#whyilovephilly — An eclectic mix but always home

     (<a href=Philadelphia doors image courtesy of Shutterstock.com) " title="shutterstock_philadelphia-doors_1200x675" width="640" height="360"/>

    (Philadelphia doors image courtesy of Shutterstock.com)

    I love that the people here are as they should be. Real. I love that they don’t have airs about them, and I that I can walk around without comparing myself to others, or vice versa.

    Why do you love Philly? NewsWorks is helping to sponsor an event on Dec. 6 celebrating all that’s great about this city. We want to know what you love. Tell us in an essay to publish on NewsWorks. Tell us on Twitter for a chance to win food and beverage tickets for the party (hashtag #whyilovephilly).

    I love that the people here are as they should be. Real. I love that they don’t have airs about them, and I that I can walk around without comparing myself to others, or vice versa.

    I love that the streets are named after trees, and lined with trees whose branches grow downward instead of up, in a welcoming way, not like the weeping willow with their elegantly sad posture.

    I love that the buildings are old, with heavy wooden doors, and that no two doors in a row are painted the same color. I love the building a block off Fitler Square with chains dangling off the roof to hold potted flowers. I love the peeling, crackling paint you see only if you look deeper than the buildings’ facades.

    I love that the hippy grocery store is tucked away from Market Street around the corner on an unnamed side street and is filled with all kinds of people at 5 p.m. I love that there is a lighting store called “Bulb” on a corner in Rittenhouse, and a yarn store tucked into an English basement. I love that I only see one Starbucks for every five independent coffee shops. I love all of the strange businesses mixed in with the residences, and not knowing which came first.

    I love Rittenhouse Square with its cliques reminiscent of high school: the bike messengers gathered on one end, the tattooed smokers sitting along the brick wall, the prim and proper elderly woman reading a book on a bench, and homeless men on the benches to either side. I love all of the dogs and the children, that people smile, but not too widely. The grittiness that many dislike, I revel in.

    I love that after I had moved away for a year, the people at my neighborhood pet store and coffee shop and cafe remembered me. I love that I was greeted as a “regular” who had just taken a brief hiatus.

    I love that in my year away, I missed Philly as one would miss an ex-boyfriend. I love that I missed it in some small way every day, and that I knew that, despite its flaws, or because of them, I would return one day.

    I love that I returned. I love that I am home.

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