I love Philly. I’ve been here three years and this city can amaze me every day. The skyline alone can bring me a joy for which I have few words. When I first moved here, not knowing anyone, I would walk around with a camera and explore the city. A tradition I continue to this day but can oft neglect. A very early rocky start to my morning, hurt feelings, the cheese stands alone, and I found myself wandering on the Eastern end of the city. I scuffled along Columbus/Delaware Ave skirting the city. Walking past the monstrosity of the casino, the many piers rehabilitated into bars, the drunks stumbling home from the gentlemen clubs, there was a lot to find ugly about Philly. I was to the brim with negative thoughts, ruminating on the heartbreaks, the battle wounds this city has given me. I feel I came out of Savannah emotionally wounded but lacking any scars. Philly has toughened me. A recent mugging has led me to wearily watch everyone I pass by, giving strangers a wide berth, with the fear of getting rolled. I’ve fallen in and out of love with the men of this city half a dozen times. Those southern boys never did it for me. I’ve been heartbroken over missed opportunities and felt unworthy by those I held in highest esteem, loves and colleagues alike. These are childish and whiny thoughts, and sometimes it’s easier to wallow. But there is something about this place. Something that wills me to pick myself up and dust myself off. Some inspiration that I never did find in Savannah. I continued up the avenue, and started to notice the vivid pinks blossoms of the budding trees in the median. The chilly breeze off the Delaware River. And then the sun winked at me from the spans of the Ben Franklin Bridge. I pulled out my camera phone, forever a tourist. I’m in love. It is tumultuous, it often times feels unreciprocated. But sometimes the waning sunlight will turn the brownstones of Rittenhouse golden, the mirrored glass windows of the Center City skyscrapers will reflect a perfect blue making them seem as if they are built of sky, or I’ll turn a corner and be suddenly struck by a new impossible-seeming vantage of the city, and I know in my heart that Philly loves me back.