For the last day of my road trip, I left D.C. early and headed to Philadelphia, the second city of my project, and one of my more unusual years. As the second city, it officially turned 10 Cities from something I talked about doing to something I was doing. Also, I arrived in the city knowing absolutely no one, so it was about as isolating a year as I could have expected to have. Of course, that was by design, since I knew if I was really going to do this whole thing, I needed to challenge myself right out of the gate.
I don’t have any friends that I’ve left behind in Philly, though I did run by my old place of employment (no, not that one), Penn Book Center, and chatted with my former boss for a while. It’s good to see that the store is still around because independent bookstores are dropping like flies and PBC was never exactly a gold mine.
I also drove into my old neighborhood in West Philadelphia (no Fresh Prince sightings). It definitely brought back memories. Or, more accurately, it heightened memories. With time, our past blurs until the memories are only a rough approximation of the real thing. Being in the city, seeing the old streets, bumping over the trolley rails and sitting in Clark Park, it helped sift the memories into more distinct shapes. I have specific stories from my year in Philly that I recount so often, it’s easy to forget that things happened on the other days.
After leaving Philly, I drove to New York City. Specifically, Brooklyn, where I may end up living next year. It was my first time in the city since living in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to really appreciate the city. Driving through NYC did reinforce that I will never own a car while living there (driving into New York on a Saturday night was my mistake). It also reminded me that the city seen from the bridges is one of the most amazing sights I’ve ever beheld.
Now I’m writing this from a hotel in some random town in Connecticut, less than two hours outside of Boston. When this posts, I’ll be meeting my new roommates (3 of them) and picking up keys for our new apartment. And then my 9th year begins.
It’s exciting. It’s daunting. It’s a little scary.
And it’s exhausting. Goodnight for now, hopefully I’ll be writing from my new apartment sooner than later. Follow me on Twitter if you can’t get enough of me, and