Philadelphia Fears

Oh, Jessica, you did it again.

BBQ Cheddar Chickpea Burgers, made in a food processor, and smashed together with love.

Just like beef! (nothing like beef)

I’ll admit, my first attempt at the patty ended up as a mushy splat, but it was still tasty.  Today’s lunch patty, however, was more successful (and cohesive). And topped with caramelized onions and BBQ sauce, along with some Vermont Cheddar (I love ordering 4 slices of cheese at the deli counter) and served with some steamed vegetables made for a delightful midday meal.

But that’s not what I really wanna write about today.  Well, I did, I just wanna write more.

I’m a type-A person, when it comes to planning.  Maybe not when it comes to cleaning, or organizing my living space, but when it comes to planning, Type-A all the way!! And, when it comes to planning something as big as the next chapter in my life, and a big move 400 miles away from my current apartment and most of my buddies, it’s a little overwhelming.  Sure, there’s the basic concerns:

  • Where will I live?
  • How will I pay for city living/grad school?
  • Will there be a washer/dryer in my apartment?
  • Will I need a car?
  • What’s it going to be like studying again?!!?
  • Am I going to be shot?

But everyone faces those.  I’m a little more afraid of the parts of moving that only come up when you’re moving “back” to somewhere that you once called home.  Sure, downtown Philly was never actually my “home”, but it’s the city closest to my heart. And it’s chock-full of people that I once thought would be my BEST FRIENDS FOREVER!!

AP English, anyone?

Looking at that photo (from 12th grade, I believe?) I see folks who have gotten married, folks that are living with their partners, folks that are probably inches away from being doctors, people I kissed, sleepover buddies, one that I went to college with, and several that I expected to stay in touch with forever.  And then I moved to North Carolina, and everything changed.  I changed.

I found my niche in North Carolina, in college and then again a year after college, and got comfortable.  But I didn’t maintain the friendships that I grew up with, while most of them spent weekends and holidays together, summers and spring breaks.

Since I’ve gotten the news about grad school, I’ve been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and excitement from family and friends.  But not just my NC buddies (who I love, and will miss dearly).  These long-lost friendships have started surfacing again, and making me question why I ever lost touch with these kind, funny, caring people in the first place.

Whatever, I know the answer to that. It’s inconvenient to juggle nearby friends with far, and it’s definitely not a one sided thing. I don’t blame anyone, as I know I certainly didn’t make much of an effort, but it’s still exciting to think that I may be “coming home” to a few built-in buddies in the area.  And while we’re not planning canned food drives or pep rallies, it’s still encouraging to know that they’ll have my back, because the other scary challenge is that whole “finding new friends” thing.

  • Will the Philly craft beer community be as welcoming and amazing as the one in the Triangle?
  • Will my classmates be friendly?
  • Will these old friends really want to rekindle, or is this just the politeness of PA that I know and love? (I bet all my Southern friends are rolling their eyes right now, imagining “Northern Hospitality”.)
  • Will I even have time to have friends in the midst of studying?
  • Will I be cool enough to fit into the big, hip city?
  • Will saying “big, hip city” make me uncool and immediately dissuade folks from wanting to interact with me? (Probably.)

I don’t know the answer to any of these questions.  All I can do is hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and buckle up for the ride….  Luckily, I’ve got my main squeeze waiting in Philly for me already, so he’ll be a pro by the time I get there.

In the MEANTIME, if YOU live in Philly and want to be my friend (or know someone awesome I should meet, or a neighborhood I should check out for apartments, or a great realtor, or a fantastic spot for craft beer, or any other hidden gems like that) TELL ME!! I’ll be moving up (likely) around mid-summer/July, but will definitely be visiting before then.  And I would love any/every bit of advice you have to give!

What’s the most recent “big change” you’ve made in your life?

Were you scared?  Did anything help?

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26 thoughts on “Philadelphia Fears

  1. Big change in my life? One year ago, I decided to quit my full time job as a high school teacher (great career with steady ok pay), sold my house, moved to another state with a boy and went to graduate school full time. Talk about going from completely stable, to completely unstable. But, in all honesty it has been a fabulous move and yes, I miss my old job, but I can’t say that I regret this change.

  2. Philly was a surprisingly cool city (and that’s saying a lot, coming from a Pittsburgher)! I’m sure you’ll find your niche and a new group of wonderful friends, but it’s natural to feel some anxiety about it.

    I need to try those burgers!

