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.
We’ve partnered with Philly Love Notes to make sure you see all the love notes written about Northeast Philadelphia. Love notes about Northeast spots will be published here after they appear on the Philly Love Notes blog, curated by Emma Fried-Cassorla. Anyone can email love notes to phillylovenotes [AT] gmail.com and coordinate their photo opps with Fried-Cassorla. This post originally appeared on Philly Love Notes on Dec. 12 and is written by Frankford CDC’s Commercial Corridor Manager Michelle Feldman.