Come for the Sandwich, Stay for the Community

Home is Where You Find it

By Katie and Tim Mertens

It all started with a sandwich. In late 2016, my husband and I made a pilgrimage on the rumor that there was a pastrami-spiced tofu sandwich in Lansdowne. Neither of us had ever visited Lansdowne, and we didn’t know what to expect. Sitting at the counter of The Avenue Deli, happily eating said sandwich, we looked at each other and said “have we thought about living in Lansdowne?” At the time, we were looking for a place to buy a home; a place to settle into a community. At the time, we were also totally unsure of where we wanted that home to be. We tossed around town names like a hot potato: Media, Drexel Hill, Havertown, Broomall. None of these places felt quite right-each was lacking in some subjective “homey” feeling that we couldn’t quite place. Frustrated, we paused our home buying considerations, vowing to begin anew at “the right time”.

In typical millennial homebuyer fashion, we had a seemingly endless list of “musts” for our new community: we wanted it to be diverse, civically engaged, close to the city and all its cultural attractions, but with a small town feel. We also wanted a community that was strongly inclusive and vibrant. And then we took a walk down Lansdowne Avenue and people smiled at us – they said “hi!” We were immediately intrigued. We started to feel that feeling that you can’t quite name – a feeling of coming home.

We started looking at Lansdowne’s housing market…and ticking all the boxes on our slightly-too-long millennial homebuying checklist. After a whirlwind of paperwork, closing costs, and far too many stops at the Icery to stress eat, we bought our first house. Our house is great (maybe I’m a little biased) but what makes Lansdowne truly stand out are its people -genuine, fun, engaged, caring people who make our town into a community, which in turn makes our house feel like a home.

Lansdowne is a truly special place: it’s an intentional community that prides itself on inclusivity and sees diversity as a strength, not a liability

Between walking through our parks on warm summer evenings, seeing happy families at Lansdowne’s summer events, visiting the farmers market at the Lansdowne Landing, and volunteering at Arts on the Avenue, we were totally hooked.

What started with a sandwich ended with so much more. Lansdowne is a truly special place: it’s an intentional community that prides itself on inclusivity and sees diversity as a strength, not a liability.

We are so proud to be residents of this great place. Once we clear up that we do not live in “Lansdale”, the second thing we talk about is how much we love where we live. Our love of Lansdowne has pushed us to be more involved in creating and furthering our community’s values. Becoming more civically engaged was an unexpected side effect of moving to our wonderful town, and I can say with confidence that it’s my love of our community that has pushed me to work harder as a citizen. This past year in our new town has been outstanding, and we anticipate Lansdowne’s future with excitement.