They were lovely homes: freshly-painted, well preserved, the type of places that would fit in a nice neighborhood in any city.
Just a few houses down, you'd find graffiti, garbage, and kids playing in the yard of a home the city had labeled unfit for occupancy.
This was the 600 block of Ferry Street, which the city showcased Thursday, warts and all, as part of Easton's block-by-block inspection program.
For about 90 minutes Thursday afternoon, city workers walked the 600 block of Northampton Street and its surrounding neighborhoods -- Ferry, Pine, Locust streets, and Walnut Avenue.
Code enforcement officers inspected buildings, police looked for gang graffiti and drug activity. There was even a health inspector checking out the food service businesses along Northampton.
While this was going on, Mayor Sal Panto led reporters and a handful of residents, showing both properties the neighborhood could be proud of and areas that needed -- sometimes significant -- improvement.
"This owner obviously can't maintain his property. He shouldn't own it," Panto said, standing at a weed-infested yard along Walnut Avenue.
In the alley behind the 600 block of Ferry Street, you could find even worse blight: backyards filled with garbage, properties that had begun to decay.
In one of the yards, two small children gaped at the reporter and resident that had come to look around. A light burned inside the house the yard was attached to; the address was 615 Ferry St., and the city had a fixed an "occupancy forbidden" sign on its door last year. Nevertheless, there were signs people were still living there.
At the other end of the block, resident Deare Melendez said she feels like there's a new resurgance in the neighborhood, where homes are being refurbished.
There's still problems, she said.
"I feel like a lot of landlords don't care what their homes look like," she said.
There are larger issues as well, like drug dealers and sex workers operating in the alley. Rhodes Yepsen, a neighbor of Melendez, said about half the traffic that moves through the alley comes from drugs and prostitution. He'd like to see the alley to just residents and first responders.
Another neighbor, Lydia Labat, said she'd ultimately like to see the alleys beautified; she noted that department stores often have excess bulbs; why not plant flowers?
"There's curb appeal, but where's the alley appeal?" Labat asked. "But the fundamentals have to come first. That's just the icing."
Those fundamentals include dealing with blighted properties around the city, and turning old homes into livable ones, marketed to young professionals. Panto showed off just that kind of home along Pine Street: hip, modern and eco-friendly, with a flashy orange porch railing and a rain water barrel around back.
An "oasis," the mayor said.
Go around the corner, and you'd find a shack-like building on South Locust Street, boarded up and smelling of mold.
"This one's been a nuisance forever," said Dennis Lieb, of the city's West Ward Neighborhood Partnership, with neighbors forced to deal with smells and rodents.
Next to that, a small, well-maintained house, with flower pots on the window-sills.
Every block, the mayor noted, has at least one property worth saving.
Becky Bradley, Easton's director of planning, said the city plans to do an inspection each month, at various neighborhoods.