Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Better to Have Loved and Lost Than to Have Never Loved at All: Philly Edition

Continuing my love letter to Pennsylvania, just a few of the many things I'm going to miss:

Crab fries and Lobster Pie at Chickie's and Pete's

Garlic bread and everything my little Italian heart desires at Carlino's Market

Philadelphia Double Decker City Bus Tour - still my favorite, most cost effective way to show visitors around Philly

America's Most Historic Square Mile - there's something that still gets me about living so close to so much history

Reading Terminal Market - an historic and bustling farmer's market of sorts in the middle of downtown Philly with over 80 vendors.  The salmon curry at the Little Thai Market is my favorite downtown lunch.  Come prepared, they only take cash.

King of Prussia Mall - it's the biggest mall in the U.S. for sheer retail space (even though Mall of America in Minnesota has more stores).  I didn't go too often because I generally can't stand malls due to the crowds, but when I needed it, it was there, and I was grateful. 

The Birth Center in Bryn Mawr - this is a weird one, but this place was right by my apartment and I passed by it almost every day.  It's the oldest continually operational birthing center in the U.S.  The babies are delivered by midwives outside of the hospital (fun fact: the hospital is directly across the street).  Every day, they hang banners outside the building proclaiming "IT'S A BOY!" or "IT'S A GIRL!" for every baby born that day.  I just loved driving by and seeing those banners.

Beers, baseball, and one of the best French Dip sandwiches I've ever had at The Grog.

Phillies games

Wawa - it's sort of like a 7-11 except each one has a deli inside with fresh-made sandwiches and smoothies.  Add delicious coffee, a no fee ATM, and 24 hour availability.  If heaven has a convenience store, it's a Wawa.

Independent films at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute - walking distance from my apartment and conveniently across the street from The Grog and Sushi Land

Bento boxes at Sushi Land

The best Chinese food restaurant in the country was across the street from my apartment.  Yangming, I'll never look at a bowl of wonton soup the same way again.

Bakery House, my favorite local bakery.  Joe had champagne and Bakery House pastries tucked away the night we got engaged.

Suburban Square - mere minutes from my apartment with all my favorite shops, plus a farmer's market directly next door to the Trader Joe's where 99.9% of my weekly shopping took place

The good people at Main Line Honda - they went out of their way to save me money when I brought my car in for maintenance and always took very good care of me (Exhibit A)

Rita's water ice - we used to walk there for a sweet, cold treat on hot summer nights

My ongoing quest to eat through the 239 best dishes in Philly.  I'll have to find a similar list for the Hudson Valley.

Cost of living - I only lived about 12 miles from Center City Philly and yet life was pretty affordable.  Philadelphia is the cheapest of the major East Coast cities by far.  Big city living is not for me, but I'm really going to miss having one so close.

Long walks on the Radnor Trail (as seen here)

Long, meandering drives drooling over the gorgeous mansions on the Main Line

Manicures and pedicures at Princess Nails - I don't typically spend a lot of money on myself, but regular pedicures and the occasional manicure are my indulgence.  I'm a bit of mani/pedi snob and this place is my favorite of all time.  They take really good care of you and they know what other places seem to ignore: that the massage is the reason you're there.  They take their sweet time about it.  Plus, a hot stone massage of your feet and legs is included in a basic pedicure, as is the prolonged shoulder massage while your nails dry.  I appreciate it so much that I dedicated one of my very first posts on this blog to it.

That every bit of the above was available within about a 12 mile radius of my apartment, which feels so very important now that the nearest Trader Joe's is 35 miles away. 

There are so many more places and haunts I feel like I'm forgetting.

But most importantly, my friendships.  I'm forever amazed that I continue to be blessed with kind, caring, supportive, wonderful women in my life. I started law school having never set foot in Philadelphia before and I found a place that felt like home and girls that feel like sisters.

I loved it.  I'll miss it.