Favorite Spot: Bartram’s Garden
Neighborhood: Southwest Philly
Address: 53rd and Lindbergh
I am: An avid wanderer…of mind and bicycle
Years in Philly: 8
Current Home: West Philly
My Love Note:
You don’t charge people to access your grounds; rather, you invite us. A small museum-house presents the formal welcome, but your party is in the backyard. An enormous beech greets me at the rear of the house and beckons me to explore the paths that meander through a collection of well-tended and well-labeled plant life (yes I can learn the names of all the trees! It’s great in the winter when all I can see are buds and bark)
As you guide my walk, I am tempted to spend a little more time on the thoughts I just had a few seconds ago – to twiddle with them and play with them a little longer. There is no rush, only serenity. Sometimes I choose to follow your calls to the water – I follow a path through a thicket of rhododendron and reeds abutting the Schuylkill that shields the visitors from the river’s less romantic offerings – an oily and desolate beach decorated by the entrails of industry. There I can see plastic buoys, metal tanks, and dilapidated buildings in the distance. It’s beautiful in a truly Philadelphian way…tranquil and inspiring albeit post-apocalyptic.
Your grounds are huge (and not completely wooded)! It behooves me to spend more time with you. Further southwest, you have leased space for community gardens and a farm. Children play on swing sets while their parents harvest kale and tomatoes. People read on a grassy knoll while turkeys do turkey things across from the gardeners. You are a very intriguing and engrossing place, Bartram’s Garden, and I am very happy to have met you.