Philly Journal, 11/2/13

It’s been quite awhile since I posted a Philly Journal.  Click here if you’d like a refresher course in the older ones.

So, today I finally got word that the row house I’d applied for in the city will be mine for the taking.  I haven’t said much publicly about my quest to move from South Jersey into the city, and that, as you may know, is pretty typical of me.  I don’t really tell people what I’m up to until things are kind of a done deal.  So, here’s what’s going on:

About a year and a half ago I moved from Erie, PA to the development in Jersey where my mother and sister live.  I got a new job, in the city of Philadelphia.  The goal was to stay with my mother for awhile until I figured out where I wanted to live in the city, and then be a big boy alone in the city.

It took a little longer than expected.

Mostly, because it took me almost a year to know for sure where I’d end up working in the city.  I work for the largest chain of coffee shops in the world.  I got hired as a manager but had to undergo some training before I got my own store, and that training does not have a specified length.  Not wanting to move onto the opposite side of the city from where I’d be working, I waited.  Then, once I got promoted, it still proved a daunting task to move into the city.  It’s just so big!  Try as I might, I just could not find a proper way to begin the task.

Also, there was the matter of my car.  I really, really wanted to not have it.  I didn’t like the idea of worrying about parking in the city (it’s a very legit hassle), and ridding myself of the expense would also be a major plus.  But, see, I had bought the car new, and still owed more on it than I would get by selling it, so I was in a precarious situation.  Eventually, over the past year, I paid it down enough to make selling it a viable option, and about three weeks ago, I did sell it.  I currently have no car!  It is a very, very strange feeling, one I have not felt since I was 16.  For those doing the math, that is 19 years ago.  So for the past few weeks, I’ve been driving my mom’s car while I took the final few strides toward finding a place in the city.

Luckily, even though I could certainly be classified as a bit of a loner, I have made a few connections in the city over the past year, one of whom happens to be a real estate agent who specializes in showing people apartments that meet their criteria.  So, I told her what I was looking for and where I was looking for it, and this past Tuesday we walked our rear ends off checking out apartments.  I liked quite a few, and it turns out I can totally afford to live in the hippest and coolest sections of the city, but alas, though affordable, they were all super small.  I fell in love with the last place we went: a townhouse well outside the cool parts of the city, and even a pretty good distance from my work (but really, just a ten minute bike ride, which is how I’ll almost always be getting around).  It’s not incredible, and certainly not much to look at from the outside, but I was just head over heels with the interior, and the idea of having so much space for myself.  Those of you who’ve been reading for a long time may remember how thrilled I was by the space I had in Erie…well, this is considerably more than that.

The house is in the neighborhood of the city known as Pennsport, by all appearances a neighborhood that is not an incredibly good one, and not an incredibly bad one.  I will here copy-and-paste the contents of the very brief Wikipedia entry about Pennsport:

Pennsport is a neighborhood in the South Philadelphia section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Pennsport is home to a large working Irish American population and many Mummer clubs. It was also the site of a controversial push for casinos along the Philadelphia waterfront.[ Foxwoods Casino was proposed for Christopher Columbus Boulevard at Reed Street.

According to the Genealogy of Philadelphia County Subdivisions, Pennsport was originally part of Moyamensing Township. Most of the area north of present-day Mifflin Street was included in the Southwark District from 1794 until the consolidation of Philadelphia in 1854. At that point, it was mostly contained in the First Ward. The First and Second Wards ran east of Passyunk Avenue and were divided by Wharton St. (First to the south, Second to the north). The southern boundary of the First Ward initially spanned south to the river, but it was stopped at Mifflin St. in 1898.

That is the extent of the entry.

Here is a map of South Philly neighborhoods.  Now, if you don’t know the city, this will be rather meaningless, but you can see Pennsport there on the far East of the map; that is the city’s end, so my neighborhood borders the Delaware River, and in fact, my house is in the 100 block of my street, so I’m actually dang close to the edge of the city:

philly map

So that’s pretty much it.  I got word late tonight that my rental application had been accepted; however, my move-in date isn’t until the 15th, so I’ve got a little time to do some South Jersey victory laps.  I’ll be resurrecting the Philly Journal for this process of moving and the new journey I’m on.  There will be pictures soon!

4 Responses to “Philly Journal, 11/2/13”

  1. Kyle Sundgren Says:

    Very exciting stuff! I had to look up what a Mummer club is and I’m glad I did because I saw the words, “fancy brigades”. Please attend this. Please attend it and enter it competitively. You’ve always struck as a natural fancy brigader.

    I remember your Erie video home tour. I saw it on my old computer and never got to see the whole thing due to the computer being so crappy. The little I did see made me envious at all the space you had to yourself. We’re all going to be very interested in what your new place looks like, but don’t bullshit us with a half unpacked tour. Fuck that! We wanna see the fully furnished version. Anything short of that and you can consider yourself a dead man walking. I know I’m not alone in this sentiment. I really shouldn’t say anything but your Erie video really upset everyone in your life with all the boxes and packing peanuts everywhere. I’ve said too much.

  2. Congratulations!

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