Sunday, August 8, 2010

Not Everything is So Perfect

We drove through Germantown yesterday which, contrary to expectations, was not exactly Georgetown. Germantown Avenue is pretty beat up all the way to Chestnut Hill which, when you finally get there, is full of WASPy shops, blossoming street planters, and stone Colonial Revival mansions. Actually, I've never seen that great a concentration of free standing, upscale stone houses in one place. We went back up there today via woodsy Wissahickon Avenue, to take a walk in Wissahickon Park. Deep in the woods, a crowd of young Spanish boys was jumping off a high rock into something called the Devil's Pool, while their families bar-b-qued nearby. We zig-zagged back to central city, admiring big houses in Mt.Airy and some unexpectedly nice parts of Germantown. Lunch was at the Reading Terminal Market where a million food vendors and restaurants are clustered on a vast street level concourse underneath the former Reading Railroad train shed. I've begun to notice (OK, belatedly) that not everything is so perfect in Philadelphia. "For Rent" and "For Sale" signs are everywhere, a fair number of shopfronts are empty even close to Rittenhouse Sq., and not every great house is in particularly great shape. The house in the photos above (it's somewhere around Locust and 22nd St.) is a case in point.

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