Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Ludlow: Group 15, Evan Casey and Jessica Fowler
A walk through The Ludlow Neighborhood is not all that unpleasant. In fact, there is a lot to be said for Ludlow. The people are friendly, new housing and renovated buildings abound, and the residents take pride in their community.
Sitting outside a mechanics shop on 4th and Lawrence, Robert, a lifetime resident said this, "Everything's great here, ain't no problems, been living here all my life, 50 years, neighborhood's great." His remarks are almost to the point of being defensive. He isn't alone either. Many residents around the neighborhood share this attitude. They don't speak negatively about their neighborhood, and it is--their neighborhood.
They take ownership of their community. Unlike the stereotypical North Philaelphia neighborhood, the residents of Ludlow truly see themselves as part of a diverse community. There is a catholic after school program that hands out book-bags and school supplies on Lawrence street. One woman spoke of a mixed congregation at her church. The residents appreciate the diversity. Robert at the repair shop even speaks Spanish to help accommodate the Latino residents of the area.
The community isn't without its problems though. About 20 years ago the neighborhood was a violent drug haven, and full of crime. Long time residents will tell you all about it. Since the streets have quieted in Ludlow a new set of challenges face the community. The streets themselves are the most notable of these challenges. Whole blocks of sidewalks are torn up or blocked off. Streets have huge potholes in them. The city repairs them but doesn't do it right and the potholes come right back. Weeds growing out of the streets and blocking off whole sections are not an uncommon sight in Ludlow. Certain areas resemble a cratered moonscape.
With all the new construction and homes, Ludlow is taking on a new shape and character. It is being reborn. However, right at the moment it's like a teenager with bad acne. The potholes need to be filled, and the streets repaved in this up and coming moonscape.
Posted by Evan C. at 8:19 PM