How long have you lived in Bridesburg.
All of my 35 years have been spent here in the Burg.
Favorite place in Bridesburg?
The schoolyard at Saint John Cantius is my absolute favorite place in the Burg. I grew up right across from it on Almond Street. My childhood memory reel is filled with days and nights spent over there, playing everything from stickball in the afternoon to spring in the evening. I love being able to take my girls there and have them make memories in the same space that I did.
Favorite place in Philadelphia?
It’s funny, I have lived in Philadelphia all my life, but I have barely ventured out around the city. Pennypack Park is my go-to place if I had to think of one. I love taking my girls there for long walks. It’s a beautiful place no matter what the season.
Favorite Bridesburg Tradition?
There are so many to pick from including the Memorial Day parade and the Carnival. But my hands down favorite tradition is the Christmas Bazar at Saint John Cantius. I love being there and seeing so many of my neighbors and old classmates. It is such a great experience walking through the front doors, hearing the Christmas music, seeing all the decorations, and hearing the wheels go at game booths. My oldest daughter went to her first bazar when she was 3 months old back in 2007. We have a picture of her with Santa starting then and leading up to and including every year of her life. We have the same thing for my twins whose first bazar was back in 2011. The night isn’t complete before getting some Polish food from the cafeteria and a few pizzas (complements of Alina Whittle) to go.
What do you love about Bridesburg?
What don’t I love about Bridesburg? Bridesburg is a special place that in many ways remains untouched by the hands of time. I love taking walks around the neighborhood and knowing a face on every block. I love that we are a community that values tradition and holds them dear to our collective heart. I love that we are a safe neighborhood that looks out for each other. As a father of three daughters, it gives me comfort knowing that they can walk up to the rec to play, and they are in good hands. I love that Bridesburg can hold its own in such an everchanging world. It’s a place that you can’t quite understand unless you’ve lived here for some time.
How did you learn about the riverfront park, and what got you interested in getting involved?
I learned about the park a few years back when all the initial interest meetings were taking place in and around the neighborhood. I wanted to be involved to make sure that the voice of our residents was heard. Bridesburg is often overlooked by the city when it comes to planning. I wanted to get involved and make sure we were represented in the right way.
Once the park opens, what do you hope to see there?
Bridesburg is already an attractive and stable neighborhood for people looking to raise a family. I hope the park just adds to what is already an impressive community. The one thing I would love to see become a yearly event is a 4th of July firework show on the river. No community does patriotic pride like Bridesburg does. I think it would be great to not have to travel downtown, but rather stay right here in the Burg and celebrate with neighbors.
Anything else you’d like to include?
Two words that say it all, Bridesburg Strong!