The Greening of Manayunk
The change started slow, then it got fast. Now the Third Base is about the last
Main Street joint that isn’t either too high-class or too low-class — a place where you can be sure of leaving with your budget and your teeth the way you want them. Tonight is raffle night — a drawing for a basket of cheer, the proceeds going to help one of the regulars who has been sick. Almost everybody buys a one-dollar ticket and some buy a few. It’s a good investment.
Outside, the out-of-towners mix with the locals on this prime piece of Main Street.
Strangers crane their necks to size up certain buildings, seeing the price tags that are invisible to many of the local people. Once in a while some guys in suits look into the Third Base, where they might see a round of shots or an argument over something that happened ten years ago or a man rubbing his buddy’s head for luck on the video game. They continue their evening stroll, but they do not go unnoticed.
"You got all these Chestnut Hill people coming down here for dinner and they go sniffing around Main Street afterward," someone complains once the night gets rolling at the Third Base. "They think they’re better, but I just look at ’em. You know — ‘You think you’re better than me?’ — I just look at ’em, just like that."
There is some talk about just where these people eat, as if they would go away if these new restaurant people just stopped feeding them. The former mayor’s name comes up.
"Green has three sets of friends,” someone else says. "Lawyer friends, political friends and Main Line friends. How can he go wrong with a joint?"
There are the usual rumors of Green buying elsewhere and everyone agrees a firehouse is a hell of a place to find French food. How it is only a matter of time until those Main Liners get their hands on the churches. How it isn’t the way it used to be anymore.