5 Things That Scare Me About Moving To The City

Today N and I are checking out the first of several potential apartments. With our upcoming move to the city, there are things that I’m prepared for. Things like traffic, paying more rent for less space, and that funky smell that seems to permeate the entire neighborhood on trash day.

But as much as I’d like you to believe that I’m the cool, laid-back girl, I’m not. I’m just not. I’ll adjust to city life, I know I will, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have some things that scare me.

5 things that scare me about moving to the city | www.eastandblog.com

1. All the murder.

May as well throw that out there first, right? We’re moving to a city that is colloquially nicknamed “killadelphia”. I now see bars on the windows of houses as a bonus.

2. Oh shit, I have to learn how to parallel park.

Um yeah. That. Almost every apartment we look at has “free!” on-street parking. SUPER. Finding a parking spot will be hard enough. And actually parking once I do? Well, let’s just hope my neighbors don’t mind a tap or two.

3. Will Archie adjust?

From the time I leave for work until N gets home, Archie is all by his lonesome in the big city. What if someone breaks in to steal our electronics and finds our, much more valuable, poorly trained golden retriever? Honestly, take everything. Take it all (the rental insurance will cover it). But leave the dog. He’s irreplaceable.

But what if, in the process of robbing us, Archie gets out and runs into the street? Or, more realistically, what if he doesn’t understand where to go to the bathroom because of the lack of grass? What if he always jumps at people as we walk past them on the sidewalk? Needless to say, I’m worried about how he’ll handle it all.

How do people have children? How?! Because this is how much I worry about my dog.

love statue philadelphia

4. Buh-bye closet space.

Truthfully, I use our entire walk in closet. N keeps his clothes in the hall closet. I’m that girlfriend.

Living in a city with a ton of history (i.e. it’s old) has downsides and perks.

Perk: the buildings are historic and beautiful, with lots of exposed brick, hardwood floors, and charm.

Downside: Most apartments are big historic homes that have been converted to apartments, which means that the floor plans are funky and closet space is questionable. We’ve got to downsize and that means I’ll make ruthless cuts on what comes with me and what keeps its home in my closet.

It’ll be worth it all for the hardwood floors though.

5. That I’m just not quirky enough for Philly.

Philly is an eclectic place. I’ve heard it described as “the new Brooklyn”. It’s chock full of hipsters, edgy restaurants, dog parks, and dive bars. Am I cool enough? I like cheap trendy clothing stores, chain restaurants, and I’d rather watch a big blockbuster than anything with subtitles. I worry about fitting in, about seeming too cookie cutter. But I do own a pair of fake glasses, so hey, I’m halfway to hipster.

  • The closet space is one I know I’d die without! Storage space is such a must.

  • Valeri

    I have been reading your blog forever… I can’t believe I never picked up on the fact that your “city” is Philly! I can totally relate to your entire situation – my boyfriend and I have lived in the PA suburbs for about three years and just recently bought our first home in the NJ suburbs. We’re just a train ride away from Philly, but I’ve always wondered if we’re missing out by not living in the city. I’m 24 and not getting any younger, so I’m concerned that I’m missing my chance, but the higher taxes + small apartments + city parking have deterred me. I can’t wait to hear how things work out for you two! I have a feeling you will be just fine 🙂

  • You’ll adjust to city life, as will Archie. It can be super scary though, so I totally understand! Do your best to find a good neighborhood, check out the local dog parks, carry pepper spray (or take self defense classes?), and you never know what apartment gems you’ll find. I had friends in college up here in Chicago who lived in an old house turned into an apartment too and holy cow it was the best thing ever. They had space, storage, a great porch, it was awesome. It’s rare, but you never know. 🙂

  • My dream is to live in Rittenhouse, but that’s probably never going to happen. I envy your moving into town! I think you’ll fit in just fine, the best part about Philly is that there are SO many different kinds of people. Good luck with the move!

  • I don’t know, I have a feeling you will do just fine. I will say, since I’m an expert living in Dallas (JK), just be more careful. which stinks but it’s true!

