Patience learned by working for the Central Delaware River Waterfront

Karen Thompson
Favorite Spot: The Delaware River, but particularly the Wood Street steps as a reminder of the past and Race Street Pier as an example of the future
Neighborhood: Delaware River Waterfront

I am: a Texan who found herself head over heels in love with Philadelphia, and an urban planner working on the Central Delaware River.
Years in Philly: a little more than 5


My Love Note

To the Central Delaware River,

I had wanted to write a love note to Frank Furness’s masterpiece building for PAFA, or to the delightful pockets of alleys scattered around the city, and I even thought about writing a note to Philadelphians themselves, but none of these were quite right. This is probably the most obvious love note I could have written but I think it’s the only one I really could.

The very first presentation I heard at the start of my graduate program and life in Philadelphia was about you, your history, and your civic vision. I had no idea then that I would end up working on planning and development on the waterfront. You are an endless source of professional pride (and learning! You teach me every day), frustration, and potential. You are the reason my husband and I were able to stay in Philadelphia, rather than move after two short years here, and we’re grateful for that.

You are rich with history, simultaneously majestic and unassuming, and I know you have a bright future. I walk across the Market Street bridge every day, and no other view makes my job clearer. I know what you are and what you can be and I’m excited and honored to be a small part of your ever-changing life.

Along the way, I’ve learned so much about you, myself, planning, and the Philadelphians who care about you (you have introduced me to so many incredible people, including some real characters). I think you might trying to teach me patience but I’m not so great at that. But hey, points for trying.

So here’s to you, me, and your future.



Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Delaware River, Old City Leave a comment

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