Are we all a little too hard on Manayunk?

Tara Lane
Favorite Spot: Manayunk (specifically, along the SRT where the canal meets the Schuylkill)
Neighborhood: Manayunk

I am: a transplant from Upstate New York, a runner, always listening to music, a fan of any kind of dance party, and completely enamored with Philadelphia.
Years in Philly: 4
Current Home: Manayunk

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My Love Note

Dear Manayunk,

When I first moved to Philadelphia, I had no idea what to expect. I came here knowing virtually nobody, without a job, and had never set foot in the area before. The friends I was to live with picked Manayunk for me, as all 22- and 23-year-olds do. I did not choose the Manayunk life – the Manayunk life chose me.

The first few months were hard. Really hard. I was homebound and afraid to explore. Why go anywhere when there’s nowhere to go and nobody to see?

I can’t pinpoint when it happened, but I remember feeling a change. I was sick of feeling sorry for myself and knew I needed to make something happen. So I made a friend through the internet, who just happened to live a 10 minute walk away. And that one friend because a few more friends, and then more and more. And suddenly it had been a year. And then two years! I’d begun to lay down roots here. We moved houses, to our little treehouse with the hidden secret garden and neighborhood cats a-plenty.

People hate on you a lot, Manayunk. They say we’re not really part of the city, they say we’re too far away to come visit, that it’s too hard to get to, and that the people are terrible. And while I admit that some of those things have a little bit of truth to them, that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be loved just the same as anywhere else.

You have parks and a farmer’s market and an adorable Main Street with local shops that people actually support and frequent. You have good food and great drinks and even better people. You’re a three-minute walk to my favorite bar a 10-minute run to my favorite part of the best running trail. You’re close to everything I need. Most importantly, you hold so many memories that I love to recall when I’m walking around your streets.

I love Manayunk because its home and it’s the only home I’ve known here. I “found” myself here, cheesy as that sounds. Sure, working in the city is great too, and I LOVE exploring and experiencing different neighborhoods. But every day when I step off the train, I breathe a little bit of relief.

I’m home.

With love,
Tara
XOXO

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