A Car in the City

Not everyone has a car in the city. Often when people think of the stereotype of the city it is smaller apartments, minimal possessions, no car, lots of walking or public transportation, and a close proximity to a variety of amenities. This stereotype can be true to a certain extent.

Despite living in a city, I chose to keep my car. I find it useful in running errands, shopping, and making trips to friends and family on my time. I think the most important reason I chose to keep my car was flexibility of schedule. Having a car allows me to go exactly where I want when I want. I am not waiting on someone elses timetables, I am not limited by a fare, and I am in control of my own trajectory. The only real limiations to this freedom are parking fees and maintenance.

Parking can be tricky no matter where you are in the US. In Philadelphia it depends on where you are headed. If you are going to Walmart, rest assured there will be plenty of parking space, if you are going downtown, you may be spending some time hunting for a spot or walking from your prefered parking garage (if they have space). Parking downtown is hourly. Some apartments have small lots for residents to park their cars, but not all. The buildig I live in has no parking. If you find yourself in a similar situation there are two options:

Maintenance of your vehicle is up to you. I did not think I would have to take my car in at all while I was here but the winter gave me a surprise. My car died twice over the winter and gave me several odd warnings. This is extremely unusual as I have had this car for several years now and never had a problem with it. Turns out I did not drive it enough during winter (Florida girl is not too keen on driving in snow) and so the battery died. However the batteries death was a slow one which triggered every other possible warning as a distraction.

I would say if you are bringing a car up. Get it completely checked and fixed before getting here so you know that it won’t act up. Look up your cars dealerships or for mechanics in the area and write down their information to keep in your car in case something does happen. And try to drive your car at least once a week, even if it is snowy, to save on the battery life.

Overall I love having my car here and if I had to start over would still keep it. It has been so useful and reassuring to have.

Dad Vail’s review

Yesterday was a beautiful day for the Dad Vail Regatta! The sun was out the whole time and a nice river breeze kept it bearable to be outside. Below are a few fun shots from yesterday’s event.


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Today I did not get out in time for my sisters race. The weather isn’t nearly as pretty with an overcast gloomy appearance, although I am sure it is nicer for the racers not to be in direct sun all day.

A few tips for next years race:

  • Bring cash. You will need it to park close to the rowers village and the grandstand for watching the race. If not you may end up a 30 minute plus walk away, with only a two hour window to watch, and a high likelyhood of getting a ticket (like I did). If you are willing to risk the ticket just know it is about $26 where parking is between $15-30 all day.
  • Sunscreen is a must! I brought it yesterday but in all the excitement forgot to put it on. Needless to say I now have a very red back and shoulders.
  • If you aren’t about to bring sunscreen then make sure to cover up with long sleeve shirts, hats, umbrellas or other covers.
  • A refillable water bottle will certainly be a saving grace. There is a station to refill water bottles right next to the grandstand. This will save you the $3 for a water bottle or $4-6 for a lemonade or soda.
  • Make sure you know a rower. This is helpful in three ways: 1, they can tell you more about times, races, boats, etc, 2, they will all be in a convinent location to everything with a premade tent for shade, 3, rowers have food, free food, some of which they will likely share with you. And overall rowers are a friendly bunch and make for a good day’s hangout group, or at least the University of Florida team was a friendly bunch.