This summer was quite the whirlwind and as it winds down and I start packing for London, the time has come to take a look back and reflect on what it was like to spend a summer in two cities. Though Philly and New York are close and similar in that both are ‘major cities,’ they are also quite different. New York is a world of its own and for those that have never been, there is nothing that quite compares. Seeing the two cities in contrast each week has really made me think about what I enjoy about each.
New York has always been special to me. With family scattered in and around Manhattan, I’ve been many times though the years and each trip has afforded a variety of memories and experiences. From when I was younger and seeing my first broadway show (The Lion King) to being in middle school and picking out a tallit for my Bat Mitzvah to now when I have been able to spent time working in the city, I have had time to explore some areas but feel that I could never experience everything New York has to offer, even if I lived there. It is so easy to get caught up in a routine and unfortunately I got stuck in one for a most of the summer. I would take the train from Kew Gardens (where I lived with family) into Manhattan every morning, walk from Madison Square Garden to Madison Square Park and go into the office and then either go to a concert with Heidi, FlyBarre or home. Heidi and I did pull the tourist card and go find the #WhatLiftsYou wings in SoHo one day, and I spent an hour after work in Central Park reading a book, but for the most part I got into a routine that I felt comfortable in and stuck with it. If I did anything differently this summer, it would have been to explore the city a bit more.
Life is not the mountain tops, it’s the walking in between.
– Ben Rector
In contrast to New York, Philly always felt like a place to catch up on sleep and rest before going back to New York. It was on the train home when I knew a few days of sleeping in lied ahead, some walks through Rittenhouse Square were in order and I could spend time catching up and checking in with my roommates. Living in University City, campus is fairly quiet during the summer, especially on weekends, so spending time in Philly provided that much needed balance to New York’s constant energy.
We all get into a routine, some good and some bad, and if I learned anything from living in two cities, it is that our routines can prevent us from experiencing some unique moments life has to offer. This summer has gone by in a whirlwind and half of what I wanted to go and do didn’t happen, but the experiences I had will be cherished forever. The photos below are some of my favorite moments including watching fireworks out my window when I was sick on 4th of July, visiting friends in Arizona for my Birthday, seeing my cousin in Canada for a weekend, meeting the two inspirational women behind Tone It Up (a post on this to come) and enjoying Philly and New York with friends.