|Me - 1969 in our dining room at our new Philadelphia address|
The year was 1969 and the place was Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
I always wanted to live in the Big City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1969 we finally realized our dream and brought a 16 foot wide, 50 feet deep row house in center city Philly at 2409 Naudain Street.
|2409 Naudain Street - our door is the red door (of course) - 1971|
We were living at an apartment in Roxborough (Philadlephia) after we had moved from Bill's New Jersey (Pennsauken) apartment. After they raised the rent from $145 a month to $165 a month, I decided that was too much. So instead of throwing out money down a rat hole every month I suggested that we look at properties in center city Philly. I always wanted to live in center city Philadelphia. It was my dream to walk to work (I had a job at Girard Bank right across from City Hall) and the OTHER reason was so I could walk to the bars. The GAY BARS. I didn't have a car at that time and wouldn't drive anyway because one doesn't drive and drink and I did like my gin an tonics in those days.
|Me and my G & T - dancing the night away at an after hours club - NO DRIVING - I just stumbled home|
So looked at houses and decided on a recently rehabbed house on the edge of center city. The previous house was torn down because it was in a bad section of town. Yes, we were The Gays gentrifying a bad section of town.
|Our nice backyard at Naudain Street, Philadelphia, PA - 1971|
The asking price of the row house was $27,000. I suggested that we pay the asking price. The owner almost tripped over his own shoes rushing to get the agreement of sale before I changed my mind.
We bought the house. The next week I was sick to my stomach, convinced that I had made the biggest mistake of my life ( I hadn't). Now we had a 20 year mortgage at $119.27 a month. WE.WERE.LOCKED.IN. Funny how one feels when one makes a commitment like that.
|Our two little Pomeranian dogs out for a walk in front of our Philadelphia home - 1977|
Well folks, it didn't turn out too bad. We had that mortgage paid off in five years. This was before the housing market got wise to the facts that many gay couples lived together and had double incomes and could easily pay such a mortgage off. Remember those days when the husband went to work and the wifey-poo stayed home and raised the little
We lived at that wonderful property for eleven glorious years until I had my fill of police sirens (sometimes it seemed as if they went all day), potential race riots (we lived on the edge of the "bad section") and just the general feeling of suffocation of living in the middle of a densely populated city. Plus, I grew tired of going to the gay bars every weekend. That novelty wore off on my 37th birthday when I was standing in the 247 Bar and the lights flashed on as the bartender screamed "LAST CALL!" I thought to myself, "What am I doing here?" That night I left never to return to gay bar cruising again.
|"What am I doing here?"|
We sold our center city townhouse for what we thought was the astronomical sum of $95,000 and moved to the country (Downingtown) where we lived for the next twenty-five years until we moved to our present location here in Delaware in 2006.
By the way, know how much that "little row house" in center city Philly is worth now? Zillow estimates $621,864. It was last sold in June of 2009 for $592,000. Hey, maybe we should have stayed and won the lottery.
Last year when Pat and I were in Philly, I showed him where we used to live. You know what folks, it's now in a fou fou section of town. Just goes to show you.
Our former Philadelphia home now, fou fou home.