To say the least, I was very surprised during my first visit to Hunting Park. I guess I just assumed that all of these neighborhoods north of Broad Street were going to relatively the same. I suppose living on campus in north Philadelphia sometimes brings on these geographical stereotypes.
It was only my first visit and it was during school hours on a Tuesday, but the area surrounding Hunting Park seemed very calm and low key. Call it bad reporting, but perhaps the misconception will allow me to be more relaxed as a reporter. People answered my questions pleasantly and nobody left me with one-word answers.
I was well aware of the shooting that took place on Sunday night where an 11 year-old boy was grazed by bullet and sent to the hospital. It’s probably why I chose to visit sometime in the afternoon.
Strangely, I didn’t feel like a total outcast there. At the bus stop in front of 9th street I found myself in a deep baseball conversation regarding the Phillies and their closing pitcher Brad Lidge. I was treated with a lot of respect like I had lived there my whole life.
It’s quite apparent what separates this little town from rest of its neighboring areas, and that is the giant park between the town and North Broad Street. It’s kind of hard not to notice it on the way in, It was extremely desolate being that it was about 11 am. The only things visible in the grassy park were the ridiculous amount of trash covering it.
It was surprising to me that people in this community don’t treat this beautiful vast area with more care. Not very many sections of North Philadelphia have an area like Hunting Park with the multiple recreation sites such as basketball hoops, swimming pools and baseball fields.
My first visit to my assigned neighborhood went fairly well. Even though I only noticed the good, I feel much more comfortable and look forward to reporting here for the rest of the semester.
John Stish, Group 9, Hunting Park