My urban experience...

I dont' know if you all know this but I moved to Filet (Philly) permanently this July.
I'm back at Drexel University, working full time and I couldn't be happier. 

Last summer I spent my time interning and loving living in a city. 
Read: I drank Slurpees twice a day and discovered the wonders of food trucks. 

Even though I lived my whole life in Northern Virginia, I went to undergrad and graduate school in really small towns. 
So living in the middle of a city was super different. 
When I went back to Harrisonburg for my last year of grad school 
I basically spent the majority of my time kicking rocks around saying how stupid everything about everything was, and how I wanted to go back to the land of cheese steaks 

Now that I'm here and I'm never leaving 
I'm adjusting to city life in a way that I didn't last year. 

For instance, I mainly stuck around the university and didn't venture out in the city much. 
I also ate free meals every day thanks to my internship. 
I never had to really grocery shop. 
If I needed anything I just went to Target. 
What I'm saying is I didn't eat fresh or local. 

My first grocery store experience in the city was a little overwhelming. 
Every turn was a new surprise. 
Literally, the aisles are in weird diagonals, and Depends are in the same aisle as the cupcake mix. 
DEPENDING on who you are that seems like an odd pairing to me. 
See what I did there?
Fair enough. 

The most terrifying piece about living alone in the city?

The possibility of intruders?

Choking on your food and no one being able to help you?

Caving in to getting a cat named Chunk a Chunk?
Kind of but nope.



I'm not kidding y'all. 
I live in a nice place. 
I love it. 
It's homey. 
I'm making it my own. 
But the first time I saw this city bug in my apartment I immediately reached for my inhaler. 
It was gigantic.
 When I told my best friend Sara K. what I had been through, I'm pretty sure it looked and sounded a lot like this: 

She then assured me that what I had just experienced was all a part of my urban adventure. 

Part of this adventure now involves me entering every room in my house like a potential perp is waiting to cut off locks of my hair. 

I'm positive that one day I'm going to come home to this scene:

(Alien bugs drawn to scale)

At that point I'm going to say "F it," sit down, have a cup of coffee with them and tell them about my day. 

That's when I'll know I've truly embraced my new city lifestyle. 


  1. You know, I've never lived in an apartment in the city, but I have lived in basement apartments - which sounds like pretty much the same experience. I have found a snake(!!!!), nine slugs, mice (*shudders*), WAY too many millipedes, and a large population of giant spiders all up in my crib.

    Before you just say "eff it" and share your day with them, I think you need to teach Chunk a Chunk how to hunt down and kill giant bugs.

  2. I went to Central Park zoo last weekend with my cousin. When she casually pointed out that there were mice swarming in the trashcan 6 inches from my left arm, I just about stroked out and died.

    And that was a MAMMAL- something I'm at least vaguely related to on the evolutionary ladder.

    City insects would kill me instantly. You are a braver woman than I.

    1. I just read mice and swarming in the same sentence and almost seized in fear.

  3. Holy cow. City bugs are not to be messed with. We just moved away from NYC, and they were HORRIBLE. I'm talking like 4 inchers that are a million miles per hour fast. You need a good vacuum with an arm and a canister that can come out so you can flush them. And a good powder sugar-Borax combo. I know I sound crazy, but they are so evil...and CRAFTY!

  4. Seriously, what gives with city grocery stores? When I visit my boyfriend's family in a suburb of Philly, I insist upon making two stops on the drive home: Target and ACME Supermarket...I derive infinite pleasure from browsing large, airy stores with seemingly limitless inventories. For me, at least, it's unparalleled way to achieve a Zen state. I lived in Manhattan for 23/25 years of my life, and had my first up-close and personal encounter with a roach a few weeks ago (in the SUBURBS of NYC, no less). I was on the phone, watching the Olympics in bed, my faithful hound snoozing by my side, when, out of nowhere, a 3 inch waterbug with what felt like 40 legs crawled up my maxidress. I SCREAMED as it RAN back down my leg onto the bed, instinctively throwing my cell phone on top of the bug, and grabbing my poor sleeping mutt, I ran out of the room, flailing my arms and legs as I ran. I slept in my hallway on an AeroBed for a week.
    (FYI: I'm the Birthday Cake Oreo & WWE-obsessed weirdo from Twitter.)

    1. 1st: I'm so glad it's you! I mean we are kind of twitter weirdo soul mates and I dig that.

      2nd: I read that story and needed to take a minute because I was legit freaked out FOR you. That is terrifying. TERRIFYING.

      3rd: Whenever I go to a non-city grocery store I feel like spinning in circles singing show tunes. It's so magical.

  5. you had me at filet.


    how much do I have to cough up to post more?

    I've got two angelic children I'll be happy to chuck your way any day.

    1. Do you have chips and dip? I'll take the kids too. Not to be greedy or anything.

  6. Here via Camp Patton.

    I LOVE PHILLY. I had a few friends that lived there years ago so I spend all of two long weekends there and OMG I LOVE PHILLY. But alas, my hubby is from the Pittsborg and he hates cities so I will never convince him to move there. Or probably to visit even. And now my peeps who lived there have moved away so my only hope is to become your BFF so I can come crash at YOUR place. I'm good a killing bugs!

    1. Uh I'm alwayssssss up for new BFFs so make this love connection happen!

  7. Hello from another transplant to Philly. May I give you one piece of advice in terms of your grocery shopping needs? Wegmans. Yes, you have to drive. Yes, the closest one to you is in Jersey, which means paying $5 in tolls over the bridge. Trust me - it is worth it. Not only is it wayyyyy cheaper than shopping in the city, but it is an amazingly wonderful store with everything you could ever hope to find including restaurants, beer, and samples. You want to go.

  8. Back again to relive the comedy and second assortedjoys on Wegmans. I hail fromt he home of the original Weggy's, western NY, and I would drive and hour each way DAILY if I could reach a Wegmans. My husband and I have come up with a whole plan that accounts for how all of our needs would be met if we lived in a Wegmans store for weeks at a time.

    1. Alexandra, I too hail from WNY! I actually drive only 40 min to Wegmans, but only because they opened one closer to my house - I used to drive just about an hour. Totally worth it. Oddly enough, when my husband and I were considering where to move our family, we were like... well... Philly has Wegmans and it if we go further south we won't have Wegmans... Sad, but true.

    2. I drove over the bridge to Wegmans and it was TOTALLY worth it. It was like the doors opened and the angels sang. Simply amazing.

  9. You need to see Joe's Apartment. Cheesy made-for-MTV movie starring a sexy Jerry O'Connell about his cockroach friends. Seriously hilarious. You'll appreciate it.

  10. Hi! Just followed links and found you... my heart is filled with sympathy. I live in the the land of humidity and flying "city bugs" (Japan) so I had to tell you my secret. After a couple of summers of being completely terrorized - like, flying out of the trash can into my face kind of stuff - I came up with a plan. As soon as it started getting a little warm in spring I went and bought tons of Combat. I put them all over the apartment, even out on the balcony. That summer we were creepy-crawly free, and I've been replacing my Combat every spring with great success. We get maybe one a summer now. Give it a try...

  11. I love this and have had similar confusion over grocery shopping in the city. I think Chunk needs you and I'm happy to hear that your first year is (mostly) great!

  12. Camp Patton brought me here, too. So glad she did! I can definitely sympathize with bugs in the living room, though mine like to frequent the bedroom as well. They're just brave enough to show their faces while I'm getting ready to snuggle in for the night, but as soon as I go to grab a tissue, they're nowhere to be found. Needless to say, they get the room to themselves at that point. But at least I get to watch Criminal Minds by myself!

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