Illustration by Nurit Benchetrit
I lean back in the salon chair, making small talk with Jacques as he squishes shampoo through my hair. We’ve ticked through most of the conversation-starters — kids, pets, work — so I know it’s coming. And of course it does: “So where do you live?” he asks.
I close my eyes, brace myself — because I know exactly how this conversation will pan out — and answer: “Yardley.”
His reply comes rapid-fire, like clockwork: “Really? I thought for sure you lived in the city. You look like a city girl.”
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Images via Zillow.com
Let’s give Philadelphia’s amazing trove of historical homes a rest for a second and allow the spotlight to fall elsewhere. We have to remember, after all, Philly may be one of the few U.S. cities able to pride itself on a deep well of early American constructions – and rightly so –, but the outskirts of town deserves some attention in that respect too. Without looking too far, we came upon this Bucks County beauty in Yardley that meets the criteria.
Formerly a 350-acre tobacco farm, the property at 651 River Road now offers more than two acres and has a lawn running to the river. Put on the market for the first time in three decades, the stone residence boasts a living room dating back to 1762 and a kitchen from the Civil War era. Now, it’s got old bones, to be sure (for good measure, the maid’s quarters/office goes back to the 1930’s), but it’s also been updated with new plumbing, air conditioning, and electric in case you were wondering.
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TREND photos via Listhub
Not to be outdone by this 200-year-old Gladwyne residence, the Kirkbride Estate in Yardley also boasts a long history: it’s been around since 1790! Today, the home is one of those beautifully updated abodes that have, per the listing, had the fortune of getting their antique appointments restored.
Details include newly refinished wide-plank wood floors, millwork, and a custom gourmet kitchen with soapstone counters and bead-board backsplash. High-end appliances and a center island with a cooktop can also be found here, as well as an eat-in area with French doors opening out to a wrought iron balcony, Outside, stone outbuildings are situated on the property.
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Pumpkin-centric shenanigans abound September 27th to October 31st at Shadybrook Farm.
Ditch the concrete jungle for autumnal splendor at the many fall festivals located just outside the city proper. From boozy to spooky to totally kid-friendly, there’s an event for every interest and locale.
Pumpkinland at Linvilla Orchards
September 13th to November 9th
Pay as you go
Pumpkin- and apple-picking, cornfield mazes, hay rides, and children’s activities at Linvilla Orchards in Delaware Valley. The Apple Festival, September 27th and 28th, features a pie-eating contest, and there’s the annual Costume Parade on October 26th so you can try out your costume before Halloween.
For more information, visit Linvilla.com
Brandywine Valley Harvest Festival
September 27th and 28th, and October 4th and 5th
$15 for a Passport to all six wineries
The Brandywine Valley Wine Trail wineries celebrate the fall harvest with two weekends of live music, picnicking, wine tastings and tours. All wineries will offer Stomp for the Cure Oct. 4, a grape-stomping fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
For more information, visit BVWineTrail.com
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Some of what’s been offered at past Phila Flea Markets sales. Photo via philafleamarkets.org.
1. Phila Flea Market. The latest installment of those amazing Center City vintage markets that go on for blocks and make disinterested pedestrians want to murder you. For Property readers, items of interest might include home accents (pottery, signs, vintage tins and other mantel-lining tchotchkes); furniture; and outdoor home and garden tools. Saturday, 8am-5pm.
2. Ardmore Open House. Put aside any preconceived notions about “the Main Line” and check Ardmore out if you don’t know it already. It’s actually really unpretentious, and this neighborhood fest should be a solid opportunity to get a feel for things. There’ll also be a historic tour of downtown. Easy to get there by train, but there’s free parking too. Saturday, 11am-4pm.
3. Yardley antiques sale. This listing actually says “garage” sale, but when I think garage sale, I think of a lesser beast than this offering of antiques and collectibles. Included? Working antique mantelpiece clocks, vintage toys and signs, glassware (including Anchor Hocking, for those who like that), and other goodies. Saturday, starts 9am.
Yesterday’s headline in the Bucks County Courier-Times was not encouraging: “Bucks report shows sluggish development.” James McGinnis’ list of superlatives was no less damning:
Applications for new housing and industry remain at some of the lowest levels recorded in more than a generation.
Proposals for new commercial development are at the lowest levels recorded in 32 years.
The Bucks County Planning Commission estimates builders would “impact” just 368 acres. That’s the lowest amount ever recorded by the county.
There were several communities that had zero development — zilch — including Langhorne, Upper Southampton and Yardley. There is some good news, though.
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Photography by Courtney Apple
Coffee is the most important part of my morning. I roast my own and hand-grind it. The whole process takes about 25 minutes. It’s the least efficient way to get a cup of coffee. Rojo’s Roastery in Lambertville is the only place outside of Philly where you can get a good cup. // I’m normally in the  brewery, which is in an old bank, by 9 or 10 a.m. We only schedule our brewing four weeks out, but we always try to have certain styles:  a stout or porter, an IPA, an approachable beer like Belgian blond, and a special seasonal beer like a hefeweizen. // I wear  &Work Vocation shirts—you can wear them to nice restaurants, or to move 50-pound bags of grain. There’s always a penholder in the most ridiculous places. //  Charcoal in Yardley is the best fine dining in Bucks County. They’re always rotating their menu. It’s more like a local diner for breakfast. I love the blueberry-pistachio pancakes. They’re decadent. //  James Lasdun’s The Horned Man; I think he’s an exceptionally talented writer. Not for the faint of heart. // John’s Barber Shop in Newtown is the best place to get a haircut in Bucks. It’s old-school, and you can get a beer during your cut. // We have  live jazz at the Vault every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. But in the city, Ortlieb’s Lounge is an old and funky jazz spot. // Everything that Ardmore’s Tired Hands Brewing Company puts out is fantastic. Inventive beers in a comfy atmosphere. // Finch’s Beer Co.’s Secret Stache Stout is full-bodied, chocolaty and inky black. A perfect winter beer.
First appeared in the February, 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.
Thaddeus Longstreth, who died in 1997, collaborated with Richard Neutra in the 1940s and ’50s, and designed a number of homes in this region. This one in the Edgehill Gardens neighborhood is a real mid-century modern classic, with walls of expansive glass to bring the outdoors in. Other design elements include tongue and groove wood ceilings, hardwood floors, wood built-ins, and mirrored soffits. There’s also a fireplace.
For a three-bedroom home with this kind of architectural pedigree, it’s reasonably priced at $599,900. For more information, call Jay Spaziano at 215-860-2800. The property will officially be on the market on Monday.
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What a treasure this is. Lanrick Manor, built around 1704, has beautiful period details throughout its 3,800 square feet, including antique hardware, random-width hardwood floors and five fireplaces, including a walk-in. The front door is original and there are built-ins in the dining room and library. There’s a sunroom that, on sunny days, may compensate for the fact that the third-floor walk-up doesn’t yet have heat–let’s call it a handyman’s challenge.
In addition to the main house, there’s a bank barn with a studio that has heat and air conditioning. The land itself is lovely, and is close–but not too close–to the river. In fact, there’s a highway in between, which some may think of as unattractive, but Yardley homes for sale on River Road can be a risky proposition when heavy rains come. That highway probably keeps this house just far enough away to play it safe.
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Mark and Eric Plescha who are the brothers and chefs at Charcoal BYOB in Yardley are teaming up with the still newish Vault Brewing Co. for a collaborative beer dinner. The brothers are known for their modern cooking at Charcoal and pairing their food with Vault’s beers promises to be a different kind of beer dinner. The event takes place on Tuesday, March 5th and will cost $85 per person.
Check out the menu »