Monday, February 2, 2009
Our group's trek to Nicetown-Tioga was almost as educational as the time we spent in the area itself. Having underestimated the distance between the Allegheny subway stop and the heart of Nicetown-Tioga, we paused after a bit of walking to ask a Temple Hospital employee for a bit of advice. The woman we spoke with was shocked that we would even want to go to the area and suggested we not tell anyone that we are students for fear they would give us the wrong directions or poor advice once we arrived. We took her advice and kept quiet as we explored the streets and made note of the Baptist and Evangelical churches scattered in between empty storefronts. The streets in the area were poorly taken care of with garbage strewn everywhere. It's evident both from research and a stroll around the west Allegheny neighborhood that this was once an area of tremendous industrial importance. Factory type buildings are unoccupied now to give a sort of ghost town effect only instead of tumble weeds there are empty beer cans floating in the streets. We were told that the tastycake factory was originally located in this area but has since moved elsewhere because of the less than delicious conditions of the area. The decline of the area is of great interest to our group but not so much as we'd like to see the ways in which the Philadelphia Planning committee improves it. Nicetown-Tioga is home to many families who will benefit from the continued gentrification of the neighborhood, which we're told began in 2003. Community development is a long an arduous process as is evident from the less than ideal living conditions but strides have been taken in the right direction beginning with the schools. Education is the first step toward improvement and judging by the presence of two high schools Mercy Vocational Tech and Dobbins Vocational Tech, both in good condition this is of the highest importance to the members of the Allegheny West community.
Posted by Brittney Barrett at 10:25 AM