Thursday, September 17, 2015

Killadelphia: The New Beirut

By Barbara Laker, Sep 17, 2015 The Hill

IF EVERY BLOCK IS A story, then the 3300 block of Argyle Street is a novel.

It's a sultry Friday afternoon at the corner of Westmoreland and Argyle in Kensington, where innocence and chaos collide.

Adept drug dealers revel in a fruitful day as fidgety buyers form a line for dope. Across the street, three small girls thrash around and giggle in the blow-up wading pool perched on the cracked sidewalk where weeds peep through.

It took decades for Argyle Street to sink into a Philadelphia archetype of blight, poverty, neglect, delinquency, crime and despair.

Today, this one block, including two houses at the corner of East Ontario, is more than a quarter of a million dollars in debt to the city for unpaid taxes and water bills.

There are hundreds of blocks like this in the city's poorest sections, where nearby factories shuttered long ago.

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