Name: Emily and Zack
Location: Fishtown —Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Back in June, my husband Zack and I made an unexpected decision: we left our two-bedroom apartment in the posh Rittenhouse Square neighborhood of downtown Philadelphia to call a one-bedroom Fishtown flat home. We weren’t planning on moving when our previous landlord approached us about renewing our lease for a third year. But as it goes, one conversation led to another, and we began itching for a new experience. We started meeting with realtors and scouring Craigslist in all our free time to find a new place.
Conventional wisdom might say that after graduating with a professional degree, we should get more—more space, a bigger home, shiny things. But after Zack graduated from University of Pennsylvania's Law School last May, and after months of conversation centered on purposefully living small, we became convinced that moving was just another opportunity to reduce our footprint in the city and put actions to our values. We ended up settling on the perfect set of 900 square feet within a repurposed warehouse in a different Philly neighborhood called Fishtown.
We spent the next two weeks massively decluttering. I thought that we didn’t have a lot of stuff to begin with, but our purge proved otherwise. We got rid of so many things that were taking up both physical and heart space—space that is now free for things of value to inhabit. Zack and I are avid believers in the positive effects living on less has on a soul. Without excess to trudge through, we find ourselves freer to connect with each other, be inspired and pursue purpose. We’ve been motivated to look at all areas of life through this lens, and are constantly challenged to live small in new ways. What we feared might be a difficult transition has, in reality, worked pretty well for us.
Our new neighborhood feels more like home every day. A former manufacturing district, it’s an artistic, scruffy section of town, rich with culture, grit and people from all walks of life. We are nestled in between coffeehouses, design shops and metal sculptures. Each morning I am greeted by a rundown wooden sign that reads, “Welcome to Fishtown. Stop and smell the roses.” It suits us well, and we are thankful for the way the locals have graciously accepted the influx of young urbanites into their beloved space.
A special shout out to CB2, Rose & Fitzgerald, Ikea, Three Potato Four and Best Made Co. for creating all of our favorite things inside.
Thanks, Emily and Zack!
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