The Greening of Manayunk

Once, the Indians came here to drink. Now, the yuppies do. And ex-mayor Bill Green is right in the middle of it all, merrily ringing up the register

Meanwhile, Green kept stopping by every now and then to have a Budweiser and ask John if he had decided to sell yet. It was a joke, but it was a serious joke. A
man like Bill Green wouldn’t stop by a place like D.G. ‘s just to make funny jokes.

And one day John said, yeah, he’d sell for the right price.

"Let’s face it," Marge would tell people, "we couldn’t make things happen here like a Bill Green can. We could see that."

And that’s what Bill Green saw, too, from the first time he stepped into D.G.’s on the biggest Canal Day Manayunk ever had.

BILL GREEN KNOWS the people of Manayunk These are frank and honest people. Blunt might be the word.

He received his first visceral indication of this upon his first contact with the Yunkers — as a schoolboy football player for the Ascension team of Kensington, playing the St. John’s team of Manayunk. On this particular afternoon, young Green had the misfortune of lining up opposite a local boy who — he would recall years later — looked like he dropped out of the Eagles locker room. Green spent the afternoon dining on bits of the hard cinder field and had an early impression that yes, these Manayunkers were a direct sort.

Green got to know them better much later when he went campaigning for one office or another. They were people who could take the truth and be clear in their feelings about the truth. No, they didn’t like it when he said they needed an incinerator in their neighborhood, but they understood him when he said — in the local syntax — that they would be "ass-deep in trash" otherwise.

You see, they were just working people, but they took pride in their neighborhood and they kept their homes very nice. Which made it such a fine area for real estate opportunities.

He often related his impressions of the people and the place when interested visitors would stop by to see how his new place was coming along.

The former mayor’s name had its lure because of what it implied. That this rough little drag had become the unlikely center of something really important.

They’d look around this old bar that was in the midst of becoming fashionable and they’d chat about the grain of old wood, the latent shine of original brass and what it would take to turn a place like this into their kind of place.