Cherry blossom snowflakes, graffiti art classes, underground open mics, downtown rollerblading, poems in the park, thrift store shopping, coffee shop journaling…
Springtime in Philadelphia feels slowed down.
People have time for you here.
And it’s not because they’re less busy.
It’s because they look into your eyes when they speak.
They stay there just a few seconds longer.
Sometimes, they throw in an endearing nickname, like flower or sugar, and they say it like they’ve known you all their lives.
Like you’re not just a stranger.
It’s called the City of Brotherly Love, translated from its name in Greek.
This name feels true.
Philadelphia doesn’t care to air its fanciness.
It doesn’t concern itself with appearing impressive on the outside to outsiders.
The true beauty of Philly resides in the heart of it all; in the soul behind its people & the pockets of community it rightly prides itself on.
It’s in the builder who carried my suitcase up 4 flights of stairs;
the busker who gave me a teddy just for hanging out a bit longer;
the grandma I met in Church who took half an hour passionately explaining how important it is as a lady to never let others steal our joy. And invest in pepper spray. Apparently it’s essential.
A gritty, resilient City held together by history, love, loss, multiculturalism, art, storytelling & the belief that we are all stronger, braver & happier together.
There’s an understanding in these backstreets that dreams are achieved best when community rallies round you.
So they do.
I read a piece I wrote on stage this night at an artist’s open mic, completely alone & equally as terrified.
But when I looked up from my ripped and quaking journal pages, before I even had the chance to wonder whether it was worthy, I was met with passionate applause-the kind you’d get from your mom when you were on stage as a child; the kind a writer looks their whole life for.
This is who the people of Philly are.
Strangers sprinkle kindness like confetti.
Like it doesn’t cost a thing.
Like they have nothing to lose.
If you give this City your love, it’s a City that loves you back.