Albert Lee, one of the discussion facilitators at our recent “City of Neighborhoods, City of Homes” roundtable program, provides this account of his group’s conversation:
Make no mistake. Philadelphians are passionate. Whether it’s sports, food, or where they live, you know what they’re thinking at all times. Call it a blessing or a curse, but it’s nothing if not honest.
For the last program in the Greater Philadelphia Roundtable Series, the topic was Philadelphia: City of Neighborhoods, City of Homes.
Here is a sample of where people call home and why:
“I lived in Mayfair until I was 21. I have since moved to University City near the University of Pennsylvania. I loved NE Philly. I loved the family atmosphere and being able to converse with neighbors on our stoops. Here at U City, there are lots of students. It feels like an extension of Center City. You can get access to all kinds of cuisine. There is so much diversity and everything is at your fingertips. In Northeast Philly, everything was a little homogeneous with many moving to the suburbs. “
“I moved from the Northeast to Wissahickon and just absolutely love all the green and easy access to public transit.”
“I’ve lived in Rittenhouse for 25-30 years. I’m not a native, but my family is from here. It’s close to everything. I work in Center City. I don’t have or need a car. I just walk everywhere. I love it.”
“We’re from Minnesota and used to live in an all-white area. We have lived here for four years in Brewerytown. We wanted an adventure and we got it. Culturally, it’s an edgy place since it’s going through some big changes. We see our building as a tight-knit community because everyone is from someplace else. We have that as a bond. We’ve tried to communicate with the home-grown folks as well, a.k.a. the locals. In fact, we’ve signed another lease for three more years.”
“I grew up in Torresdale. I used to take the 66 Bus and the El everywhere. When I lived there, it wasn’t too diverse. It’s still a bit homogeneous but I’ve seen some positive change and it’s only going to get better.
“I was born in New York and lived in North Jersey. I chose to live in Philly and called Rittenhouse home since the 80s. Rittenhouse Square is such a hodgepodge. From the blue-haired ladies to the young mothers, to the artists, people talking to themselves and just the whatever – It’s all races, all economic backgrounds, it’s my favorite spot in the city.
“I don’t live in Philly but plan on moving back. My family moved here in 1955 and lived in Society Hill. In 1960, they moved to the Northeast. Everything was beginning to develop. Folks didn’t have a car until 1962. I remember taking the bus to Drexel. It’s a great city.
Thanks to Al and to all of our volunteers for making the Greater Philadelphia Roundtable series such a great success.