Manayunk: One Key Force Behind the Neighborhood’s Rise

Martha Vidauri organizes events in Manayunk.]

Martha Vidauri loves her job. She even went so far as to say that she thinks it is the most interesting thing about her. And while organizing events for the Manayunk Development Corp. is indeed interesting, it is Vidauri’s work and dedication that really makes the job relevant – not the other way around.

Chabaa Thai Restaurant owner Nongyao “Moon” Krapugthong said that Vidauri’s hard work and commitment helps Vidauri successfully carry out her duties as the MDC’s Marketing and Events Coordinator.

Martha Vidauri organizes events in Manayunk.

“She can get things done without threatening other people or demanding or being bossy,” Krapugthong said.

Krapugthong first met Vidauri when a friend brought her to Krapugthong’s house to watch the Philadelphia International Bike Race. Back then, Krapugthong thought Vidauri was shy and soft-spoken. Now, Krapugthong said, Vidauri is still the same friendly woman she met that day, and has proven her worth to the local business owners whose stores she promotes.

But Vidauri did not always see herself organizing events and promoting businesses in a Philadelphia neighborhood. When she was a young girl living in a small farming community in Gonzales, Calif., Vidauri wanted to be a something very different: a plastic surgeon. She might not have known exactly what that entailed, but it sounded impressive and difficult, and she wanted the challenge.

“And then I took biology and found out it wasn’t as interesting as I thought it would be,” Vidauri said. So she moved on.

The then-18-year-old packed her bags and moved to Pennsylvania to attend Bryn Mawr College. That led her to an internship with the Manayunk Development Corp., which led to a job.

And working in Manayunk led her to move there. “For me, it’s just a natural place for me to be in my element,” Vidauri said. She described the visual beauty of the area’s landscape and architecture, the urban center with a small-town feel. In describing Manayunk, Vidauri’s thoughts drifted back to her home state.

“I love the feel of the hilly area and the towpath that you have here in the district. It feels to me like there’s a part of California here,” she said.

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