Why I Love Where I Live

I bought my first home just over one year ago in South Philly – the cradle of many fine pizza and corner drinking establishments. All this was made possible on the extremely unglamorous salary of a proposal consultant for a major insurance carrier. My now little piece of earth – and I do mean little – was the first place I went to see after several months of scouring numerous real estate websites. As I walked in the front door, I knew that this was a place that I could call home. Forty-eight hours later, I submitted my offer. One week later, the house was mine.

A lot has happened in one year. I received a Philadelphia Home Improvement Loan that has helped me to install central air, new windows, etc. at a low 3% apr. A crazy neighbor of mine was taken away by some very nice men in cars with big, flashy, distracting lights. I have bonded with some older neighbors of mine. My basement flooded the first month thanks to some doggy droppings the old owners shoved down the drain in the back (problem solved). I have learned how to properly paint, assemble copious amounts of IKEA furniture AND put up curtains.

I have also learned to put up with some offensive, albeit infrequent, remarks like, “All these people coming to this neighborhood, buying up all this property, make it almost impossible for the people who have lived here all their lives to buy.”

Despite the 1% of South Philadelphia residents who seem to feel that the presence of the young professional is not a good thing (glass half empty folks), the other 99% of residents feel proud about the renewed sense of interest in their culturally rich section of town. One of the most amazing facts about my neighborhood is the strong sense of pride in seeing our community flourish. Not only do the life long residents have a vested interest in preserving the area, but the younger folks who have only been in the area for a fraction of the time are becoming increasingly involved in community development projects.

One of my favorite neighbors on the block, a young professional new to the neighborhood, and a good friend of his who has lived in South Philly his entire life, took the initiative to form the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association and Town Watch last year. The neighbors were extremely enthusiastic to take part, turned out in record numbers to the first meeting and continue to play active roles in the numerous association committees.

I love my neighborhood – the people, the places, the strong sense of home and community. I don’t mean to break out the violins and pour on the corn, but if there is ever something I feel truly satisfied with what I have done with my life so far, it’s where I have chosen to put my roots down.

3 Comments so far

  1. EVS (unregistered) on March 7th, 2007 @ 4:07 pm

    i was born and raised in philly but now live in florida. your story makes me remember what a neighborhood is. especially in phylly. all the diversity, the culture, the wonderful, wonderful neighborhoods and neighbors! thanks for sparking an old memory.

  2. jen (unregistered) on March 7th, 2007 @ 4:41 pm

    darn you yuppies, making your neighborhood more attractive and safer!

  3. Joe S (unregistered) on March 8th, 2007 @ 1:15 am

    You seem to get the idea of Philadelphia. Know your neighborhood, know the world.
    Your first post leads me to want more.

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