Good bye and Good Luck Bella Vista. Hope to have you in some classes next year...

In two days, we move to Fishy Fish Town and there will be no turning back. The difference in neighborhoods is striking. Bella Vista is more anonymous, the residents keep to themselves, and you hardly ever see the same person twice. In Fishy Fish, I've met about twenty-five percent of the population already. Let's see...There's Daniel, the possibly stoned clerk at Circle Thrift off Frankford who gave us a deal on the ugly sofa and chair we bought Saturday. Then I met the butcher across the street who gave me advice on how to unclog my bathroom sink (hey, use a plunger). The man working at the ice cream shop/pizzeria/drug store on the corner of Norris and Memphis already calls me sweetheart, and our next door neighbor's name is Eugene. I met Angela the disgruntled teen on Friday night and her little dog whose name escapes me. My friend Kali and I were introduced to two other dogs, a hyper Pekinese named Sandy and a lab type dog named Lou-Lou (I think). In Bella Vista, I know the slightly retarded guy next door and his senile 86 year old mother who always thinks she's lost her cat (the funniest thing she ever said to me was, It's a shame! I've had that cat since she was a puppy!). But on one hand, I enjoy the anonymity of Bella Vista--I like my privacy.

What else? Fishy Fish isn't as well maintained as Bella Vista. The streets have garbage on the curbs and the neighbor two doors down from us keeps her dryer on the front porch (You also get a sense of this underlying tension among the neighbors--they've known each other for years and years and so even if you wanted to stop being that punk who used to smoke cigarettes on the corner, you could never really escape that label. "Remember when little Johnny used to light his sister's hair on fire with sparklers? I knew he'd turn out bad"). And obviously, Fishtown doesn't have the same number of options for shopping or restaurants though truthfully, I go to the same places pretty much every time I shop or eat out. We'll have the Rocket Cat Cafe on the corner--a little hipster joint that only accepts cash and they're building a bistro nearby too. We'll see.

I am going to become a gardener, that's one new thing. We have a front and a back yard and I can't tell you how satisfying it is to yank weeds out of the ground. It feels heroic--like all the other plants are silently cheering me on.

Here's a little fact about our street stolen from the Internet:

That brings us to Norris Street. Named for previously mentioned Isaac Norris, a
wealthy merchant and diplomat who arrived in Philadelphia from London, in 1693.
Isaac Norris had an active civic life, including speaker of the assembly, a member
of the Provincial Council, and as Mayor of Philadelphia. The road that later
became Norris Street, was originally Lancaster Street and ran from the Delaware
River to 2nd Street. The name changed from Lancaster to Norris in 1858, due
mainly to the land surrounding the road once being owned by the Norris Family.

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