The more things change, the more they stay the same.
That old saying applies to so many things, including the long commercial strip along Bustleton Avenue in Northeast Philly’s Castor Gardens and Oxford Circle sections — where the types of businesses, like the surrounding neighborhoods, have undergone somewhat of a transformation of late.
Change can be a good thing, even in the wonderful world of good old-fashioned family-run businesses, which are prevalent on Bustleton Avenue, which has seen an influx of Asian, Middle Eastern and Hispanic merchants.
Indeed, ZIP code 19149 was described as a “global nation” by an Asian-American official of the city’s Commerce Department, which last week stepped up efforts to create a Bustleton Avenue Business Association.
The new group would address issues that long ago have been tackled by organizations in other Philadelphia neighborhoods, including security, sidewalk cleanliness and parking. To be sure, the Northeast deserves some of the blame for the City of Brotherly Love’s other, less charitable nickname, Filthydelphia, so whatever the new Bustleton Avenue group can do to chip away at that embarrassing moniker would be welcome. Upgrades to the sidewalks and installation of benches would be a good start.
The new inhabitants on the residential and business sectors, along with the old-timers who have not yet fled to greener, “safer” pastures in suburbia, represent an opportunity to rejuvenate an area that once put the “bustle” in Bustleton. All it takes is for the merchants — ALL of the merchants — to join together and make it happen.
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