Favorite Spot: Philadelphia, from the Divine Lorraine to Pennsport
I Am: Chris Monroe
Years in Philly: 4
Current Home (neighborhood): Passyunk Square, South Philly.
My Love Note
I guess a love letter starts off full of passion and promise and hope. Perhaps I’m cynical and don’t quite understand the vastness of what love is, or perhaps it can be summed up via some letters on keyboard. You understand don’t you?
I remember the moment I saw the Divine Lorraine and was finally able to fully breathe. It was as if this old warped building that had decayed was calling my name. A week later I jogged with my best friend on Kelly drive and had brunch in Northern Liberties at Honey’s. I was lost living in the suburbs, something was always missing. I never quite lived up to what I thought was being an adult. Wasn’t it 2 kids and a white picket fence? What was wrong with me? I never was able to be that person for my girlfriend I should have been. In the end, I killed a decade long relationship in the suburbs and moved into an old funeral home in Brewerytown (full disclosure, I did not know it was a funeral home).
Later on I met my true love off 2nd street in Pennsport, during the blizzard of 2010. I heard my father had died after jogging on Kelly Drive one day. I got my dream job offer off Main Street in Manayunk. I moved my great Aunt’s piano into my home in South Philly, scraping up the front door. None of this mattered, I had found home.
Maybe in the end what Philly represents is more than cobblestone streets, or craft beers, or that crazy intensity of South Philly neighbors. Maybe Philly is that awkward stepchild that’s caught between greatness and mediocrity. Maybe it’s more that Philly represents that underlying feeling in all of us. How we aim to achieve this perfection but really we just feel adequate. Always striving, trying to find our mark. And perhaps that’s why this blog resonates so deeply with people. It has found a way to delve beneath that layer of us that is the Divine Lorraine and find that there still is beauty that exists, despite the rough exterior. Perhaps that is what hope really is, that you belong somewhere, no matter how dysfunctional it may be. That’s the true definition of family, acceptance.
Maybe Philly isn’t a noun, but rather an adjective. All of our adventures and losses and loves have led us to her door. My 19147 zip code is a place I’ve chosen to LIVE in, it’s the same as the bricks of the Divine Lorraine. I am or I hope to be, a ‘ruin’ in this beautiful city. In fact, I would be honored.