Something in the real-estate listing for last week’s SoPhilly Spotlight, the former Jehovah’s Witness Hall at 1235-37 Federal St., made us do a bit of a double-take that we figured was worth circling back to.
The realtor is trying to call that neighborhood “Southern Bella,” going so far as to describe the boundaries of this mystery designation. Says the listing:
The Southern Bella section of Philadelphia is nestled east of Broad Street and west of 9th street, with Washington Avenue bordering the north side and Dickinson Street serving as the southern boundary. South of Bella Vista, just southwest of the Italian Market, northwest of East Passyunk Square, and southeast of the Avenue of the Arts.
It’s undoubtedly a reference to Bella Vista, but it just happens to carve out about 80 percent of the area within the boundaries of the existing Passyunk Square Civic Association (Washington to Tasker, 6th to Broad). And many South Philly folk consider it sacrilege to call anywhere south of South Street anything but simply “South Philly.”
We emailed the realtor to see where he came up with that designation, but he hasn’t gotten back to us yet. In the meantime, have any of you actually heard of “Southern Bella” before?