River Wards: Then and Now, Old and New: New to Port Richmond

Sean Mc­Gettrick, who lives on Ce­dar Street.

Mov­ing to the River Wards was a sort of quest for 32-year-old Sean Mc­Gettrick — that is, un­til he found the “per­fect” home in Port Rich­mond nearly two years ago.

“I had been look­ing to buy a house in the River Wards, and just when I was about to throw in the tow­el, I found a place that was simply too good to pass up.”

Now, he said, he’s happy with his de­cision to move to the neigh­bor­hood.

“The thing I like the most about the neigh­bor­hood is that I can walk down the streets and not feel like I’m liv­ing in the fifth largest city in the coun­try, des­pite be­ing able to see the sky­line right out­side,” he said. “However, if I do want that feel­ing, its a hop, skip and a jump away.”

As far as any ste­reo­types of the neigh­bor­hood, he said there are no prob­lems unique to Port Rich­mond that one wouldn’t see in any oth­er city neigh­bor­hood. He said he’s heard people de­scribe the neigh­bor­hood as ra­cist, but said that seems to be more of a blanket state­ment about the area than spe­cific­ally Port Rich­mond.

What he thinks the neigh­bor­hood needs, he said, are more busi­nesses that would draw people in from oth­er areas of the city.

“We do not need an­oth­er corner store, nail salon or pizza shop,” he said. “I think that if the con­struc­tion ever ends and we get a new casino, get­ting people to come fur­ther up Rich­mond Street in­to the neigh­bor­hood would not be too hard, but there needs to be busi­nesses that would draw them, not aban­doned store­fronts.”

Mc­Gettrick said there are plenty of people work­ing to change the neigh­bor­hood for the bet­ter, cit­ing the Port Rich­mond Town Watch and the Port Rich­mond on Patrol and Civic, not to men­tion in­di­vidu­als who take it upon them­selves to en­act change and clean things up.

“It can be hard to mo­tiv­ate people, es­pe­cially if they are stuck in the mind­set of, ‘It’s al­ways been this way, so it just is what it is,’” he said,

“But there are people out there try­ing to en­act pos­it­ive change here.” ••

You can reach at mjamison@bsmphilly.com.

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