One Year in East Falls — New Neighbors Tell All

Last Spring, Juliet and Gavin moved to East Falls with their baby Graeme. Their IQL home is on our coffee route, so we’ve been keeping tabs on them all year.  We recently sat down with the busy couple to dish on how they like their new ‘hood, and the hopes they have about our schools, parks, and streetscape.

EastFallsLocal collage a year in East Falls Juliet and Gavin

Big thanks to Juliet & Gavin, who hosted us on their neighborly porch on one of East Falls’ oldest & prettiest streets.

Name:   Juliet & Gavin & Graeme, Indian Queen Lane
Came Here From:  Fairmount
Move-In Date:  May 15, 2014

Occupation:   Architects (ed NOTE: toddler Graeme is *not* an architect. Yet.)

Pets:  Fergus the cat (also not an architect)

Why East Falls?

We rented in Fairmount for 10 years, and I actually grew up there in early childhood. When we looked to buy, we wanted to stay as close to center city as possible for work, but being near Fairmount park and bike trails was also important. We looked in Fishtown and South Philadelphia, but we wanted more trees, and I couldn’t wrap my head around living east of broad street!  We also looked at GermantownRoxborough, and Manayunk, but they seemed a little too far for a daily commute. 

Because we’re here, we can still bike to work and easily take family rides on the weekends! I also became aware of the neighborhood several years ago by driving up Midvale on my way to jobsite meetings out in Blue Bell. The Tudor houses always caught my eye.
First impressions?

 It’s much quieter here (than Fairmount). That was a good thing.

Unexpected surprises?

Maybe it’s because a baby on the front of a bicycle is a great ice breaker, but people on the street almost always say hello. It feels like a small town.
Any things you’ve had to learn or adapt to since moving here?                

Having a car, and having to use it to do grocery shopping. I’m still not over that one.  We went without for four years in Fairmount after our last car died. We just used car share when we needed it.
Any ghosts in your attic or buried treasure in your backyard?    

Given that our attic is basically a foot tall space between the second floor ceiling and our roof, they’d have to be pygmy ghosts!

Have you had to entertain house guests? What did you do with them?

We told them to go down the hill to Murphy’s

In all seriousness, we’ve had parents visit multiple times and have made the rounds of our favorite neighborhood places (Trolley Car, Epicure, In Riva). Gavin’s mother and her husband were the first to break in our front porch, and the first to head to Murphy’s, too.  We still go in to Center City with family to visit our favorites there.

Where are your favorite kid-friendly places locally?

All of the above restaurants, and of course our playgrounds and parks in the neighborhood.  I’m grateful to live so close to Smith Playhouse and the Please Touch Museum. They were lifesavers on cold winter days.

Name three things you’re glad East Falls has: 

Park and river access
Beautiful architecture

Name something you wish East Falls had, but doesn’t:

Many more restaurants and businesses within walking distance!

Biggest concerns about your new neighborhood?

Finding a good, affordable educational option for our son that doesn’t require us to move!

If you could change one thing about your neighborhood, what would it be?

My impossible dream?   I’d demolish Roosevelt Boulevard and the Twin Bridges. A realistic goal?  Bringing more businesses here to capitalize on the neighborhood ‘s good walkability bones.

Is there anything East Fallsers take for granted or overlook about their hometown?

That the neighborhood is really an unusual mix of urban and suburban areas. I think this has been a source of tension in the past, but it’s one of the things that makes it unique.

Any questions you wish you could ask an Old Timer?

Vaux — why “vocks” and not “voh?”  And how do YOU say “Wiehle?”



Eastfallslocal 4-29 juliet house pretty crop

PS: Juliet has recently been voted in as first Vice President of the new local RCO “East Falls Forward” – Congratulations, Juliet!


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