If I’m ever lost and I can make it back to Broad, I know where I am

Editor’s Note: This post features photos by the amazing @cbeatz, who takes some of my favorite skyline photos, and who introduced me to the Belmont Plateau. Check out Chris’ full feed on Instagram.

Amanda
Favorite Spot: Anywhere along the way

I Am: Politically incorrect, morally corrupt, and cynically optimistic, but always stopping to appreciate the moment
Years in Philly: 10

@cbeatz852

My Love Note

Dear Philadelphia,

Let me start off by saying, I don’t like a lot of things. And love? That’s a road far less travelled by. But Philly isn’t just a city that seduces you; it captivates you in a wild romance. Philly is a city bound together by passion built with the brick and mortar of tradition and character. The city fosters revelry in even the most peculiar of individuals. And yet, I find it hard to imagine myself ending up anywhere but there.

Philadelphia is naked and unafraid. Nothing in the city hides behind what it tries to be; it just is. The impetuous, raw emotion is a vulnerability that is rarely advertised but often recognized. I spend more of my trips to the city thinking about what is around me than where I am actually going. They say that the city never sleeps, but I think it does, and its dreams are what make it alive.
I remember zoo trips in elementary school where I was more interested in the graffiti outside that I could only see in the few minutes getting on and off of the bus. Trips to the Art Museum and the Franklin Institute were always met with requests to eat lunch outside and enjoy the atmosphere. I saw Envy On The Coast at the First Unitarian Church in high school and they forever changed the way I looked at music. Years of concerts, restaurants, friends, and field trips broke the mold of any place I dreamed of as perfect. I always said I wanted to go to school in the city, and four years of college later, not doing that may be my life’s biggest regret.

I got my driver’s license when I was 19. That’s also the first year I started driving to Temple to visit my friends. The first few trips consisted of SEPTA rides and their associated chaos: sprinting through the campus to catch a train home in time, leaving a jacket on a train and somehow getting it back months later. But it wasn’t until I began to drive down that my love for the city flourished. The part of the drive down I95 where the skyline peeks over the highway’s horizon never gets old. In fact, I hold the self-proclaimed record for the most iPhone pictures taken of Philadelphia while driving. Certain songs can only be associated with my trips down Broad Street, and no morning drive home after can be complete without Send Me On My Way.

Most of my time in Philly has been spent at Temple and its surroundings. Nights of debauchery often were salvaged by mornings of trying to make it to McDonald’s breakfast, or in moments of complete desperation, eating leftover Temple Star. Broad Street has always been my lighthouse along the shoreline. If I’m ever lost and I can make it back to Broad, I know where I am, and that feeling of comfort is nearly irreplaceable.

This city taught me how to drive in a blizzard, how to parallel park with microscopic clearance, and how to properly enjoy a Mummers parade. Still, so much of the city remains uncharted by me. I still haven’t seen the Liberty Bell or eaten a cheesesteak from Geno’s, and I’ve only ever been to two Phillies games. The city is so much more than what I’ve seen and yet I’m wildly enamored, not as much by its style and grace as by its character and quaintness. My memories and affection for the city are both unconventionally shaped. But I’m not going anywhere yet. From the tumultuous streets, to the evocative memories, to the inexplicable fatal attraction. Until death do us part.

With love,
Amanda
XOXO

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Amanda Philly 11

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