Life along Kensington Avenue
The Kensington section of Philadelphia was formerly the manufacturing hub of a city built on industry. A century ago, work could be found in the textile mills and factories that littered the neighborhood -- the middle class thrived. As time wore on and automation replaced human capital the loss of the blue collar work that built the neighborhood and others like it in Philadelphia and across the northern United States was never replaced.
Kensington fell into depression and eventually became the epicenter of the city's drug trade with open air drug markets scattered about the neighborhood. Despite attempts by police to curb the drug trade it seems the dealers and buyers are too many in number for their efforts to make a dent.
Unlike traditional rust belt cities further inland Philadelphia has experienced a resurgence in the last decade with scores of young people flocking to the city from the suburbs -- neighborhoods have been gentrified, violent crime stats are down and the economy is on the upswing.
Still, Philadelphia has the highest rate of deep poverty of any of the nation's 10 most populous cities, according to a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Deep poverty is defined as people with incomes below half of the poverty line, about $5,700 for an individual.
While quality of life improves for many Philadelphians, in Kensington and other neighborhoods across the city many seem stuck in a void between progress and the bad old days.