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Welcome to the Strip

picture of the welcome to the strip mural On Penn Avenue, between 21st and 20th, there's a mural on the second floor of the side of a bar that says "Welcome to the Strip." The mural is right in the heart of the strip, a stone's throw from the best of the produce markets and restaurants in the area. From the picture, you might think that the buildings around the mural are about to fall down, but I can tell you they've looked about the same for years now.

The strip is a bazaar in the true old-world sense: merchants from a mishmash of cultures offering their wares in the simplest way possible. There's no yuppy light fixtures or froufrou furniture (well, ok, there's some at the froufrou furniture store) to create a "shopping experience." In other words, you see what you get, you get what you pay for, and if you don't like the price, you negotiate. Back in the day, 61C's office was in the strip, and we'd usually make time to grab lunch from one of the local places (the neighborhood had Vietnamese, Italian, Caribbean, and Japanese food, with Thai, Indian, and a brew pub close by). By the way, the strip has an ultra-hip and flashy web site which totally fails to convey the feel of the place (in fact, it seems to focus on only the yuppiest aspects).

And of course, click on the picture for a larger version of the mural.