Leigh Goldenberg and Aaron Bauman
Favorite Spot: Pre-Phillies ritual including Cosmi’s Deli, Termini Bros, and Citizens Bank Bark
Neighborhood: South Philly
Address: Cosmi’s Deli (1501 S 8th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147), Termini Bros (1523 S 8th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147), CBP (1523 S 8th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147)
We are both: South Philly homeowners, Bike Commuters, Phillies season ticket holders. He is: Web Guy, Ultimate Frisbee Enthusiast, Homebrewer. She is: Bicycle Laundry Marketer, Arts Supporter, Food Co-op party planner
Years in Philly: 7 together (plus Leigh’s 18 in the burbs)
Current Home: We call it Franklin Heights, real estate agents and civic associations call our neighborhood Passyunk Sq.
My Love Note:
Six to twelve times each summer, my husband and I put on one of our many Phillies shirts and pull our tandem out of our garage. We double check that we have a bike lock and our tickets for Section 420. (We’ve forgotten both these items enough times to be vigilant on the double checking).
With Aaron in the front seat and me in back, we pull out onto 8th Street, heading south.
First stop, Cosmi’s Deli. We’ve pre-ordered a hoagie. My preference is the classic Italian, no lettuce or tomatoes, with banana peppers. He prefers the sicilian, which definitely has sharper provolone, but I insist on switching from a seeded roll. One of us watches the bike, while the other runs in to get the sandwich and two small bags of Herr’s BBQ chips. I proudly announce that we are headed to the game, and the guy behind the counter engages me in some banter about our standings in the NL East, or who is injured, or maybe a personal anecdote from his last visit to the park.
Second stop, on the very same block, Termini Bakery. I often forget we live this dangerously close to the South Philly treasure. Most of our games are on a weeknight, so we get there right before closing. There are no lines, no elderly Italian men playing the accordion for the Saturday tourists. Just a half dozen young women dressed all in white, looking like 1950s nurses in training. I request my two cannoli’s (if Aaron takes this errand, he can resist and order just one). Ceremoniously, the empty shells are placed onto a wide silver tray and carried into the back for filling with classic ricotta and chocolate chips. I wander about, looking at all the pastries I’ve really never ordered in my cannoli-committed life. I stare up at the family portrait, learning which son oversees the company’s Facebook page. We talk about the other Termini locations, what’s on special, and of course some mention of the Phillies. When the cannolis return, I usually turn down the sprinkle of powdered sugar. It’s just messy decadence by the time we’re at the ballpark. Packed into a plastic container with a “perishable, store at 40 degrees” sticker, I’m off and back on the bike.
Now my job is observe the neighborhood, signal turns, and ring our bell. We go from our Passyunk Square home, south through all of South Philly – 8th to Moyamensing to 10th. The stoops turn to porches, the awnings become more frequent. Along the streets, we get the occasional shout of encouragement, or someone pointing our bicycle built for two out to their child. Cars give us space. The houses get taller and then shorter, until they are the single story homes near Bigler Street and we can see just how full (or empty) Citizens Bank Park is that evening. We pass the parking lots and the families walking to the game from the cheaper options. We glide past the tailgaters near the Holiday Inn and Aaron tells me to close my eyes as he navigates the blockade and cone maze that prevents cars from continuing any further. We make a few more turns, saying no to the scalpers that we’ve got our two seats already, and find ourselves at the first base gate.
We arrive at our bike rack, one of a few around the park. Given that this is our regular spot, we see the same member of the Citizens Bank Park maintenance team. His name is Willie Larry and over the years we’ve learned about his other part-time gigs, his opinions on the team, and his family. When we’ve missed a few too many games, his face lights up when he sees us. “I’ve been telling the other guys about my friends on the bike for two!” Occasionally we chug a can of beer while we chat with him. Our own mini tailgate.
It’s a reassurance for us all that summer is here, that we have our neighborhood, that we have our team. Sometimes when we head into the stadium, up the escalator, and into our seats, the Phillies play well and our night ends singing High Hopes with Harry Kallas. But we always have our seat neighbor Mike yelling minor variations on his heckles. We know we have our Herr’s chips in the 2nd inning, our Cosmi’s hoagie in the 3rd, our Termini cannoli in the 6th. And on our way out, our bike bell to ring along with the saxophone playing the Rocky theme. We leave the stadium behind and head north, but still home, somewhere pretty far South.