Lush Green City NeighborhoodsJuly 1, 2012 | by Brooke Willmes
Recently I spent a weekend in Manhattan and got a chance to go over to Brooklyn into Fort Green and Park Slope. My family and I went to Brownstoner’s Brooklyn Flea in Fort Green and checked out the shops in Park Slope. I got the chance to live in Manhattan in Union Square for two years during Undergrad at Eugene Lang and even though finances convinced me to leave NYC and finish college in Upstate NY, I still have a fascination with NYC.
This trip to Brooklyn, however, made me long to move into a brownstone there with trees and some nice front steps to sit on and chat with my neighbor like an extra in an LL Cool J 90’s video. And because I’m a mere mortal, I’m about $1.5M away from affording such a home.
But it got me thinking: Center City is the Manhattan of Philadelphia and what is the Fort Green and the Park Slope? Where can someone live who loves trees, beautiful homes and interacting with one’s neighbors, partaking in a game of chalk drawn hopskotch?
Several neighborhoods come to mind: West Philly. Everyone calls it University City but there’s many neighborhoods within West Philly and the area around Clark Park come to mind. Victorian twins populate the neighborhood as well as ornate brownstones and rowhouses. Funky ethnic restaurants abound. Coffeeshops, brew pubs on Baltimore Avenue and trolley service into Center City for the same price as a train within Center City make this neighborhood just outside of Center City desirable.
There’s the Art Museum area a/k/a Fairmount, Spring Garden, Brandywine…this area definitely feels like a lush green area within a walkable commute to Center City. It feels very much like Fort Green in that most of the housing stock is 3 story brownstones big enough to be split into many condos but nice in that there are plenty of entry level 2 story 800 square feet houses as well. Fairmount Avenue is the center of commerce there and there’s a nice blend of restaurants, salons, boutiques and a prison that formed the basis of our modern day prison system (along with Singh Singh) to boot!
So if you like lush, green neighborhoods that are very convenient to Center City, we actually have closer options than Manhattan…for a mere fraction of the price. A $500K budget in either neighborhood will get you a fairly good sized home (4+ bedroom).
Now…we just need our own version of Brooklyn Flea!!