a swan song to Philadelphia

I’ve told friends that the past year has been my swan song to Philadelphia. In the past twenty two years, I’ve lived in two houses with my family, two school dorms on Penn’s campus, and two apartments in University City with my friends. I’ve spent a summer studying in England, and another interning in Hong Kong, but I’ve always come back to the 215 area code with a sense of comfort and conviction that I was going home.

Before I was accepted into the Yenching Academy, I was considering several jobs teaching English in Asia. I had loved the summer job I held between my junior and senior year, and appreciated the independence that came from being halfway around the world from everything else that I knew. Knowing that I was thinking of leaving made me want to fill the year with memories of my favorite places in the city and with the people that have made each of these places important.

Here are some of the places that have made it onto my goodbye tour, mix-tape of a swan song, etc. etc. etc. I thought that I’d keep this post open to edits, and that I might continually update it over the course of the summer as I complete some of the items on this Bucket List. If you’re ever in a position where you get to visit these places, know that you’ll be seeing some of the sites of my most poignant memories.

Senior Year Bucket List: (in no particular order)

  1. Visit the Wissahickon & Valley Green
  2. Eat Dim Sum in Chinatown
  3. The Philadelphia Museum of Art
  4. Run a really long race!
  5. See the skyline from Belmont Plateau
  6. Rodin Museum
  7. Baltimore Dollar Stroll
  8. Love Letter to You (Philadelphia Mural Arts)
  9. Sit on a rooftop and watch the city at night
  10. Go to a Wednesday Night Concert at Pastorius Park
  11. Blueberry Picking with Mom
  12. Get matching tattoos with all of my cousins (just kidding… or am I?)
  13. Go down the  shore for a day
  14. Declutter my room/house before leaving
  15. etc.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the writer of Hamilton, gave the commencement speech for the University of Pennsylvania this year in Franklin Field. In his words: “You win, Philly. You win every time.” I agree wholeheartedly.




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