The Philly Spring Clean Up Morphed into a Community Pot Luck!

Today was the Annual Philly Spring Clean Up. This movement started under the Nutter Administration.  It was one of the better initiatives of his tenure.  Neighbors get together throughout the city and spruce up the neighborhoods that they call home.  I have participated in almost every clean up.  I remember cleaning up the lot on the corner of 17th & Manton Street.  It was so much debris there that it took the city trash truck almost 5 trips to pick up the refuse that we collected.  Hound was in town.  Julius, little Mike, Shawn and Lauren and other neighbors also put in sweat.  We found a garden snake on the lot and I knew that it was a good day.

We also cleaned the alley way between Latona and Manton Streets one year.  It took us fifty trips to clean years of debris that had accumululated from countless contractors who dumped their construction over flow instead of hauling it away.  We found snakes on this mission also.  I just want it to be known that in spite of my years of thinking that my neighborhood was a ghetto,  I have given countless hours of muscle to cleaning the streets.  I have worked on Taney Street, Hoffman Street, South Seventh Street and many others.  My penance is done.

The 1600 Block of Manton Street put in for a Block Party permit for last week.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans for us.  It was cold and raining and the powers that be cancelled the event. Shawn, Alonna and I decided to go to Mona and Donnell's and watch movies and drink Mimosa.  Malayja was along for the ride and she had a ball with Reesie and Lauren.  We chilled hard.  I watched Ride Along 2.  I love Ice Cube and Kevin Hart but it was much ado about nothing.  Star Wars was boring and Hunger Games the Final Episode would not play.

We planned a cookout after the clean up today.  The 1600 Block of Manton Street is a little quirky when it comes to block parties.  Most of them cook out in their yards and serve food from the fron of their houses,  Whenever we threw a block party, we cooked in fron of the house and offered food to the neighborhood.  Miguel Garces wanted to utilize the clean up to market some of the services of Newbold Neighbors Association.  This group has caused some consternation among long time neighbors in this area.  We are used to the Point Breeze designation and bristled at the new nomenclature.   Miguel is one of the nicest young guys that I have met.  We had coffee one day and I am willing to work with him to support the neighborhood.

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Overall, it was a snall but dedicated group of volunteers.  Kevin Vinson and I worked in a couple of alleys.  Jackie Mays worked with me from 9:00 AM.  She fried fish and I worked on the grill with Miguel.  He supplied Yuengling, burgers and hot dogs.  I supplied the fish, ketchup, some rolls and potato bread.  I bought waters and diced onions.  I invited Dennis and he came through.  It was a beautiful day.  I must say that dogs have invaded the neighborhood.  All of our younger neighbors have canines.  Most of them are rescue dogs and I love it.

In spite of the small turnout for the cookout, we decided to plan a neighborhood pot luck.  We planned for May 21st on the corner of 17th & Manton Street.  We plan to use this date to involve new and old neighbors in an attempt to solidify unity and togetherness.  I just read about a 4 year old getting shot in the face today in Kensington.  She died and will be unable to experience life past her brief stay on earth.  I don't have a pessimistic attitude about life.  I love the warmer weather of spring and long days of summer.  I look forward to the 21st of May and the unification of the neighborhood.  Let's Go!

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