Sunday, August 23, 2009

Some Observations on South Philly Living

We moved to South Philly about 3 1/2 weeks ago, and although we're not completely unpacked and definitely not settled, things are beginning to feel a little more like home.

Here are a few observations about my new neighborhood:

  1. Dog poop. It's everywhere. The sidewalks show a blatent disregard for cleaning up after one's pooch.
  2. Garbage cans. This may directly correlate to point number one, but there are very few city garbage cans on the street corners. As a responsible pet owner I find this very annoying when trying to dispose of certain products. This may also explain why many South Philly streets are sprinkled with trash.
  3. Beer. I can't seem to find a close-by take-out beer place near my new place. In West Philly I had at least three corner stores within walking distance that sold six packs of beer. Here not so much. Or at least I haven't found them yet.
  4. Street cleaning parking signs. The streets in my neighborhood are lined with signs saying parking is not allowed on a certain day of the week because of street cleaning. One block is Tuesdays between March and January. Another is Wednesdays. I have to carefully read the signs on each block to make sure I don't mistakenly overstay on the cleaning day. This would not be nearly as annoying if cleaning actually happened on those days. I have never seen street cleaning and suspect it is just a way for the city to make money on parking tickets.
  5. Lack of green. My new neighborhood desperately lacks in trees, grass and public spaces to enjoy both of these things. The side of TD Bank has a little bit of grass and a couple of trees. There is some grass in front of the South Philadelphia High School. I'm making due, but I do not find these particularly suitable alternatives to my options in West Philly.
  1. Faster commute to work. I'm loving the Broad Street subway line. I'm not riding it late at night, but as a commute to and from work, it's been reliable, air conditioned and speedy.
  2. Living space. My husband and I adore our new apartment and all the additional space it provides. Our new neighborhood definitely provides more bang for your buck.
  3. Bakeries. Although we have yet to take advantage of them, there seems to be a bakery on every other corner.
  4. The South Philly Review. Owned by the same company that publishes the Philadelphia Weekly, the SPR arrives on my doorstep free every Thursday. Reading about things happening in my neighborhood helps me feel as if I'm part of a community.
  5. Our neighbors. We have had the pleasure of meeting several of our neighbors and so far everyone has been very hospitable and welcoming to a couple of outsiders. Yesterday morning our next door neighbor even offered me some Rosemary from her garden.
I'm still feeling out the area, but I think it's interesting to record my first-month observations. We shall see how they compare to my observations a few months down the road.

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