He was an ogre of man, slimy, rat-toothed and overbearing, with day old five o’clock shadow and a crunch of black hair falling out of a sun-weathered red trucker hat.
This man, maybe 45, was propped up on the aged bar of Quinn’s Irish Pub II, a neighborhood drinking establishment with so colorful a stable of regulars that they made this second one just up Frankford Avenue here in Philadelphia from the first. It was passed closing time, the lights were low and the rumble of the adjacently-running elevated train dutifully making its way back home to the Frankford terminal ended hours ago.
The bar maid, fair-skinned, with light-brown hair in a pony tail and a stain or two on a white t-shirt, had taken a seat and served another round on the house. She, the man, two other patrons, a buddy and I had fallen into a conversation of seeming interest to all those involved.
I walked to the Allegheny stop on the Broad Street line. I had a 15-minute bicycle ride to Center City. I had a big bed, a tall ceiling and a full kitchen. I never paid more than $400, utilities included. I didn’t pay for water.
That’s not happening again. I’m just trying to remind myself I was spoiled and now that I am a big, old, adult what I need in a home has changed somewhat.
But what is even cooler about this is Walk Score itself, the online application used to create the rankings. Walk Score ranked 2,508 neighborhoods in the largest 40 U.S. cities to help you find a walkable place to live, but you can also search any address in the country – I think – and, using Google Maps, you can get its Walk Score.
Today I turn over my keys to 3333 North Park Avenue in the Lower Tioga neighborhood of North Philadelphia near Temple Hospital to my landlord. I have spent better than 18 months living there. It has become the first place I could ever really call home outside of my parents’ watch. Indulge me in some photos.
Sadly, yesterday a man was shot by two SEPTA officers at the Allegeny Ave. stop on the Broad Street Line, my stop.This comes after reports of increases of SEPTA and city officers riding the subways, often derided as dangerous. I’ve never had a problem myself, but reports of teenage violence, particularly directed at younger riders, have been on the rise.The man was apparently smoking in the stop when the officers approached him. He tried to run and at least four shots were fired.I have video from CBS 3, but I haven’t been able to upload it on YouTube.(Photos by Greg Bezanis, a staff photographer of The Temple News)