30 Blocks of You Gotta See it to Believe It

by James Quinn
The Burning Platform

I got frustrated Monday morning on the Schuylkill Expressway when traffic ground to a halt just before City Line Avenue. I impulsively got off at City Line Avenue and traveled up to Belmont Ave. I took Belmont through Fairmount Park (where dead bodies are found on a regular basis) to Girard Avenue. After making the left on Girard, you enter a land time forgot, along with hammers, brooms, paint brushes, trash cans, marriage licenses, school books or condoms. This stretch of West Philly makes the area around the zoo seem like paradise.

The vacant, trash strewn, weed infested lots along this decaying stretch of squalor are the highlight of the trip. There are a couple bars, nail salons, and daycare centers (can you imagine the “care” the children receive). But for the most part it’s unadulterated ghetto, with garbage blowing along the ancient trolley tracks like sage brush in the old west.

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