A year ago today we pulled away from the lovely triple-decker we lived in on Chilton Street, and made the “long” (barely 6 hour) drive down to our new home. Well, to our temporary new home…we had to spend two weeks in temporary housing (with only a very weak AC window unit) before we could move in to our row home (by Philadelphia standards, a single-family home) in Center City.
In honor of our year here, today we’re doing the same thing we did our first full day as residents of PA: going to the movies! (Last year, Moonrise Kingdom. This year, The Bling Ring).
We love it here, but there are of course things we miss about Cambridge. Prompted by my friend K’s list of things she misses about her former home, I thought I’d share a few of ours:
* The Bakeries
This one definitely tops out the list (next to our Bostonian friends). We were surrounded by great bakeries, and while we did take advantage of that fact (and often), we didn’t realize what a rarity it was.
Hi-Rise was just around the corner, and had great breads and pastries. We were particularly fond of their brioche and brown bread, and their Cheddar Snails and Vanilla Loaf were our Sunday morning standbys. Oh. And their Apricot Preserves.
Sofra was just a little farther afield but still close by, and perhaps the place I miss the most – although more for their breakfasts than for their baked goods. A Middle-Eastern bakery, Sofra’s flavors were particularly unique – and spectacularly tasty. I will always have a special place in my heart for their Turkish Breakfast, and C has made many frustrated attempts to find (or make) a Shakshuka that rivals the one at Sofra.
Flour Bakery (one of the locations, at least) was not too far from my office at MIT. They had terrific sandwiches, croissants, and cakes. When we were traveling for the weekend, I would often pick up dinner at Flour before meeting C at the airport, and we certainly felt like royalty eating their sandwiches and cakes on the airplane while everyone else at Pringles.
* Fresh Pond
We are by no means deprived of running trails by the water in Philadelphia (and oh so thankful for that fact), but Fresh Pond and the trail around it will always hold a special place in our heart. I also love that they call “lakes” “ponds” up there.
* The HBS Gym
Thanks to C’s employer, we had inexpensive access to a really great gym. There were always plenty of machines (treadmills, etc.), lots of high-quality group exercise classes, free towel service, and locker rooms that didn’t smell! In fact, no part of the gym smelled, which is quite a feat. We both miss our tradition of meeting there after work several times a week before heading home.
There were days in Cambridge that we couldn’t park DIRECTLY. IN. FRONT. OF. OUR. HOUSE. and we had to park a few houses away, on the same block. Those days were not even that common. We thought that was annoying at the time, but really we had nothing to complain about. Without a doubt parking is the toughest thing about living in Center City, and we now reminisce about the parking situation on Chilton Street.
The People Our Friends
This one perhaps belongs at the top of the list, but I thought I would finish strong. We don’t miss the strangers in Boston that much, but we did make lots of wonderful friends that we think of regularly (a few of whom we’ve had a chance to see down here in Philly). The Community Group from our church that we were a part of was a special place to grow friendships and step back together from the busyness that is life in Boston. We also dearly miss our colleagues, many of whom became good friends.