Experiences / Travel

The Concept of a Second City

Do you have a second city?

I’m lucky enough to have a few second cities. When I lived in New York, I spent about one weekend a month visiting my sister, Amanda, in Philadelphia. I took a bus to see my sister from another mister (hey Kat!) in D.C. pretty frequently as well. The freshest addition to my second city list is Los Angeles.

photo(47)

Oh hey, LA.

A second city is one that you don’t live in, or have ever lived in. It’s a place that you’ve been to plenty of times, enough to feel comfortable there, but it isn’t technically home to you.

(Yes, I just made that definition up. Fancy!)

In Philly, D.C., and LA, it’s easy enough for me to get around or figure out my transportation options (even if it is sometimes with the help of a smart phone!). I have a few favorite bars or restaurants that I know the location of and like to frequent. I even have a couple museums or quirky little spots that I’d venture to say are my favorites. When I visit someone and he or she has to run off and do something solo (like work, classes, etc.), I’m able to entertain myself, no sweat.

It’s super strange to be in a city that’s not your own, but that isn’t totally foreign to you either. When I was in LA last, I had that sort of feeling hit me more than once. At one point, my dude had some work to finish up, and as I was debating how to spend my time, I remembered some of my visits to Phila and D.C.

photobooth with amanda

Photobooth at the hipster bowl in Philly.

I thought about the coffee shop in Philadelphia that I’d cozy up in on cold afternoons, the vintage clothing store where I purchased some pretty rad little cowgirl boots with Amanda, and Honey’s, the best brunch spot in the city of brotherly love. I also thought about the nail salon Kat and I always went to, the place where we would split pitchers of margaritas by American University, and the amazing secret club that we stumbled upon one Halloween in Dupont Circle (long story).

me and kat

Washington, D.C. babetimes

After returning to San Francisco, I’ve been reflecting a lot about that second city feeling. It’s difficult to put into words, and I was actually hesitant to write about it because I thought this might be a concept that’s hard for most people to relate to.

But there have to be plenty of folks out there who find themselves in this position. There are definitely other guys and gals who visit their significant others in different cities, who can take a budget bus to see their best friends, whose siblings are a short and inexpensive flight away, or whatever the situation may be!

So, do you have a second city? Tell me all about it! As I mentioned, this is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and I’d love to hear other people’s experiences as well. 🙂

4 thoughts on “The Concept of a Second City

  1. I guess I don’t have a second city if it has to be a city you neve rlived in. If it can be a city you lived in but don’t liv ein anymore, it’s got to be Nijmegen, Netherlands. I now liv ein a tiny town and the closest I have to a “second city” which isn’t a ciyt I’ve lived in, isn’t a city either but a small town too.

    • I sort of feel that New York almost fits into my second city category also. But I lived there for 5 years, so I never had that strange I-know-this-city-but-I-am-still-a-tourist feeling.

      Thanks for reading!!

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