Today, as it turns out, is just over a year since we moved into our home. We lived in the city before moving to our home for fifteen months having rented a block away from where we currently are in Old City. This neighborhood, however, has been home to us before—before we had kids and moved away to pursue careers in the D.C., area.
The time seems apropos to evaluate what is great and what not so great about our home, the neighborhood, and the city. The commuting logistics: we live in Old City which is also where I work on N3RD street. Evan telecommutes 3-4 days a week from home. Sophia’s school and Eliza’s extra curricular classes are a 15 minute walk or a 5 minute drive from our house. We’re big supporters of public transportation; A bus that goes directly to school is a few minute walk from our place, too.
The living logistics: our dry cleaners is a 30 second walk as are no fewer than 3 coffee shops. There’s an amazing toy store a minute away and Sophia takes classes at a great studio located 5 minutes on foot from our home. Eating out is a pleasure what with having these amazing gems nearby and we remember our engagement party every time we walk by this one. Our whole family is really into the arts so having the Arden and all the galleries nearby is also a huge treat. My favorites are the Clay Studio and The Center for Art in Wood. Come summer time, we are a two blocks away from the Franklin Fountain, three blocks from what was rated the best ice cream in the world, and a mere 10 minute walk to Franklin Square complete with a carousel and a mini-golf course.
The outdoors logistics: Philadelphia is very historic and the city has designated a lot of sites and parks as public spaces. Independence Mall is just around the corner from us and Washington Square Park is a ten-fifteen minute stroll.
And so while we have a car and a garage to house it, we don’t strictly need said vehicle. There is something to be said for walking to work and one’s commute being a mere 10 minutes. However, that something is much, much, darker when its raining, snowing, or is super windy outside. I also don’t love trash days because trash days in the city mean trash piled out on the sidewalk. I wish we had more living space but I also know that more space would mean more stuff and we don’t really need any more stuff. I am certain our girls are quite confused about what one does with a back yard seeing as how they have two small decks but no back yard of their own. They are, however, very good at navigating and know their own neighborhood very well. Sophia and Eliza are comfortable taking public transportation and aren’t overwhelmed by the freneticism of a big city. Lastly and most importantly Old City has become not just a neighborhood, but our neighborhood.
So the answer to “Are we glad we stayed in the city?” is a resounding yes. Until next time, a few years from now when we take another stock of life in the city.
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