  3. I don’t think I’ve made any big changes recently. I’ll get back on that. As far as where to live, University City has been really transforming since I left and a lot of my friends still visit/live in that area. Northern Libs & Fishtown are kind of depends on the block places. Downtown is going to be pretty pricey. I enjoyed Manayunk except for when major snowstorms hit. Roxborough is quite nice as well. Don’t move to Germantown, but East Falls is decent as well. You already know I am in looooove with the Main Line and more specifically Ardmore (easy train access and a brew-eats place opening soonish!). I always used Craigslist for my apt searching and am pretty good at spotting fake/too good to be true ads. Don’t hesitate to email me links on any places you’re discovering along the way, I can let you know what’s good and what isn’t.

    The craft beer scene I believe will definitely be up to par. If you are up in time for Philly Beer Week, we simply must venture out together. 🙂

  4. You have the right attitude about moving–you have to look at it as the next step in this grand adventure of life! I moved with my (now) husband just under four years ago to a new city–that would be my big change! (Before that I’d moved cities 3 times really, so each was a new adventure.)

  5. I made a big change a long time ago…I moved from Seattle to Portland by myself after a bad break up. I moved alone, lived alone and had to start all over. It was a very scary experience but it made me a much stronger person.

    You’ll be okay in Philly. 🙂

    Btw, my brother lives there!

  6. I’m the same way–I hate not having a plan, but congrats on grad school! You’ll figure it out–everyone always does. I actually just took the GMAT a few weeks ago and now need to start figuring out what grad school programs to apply to. Oh, the stress!

  7. It’s totally understandable to be nervous. Hopefully it’s like a race, and it’s going to rev up your adrenaline so that you can kick that city’s @$$. You’ll fit right in in no time. 🙂

    PS – Even if it’s nothing like beef, the burger looks pretty tasty.

  8. This made me so incredibly homesick, you just don’t even know!!!! Granted, it’s for the other side of PA, my beloved Pittsburgh, but as Claire said, Philly is hella cool, too. I am soooo excited for you to go there and may be a wee bit envious that you’re getting outta NC. I mean, NC is nice and all, but my heart isn’t here. I can’t wait to hear of all of your Philly fabulousness that will surely take place!! Good luck, good luck, good luck!!!

  9. I live about 45 minutes from Philly! We could totally hang out. There is an incredible Mexican restaurant in Philly called El Vez that you must check out. Change is scary but it can be good… and as I like to think, if it doesn’t work out, you can always make another change. Nothing has to be forever. Good luck!

  10. I live in Philly!! Right now I live in Center City and it’s pretty expensive so I’m moving closer to the Delaware River, to the neighborhoods of Bella Vista, Queen Village or Italian Market. Will you be living solo or with your beau? As a solo living lady, I would say your best, safest bets are:
    – anywhere in Center City (Rittenhouse, Washington Sq West, Filter Square, expensive usually unless you want to live in a small apartment)
    – Bella Vista, Queen Village or Italian Market (good deals)
    – Art Museum/Fairmount area (don’t go past Girard, good deals)
    – University City proper (I don’t know that area too well but outside of University City is pretty sketch, also good deals but the apartments go fast since the students need them)
    – Passyunk Square (good deals sometimes, it’s also a popular spot so can be pricey)
    – Old City (don’t go past Race St, can be pricey)

    In each neighborhood prices on apts can vary widely, so your best bet, I’d say, is to scour craigslist. I had a good realtor in my first apt but he doesn’t allow pets in his rentals; I don’t know if that would be an issue for you.

    There’s literally like a billion places for good craft beer in Philly, it’s redonk. People in Philly LOVEEEEE their craft beers and summer is great for beer fests! The breweries or bars close off blocks and there are bands and beers and it’s fantastic. Some good spots are: Hawthornes, POPE, Monks, Belgium Cafe, Rembrandt’s, Khyber Pass Pub, Local 44, the Yards brewery, hmm…ugh there’s so many. My favorite bar, my “cheers” type bar, is Sugar Moms, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that place, it’s awesome and the least “bro-y” bar in Old City. Also if you want to buy your own craft beers (make your own 6 pack and you get a 10% discount!) you can go to The Foodery or Food and Friends.

    Anyway, I hope this helps and if you have any more questions or maybe you want a beer drinking buddy (I dunno is that weird as you don’t know me?) email me! Good luck!!

  11. Pingback: The 5 Devices and Services That Changed My Life | Food, Sweat, and Beers

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