It is quite amazing how much your perspective of a place can change based on how you get there. Previously, I have only traveled to Fishtown via the El. I always get off the train at the Girard station, head down the steps, and am greeted by now familiar places like the Cornerstone Market and a somewhat out-of-place McDonald’s.
On my last visit to Fishtown, I drove in from the suburbs, heading down the Vine Street Expressway to Delaware Avenue. The most shocking (and frustrating) part of my drive was the excessive amount of construction. Most roads leading to Delaware Avenue were blocked, forcing me to take a somewhat scenic detour. I was surprised by the vast numbers of newly constructed buildings and shops that were springing up around Aramingo Avenue, including a Cold Stone Creamery. It may be that these new shops and restaurants are being created in preparation for a boom in Fishtown visitors, brought on by the SugarHouse Casino.
According to PlanPhilly.com, the massive construction is being directed by the Philadelphia Water Department. The PWD is replacing old, worn out sewer lines, in preparation for the casino’s construction. PlanPhilly.com also mentions that residents, like Chelsea Thompson, were not notified about the construction beforehand. Thompson says, “We should have been notified because we're the ones affected day and night by this road closure.”My trip to Fishtown almost never happened, because confusing detours led me in about three circles before I found my way around. Undoubtedly, the construction is having a significant day-to-day impact on Fishtown residents.
By Ashley Zeserman and Jillian Atkinson, Group 09, Fishtown
Photos courtesy of Planphilly.com, WHYY.org.