Bride & Groom on 9th Street

Newly married couple getting photos taken on 9th Street yesterday afternoon.

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Urban Stencil

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A Produce Box with a Story

From time to time, I’ll post pictures of interesting graphics I find on produce boxes on 9th Street. Over the weekend, I came across this corn crate from Russo’s Fruit & Vegetable Farm, memorializing a man named “Tony”.

I did a search and discovered that Tony was Tony Russo, owner of the farm. He was accidentally struck by a tractor, and died of his injuries. From what I’ve read, he was a pillar of the community and a leader in the farming industry. This retro graphic is their sweet way to pay tribute to a man who loved what he did, and was described as generous and humble.


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This collection of arrowheads spent several decades nestled in a drawer in my parents’ spare bedroom. I have very little information on them except that they belonged to my grandmother’s second husband who had visited the Southwest.

I’ve poked around online here and there, without much success. The most information I’ve gotten was from a friend that grew up in the Southwest, who admitted he didn’t know much about arrowheads – said the two on the right and second one from the left in the top row looked like Mescalero Apache. Without any information as to where these came from –  he also thought the two reddish ones may be Alibates Flint, which may be from North Texas, above Amarillo. He did confirm what I had read about the black arrowhead – that it was Obsidian volcanic glass.

Other observations my non-expert expert made – there are at least three ‘generations’ of arrowheads in my collection. Also, the way they’re mounted – wired on a felt back is typical of the way it was done in the 40s and 50s. Eventually, I will settle down and do more research – but for now, I thought I’d throw them up here for you to see.

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Fancy Fiat

I spotted this 1969 Fiat 500L on 9th Street over the weekend. I’m not really clear as to why it’s there – perhaps some kind of promotion, or a labor of love – the decoration is hand painted, and not a vinyl wrap. The details are impressive! More photos after the cut. Continue reading

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Fiorella’s Sausage

Another heartbreaker, on Wednesday I spotted a “For Sale” sign in the window of Fiorella’s – another long time neighborhood business closing.  Fiorella Sausage Company was established in 1892 by Luigi Fiorella. Four generations later, the tradition of seven handmade sausages was carried on by great-grandson Dan, who has been at the store for over fifty years, along with his wife Trish.

The recipes remained unchanged, along with the interior of the store – the ornate tile, tin ceilings, the original refrigerator, as well as the brass National cash register that dates back to 1901 are still in the shop. I was fortunate enough to meet with Dan and Trish several years ago on a job, and took these photos of their shop.

One hundred and twenty six years is a magnificent run for a family business, they will be missed. I wish the Fiorellas all the best!

More photos of the store behind the cut. Continue reading

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September 11, 2001

On 9.11.01, I had just finished feeding an 18 month old Lloyd breakfast. Joe was asleep, at the time he was working a 2nd shift job, the night before he had worked late, and hadn’t gotten home until 1 am.

My phone rang, it was an art director from The Daily News asking me if I had my TV on, I hadn’t. He told me that a plane had accidentally flown into The World Trade Center. I turned my TV on, just in time to see the second plane hit the South Tower – obviously this was no accident. Like millions of other Americans, I was riveted to the TV – shocked by the destruction, the dead, and the frightened people covered in dust, running to safety.

A half hour later, Flight 77 hit The Pentagon, and 15 minutes after that Flight 93 crashes into a field southeast of Pittsburg. I woke Joe up, and filled him in. I also packed a diaper bag and a small overnight bag, and set them by the front door. I reasoned that Philadelphia was a historic place, a large enough city that perhaps we could be next. I don’t know where I thought I was going, U.S. airspace had been shut down, and all Amtrak trains were cancelled. I guess it was a combination of busywork, and a feeling of helplessness. I began thinking about donating blood to The Red Cross, but as time went on – sadly, it wasn’t needed.

In the days that followed, there were news accounts of everyday people doing heroic things – like the hundreds of boats that rescued a half million people from Lower Manhattan. The best quote from the video, “Everyone was helping everyone.” Let’s hope that it doesn’t take another tragedy for our country to reunite.

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September 11th

That day we watched unspeakable acts of evil unfold. But we also witnessed incredible courage, outpourings of human kindness, fierce solidarity; and that is what will be remembered, along with thousands of innocent souls who perished that day.

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Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

Joe’s boss hit the big five – oh, and the occasion called for a cake. It had to be special (obviously), survive temperatures in the 90s, and persevere through a subway and trolley ride – meaning, no three layer cake with buttercream. I settled on a sheet cake, made with sour cream, chocolate chips, and dusted with cinnamon-sugar, because you can never go wrong with sour cream in a cake!

Happy birthday Jim!  Continue reading

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Urban Texture

Urban TextureOff of Rittenhouse Square in what is known as Center City in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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The Portrait Sitter Number Two


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Cast Iron Skillet Calzone

After a week of brutal temperatures, when all I felt like making for dinner were popsicles – the weather finally broke, and we had a cool, rainy day. I whipped up a batch of pizza dough and made this calzone, filled with ground sirloin, onions, red peppers, mushrooms and cheese. Leftovers reheated like a dream! I looking forward to experimenting with different ingredients like sausage, broccoli rabe, and eggplant. Stay tuned!  Continue reading

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The Drake from Spruce Street

The Drake from Spruce Street

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Strawberry Lattice Pie

I labored over a pie for Labor Day! Because it’s a holiday, and because we’re about to bid adieu to the gorgeous, locally grown strawberries in the market. Hard to imagine another summer is drawing to a close, but I have my strawberry pie to console me. Happy Labor Day, everyone!  Continue reading

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