This city.

Dear Philadelphia,

You know how people swear by you and then others diss you as a blip en route from Washington DC to New York City? I’m sure you’ve heard it too many times. As someone moving to this country for the first time, Philadelphia, I researched about you. People complained about safety – and, well safety becomes subjective after a point. There were tales of being the first capital, historic landmarks and a good food culture. There were tales about crime and grime. And then colourful stories tied to Penn’s campus.  People glorified the infamous cheesesteak and the penchant for calling subs hoagies – but hey, I’m a vegetarian.  I read about pretzels (oh they’re nice, yes) and food carts around Penn (oh what would I do without you!).

I read one of the free Kindle mystery books which coincidentally happened to be based in Philadelphia. It did paint such pretty pictures of the Schyullkill banks and that’s all I remember from it. I should probably try to read it again, and see how the story reads now that I know your Walnut, Chestnut, Pine and Locusts.

I came in with an open mind, not with the agenda of replacing Chennai, but to experience a wonderful new environment – which you didn’t. You try hard, what with graffiti of “With Love” campaign and dust-lined crack on a bell – freedom you say; but it just didn’t work.

Lee Anderson in his blog said this

Being attracted to a city is like being attracted to another human. It’s subject to very complex and uncontrollable emotions.

It’s quite true, you see. I detested Philly, ever since I landed here. You just weren’t the right one. However, like all stories with a critical juncture, I now realize that this oddball of a city has grown on to me. Now, I won’t go about saying you’re the best – far from it, but maybe you know, just maybe you’re ok. I’ll deal with it. You do have some interesting things about you. I’m stuck here all of this summer – and I do hope it’ll be fun. And just stop having a bipolar (multi?) weather, will you? And you certainly have some really good skills in marketing the history department. Imagine if this trait existed in India? Besides tacky fridge magnets and keychains, every ‘old’ temple and synagogue would be celebrated. Hey, even my grandad’s family house (err manor? city?) could be signed up for some tourism revenue!

In any case, I hope you embrace summer and don’t let it go.

I’ll be around,
Laav

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