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“Yo!  Dude!  Get this one!” this kid yelled before jumping into the shot I had framed of tourists taking photos in LOVE Park. Click. “Pretty cool trick!” I said, suddenly realizing that I sounded like someone’s dad. “Want me to email you the shot?” “I have to set that stuff up,” he said, catching his breath. “Set what stuff up?” “Email, Google Plus, a YouTube channel, you know?  Twitter, all that crap,… Read More

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The sounds of Sinatra filled the streets. Red, white and green flags were everywhere.  And yes, there was food.  Lots of it.  The four food groups in fact (cheese, salami, roast pork and other cheese), piled high on folding tables and carts, begging to be tasted.  But even for me, a proud Italophile with an appetite, this feast of the senses was not the most interesting part of Philadelphia’s Italian Market Festival. Coinciding with the festival,… Read More

Facing south on 9th Street, the market is the largest and oldest working open air market in the United States.

85 years ago today my grandfather Giovanni (far left) arrived in America.  He sailed from Naples, Italy nine days earlier with his mother and two brothers to join his father, already a naturalized citizen, in south Philadelphia.  Giovanni was six years old (although the passenger manifest says five), and with only a vague but very common explanation of why the family left his small Italian town, now found himself in a vibrant, culturally diverse city on the verge of the Great Depression. … Read More