Home: A Tale of Two Cities

Last night I had a bad dream
That I was trapped in this city
Then I asked is that really such a bad thing? – J. Cole

This weekend I traveled from Philadelphia, where I currently reside, to New York (Westchester County). My home. Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE New York. I love being from there and am quick to remind people should they forget, “Well, I’m from New York, so….”

When I think of home, I think of New York.

Living in Philadelphia full time for the last seven year has been an adjustment. I went to school here (#TempleMade), came into my own here and found love here (my fiance is the best part of Philadelphia). A few years ago, I started to make a conscious effort to stop disparaging this city and turn it into someplace that I can live by myself and with my fiance. I have successfully done that by enjoying my fiance and all the things that Philadelphia has to offer.

Deep down inside, I admittedly still don’t consider this home. It’s not New York.

This weekend while in New York, my family and I went to see the movie Creed, which was great. Picking up on the Rocky franchise, the movie was filmed primarily in Philadelphia (Google Rocky and your Philadelphia knowledge base will have begun). Sitting in the theater with two thirds of my family to my left and my fiance to my right, looking at Philadelphia on the big screen, I got emotional. I saw places I’ve been to with friends, date night spots, concert venues, the Philly bike culture, it was all there. My reaction caught me off guard. Although I’m not from here, I’ve spent such a significant part of my early adult life here that I cannot deny my connection to this damn city. The single thug tear I shed took me by surprise because its the same tear I shed when I watch a movie filmed in parts of New York or hear someone recount their New York experience. I was……proud?

I have been so worried about replacing “home” that I built a wall to block out any place else. In my head, I can’t possibly LOVE New York and warm up to Philly at the same time. Can I?

My family and majority of my friends are in New York. I also have an extended family and new friends in Philly. This place has grown on me, despite my early disdain for it. Simply put, it’s okay, I guess. I’m sure other people feel the same way and not just about New York. So here’s to all of the (insert your city here) transplants struggling to make another city work!

dionna camille


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