I must admit, I am a city dwelling poser.
I just moved into my parents’ house a few days ago to save up some money. They live right outside of Philly in Wilmington, Delaware. One of my dogs is currently residing in Rittenhouse Square and since I am there every other day, I feel like that still qualifies me to be a part of this.
I will be moving back to Philly in February. My 5th apartment there. Saying that makes me cringe. I seem to move once a year because of many random reasons. Dogs, job changes, bunnies, rats, relationships, black mold, fly infestations, flooding, eviction…the list goes on.
Renting basically blows, but every place I inhabit is a new chance to decorate and make it feel like home. I dream of owning one day, but that commitment is pretty far off.
I have been scanning Craigslist daily for a new apartment in my price range. Somewhere that my dogs won’t be a nuisance to neighbors, where I could hopefully have a tiny patio/outdoor space, and a room to use an an office because I will be working from home. I have my sights set on South Philly, Bella Vista, or Fishtown this time around. We shall see.
In this blog venture I will take you through the Philly hoods where I have lived/worked/played and rant about them.
I lost my Philly virginity in Northern Liberties. A bunch of years ago, it was a great place to live. Now, at 32, it would just drive me insane because of how populated it is by young people. I moved there with my girlfriend at the time. Our apartment was directly on top of a popular restaurant. I could not sleep the whole night because of people yammering, pounding music, and the staff smoking outside my window. After some complaining, they moved us 3 doors down. It was a BIT more peaceful, but it also rained on our heads at night because of the poor construction of the building.
We took it because it was directly next door to where the Philly carriage horses lived. Horses in the city? Yep. It was beautiful to walk by them every day and feed them peppermints or apples. There were so many empty lots where the FOUR dogs I lived with, yes four, could frolick. It was lovely despite the daily question I was asked: “What are your dog walking rates?”
Today every one of those lots, where my dogs had once frolicked, has a huge building on top of it filled with grocery stores, younguns, galleries, and bars. It is a thriving community and a great place to hang out, I just cannot see myself living there again.
After a break-up and a New Year’s Eve move, my 2nd Philly apartment was a few blocks over. Still in Northern Liberties, but the more “genuine and historic” NoLibs…so people told me.
It was a trinity on a block where people have lived for years. Older folk, younger families, and lesbo couples. Yay, I was in a great quiet spot!
One morning a few weeks into living there, one of my dogs did her “business” on the street and then broke loose from her leash after I placed the biz in a bag. I dropped the bag in the middle of the street and RAN after her, horrified that she would be hit by a car. Thank God, a few minutes later I found her sniffing around in an empty lot.
When I returned to my cute little trinity, relived that I had my baby with me safe and sound, I found a note on my door. It said, “CLEAN UP YOUR DOGS POOP! RESPECT YOUR NEIGHBORS OR YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE.” Not believing my eyes, I opened the storm door and the bag of poo I had not recalled dropping in order to save my pup was smashed on my front door.
Suddenly living on top of a loud bar seemed way better than living next to some longtime residents who saw any new young person coming in as the enemy.
I immediately wrote a letter, photocopied it, and placed it on every single door on my street. It was a kind letter. Saying hello and expressing how I think the street is wonderful and that I cannot wait to be a part of it. It also apologized for the BAG of poo I dropped in the street and touched a bit on what I found on my door that day. The person who wrote the note obviously did not pay attention to that one important step. If I did not give a crap about your street, I would not have gone through the effort of placing my dog’s feces IN A BAG!
One by one, neighbors came up to me, very welcoming and thanking me for my note. One by one, they also told me who wrote it and smashed the poop onto my door. It was my next-door neighbor. A couple that had lived there for years. A couple that has done a lot for the community. A couple that I shared a small courtyard with.
A couple that were hardcore…CAT PEOPLE. Not regular animal-loving cat people. They were DOG DESPISING cat people.
After some miserable days of getting “the eye” from the puss-loving poo smashers, a black mold issue, being attacked by a doberman at the dog park, my dogs getting attacked at the dog park, and the hatching of a fresh batch of flies that made their home in my basement and kitchen wall, it was time to peace out of NoLibs and move onward to the next apartment venture/horror story.
I keep coming back, so I must love something about this city.