NY Daily News calls Delco 'ample gift basket'

Chanticleer Estate. We didn't know this was there.

As the tagline for this blog suggests, we spend a lot of time here poking fun at Delaware County. It's OK, we live there, so we're allowed. Like beating up your little brother or sister. You do it because you love them. And we do it because, deep down, maybe we sort of love Delco, too.

You know who else loves Delco? Jeff Heilman at the New York Daily News. He recently took a road trip there and has all but declared it to be the best destination in the United States of America. Take that, Mike Chitwood! All we know is that once in a blue moon, free pot will show up on your doorstep, but here are some highlights from Heilman's trip:

- Like an ample gift basket, welcoming Delaware County, immediately west of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania’s oldest settled area, delivers the goods.

- Historic region outside Philadelphia offers English gardens, classic Main Streets and exceptional food.

- Delaware County also forms part of the transporting Brandywine Valley, and is as spirited as the name suggests.

- Setting for the 1940 film classic “The Philadelphia Story,” the Main Line declined after World War II, but a vision of its former glory beckons outside of Wayne at Chanticleer, the only surviving Main Line estate still open to the public. Built in 1913, Chanticleer’s 35 acres of English-inspired pleasure gardens are a fantasy of flora and follies.

 - Main Street America is alive and well in its small boroughs and townships, where original Keystone State values such as patriotism, education and entrepreneurship still hold sway.

- A quintessential drive-around destination, Delaware County is accessible — Philadelphia International Airport sits at its eastern edge, with rail and extensive road options throughout — and affordable, with favorable hotel, tax and parking rates.

Clearly, Heilman didn't spend much time in the seedier sections of Chester or Upper Darby, which could more accurately be described as quintessential drive-by destinations. Or Main Street in Darby Borough, where politics is a bloodsport.

But we do focus too much on the negative sometimes, and I'm happy to see Delco get some good publicity. Read it yourself and visit some of these apparently wonderful places.

Excuse me, I have an English-inspired pleasure garden to explore.