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Finding My Space

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By Jennifer Logue

I just moved to Philadelphia a few days ago after spending the better part of my 20s living in New York City. I was sick of the constant grind, being reduced to trivial, brainless office work 10 hours a day to spend only three conscious hours doing the things I really loved -- music and writing. While I had become fond of life on the island of Manhattan, after nine years, it was time for a change. So I decided to move to Philadelphia for my sanity, for more straight guys, and most importantly for space.

Space, my friends, is a hot commodity that you are very fortunate to have here in Philadelphia, whether you realize it or not. Take my new apartment on Spruce Street as an example. For the cost of my cramped, poorly lit bedroom in the East Village, I now have an entire apartment -- all to myself. For the first time in my adult life, I don't have to contend with a constant parade of roommates who are either complete slobs, clinically insane, have substance abuse problems or all of the above. Now when I walk into my apartment, there's no need to turn on the light in the middle of the day because I have windows. Seems pretty standard, but trust me, it is a beautiful thing.

Even my Bikram yoga class this morning was enhanced by the wonderful space phenomenon. I have been practicing five days a week for the past four years in New York City, and every class, even the super-early classes, would be packed to the gills because of the lack of space. The pose where this is most noticeable is the Full Locust Pose or Poorna Salabhasana. I think in the past four years I had only one New York City class where I wasn't whacked in the face by my neighbor's sweaty arm. Today in Bikram, I was able to fly as freely as an eagle without whacking or being whacked by my neighbor. Talk about finding yoga bliss. Namaste, bitches!

Have you ever put much thought into walking down the street? Taking a nice leisurely stroll along Walnut or the Avenue of the Arts? Probably not. And why should you? There's plenty of room on the sidewalk for you to have personal space and thus keep focused on the phone call you're making or the music you're listening to. In New York City, it is different. There are people everywhere. And they travel in packs, especially in Midtown. Whilst shouting over honking cars, jackhammers, and other people shouting, making a simple phone call requires patience and the vocal force of Pavarotti for the person on the other end to even remotely understand you. As far as listening to music goes, I've definitely gone a bit deaf trying to compete with the roar of the subway and those hideous jackhammers. Here in Philadelphia, sure, there are irritatingly loud people and a few jackhammers as well, but the space saves me a decibel or two. There's no need for me to crank up my music to the max, and for the first time in a long time, when I take a walk to clear my head, I can actually hear myself think. Sort of.

When it comes to dining out, nothing goes better with salmon confit than a glass of Pinot Gris and space. First of all, it's nice to go to a popular restaurant and not have to wait two hours to get a table. Secondly, once you sit down, it's such a luxury to have a conversation without shouting or straining your ears. The restaurants are more spread apart, most of them have more square footage to work with, and, let's face it, there are just fewer people. (Thank God.)

Sure, it's not all peaches and cream. Just today, I was preaching to a new Philly friend about how amazing and wonderful it is to have space when out of nowhere, my entire calf was covered in shit. I'm not quite sure if it was from a dog or from a human being, but either way, it was super gross. I guess you could say every city has its grittiness and grime. Inevitably, certain niceties are sacrificed for others in life. However, at least in the City of Brotherly Love, I don't need to sacrifice my space as much as I would in the Big Apple. If that means I get feces on my leg from time to time, so be it.  Perhaps that's a sign of good luck in Philadelphia


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