Monday, June 29, 2015

I Met The Other Neighbors

East Kensington and Olde Richmond

It's funny how boundary lines are drawn on a map. Sometimes it depends on who's map you're looking at. My neighborhood, Fishtown, has changed from one defined area to a bunch of different boundaries. It's official boundary was designed by the city sometime in the mid 1970's or early 1980's. (I think.) These boundaries are bit larger than what the older generation grew up with. It was fine with everyone. No one complained when Fishtown got a part of historical Old Richmond because a wide street is easier to remember as the boundary. (York St)
Some real estate maps show Fishtown nearly three times its actual size. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. People lining up to pay the price of owning a house in Not-Fishtown. It still goes on today.
There is more push back on these Not-Real Estate maps then ever before from the neighboring communities. East Kensington and Olde Richmond's civic associations are firmly organized with a strong identity of their own and their boundaries. They are proud to say Not-Fishtown.

My daughter Sam and I were on the phone clearing up some business. She told me she was going for a walk along Frankford Ave. to Lehigh Ave to god knows where. She asked me if I wanted to walk with her. I told her that I'd show her the house where her great-grandfather lived on Frankford Road.
I showed her the old street sign as we walked on Frankford toward Huntingdon Street. Her great-grandfather's home was about three doors across Huntingdon. It's the only house with three steps up. All the other building have just one step stone. (2600 block of Frankford Ave.)
Just across that wide street in East Kensington is the lush Circle Garden as I know it. This garden was honored by the Philadelphia Horticultural Society for being one of the best community gardens.

 We got to meet a very nice family in the garden. Pictured here is Lydia and Josh (I hope I got his name right) with their two children. If someone knows them show them the pictures. (someone did so)

I told my daughter before we go any further that I want a picture of this car. People say you can see it parked here most any day. You got to see this if you like cars.

This little bit of back tracking got us headed down Huntingdon Street into Olde Richmond but we made a right turn onto Collins Street. I hadn't walked around here in a few years. It was always a nice little pocket of houses and near by too. There was a house being refurbished on the corner of Hazzard and Collins St. Its side wall had the remnants of an old mural celebrating our nations Bicentennial in 1976. Some folks said that was so and some were too young to remember.
We decided to continue down Hazzard Street by Pop's Playground and soon met Clay in his garage. Clay has been repairing cars for a long time in this neighborhood. He's a nice guy and easy to talk with. Clay showed me some odds n' ends he found.
 He then showed us his restoration project. It was a 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang.

This car still had its original pouch coolant reservoir. Clay has mostly all the original parts needed to make this car whole once again.

Our conversation with Clay ran its course. So we continued down Hazzard Street approaching Trenton Ave. I could see at the end of the block, the last house, a group of folks in front of their home watching us as we walked down the street. I told my daughter Sam but she had picked up on this as well. She learned that lesson from me years ago. I told her to look them in the eye, smile and nod hello. This started another conversation and Sam started laughing and explained in conversation that we've been talking more than walking. I wish I had thought to take their picture. They were nice people. I also forgot to photograph great-grand pops home. 
It was time to head back home. Along the way, I took Sam down Adams St then over to cross that big boundary line street (York St) into real Fishtown. It was a good day.
words and pictures by roman blazic_all rights reserved

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