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Teen Scene: In Havertown, These are a Few of My Favorite Things

Havertown is a great place for a kid to be. This is a list of my favorite things about my home town.

I live in a great area. It feels like a little city not far from a very large city, with easy access to mountains and the beach and metropolises like New York, Baltimore and Washington. Havertown is where I live and where my friends and my family live, and I love Havertown.

A new place opening that I'm excited about is YoCreation—a soft-serve yogurt shop that opens across from the Middle School on Darby Road—and I see that as a potential place for kids to hang out and enjoy. That's what is great about Havertown for kids: We can walk to so many places and have so many experiences. Who hasn't been to Rita's on Eagle Road? Doesn't everybody have a favorite pizza spot (there is a lot of good pizza in this town!) Doesn't it seem that you can go almost anywhere and know somebody?

Here is my list of the things I like most about Havertown:

  • The Wawas in Havertown are essential. I prefer Little Wawa next to the Skatium over Big Wawa on the other end of Darby Road, but they both serve their duties quite nicely. I’m at Wawa probably four or five times a
    week. Hoagies, Sweet Tarts, hot chocolate; they have it all. Plus I give props to the employees that put up with us teenagers every night, and extra props to the ones that let us use the bathroom. I wonder if there is anyone in Havertown who doesn't consider Wawa an essential part of life. It's not in the same category as my cell phone for "most important" status, but it's not far behind! I'm kind of kidding, people, so don't bash me in the comments section.
  • The Skatium is where all the memories begin. When there’s nowhere else to hang out, kids go sit at the Skatium. I haven’t hung out there since probably 8th grade, and if I ever did now it’d be incredibly boring. I'm far too mature for that at this stage in my life, but it was fun in middle school. Everyone in the grade would go on a Friday or Saturday night, sit on the benches and do funny stuff. Everybody laughed. Everybody got to know each other. We went in the winter too; we were very dedicated. All we needed was a couple of hot chocolates to enjoy. Every kid has to experience the Skatium phase or you’re not a true Havertonian. One of the great things about Haverford High School, in my opinion, is that all of the kids get along. There aren't cliques. There are groupings of friends, but there is not one group that bullies another group. I don't see that, and I think that one of the reasons the kids at HHS have such a positive experience is that we all hung out and got to know each other before we went to high school, and the Skatium was a place to hang out with kids from all over town.
  • I love Janos on Brookline Boulevard. It’s the one place I never get kicked out of just for "hanging out." I’m there almost every day after school for that reason only. Well, and because the food is delicious. The fries and chicken fingers are my favorite. The pizza is pretty good but could be better if there was no green stuff on it (oregano, I know). Everyone who works there is nice and you can’t get a better deal than $2.50 for a slice and a free refill. But guys, can you cut out the green stuff? Or maybe make it optional?
  • The Grange is hands down the best park in Havertown. It helps that it’s close to my house and I have a couple of friends who pretty much live in the Grange. The playground is good for little kids and I still enjoy the swing set. I love going there to watch football and baseball games. Guys also like it for the basketball courts. The woods get put to good use, too. My friend has a golf cart and it’s always fun to ride through, or people walk their dogs and everyone just seems at peace when they're in the Grange park.
  • The city is one of my favorite places to be and the fact that the train station (Norristown High Speed Line, running from Norristown to Upper Darby) is right behind my house is very convenient. It’s such cheap, easy access to wherever I want to go, especially since I can’t drive. (Wait until February 23, when I turn 16! Wooooo! Hoooo!) I’ve gotten very good at using the train recently and it helps me experience life outside of Havertown.
  • I've enjoyed the schools and the teachers a lot, starting with Chatham Park Elementary, then Haverford Middle School and now Haverford High School. I want to give a shout out to Mr. Cohen, my eighth-grade English teacher. He was always supportive and encouraging. He has a great style of teaching—laid back, cool and he gets his message across.
  • Velour Hair Salon on Darby Road is a great place. Voula knows just what to do with my hair! And if she is hiring, I would love a job some day. Just sayin', Voula!
  • RIP Butch's Deli, the greatest place in the history of Havertown. There was no place like Butch's. It felt like home and everyone there felt like family. I would be there literally every day after school, and I always got a soft pretzel with cheese. They had the best candy, soda, and ice cream and were famous for their cheesesteaks (although I rarely eat meat other than chicken). I spent hours every day there with my friends.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Lori Spadaro November 13, 2012 at 03:38 PM
I love this article, and I love Havertown. Maybe, as an adult, it's for different reasons, but it's such a unique community. One thing we can ALL agree on; the Wawa (I prefer big Wawa) is an ESSENTIAL part of life here in Havertown!
Lorbee November 14, 2012 at 12:03 AM
Julia, you may be aware of it, but we old timers in our 60s enjoy a page on Facebook, dedicated to our memories of Havertown--it's called "Growin' Up in Havertown" and it's great to see that young people still have the same appreciation of this unique town we called home from the time we were in 1st grade. Many are still there and those who are not enjoy that FB page that keeps us reliving the memories of our childhood and teen age years. Stop by the page and you will enjoy seeing us in our 50s, 60s and 70s talking about all the places WE loved to hang out when we were your age! Many of which are gone now, but never forgotten. Check it out. You did a great job with this article, honey!!
Kathryn Cox November 14, 2012 at 03:25 PM
I enjoyed your shout out to Havertown and giving it such a positive spin. I have lived off and on but mostly on in Havertown since 1949. I moved back to Havertown in 1968 and have raised my thirteen children here, several of whom still live in the community and others just a stone's throw from where they grew up. Two live out of state in the Boston area in a community called Needham which reminds me a lot of Havertown. When my daughter and her family come to visit, her three sons love visiting and hate to leave because of their close ties with their aunts, uncles and fun cousins. My son lives in NYC but New York is close enough to come back quite often to visit plus it provides me with the opportunity to go and visit New York City. I love the New York Theatre scene and Philadelphia is a close second. However, Philadelphia has the best restaurants by far and its byob's are outstanding. Even here in Havertown, we have several good byob's. Many of our new bars and restaurants are owned by young people who grew up in this community. It's a wonderful place to raise a family. It's basically a walking community and everyone knows each other or is connected indirectly. Its athletic programs for the youth of our community are outstanding. The Haverford Reserve is a godsend for us as well. I could go on and on but Havertown has not changed since I first moved here sixty three years ago. It has expanded and grown over the years.
Lorbee November 14, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Hi Kathryn! Great hearing about your connection to H'town. Lived there from 1948, then in Newtown Sq., briefly Broomall, then back to H'town until 1981. Married and moved to the shore for husband's job, but of course, I am back in H'town regularly for our family and friends there and surrounding areas. Do you have a Facebook page? If so, check out Growin' Up in Havertown and 'friend' it - you can follow it regularly and you will absolutely LOVE some of the old photos and memorabilia people post on there. I am amazed at some of the things people have saved, e.g., old Weinberg bags, pics of Manoa, trolley cars, and much too much to mention here! Nice meeting you-and sharing our mutual love of where we grew up.

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