For me, Manayunk is more than just Main Street. It’s the neighborhood where I purchased my home, got married and, now, the place where I’m raising my daughter. It’s the place where I opened my shop, The Spiral Bookcase. I love the narrow streets, the ubiquitous rowhomes, the hundreds of stairs leading up the steep hills and our proximity to the river. I love coming to work, selling books and chatting with customers, neighbors and friends.
My daily routine consists of a walk down the hill to the Canal Tow Path and stopping at Volo Coffeehouse (4360 Main St.) for a cup of coffee on my way to the shop. Lunch usually leads me to Smiley’s Café (110 Cotton St.). On my way home, on occasion, I’ll dip into Lucky’s Last Chance (4421 Main St.) to catch up with some of the other business owners from around town. Chris, the bartender, has a keen intuition about the drink that’ll cure all that’s ailing me.
If the grandparents are in town, with baby nestled in bed, my husband and I will head out to dinner at Yanako (4255 Main St.) for the best sushi in the city, or Manayunk Brewing Company (4120 Main St.), and then check out a show at The Grape Room (105 Grape St.).
Since the holidays are getting close, I’m already envisioning a full day of holiday shopping, with stops at The Little Apple (4353 Main St.), Meadowsweet Mercantile (4390 Main St.), Orbit Art (4312 Main St.), Latitudes and Longitudes (4325 Main St.), Spectrum Scientifics (4403 Main St.), Main Street Music (4444 Main St.), Tiny Terra Ferma (4324 Main St.), Petit Gourmand (103 Cotton St.), and Hidden River Yarns (4358B Main St.). The independent, small businesses are the heart of Main Street.
I’ll pop by Sweet Elizabeth’s Cakes (4409 Main St.) to recharge over a signature cupcake and warm up my bones at Han Dynasty (4356 Main St.). I’m already daydreaming about sipping a Three Chili Margarita from Taqueria Feliz (4410 Main St.) to unwind after the long day.
Beyond my daily routines and holiday shopping, I take advantage of living in an area where so many people and organizations enhance the neighborhood through cultural programming and community initiatives.
So, to explore my Manayunk, I suggest that you start by attending a meeting of the Roxborough, Manayunk, Wissahickon Historical Society (philanet.com/historical.html) or volunteer at Pretzel Park (www.facebook.com/PretzelPark). Or, find out about exciting new projects taking place, such as the Manayunk Bridge project linking the Cynwyd trail to the Manayunk trails, at a Destination Schuylkill River (manayunk.com/dsr) meeting. Become a member of the Manayunk-Roxborough Food Co-op (www.facebook.com/manayunkfoodcoop), and be sure to visit its new farmers market. Stop by The Transfer Station (www.thexfr.org), the innovative new co-working space on Main Street. And don’t forget to check out the Manayunk-Roxborough Arts Center (mrartcenter.org) and North Light Community Center (www.northlightcommunitycenter.org).
Whether you spend a day hitting my favorite Main Street spots or decide to delve a little deeper into our charming neighborhood, you’ll be surprised at how much Manayunk has to offer. And, be sure to pick up a book on your way home.