|Yeah, so my 'backyard' (with its concrete wall, and yes, for some reason, barbed wire erected by the neighbors) would strike one as more "urban prison yard chic" than anything else... yet?
A few blocks away brings us to our neighborhood square.
Joseph Konrad, a 15-year veteran of the Philadelphia Fire Department, died in the line of duty on June 13, 1984.
Firefighter Konrad was searching for an elderly female who was trapped in the fire when the second and third floors of the buidling collapsed into the basement. A number of firefighters were injured and Firefighter Konrad died.
His two sons are now Philadelphia Firefighters. The square near me will bear his name forever.
A few blocks from there, we have our local colonial-era cemetery, in which the earliest burial I could find was from the 1790s, yet which was apparently established in 1732.
A couple blocks down, in the midst of our rowhouses which themselves date from the mid 1800's, we have a building which claims to have been built in 1797...
...and in which about half a dozen families currently live. Very possible around here, although I'd like to verify it somehow before I fully embrace it. :)
Anyway. Let's head back the other way, towards the river, and the ultimate gem in our neighborhood. A 14-minute walk from my apartment (yes, I timed it).
Penn Treaty Park.
In order to get there, one unfortunately has to pass under the three-block dead zone that is the elevated portion of I-95 which cuts our neighborhood off from our waterfront, as so...
Yeah, all the murals in the world ain't ever gonna heal that scar.
Although along the way, we catch occasional glimpses of beautiful city views like this!
Hitting the park...
The colossal 1917 PECO Delaware Station towers over its north end, serving as the backdrop and reminding us of our industrial heritage...
...as another reminder of our powerful past, from that same era, the Ben Franklin Bridge, dominates the southern view.
The Delaware is a big river...
...with Camden, New Jersey just beyond us on the other side.
One the way out...
...don't forget to catch glimpses like this.
Or blocks like this.
Or perhaps, if you're early enough (they close at 3, Monday through Saturday), a classic American roadside eatery like Johnny's Hot's!
No, you're not really gonna find anything local or sustainable there (aside from decades-old North Philadelphia culinary tradition, which if you ask me is definitely worth preserving) and you're not gonna feel too good if you eat there too often, but for a Saturday lunch with the kids (if you don't mind 25-minute lines, heh)? Hit that shit.
The hot dog and fish cake combo is the classic in our neighborhood (Fishtown)...
...and any place that carries pork roll and scrapple surely feels familiar to any native Philadelphian, Southeast Pennylvanian or New Jerseyan. :)