Tag Archives: University City

West Philly Worship Group

9 Jun

I’m not too into religion, but I have to say I’ve been a church shopper before.  I am however, a Quaker.  Weird, huh?  A modern girl like myself.

Either way, Quakers in West Philly have been doing something cool and a little be out of the ordinary.  (Quakers in West Philly, who thought that was ordinary!?)  They hold a small worship group on Wednesday at 7:30pm, typically in someone’s living room.  Since it moves place to place each week, its good to check in with their list-serve. (Touch base here for more details: West Philly Google Group.

About 15-30 folks show up each week ranging in age (thought mostly in the 35 and under crowd) and coming from a wide range of spiritual (or non-spiritual) backgrounds.  The worship evening goes something like this:

  • Approximately 15 min of Check-Ins.  (Check-in is a period of time where folks can share their name and a little bit about themselves.)
  • 40 Mins of worship.  (Worship is silent.  Out of the silence anyone may be “moved” to speak and share a message.  If there are lots of messages, it is practice to leave a small amount of space in-between messages.  I typically count to ten.)
  • About 10 min. for After thoughts (anything that didn’t rise to the level of a message.), Joys/Concerns/Prayers, and Announcements.

There is always a bit of socializing afterwards and if anyone has questions about Quakers or the Worship Group, there are always folks available to answer questions.

Not sure what your spiritual inclination is?  Take the Belief-o-Matic quiz to get a better perspective!

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Where am I? University City or West Philadelphia

17 Dec

Let me just say it, so we can get it out of the way.  “West Philadelphia born and raised!”

Okay…

When I originally visited here, and later decided to move, many of the people I spoke to all over the U.S. sang to me the Fresh Prince intro.  It’s comical, but the current events and happenings here are a bit beyond the scope of Will Smith’s 1990s.

It’s been said that West Philadelphia was once the first suburb of Philly and housed some of the wealthiest folks in the U.S.  By the looks of the neighborhood, you can bet on it.  Three to four story houses boasting old school decadence and massive space for single families.  No yards though….where do we keep the carriage?  As I moved into this historic neighborhood a disagreement began to emerge.

First piece of moving advice: know what’s going on in your neighborhood.

University City v. West Philadelphia

The University City website claims the district stretches all the way to 52nd street. (If you need a little geographical help, here’s their map).  What’s interesting is that a lot of the locals, those who live here and the visiting students, usually offer up that “University City” (increasingly synonymous to “White West Philadelphia”) effectively reaches just to 50th street at its most expansive, and not even that far to the northern and southern edges of the quadrant.  So whats 2 blocks?  The debate is around the ever encroaching line of University City, slowly sipping up a block here and there like overpriced espresso.  My best guess education and my neurotic boyfriend’s Sociology background tells me it has something to do with property values and socioeconomics.  Small stickers abound saying “University City is a marketing scheme”. And while there are other stickers that go on those ones debating land ownership, you can believe it at face value.  The price of a “University City” 2 bedroom is almost always a couple hundred more than a 2 bedroom “West Philadelphia” apartment.  And inside many of the same blocks the terms are interchangeable. The difference is that if you renovate a place and want to charge more money for it, you label it University City, which calls to the college cast and wealthier circles, which we can all at this point admit still tend to be white. Without scolding connotation, that’s a marketing scheme. Don’t get it twisted. “University City” wants you, young pale ones. But “University City” is opportunistic dress-up for an old player in the young crowd’s dance club. You’re still going home with West Phil.

When you are shopping around for apartments, houses, etc ask the locals whats been going on. Drop in on your local bookshop or strike up a conversation with a long time bar tender.  Than ask the person showing you the place how well they know the neighbors.