Manayunk is a neighborhood in a section of Lower Northwest Philadelphia. Located adjacent to the neighborhoods of Roxborough and Wissahickon and also on the banks of the Schuylkill River, Manayunk contains the first canal begun in the United States (it wasn't finished) and its name is derived from the language of the Lenape Indians who referred to the Schuylkill River as "Manaiung", their word for "river", which literally translates as "place to drink".
Although historically a working-class community, the neighborhood has become highly gentrified and is now a hub for nightlife in the city.
The neighborhood began as a settlement got its nineteenth-century identity from the construction of the dam, canal, and locks by the Schuylkill Navigation Company. The neighborhood developed into a huge manufacturing center after it was incorporated into the city of Philadelphia. In the 1980s, the manufacturing jobs moved out of the city leading to economic decline for the neighborhood. Since the 1990s, the neighborhood has experienced a revival, with lots of young people and families moving to this area.
Manayunk's main commercial district lies along Main Street with over 60 shops, galleries, boutiques, bars, and restaurants. There is also a weekly farmer's market at Pretzel Park that runs from May through November. An independent bookstore, The Spiral Bookcase, is active in promoting community events including readings by local authors as well as exhibitions by local artists.
Manayunk is central to Philadelphia's arts scene, and since 1989, the neighborhood has hosted the annual Manayunk Arts Festival, the largest outdoor arts festival in the area. Taking Place in late June on Main Street, the festival attracts around 200,000 collectors, buyers, and designers.
The SEPTA Manayunk/Norristown Line ex-Reading Railroad rail line runs through Manayunk, partly along with an elevated structure above Cresson Street. The Manayunk train station is located on this elevated section. The Cynwyd Line used to have a stop in Manayunk before the line was cut back to its current terminus in Bala Cynwyd.
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