Life in Suburban Philadelphia
Living in Pennsylvania is better than I ever thought it would be. In some ways, I prefer it to New York.
Oh no! Did I just say that?
New York is all hustle and bustle, just the facts ma’am, I’m trying to get where I need to go. Everyone outside of New York seems a whole lot more laid back. Not Southern laid back, but certainly not as uptight.
I didn’t like Kentucky much when I lived there, mostly because I was unable to have a life. And, it had a pitiful mall. But at least it had a Barnes & Noble and Chick-Fil-A. That’s important.
But here in suburban Philadelphia (much like I was in suburban New York City), I have many of the accoutrements of the Northeast-living lifestyle. I have a great big mall that I adore (yay! King of Prussia!), a Barnes & Noble within 5 minutes, and my choice of Chick-Fil-A within a 25-minute range. (Okay, so Chick-Fil-A is not a New York thing except for food court at NYU’s Weinstein dorm.) The traffic around here is not as slow as the south, but much better paced than the craziness that surrounds New York City driving. People don’t necessarily smile and say hi (some of the older folks do) when walking past each other on the street. That’s all right by me.
They opened up a Container Store on Long Island. The closest one to me right now is in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. I am praying for a Container Store within 25 minutes of driving distance of my home. Praying, I say.
It’s great to have my husband’s family only 10 minutes down the street, and if need be during the day, a 5-minute walk to my mother-in-law’s job. (No sarcasm. Many people would joke that the in laws are a bad thing, but they’re not for me. I am very fortunate to have such a wonderful family.) If my mom wants to visit from New York, there’s an Amtrak stop less than 10 minutes away from where I live.
I never thought I’d be content living in a state outside of the great state of New York. I didn’t know that settling into suburban Philly life would feel like a second skin. I love my job at the library, and I would be loathe to give it up. I like the flexibility that freelance life brings with the work that comes and goes. I enjoy my Bible-believing church.
I love the neighborhood I live in. I live along a major road that’s busy during the day then gets quiet at night. I live right across from the SEPTA train station, and love to hear the trains occasionally. (The sound barriers are pretty darn good.)
I love occasionally traveling out to Lancaster County to Shady Maple Smorgasbord to eat or Shady Maple Farm Market to do some grocery shopping. Amish people, or Dutch country, are the heart of Pennsylvania culture. I’m beginning to love it all.
I’ll always be a native New Yorker, and my first allegiance will likely be to where I grew up for 23 years of my life. But as a transplanted New Yorker near Philadelphia, I’ve learned that Philly is not so bad. And in fact, will just do quite fine.