Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Reason #21 (Hidden Superheroes)

 I hope that every morning, the owner of this garage pulls her/his car out, takes a moment to watch Batman lower into place, and thinks, It's going to be a Super day.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Reason #20 (Potential)

Confession: This post is a stretch of the theme of this blog, but worthy, none the less.

One of the goals of this blog for me was to see the beauty and uniqueness of my adopted home.  It guides me to see through a positive lens and to hopefully encourage others to do the same.

A recurring thought, though, that I often have is about POTENTIAL.  Why is this space/lot/whatever this dirty?  Abandoned? Destroyed?  What could it be instead? A park? A row of shops? A school building? And most prominently in my head is Why isn't it any of those things? Who are the owners? Is it the city? Why aren't they making the best of this space?
Just behind CAPA, the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (Boyz II Men's alma mater) on a prominent intersection south of the main business district is this space. Broken asphalt. Weeds. Trash. Forgotten.

The truth is, I'm sure it's not forgotten.  There have been rumors.  The latest is that Wegmans would develop it, but those rumors are not grounded on anything, apparently.

What does the community need?

Whatever the plans are, someone make it beautiful! Useful!  Don't you see the potential?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Reason #19 (Neighborhood Quirks)

I'm thinking that if I just focus on capturing one or two single images that show the details of this city, and less on grandiose novel-sized posts, I'll be a more frequent blogger.  Let's see...

These images are from way back around Halloween but warrant their own moment in the spotlight.  This building usually showcases what seemed to be a permanent clock tower, but showed its true colors this fall as a spot for seasonal decor.

                                 It has since returned to its time-telling duties, but I wonder what next season will bring?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Reason #18 (Community learning)

I recently went to a workshop about small batch canning at our branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia.  Free workshops are great for two reasons: they're free and you learn something!

 Charles Santore Branch

Marisa, of Food in Jars, talked us through the basics of water bath canning in small spaces while she made and processed four jars of apricot preserves.  I'd never canned before (I was scared and intimidated and thought I needed a normal-sized kitchen), but loved the idea of preserving the farmer's markets best goods for dreary winter.

So, thanks to urban preserving enthusiasts like Marisa and the Free Library, I love Philadelphia because of my new hobby! (Check out my first batch below!)

Water bath using a silicon trivet instead of a canning rack & the rest of the tools 

Summer's favorite fruit

Too much space inside, I know.... I'm still learning

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Reason #17 (Wipe your feet)

Pine and Spruce Streets weren't always paved, horses were the main form of transportation, not hatchbacks, and if you lived in Philadelphia in the olden (sp?) days, wiping your feet (or your boots, more commonly, I'm sure) was of utmost importance.  And why wouldn't you if you had a sweet boot scraper right outside your door?

Many of these muddy relics still stand strong on the streets of Philadelphia, serving no purpose except, well, to give us something to talk/blog/joke about.

So, I love Philadelphia thanks to relics of history for history's sake. Wipe your boots!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Reason #16 (Sometimes it's just all there)

Just take a moment to appreciate all that is going right in this photo.
                  Do you see the river?
                       The Walnut Street bridge?
                            The train passing beside the bike & pedestrian path?
                                 A freshly planted community garden?
                                     A brand new astro-turf dog run, complete with fire hydrants?

What you don't see is also perfect:  throngs of people smiling and laughing as their dogs bark and play, runners and bikers somehow co-existing on a narrow path, the gardeners planting next month's meal, and the crowds of walkers, bikers and runners who have stopped right next to me to take in and to photograph all that is right with Philadelphia today. And, it was 70 degrees.

So, I love Philadelphia, thanks to being in the right place at the right time.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Reason #15 (Community Gardens Part II)

"In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me
there lay an invincible summer."
~Albert Camus

This quote used to hang in my bathroom at my mom's house, hand-painted by me in bright colors on a dull sheet of craft paper.  It was a constant reminder as high school threw us curve balls,  that summer would come.  And along with it, summer camp. That's what this quote has always meant to me. 

But since then, millions of moments have brought this quote spilling into my head. Watching the community gardens die and rejuvenate as winter moves into spring are definitely some of those moments. 

Yes, I should have posted this a month ago when we were still in the throws of winter, but nevertheless, we are, as a city, bouncing back from winter into spring.

See those tulips?  The bush of kale? The new signs of a tended plot?

So, I love Philadelphia thanks again to the time and love and care of the gardeners of the community gardens.