Yong Kim and his father sit on the concrete slab outside the building that rests at the corner of Erie Avenue and Carlisle Street, but unlike most of the others who sit on the corner, Kim and his father aren’t waiting for SEPTA’s
Route 53 or 56 bus – they’re selling fresh fruits and vegetables to local buyers.
Taking a drag from his cigarette, Kim says he and his father, who have been operating the stand for about a year, live in Cheltenham with the rest of their family. "But we spend our time here," they add. And when the father-son duo says time, the pair means 13 hours for at least five days a week. They open up shop at about 5:30 a.m., Kim says, and usually stay until 6:30 p.m.
Their stand stocks its baskets with nearly every fruit under the sun – quite literally in the sweltering heat that Tuesday afternoon brings – including everything from mangos, watermelon and pineapple to apples, oranges and bananas. But they don’t limit the stand's contents to fresh fruits. They carry a handful of different types of vegetables, including cucumbers and tomatoes, as well as bags of roasted, salted peanuts still in the shell. Plus, most items are priced at $1 or less.
To top it all off, for visitors who catch him at just the right time, Mr. Kim may just throw in a perfectly ripened peach or two, on the house.
By: Chelsea Calhoun and Sarah Shafer
Group 12: Nicetown/Tioga/Allegheny