On foot in Germantown

This morning I peeled myself out of bed, stumbled into the shower and headed off to take my car to my mechanic before noon. I tried to explain the problems I’ve been having, including the strange chugging and won’t turn off issue I ran into last week. He listened carefully, wrote my phone number down on the back of a used envelope and said, “I’ll find the problem, don’t worry.”

Leaving my car behind, I started walking down Germantown Ave. towards the Wayne Junction train station. As those of you from Philly may know, this is not the most savory section of town. However, I love it. I love the old brick buildings that are still covered in painted on advertising and that you can still see traces of how the neighborhood used to be when it was still young and safe and fresh. It was beautiful out this morning, sort of crisp but with warm shafts of sun breaking up the cool air. I scuffed down the street, enjoying the sound of the leaves crunching under my feet and the strips of cobble stones that still line the edges of the road.

While I walked those two blocks to the train station I had the feeling that time is porous and that there are places where little bits of the past leak through and join with the present. It seems to happen in Philadelphia a lot. Just one more reason to love this crazy city.

5 thoughts on “On foot in Germantown

  1. Jessie

    I grew up in Germantown and think you have described it really nicely. I credit the neighborhood with my love of history, but it was also sad to see the deterioration all around and imagine what it must have been like.

  2. Colin Devroe

    There are parts of the town that I live in that mirror these same statements. Much of this town was built back when there was little regard for building structure and high regard for the coal digging process. The buildings are narrow, ill thought-out, yet beautiful.

    Someday I’ll shoot some photos and show you.

  3. Leah

    I like Germantown too. I was thinking of buying a house there in fact. Germantown Ave is pretty nifty….but yes, a little unsavory still.

  4. Carol Anne

    I couldn’t agree more. I grew up in South Philly and lived there until I was 24. I moved over the bridge to Jersey 10 years ago and I’ve never gotten that feeling here. It’s probably one of the things that I miss most about the city.


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