A couple shots I took in my neighborhood. When I first informed family and friends that I was moving to west philadelphia a lot of smirks, furried eyebrows and discreet side-eyes were directed my way. And I can't lie, the congested streets and littered neighborhoods of philadelphia are a far cry from the suburban, upper class northern virginia communities I had grown used to. I became a little weary of my new home in university city, the "college town" of philly that Penn and Drexel inhabit. It was loud and congested and I craved peace and seclusion. I hadn't gotten accustomed to philly drivers, who have all apparently boycotted the turning signal, and parking was a daily 5-10 minute ordeal.
To my dismay my basement apartment had few windows and was infested with mice and I began to wonder if I was really up for the city life -something I had always longed for- but after a quick move to a more open space (and an investment in a year supply of riddex pulse), I slowly grew to love my new surroundings, where college dorms and frat houses begin to give way to corner stores and section-eight housing. Do not go past 52nd street is what my leasing agent advised me, so I pretty much do all my wanderings between center city and my apartment. No problems so far, maybe partly due to penn security, who meander the neighborhood on bikes in bright yellow jackets and are always willing to offer a friendly hello. I feel pretty safe here.
There's a lot to admire about university city, but what I think I love most about this area is the diversity. I'm walking distance to a multitude of ethnic restaurants and cafes (Philly is extremely vegan friendly-a huge plus), art galleries, several community gardens, two parks, a co-op, thrift stores, a movie theatre and World Cafe (where I saw Alice Smith perform), just to name a few. It's literally impossible to get bored here. The people that make up this neighborhood are just as heterogenous. Hipsters, devout muslims, soccer moms, college students and junkies are all living harmoniously in this quaint neighborhood. I can't imagine being anywhere else right now.
P.S. West Philly is a street style haven, but I'm still working on putting my timidness aside to approach unsuspecting subjects for photo ops, so stay tuned for my efforts!
I hope everyone had a great weekend!