Living in the City of Reading, you see the good, the bad, and the ugly. There was even a point in history when Reading was considered one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. Most people are afraid to cross the Reading Penn Street Bridge. Yet, when they do manage to cross, they are bombarded with a multitude of cultures and different foods. Then, when you ask if the grass was greener on the other side, they will respond with good connotations! “The City of reading is not as bad as people make it seem. The people are really nice and are proud of their city’s accomplishments,” says Alexandra Peña, a current resident in the Reading area.
The City of Reading is home to people of different backgrounds from all over the world. These backgrounds include black, white, Hispanic, Asian, and many more! With the multitude of races comes an abundance of different foods. Try going to La Taqueria Jimenez on Oley Street for some fantastic Mexican food. Go to Beckett’s on Walnut Street for the delightful soul food taste. There are many more delicious family-owned ethnic restaurants, I cannot name them all.
Inner-city Reading is also home to many events, including the upcoming Christmas parade, the Puerto Rican parade, the Dominican parade, Pride parade, family events at City Park, popular high school sports games, charity events, and runs. You also could go up to The Pagoda to view the entire city and have a picnic with friends and family.
I have lived in the City of Reading for most of my existence, and I can tell you that the violence is not as bad as people make it seem. I have walked myself to and from school since the age of 6 years old, and I have experienced nothing but love from my city. We all support each other because we know the meaning of service, and the effect actions can have on people’s lives. When I needed help when my car broke down in the middle of the street, regular pedestrians helped me and made sure that I was okay. When I would cheer for the Reading Red Knights, I would look into the crowds of people and saw the fantastic support my people had for our city. “I remember feeling the energy in the crowd, the more intense the game got. You could sense it, and the players on the team fed off that energy,” says Cyndy Reyes, a Reading High School alumnus.
I will forever bleed red and be just a kid from Reading. Do not be afraid of the city. Embrace it, just like the city will embrace you. You might even find out that the grass is indeed greener on the other side of the bridge.