Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, May 13, 2005

Acme Loop Again

Ran the same loop this morning (with the same person) as I did on Wednesday, up to the northwest part of Fairmount Park past the Acme Distribution Center and home through West Philly. 8 miles passed in 66:44, several seconds faster than what we ran it on Friday. This must have been because we cut diagonally through Carroll Park this morning instead of running around it.

I just spent about 10 minutes surfing for a picture of Carroll Park. CP is a square block park that has the usual benches, playground, green space, etc. and has obviously been renovated recently, as it looks very inviting and well maintained. The diagonal path through it is somewhat convenient for our loop as it lets us cut from 59th St. to 58th street, the former which is a one-way were traffic comes up from behind us and 58th being a one-way where we face traffic.

No pics of Carroll Park, but I did come up with several profiles of the surrounding neighborhood. This demonstrates my ignorance of large swaths of West Philly that I ostensibly live very near to as I had not known that this was even a neighborhood. Anyway, for my (and now your) education on W. Philly geography, Carroll Park is:

densely populated with high rates of homeownership. There is significant stability and strength, but the housing stock is aging. Homes need to be preserved and younger families need to be attracted to move into this area. Pockets of blight exist in certain sections: examples are Market Street and the 60th & Girard intersection. Providing adequate neighborhood shopping is an important goal for this neighborhood.

according to the City of Phila. Planning Dept. and, for a somewhat more upbeat view, Penn Partners Org writes:

The high quality of the housing is a primary strength of the community west of 52nd Street. The two-story rowhouse is the predominant housing type here. Two story rowhouses sell at more affordable prices and are easier to maintain than the larger rowhouses and semi-detached homes found elsewhere in West Philadelphia. Consequently, housing is well-maintained and the percentage of owner-occupied homes ranges from 60% to 80% in the four neighborhoods west of 52nd Street. In addition, two-story rowhouses are far less likely to be converted into multi-family housing, a factor which contributes to neighborhood stability.

Strong community participation in neighborhood improvement programs is another strength of the neighborhoods west of 52nd Street. Block organizations have been resourceful in using neighborhood improvement programs such as Philadelphia Green, Philadelphia More Beautiful and Town Watch. Just as importantly, residents have been able to sustain the improvements they achieved through the various neighborhood improvement programs. Refurbished homes, clean sidewalks and streets, lawn lamps, sidewalk planters, and street trees remain the hallmark of blocks with active block associations.

There is also a map which got pasted on here as well. We run down 59th/58th from across Lancaster Ave at the top of the map to a little before Baltimore Ave, where we turn and go down off the right side of the map to 47th.

At one point I imagined my runs being sort of a big geography lesson where I could get to know the city. An example I draw from is Mike Davis, who writes alot about LA and got an extensive knowledge of that city from years of being a truck driver.

This is one step in that direction, brought on by really having nothing else to say this morning beyond further whining about how my legs still continue to ache. Put in that perspective, I think this is the preferable way to go.


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