborhood in the last 6 months. A lot of people’s cars get broken into though. I guess that’s the upside to me having a really old, crappy car.
2 // The New York Times wasn’t wrong when they called it “the making of an urban outdoor oasis”.
The parks and recreation available in Philly is absurd. Everywhere you walk, there’s a little park and they’ve recently re-done a lot of outdoor areas. In fact, they’ve just opened a boardwalk along the Schuylkill River for running and to help move the foot traffic from University City and South Philly to Center City with ease. The dog park by our house is astroturf and incredibly well-maintained. Plus, we’re getting a bike share program this spring!
3 // We are killin’ it with the brunch options.
BRUNCH. My favorite meal of the week. Philadelphia is loaded with brunch options. But so is every city, right? But unlike New York or D.C., you can find a great variety of brunch options. From $9 to $40, yoga pants to fancy pants, cozy to classy, you can do brunch how you want to do brunch. And you don’t need a reservation a week in advance to get in. This doesn’t just apply to brunch, it goes for all meals. And hey, if you aren’t into brunch, you can always grab a cheesesteak or a soft pretzel.
4 // It’s oozing charm.
If you like brick and shutters, Philadelphia will make your heart go pitter patter. My favorite streets are the really narrow ones, paved with cobblestone, and lined with brick rowhouses with shutters in every color. Sometimes as I walk I try to pick which house is my favorite on a street. I can never choose just one.
5 // You have a dog, in a bar?
Our neighborhood bar allows dogs (proof). And it’s not just bars. There are tons of dogs here. And a shockingly high goldendoodle population (no seriously, they’re taking over the neighborhood). Archie told me that he loves living in Philadelphia and he wanted me to add that trash day is his favorite day because – all the smells!
6 // It’s city life with a low-key feel.
Everything about Philadelphia is pretty casual. I don’t have that feeling of inferiority that I sometimes get in New York (but maybe that’s just me). I can’t quite describe it. Maybe it’s all the hipsters or the fact that I don’t have to wear heels to a bar and I still fit in. Maybe all the brick just makes it feel cozy and un-intimidating.
So basically, we’ve lived in Philly for three months now and I can safely say – we love it. It’s quickly become our home.