Sean Gibbons, who lives on E. Montgomery Ave.
Sean Gibbons and his wife decided to move to Fishtown just shy of a year ago because, he said, it was affordable, fairly quiet and safe.
Along with those attributes, Gibbons said, “changing” might be the best way to describe the neighborhood.
“Some people have been here their whole lives, and now there’s a mix of new, artsy, college-educated young people,” he said.
Does he believe, then, that there is a hostile division of old and new in the neighborhood?
“We kind of focus on the divisions, but it’s kind of overblown,” he said. “It’s [only] just here and there.”
Mostly, he said, there’s a great sense of pride in the neighborhood, which can be a double-edged sword.
“I sometimes worry that people identify themselves too much with the neighborhood,” he said, explaining that some might not be aware of the positive changes and aspects of other River Wards neighborhoods if they don’t venture from their own.
“The same people that made NoLibs up-and-coming are making Fishtown up-and coming,” he said.
His block, he said, has its own enjoyable eccentricities. Halloween last year, he said, was a real spectacle.
“Halloween around here is nuts, I probably gave out 300 pieces of candy,” he said with a smile.
Neighbors around Fishtown, Gibbons said, usually sit in front of their houses, chatting with one another and keeping their eyes on the street.
In the future, he said he’d like to see Girard Avenue become a better commercial destination, and more accommodating to pedestrians.
What he’d also like to see, he said, is more open space in the neighborhood.
“I’d like to see existing empty lots filled in one way or another,” he said. “Single family homes fit more of what the neighborhood is.”
Coming up, he and his wife are excited for the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, on May 18 this year.
“I haven’t been in town for it before, and this year, we’re having a party for it.”
Fishtown, he said, is always an exciting place.
“It’s a happy medium,” he said. “There’s enough going on [here] that I rarely need to go downtown.” ••