Confessions of a Gentrifier

A few months ago, toward the end of the summer, I was walking my dog near my house in East Kensington when my neighbor Franky (not his real name) called out to me. Franky, who’s about 10, is a fixture on our block. He lives around the corner with his dad, his grandmother and his sister in a tired-looking house that doubles as a sort of informal command center for the neighborhood youth.

He spends his days with the other kids his age, doing kid things like playing football and lighting stuff on fire (it’s true, I caught him once).

Anyway, Franky loves my dog and when he sees us he usually runs up to give her a pat on the head. This time, as he scratched behind Mara’s ear, he had a question for me:

“Are yuppies rich?”

Read more »

Three Kensington Homes to Be Renovated

Google Street View of the lonely warehouse.

Google Street View of the lonely warehouse.

Good news comes to three Hagert Street homes that were caught in a fiery blaze last February. The buildings are owned by the Fishtown Redevelopment Authority, which bought them in April 2008. The purchase took an even more optimistic turn when plans were announced to renovate the properties. Since last summer, the permits have been renewed and talks of restorations have recommenced. From NakedPhilly:

The owners should have an easy time finding tenants, as the neighborhood is experiencing a consistently heavy dose of redevelopment, both along the Frankford Ave. commercial corridor and on the surrounding blocks as well.

Read more »