Picking up in Philadelphia is always such an adventure. I just had to go through a well-manicured area at exit 338 off I-76. Basically it’s an old town sort of area that’s been taken over by the yuppies. Lots of old buildings that have been renovated. Old mills turned into loft apartments. Walking and bike tracks along a canal. Nestled under ancient, beautiful arch bridges is a small downtown area where I’m sure one can find eclectic shops, restaurants and coffee/tea houses.
Through these shining examples of the best and most promising of humanity drove stanky ol’ Wic in his tractor-trailer. I followed my directions and soon came to a bend in the road where sat Venice Lofts; a well attended, well lit complex of buildings that may have been a mill or warehouses in the distant past. A young, well-dressed yuppie couple watched me pass with interest, but without alarm (always a good sign). The road turned beside Venice Lofts. It looked like turned into a parking lot for Venice Lofts. I seriously considered the likely possibility that where my directions were concerned, something had gone horribly awry.
As I pulled farther down, I realized that this was, indeed, a street and not a parking lot. A long, poorly lit, decidedly un-manicured street (upon which I immediately felt comfortable). And at the end of Flat Rock Road, I found the customer I was looking for, nestled away in a complex of buildings that looked like they had seen constant use since they were built in the late 1800’s. I don’t imagine any of the yuppies who live in Venice Lofts have ever visited this facility.
After I was loaded and was making my way back to the better lighted part of the community, I thought of the couple I had seen walking. Now I knew that there was nowhere else they could have gone but Venice Lofts. They had to know that they were living in an old warehouse or mill. I wondered if that interested them; the weight of history and the shadows of the many lives that had been there before them, in the people who had labored there, living out their lives day by day and paycheck to paycheck. If so, what did they think of that passing tractor-trailer? Was it an un-welcomed intruder into their well-groomed existence? Or was it, perhaps, an enhancement to to the theme of living in a converted warehouse; a reminder of the history that was now just colorful backstory to their privileged existence? I’ll never know.
I imagine that at some point in the future the charmed and beautiful people who live in this area will grow weary of the rumble of diesel engines and the vibration of the ground under heavy weight. They will rise up and try to put a stop to it. After all, there are buildings at the end of Flat Rock Road that could be put to better use as apartment buildings. Or perhaps a market place?
I’ve since learned that Venice Lofts is “an innovative concept in living nestled in Manayunk. Offering both light-filled lofts and luxurious townhomes, Venice Lofts is a contemporary vision that will ultimately redefine the way we live today”. They also have a web site – Venice Lofts. For some reason it makes me smile to think that I rumbled through that carefully crafted existence in a Freightliner Columbia. And though I’m far too much of a gentleman to have blown my air-horn, man, I really wish I had. Hehe