I’ve spent an ungodly amount of time wondering, “Where can I live that has high ceilings, easily accessible soup dumplings, and a former elevated Reading Railroad line that has been reimagined as a urban park.” It’s something most of us have wondered since we were very young. Some have even scoured the globe looking for such place before falling into deep despair. But this time… there is hope.
Let’s take a step back. In 2012, renderings for a proposed revitalization of the Reading Railroad Viaduct surfaced. The former rail line that connected Philadelphia to rest of industrial America was re-envisioned as an urban park and green space. Now it seems the project is moving full steam ahead.
Adding more to the intrigue are the implications for the “Loft District”. The viaduct will cut through the largely neglected district, setting the stage for a re-ignition of its economy and housing development.Real estate developers have already been jumping in, anticipating the area as Philly’s next real estate revolution, turning old industrial plants into NY style loft apartments. One such example is our recently listed 314 N. 12th St #902. It’s a former factory that now sports its rebirth as an industrial loft that over looks the cityscape. Tasteful details from its factory days remain, but hardwood floors, copious amounts of natural light, and a Jacuzzi tub ensure that its future residents feel at home.
Another ace the area holds is eclectic culinary repertoire. It’s even safe to say that the former factory center may have a head start in becoming a food mecca. So whatare the options?
It is in the opinion of this blog writer that Dim Sum Garden makes the best Soup Dumplings on the East Coast. They prepare the dough by hand and fill the pork dumplings with amazing soup by some undisclosed magical process. There are no shortage of Vietnamese Hoggies and Pho available, although we highly recommend Pho Cali and Banh Mi Cali respectively.
On the liquor front, Hop Sing Laundromat, led by the mysterious liquor czar Lee, makes some of Philly’s most intricate cocktails, while Prohibition Taproom has been leading the areas craft beer scene for years now. Also, this spring the highly anticipated Brick and Mortar will be bringing comfort food, craft beer, and cocktails to the area.It should be noted that these recommendations and insights represent an insignificantly small portion of the potential options available to locals on a regular basis.
The creative destruction the area is experiencing is truly notable, and within months new soup dumpling masters may emerge. The infusion of nature via the viaduct may also change the very nature and gentrification may push soup dumplings out all together (I know, a terrifying proposition), but so is the nature of change. What is known is there are some exciting and much welcome developments are coming to Philly and loft apartment nerds should jump while properties are available. (and affordable).