One of the things Christmas does for all of us is make us nostalgic for earlier times. We live in Texas but we grew up in Philadelphia and all our relatives are in that area. From 1961 to 1978 I lived in the Northeast section of the city. We lived in various houses but always within walking distance of Frankford Avenue, generally called "The Avenue" by locals. Frankford Avenue has a long history. It was once an Indian trail and in colonial times, it was the main highway to New York City. In August 2007 I was in Philly and took a walk along The Avenue. Here are some of my photos.This may just look like a tree but it isn't just any tree. In 1963 or so, my Boy Scout troop, with the help of local merchants, planted trees for several miles along Frankford Avenue. Many of them still survive. This is one of the survivors.
When we first moved into the area, this was the Pennypack Movie Theater. It closed soon after we moved there and I never actually saw a movie there. It was a furniture store for many years and is now a dollar store. It still has the original marquee.
This building dates back to colonial times. Located at Rhawn and Frankford it is at the center of what was the town of Holmesburg before it was incorporated into Philadelphia many years ago. When I was a kid, this was a drugstore. When my mother was a kid it was a drugstore. As a teenager she hung out at the soda fountain there.
In the late 1960s this was a Jack-in-the-Box fast food place. It was the first fast food restaurant in the neighborhood. As I remember you could get hamburgers for a dime. We used to spend a lot of time there.
This is a portion of The Avenue where real retail district starts. Although Frankford Avenue for most of it's length has many retail stores, from here and for the next 10 blocks or so it is all retail. It really doesn't look much different now than it did then. Except I don't remember there being chain fences in front of the windows. Times do change.
Moe's. A fine Philadelphia delicatessen. One thing you don't see too much in my part of Texas. Great lunch meat (cold cuts to the rest of you) and great bread. One of my old Philly friends moved to New England in the early 1980s. Every time we visited him we had to bring him rye bread from Moes.
The Mayfair Diner. A dying breed, the railroad car diner. This has been the Mayfair diner since about 1920. The current place was built in the 1940s. It's a classic and seems to still do a good business. Barak Obama visited there in October 2008 while running for president. My sister-in-law was there for the occasion.
This is the corner of Frankfort and Cottman Avenue. The heart of the retail district. This furniture store used to be a classy woman's dress store called The York Shop where my Mom used to buy clothes.
Also at Frankford and Cottman, this used to be the Mayfair Movie Theater. The taller structure in the back was the actual theater. The part in the front, which is now a bank, was the lobby. It was a drug store for a long time before the bank moved in. I didn't go in so I don't know what they are using the old auditorium for these days.
This Family Dollar store was a Woolworth's when I lived there. My Mom used to work there, dressing the windows, in the 1940s. It had wooden floors and a soda fountain, even in the 1960s.
Well, that's it. I hope I didn't bore you too much. Or, if you're an old Philadelphian far from home, I hope you enjoyed this little trip down the Avenue of memories.