Editor’s note: The interns of Campus Philly share their most loved Philly spots and experiences as students in the City of Brotherly Love.
Yara Jishi, Bryn Mawr College
Favorite Spot: Rittenhouse Square Park
Neighborhood: Rittenhouse Square
Address: 18th & Walnut
I am: A college student pursuing an English and Creative Writing degree at Bryn Mawr College
Years in Philly: 3
Current Home: Haddonfield, New Jersey
My Love Note:
I’ve always lived just outside of Philadelphia. Being born and raised in South Jersey for 12 years, Philadelphia trips were made every so often on the weekends of my childhood, whether it be for the zoo, shopping with my mom, or family dinners at one of our many favorite restaurants. Even our dentist’s office was in Philadelphia. As close as the city was, I was never able to really call it home.
Fast forward several years after living abroad from ages 12-18 due to my dad’s job. It was time to figure out where I was going for college, and I’ve always known that I wanted to be close to the home I used to know on the East Coast. After choosing Bryn Mawr as my top choice for school, I realized that yet again, I would be living on the outskirts of Philadelphia.
Most of my trips to Philadelphia growing up, as well as my first few trips into the city when I started college, all share the common thread of Rittenhouse Square. As a kid, I remember laughing with my dad about how funny I thought the names Chestnut and Walnut streets were, and in the midst of laughing I’d see the park that would become so familiar to me — it was like my own Philly landmark. Even these days, most of my favorite shops and restaurants fall into the Rittenhouse area, and it’s one of the first areas in Philadelphia I learned to navigate alone at a younger age.
As much as I love the shops and restaurants, Rittenhouse Park deserves a personal dedication and wins the spot for my Philly Love Note. I realize that to some, it may not be a spectacular park, and might even feel too small and confined. But to me, it’s the green, leafy sanctuary where you find all kinds of people- rich, poor, old and young. Differences are blurred, and by no means does the high-end surrounding area dictate the kind of people you come across.
Thank you, Rittenhouse Park. Not only for the beauty and comfort you offer to so many people, but for bridging the gap between my life on the outskirts and the city I’m coming closer and closer to calling home.
You can contact Yara Jishi at firstname.lastname@example.org
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