Your parents sold the house where you grew up and you are not welcome in their new penthouse in Old City

You can never go home again. Especially when your parents have unloaded that five bedroom ranch house in the suburbs in lieu of an urban penthouse in Center City Philadelphia. No longer will you have room in the driveway for your old college car, nor will you ever see dear old dad pushing a lawnmower. Those days are over. Your parents now live in the city, and you are not welcome to visit beyond the occasional 48 hour stay. The Indy 500 or New Kids on the Block posters that once adorned your bedroom walls? Stuffed into the back of the old station wagon, then wisely driven off the side of a cliff. A real crash diet where your parents quickly shed 12,000 pounds of ugly fat.

Your grandparents may have fled the city after WWII, and come hell or high water, they were not coming back. But your parents are of a different ilk. They once waved two fingers in the air (pretending to be groovy), sat in the back of the bus in high-school, and maybe even knew someone who smoked Mary-Jane at a Janis Joplin concert. They view themselves as being far too “with it” to be spending their golden years with a garage full of snow shovels, garden hoses, and the vast assortment of fifteen year old paint cans and tools that tend to accumulate in basement-like areas. They have moved on to the simpler life of being able to walk to the movies, their favorite restaurant, or to any number of cultural activities.

The fact remains that Center City Philadelphia seems to be the destination of choice for many empty-nester couples. The areas of downtown Philadelphia seeing the high-end, empty-nester sales would certainly include Rittenhouse Square, but more surprising is the recent slew of expensive penthouse units in the Old City section of downtown Philadelphia. One could easily make the argument that the average age of those living in Old City has increased in the past ten years, just as the average age of those buying on Rittenhouse Square has decreased in the past decade. The art galleries, access to public transportation, as well as the movie houses in the area are proving to be a real draw for the new city dwelling set. And if your parents do make the move into a really cool Old City or Rittenhouse Square Penthouse or condo, your old “bedroom” may not have survived the move.


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