Do you make it to the Kensington Kinetic Derby and Trenton Avenue Arts Fest this past Saturday?
I’ve attended these paired events without fail for the past few years.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I expect this streak of attendance to continue.
Just like the annual River City Festival or Shad Fest, the Kensington Kinetic Derby and The Trenton Ave. Arts Fest allow locals to gather and share a sunny afternoon with friends, which is great.
More importantly though, these events are a sign that the neighborhood is growing while the community works together like a well-oiled machine.
There are significant parallels between the incredible mechanics of the kinetic sculptures involved in the derby and the functioning cogs of each person involved in the community efforts that bring it all together.
These community events are something every local resident should support, because, unfortunately, a stigma still exists—too many people wrinkle their noses upon hearing the word “Kensington.”
Decades of neglect from politicians, criminal activity and long- vacant properties have made “Kensington” into a seemingly bad word.
Some people hear “Kensington” and are quick to recall exaggerated stories they’ve heard of drug corners on Kensington Avenue or the sordid tale of the “Kensington Strangler.”
The very thought of the neighborhood makes some people cringe, but the fact is (as locals know and have shown time and time again) good neighbors make a good neighborhood.
And as this past weekend’s events readily proved, Kensington has no shortage of good neighbors.
Every day – on display under a shining sun and bright blue skies this past weekend – Kensington residents stand together in a way that should show the city that a neighborhood can be what you decide it is.
If you know someone who scoffs at the thought of a friendly, wonderful Kensington, tell them it is not a neighborhood of guns, drugs and prostitution.
Instead, Kensington is a neighborhood of ingenuity, cooperation and goodwill.
If Philadelphia is the truly the “City of Brotherly Love,” last weekend proved that love is alive and well in Kensington.
And any biased or uninformed Philadelphians, content to turn up their noses at the neighborhood, will never know the true spirit of that love if they refuse to see Kensington at its best.
Star Staff Reporter Hayden Mitman can be contacted at 215-354-3124 or firstname.lastname@example.org.