  • Parallel parking sucks but I would be scared for my dog in the city too but Im sure alllll the adventures you will have will make you forget about this soon enough. Good luck on your search!

  • Bridget

    Hi there ~ I think you’ll love living in the city! There is so much to do, dog parks where Archie can have friends and play, and everything within walking distance – so once you park the car, who cares?

    Let me know if you want to talk about it, or have other questions – maybe we’ll be neighbors, and our pups can be buds! baclancyATverizonDOTnet.


    P.S. There are tons of non-hipsters, and quirkiness means everyone has their own thing so don’t worry about it.

  • JC

    The first few weeks with Archie will probably annoy the everloving hell out of you, and try to jump on everyone, but the more you expose him the city the more accustomed he will get. It took us a while but our pooch can make it through the farmers market and big events like a pro now. It will be fine!

  • I live in a suburb outside of Philly right now, but I’ll be moving into the city in May, and I definitely have some of the same fears as you. I’ve never lived in a city, and I’ll most likely be living alone – so as excited as I am, I’m also pretty terrified! And the more rent for less space thing has me pretty nervous, too. And don’t worry – I’m praying that not everyone in Philly is quirky, because that is the last word you’d use to describe me.

    Good luck with finding a place – I haven’t started looking too much yet, but Craigslist has been my best friend in figuring out the affordable areas!

  • Lauren Harrelson

    I dont know how people have kids either. I’m right there with you on the neurotic, anxiety inducing, overprotective dog love.

  • V

    Lol. Remind me never to park near you! That being said, I suck at parallel parking too… But sometimes these changes force us to learn new things. When I moved to England I was terrified to learn how to drive there. I was really stressful learning, and the test was the hardest I’ve ever taken but I carry that UK license around with great pride.


  • Moving is always always scary! The first few weeks will be an adjustment and there will be some things you hate, some things you love and some things you are overly critical about just because they aren’t what you are used to (but you’ll forget about entirely once you are used to them). Good luck with your big move, I think it will be amazing for you guys!

  • We’ve been living in Baltimore for 8 years now, and we love it! We have a chocolate lab so we bought our house right around the corner from a huge park. It has been perfect for our dog, so I think if you keep that sort of thing in mind, Archie will be fine. I don’t think Baltimore and Philly are that much different. I think that both cities have a bad reputation for crime, but it’s not worth worrying about that you lose sleep over it. Here’s my thought– every city has more crime because there are more people, which leads to more opportunity. In terms of shootings and murders, I’ve found that 99.9% of them are drug or gang related. Rarely are they a bystander that happened to be in the way, or an innocent person that was walking down the street. Do people get mugged or assaulted? Yes, but often times it’s because they are walking down the street a) at 3am when they shouldn’t be out anyway, or b) texting on their phone and totally unaware of their surroundings. To be honest, if you are scared or nervous while you’re out and about, people committing crimes will sense that. If you’re confident, make eye contact with people, say hello, get to know your neighbors, use common sense, and know your surroundings, you will not have issues. And last piece of advice? Leave nothing in your car. Doing so is basically like asking for it to get broken into. Is all of this advice only appropriate for Philly or Baltimore? No. All cities have their issues. Heck, my parents’ house was recently broken into and they live in a tiny town in Indiana. Just be smart and you’ll be absolutely fine! 🙂

  • When I lived in the city, the thing I missed the most that made me want to move was the lack of grass for the dogs. Being in a high rise, I felt trapped and couldn’t wait to move to a more traditional place with outdoor space. My advice would be to think of those things you know you absolutely can not live without and find some sort of way to get them in the city. You will be much more happier in the long run! With that being said, I think y’all will adjust just fine. It will be a fun, new lifestyle!

  • Aww, this post makes me miss the city and all the scary parts of it! 😉 I think it’s fun that you’re going to live there for awhile, even if it’s not forever.

