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Philadelphia Getaways Far From Center City -- Dr.John W. Gilmore

February 12, 2020

 

To skip out of the Philadelphia tourist scene and hang out with the locals visit Chestnut Hill.   Chestnut Hill is right above Mt. Airy, one of the most racially diverse areas in the city, as well as very close to Germantown.  Both parts of the city have a very rich history. You can take an easy ride on the Chestnut Hill West or the Chestnut Hill East line from Center City Philadelphia, or you can take a bus that leads you right into the center of the Chestnut Hill Business District.  

In the 60s and 70s the area started out as a place where an average middle or working class person could at least afford the moderate sized homes, like most parts of the city. Soon after, housing prices skyrocketed making this serene part of the city (everywhere outside of the business district) unaffordable to most Philadelphians except those who got in early.  The area resembles a European town, with many upscale shops sculpted into the buildings and infrastructure from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.  

Lined along Summitt streets you pass large houses described as mansions by many, but not by their inhabitants, leading to the central...

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Tags: recreation, renewal, restaurants, shopping, shops


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Walking Manayunk Off the Beaten Path -- Dr. John W. Gilmore

February 12, 2020

 

On rainy days early Friday afternoon the streets of Manayunk are quiet. Despite the quiet, if you look around, you can see the merchants gearing up for the busy nightlife to come.  Manayunk is a section of Philadelphia 15 minutes from Center City, King of Prussia, and the Mainline running along the Schuylkill River, with a strip full of many diverse shops, restaurants, spas and recreational facilities packed into a very small space.

 

One wonders how they survive.  How do all of these restaurants compete with each other?  I walk down the street looking at all of the stores, restaurants and businesses in wonder.  I like to come here in the early afternoon when fewer things are open and the streets are not crowded and one can have a choice of quiet restaurants at which to dine.  I notice that some businesses have closed, but only a few, leaving the storefront properties available right there on the main street. It is prime commercial real estate to be taken by someone who will add their commercial interests to a place booming with business and activities in the evening hours and weekends. The Manayunk Stroll the Street program initiated this...

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Tags: recreation, renewal, restaurants, shopping, shops


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Walking  Media by Dr. John W. Gilmore

February 12, 2020

 

 Media, a quiet little town just north of Chester, PA without much going on, in the eighties. The major hang out spot near where I lived was the Old State Tavern on Old State Rd.  It featured various local rock bands playing rock music, dance music, and pop music accompanied by drinking, dancing, and outright partying. 

 

People often visited the most popular restaurant, the Plumstead, located downtown at the center of everything.  That's not true anymore. When I arrived to take my walk 2020 and explore the new happenings I almost got lost because the landscape had changed so much and so much more was going on.   I parked my car on East State St. and headed toward downtown not even knowing if I were headed in the right direction.

 

I passed large buildings encircling a large flat park near State and Manchester.  It didn't look the same as I remembered. Several sets of old concrete steps led up to the large open space dotted tastefully with just a touch of trees and greenery.  Upon further inspection I realized that there had been houses in that field. They had been knocked down, only leaving the stairways...

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Tags: recreation, renewal, restaurants, shopping, shops


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Boating at Bartram's

July 16, 2019

Tuesday Night Summer Boating At Bartram’s Garden

John W. Gilmore

 

From Lindbergh Blvd. it is difficult to tell where Bartram’s Village ends and Bartram's Garden begins. Bartram’s Village, built in 1942, began as a housing project built adjacent to Bartram’s Garden, and was one of the oldest in Philadelphia.  In 2018 the Bartram’s Garden Project received a 1.3 Million Kickstarting Grant to revitalize it into mixed income apartment buildings. Bartram’s Garden’s Boathouse, which we were seeking, is located along the river behind what is now Bartram’s Garden Village.  It offers several opportunities for boating several times a week with kayaks, tandem kayaks, row boats, and paddle boats. It’s position along the Schuylkill river makes it a prime location. The water is very smooth and the river wide at the Boathouse launch. But on weekdays the offices and welcome center close at 4 making the evening boating launch difficult to find for those unfamiliar with the area.

 

The GPS leads one down highway 76 and off the Passyunk Avenue exit.  After many twists and turns we come to an empty lot with locked gates.  The scene is surreal. We enter a small parking lot along a fence with small...

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Tags: boating, community gardening, education, free events, volunteer opportunities


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Liming Spokane On A Sunny Afternoon

June 29, 2019

 Dr. John W. Gilmore

 

Using a Lime Scooter for transportation is enjoyable and convenient in Spokane, WA. The small, electric scooter moves slowly, allowing me to look at the shops, stores and buildings that I would pass too quickly in a car, while allowing me to travel a longer distance than on foot.  

 

This city with almost 1/4 million people seems to have been created to support a much larger population. The streets are wide and the infrastructure well defined.  Everything is clean, unlike most cities of its size in the US. There are people moving about, but the streets never seem crowded. The openness of the large spaces and wide streets provide a feeling of quiet and tranquility.  The large spaces are probably a leftover benefit from a world expo that took place here in the 1970s when they built many buildings and improved the infrastructure to accommodate large numbers of tourists.

 

A Lyft driver who has lived here all of his life told me that this downtown section isn’t the only downtown section.  “The city is very long running along the river, There are a lot of malls and business districts dispersed all along the city...

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Tags: coffee shops, ga 2019, lime scooter, riverwalk, spokane wa, transportation


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The Black Experience in World Travel

May 21, 2019

Subject:  Small Town lIving in Costa Rica

 

 

Solo Bueno (Only Good) Opportunities For Living in Costa Rica  

Dr. John W. Gilmore

 

Many opportunities await those who want to get a breath of fresh air and move to a stable, beautiful country like Costa Rica.   If you have enough money to buy land and hold onto it, it can double or triple in value in less than 4 or 5 years. Beautiful forests, rushing rivers and waterfalls, beaches on the coasts and inexpensive food clothing and shelter await you if you want to remain, and you can make a living in real estate.

 

We did very well in Costa Rican real estate when we met Ben Cart with the intention of buying land and building a house.   He led us up broken, dirt roads, over rocks and potholes in his British Land Rover, to several plots, both large and small, all lush, green with rolling hills located on undeveloped land.   We settled on a parcel far above the San Ramon near the top of a large hill that was quiet and secluded called The Ridge. We were the first to buy a plot, 5,000 square meters....

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Tags: affordable living, expat communities, relocating, the black experience, travel


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