Today Eyes on the Street continues our Philly Love Notes collaboration with this appreciation of Frankford's institutions and commercial corridor.
Favorite Spot: Frankford, it's institutions and its commercial corridor
I Am: Commercial Corridor Manager, Frankford CDC
Years In Philly: Almost My Whole Life
Current Home: Fairmount
I've lived in Philly almost my whole life (college outside Boston and a brief post-college stint in DC excluded). I grew up in the far Northeast and went to High School in Center City - a Philly girl born and raised, I guess you could say.
However, I don't think I ever really felt connected to my City until I started working in Frankford almost two years ago. During my time at the Frankford CDC, I've gotten to see a side of Philly that I was not plugged in to before: talented small business owners doing really interesting and good work, young people like me who care about our City and how to make it better, and a community full of wonderful people who accepted me with open arms... immediately.
I know a lot of folks have preconceived notions about Frankford, but I've gotten to witness the amazing stuff going on here, just like in every other "forgotten" neighborhood in the City. If you walk down Frankford's business district (4200 to 5300 Frankford Avenue), you'll find a slew of family owned small businesses, all with interesting stories. An upholsterer whose parents came to Frankford from Cuba when he was eight years old, one of the only cobbler's left in the City, and a mix of business owners from all over the world, from China to Kuwait to Italy. And if you make your to way to the corner where Kensington and Frankford meet, you'll find Womrath Park, where legend has it Thomas Jefferson read the Declaration of Independence out loud for the first time to his BFFs - who owned a house on the land that would become Womrath.
And that's just some of what's here. Frankford has its own Civil War Museum with a piece of cloth that a dying Abraham Lincoln was laid on, a Historical Society full of fascinating documents and artifacts commemorating the entire Northeast section of the City, and an industrial complex turned artist community (Globe Dye Works) that florists, micro-food producers, and boat makers alike all call home.
I could keep going and going, but, for me, it comes down to this: Frankford and the people I have met through my work at the CDC have made me feel like Philadelphia is my home, like this City is my City... and like, even though I've lived here a total of 21 years, there's still so much more exploring to do.
Philly Love Notes is a collection of reminders. There is too much in the city that is forgotten or overlooked. Philly Love Notes seeks to rediscover those places — to remind the city, and us, that it is loved. Want to share your favorite spot? Drop Philly Love Notes an email with your idea.
Eyes on the Street has teamed up with Philly Love Notes to feature especially plannerdly love notes about places in Philly on this blog. So far we’ve shared love notes about bikes at Rittenhouse Square, a walk through Ed Bacon’s greenways, a twofer about Penn Treaty Park, Drexel Park, Wayne Mills, where the Reading Viaduct meets Noble Street, stoop culture, the Parkway Central Branch of the Free Library, and the Woodlands Cemetery.
This piece originally appeared on Philly Love Notes on December 12, 2012.