Corner retail on Greene St. and Chelten Ave. Credit: Eboni Zamani

Corner retail on Greene St. and Chelten Ave.  

It’s interesting to look at the retail space on the corner of Greene St. & Chelten Ave. It’s across from the library and from the Vision Center. They’ve all been there for so long. That space has been so many things over the years, various small chain clothing stores, Payless and I think most recently a church. I’ll remember it most for being a space where I could get cute, cheap items that made me look and feel good. There were always bright lights and big aisles to explore. I went so many times, embarrassingly with my mother, and confidently with friends or my sisters. When I went with friends, it was usually a pit stop for us to get outfits for a trip to Cheltenham Mall. It was a time when designer labels didn’t necessarily define your style. I’m not sure when the lights went out, so many retail stores closed along Chelten Ave. One after the other. I just hope the next tenants are able to provide affordable items for neighborhood kids again.

Murry’s Grocery Store. Credit: Eboni Zamani

Murry’s Grocery Store

I had a love/hate relationship with this store. When I was younger I knew a trip to Murry’s meant a Friday night of quick and greasy meals. My parents would buy all kinds of things from the store, my favorites being steak fries, fish sticks, Steak ‘Ems and that huge box of artificially flavored popsicles. I always thought Murry’s smelled funny and I never liked the colors. It always seemed dark inside no matter the time of day we went shopping. As I got older, I was embarrassed that we shopped there. We would get teased about eating food from Murry’s by other kids. I would find a way to get out of going on trips to Murry’s with my parents. When we moved, my parents didn’t shop there as frequently. I never went back as an adult. I’d only see it on my way to other stores or events on Germantown Ave. Sometime last year a friend told me it closed. A flood of memories came back to me immediately. The food, the snacks and the colors. I thought to myself, despite the smell, Friday nights at Murry’s never did disappoint.