A Tale of Two Homes

A Tale of Two Homes

In Greater Reading, one can easily travel between rolling countryside, walkable urban areas and historic small towns. Even better, residents can choose to make one of these experiences their home.

The mountains called them

By Audrey Krupiak, Assistant Director of Communications & Marketing, GRCA

My husband and I acquired our log home in 2020 from my grandfather. It is nestled in the woods in Mertztown next to my childhood home. It had always been a dream to one day own the log home that I watched my family build as a little girl. During construction, I have vivid memories of my sister and I helping point the block foundation of the pole barn on the property.

It is a dream come true not only to own this home, but also to give my boys the land to spend time in nature. It does not matter the season, we are outside. In the spring and summer, the boys spend time riding electric dirt bikes, playing on their playground, jumping on the trampoline or finding bugs. We often see deer, hummingbirds, foxes and recently had a bear sighting! In the fall they play in
large mounds of leaves that are eventually pushed down our hilly driveway with a backhoe. In the winter months, the boys are outside as often as possible sledding, building snowmen or working on an igloo. These days are often followed by warming up by the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate.

Our home is located less than 10 minutes from Bear Creek Mountain Resort. In the winter, at least once a week you will find us at the mountain skiing and snowboarding. As a winter-loving family, it is convenient to live so close to a ski resort. When possible, I try to slip away to the resort for a massage or facial while I take in the mountain views. 

Although we live in a rural area, our access to Reading and more urban areas of the county are within 20 minutes. This easy access makes my commute to downtown Reading for work a breeze. I travel down the mountainside through the farm fields of Oley and quickly find myself in the city. My drive to work provides the most beautiful sunrises with the backdrop of the mountains. Often during the farmers’ growing season we will swing by a local farm on the way home for fresh produce or pick-your-own strawberries.

As a family we can take a quick drive to see an exhibit at the Reading Public Museum, stop by the Nature Place and play on the natural playground, play in the arcade at The Works, watch a minor league sports game at Santander Arena/FirstEnergy Stadium or grab a bite to eat in West Reading. Our county’s close proximity to major metropolitan areas, like Philadelphia, allows us to get to a Phillies or Eagles games to cheer on our favorite sports teams in about an hour drive.

This is our forever home. My husband and I are both Greater Reading natives and are in awe of everything this county has to offer our family. We have never quite experienced an area where we have the opportunity to live so rural, to the point where we had a bear in the front yard, while still only being 20 minutes away from everything the city of Reading has to offer.


The city spoke to them

By Zach Bell & Kyra Denlinger, Co-Founders, Bell Media Group

We moved into our house on Carsonia Avenue in 2017. We were drawn in by the old-world charm of the home, built in 1925, as well as the friendly, walkable neighborhood. Both of us grew up in Shillington, so we had a general familiarity with the City of Reading but didn’t anticipate all the benefits that we would soon enjoy.

The home is cozy and quiet, with features from the turn of the century including original French windows, hardwood floors, a stone fireplace and stained glass. Another feature we love to point out to first-time guests is the antique, mounted Coca-Cola bottle opener fixed to a drawer in the kitchen.

When we opened our marketing agency, Bell Media Group, in 2019, our position became even more ideal. Located in the hills in North Reading, our home is only a stone’s throw away from local universities, the courthouse, and various industrial hubs as well as arts and entertainment staples like GoggleWorks, Santander Arena and the Doubletree by Hilton, Reading. Our ability to attend conferences, meetings and events has helped us build connections and create more visibility for our growing business. Plus, since a critical component of our business model includes coming onsite to clients’ locations, we are positioned perfectly to capture real-life stories and special moments without the hassle of long drive times.

And while the city lies just over the Lindberg Viaduct, ample opportunities for hiking, biking and walking also abound just a few blocks away.

We also love to spend time outdoors together, and with the addition of a new dog to our family, we are even more grateful for our quick and easy access to parks and recreation. Each morning before work, we walk our pup around Crystal Lake and play with a tennis ball on the enclosed basketball court. On weekends, we often hike the Mudcatcher Trail that rambles past Antietam Lake through lush, woodsy hills. On clear days, you might find us up at the Pagoda taking in the sights or strolling the adjacent trails.

We often comment on the odd beauty of our living situation and neighborhood. Although we are mere miles from the epicenter of Reading, our neighborhood is dotted with majestic, sweeping trees and bushes that explode into color every spring. It’s not unusual to spot hawks or even an eagle circling above our porch.

We have no plans on the horizon to leave the area, but life tends to move fast, and we aren’t sure what the future holds for our family and our business. But no matter where our next steps lead them, we’ll always have a special place in our hearts for this chapter of our lives and our ability to experience the two unique, special and eautiful sides of Reading.