Currently I live in University City, Philadelphia, PA while attending Drexel University. One of the deciding factors of coming to Drexel was the fact that it is in the middle of Philadelphia, a city with so much history and personality attached to it. At first I was nervous about moving to a city having grown up in a New Jersey suburb all of my life. There were many things I had to get used to, such as walking with groups at night instead of by yourself. At first this was common sense and I did it normally due to my fear of walking alone in a new place that I wasn’t familiar with. However, having been here for two years I have become much more familiar with my surroundings and smarter with how to walk down a Philadelphia street, i.e. who to avoid eye contact with.
As I was walking back last night from the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince midnight showing, I felt complete safe walking the streets of University City at 3am with my group of six friends. However, talking with my friend about safety of walking at night she said that she still doesn’t feel safe walking at night. I proceeded to tell her that after walking through Northeast Philadelphia, Market Street was like heaven. It was then that I realized how different a few miles could be when you live in a city.
Walking through University/Center City you see beautiful brick buildings with ivy growing up the sides and progressively designed office buildings in the working district with creative and unique art and sculptures everywhere you turn. Although, take the subway 15 minutes north and you find yourself stuck in a world out of a Charles Dickens novel. Windows are broken, people walking the street are not dressed to go to work in a law firm, trash populates the sidewalks and the street, and signs in storefronts publicize offers for cigarettes and alcohol in a not-so-classy manner to say the least.
It was at that moment when I was describing to my friend the different atmosphere between the two that I realized the human can adapt to anything. I’ve no doubt adapted to living in a city and if I had to travel to Northeast Philly everyday I would no doubt adjust my lifestyle to that atmosphere. It’s human nature to adapt and that is how we have survived thus far. – Laura Rumolo, intern