Shannon McDonald’s final ode to Northeast Philadelphia while driving up I-95

Shannon McDonald (Part 3 of 3)
Favorite Spot: I-95
Neighborhood: East side of the city
Address: I-95 in the Riverwards and north

I am: I’m a journalist from Northeast Philly with an appreciation for all neighborhoods.
Years in Philly: All of ’em
Current Home: Holme Circle


My love note: The conditions have to be just right to get the most out of a trip up I-95. Pick a hot night after the traffic has dissipated, and make sure there’s a light breeze. When you make it through South Philly, Center City and the Riverwards, you’re just about there. Pass the exit for the Betsy Ross Bridge and roll your windows down. Breathe deeply as you cross over the factories that dot the riverfront of Bridesburg and Wissinoming. Smell that? I don’t know what it is or who’s producing it. I know it’s got a chemical tinge to it and I’m sure the EPA has something to say about it. It smells like northbound 95 on a late summer night. It’s the smell of being almost home.

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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Northeast 9 Comments

9 Responses to Shannon McDonald’s final ode to Northeast Philadelphia while driving up I-95


    Emma – your pics are amazing! You really capture the city.

    • Emma

      Thanks Dana. I’m just doing everything with instagram (the secret is out!). The ones of Delancy St are beautiful. It will probably go up next week.

  2. the noshing shiksa

    love this. i grew up in frankford and i have seriously visceral memories of my mom waking me up on summer mornings for day camp. when we left it was stil cool and not too bright out, so we’d roll down all the windows and i remember that acrid chemical smell so well. it was almost comforting. i doubt anybody who didn’t grow up in the northeast would understand it. 🙂

  3. Brendan

    Is it weird that this made me slightly emotional? It is definitely a northeast Philly thing.

  4. mhart

    Help me find out what factory is producing the smells and what their emission guidelines are. I strongly feel that they are exceeding the limits and whatever they are off gassing is causing long term issues. It’s been said before but help me break it open before I move from the city. It will be an important piece.

  5. Emma

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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