Alley Gate

This is a photo I took several months ago of the sweet little wrought iron gate next to the Christian Street Baptist Church which is currently being demolished. This gate, the tiled entryways, the park with the bocce ball court at the end of the block are what makes South Philly unique. The Fante-Leone pool, Mario Lanza and Frank Gasparro’s homes, and now this church are being or have been torn down to make way for outrageously priced, three story homes with parking. The character of the city and it’s history is the reason people want to move here – if you demolish it, what’s the point of moving to Philadelphia? You could live anywhere.





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Tiled Entryway on Pine Street

These tiled entryways are everywhere, this one I discovered on the 1100 block of Pine Street. I wonder if “M.S.” were the initials of the business that occupied this space or the name of the person who owned the building? Interesting mix of the square and hexagon tiles, I’ll keep posting these as I run into them.


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Watching the Detectives

Last week I had published my Szpieg or Polish Spy illustration that I produced in the superlative vector art and design program Affinity Designer. My original intention was to produce an illustration similar to the pulp magazines from the 1930s like Doc Savage or The Shadow, but I wound up with an Eastern Bloc propaganda poster boy with which I am perfectly happy. I started to add to my simple spy, and I may have gotten closer to my initial aim this week.  Continue reading

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Baked Cod with Lemon Butter

We’ve been spending a lot of time at the pool on weekends, so dinner has to be something that can be thrown together quickly. Oven roasted new potatoes, corn on the cob, and lemon butter baked cod – a dish that got rave reviews from my carnivorous son!  Continue reading

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Christian Street Baptist Church

Christian Street Baptist Church was built in 1890 for the congregation of the Protestant Episcopal Italian Mission & Church of L’Emmanuello. It breaks my heart to see this architectural gem being demolished, so that a developer can build overpriced condos in it’s place. This comes on the heels of Mario Lanza’s childhood home being razed, I feel  like my neighborhood will soon be unrecognizable. This is Philadelphia, do we no longer care about preserving our history?

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After my Grandma Went to Altamont illustrations that I produced in Affinity Designer, I was looking for a new subject matter to put the program and myself to the test. Originally I wanted to do an old-time, pulp magazine cover similar to The Shadow or The Spider, Master of Men, and I still want to chase down something like that, but it was a struggle. Then I ended up poking around some sketches and doodles I did in Designer back when I first got it. I opened up a file that had a detective-looking character that I had played with, abandoned and forgot. I started playing around with it again, and Szpieg was the result. Continue reading

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The Fifth Beatle

The Fifth BeatleThis is another of The Photo Elective series of photographs that Tina, I and every other illustration major attending The Philadelphia College of Art were required to shoot, process and print. This is a self-portrait of Ms Garceau.

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I lost a friend on Saturday. I met Kat in the mid-eighties, so long ago that neither of us could remember who introduced us – it may have been our friend Bob or Michael and Peter. She was my first friend who had a baby. I attended her baby shower which happened when she was about to pop, and someone gave her an accordion. We laughed hysterically!

Our friend Bob decided to have a big wig party, and of course, Kat had a giant, two wig bouffant and somehow managed to find a kiddie wig for her infant son!

People talk about making movies, but Kat actually did. She once spotted an antique car on a carrier and talked the owner into letting her use the car in her movie. She was magic. I loved her and will miss her.

Photo by Fen Jeeters




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Black Sunday

I’ve written before about the Wonderfully Weird Channels of the Roku and how the little device is a gift of modern technology for which I have always been thankful. Well, now I am afraid to report to you that I have to look this gift horse in the mouth.

The idea of ad supported streaming channels is a good one. There are billions of feet of film and video tape sitting on the shelves of movie studios or media companies just gathering dust, and they could be out there making rent. There are movies and shows that would never be profitable burning onto a disk, packaging and putting on store shelves, but if they were being broadcast or available to stream for free, somebody would watch. Why not make a little money off of these old properties with a few commercial interruptions? No subscription fee for a few commercials? Seems like an agreeable trade off.

A few commercial interruptions is agreeable, but some streaming channels go around the bend!

Continue reading

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Looking South – Now That’s a Door!

Running around South Philly as much as I do – every once in a while I’ll stumble upon an architectural gem like this door. I love the keyhole shaped leaded glass window, and the quilted tin that surrounds the mail slot. You’ll never find a door like this at Home Depot!


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Mario Lanza’s Birthplace Demolished

I just discovered that Mario Lanza’s boyhood home, located at 636 Christian Street, is being demolished to make way for two multi-family homes. How is it that the home of  a famous opera singer who made movies in Hollywood, and has a historical marker be bulldozed by a developer? It’s a damn shame.

More photos behind the cut.  Continue reading

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Grandma went to Altamont

Idealized Grandmother vector illustration ©Joe Williams

This cartoon is an effort to see what I could do with Affinity Designer and as a reaction to cliches that people, particularly lazy writers, hold near and dear. Grandmother. Granny. Grandma. Gam-gam. The term is used to evoke the image of a kindly, elderly, silver-haired matriarch of the family who dotes on the grandchildren; goes to Church every Sunday and bakes the most wonderful pies.

That’s the image, but considering the aging Baby Boomer population, the reality may be different. Continue reading

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More Tiled Entryways

A shopping trip down East Passyunk Avenue with the boy, yielded more tiled entryways to shoot. I tried to research DiBiase located at 1623, to get an idea of the kind of business and a time frame – but I came up empty. If I get lucky, I’ll make an update, meanwhile there are two more photos behind the cut.  Continue reading

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Brown Sugar Peach Blueberry Pie

One of the best things about summer are the fruits to make pies with. I love peach pie, and the addition of blueberries, makes it even better!  Continue reading

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