Today Eyes on the Street brings another installation in our Philly Love Notes collaboration with this love story starring Passyunk Avenue's Singing Fountain in a supporting role.
Love Note #147: A love story by Jackie Chipotle featuring the Passyunk Fountain
Favorite Spot: Passyunk Fountain
Neighborhood: E. Passyunk
Address: Intersection of Passyunk Ave and Tasker Street
I am: Central PA transplant, travel guru, and comedienne. Sex & Relationships expert on The Pincushion Podcast
Years in Philly: 2 In the City, 5 in the ‘burbs.
Current Home: Newbold/Bella Vista
I didn’t even know you existed when I moved, sight unseen, into my creaky two-bedroom on South Broad Street. After living in the Philly ‘burbs for college, I had a 6-month affair with Washington D.C before I realized I had left my heart behind in Southeastern PA.
The day I moved in, I wandered around my new neighborhood, greeting neighbors, finding all the nearby bus stops, wondering how far the nearest bagel would be. I remember the first time I saw you, as I was walking hesitantly down Tasker on the way to meet the man who would become my first love, and first real heartbreak.
I don’t think you’d even been renovated yet, but you stood out as the cornerstone of a neighborhood whose many treasures I still had yet to uncover. I smiled and imagined you in the summertime, hoping I’d walk by on a warm day and catch a spray from the breeze. I’d sit outside of Black and Brew that spring, and watch old men play checkers for hours, students strum guitars and sing, and employees from one of the five Italian restaurants on the block pop out for a smoke and a chat. I never particularly cared for Sinatra, but hearing old standards on loop against your twinkling frozen form during the holidays was enough to crack a smile from me during even the most mundane errands.
Then there were the farmer’s markets that buzzed around you, the neighborhood block parties, and the street festivals. Couples of all ages would sit, holding each other on the benches that surrounded you. You were exactly halfway between my apartment and his; it became customary to say “meet me at the fountain.” I must have walked past you and smiled hundreds of times, and I watched intently to catch a glimpse of you when Gordon Ramsey filmed at Chiarella’s.
As far as fountains go, you are nowhere near as ornate or “beautiful” as others I’ve seen in different parts of the world, but like any true love, I can’t look away. Sometimes, when I don’t have anywhere to go at all, I’ll grab a cup of coffee and let you keep me company while I read. I stopped beside you with my suitcase the night everything fell apart, sat down, and cried. You’ve seen me in every state of sweatpants, cocktail dresses, jeans, and that straw fedora I once thought was a really good idea.
I’ll be changing neighborhoods soon, but I won’t be going far. Like all things I hold closest to my heart, I’ll be sure to take the time to stop by with a cup of coffee every once in a while and see how you’re doing.
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, the Woodlands Cemetery, Frankford, a log cabin in Northern Liberties, and memories of Independence Hall as the city's most prime stoop.
This piece originally appeared on Philly Love Notes on February 6, 2013.