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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

If you’re out to shoot, or just see Philadelphia’s City Hall you should wait until it gets a little dark out and set up shop on Broad Street.  What you have is a nicely lit street with changing colors, cars going by on either side, and of course the focal point of City Hall to the north.  (Do I have to say, be careful and watch for traffic?) You’ll find this shot (or… Read More

I lived in a cave in Brooklyn.  Not a rock studded shelter, per se, but a small, dark box that a family of bears could have comfortably hunkered down in for the winter.  Come spring, they’d burst out of there ready to explore the world.  That’s how I feel right now.  And with the view from my new apartment on the 13th floor of a building on 16th and Locust, I don’t… Read More

Call it the result of climate change, call it what you will; a polar bear and penguin were recently seen on the last bit of snow in Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia. Eyewitnesses say that the polar bear and penguin stayed in the park until late in the evening, then went to the Field House on Filbert Street where they watched the Philadelphia Eagles destroy the Chicago Bears, 54-11.