Love Note #64: Erica Hawthorne watches over the city she loves from Drexel Park in University City

Erica Hawthorne
Favorite Spot: Drexel Park
Neighborhood: University City
Address: Baring and 32nd streets


I am: Poet, artist advocate, chocolate chip cookie connoisseur (or addict…same same), owner of one very spoiled cat and founder of Small But Mighty Arts Grant (thanks to the Knight Foundation!).
Years in Philly: 9 years…and counting.
Current Home: Powelton Village…but I just call it West Philly 🙂
My love note: I fell in love with Philadelphia before I even moved to Philadelphia. When I arrived, I had a bit of culture shock! But it grew on me…the neighborhoods, the restaurants, the friends I’ve made (who have awesome house parties), getting lost EVERYWHERE, every creative, artistic venue, event, person and moment I experience, and the skyline that peeks out every time I crest a hill in surrounding neighborhoods.

This park used to be a graveled inaccessible space, the skyline hidden behind fenced tension. Even then, I used to drive by, slow down and strain to see what I knew was a great view, save for all of the barriers. When they began turning over soil I thought the space would end up as a condo haven, but to my surprise, it become this amazing park space. 

Here, the city looks close enough to touch, and I come here to reflect on how far I’ve come since I’ve been here and just how close I have become with the city. The park is a great spot to hang out during the day, although the grass is a bit rough, but isn’t that so Philly?: a bit rough, even more beautiful…and still someplace you want to be. At night, from this place, it’s like watching a rambunctious toddler finally settle down, peaceful and resting. Only a few windowed lids flutter on the building facades, haloed by the stars, the occasional whining of a train pulling into to the station like a familiar blanket, while the Art Museum sits off to the left like a night light. Even at night, you can feel the city still building and renewing and getting ready for another day.

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in University City 1 Comment

One Response to Love Note #64: Erica Hawthorne watches over the city she loves from Drexel Park in University City

  1. Jay

    In the 60’s & 70’s, that part of West Philly was a very cool & hip place for artist! Powelton Village/Mantua sections! Had some tough times in the 80’s into the 90’s, but the section has bounced back very nicely!

     

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