Occupation: Director of graduate admissions at Holy Family University.
Neighborhood: Fox Chase.
Style: 1,000-square-foot twin.
Perhaps it's that people passing through are too busy negotiating the high-speed mayhem along Roosevelt Boulevard to pay much attention to the neighborhoods bordering that much-maligned thoroughfare, but for whatever reason the Northeast sometimes gets a bum rap. In reality, though, it's a convivial area with its own unique personality. When Margaret Wendling went shopping for her first home, the longtime Center City resident focused on Fox Chase, where she became enamored with the neighborhood's tree-lined streets and friendly neighbors, and the natural beauty of nearby Pennypack Park.
Why'd you move to Fox Chase?
"Being near work was a big reason. Living in East Falls before, I had to deal with the Roosevelt Boulevard traffic every day, and I wanted to cut that part of my commute out. Here I'm only about 15 minutes away, and I don't have to deal with Roosevelt. It was funny, though, because at first the realtor kept showing me condos. She kept saying, 'I'm sure you, as a single woman, don't want to own your own home and have to fix things and all that other kind of stuff.' And I was like, 'But I really want to own my home.'"
That's ridiculous. What does being able to fix things have to do with gender anyway? I hope you dumped that realtor.
"I did. I still don't know how to do all the handyman type stuff, but I've become an expert at stripping wallpaper, which I had to do on the entire second floor. I first saw this place in the fall. All the leaves on the trees were so pretty and colorful. It was sunny, the air was crisp and clean, and I thought it was just perfect. Besides, I didn't really want a row house, and this is a two-bedroom twin."
Do you get a lot of light?
"I get a fair amount. I especially appreciate the sun when I'm out on the deck or working in my backyard, which I really enjoy."
I see you use your formal dining room for other things.
"I don't really have formal dinner parties. The only thing is figuring out what to do with the room. For a year I used it as my office, which is now upstairs in the extra bedroom. I'm in the process of turning the dining room into sort of a little Parisian bistro."
Your carpets look brand-new.
"They are. I also put in a new screen door and windows on the front porch, and I painted all of the upstairs."
Do you like the neighborhood?
"I do. Sometimes I miss that there isn't a Starbucks or a Borders to hang out at. But the people here are so friendly. For instance, I was away when we received that foot of snow recently, and my neighbor shoveled the entire front of my place. People are always looking out for each other, and you just don't find that sort of thing happening much in Center City."
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