Navigating “Fishtown”: The Flat Iron

Mural at the Portside Arts Center.

Mural at the Portside Arts Center.

By Jeanne Whipple, Team Leader

Naming and defining the different sections of the 19125 zip code is a controversial thing to do the names, lines, and boundaries have shifted over time. While some people may refer to everything in 19125 Fishtown, others create nicknames for pockets within 19125. Whether you are picking your own names and boundaries or going by what lifelong residents have used, the purpose of both is to give location reference to the many sections of Kensignton.

As a 17 year resident of 19125, a real estate agent, a builder, neighbor, and forever Fishtonian, I go with the boundaries described by the neighborhood associations. Front “just To Richmond/Columbus Blvd/Aramingo, Girard to York circumnavigate Fishtown Proper and the Fishtown Neighbors Association. Dauphin, Front, Lehigh, to Trenton is East Kensington, governed by the East Kensington Neighbors Association. Trenton, York, Lehigh, and Aramingo are run by the Old Richmond Civic Association, OCRA. More recently, people have created two distinct areas of the OCRA. One being north of York and East of Aramingo. You may have friends who grew up here call this area Cione or St. Anne’s, depending on their generation. More recently, it is referred as “NOYO” (short for North of York.) Then there is the triangle shaped piece of 19125 from Lehigh Ave, to York, pinched off by Richmond Street on the east and Aramingo Ave on the West. Newer residents refer to this uniquely charming section as the Flat Iron, as seen on The Next Door App .

Again, nobody must adopt or use this information for anything. It’s just a popular and friendly guideline for conversational purposes if you’re giving directions or identifying a geographical location. You can totally reject it, that’s fine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

Philly.com still references any part of 19125 as Kensington. For example, the opening of Circle + Squares (2513 Tulip St. in NOYO) and Cadence (161 W Girard St. in Fishtown Proper) were both mentioned as “opening in Kensington.” Yes, if you get historically technical, all of these neighborhoods fall under the umbrella of Kensington, but it doesn’t really help you get around the area. These two places are a 30 minute walk from each other.

Images Via  @Pizza_Gutt  on Instagram (Circles+Squares Pizza)

Images Via @Pizza_Gutt on Instagram (Circles+Squares Pizza)

Back to Flat Iron… It gets it’s name from the wedge shape of the location. I used to refer to it as The Pie. With Stocks Bakery included in this location, that name is appropriate, but not as appropriate as The Cake, however Stock’s is most famous for loafs of pound cake. I guess the wedge shape doesn’t really apply.

Mural by  Evan Lovett

Mural by Evan Lovett

This section has some of the most unique facades in all of 19125. With some of the greatest yards and quite a few neat garages, the homes here tend to be about 20% more affordable than the other side of Aramingo. It also has incredible amenities including famous and delicious  food options, 24 hours options, parks, recreation, and super convenient transportation options. It’s quiet, there are lots of trees, and typically no through traffic. Because most traffic is local, the neighbors like to hang together outside on the sidewalks, dogs off leash, and they aren’t shy. I always have a good time striking up a conversation with whoever I pass and their big shaggy dogs. Honestly, I’ve met some of my favorite clients this way.

2673 E Thompson Street, 2 Bed / 1.5 Bath sold for $200,000.

2673 E Thompson Street, 2 Bed / 1.5 Bath sold for $200,000.

Geographically, at the center of the neighborhood, you’ll find Maritime Academy Charter High School (MACHS), their mission;

“To provide students a rigorous academic program with the special theme of maritime studies. MACHS students work with the latest technology to learn maritime content such as nautical science and maritime business while achieving high standards in English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and the Arts.”

They have a great website highlighting their offerings like a jaw-dropping speakers series featuring captains, pilots, and Cynthia Byrd Conner, author of "Quite Strong" and daughter of Master Chief Sherman Byrd, the first African American Explosive Ordnance Disposal Diver. So cool.

Maritime Academy Charter High School

Going east the kiddos will love Portside Arts Center where they can enjoy after-school programs and summer art camp. This center is funded by support from many established non-profits city wide who find ways to interact with the kids and community. The aforementioned Stock’s Bakery will satisfy any age sweet tooth and has an amazing story stemming from two generations of single family ownership. The photos on the wall of the original owners are so romantic. Imagine if you and your spouse talked about your shared business/jobs all the time. Yeah, well if your job was pound cake and other sweet delicacies, I’ll bet you’d have a blissfully long marriage.

For the adults, Green Rock Tavern, and Em’s Place. All are boozy down-home neighborhood bars. Each has its own special vibe and delicacies. Green Rock is the most famous for their custom-built burgers of the day, one such burger has a pierogi on it. They are also known for a delicacy called Gritty Fries.

Our recommendation is to take a stroll over Aramingo to this get a great price on a home in 19125. For example, check out 2560 Edgemont St., a freshly renovated 3 Bed / 1 Bath with finished basement, European kitchen, and technology upgrades. Contact us for a private tour. We’re happy to meet you on your schedule and give you a tour of the available homes in the area. Welcome, one and all.

2560 Edgemont Street.

2560 Edgemont Street.