Walking Media Pa With John Gilmore
By John W. Gilmore
Media, a quiet little town just north of Chester, Pa., didn’t have much going on in the ’80s. The major hang out spot near where I lived was the Old State Tavern on Old State Road. It featured various local rock bands playing rock music, dance music, and pop music accompanied by drinking, dancing, and outright partying.
People often visited the most popular restaurant, the Plumstead, located downtown at the center of everything. That’s not true anymore. When I arrived to take my walk 2020 and explore the new happenings I almost got lost because the landscape had changed so much and so much more was going on. I parked my car on East State St. and headed toward downtown not even knowing if I were headed in the right direction.
I passed large buildings encircling a large flat park near State and Manchester. It didn’t look the same as I remembered. Several sets of old concrete steps led up to the large open space dotted tastefully with just a touch of trees and greenery. Upon further inspection I realized that there had been houses in that field. They had been knocked down, only leaving the stairways for the continued use of the new residents.
The town had been subjected to major construction. As I got back in my car circling for some familiar reference point I noticed several large buildings and a very large number of banks for such a small town. I finally found a free parking place next to a clump of churches on Church and Franklyn Sts. in front of the Media Presbyterian Church. Near the churches and in the downtown section there was not a spot of dirt or piece of trash anywhere. The building’s were even clean, showing very few signs of wear and tear.
I parked my car, since there was no no-parking sign, and headed north toward the center of town walking past a Citizens Bank. I was perplexed for a moment. I thought it was a TD bank when I drove in. I noticed a TD Bank to the right of the Citizens Bank touching it, and a large WFSC Bank right across the street with a United Savings Bank nearby.
There were many thriving local businesses: JP Cleaning; Baker Printshop; Media Fellowship; and the House Restaurant in large two and three story buildings–some with bevelled roofs and old fashion fire escapes.
Walking down the street reminds you of the old times in the ’50s and ’60s when people didn’t spend their time shopping in enclosed spaces, but took themselves out into the natural elements scurrying from one store to the next during winter months and strolling, slowly during beautiful spring days doing their weekly shopping.
On the left you’ll find an old fashioned hardware store, on the right, Deals, not a dollar store, but something resembling a 5 and 10 cent store. A myriad of restaurants and shops all under matching green awnings along with the Media Town Mall located at State and Orange stand out. The old Plumstead is now replaced with an upscale bar named Brick and Brew. I can see the dark brown stools bolted to the floor with customers eating, drinking, and cavorting in the middle of the Friday afternoon. It is surprisingly full, located next to a large, open courtyard overlaid with dark brown bricks and benches where people can pass through down to Baltimore Pike, or just sit and look at some of the other shops or watch people passing by in this small downtown section within a downtown section. Several shops are closed waiting for the weekend onslaught, but the open ones have plenty customers.
The choices of shops to visit are many for such a small strip of road and the parallel block of Bethlehem Pike just around the corner. Everything from bookstores to nail salons, from 7 Stones Store, which sells spirituality odds and ends to juice bars, from gyms to Massage Therapy and Healing Centers all right there, within a few blocks, along with a variety of food and restaurants.
Making my way to the end of the street I retrace my steps looking for a quick lunch spot.
I finally stop at Jaco’s Taco and Juice Bar, order a large orange juice and two Tijuana Style tacos. I take the last open table. The places at the bar fill completely as I watch people pouring in and wonder where all of these people are coming from during the middle of the day. Seems that this lazy, little town has become a hotspot in the Delaware County.