Yesterday was the first Valentine’s Day of my life which didn’t somehow suck.
In years past, there was always some dull pain or sense of disappointment deep in my heart, as I spent most of my life single. If and when I actually had a partner, the day was never really celebrated in a manner I appreciated. Last year, my now husband treated me to the best dinner experience I ever had. (We have something of an accelerated romance, so that was our first February 14th together. Yesterday was our second.)
We had no plans. We do have a puppy, though. A furry little guy that I fell in love with the moment I walked into the big, otherwise empty room at the shelter. We are newly married and both heavily immersed in jobs at tech startups and just don’t have time to plan that honeymoon. Instead, I prepared a decent spread and invited two local, single friends over for dinner. It was a great time. Just ask Brock!
We share a real love for this city. Philadelphia is where I met him. Well, after some help from a dating website, we have been together since the day we met. Literally. Just about every freaking day.
Part of what connected us was our thirst for travel and desire to go out west. So, we visited Austin. Not nearly as bike-friendly as we imagined and really too humid. Then, we went to LA, because there was a job opportunity in Hollywood, of all places, and one of my nearest and dearests is all cozy up in Silver Lake (which I looooooooove). But, he hated California.
Listen: I digress. My point is, I really love Philly. There’s even a campaign to regularly publish its praises: #whyilovephilly. A funny, incredibly smart woman, Emma Fried-Cassorla, left a career in neuroscience after cultivating a really great blog that helped her transition her own life.
There’s true beauty here. On our tiny South Philly street, our block ambassadors are friendly and vigilant. With their help, our neighbors all collected some money to install a convex mirror atop a lamp post at the end of our block to make it safer for everyone who drives and cannot see the rush of traffic. I can walk to an absurd amount of really good, surprisingly affordable, food establishments.
Our new dog goes to puppy club at a really wonderful local veterinary hospital which is only a short walk away! My “office” is actually an innovative coworking space and my husband frequents one as well.
I challenge you to find a city with this much charm, individuality, and quality of living. Art abounds and timeless character peeks out from centuries-old architecture. There’s so much here worth seeing. And eating. And experiencing.
We may have a tough exterior, but there is an absolute wealth of love in the great little city of Philadelphia.