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.

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