This month, I had the opportunity to feel the spirit of brotherly love. I ventured to a neighborhood that I have not visited since I was a child. I remembered it to be interesting and memorable. It was definitely a place that I wanted to return sometime in the future.
Fortunately, I did return to the Northwestern Philly neighborhood known as Chestnut Hill. I stayed at the Silverstone Bed and Breakfast, a Victorian Gothic mansion. During my 3 day stay, I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to the owners, Yolanta and Romauld. This Polish couple immigrated to the United States from Poland to seek a better life. They now operate the bed and breakfast inn, which was formerly the home of a wealthy family.
Chestnut Hill was traditionally known as a wealthy neighborhood. Many of the houses were Italian villas, Gothic grand houses, and Tudor mansions. It is still one of the more affluent neighborhoods in the city, but its affordability attracts people of lower income levels.
The neighborhood is not too big, which makes it walkable for the average person. Germantown Avenue is the place where many people can go to do all of their shopping. Conveniently, Silverstone is only a few minutes walking or driving from the avenue.
Do you want to experience the spirit of brotherly love? You will find it, but not in most areas of the city. I was born and raised in Philadelphia before becoming an expat entrepreneur. I never understood why the city had the label. The collective attitude would not convince you to believe such a thing. However, I have not lived or spent any long length of time in every Philly neighborhood. Therefore, my opinions are limited.
Fortunately, my recent visit gave me hope. In Chestnut Hill, people are not scared to acknowledge you. They will smile at you. Some will say hello. A few will even say a bit more. I would not compare it to a neighborhood in the South, but it is probably among the best in Philadelphia.
Within the last few years, I have learned to wear a mild smile in public as it offers calming effect to people. It does not work well in most parts of Philadelphia, but it served me well in Chestnut Hill.
Is the spirit of brotherly love still alive? It is in Chestnut Hill.
It is a great neighborhood for retirees. I could definitely see myself retiring there. Additionally, I can visit Yolanta and Romauld for a cup of tea and conversation.
Chestnut Hill is still within city limits, but close to many of the suburban towns. If you desire more adventure, you can go to Center City for lots of art, history, and cuisines. It is accessible with the 23 bus or the Chestnut Hill East Line via Temple University.
So, what are you waiting for? Come to Chestnut Hill and feel the spirit of brotherly love!