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Why Do We Celebrate At Frankford And Cottman?

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Tue, November 23, 2010 04:00 PM | Comments: 9
History, Posts

I was standing in a crowd of at least 10,000 people with my closest friends during the early morning of October 30th. Hours earlier, the Phillies won their first World Series in 28 years. Instinctively my friends and I rushed to the intersection of Frankford and Cottman Avenues to join in the jubilant celebration with my fellow denizens of Mayfair. Around 3:30 AM the masses showed no signs of slowing down their ‘Let’s Go Phillies’ chants and non-discriminate high fives to perfect strangers.

On any other day the intersection of Frankford and Cottman Avenues is just like any other cross-streets in the city – ordinary. It features a mix of small businesses and national chain stores, a post office and about a half dozen Irish sports bars.

As I was standing on the southwest corner of Cottman Avenue on this magical day, brushing off a police officer’s plea to go home, that intersection was the most magical place on Earth. I thought to myself, “Why do we do this?” “Why do we come to this intersection, in this neighborhood, to celebrate an extraordinary occasion?”

According to Mayfair historian Dr. Harry Silcox, newly elected President George Washington passed through the area and residents gathered to greet him. Silcox adds in the late 1930′s, the Mayfair Movie Theater was built and became the central entertainment location for the neighborhood. The area around the main intersection of Frankford and Cottman avenues was occupied by banks, appliance stores, large food stores, real-estate offices, stationery stores, record shops and television-repair shops. Everything a shopper needed was nearby. A bustling business and entertainment district, Frankford and Cottman naturally became the place to go for everything a person would need.

The promotional film It Happened In Mayfair highlights the attractiveness of the area and the neighborhood as a whole during the late 1930′s.

Silcox states that citizens gathered there after the announcement of the Allies victory in World War II. Whether it was defeating fascism or sporting foes, Frankford and Cottman provided a central location for the residents of Mayfair and the surround neighborhoods to rejoice in their triumphant jubilance.

We continue to go there now because it’s the only place we’ve ever went. Being a resident of Mayfair, it is not only a tradition but it’s also a part of our heritage. I was there in 2001, 2004, 2008 and 2009. In those most perfect of times it becomes the most perfect place to share in a moment that means so much to so many people.

As I’m waiting on yet another season to begin, I yearn for a chance for this penultimate celebration once more before our final victory dance down Broad Street..

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About R.C. Cowie

R.C. Cowie has written 48 articles on Phillies Nation.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Bacardipr05

    There are few spots through out the city that are hot spots besides Frankford & Cottman for such festivities.

     
  • Posts: 0 Kate

    I was there in 2008. I’ve never seen any place fill up so quickly. I don’t think anyone in my neighborhood was actually watching the post-game festivities down at CBP.

    I must have high-fived two hundred people and hugged another hundred that night.

    You can’t explain that kind of stuff. If you understand it, you’re there. If not, no one should waste time trying to explain the true whys of it.

    It’s Frankford and Cottman. That’s all you need to know.

    Great piece, by the way!

     
  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    A lifetime zealous Phillies fan, I must say that I have never celebrated at Frankford and Cottman. I grew up in the suburbs. This is such a nice article that I now feel that I have missed something really important about Philly, like never seeing in person a Mummers’ Parade.

     
  • Posts: 0 brooks

    I spent the first 2.5 to 3 hours in the park, laughing, crying, screaming and just going nuts – another 3 hours in the parking lot trying to move our way home (I had to be at work at 7 that morning.. the commute from Merchantville to Malvern takes a few minutes) – I think that was the last time I drove and of course an absolute mess. I loved every moment of it.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Trying to explain Frankford and Cottman to an outsider is like trying to explain soft pretzel vendors………Billy Penn’s statue overlooking the city for so many years before the rule changed……… the word “yo”……… cheesesteaks (really GOOD cheesesteaks!)…the lore of the PSFS sign…on and on and on….

    You just can’t explain all that stuff.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brian Michael

    Frankford and Cottman feels like home.

     
  • Posts: 0 Greg

    I no longer live in or around PA, so I don’t know the feeling :( (Either way, I’m only 20 as it is, and don’t drink.) My bro went to the Philly’s parade and all that shit, I would’ve killed to go :(

    Anywho, I guess I’ll ask the question all of us are dying to know:

    Who is R.C. Cowie?

     
  • Posts: 0 brooks

    Being 20 you probably would have loved the parade. I took my grand daughter and we squashed pretty close to Broad Street (near the Union Club, I dont remember exactly) and I had my tickets for CBP burning a whole in my pocket. No way to get down to the stadium after the parade, the city transportation was shut down.
    I would have much rather been waiting for hours at CBP, in my seats with my bro – even if they were not serving beer.
    What a day!

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Well, R.C. probably celebrates there because he lives there. I don’t know mant, actually any, people that actually travel there to celebrate a victory. There is a great concentration of people in that area along with an even greater concentration of bars and everything is in walking distance. In fact, its often been referred to as “The Times Square of The Northeast”. My buddy lives right off of that area and every time a celebration occurs his house gets vandalized. Just sayin.

    The Dipsy

     
 
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