Author: Casey Ryan, C’95
Last year, I wrote an entry of My Top Penn List about my daily commute to Penn in ten pictures in celebration of Penn Park. This year, I have moved and I live in University City now, specifically Spruce Hill. I’m living 1½ blocks from where I ended my undergraduate experience and things have certainly changed in 17 years.
Most of my daily commute to work now includes US 13, a north–south highway established in 1926 that runs for 517 miles between Fayetteville, NC and Morrisville, PA. You may know the route on campus as Baltimore Avenue or for the engineering marvel, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, which carries the road between the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Hampton Roads.
Just a few steps out from my door is the wonderful organic market, Milk and Honey. As you can see, they serve La Colombe coffee – which is a godsend in the morning.
The neighborhood is verdant. Look at this impressive tree and the hydrangea.
Welcome to Historic Clark Park. This place is a site of many outdoor plays, farmers markets, ultimate Frisbee games, and home to one of only two statues of Charles Dickens in the world.
The Green Line Café, another eatery along the way to work. They serve hot and cold fair trade coffee to the uncaffeinated. (See Baltimore Avenue signed as US 13.)
The #34 trolley runs up and down Baltimore Avenue, and when the trolleys divert from the 40th Street portal they turn up 42nd Street. This really hasn’t changed much over the years.
The Philadelphia Veterans Comfort House provides services for veterans while they undergo treatment for serious health issues at the VA hospital – like the Ronald McDonald House in our neighborhood, but for those who served our country.
The 40th Street Portal, where all but one of the subway-surface trolleys come up from underground. Beyond is the Woodlands Cemetery, where notable people like artist Thomas Eakins, Joseph A. Campbell – founder of Campbell Soup and many members of the Drexel family are buried.
The first Penn sign on my walk to work – along a stretch of Woodland Walk, announcing the Southwestern pedestrian entrance to campus. The School of Veterinary Medicine stands ahead of me. As before, I’m ready to start the workday and I check in on foursquare to see if I remain the Mayor of the University of Pennsylvania.