A guest post by Kendal resident Arlene Rengert
Depending on the year and who’s counting, Philadelphia has somewhere between 200 and 400 neighborhoods. Each has a name, such as Cedar Park, Society Hill, and Mt. Airy.
In earlier times courtyards at Kendal had names, names that came from old Quaker names in England. The Kendal courtyards (for example, Baycliff Square) are place locations rather than communities, and are spatially different from the “new” neighborhoods established last week for organization and communication in 2020.
Kendal has 11 such neighborhoods, thanks to Rex DuPont’s fine map-crafting. To date none has a name. “Parking Lot 8” doesn’t qualify as a neighborhood name since more than one neighborhood uses it. Historically “The Long Walk” has been a reference for the line of cottages along that walkway, but this, also, includes abodes that are in more than one neighborhood—and some abodes in our neighborhood are not on that walkway. So we residents of cottages 104-122 are embarking on a “name our neighborhood” project that will give us not only a sense of identity but the pride of place that comes with it. Once we have settled on a name, we will then be superior to the other 10 neighborhoods at Kendal that have none!
Well over 20 name possibilities have been generated in a flurry of recent electronic activity. Most are based on the one unique natural feature viewed from the doorways of all 19 cottages: the waterway that appears before us after every heavy rain. Is it a river? (“Riverview” is one neighborhood name suggestion.) Is it a creek? (“Cottages by the Creek?” “ Creeky Cottages?”) Is it a bog, or bayou? (“Bungalow Bog?” “Bog Hill” ) It’s not a lake, so “Lakeside,” and “Lago Vista” are discounted. But it might be considered a marsh (“Midway Marshland”) or a wash (“The Wash Houses”). If we had grazing animals such as goats we could consider “The Watering Hole,” but to date no creature has been observed quenching its thirst at the waterway.
Some 7-10 name suggestions make other references, including “Daffodil Alley,” “Holly Hill” “Continuing Care Castles,” “Mr. Rogers.” Current thinking says that many other Kendal neighborhoods have daffodils and holly, and we should leave those possibilities for residents of them to consider. For now we are sticking to phrases that capitalize on our one distinctive feature—and a by-product of such public attention might result in eventual improvements to the drainage issues that cause our intermittent river/creek/bog/marsh/wash/bayou.
In these moments, more ideas continue to enter circulation. Tune in a different day for the result of our engaging process. In the meantime, know that we in cottages 104-122 have found a way to have a bit of fun despite the lack of personal contact and the worries we all share.
Update, 4-28-20: After lots of back and forth among residents, and many great suggestions, the chosen name for our neighborhood is “Crossroads Village”. “Midway Mews” was a strong runner-up.