Norris Square, Here I come

An oasis in Norris Square

An oasis in Norris Square

Hey, I’m leaving the suburbs and moving back to the city. I simply love Philadelphia too much to not live there.

And I have found a gigantic apartment that I love. It is the first floor of a building, which means I have plenty of space – my own basement, a large private backyard and a living room that is so huge, that I can divide it into two spaces.

And it’s more that twice the size and costs the same as my current apartment in Ardmore. (Completely off topic rant: Yes, people, I’m currently a Main Liner, but I am vehemently opposed to stereotyping people on the basis of geography. For example: If I hear one more person defame those “awful hipsters” in Fishtown, I will rip their hearts out.

My place is near 2nd and Berks and there was some debate among my friends about which neighborhood I will live in. My friend who did some googling discovered that I live in West Kensington. More specifically, I live in the heart of Norris Square.

Norris Square is bounded by Berks at the South, Allegheny on the North, 5th Street to the West and Front Street to the East. Norris Square Park is in the middle of the neighborhood.

The Berks el stop is right there and I’ve seen quite a few buses in the area so transit shouldn’t be a problem. I even timed the walk from work, if I’m ever so inclined to skip the el, and it took me a doable 65 minutes.

But I won’t lie to you. There is blight in the neighborhood, few services, and likely I’ll be grocery shopping at Reading Terminal Market near where I work rather in my community. And the abandoned factories and warehouses demonstrate that this once vibrant area has suffered many economic losses.

Graffiti art on my block

Graffiti art on my block

But I used to be a community organizer and I know that if I want to beautify and support my neighborhood, I have the power to do that if I work with people. I plan to join the neighborhood association, visit the many local improvement iniatives (such as the youth center & the housing program), and I hear there is a women’s organization dedicated to the neighborhood. Also, I will frequent the small businesses in my neighborhood – the pizza shop, the lounge, and the beauty shop across the street.

I appreciate my new neighborhood’s charms and pitfalls. I guess that means I already feel at home there.

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6 responses to “Norris Square, Here I come

  1. I use to work at Episcopal Hospital on Lehigh.
    So when’s the big party?

  2. Big party mid to late October – and you are soooo invited. It will be a multi-room affair. I have a big cement backyard with a grill. BBQ outside, dance party in living room, and chill out/loitering spot in kitchen.

  3. graffiti does not equal blight!

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