  • Samantha

    It has to be so different moving to a city but I am SO jealous. I totally wish I would have done it before we had kids 🙁

  • I was in Philadelphia over the summer and thought it was such a charming city! I love the mix of the old historic buildings and all the new ones with all the cool architecture. Good luck!

  • Yep! I’ve avoided moving to Philadelphia for almost 2 years now, even though my husband works there…and he has to commute a hour or stay with family in the city. I just don’t feel secure. But like you said, you will adapt and I’m sure fall in love with your neighborhood. I always have fun visiting friends but …. I like going home to the suburbs and my garage and big closet 🙂

  • as someone that moved to downtown portland, or 5 years ago…i can assure you that you will indeed be quirky enough and usually that results in giggling at all the hipsters that pass you by! our dog lived in the suburbs of TX before she became a downtown dog and she is LOVING it!

    you know those weird smells you speak of…dogs love them. your pup will figure out where to potty and it will all work out. still…coming from an anxiety-prone person who never lived in a city before we moved here-your fears are heard, it will take time to adjust and i bet you will end up loving it!

  • I love the feelings that come with the unknown like this! The excitement, nervousness, anxiousness, and unfortunately the fears also. Can’t wait to hear about all your great adventures.
    The closet space would scare me too.

  • I’m excited for Archie…for all the dog parks he’ll get to visit. AND ALL THE SMELLS.

  • Alison

    I TOTALLY had the same freak out about my dog getting dog napped or somehow getting loose before I moved her from my parents house to Chicago with me. She was 7 when she moved and I am happy to report that we never had ANY issues, and I think she actually misses the big city now that we are in a more suburban area. Archie will do great, and you guys will get to explore the city together!

  • Dude, I would be terrified of living in the city. But I think you can totally handle it. 😉

    You might be the closet blogger I know! I’m about 20 minutes outside of Philly in South Jersey. PA/NJ blogger meetup?? I’ve always wanted to organize one. Maybe I’ll look into it sometime. Except, I might be too awkward for that.

  • Jessica

    Don’t worry it’s really not that bad. Philly girl here born and raised. lol.

  • Remember–it’s the city of brotherly ‘love’, so focus on that. I lived there in my mid twenties and had the time if my life! There’s so much to do and there’s a place for everyone. What an adventure 🙂

  • Yea of course there are sketchy places in philly (avoid broad street/temple area) but Rittenhouse is always a great option 😉 Hope you enjoy apartment hunting!

  • You can totally handle it! I’m so glad you’ll be in Philly… I feel a blogger meet-up coming on!

  • Haha Nadine, you need to stop worrying, my friend!! 🙂 You are going to do just fine in the city. I have never really thought about traveling to see Philly; however, after your short glimpses into the life there, I kind of want to! Once you do get moved in, and have time to experience more things, you should write a post about all the exciting “stuff” you love there! By the way, there are so many levels of “cool” now-a-days; you need not worry about “fitting in”. Have a great weekend 🙂

  • You will love it, you’ll be fine, and soon you’ll be wondering why you were ever worried.

  • Oh my goodness, these were too funny! Living in a NYC apartment I can totally relate and if you are in Philly, that is awesome, as I go down for business semi-regularly! Blate?

  • i live in the murder capita of my city!! i didn’t know that until we had signed the contract and decided to live there. my dad was NOT happy. he is pressuring us to move but i love it here.

  • I was just in Philly this past week! My bf lives there and he loves it. He’s in Northern Liberties and I must say, I absolutely LOVE that area. What neighborhoods are you guys looking at? There are so many dogs in the area and everything seems very dog friendly. I’m sure it will be an adjustment (as everything is) but you will be fine. I seriously love Philly and was surprised by how dog friendly and eclectic it is. I think it is absolutely about what you make of it. Just enjoy the experience and as someone once told me, you have the rest of your lives to live in the burbs.

  • After lots of years in the city, I have yet to learn how to parallel park. Tim is on a mission to rectify this situation IMMEDIATELY, but I get anxiety just thinking about trying to park with all of the traffic and aggressive drivers!

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