Four bikes and a scooter

Not the motorized kind, a kid’s scooter. I just noticed them all in my South Philly neighborhood outside unattended at 9:30 at night and the scooter wasn’t even locked up!

Everyone knows that leaving a bicycle, locked up or not, out of doors in Philadelphia is tantamount to giving the thing away. I once locked up a ten speed outside my apartment on Lombard Street. Straight away, the front tire was gone. I noticed when I left for work the following morning. By the time I had gotten home, the forks and handle bars were taken as well. I left the bike outside and watched as it disappeared, day by day, until nothing was left but the frame and my kryptonite lock.

Tonight, on my three block walk home from the CVS at 10th and Reed, I counted four bikes and a scooter, all outside, and all whole. What is it with this neighborhood? The day I moved, I was so exhausted that I parked my car with all the windows down and left it that way overnight. The next day I discovered my error, but was relieved to find that nothing was touched. My car was perfectly fine. How could that be?

This area certainly doesn’t look any nicer or safer than any other part of the city. We gots trash, loads of it, and no more cops than I see anywhere else. So what is it?

I think it’s the old Italian guys that sit outside. It’s gotta be. These guys, they sit outside all day and anyone who’s been to South Philly knows that when I say all day I mean all day. It’s more than a full time job. I always thought it was a bit funny, but now I’m seeing that it’s actually a valuable thing. I’ve lived a block of the square and in Society Hill, but I have to say that this area around the Capitolo Playground in South Philly is safer than both those places and cheaper, too.

All I’m saying is that when you come down here for a cheese steak, you don’t have to worry. If I a kid’s scooter can survive here overnight, you be just fine.

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