Darren is a fashionable foodie who spent his time living and working in New York City and then commuting to Philadelphia for the culture and community. When the pandemic hit, he decided to make Philadelphia his permanent home in order to recharge while also having the flexibility to pick up his busy lifestyle if things changed.
After some online searching and a virtual tour with a leasing specialist, Darren became the newest member at Common Civic before ever stepping foot in the building! We spoke with Darren to learn more about what he loves about Philly and how he’s settled into his new space during the pandemic.
Hi Darren! Why do you call Philadelphia home?
Before COVID, I was working in New York City while living in Philadelphia. Although NYC had amazing job opportunities, I didn’t want to give up the connected community and culture of Philly. Then the pandemic hit. No one was prepared (including me), and it made me question what I truly valued in where I lived. After getting furloughed, I decided it was a sign to try something new and move back to Philly full time.
Currently, I work for Alexander McQueen while studying virtually for my master’s degree. Ultimately, the city reminds me of a mini-NYC, but I’ve found that the people here are more warm and welcoming.
What was the apartment search process like?
I was exhausted from traveling back and forth between NYC and Philly, so I started looking for something that fit my budget while also meeting my lifestyle needs. Since I was looking in May 2020, Common appealed to me not only for the amenity spaces and perks but also for the smooth move-in process. After a virtual tour with a leasing specialist, I knew Common Civic was a place I could see myself living. In fact, the first time I saw it in person was when I picked up my keys!
Why did you decide to move into a coliving suite during a pandemic?
Right before I decided to move back to Philly, I had just been furloughed from my job due to the pandemic. Needless to say, everyone thought I was crazy to make this transition in the middle of an unemployed season. However, Common was the perfect option for my needs, and moving to Philly actually helped me feel safer. Once I wasn’t commuting back and forth, I felt like I was truly prioritizing a location that would be best for my health. Another benefit of Common was that the flexibility of shorter leases with furnishings gave me the confidence to know I could pivot to go back to NYC if the pandemic ended or another opportunity arose in less than a year.
What do you love about Common Civic?
Once I was fully moved in, the extra community spaces within the Civic building helped me to feel less confined to just my suite with social distancing guidelines. Especially in the summer, I spent a great deal of time on my roof enjoying the city views–you could see fireworks in every direction on the fourth of July!
What’s your ideal day in Philly?
If I’m not working, I’m probably eating! As a major foodie, I love trying all of the great spots in the city. Some of my favorites are Max’s for a local cheesesteak or Nifty 50’s.
Here are some rapid-fire questions:
- Favorite neighborhood: The Old City Area
- Dream celebrity roommate: Food
- Go-to coffee shop drink: Honey Citrus Tea from Starbucks
- Fill in the blank: “You can never have enough ____ when living in Philly.”: Cheesesteaks or pretzels
- One thing I would change about Philly: Summer all year long!
Want to make Philly your new home?
Over the next few months, we’ve opened stunning private apartments and all-inclusive coliving suites in Fishtown and Southwest Center City! Check out our Philly page to find which home is perfect for you and book a virtual tour today.