8.25.2016

Diverse City

I recently returned from a day trip to a university-proximate neighborhood in another big US city nearby (whose identity will be withheld because it doesn't really matter for this story).  It had been a while since I'd been, and it was delightful to return, because I love that neighborhood and that city and I was glad for the chance to get reacquainted.  But I couldn't help but scratch my head a little that the street scene seemed somewhat sparser than I would've guessed.  I chalked it up to it being a lazy weekday afternoon on a blazing hot August day.

And yet when I returned to my neighborhood later that day, the weather conditions were the same but the street scene was not.  At one particular intersection, I rue not being quick enough on the draw to fish out my camera and snap some quick pics, because it perfectly captured what is so great about Philly and particularly my little slice of it.  It was an intersection where campus meets community, where stately university buildings share space with vibrant retail corridors as well as with storefronts with 2nd floor residential units.  There were cars, bikers, and pedestrians galore, and they represented all skin colors, ages, and walks of life.  It all added up to a great street scene - energetic, colorful, and eclectic - and for as incredibly rich as the visual was, what also impressed me about the moment is that it was so...normal.  There was nothing showy or staged here, it was just how this place works. 

We are experiencing a growing hunger for great places, which are authentic and diverse and vibrant.  There are some great examples throughout the country.  What I love about my life is how my own neighborhood captures this magic in a bottle too.
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